Recipe: Super Easy White Bread

Theres something about this time of year that just has me craving fresh warm home made bread. This is the one my mom always made growing up, sometimes she would put bacon bits in it, or sun flower seeds. Its so easy and really really good! 

Ingredients:

3 1/2-4 C flour (I start w 3 1/2 cups and add a little more if its still sticky) 

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 C water

1 table spoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

 

Directions:

Mix water, (a little bit above room temperature) sugar and yeast. Mix it and let it sit for 10 minutes to make sure it 'rises' a bit. You can tell when it does, it looks a lot thicker and 'bigger'.

Next mix in flour and salt with the water/yeast/sugar mixture. Kneed until it's smooth. 

Next place the dough ball into a greased big bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise for an hour. 

After the hour is up, punch it down a bit for a minute, form it into an oval shape and cut three little diagonal lines across it (not sure if this is necessary, I just see everyone else do this) and put it on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with towel again. Let it rise another hour. 

 

Bake it at 350 for 35-40 minutes and EAT it while it's warm! With Butter! And maybe a slice of cheese! And add a cup of tea. That makes it the best. Just trust me. Last night we had this with spicy Italian soup. We are supposed to get a snow storm tonight/tomorrow so I think I'm going to make another loaf so we can have the leftover soup! 

 

*I have also made it into two bread tins by splitting the dough in two and making oval shaped balls and placing it in the middle, it spread and covered most of the pan. Make sure pan is greased so it comes out nice and easy. 

 

 

Swedish Feta Stuffed Meatballs

Last summer when our Swedish friends where here visiting, Sofie made the best dinners for us. I would be with the kids at soccer practice and walk into a delicious meals waiting for us. After having them here I really started to get the whole Sisterwife thing. I mean, if they are going to make dinner for me on crazy nights..I get it sister wives, I get it. 

When  Jones Creek Beef  asked me share a recipe using their ground beef I thought it was the perfect time to try out one of the delicious meals Sofie made while here.

In Swedish its called biffar, which I guess translate to steak, but when I think of steak I think of something entirely different, so I'm going to call these Swedish Feta Stuffed Meatballs

Ingredients

1 pound Jones Creek Beef

2 table spoons onion powder of 1/2 chopped yellow onion ( I used powder)

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

4-5 tablespoons bread crumbs (add more if it doesn't form well) 

salt/pepper/garlic powder 

feta cheese, I used one small container for the meatballs and the feta sauce I made to serve with it

 

Mix all the ingredients except the feta together in a large bowl. Then form the meat mixture into large meatballs, they will shrink down some. Once I had the size I wanted them to be I flattened them a bit in my hand so they looked like hamburgers, grabbed a big chunk of feta and pressed it into a meat, then formed a ball around the feta so the feta is in the middle. 

Then stick the meatballs in a pan on medium heat and turn gently every few minutes so they don't fall apart. Mine took about 20 minutes before they were cooked all the way through. 

Serve with a salad, potatoes and a yummy little feta dip which is just feta and sour cream mixed together. So good! The kids even asked for left overs for lunch the next day. 

Zucchini Lasagna

Last night I made Zucchini Lasagna (for the third time this month!) and changed it up just a tiny bit. It turned out A m a z i n g if I may say so, and since this is my post, I May say so :)

A few friends have asked for the recipe, so if you are one of them, here it is! Warning: It takes kind of a long time to make, but it makes a big pan and its delicious as leftovers!

Ingredients: 

  • 4 medium/large zucchinis 
  • large can of crushed tomatoes 
  • small can of tomato paste
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • large container of fresh mozzarella (about 5-6 cups)
  • 1/3 cup of fresh grated parmesan
  • 1 small container ricotta cheese
  • red pepper flakes, salt, oregano, basil
  • 1 pound of ground beef or ground pork

Start off by slicing your zucchini, I used my mandolin (cheap one from target) on the thickest setting. Some of the slices were thinner than others but that doesn't matter. 

Since zucchini is super watery when you cook it, you are going to want to grill the slices first. Yo could throw them on the grill super easily, or you can do it the slower way on a grill pan like I do. Mainly just because I hate turning the grill on, but if Drew would be one when making this sometime I would just throw them on the grill. Grilling them takes out the extra moisture, then set the slices on some paper towels while you do the rest of the steps to really make sure theres no more moisture. 

While grilling the zucchini slices (2-4 minutes per side) brown your ground beef with a little bit of salt. When the ground beef is just about done push it to the side in your pan (if you use a big one like I do, otherwise you might need to use an extra pan, and who wants More dirty dishes) and sauté your (chopped) garlic for a couple of minutes, then blend it all together, add the tomato past, can of crushed tomatoes and sprinkle just a bit of hot pepper flakes and some oregano and fresh basil. Keep that meat mixture simmering for about 20 minutes while you finish up grilling your zucchini slices. 

Next mix the ricotta, parmesan and an egg together in a bowl. 

When its all ready to go in the oven (375 degrees) layer all your ingredients in a big baking dish, i think the one i use is 9x12. Start off with about 3/4 of a cup of the meat mixture, than add some of the cheese mixture, then zucchini slices and top with some mozzarella, repeat till all your ingredients are used. For me it makes about 3 layers. Save some of the mozzarella to sprinkle on at the end. 

