Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Seabrook Sangria

We had the pleasure of spending Easter with The Cousins.  Actually, we spent it with most of  Mike's family, but to Mia, it is all about The Cousins.  It was a great weekend to be at the beach in the Great Northwest and this year we were in Seabrook, Washington.  This festive libation came out quite well to accompany an amazing meal made by my wonderful Sister-in-law and her husband (not sure if that makes him my brother-in-law? Doesn't seem quite right).  Anyway, I  had to prove to myself that it really was that good by making another vat of it last weekend in celebration of a good friend's birthday.  Indeed, it was dynamite, although the first batch was better by a tiny tad- I think the difference was that I used Newman's Virgin Lemonade in #1 and Trader Joe's Pomegranate Lemonade in #2.  To be fair, I added a bit of suggested cinnamon to the second batch, but I think that gave it some added dimension vs. not.  I'm thinking that the next time, I will skip the ground cinnamon and add a cinnamon stick or two into the pot while it is steeping together instead.  I'm pretty sure it was the lemonade that took a half-point off the second batch.

I also had a rare moment of brilliance and took a shallow dish (maybe a 2-3 cup Pyrex or so) and froze it full of lemonade to add in at the end when I set it out to serve- this way it would stay cold and sangrilicous without getting diluted.  And incidentally, this saves pretty well in a mason jar for up to 2 days in case you want to keep the party going when the guests are gone. 

Seabrook Sangria
  • 2 bottles of full bodied red wine, fancy not needed (I like Big House Red)
  • 1/2 cup sugar made into simple syrup (see below)
  • 4-6oz. Triple Sec
  • 6-8oz. Lemonade, plus more for freezing (see above)
  • Juice of:
    • 3 limes
    • 2 lemons
    • 1orange (2 might be nice)
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled (not the sweet kind)
  • (optional)  1/4tsp ground cinnamon or a couple of cinn sticks
  • (optional) misc chopped fruit such as pineapple, strawberries and such
1.  to make simple syrup, pour your sugar into a jar, cup or other vessel and slowly add hot water into it and stir- just enough to dissolve the sugar - maybe 4 oz or so? 

2.  Mix all ingredients except sparkling wine together in large pitcher or such item and place in fridge for maybe 4-8 hours

3.  When ready to serve, taste and adjust with a bit lemonade, juice and such to your preference, then add in the bottle of sparkling wine and frozen lemonade, then serve over ice with a bendy straw.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins (Gluten/Dairy free/adaptable)

When I made my first batch of these the other week, I thought Mike was going to float off the ground.  I mean, don't get me wrong, Mia was pretty pumped for the choco chips and all, but my husband after the first (of 4) muffins....."MMM!!  Oh!  These have to go on the blog."  (pause, one more muffin)  .." MMM!  and make sure to tell them that you used cooked oats. You used cooked oats, right?"  And so on.  For those of you who don't know my husband, he is a man of few words.  For those of you who do know him, you probably don't even believe me, but these are actual quotes with actual accentuation to them.  He was even (after the 3rd batch or so about 3 days later) prompted to send me a cherishably,  rare mid-day text stating "what are the odds the last two will be here when you get back from work?".  I'm pretty sure I'm on to something here.  Never mind that they are absolutely delicious for big and small peeps, totally packed with goodness, full of whole grains, no refined sugar and suuuuper easy and fast to make.  I think I timed it at 20 minutes from first measure to out of the oven, as long as your oats are cooked already. 

If you make the gluten-free version, depending on your flour choice, these could seriously be practically a complete meal- just missing maybe 1/4 cup of squash puree or something and they would be perfect.  Use some brown rice and bean flour, fruit?  Jim Gaffigan would agree, these are truly Muffin Vitamins.

Banana Choc Chip Oatmeal Muffins
(preheat oven to 400deg)
1c cooked oats
1egg (or flax egg)
1Tb melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 c milk (I use almond milk)
4Tb liquid sweetener- I typically use Maple syrup
1tsp vanilla
1-1/2c flour (any kind is fine, I use a mix of garb, brown rice, tap starch and sorghum)*
1Tb baking powder
1tsp salt
4T mini choc chips (1/4c)
1 banana chopped very finely

* if using GF flours, I use 1tsp ground psyllium husk or 1Tb ground flax.  Often I use some flax as a part of the flours anyway)

Directions:Mix dry ingredients together.  In separate bowl, mix the wet stuff then combine it all together.  Scoop 2oz (I use ice cream scooper) into 24greased or lined mini-muffin tins and bake for about 12 minutes.  

Consider making extra oatmeal to make the next batch tomorrow.

You may also want to add other nuts and dried fruit and such to your muffs if that is your thing.  It is most certainly NOT mine, but I know your type.
If you want to make regular sized muffins, this will probably make about 8-12 muffs, depending on how much you fill the tins.  Cook for maybe 18-22 min?
2oz ice cream scoop is magic!

Muffin and child to scale.