This blog... a compilation of my favorite recipes. They have been collected over several years found in various places: the internet, magazines, and cookbooks to name a few. These recipes are meals that I consider to "feed more than your body". These are meals that I hope nurish the heart and soul of those who eat them. I hope that when you have cleaned your plate, you feel like you have taken part in more than just a meal-that you have taken part in something bigger than yourself and food. Whether it is culture, your local place of living, or the life of the plant or those who share this planet, I hope these meals help your family-and mine-to appreciate that we are more than just beings consuming food; we are all connected. And more than that, I hope that these meals help you remember how fortunate you are and that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.".

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Easy Banana Cream Pie

1 medium ripe bananas, sliced
1 ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust (Or make your own! It's easy!)
1 3/4 cups cold fat-free milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 cups thawed whipped topping, divided

Place half of the banana slices on bottom of crust. Set remaining banana slices aside. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in 1/2 cup of the whipped topping. Spoon the pudding mixture into crust. Top with remaining banana slices; cover with remaining whipped topping.

Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

Butterscotch Blondies

¾ c butter, softened
¾ c brown sugar
½ c sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
1 2/3 c (10 oz package) butterscotch chips
1 c chopped nuts (optional)

Oven at 350. Grease a 13/9 inch pan. Beat butter and sugars in a bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, blending well. Stir in butterscotch chips and nuts. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Makes 36 bars.

**Note-Very, very yummy blondies! The butterscotch chips really add something delicious and unusual to this dessert!

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Sneaky Dad's Pudding"

Taken directly from the book "Becoming Vegan" by Brenda Davis, R.D. and Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.

1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 banana, cut into 4 pieces
1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons flaxseed oil (or fish oil)
3-5 tablespoons nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut, etc.)
2-3 tablespoons orange juice (or other juice like apple or carrot)
2 tablespoons soymilk, almond milk, rice milk or regular milk
1/8-1/4 avocado

Puree everything in a food processor until a pudding like consistency. Makes 2 very large servings.

**Note-this "pudding" provides a great source of protein, fiber, calories and healthy fat. So sneaky!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Low-Fat Double Chocolate Brownies

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
Butter-flavored cooking spray

Oven at 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 inch non-stick cake pan with spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, using a sturdy whisk or spatula, mix the applesauce, vanilla, egg whites and sugar until they are well combined.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir the mixture until it is just combined and no lumps remain. Pour it into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chips evenly over the top. Bake the brownies for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs are okay).

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool 5 minutes. Cut into 12 equal brownies.

**Note-Each brownie has 88 calories, and 1 g fat. Traditional Double Chocolate Brownies have 260 calories, and 12 g fat.

**Note-These brownies are really really moist-so moist you might have a hard time cutting them and getting them to stay together in traditional brownie squares. However you wind up serving them, they're worth it since they are so tasty and so low fat and calorie!

Orange-Nut Bread

2 cups flour (you may use all or half whole wheat if you wish)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
zest of one orange
¾ cup walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Oven at 325. Grease or spay a loaf pan. In a bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and zest. Add nuts and stir until evenly distributed. Mix together wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Make a well and add the melted butter, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake about 50-60 minutes, until the top is brown and firm and the sides are pulling away from the pan. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Easy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Eclair Dessert

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1-3/4 cups cold milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
24 honey graham crackers
6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 tablespoons butter

Beat pudding mix and milk in large with whisk 2 min. Add peanut butter; mix well. Stir in whipped topping. Layer 1/3 of the grahams and half the pudding mixture in 13x9-inch dish, breaking grahams as necessary to fit. Repeat layers. Top with remaining grahams.
Microwave chocolate and butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min., stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Spread over grahams.
Refrigerate 8 hours.

**Note-Incredibly delicious!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Basic Poke Cake

1 box cake mix of yellow or white cake, baked according to package directions in a 9x13 pan

2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (6 oz.) or 2 pkg. (3 oz. each) Flavored gelatin of your choice

Pierce baked cake with large fork at 1/2-inch intervals.
Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Carefully pour over cake layers. Refrigerate 3 hours.

Frost with frosting of your choice or with simple whipped cream.