Bake covered in foil for about 35 minutes, then remove the foil, sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella and bake another 8-10 minutes. I like to broil for the last minute or two to get the top a little crispy, but make sure you are standing there watching it during this part!

Serve with a side salad and enjoy! I don't think my kids even realized they were eating zucchini 'noodles' instead of actual pasta.

Margarita recipe with limes and no added sugar

Fridaaaaay! Best day of the week, so many hopes, so much time. I feel like Fridays are like going on vacation. 

I love Margaritas, LOVE, but I do not love the ones you get in most restaurants. Often made with a mixer of some kinds, they are packed with sugar and makes you feel sick. I often ask for the “Skinny Margs” which I am not a fan of because the name, skinny, sucks.

Anyway, here is my recipe, I make these at least once a day… kid kid, once a week.

  • One lime per person.
  • A shot of tequila per person.
  • Soda water.

That’s it. And it is amazing. Everything simple and quick is amazing. If you want it sweet, add some honey, or mango pure and you have a Mango Marg!

Have a great weekend!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Linnea shared one of her favorite salads a couple of weeks ago, and now it's my turn to share one of my favorite salads!

Drew and I started making this salad 4-5 years ago when we lived in the tiiiiiniest house ever, but had the biggest grill ever. So we utilized that grill a lot. We stopped making it for a while (probably because when I get obsessed with someone I make it a Lot..and then I get sick of it and never want it again) but I was craving some grilled chicken a few days ago and decided to go the healthier route and throw it on a salad. 

Mediterranean Chicken Salad 

Mediterranean Chicken Salad 

Ingredients

  • Chicken breasts
  • Sun dried tomato dressing
  • Oregano
  • Romain lettuce
  • Black Olives
  • Feta Cheese
  • Red Peppers

First marinate the chicken in the dressing with some oregano (this time I also added some paprika and hot pepper flakes and it was a great addition) 

Next, throw the chicken and red peppers on the grill. 

While thats grilling, chop up your lettuce and black olives. When the chicken and peppers are finished, throw it on the salad, add a tiny bit of dressing (you don't need much at all) and sprinkle some (okay a lot) of feta on it. 

We like to make it with asparagus (just in a little olive oil with salt and pepper.)

Thats it! Super simple, and delicious. Even all of our kiddos love it. I always make extra chicken and then the next day throw it in a quesadilla for dinner. 

 

Whole30 Round 1

A few weeks ago I decided on a whim to do whole30. I've heard so many thing about it and I think I was leaning towards trying for a while but couldn't fully commit. Finally I decided the day before Valentines day that we were doing it. Luckily Drew was on board...or it would have been a lot more difficult.

If you don't know the gist of Whole30- it's 30 days of only eating fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, nuts and some oils to cook in. 

Thoughts during Whole30

Day1; this is Easy. Delicious chia pudding for breakfast, salad with chicken for lunch with home made ranch dressing, dinner was a spaghetti squash bake (just okay if we are being honest.) But I felt on top of the world! And that the next 29 days were going to be a breeze.

Day 2-5; head aches alllllll day. I felt hungover and tired. Zero energy. I think this must be what it feels like to be a heroin addict going through detox. 

Day 6-16 AMAZING! SO MUCH ENERGY. NO head aches, this is the 'tiger blood' phase everyone talks about. Seriously never felt better. Or at least since becoming a mom almost 9 years ago. 

Day 16-now (21) Slightly over it. I'm in the 'okay, Ive already done this now. I get it. I CAN do it' phase. And I'm ready for cheese. I'm ready to quit, not because I'm having any major cravings, just because I'm bored and ready for normal. But a new normal. BUT we have made it this far, we will keep going. We have just over a week left and then I'm getting a big slice of Pizza. 

 

Some questions I've had during Whole30

Is it safe to do while nursing? 

-Absolutely safe. We are only putting good/healthy foods into our bodies. And it hasn't hurt my milk supply at all. I make sure to eat a TON of calories. I eat at least one whole avocado a day, if not two. 

Are the kids doing it with you as well?

-I'm making them the same things I make us. I'm nor a short order cook, what mom makes for dinner is what everyone eats. BUT if they want ketchup with the sweet potato fries I made for dinner, they can have it. Or sour cream on the 'taco salad' I made. And they have been eating oatmeal and yoghurt for breakfast most days. And Jasper helps pack his lunch for school and almost always has a sandwich or wrap, so that's all stayed the same for them. 

Have you lost any weight?

-So far Drew has lost about 10-11 pounds and I've lost about 8. So almost 20 pounds in 20 days between the two of us. I honestly can't tell a difference there though, but I took some measurements so we will see what the difference is next week! 

I think my favorite part of doing Whole30 has been making my own condiments such as home made dairy free ranch, mayo, and ketchup. This was definitely out of my comfort zone, but they have turned out so amazing, especially the garlic mayo I've been making. I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to store bought mayo again! 

Any one have any questions on how we have been doing whole30? Here are just some of the things we have been eating. 

This is my favorite meal so far. I didn't follow a recipe so I'm going to try to recreate it next week and if it turns out as amazing I'll make sure to blog the recipe! Drew couldn't believe it was dairy free, it was THAT creamy. 

This is my favorite meal so far. I didn't follow a recipe so I'm going to try to recreate it next week and if it turns out as amazing I'll make sure to blog the recipe! Drew couldn't believe it was dairy free, it was THAT creamy. 

-Darlene