Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peanut Free Muffins

If you have kids in school currently you know what a big deal the whole peanut thing is. When I was in school the only allergy I remember is having to make sure that there where vanilla cupcakes along with the chocolate cupcakes. I give thanks everyday that my two don't have anything besides seasonal allergies, I see what there auntie goes through my my nephew.
So when I was getting some snacks ready for this kids lunches I wanted to make sure that I stayed away from nuts. But really can you have a banana muffin without some sort of crunch? Chocolate chips don't count because I wanted this to be healthy and weirdly enough not everyone in my house likes banana bread with chocolate, bizarre huh? I went to a local market and got a package of nonsalted sunflower seeds. Take your basic favorite banana bread recipe and leave out the nuts. In the place of the nuts throw in the seeds. I didn't check the sunflower seeds quite as carefully as I should have because they were processed with nut oil. The overall taste was really good but the seeds were not crunchy as nuts would have been. Overall a very nice substitute.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bright Fall Cookies

For the first time in almost four years we had to break in a new babysitter last night. Our dear sweet Alisha (co-writer of the blog) moved to be with the love of her life and that left us without a sitter. Luckily we have a niece that lives just a block or so away that was looking to take on a few more babysitting jobs. I figured that since it was her first night with the kids she might need a little bit of a bribe tool. So these cookies were born! I was inspired by Joy the Baker's Cranberry Orange Almond Oatmeal. The mix of cranberry and orange always seems to be such a bright flavor combo and then the oatmeal is just perfect for the gray nasty icky weather we had here yesterday. Hope you enjoy the recipe and it makes you smile
Cranberry Fall Cookies

3/4 C. butter softened
1 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one small orange (about 1 Tbsp.)
1 and 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground clove
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. rolled oats
1 C. dried cranberries
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350

Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, zest and vanilla until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, clove and salt. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Fold in your oats, cranberries and pecans. Using a small spoon to drop these on to an
ungreased cookie sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper).

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden. Let them cool for a few minutes on the sheet then remove to a cooling rack. These are delicious soft cookies even the next day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We must be crazy

Wow we've had some crazy stuff going on at our homestead. My sister of the heart came over two weekends in a row with my nephew so that she could learn how to can her own things. We started with simple freezer jams and moved to our favorite Dilly Beans. During the weekdays between visits I got a lot of peaches canned and some jalapeno jelly. When Nikki came back we got a ton of pickles made (a half bushel makes A LOT!! of pickles!) more freezer jams for Nikki to take home, spaghetti sauce, and we started on tomatoes for me to can. A lot of the tomatoes ended up getting frozen so that we didn't loose them it has been a rather bizarre growing season in our region this year. Oh and I also boiled and froze potatoes! It is an experiment that was born from being given about 10 pounds of potatoes after having just purchased a 5 pound bag myself.
So the run down of things done so far this year
28 pints of dill pickles
11 jars of jalapeno jelly
12 pints of dilly beans
5 quarts of tomatoes in jars
4 pints of tomatoes in jars
9 pints of spiced peaches
15 pints of peaches in syrup
9 freezer gallon bags of spaghetti sauce and a whole lot of freezer jam in two different flavors and whatever ended up in freezer bags. Whew! That was a lot! The tomatoes that were frozen are going to get thawed and put up in jars as soon as we get an extra minute. We've got to do at least one more 1/2 bushel of tomatoes for jars. Soon the pears will be in, along with apples from my favorite orchard. So much to do but so worth it all winter long.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mad Crazy Weekend

Just to keep everyone up to date. This weekend is very crazy. We will have many posts to come and pictures also but right now we don't have the time. We are canning like crazy. The growing season was a little weird this year around here so we have to do a lot in a short time. We have a half bushel of cucumbers an a full bushel of tomatoes to go through this weekend. Plus we are also doing some pears to can. On top of all that I (photo dude) put the frame work in for the new planting beds for next year with the help of my Molly girl. We will be posting all of this soon. Have a great holiday weekend everyone. Jeff