**Note-this is a very versatile cake and can be made in nearly any combination.

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake

¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 ¼ cups flour
2 cups sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
2 eggs, room temperature

Oven at 350. Grease and flour 2 9 inch round cake pans. (For extra assurance, line the bottom of the pans with cut parchment paper.) In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate, stirring over low heat (Or you may melt them in the microwave together for 1-2 minutes on high.)

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl of electric mixer. Add chocolate mixture, buttermilk and eggs. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, increase to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Divide batter between cake pans. Bake until cakes spring back when gently pressed about 25-30 minutes. Cool in pans 5-10 minutes and then invert on a wire rack to cool.

Frost with frosting of your choice.

Oatmeal Carrot Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 toddler sized jar baby food (about 3/4 cup pureed carrots)

Oven at 350. Combine dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl and add to dry. Mix until moistened, being careful not to over mix. Bake 15-18 minutes in muffin cups. Makes 12 muffins.

Italian Marinated Vegetable Salad

1/2 lb. fresh green beans, cut in half
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed
8oz block cheese, cubed
1/2 cup Italian Dressing of your choice

Add beans and cauliflower to boiling water in saucepan; cook until crisp-tender. Drain. If desired, rinse under cold water; drain again. Place in bowl.
ADD remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Cover. Refrigerate 3 hours or until chilled.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Chocolale Chip Ball Suprise "Cookies"

•1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
•2 cups creamy peanut butter
•3 cups confectioners' sugar
•3 cups crispy rice cereal, crushed (recommended: Rice Krispies)
•1 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels
•2 (12-ounce) packages semisweet chocolate morsels

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, rice cereal and mini chocolate morsels with an electric mixer. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place onto a parchment lined sheet pan in the freezer. (About 30 minutes or so-just so they don't melt/fall apart in the warm chocolate) In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt semisweet morsels. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. With a fork, dip the frozen balls in melted chocolate. Place on a cool cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in freezer for 5 to10 minutes until the chocolate has set. Store the balls in an airtight container at room temperature.

**Note-we ran out of chocolate coating so some of ours didn't have any-still delishious!
**Note-we also used melted white chocolate chips to coat and those were equally yummy.

Tuscan Squash and Beans over Rice

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 large tomatoes, diced (or one can of diced tomoatoes)
3 cups zucchini, chopped
½ t dried oregano
½ t thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 cup brown rice, cooked

In a sauce pan, heat oil. Add onions and pepper and saute until tender. Mix in tomatoes and zucchini and seasonings. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir beans into veggie mixture; cook about 5 minutes more to warm everything through. Serve over rice.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweet Potato Bread

1 2/3 cup flour
1 ½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
½ c oil
½ c water
1 c mashed sweet potato
2 eggs
½ c chopped nuts (optional)

Oven at 325. Stir all dry ingredients together. Add oil, water, potatoes, and eggs. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Spoon in a greased loaf pan. Bake 75-90 minutes until bread pulls away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

First Birthday Banana Sour Cream Cake

1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup oil

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese , softened (full fat or reduced fat)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts**

Oven at 350°F. Beat first 5 ingredients with mixer on low speed just until moistened, stopping frequently to scrape bottom and side of bowl. Beat on medium speed 2 min. Pour into greased and floured 13x9-inch pan. (Or you may choose to use 2 9-inch circle pans) Bake 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (If using circle pans, follow cooking time on box.) Cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and butter with mixer until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition.

Remove cake from pan. Carefully cut cake crosswise in half using serrated knife. Place 1 cake half, top-side down, on plate; spread with some of the cream cheese frosting. Top with remaining cake half, top-side up. Spread top and sides with remaining frosting. Press nuts into sides. Keep refrigerated. (If using circle pans, frost traditionally, using nuts if wanted).

**Note-Since this was a first birthday cake for my son, we omitted the nuts.
**Note-I made this for two separate birthday parties and both time got rave reviews!

Grapefruit Pecan Quick Bread

1-2 large pink grapefruit (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon grated grapefruit rind
2 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour or a combination of the two
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

cooking spray
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water

Coat an 8 1/2 x 4 ½ inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Peel and section grapefruit over a bowl, reserving juice and membranes. Set sections aside.
Squeeze membranes to extract juice and discard membranes. Place sections and juice in a food processor and pulse 3 times. Set aside 1 and 1/4 cups mixture and reserve remaining grapefruit mixture for another use.

