Gingerbread Cookies

How adorable are these cute little gingerbread men and women? I couldn’t resist…as with every year I have to make my special gingerbread people.  It’s a fun, festive ritual that I take part in and enjoy every second of the process from grading cutting shapes with my cookie cutters to decorating the clothes and features on the gingerbread people.  Here is a wonderfully delicious gingerbread recipe that will surely compliment your gingerbread house this season.

I was so excited to make these gingerbread guys and gals because I used two of my new Open Sky products, my Winco Aluminum Rolling Pin, which was fabulous and created an even and smooth surface for my cookie cutters and my Copper Bowl, which was perfect for mixing my ingredients to create the gingerbread dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar or stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat several baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, flax seeds, wheat germ and salt; mix well. Beat butter, honey, oil and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer until it forms a creamy texture.
  • Add egg, molasses and balsamic vinegar; beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • On a floured surface, roll each portion separately to create a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies using cookie festive cutters. Combine scraps and roll dough again to make additional cookies.
  • Place cookies on baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies, about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Decorate with icing and personalize each gingerbread man and woman.

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Musselman’s Apple Sauce Holiday Side Dish and Giveaway Gift Basket

Recently I was contacted by Musselman’s Apple Sauce to create a holiday side dish using their apple sauce.  To say the least, I pretty much inhaled the complimentary 2 jars they sent to me Delicious is an understatement and I had a fabulous time in my new kitchen devising a holiday recipe side dish.


And the best news is that the kind folks over at Musselman’s are offering a Musselman’s Gift Basket to one of my readers. Simply leave a comment on this post with your favorite ways to eat apple sauce and I will be choosing a winner tomorrow!  Good Luck!


Basil Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Musselman’s Apple Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup Libby’s canned pumpkin
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp. ghee or butter alternative
  • Stevia for topping

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine ghee, agave nectar and sugar in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, chopped basil, applesauce, and pumpkin to sugar mixture; mix on low speed.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Slowly add to the wet ingredients while continuing to mix on low speed.
  • Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Fill muffin pan with batter 3/4 way full.
  • Sprinkle each muffin with stevia.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cherry Almond Yogurt Muffins and Old Bay Recipe Contest

Well, there you have it…this is the last of my week stretch of Stonyfield yogurt recipes.  I saved the best for last, of course.  These tasty muffins pack a healthy dose of fiber and protein thanks to the oats, whole wheat flour and cherries and almonds. Whip these up for a morning treat, toasted with marmalade or enjoy them for your evening dessert crumbled atop a bowl of Stonyfield yogurt.  Yum.  Stay tuned for a Stonyfield giveaway gift-basket later this week.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup oat bran
  • 2 cups Oikos plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. all spice
  • Dash of sea salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add dried cherries, almonds and sea salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and Oikos plain Greek yogurt together.
  • Add melted butter and applesauce to the Oikos mixture; whisk to combine.
  • Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until moistened.  Be sure not to over mix.
  • Divide batter among 12 muffin cups sprayed with non-stick baking spray.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm.
  • Enjoy with an additional spread or dollop of Oikos plain Greek yogurt

And now for the Old Bay Seasoning Recipe Contest (I LOVE OldBay, by the way)…

•  Now through December 25th, OLD BAY wants to hear from its Facebook fans* on how they use their favorite spice blend during the holidays – it could be whipping up an OLD BAY recipe, sprinkling it on a holiday favorite, using it as a holiday decoration or giving it as a gift.

•  To enter the contest, post a photo on the fan page (www.facebook.com/oldbay) showing how you zest up your holidays using OLD BAY  – (Entries are limited to one photo posting per week).Each post will be voted on by the amount of “likes” it receives from fellow Facebook fan members.

• The photo post with the most “likes” will receive an  “Ultimate Holi-Bay Gift Basket” ($140 value) that includes:

o   A $25 gift card, a steamer pot and fryer, tons of OLD BAY products, 5 sample packs of OLD BAY for you to share with friends and family, as well as some items for the ultimate OLD BAY fan – branded t-shirts, cups, temporary tattoos, and an inner tube for sledding (or relaxing in the water for those who live in warm weather all year round)!

• One winner will be announced each week, starting the week of November 30th.

