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Friday, December 25, 2009

Cinnamon buns for Christmas day--our favorite

These are our family's traditional favorite cinnamon buns for Christmas. We got them years ago from Better Home and Garden. You make it up the night before and they are ready to pop fresh in the oven on Christmas morning.  If you need a gluten free version go here:


3&1/2 to 4 cups of all purpose flour
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup milk or almond milk
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (better if at room temperature)
2 Tab. of melted or softened margarine or butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (or less if desired)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Optional: powdered sugar, vanilla and water if you desire a glaze--see directions.

If you like a glaze you will also need powdered sugar, vanilla, and water. Directions are at end for this.

Start by getting a bowl and Stir 1 and 1/2 cups of flour and the package of yeast and set aside.

In a saucepan heat milk, 1/3 cup of margarine or butter, the 1/3 cup sugar and the 1/2 tsp salt and heat until warm (120- 130 degrees  and butter is almost melted. Add to the flour and beat on low for 30 seconds. Let rest for a few minutes. Add the egg and stir with a wooden spoon, adding the rest of the flour--enough to make a good workable consistency. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover with damp towel and rise until double (takes 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours in a warm area). Punch dough down and let rest ten minutes.

Roll into a 18 by 10 inch rectangle. Spread with soft butter.

Combine the brown sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle over the dough. Sprinkle raisins and nuts over the top. Roll starting at the long side and pinch slightly to seal all edges. Cut into 12 slices. Put in greased 13 by 9 by 2 inch pan. You place them by 3's across the narrow way and 4 the long way, making 12. If cooking on the same day let rise until double (about 30-40 minutes) . If cooking next day then skip this rising and cover with oiled wax paper and plastic wrap. Chill 2-24 hours.

When ready to cook, take out of refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. If there are any large bubbles punch with a toothpick  Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Watch closely after 15 minutes because ovens vary and it depends on how cold the batter is. I like mine slightly under cooked. Invert immediately unto a pan and cool slightly.

If desired make an icing of 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1/8-1/4 tsp vanilla and just enough water to make it easy to spoon over the top.

Brussel Sprouts with rosemary and thyme that even my kids loved!! WOW

We loved these and even my kids who don't like them LIKED THESE!!

1 pound of brussel spouts
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp or so of dried thyme
salt and pepper

Cook brussel sprouts until just done. (I used the kind that cook in 5-6 minutes in the microwave bag. Cut the spouts in half. While sprouts are cooking: Heat some oil (in my iron skillet) on lowest setting and set the sprigs of rosemary in the oil for 5 minutes or until oil is flavored. Remove the sprigs (but don't throw out)

Place the cooked brussel spouts cut side down in the rosemary flavored oil in the skillet. Sprinkle with thyme, and salt and pepper. Place the sprigs back on top of the sprouts. Cook at a medium to medium high temperature untill the sprouts start to brown. Throw away the rosemary sprigs and serve.

Holiday Pork Roast

I forgot to take a picture of the roast by itself. This is a picture of some of the left overs. We found this in Country Magazine. I like it served with cranberry chutney or alone. It also makes a veggie type gravy which is nice on rice.

1 boneless whole pork loin roast (5 pounds)--ours was more like 4 and 1/2
1 Tablespoon of fresh minced gingerroot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup apple jelly
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium onions, slice
1 and 1/2 cups water, divided
1 tsp browning sauce , optional

1. Place pork roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine the ginger, garlic, sage, and salt; rub over meat. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes.

2. Combine jelly and pepper sauce; brush over roast. Arrange carrots and onions around roast. Pour 1/2 cup water into pan. Bake 45-60 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Remove roast to a serving platter; let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Skim fat rom pan drippings. Transfer drippings and vegetables to a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan. Add browning sauce if desired and remaining water; heat throug. Slice roast; serve with gravy if desired. (I really preferred the cranberry chutney.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chocolate truffles (dairy free)

We love these!