Combine rind, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine grapefruit mixture, oil, vanilla and egg. Stir well. Add to grapefruit mixture dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Stir in pecans.

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Combine powdered sugar and water and stir well with a wire whisk. Drizzle over bread and let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and let cool completely on wire rack before serving.

**Note-This bread freezes well. If you are freezing it, do not cover with the sugar and water mixture. The sugar mixture adds a lot of sweetness to an otherwise slightly sour bread; I would not omit it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken and Artichokes

2 jars artichoke hearts, drained and divided **
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2- 2 pounds chicken**
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/5 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 cups whole wheat cous cous OR 1 cup quinoa**
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a slow cooker, combine one jar of artichoke hearts, the onion, garlic, spices, broth and chicken. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Then place zucchini, tomatoes, and second package of artichokes in the cooker; re-cover and heat for another 15-30 minutes, or until veggies are cooked. (You know it is done when the tomatoes are just about to burst or a few have.) Remove chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon; cover them with foil to keep warm. Stir the couscous or quinoa into the remaining liquid; add lemon juice. Cover and cook until grain is done and (most of) the liquid is absorbed. Serve chicken and vegetables over couscous or quinoa.

**Note-If you want your artichokes to have a more mild flavor, then add both jars in at the beginning. Adding the second jar the last 30 minutes of cooking makes the artichoke have a stronger taste.
**Note-Use any sort of chicken you have on hand. If you are using bone-in, use about 2lbs. If you are using boneless then 1 1/2 lbs should be fine. When you remove the veggies and chicken, set aside your chicken so you can take the skin off and the bones out and just have the meat in with the veggies. After cooking so long the chicken should fall right off.
**Note-If you are using cous cous, you can add it to the slower cooker and it will cooking in 5-10 minutes. If you are using quinoa, it may take much, much longer, possibly an hour. If you don't have that sort of time, I recommend putting your remaining broth in a pot on the stove and cooking your quinoa according to packaged directions.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Zesty Rice

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice (or brown rice)
2 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon chili seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can red beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro leaves

Heat oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pot. Add garlic, and rice and saute for 2 minutes until rice is toasted. Add 2 1/4 cups water, chili seasoning and season with a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer as directed on packaging.

In a large bowl combine onion, yellow pepper, cooled rice, beans, vinegar and cilantro. Mix well.

Herb Roasted Pork with Mustard Sauce

1 pound pork tenderloin
1/2 cup honey Dijon mustard, divided**
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup frozen pearl onions**

Oven at 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil cooking spray; set aside. Rinse tenderloin under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 4 servings. Use a pastry brush to brush 1/4 cup mustard on pork loin. Sprinkle tenderloin pieces with about half the rosemary. Place on prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine chicken broth and pearl onions. Reduce liquid by half and add remaining 1/4 cup mustard and rosemary. Heat thoroughly. Serve roasted tenderloins hot with onions and sauce.

**Note-If you don't have honey dijon just use half honey and half dijon-or a combo to your liking.

**Note-If you don't have pearl onions feel free to substitute regular chopped onions.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

1 red bell pepper cored and cut into 4 pieces
1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut across into 1/4-inch rounds
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
Olive oil cooking spray
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a tray or work surface. Lightly spray both sides with olive oil cooking spray. Preheat a grill or grill pan over a medium-high heat. Grill the vegetables in batches until both sides are nicely charred and the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes for the pepper, about 8 minutes for the eggplant and onion, and about 6 minutes for the zucchini. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and oregano. Pour over the vegetables and toss. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the tomatoes. Divide the salad between 4 plates and sprinkle with the feta.

**Note-This salad is particularly tasty with pita-either chips or put into the bread and served as a light lunch.

"Refried" Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, or other chili powder
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chili powder and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the beans and chicken broth and cook until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Mash the beans coarsely with the back of a wooden spoon, adding more chicken broth to moisten, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

**Note-These definitely do not taste like canned refried beans, however they are healthier than refried beans in a can (because you are controlling the ingredients) and they also work in a pinch. You can substitute black beans for pinto beans if that's all you have.

