Thursday, June 30, 2011

Share a Spoon - Red, White and Blue!

Think Tank MommaUltimate Recipe Swap
The fabulous Think Tank Momma is hosting Share a Spoon today and Life as Mom is hosting The Ultimate Recipe Swap and it's all about celebrating the 4th!  All your favorite red, white and blue recipes....but it doesn't exactly have to be red, white and blue...just your favorite foods to celebrate the 4th of July!  So head on over, link up, and maybe get some new ideas for your upcoming celebration.

Maybe you'd like to start off your July 4th with these?
Pancakes (egg free) with a maple strawberry (red) and blueberry syrup?  So easy and sooo delicious!
All you do is add some strawberries, blueberries (mine were frozen) and a little maple syrup (or sugar) to a pot...
Heat them up on medium heat until it gets nice and thick and bubbly.  Whipped cream on top would be extra yummy.  (and red, white and blue!)

Then you may want to have a cookout!  Some barbequed boneless pork ribs maybe?

I just grilled these with a bottled barbeque sauce (it's red...sort of!)
Along with a white onion...take your onion and whatever other veggies you want (zucchini works well, so do small or quartered potatoes), I happened to have baby carrots - throw it all together in a tin foil "packet" - add a pat of butter, some salt/pepper, a dash of worcestershire and seal up the packet and put it on the grill with your meat.  This is one of my favorite ways to eat onion.

Or maybe a burger is more what you had in mind....
with a red tomato? and corn-on-the-cob is a must! maybe with a little herb butter? These homemade hamburger buns are also delicious.
and caprese salad? Red tomotoes, white mozzarella, fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar...yum!  I also just saw a recipe over at Pioneer Woman for a caprese salad with a balsamic vinegar reduction that sounded absolutely divine!

or chicken maybe?
Since I buy meat in large quantities from Sam's Club, I freeze it in portions. I read a time saving trick that you can go ahead and put your marinade in with your meat, then freeze.  Then, as it thaws, it will marinate at the same time...saving you a step!  That's what I did with this chicken...I froze it with italian dressing (fat free).  When I was ready to cook it, I let it thaw in the fridge, then grilled it.  It went along nicely with my white risotto ;)

And we can't forget about dessert....
 
Blueberry Dump Cake - great for a crowd (and way tastier than it looks in this pic)

and one of my favorites...
S'mores! Graham crackers, chocolate, (white) marshmallows....did I mention chocolate?!

I don't know about y'all, but I'm hungry now! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Growin' like a mutha...

I am absolutely amazed how much my garden has grown (out of control) in just the past few weeks.  I recently posted these, and now look!
this whole forest front section is cucumbers and watermelon towards the back.
I literally have a mountain of cucumbers on my counter...going to attempt making pickles this week! 
basil explosion

cantaloupe are almost ready! 

My daughter is almost 5' tall! 
A whole family of bugs demolishing my potato plant. Ewww.


and Sidewalk Shoes for Garden Tuesday

Monday, June 27, 2011

Amazing Zucchini Muffins (egg free)

These could be called Fruit and Veggie Muffins - but that doesn't sound nearly as tempting.  And yes, this is another attempt to get more veggies into my kids (and myself!).  However, unlike the avocado chocolate pudding....these were...well, amazing! Hence my ever creative title.
Amazing Zucchini Muffins
Makin' it Mo'Betta original

2 small to medium bananas
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups grated zucchini (squeeze out extra water)
3 t. vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
*chocolate chips (optional)
*walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat muffin pans with cooking spray. (Yeilds 18 muffins)

Combine bananas, oil, applesauce, sugars, zucchini, vanilla and pineapple in a medium bowl, mix thoroughly.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and baking soda. 

Add your wet ingredients to your dry. 

At this point you can fold in chocolate chips, nuts, whatever your preference. 

I filled my 12 cup muffin pan, sprinkled chocolate chips on top and then mixed in some chopped pecans to the rest of the batter.  I got six muffins with this, which I also sprinkled 4 with chocolate chips!  Then I added crystalized ginger to a couple.  I wanted a variety :)  These were the best in my opinion!  I love ginger.
Bake muffins for abt 25-30 mins.  It depends on your oven and your pans.  I have 2 muffin pans that cook completely different.  Weird. 
The verdict - these muffins are moist and delicious!!  You would never know they are made with all whole wheat flour, no eggs, and a lot less sugar than many other zucchini bread recipes!  I love the addition of the pineapple and the bananas replace the eggs in this recipe.  Even my kids ate them!!  YAY!! 

Now, only 547 more zucchini to use up....

Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Cobbler

Dark chocolate is....um....well, dark.  So when you make a dark chocolate cobbler, it looks like you have a burnt pile of poo.  Hence, the crappy photo.  (I'm so punny..) So now that I've compared this to something that doesn't even begin to make you want to eat, I'm sure you are dying for the recipe right?

Sorry, I have a warped sense of humor.  This is actually really tasty, especially warm with a scoop of ice cream.  (ewwww, now we're all thinking of warm poo).  I need to start this post over, but I can't seem to stop myself.

I first made Chocolate Cobbler for my birthday last year, check out that post for an entertaining photo.  I decided to make it again after seeing a Cinnamon Chocolate Cobbler on another blog (which I didn't bookmark so I'm sorry if it's your blog and I totally ripped off your idea.  The recipe is not exactly the same however.)  This time I decided to use dark chocolate, because I heart it, and a dash of cinnamon, b/c, well, because cinnamon is good.  I took it to my parents' house for Father's Day and came home with an empty dish.  It's kind of like a chocolate lava cake - gooey parts and cakey parts and full of chocolate deliciousness.

Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Cobbler - adapted from How Sweet It Is & someone else (oops)

1 cup flour

1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

2 T. plus 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1/2 cup buttermilk milk *skim milk with a 1-1/2 tsps. of vinegar added - let sit for 5 mins.

3 T. vegetable canola oil

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 t. cinnamon (optional)

1 3/4 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and 2 T. cocoa.  Stir in milk and oil.  Pour into baking dish.  I used an 8 inch oval (I think?).
 
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining cocoa and sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over top (DO NOT STIR). Bake for 40-45 minutes.

**************
This is also excellent with regular cocao powder as well.  (and it photographs much better)  It also contains NO EGGS!!  So, it's safe for my little allergy boy, which is great, b/c he does love some "choc-wit".  I just can't imagine who he gets that from.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  I enjoyed more time with family and picked more cucumbers and zucchini than I know what to do with!  I have 2 zucchini recipes coming up soon.  Going to tackle making pickles too!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood


My 8 y/o crawled in her 3 y/o brother's play tent and fell fast asleep!


Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood


Color me orange - Whole Wheat Orange Bundt Cake

Whole Wheat Orange Cake may not sound as tempting as, let's say, Cookie Dough Brownies, but keep reading! It's good, I promise!!  Don't let the whole wheat flour fool you into thinking this is going to be dry...far from it.  It's nice and moist with orange juice, orange zest, and an orange glaze on top for good measure!  Oh, and it's EGG FREE! (Which only excites those of us dealing with allergies or who are vegan I guess, but...yay!)  I made this to take to my parents' house for Father's Day, so it was nice to have a dessert that everyone, including Mr. Three, could enjoy.

Whole Wheat Orange Bundt Cake (Adapted from Leaves of Wheatgrass)

■3 cups whole wheat pastry flour  *I used 1-1/2 cups whole wheat and 1-1/2 cups all-purpose since I can't find whole wheat pastry flour anywhere!

■2 teaspoons baking soda

■1/2 teaspoon baking powder

■1 teaspoon salt

■1 cup sugar

■2/3 cup canola oil

■2 cups orange juice *I used orange juice with pulp so I would have little bits of orange, same for the glaze.

■2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

■2 teaspoons vanilla extract

■1 teaspoon orange extract *I didn't have any orange extract so I used a tablespoon of orange zest

Preheat oven to 350F.  Oil and flour a 12-cup bundt pan very thoroughly. {go HERE to find out why this is important! I, of course, learned the hard way.} Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and pour the wet mixture into the dry. Whisk just to combine, being careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and tap it on the counter a couple times to get rid of the air bubbles.

Bake on the middle oven rack for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is light golden brown and a tester comes out mostly clean.

Cool completely in the pan before flipping onto a wire rack. Hopefully, it will come out looking like this...
Thoughts - this is a tasty, moist cake with a hint of citrus flavor.  You can make a glaze to go on top of 1 cup powdered sugar mixed with enough orange juice to give it the desired consistency.  Ashley (Leaves of Wheatgrass) also mentions a chocolate ganache for a topping, which would be fabulous!  I would like to try the cake with the orange extract in addition to the orange zest.  You could even increase the zest, or add a variety of lemon, lime and orange zest, for a more intense flavor.  I'm a zesting fool. I've been adding it to everything!