2 boxes of Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate squares (16 squares)
almond milk
confection sugar
sprinkles (I use Cake mate )

You place the Baker's chocolate in a microwavable bowl. You microwave at 30 percent power until nice and soft. You add a few tablespoons(3-4 or so) of almond milk (the more milk the creamier the chocolate--I just do it by consistancy) and some confection sugar (perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 cup?) I didn't measure the amounts. I just added until I got a nice consistency and it started to thicken up a bit. You don't want it too dry. Place in the frig until it thickens up and you can roll it in balls. Roll in balls and roll in sprinkles. Refrigerate for a bit then take out of the frig. You can leave them out for days in a Tupperware type container. BUT they will not last for days!!

Tofu Quiche with Spinach, mushroom, onion (Gluten Free)

I enjoyed this because it had a potato base for the "crust" and it had no eggs and no dairy! I found the recipe on line but have changed it up. This would also be good with some canned salmon if you eat fish.


1 large potato (I used a yellow potato--any would work)

Spray the bottom and sides of the pie pan with pam or oil.
Thinly slice the potato. 1/8 th inch to 1/4 inch would be good. I used a single over lapping layer for just the bottom. (note: I loved the potato in this and it would be good served with baked potato fries too. I would like to do more than a single layer some time since it was so yummy with this. )

Sprinkle the potato with Salt and pepper. Place pie pan in oven at 350 for 15 minutes.


1 onion chopped
10 ounces of mushrooms, chopped
2 tab. of white wine (dry)
3 tsp of minced garlic
10-12 basil leaves fresh or frozen (I like less--a lot depends on the size of the leaves)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 pound of tofu (firm)
1 Tab fresh lemon juice
1 Tab of rice vinegar or white vinegar
10 ounces of frozen spinach cooked in microwave and drained.
1 and 1/2 tsp sea salt (depending on how salty you like it)
a bit of olive oil

Take the onion, the ten ounces of mushrooms , and cook in iron skillet on moderate heat for ten minutes until carmelized (brown).I don't need oil for this in my iron skillet. Sprinkle with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Add 2 Tab of white wine or even a bit more and scrape up the bits and allow wine to evaporate. Set aside.

In another small iron skillet place 3 cloves of garlic or 3 tsp of minced garlic, a bit of oil if desired for the flavor , 10-12 small basil leaves(go by taste--too much and it will overwhelm the dish), pinch of pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp thyme and cook at moderate heat until golden , but not Brown--don't want it to get bitter.

Add the garlic with seasoning that you have just cooked to the tofu, lemon, vinegar, 10 ounces of cooked, drained spinach, and 1/2 to 1 tsp salt and process this together in a food processor until smooth. Then add all of this to the pan of mushrooms/onions and mix. Dump into your pie plate that has the potato crust and smooth with a spatula and sprinkle lightly with paprika. Cook in 350 oven for 40 to 50 minutes until firm. Let cool for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Fig Bars (Gluten free and no dairy or oil)

I found these at If you use gluten free oats (Bob's makes them) then they are gluten free. This was a real treat for me!! I don't have trouble with regular oats either.
fatfreevegan. com has great recipes. If you click on the fatfreevegan in blue that I just wrote it will bring you to the recipe for Skinny Figgy Bars. I am copying it here for my convinience , but do go to her site to see all the great low fat vegan recipes---my family loves most of them!

8 ounces dried figs (one round package)
4 ounces pitted dates
2 tbsp. silvered or chopped almonds (optional)
2 drops anise extract (optional)
1 tbsp. agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger

Snip off the figs' stems, and put them, the dates, and the almonds into the food processor. Grind to a coarse paste. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients and process until mixed. Set aside.


1 cup regular or quick oats, ground in blender until fine (use GF kind)
1 cup regular or quick oats, uncooked (not instant oatmeal)(use GF kind)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsweetened apple sauce
3 tbsp. agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in the wet ingredients, mixing well to a thick consistency. Press half the crust mixture into the bottom of an oiled, eight-inch square cake pan (use a wooden spoon or your hands). Spread the fig mixture evenly over the crust. Smooth the remaining crust mixture over the filling. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Icing (optional):

Mix powdered sugar (about 3 tbsp.) with a little water (Start with 1/2 tsp.) until the right consistency. Add vanilla or almond extract to taste (just drops). Drizzle over top of bars before cutting.