3 Bean Vegetarian Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced (1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
2 carrots, diced (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water (or broth)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotles (or a 4oz can of diced chilis)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oil in large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano and salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes. Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Chick Pea Salad

2 (19-ounce) cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 carrot, grated
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Let sit about an hour to let flavors meld.

**Note-if you have leftovers of this, combine it with some cumin, a bit of flour if it's too dry and about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda per cup of leftovers. Pulse everything in food processor, form into balls, and bake 15-20 minutes at 400 for easy, quick baked falafel!

Banana Topping

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices

In a small saucepan, combine butter, pumpkin pie spice, molasses, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, add bananas then lower heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove syrup from heat, cover and keep warm. Serve over French toast, pancakes or waffles.

**Note-This topping is a great alternative to real maple syrup, which is quite expensive. Now you have a tasty alternative that isn't expensive and doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pantry Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomato
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans or cannellini beans
1 (10 ounces) box, cut frozen green beans
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh basil, torn or shredded
Grated Parmigiano or Romano, to pass at table

Sautee garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, onions, carrots, celery and zucchini in oil. Cook 10 minutes, then add in the stock, tomatoes and beans. Bring soup up to a bubble and season with salt and pepper, to your taste. Simmer 15-30 minutes, until veggies are softened and the taste is where you want it. Turn off the heat and wilt the basil into the soup. Ladle up the soup and serve with grated cheese and bread.

**Note-Feel free to take away what you don't have on hand and add what you do. It's a great clean out your pantry soup!

Chili Garlic Roasted Broccoli

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend
1-2 large head broccoli, cut into thin, long spears

Oven at 425 degrees F.

Place extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, chili powder and grill seasoning in the bottom of a large bowl and add the broccoli spears. Toss to coat broccoli evenly then transfer to a large nonstick baking sheet. Roast the broccoli until ends are crisp and brown and stalks are tender, 17 to 20 minutes.

**Note-this is another one of my all time favorite recipes! Yummy!

Coconut Cream Pie

Caramel Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup coconut milk

3/4 (13.5-ounce) can (about 1 cup) coconut milk, reserve remaining for caramel sauce
1 cup milk
1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding
1 (9-inch) pre-made Graham cracker pie crust
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream**
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons sweetened flake coconut, toasted, for garnish

For Caramel Sauce:
In a medium sauce pot combine sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and lemon juice. Heat over medium-high heat. When sugar turns amber in color, carefully and slowly whisk in the coconut milk. Pour caramel into a bowl that is placed in an ice bath to cool or transfer sauce to a bowl and place in refrigerator.

For Pie:
In a large bowl whisk together 1 cup of coconut milk, milk and pudding mix. Pour in enough caramel sauce, about 1/4 cup, to coat the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the filling into the crust on top of the caramel.

In another large mixing bowl that has been chilled. Whip the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form, be careful not to over beat.

Spread the whipped cream on top of the pie and refrigerate for 1 hour or until completely set. Once the pie is set, sprinkle with toasted coconut and drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce.

**Note-I'm always too lazy to make my own whipped cream and while I know it would taste better I am fine with the store bought whipped topping.

**Note-This pie is simply fabulous! It is probably one of the best desserts I've ever made!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Breakfast Cookies

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup (1 small jar) strained carrot baby food (or sub in any other pureed, mild veggie like squash or pumpkin)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup bran cereal flakes
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted in a dry skillet for 2 minutes, until fragrant and chopped

Oven at 350 degrees F.

Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine butter, oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, scraping down sides if necessary, until sugars have dissolved and mixture is light in color, about 1 minute. Add egg, carrot puree and vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add oats, flakes, raisins and walnuts and mix over low speed just until incorporated. Dough will be slightly sticky and less cohesive than traditional cookie dough. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using between 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter, form a ball and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Wet hands and use palm of hand to flatten cookies until about 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are fragrant but still soft. Let cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

**Note-These cookies are so tasty! I also love that you have a quick breakfast to go. These cookies freeze well and can be defrosted quickly in the microwave.