So go ahead and make this cake.  It's practically a health food with it's whole wheat flour and orange juice.  And orange juice makes it a perfectly acceptable breakfast food too :)

I'm linking this recipe up with Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Made from Scratch Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday @ For The Love Of Blogs,http://bluecricketdesign.net/, At Home with Haley, Lady Behind the Curtain,  Little Brick Ranch, These Chicks Cooked, Miz Helen's Country CottageMangoes and Chutney for Fat Camp Fridays, EKat's Kitchen, Local Fun for KidsSweet as Sugar Cookies, Feeding Four, It's a Keeper, Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo, Eat at Home for Ingredient Spotlight: powdered sugar, Finding Joy in my Kitchen for Ingredient Spotlight: citrus, Memories by the Mile


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{semi} Wordless Wednesday - Father's Day

Last year, my brother, sister, mom and I gathered in my Dad's hospital room in the bone marrow transplant unit to celebrate Father's Day.  We had a lot to celebrate...my dad had just received a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor - his best chance of surviving the type of Leukemia he had.  However, my Dad was very, very sick and weak and on lots of meds.  The next several weeks were going to determine if he would make it or not.  He was emotional, we were emotional, and it was a hard, hard, day.

This year, we all gathered at my parents' house, with my children and it was FREAKIN' FANTABULOUS!!!!!  My Dad feels good, looks good, and is able to enjoy life again!  Thanks be to God!
'Grandaddy' and Mr. Three
Daddy with his favorite hobby 
Captain Little Man
Miss Two 
Number One
It is awesome, awesome and more awesome.

{Yay, my pics finally loaded!}

wacked out wednesday

So I have photos for Wordless Wednesday all loaded and sitting in Picasa...and they won't freakin' load into my blog post.  I have no idea what the deal is.  I am so.sick.of.computer.problems.

My thighs are so sore that I can barely walk.  And not from anything good.  Boot camp and power sculpting Monday and Tuesday.  Needless to say, spin class is O-U-T today.

Pinterest is addictive.  FYI.

We had a HUGE turtle in our front yard yesterday. I'm talkin' over a foot long.  I think he is searching for my garden.  The birds probably told him about it.

I have zucchini as long as my arm.  I'm talkin' freakishly long...not overly fat, just looonnggg.  Weird.  I'd show you a pic....but picasa or blogger one is being an A-hole.

Today's preferred scent is Ben-Gay.  (actually it's Equate Muscle Rub-I'm cheap frugal.)

My little man has made a little (teeny tiny) bit of progress in the potty department.  I'm sure that makes your day.  It makes me pretty excited.

Welp, that's all I got right now.  I have all these pictures and recipes and stuff....and now they are just sitting in Picasa.  *sigh*  I want a new computer.  Even though I'm pretty sure it's not the computer's fault.  I also want a new hairstyle.  Which has nothing to do with anything, just thought I'd throw that in there.  Pictures later maybe?!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Salted Dark Chocolate Roasted Almond Butter

So....yeah, I haven't posted anything since Thursday! What's up with that?  I've been slack/I've been busy/I've been lazy/and my favorite...I've been crazy.  Yep, been gettin' my crazy on with all these kids running around 24/7.  Then a busy weekend with my pops :)  I made some goodies over the weekend, but first, I thought I'd put this almond butter out there.  Not everyone is a fan, but I like it.  And put some chocolate in it, and I am so there.  You may remember my first attempt at almond butter, the Salted Cinnamon Maple Roasted Almond Butter.  It had a great flavor, but the consistency wasn't quite right...it was very thick.  I thought the answer was oil (ewwww), but I've discovered the answer is simple....process your almonds longer.  The longer they process, the thinner your almond butter will get.  I use a food processor, so I don't know how this works with a blender or Vitamix, but I know I almost over-heated my processor!  There was smoke coming from that baby.  Time for an upgrade I think. 

Of course, I made 2 batches of almond butter, so that may have had something to do with it.  I made Salted Cinnamon Almond Butter for my Dad.  I left out the maple since he is not a fan.  All you need is 2 cups almonds (I used pre-salted roasted almonds), a teaspoon of cinnamon, and I used a few drops of vanilla stevia.  Process for 10 minutes and done!  It's super easy and delicious.
Dark chocolate almond butter -

2 cups roasted and salted almonds
1 T. Dark Chocolate Cocoa (I used Hershey's Dark)
1 T. brown sugar (or sweetener of choice)
few drops of Vanilla Stevia (or vanilla extract)
1/2 t. cinnamon (optional)

Process for 8-10 minutes.  Taste.  Add sugar/cocoa/cinnamon if needed (that's the great thing about this, it can easily be adjusted for YOUR taste buds!) and check for desired consistency.  Process for a couple minutes longer if needed.  Store in refrigerator.
YUM!  This is great for the homemade bagels I made.  I know right?!  Homemade bagels.  Told ya Mo's gettin' crazy up in here.  I'll be posting those asap.  And making them again very soon since they did not last  24 hours!  I'll try to get myself sane organized so that I can post daily again.  I have several ideas for the blog...but it takes time.  Child free time.

