Monday, May 22, 2017

Apple Pie and Steel Cut Oatmeal Dessert (Crockpot)

I was looking for a dessert recipe that would use the crock pot, coconut oil and oatmeal and this popped up. I'm super excited that it uses Steel Cut Oats.

I made some variations - as I almost always do. I used 2 tsp of coconut oil and freshly grated nutmeg.

Substitutions - I warmed 2 cups of water in the microwave for 1 min and added 1 cup of dehydrated apples. This I let sit for 20 min (or til the apples are soft).

Meanwhile, I put 1 cup whole milk in the crockpot with the other ingredients. Cooked all of this on high for two hours; adding the apples once they were soft. We'll see how it does, considering you typically don't add real dairy until the last 30 min or so with a normal recipe.

See original recipe below and at  

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats*
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 T maple syrup (feel free to sub honey for vegans) - note: I don't like my oats super sweet so feel free to add more for added sweetness
  • splash of lemon juice
  1. Add all ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.**
  3. Give it a good stir.
  4. Top with your favourite toppings. I like peanut butter and crunchy apples.
  5. Store leftovers in fridge for up to 1 week. To reheat add a splash of almond milk and heat up in microwave.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

snacks for after school; crunchy mixes
I'll try some of these combos as soon as I go shopping next week.

Here's the very simple one I did today with a few variations...

My family recipe is called "Nuts & Bolts:"

Preheat oven to 200F-350F (100C-175C, off the top of my head)

2 cups each of the following:    USED: 3 c Toasted Wheat, 1 c Shredded Wheat
Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Plain Cheerios. (In the past I've included shredded wheat*, the little ones, as well as crispix, which is wheat+corn chex, fused into a hexagonal hybrid). Generic cereals are just fine for this application.

2 cups of pretzel sticks, broken in half or thirds. (Roughly-- the goal is to get something that won't jab you in the cheek by surprise because it's too long). I measure first, then break the pretzels.  USED: 1/2 c broken pretzels

1 can of Planter's Mixed nuts with Peanuts (or without, and then add a handful of peanuts)

1 cup or more of Sesame Sticks (originally these came in a can of Planter's snack mix, which was basically Mixed Nuts + sesame sticks...but they're my favorite part).

USED abt 1/2 of the liquid mix below - 3/4 c. butter, garlic powder, smoked paprika
Melt (microwave) a stick of butter (half a cup or about 100-115g) to liquid. Mix with a teaspoon (I heap this one) of garlic powder (don't use garlic salt-- I'm not making that mistake again) and a teaspoon of paprika (sweet is how mom made it, but I prefer smoked), and a pinch or more of cayenne, or else some hot sauce of your choice: I've used Cholula, Tapatio, Tabasco, as well as chipotle powder. Hot stuff is optional. Other stuff that would work here: a few shots of worchestershire (umami!), roasted garlic, finely chopped raw garlic, fresh ground (fine-to-medium) black pepper, but you can add that later to taste.

Mix everything so the butter mixture coats everything (stir while pouring to keep the spices suspended); I usually do this in gallon ziplock bags, whereas mom had the patience to gently stir and turn in her baking (casserole) dish. Either way, combine and get it into a casserole dish. You can do this part in batches, keeping in mind it multiplies your time. 

*If you use shredded wheat, keep it out until the butter's on everything else, then add. The fact is that you're pouring a slightly sludgy butter mixture over a pile of solids, and it starts out unevenly distributed, and shredded wheat soaks up more than its fair share at this stage.

Mom always did this at about 200F for 25-30 minutes, but I prefer closer to 300-350 for half the time. Stir/turn as possible halfway through. If doing this in batches, have a strategy to remove the first batch from your casserole (to a foil-lined sheet-pan, e.g.) to free up the dish for the next batch. Baking it is not a science, but you want to warm the butter until it's mostly absorbed, and then toast everything, basically. 

Let cool before eating-- the oilier nuts hang on to heat for a little while, so let a brazil nut be your thermomet

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mayo with Avacado oil to try

Thanks KGF!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Goal: good foil dinners with at least 8 month shelf life

Every April and October we go through our 72 hour kits and update clothing and switch out the expired food. This helps our kids remember that we're prepared for emergencies, at least.