Makes 16 bars. Each bar (with almonds) contains: 117 Calories (kcal); 1 g Total Fat; (10% calories from fat); 2 g Protein; 26 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 67 mg Sodium; 4 g Fiber

Ginger snap crust/ Gluten free

This was delicious to make apple pie or pumpkin pie!! You start with gluten free ginger snaps (my Walmart sells them) I need to cover the edges next time a bit better...but even this brown tastes fine.

I used if for the apple pie and the pumpkin (the apple looks a bit strange because I have a gluten free nut topping on it).
For the Crust:
2 cups of ground Gluten Free Ginger snaps
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/3 cup of Margarine or butter melted
Oven 350. Process Ginger snaps and sugar in food processor until fine crumbs. Add the melted margarine and pulse until moist clumps form. Dump into pie pan and press with fingers. Bake 5 minutes if you are going to bake the pie further with a filling in it. If you are not going to bake it more with a filling then bake 8 minutes or until golden.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls from BHG

These are not gluten free so I could not try them. I will have to try a gluten free version at some point. My hubby liked these. These were from BHG December 09.

2 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg , lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 and 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp. butter, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
. Whisk in enough milk or water for drizzling consistency (4 or 5 tsp)

1. In bowl combine yeast and 1/4 cup warm water (about 115 degrees F). Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in milk, molasses, 1/4 cup brown sugar, the egg, oil, and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir. Stir in most of the flour.. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead enough of the remaining flour for moderately soft, smooth, elastic dough (about 5 minutes). Shape in a ball. Place in greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise until double (1 hour to one and 1/2 hours depending). Punch down. Turn only lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest ten minutes.

2. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2 inch pan. For filling, in bowl combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Roll dough to a 12 by 8 inch rectangle. Spread butter on dough. Sprinkle filling to within 1 inch along one long side. Roll up, beginning at long side of filling. Pinch to seal. Cut 12 (once inch each) slices. Place in pan. Cover; let rise until double (45 minutes or more--mine took longer--more like 1 hour).

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 19-25 minutes or until golden and set. Mine only took 19. Let stand 5 minutes; invert onto platter. Drizzle with Glaze.

Buckwheat Pancakes (dairy free)

This is quite good. I found the recipe in Dr. Esselstyn's book. He said he got it from Larry and Ann Wheat who own a Vegan restaurant in San Francisco. This is gluten free if you use gluten free oats in it for the oat part. Buckwheat is gluten free. I had to cook these on a cooler temperature than regular pancakes. (about a 3 on my stove).

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 ripe banana
2 tab vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
3 tab maple syrup (I used real)
2 cups of soy milk or almond milk or oat milk

1. Mix buckwheat flour, oats, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
2. Mash the banana in another bowl, and vinegar, maple syrup, and milk. Stir and add to dry ingredients.
3. Heat a nonstick pan on med-high (me-use iron but below med high). When water sizzles on the pan, it is ready for the pancakes. Cook until bubbles form. Flip, cook another few minutes on the other side, and enjoy eating plain or with fruit or maple syrup.

Note: If you like thicker pancakes, use less milk. And if some of the recipe is left over, make muffins. Add raisins and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Red Cabbage Sweet krout! (Robin Miller's recipe)

This was excellent. It is from Robin Miller's show on foodnetwork. It was her Dad's recipe and it is tasty!!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced, such as Granny Smith type apples)
2 (10-ounce) bags shredded red cabbage (I used a head of red cabbage)
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small potato, peeled and grated

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and apples and saute 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Add shredded cabbage, wine, water, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add grated potato and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, until mixture thickens and potato is tender, stirring frequently.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pasta with Kale and Chickpeas

This met with my hubby's approval (I like just about when he really likes it then I am a happy camper). I found the basic recipe at fatfreevegan --she used chard and portebello mushrooms. I prefer Kale and regular mushrooms. But the rest is the same. This is her recipe--and you can visit her blog here -I am putting changes in red.

"Pasta with Chard and Chickpeas

A touch of orange juice or balsamic vinegar added right at the end really brightens up the flavors of this dish.

