Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wheat Coffee Cake {Egg-free}

In attempts to make some of our favorite recipes a little healthier, I replaced half of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour in our favorite Coffee Cake (EF) recipe.  My kids didn't even seem to notice that it was different.  Maybe there was still plenty of sugar so they didn't care.  My husband on the other hand, could tell a difference in his favorite coffee cake.  But he still ate it happy to have something tastier than the normal hum drum cereal of normal weekdays!

You may be asking yourself, why bother adding whole wheat flour if I left all of the sugar?  Well, I will tell you why.  Big increase in fiber!  Whole wheat flour has 6 times more fiber than all-purpose white flour.  So, by substituting just half of the flour with whole wheat, this coffee cake now had 3 times the fiber it did before!  Yay!

Wheat Coffee Cake

½ c sugar
8 T margarine, separated
1 c milk
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder (aluminum-free)
4 T sugar
1 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350o.  Cream together ½ c sugar and 3 T margarine.  Stir in milk.  Add baking powder and flour, stirring until incorporated.  Pour into a greased 8” square baking pan.  Cube remaining margarine into small cubes and sprinkle over top of cake.  Gently push margarine cubes down into batter, leaving them partially exposed.  Combine cinnamon and 4 T sugar and sprinkle over batter.  Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

Serves 9

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

If you saw my post for Crispy Apricot Pork Chops (EF, DF) over a year ago from January 2013, I pretty much decided we would be a family that just didn't eat Brussels sprouts!  I had tried a roasting them.  When roasting them, I thought they turned out too charred.  Since that time, I have had them prepared two different ways that I have enjoyed and both times they were shredded!  Ah!  I guess that is key for me.

You can buy the shredded Brussels Sprouts at most grocers in the bagged salad section.  They come prewashed and ready to eat!  I have had these raw tossed in a salad.  Delicious!  They stay nice and crisp in dressing and a different flavor than some of the other green leafy vegetables.

A friend of mine sautéed them!  I think she just sautéed them in a little butter with salt and pepper.  I used half olive oil and half butter.  Using the half mixture, gives you the flavor of butter with less fat and cholesterol.  The oil also keeps the butter from burning when you preheat your skillet.  A similar butter and oil mixture is used Seared Scallops (EF, GF).  So simple, but so delicious!!

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

9 oz bag of shaved Brussels Sprouts
½ T olive oil
½ T unsalted butter or non-dairy subsitute
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until butter is melted.  Add sprouts and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sauté about 3 minutes or until turn bright green and start to soften.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Seared Steaks with Mushrooms and Onions

My brother and his wife got me a subscription to Cooking Light magazine for Christmas.  It is full of so many good recipes that you can feel good about eating.  I am really enjoying it.  Here is recipe from the January issue that we enjoyed.  I hope your family does too!

Seared Steaks with Mushrooms and Onions - Click here to link to the recipe.  I made this very much like the recipe, substituting beef broth for the red wine and dried rosemary for the fresh because that is what I had on hand.  If you have a dairy allergy, I think you could easily substitute a non-dairy option in place of the butter.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine S'mores Snack Mix

What kind of goodies are you making for Valentine's Day?  We have my favorite heart shaped Cut Out Cookies (EF) in the oven right now.  We are also going to make an easy Valentine S'mores Snack Mix that I found on Pinterest.  I am used mini Teddy Grahams in place of the Goldfish because the little bears just look more loveable for Valentine's Day! 

Valentine S'mores Snack Mix - Click here to link to blog.  I used two 8 ounce snack bags of mini Honey Teddy Grahams, one 12.6 ounce bag of Valentine colored M&Ms and about 2/3 of a 10 ounce bag of miniature marshmallows.

 Vanlentine S'mores Snack Mix

Snack mix packaged up in cute little cups for school!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Beef and Green Beans

I  have been so surprised by how popular my recipe for Meat Potatoes and Green Beans (EF, DF, GF) has been on my blog.  I guess I am not the only one that needs a quick, easy meal for a busy weeknight that the kids will eat!  This recipe is my attempt to recreate a recipe a friend's mother made for us growing up.  So, simple but tasty!

I like to have ingredients for recipes like this one on hand for those times when groceries get low before I have a chance to get back to the store.  I keep ground beef in my freezer and almost always have the other ingredients on hand.  To make it a meal solely from the pantry and freezer, you could substitute garlic powder and onion powder for the fresh onion and garlic.  I may try that next time, as my oldest child picks out any visible onion pieces.

Beef and Green Beans

1 pounds lean ground beef 
1 clove garlic, minced 
½ onion, diced 
2 can green beans, drained 
2 8 oz can tomato sauce 
½ t dried oregano 
pepper to taste

Cook the ground beef with onion and garlic until the beef is no longer pink. Drain.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve over cooked rice.
Serves 6

Sunday, February 2, 2014


I had lunch with a friend this past week at Applebee's.  I was pleasantly surprised by their new lunch menu.  They have several combination options with fairly reasonable prices.  They also had some good healthier options for the kiddos.

Applebee's also has a pretty good online menu for food allergens.  I know they update it pretty regularly because they have taken off some items my husband had previously had due to ingredient changes.

To find the menu, go to their website at, scroll to the bottom portion of the page and click on Allergen Info.  Then you must select the file for your specific allergy.  If you have multiple allergies, you will have to make sure what you want to order is on each list. 

Other restaurants with online allergen menus can be found here.