Category: Cooking & Baking

Date Pecan Loaf

I wouldn’t say this is a date bread. There’s not much to it  — dates and pecans all held together by a batter of whipped egg whites, yolks, sugar, vanilla, and baking powder — and baked for 2 to 3 hours. It’s an odd recipe that’s been one of my favorites for years. Darlene gave me the recipe about 30 years ago. She was my dad’s secretary in Glendale, California. His corporate headquarters were in Salt Lake City, Utah (JB’s Big Boy Restaurants). But we lived in Glendale, so he had an office there as well — on Brand...

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Miso Chopped Salad

I want life to be a little more simple. Especially meals. Simple to make, a little mess, healthy, and tasting good. Is that too much to ask for? I think I got burned-out making meals for a family of seven. Now the kids are raised, on their own, and they can deal with their own picky eaters. A busy life often pushes mealtime preparations to the moment when everyone is hungry. Too many days, I would find dinner upon us and no plans. I would make that horrible meal of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese — and a side of...

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Adventure Time

My son is a big fan of the animated series, Adventure Time, so we had to make a BMO birthday cake. That’s the name of one of the characters that is a living video game console. The main character is Finn, the human. He runs around with Jake, the dog. I had to watch several episodes over a long period of time before I really got it. All four of my sons get it. They laugh and chuckle, and I sit there and try to get into the imagination groove. I need to laugh more. Humor is a good...

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Homemade Granola

Homemade granola is superior to any of the store-bought products. And it’s easy to make. The only trick, is to remember to check on it when it’s in the oven. I’ve burned my granola, because I became distracted with some other project. Like while writing this post, I got side-tracked reading about the history of granola, which is littered with stories of graham crackers, “granula”, and that awful cereal called Grape Nuts. It all began as a health food — but mostly to reduce your sexual impulses. Yea. I read that. And Snopes says it’s true. The history of granola...

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The difference between gelatin and pectin

Although pectin and gelatin are both used to thicken, gel, or stabilize foods and other products, they are very different. Pectin comes from fruit, and gelatin from animals. After I read about how gelatin is made, I kind of got grossed out. Especially if you watch how it’s made. So, yea, gelatin is a substance derived from animal bones and skin. Pectin is a carbohydrate found in ripe fruits. They are made commercially, but you can also make them yourself. Gelatin Gelatin is a protein substance that comes from the collagen in cow bones, cow hides, pig bones, pig hides and...

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Lemon Chiffon Cake

I have a Meyer Lemon tree that loves to produce lemons. So I always feel badly if I don’t use all her lemons. I give them away, I juice them and freeze the juice, I zest them and freeze the zest, I slice them and freeze the slices, I cook with them. I have tried lemon marmalade, but didn’t think that was worth the effort. I have made lemon extract and that was super easy and well worth it. I’ve made lemonade concentrate — which is better than anything you can buy. I’ve also cut them up, added coarse...

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Spinach Salad with candied almonds

I read about an amond butter salad dressing on Pinch of Yum, and altered it slightly for this salad. It’s quite yummy. I decided to use it on a salad of spinach, butter lettuce, candied almonds, red grapes, and mandarin oranges. Yes, candied almonds are one of my favorites and if I can throw them into a healthy salad, so much the better. I used the small tangerines that have no seeds and juiced a few for the salad dressing. Then I peeled the tangerines for the salad and cut the grapes. The candied almonds are super easy and fast to...

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Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

I’ve got way too many Meyer Lemons — and since they are sooo good, I have to do something with them. We had a little freeze here so we had to pick them all at once. Now I have them stored outside where it is cold, and I’ve given some away, but I have started juicing them and freezing the lemon juice. I even got my granddaughters to help me. We make up the lemonade concentrate, and then when you want to make a pictcher of lemonade, it’s really quite easy. Mix 1/3 cup of concentrate with 2/3 cups...

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Kale Lemonade

This is better than lemonade because it has kale, spinach, and chard in it. And you can barely taste the veggies. I make it with meyer lemons which I have in abundance since we have a tree. Every year I juice the crop and freeze it. I use it to make my own lemonade concentrate. So, it’s easy to mix-up a glass of Kale Lemonade, because I usually have the lemonade cnocentrate in the fridge or freezer. Just add a bag of dark green leafy kale and spinach. I pour the concentrate, water, ice and several cups of a...

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Mexican Hot Chocolate

My daughter-in-law makes the most delicious Mexican hot chocolate. It’s easy to make. I ‘ve always made hot cocoa, which is not the same as hot chocolate. They look the same in the cup, but hot cocoa is made with powdered unsweetened cocoa and sugar  while  hot chocolate is made with solid chocolate. When it’s Mexican chocolate it has sugar and cinnamon in the chocolate, which is shaped into a bar. I like to use light vanilla soy milk, but you can use cow milk too. Soy does have some advantages — nutrients, isoflavones, antioxidants and it has more body...

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

I love this healthy way to cook sweet potatoes and asparagus. It makes a great combination and it’s easy to make for just yourself or for the two of you — or for your whole family. I pan roast these on the stove, and prefer it over the popular oven-roasted vegetables (somehow, I forget them in the oven and end up burning them.) When I cook them in a pan on the stove, it’s faster and I they taste better to me. Really, it only takes about ten minutes to roast them and steam them on the stove. So...

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Homemade Whole Wheat Bread with Honey

I make this whole wheat bread based on a recipe from Cook’s magazine. They found that a little rye flour added to the taste. Iv’e had it both ways, and I often make it without the rye. I added ground flaxseed, and I like to use olive oil in my cooking. However, whenever I’m baking I use the extra light olive oil, so baked goods don’t have an olive taste. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong olive taste that can come through in your baking. It just depends how much you like it. Not to be too healthy,...

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

There’s not much you can do to improve the fully ripe strawberry — that is unless you dip them in really nice chocolate. What better way to get your antioxidants? And it’s so easy — tastes like candy too — you only need two ingredients and you are justified in eating them all yourself. However, you only get these in strawberries season. And of course, it’s better share (I think). And they taste better than candy. Here’s what you need: 1. Fresh Strawberries 2. Milk Chocolate chips or Dark Chocolate Chips (choose a quality chocolate — Guittard is the same...

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

I don’t quite remember when my mom started to bake these yummy bars — but they are made with oats, brown sugar, peanut butter and of course, chocolate. It’s one of my favorites, and I think it is healthier than a candy bar because of the oats.   Plus, I don’t gain weight when I eat these. If I make a batch in the morning I’m more likely to finish my work. Writing that paper becomes a breeze, tasks are manageable, cleaning up is no longer a chore. I feel like I can deal with anything. Life just seems easier and...

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Homemade orange rolls

I don’t know if it’s my Swedish heritage, but I love sweet rolls. Orange rolls are one of my favorites. Although I love the traditional cinnamon rolls too. My Swedish grama made them, but she didn’t really live long enough for us to enjoy them together. My mom made cinnamon rolls too and I have fond memories of her baking. Homemade is the best. If you have a good mixer that will knead the dough, they’re easy to make. The ingredients are cheap, and it only requires that you stay around the house for a few hours while they rise...

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