1 pound whole wheat rotini or other spiral pasta (I used gluten free brown rice rotini)

6 leaves Swiss chard (1 bunch, about 10 ounces trimmed) (I used kale and probably used more than 6 leaves--I had some to the side so we could add as much as we liked)

1 medium onion thinly sliced

8-10 cloves garlic, minced (I love the good amount of garlic!!)

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)

4 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced (I used regular mushrooms--might have used more than 4 ounces)

2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (I used 2 tbsp. of double-strength)

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 can), rinsed and drained

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice (or 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar)

Heat water for pasta and begin to cook it according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, wash the chard and remove the stems; set them aside for another use. Chop the leaves coarsely. Over medium-high heat, heat a large non-stick pan.(I use my iron pan--it never sticks). Add the onion and sprinkle it lightly with salt. Cook, stirring, until onion begins to brown. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and mushrooms and reduce heat. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms soften, adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed to prevent sticking. Add tomato paste and water and stir to combine. Add chickpeas and simmer until pasta is done.

When pasta is cooked, remove and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining. Add 1/2 cup of the liquid to chickpeas. (I just cooked my kale about 6 minutes and then added it to the pasta when serving).Stir in the chard and cover. Cook until chard is just wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pasta, add additional pasta water if necessary to moisten, and add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, stir in orange juice or balsamic vinegar." (I forgot to do the oj or vinegar --I liked it without it , but might try it next time.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Northern bean soup in Southern style

I like this soup because it is cheap and easy and Southern. I got the basic recipe from But I added seasonings.

1 pound dried great northern beans
6 cups of water (for cooking beans)
2 teaspoons salt
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium sweet potato, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups collard leaves, sliced into ribbons about 1/4 inch by 2 inches
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
ground black pepper, if desired
Use the following seasonings--as desired (texas pete (a few dashes), dried sage, dried rosemary, Tablespoon of minced garlic, a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper
Additional water


Pick over beans, removing any non-bean objects like stones or stems, and rinse well. Put in medium pot with water and salt. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to lowest possible boil. Cook until nearly tender, about an hour and 15 minutes.
When beans are nearly tender, peel and chop onion and add to beans. Peel and dice sweet potato and add to beans. Rinse collards well and cut leaves into ribbons about about 1/4 inch by 2 inches and add to beans. (Save tough center rib for another recipe.) Add additonal water (as much as you like) and add the garlic, rosemary, texas pete, sage. Raise heat if needed to bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes, until collards and sweet potatoes are tender.
Stir in lemon juice if desired and taste. Adjust seasonings as desired. If you like a thinner soup, add water.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cauliflower salad

I love this salad and I even love it as a snack. I got the idea from another blogger last week, but I can't remember who it was. We had this with vegan lasagna tonight and it was great together.

1 head of cauliflower

As much of the following as you want:
sliced black olives
green olives with pimentos (pickled kind)
pimentos (if you desire--I didn't have any)
red and green bell peppers , chopped
purple onion , chopped
Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning (or whatever Italian one you want)
Italian dressing or Balsamic vinegar

I just mix it as I desire and to taste. Since I try to have no added oil I just use the vinegar, while my hubby uses the dressing. The seasoning and olives and other ingredients gives it plenty of flavor!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

German Style Baked Potato

I had some krout in Leavenworth, WA and wanted more when I got home!!

Baking potatoes
Black pepper
mustard (I like inglehoffer original stone ground mustard)

Bake or microwave the potato or potatoes. Heat up the krout and serve on top of the sliced potato with pepper and mustard aplenty!!

Tuscan Salad

Had this in the Airport in Chicago and had to make it at home. It is good with some Tomato soup and crusty bread.

Mixed Salad greens or Romain , chopped
Artichokes (from can quartered)
Palm hearts (if desired)
Garbanzo beans
Purple onions
Red and Green Bell pepper
Black and green olives
Tomatoes if desired

Mix and eat --good with Balsamic Vinegar. (IF you eat Chicken it would be good with grilled chicken breast--skinless, boneless)