So, if you don't hear from me for a while, I've either been committed or I am buried beneath a mountain of zucchini and search and rescue dogs need to be sent out.  Expect zucchini recipes in the near future, and if you have any good ones, feel free to share!  Post them on my Facebook page or leave in the comments or email.  Does that sound desperate?  I'm feelin' a little desperate.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Belated Blog-o-versary

Wow. I just realized that (1.) I've been blogging for an entire year! and (2.) I totally missed the "anniversary".  I originally started a blog as an online journal of sorts...a way to vent about my Dad's cancer.  It was very negative and random.  Then I posted a few recipes....and Mo'Betta was born :)  I deleted all the previous rants posts, except for a recipe or two, and decided my blog would be my happy place! It took on a purpose and I made bloggy friends and I got sucked into the wonderful world of blogging! 

After reading my first post with it's renewed purpose, I see I have deviated somewhat from my inital goals (Can we say Cookie Dough Brownies?!), but I have grown in others...I cook from scratch a lot more.  My kids are eating vegetables...uhm, well, a little, and my pictures are a lot better!

However, I have enjoyed meeting new people, learning new things, and sharing my craziness with everyone who stops by.  I appreciate it.  And hey, I've made like three cents with AdSense this year.  Awesome.  (Click on those random ads people! lol)

P.S.  I really hate "LOL", but sometimes it's just useful.  I guess you could write 'haha, I'm laughing out loud' - but then everyone would just wonder why you didn't just put L-O-freakin' L.  See random side notes like this that mean absolutely nothing are what keeps you coming back right?! LOL, hehe, haha

the reason my kids don't trust me

So you know how you come across a recipe, oh....let's say, a chocolate pudding recipe, but it's made with avocado...you know, a "healthy" dessert, and think "wow, that sounds really good, I'll have to try that".  No? This hasn't happened to you?  hmmmm, well, your kids are lucky.  I saw a recipe the other day that was called "Easy Chocolate Pudding" and it was made with avocado and cocoa.  Somehow I thought these ingredients could magically morph themselves into chocolate pudding my kids would like.  I delude myself often. (Like, when I convince myself I can do Zumba without looking like an idiot.)

My thoughts were, avocado is mild, creamy and the cocoa/sugar will make it nice and chocolate-y.  That's logical right?  Right. wrong.

You start with this....
Should have been my first clue that this wasn't going to fly.
But you end up with this.  Looks pretty good right?
Mr. Three is excited.  Initially.
Then it's more, WTH is this?
That was his last taste.  Then he slid his plate away and said "I not like it".

Miss Two said it was the most horrible thing she had ever tasted, and had to wash out her mouth.
Number One would not even try it.  Because she's 10, and she knows.  She knows the things her mama does to food when they aren't looking. 
Plus she is always all up in my bidness and saw the avocado 'puree'.  I hate I wasted a whole avocado when I could have made guacomole.  (I couldn't/wouldn't eat the pudding either)

So, 'healthy chocolate pudding' = FAIL 
Now, when I make "real" chocolate pudding, they are going to be afraid to try it!

*Note - if you get the chocolate/sugar ratio right (which I didn't), then your little one might like it!  (Especially if they've never eaten that stuff in the plastic cups.  The strange ingredient list is what has prompted me to make my own anyway.)  I've heard that avocado is a good "first food" to introduce kids too...I never thought of that with my kids.  Probably b/c I didn't eat it myself until recently. Bummer.

Feel free to share any sneaky/healthy kids recipes!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Garden Variety

Cucumbers
Last week - blooms; This week - cucumbers!
Watermelon that came up on their own from last year.
They are taking over the world.
I was trying to capture how big my zucchini plants are, but Mr. Man was not happy about posing. 
My first time growing corn! 
Cantaloupe 
Zucchini last week.  This week - I've picked 5! 
Another wild watermelon!  Sorry buddy, you had to go. 
This is a massive, bug infested, weed looking potato plant!  I have little potatoes growing! This is also a first! 
Another first, asparagus BEANS. Something new my sister found. 
Last week - baby beans.  This week - I picked several handfuls last night! 
bean overview :) 
carrots 
Mammouth sunflowers that my daughter planted.
The name scares me. 
Kinda pitiful looking onions 
Peppers! 
Mint 
Baby hot banana pepper - last week
This week - they are about 2 inches long! 
Cauliflower. I think it's too late in the season for it to do much. 
tomatoes 
blooms, but no baby 'maters :( 
still have lettuce! 
yummy basil 
and baby basil coming up from seed.  Wanted to make sure I had enough ;)

I need to take more pics since I spent hours weeding!!

Sorry about the unedited pics (it was very sunny that day!), picasa wasn't being cooperative!

This is my 2nd year having a garden and it's still trial and error!

I'm linking up at It's a Blog Party for Nature pics!

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