My new goal in the next 6 months, now that they're old enough to do the switching out themselves, is to see if I can find some foil dinners which don't need refrigeration and use up my food storage that we can pack. That way if we do the idea below, we'll be ready!

Here's one great site for foil camping recipes..... but I'd have to think through how to make any but one (granola smores) last in my 72 hour kit without refrigeration.

Idea from a friend....
Grab your 72 hour kits and live on them for a last minute camping trip with the family.
Then you'll really see if you're prepared. Be sure to grab enough water, a couple of board games, the tents and sleeping bags.

We'll see if we're up to that adventure in about 15 months.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

White Chicken Chili w/ quick soak and cook methods for beans

I still has some turkey leftover from my 22 lb bird and wanted to make a favorite recipe. But alas, I hadn't soaked the beans overnight.
Never fear - there's a quick way to soak and cook beans. When I say quick, I mean 3 hours, not overnight + 5 hours.
sort and rinse 2.5 cups of white great northern beans (equivalent to 1 lb). bring 8 c of water to boil. Add beans to boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes. turn off heat, cover, add 1 tsp baking soda (you'll get the volcano effect - no worries). Set aside and soak for 1 hour.

For this recipe, I place my spices and cooked meat and most of the chicken stock (hold back 1/2 c of broth for step 2 below) in the crock pot at this point and let things blend on low. You can do this for any recipe. Just don't add veggies or dairy products this far ahead in the crock pot. You're still 2-3 hours from being done.

Back to the beans: After the hour is over, Drain and rinse thoroughly. With the beans in the pot, Cover with water, add 2T of veg oil, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1-2 hours or until tender.

Once beans are tender, add to the crockpot where the meat and spices are already simmering. For this recipe- reserve 1 c of cooked beans.

White Bean Chicken Chili (makes 10 -12 servings)
(from tasteofhome slow cooker recipe book)
* 3/4 lb chicken (boneless & skinless) cubed-  cook in 2 T olive oil til no pink remains.
or 1.5 c cooked cubed meat (chicken or turkey)
1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
1 med onion chopped (or 2T minced dried onion flakes)
1 tsp cajun seasoning
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
4 grated or minced garlic cloves (or 1 T garlic pwd)
2 cans (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 lb cooked beans as made above).
3 c chicken broth (reserve 1/2 c of this)
6 oz shredded mozerella cheese
sour cream and minced fresh cilantro (opt.)

My tweaked recipe: Add 2.5 c. chicken broth to cooked chicken and all of the spices (using dried onion flakes + pwd garlic) in the crock pot right after you start soaking the beans (above). Put crock pot on Low. These should be cooking together for about 2 hours while the beans soak and then cook. Add soft, cooked beans (be sure to do step 2 below). Go on to step 3, but since the beans are hot and meat cooked with spices, this will only take 30 min, not 3 hours. Continue with step 4. Enjoy.

Original instructions:
1- Sprinkle raw chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken and fresh onions in oil 3-4 min. Add garlic, cook 1 min longer. Place in slow cooker.
2- In blender or small bowl, blend/mash 1 c cooked beans with 1/2 c broth. Add to slow cooker.
3- Cover and cook 3 hours or until chicken is tender.
4- Stir before serving. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Dough enhancer recipe

Homemade Dough Enhancer #1
Gluten: use ½ T. - 1 T. per cup of flour (before you measure a cup of flour put ½ T.-1 T. gluten in the bottom of your cup then measure flour as usual)
WHITE Vinegar: use the same amount of vinegar that you are using for yeast (for example 1 t. yeast - 1 t. vinegar)
Potato Flakes: use 1/8 to ¼ c. per loaf of bread you are making, experiment to see what works best in your recipe. (Do not substitute potato pearls they won’t work!)


I noticed this ingredient on a few of the recipes I haven't tried yet. Apparently it helps the bread with whole wheat perk up and be less heavy when done. I'll try these with this enhancer recipe and let you know how it goes. 

Find all your Frugal Friends info right here now!