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Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I love this time of year! It seems like pumpkin is used in just about everything. And well, it should be. All that warm fall goodness. I have a fun recipe that I’ve just come up with this year with my kids that I wanted to share with you. The good people over at Krusteaz send me some gluten free buttermilk pancake mix and asked me to try out some of my own recipes. Yeah, twist my arm, why don’t you. Yes please. So here’s what I did to create a delicious, warm and Thanksgiving-inspired breakfast this weekend: 1 3/4 cups of Krusteaz gluten free buttermilk pancake mix 1/2 cup organic packed pumpkin 1 cup of milk (I used vanilla almond milk) 1 Tbls of oil 1 Tbls of baking powder (not a typo – I don’t use eggs, so the 1 Tbls of baking powder adds the “fluff”) 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg A handful of chocolate chips  Put all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips in a mixing bowl. Turn your griddle on medium heat. Wisk the ingredients together with a wire wisk, until well combined but still just a little lumpy (the lumps make those pancakes taste good!). Lightly grease the griddle with butter (I use vegan butter, of course). Once the batter is poured into the pan, grab a few chocolate chips and sprinkle them onto the pancake as it’s cooking. Once the cakes start to bubble on the top, it’s time to flip! Don’t worry, those chocolate chips will stay put when you flip, just be gentle. Cook on that side for just a minute or two. Long enough to let those chips melt, and crisp up the batter. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup. Sure to make any kid smile during Thanksgiving week! Enjoy!...

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Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

So many of you know that I’ve decided to go vegan recently. It’s a choice I’m happy to talk about, if anyone wants to know the “why” of it all, and for those that don’t – I’ll leave it at that. And don’t worry, all those lovely recipes you see on the right of this page will stay up. I know you guys love them, and I promise not to try and turn you all vegan (at least, not yet…mwahahaha). In the meantime, as I’ve been un-animal-ing (so just made that up) our kitchen, I’ve been trying some really great recipes! And this one, I just had to share. It’s insane how good these are, and well, I’m just shocked. For lack of a better work, shocked. Instead of gooey buttery goodness, the beautiful golden yellow comes from a source of plant protein and fiber that most of us equate with hummus. Who knew, right? I know it seems scary, but I’m telling you, they’re delicious. I’m not sure who the genius is that thought of this*, but heaven bless them. My kids still have chocolate chip cookies. Anyhoo, here goes. Trust me, your kids will gobble these up. And you’ll actually feel OK about letting them! Ingredients: 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats (you may use regular rolled oats, but it’s always nice to go gluten-free when you can!) 1 15-ounce can Eden Organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed and patted dry 2 TBSP applesauce 1-1/2 TBSP coconut oil 1/2 TBSP vanilla 1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp sea salt 1 tsp baking powder 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (Coconut Crystals- Whole Foods sells it) 5-8 packets NuNaturals Stevia (Start with 5 and move up from there. Amazingly, there is no after-taste!) 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. In a food processor, process oats, garbanzo beans, applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, baking powder, coconut sugar, and Stevia until completely smooth. 2. In a medium bowl, combine batter and chocolate chips. Scoop dough onto the cookie sheet. The cookies won’t spread like cookies make with butter, so if you’d like to pat them down or fully shape them, you can. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Makes 24 cookies. Yep, that’s it. The only ingredient most people...

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S’mores Summer Party

Here’s a great way to add some extra fun to the weekend and have fun this summer. Invite the neighbors over for a S’more Summer Party! This one’s really easy, you will only need to buy a few items: marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers and skewers. Then add a few ghost stories and you’re on your way to a night the kids will remember forever. Keep it simple and special. Basic S’mores Ingredients 1 large marshmallow 1 graham cracker 1 (1.5 ounce) chocolate candy bar Directions Heat the marshmallow over an open flame until it begins to brown and melt. Break the graham cracker in half. Sandwich the chocolate between the cracker and the hot marshmallow. Allow the marshmallow to cool a moment before eating. For s’more great ways to make them, visit this page from Hershey: S’more Recipes Below are some variations that the site suggests.  In addition to the above ingredients add: Peanutty: Spread thin layer REESE’S Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter on graham crackers. Chocolate Banana: Place slices of banana on top of chocolate bar. Choco-Cherry: Cut two maraschino cherries into slices; place on top of chocolate bar. Choco-Berry: Place slices of strawberries on top of chocolate bar. Raspberry: Spread thin layer of seedless red raspberry preserves on graham cracker. Brought to you by the amazing women at...