*You must be a Facebook member and fan of OLD BAY’s Facebook page to enter contest


Winter Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread

Gotta love dried cranberries and cashews…two of my favorites, so I thought I’d toss them into my whole wheat bread recipe.  To my surprise, the bread was fantastic and the tender cranberries and ground cashews were the perfect touch to this warm winter bread.  I served each slice with an additional dollop of Stonyfield Oikos Greek yogurt and marmalade.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bran flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 pint Stonyfield plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup cashews, ground

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  • Slowly add in Stonyfield yogurt and gently fold.
  • Transfer dough into a loaf pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown and firm.

Tasty Tortillas

These babies are tasty enough to knock your little socks off, I just couldn’t get enough of them last night and after one bite, I was in tortilla heaven.

I love experimenting in my tiny Manhattan kitchen with odds n’ ends that I have in my pantry. It keeps my meals exciting and my taste buds curious… to say the least.  Last night, I simply reached for a jar of salsa, refried beans and tortillas-the rest was left to my imagination, which always seems to run wild with condiments and mix-ins.  I had a nice pint of strawberries in my fridge, which added a perfect touch of sweetness to my dish.

I hope you enjoy this warm n’ tasty tortilla; the best part is the melted soy cheese- a the perfect way to warm up on a chilly September day.

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Ingredients

  • Tortillas (Gluten Free/ Whole Wheat)
  • 1 can Amy’s Organic Refried Beans
  • Fresh strawberries, sliced
  • Fresh or Frozen Spinach
  • Slivered Carrots
  • Greek Yogurt
  • SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cheddar Cheese
  • Fresh Scallions, chopped
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh Avocado, sliced
  • Amy’s Organic Corn and Bean Salsa

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place tortilla onto center of plate and spread re-fried beans over the entire surface.
  • Add sliced strawberries, carrots, scallions, avocado slices, cilantro, cheese and spinach atop of the beans.  Top with another tortilla.  Press down on the tortilla gently.
  • Place tortilla in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.
  • Finish off with a few dollops of salsa, mashed avocado and Greek yogurt.
  • Enjoy!

Chilled Poppy Seed Pasta

poppy

With the sun shining and the heat blazing (it’s well over 90 degrees here in Manhattan today), it’s nice to have some make ahead dishes that can be served chilled on a hot summer evening.  I love how easy it is to prepare; all you need to do is simply cook your favorite pasta, chop up some fresh veggies and coat with my tasty poppy seed vinaigrette. Poppy seeds are such a fun addition to this dish, they make it pretty, yummy and fun!

Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat/ Gluten- Free pasta, cooked and drained
  • 2  Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 purple onion, finely sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 10 asparagus spears, chopped into pieces
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. agave nectar
  • Garnish: Fresh parsley
  • Garnish: Lime wedges

Directions

  • Cook pasta until al dente per directions.  Drain and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine agave nectar, balsamic vinegar, poppy seeds and olive oil.  Whisk for 60 seconds.
  • In a large bowl, combine drained pasta, tofu, asparagus pieces, onion and sun dried tomatoes.  Slowly add agave vinaigrette dressing and gently toss to ensure even coating.
  • Chill until ready to serve.
  • Adjust with Nu-Salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Garnish with fresh lime wedges and parsley.
  • Enjoy!

Chipotle Bean Burgers n’ Carrot Slaw

bean

These are not your everyday burgers…my unique combination of crunchy slaw atop avocado and bean patties (with a touch of sweetness and a kick of spice) will have your taste buds dancing!

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed and mashed
  • 1/2 can kidney beans, drained, rinsed and mashed
  • 1 avocado, peeled, cored and mashed
  • 1/2 cup bran crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Cooking Spray
  • 4 Gluten Free or Whole Wheat Rolls
  • Nu-Salt and pepper, to taste

Carrot Slaw

  • 1 1/2 cups cabbage slaw
  • 1/2 cup carrots, slivered
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine beans, avocado, bran crumbs, chili powder, garlic, balsamic vinegar, egg, honey, Nu-Salt and pepper. Use hands to ensure the ingredients are mixed well. Divide into 1/2 inch thick patties.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Coat with cooking spray; add patties and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
  • In a separate bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, almonds and Greek yogurt.  Mix well.
  • Place 1 bean burger on the bottom half of each roll; top with coleslaw and top with the other half of the roll.
  • Enjoy!