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Father’s Day Grilled Steak Tostadas

Super Summer Recipe – Grilled Steak Tostadas! Oh dear, sometimes it’s so hard to write these posts without wanting to eat …but tonight I will indulge!   This is a delicious and nutritious meal that my boys (all 4) will love.  The Bonus: If I marinate the meat this morning, (although you only need 16 minutes, my feeling is that you can’t overdo this) I can serve this up before we run to sports in just 30 minutes! Not only do I love this recipe because it’s simple to make, it’s also perfect for summer entertaining, as it feels more special than your typical taco. I discovered the recipe at Lawrys.com. It’s a great resource so be sure to check out the site’s other recipes.  It offers inspirations for the Family Table, Food for the Soul, Cocina Latina and year round BBQ tips! Grilled Steak Tostadas Prep Time: 15 minutes Marinate Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 16 minutes Makes: 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak or skirt steak, trimmed 1/2 cup Lawry’s® Mexican Chile & Lime Marinade With Lime Juice, divided 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed 6 corn tostadas (5-inch) 1 bag (6 ounces) baby spinach or leafy lettuce (about 6 cups loosely packed) 1 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes 3 large radishes, julienned 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese Directions 1. Place steak in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add 1/4 cup of the marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. 2. Meanwhile, coarsely mash black beans with 2 tablespoons of the remaining marinade in medium microwavable bowl; set aside. Remove steak from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. 3. Grill over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness, brushing with remaining 2 tablespoons marinade. 4. Slice steak into thin slices. Microwave bean mixture on HIGH 30 seconds or until warm. Spread bean mixture evenly on each tostada. Layer with steak and remaining ingredients. Drizzle with additional marinade, if desired. Test Kitchen Tips: To make your own tostadas, fry corn tortillas in hot oil in small skillet, one at a time, until crisp, turning once. Drain on paper towels. For Chicken Tostadas, substitute 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts halves for the steak. Brought to you by the amazing women at...

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Apple Pie

6 Cups Thinly Sliced Apples (about 2 pounds)1 Cup Sugar2 Tbls Flour1/2 to 1 tps ground cinnamon (depending on your preference)Dash of Ground Nutmeg1 Tbls Butter Directions:If apples lack tratness, sprinkle with lemon juice, if desired. Combine sugar, flour, cinammon and nutmeg. (For a very juicy pie, omit the flour.) Add sugar mixture to apples and toss lightly to coat the apples. Fill a pastry lined 9 inch pie dish with the apple mixture. Dot the apples with butter. Adjust the top crust, seal and flute the edges. Cut slits in the top crust, or, before placing the top crust on the pie, cut out small apples in the crust for decoration as the slits. Sprinkle some sugar on top of the pie and cover the edges with foil. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden. Makes 1...

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Halloween Clam Chowder

Halloween Clam Chowder

Waiting for it to turn dark on Halloween felt like one of the longest waiting periods of my childhood. Where I grew up, you weren’t supposed to start trick-or-treating until it was actually dark outside. The spooks only come out at night, you know. So waiting for the sun to set after school felt like an eternity. I remember pacing, waiting, trying in my costume, then taking it off — anything to pass the time. There was carving the pumpkins, and that helped. My mom would make us wait until the actual day of Halloween to let us carve them so they wouldn’t go bad. It was a pet peeve of hers that I’ve carried on with my kids. Nothing worse than a wilting smelly pumpkin on someone’s porch when you go to ring the doorbell. So carving the pumpkins always took up some time. Then my mom started a new tradition with us when I was about eight years old, and I absolutely loved it. It not only passed the time, but it was so much fun! Starting at about 3:30, she would start chopping the onions and celery to make calm chowder from scratch for us! I knew once I heard that first chop on the chopping board that trick-or-treating wasn’t too far away! At first, I wasn’t a fan of the clams, so she wouldn’t put them in (something I suggest for your little monsters too!). But eventually it became my favorite part. She said she was making us something warm and delicious before sending us out in the cold to eat a ton of candy. It was wonderful. It would smell amazing while she was cooking it, and the whole house would warm up as our excitement mounted. The soup itself is absolutely delicious, and the warmth and weight of it would give us the energy to run (yes run) from house to house for the hours we were out. It also helped us not eat quite as much candy. And you can always add more veggies if you like. Some years I add carrots as well — depending on how long my kids will be out. After the first year, it felt like something we had been doing forever. My kids love it already — as does my husband. He loves to walk in the door on Halloween evening to smell it cooking. And of course...

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