Monday, June 23, 2014

Easy Dinner Quiche for #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Happy Monday!  I am excited to participate in this month's #WeekdaySupper with the theme Family Favorites Turned Healthy sponsored by American Family Insurance.  Every day of the week we will bring you a different recipe for a dish that is healthy and on the dinner table in about 30 minutes.  Take a look at this weeks great line-up

Monday -      Easy Dinner Quiche by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Tuesday -     Tuna Frittata by girlichef
Wednesday - Farmer's Market Wrap with Avocado Hummus by Seduction in the Kitchen
Thursday -    Easy Pad Thai by The Dinner-Mom
Friday -         Fresh Watermelon and Chicken Salad by Peanut Butter and Peppers

Be sure to also check out the great Pinterest Board to find many more delicious Family Favorites Turned Healthy dishes. American Family Insurance encourages us to follow our dreams,   #ChooseDreams and thrive. Healthy food choices combined with an active life style not only can help us reach our dreams but it also gives us more energy.   For many great ideas and suggestions to reach your dreams be sure to follow #ChooseDreams  and connect with American Family Insurance on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+,YouTube, or LinkedIn.

What does eating healthy mean to you?  Is it something that is easy to incorporate in your daily lives? To me eating healthy means having a varied diet with plenty of different vegetables, fruits, and all kinds of protein sources.  During the week it can be a little bit more tricky to stick to this rule however I have found that including

- fruit with breakfast,
- packing either a side salad and/or crunchy carrot sticks in the lunchbox, and
- serving a side salad with dinner

helps us to achieve our goal; yes for the entire family kids an all.  Of course my children - and maybe myself and Ron - love to snack on pretzels, chips…..but our philosophy is that moderation is key...

One of our dietary challenges is eliminating {ga}lactose {milk sugar} from recipes so many our families favorite dishes have had a complete make-over including quiche.  Quiche is one of those delicious dishes that come together in a snap and can be filled with almost anything.  It is one of those perfect dishes for a #WeekdaySupper; fill the quiche and while it bakes make the side salad.  Leftovers become a perfect lunch the next day….and yes, if there are picky eaters around your dinner table there are plenty of vegetables that you can sneak in there :)

Easy Dinner Quiche
  • 2 frozen pie crusts 9" {be sure to check label}
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 oz. salami, cubed
  • 3 large shallots, sliced
  • 1/2 C Kalamata Olives, sliced
  • 1 C fresh spinach cut {packed cup}
  • 1/2 C Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 C Emmenthal {or vegan cheese}
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt {or more to taste}
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian herbs
  • 1-2/3 plain soy creamer  {or other milk}
  • 5 eggs

***Preheat oven to 400 F***
  1. Thaw pie crusts according to directions, and gently poke bottom with a fork
  2. Lay tomato slices in the bottom of the pie crusts
  3. In a pan gently heat cubed salami with garlic and render some of the fat.  Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.
  4. Add salami, shallots, Olives and spinach; toss it all up an season with some pepper and salt. Divide the salami - vegetable combo up amount the two pie crusts
  5. In a bowl beat eggs with soy creamer add cheeses; season with dried Italian herbs, paper, and salt.  Evenly pour the egg/creamer mixture over both pie crusts. 
  6. Place on a baking sheet and bake immediately for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden
Enjoy with a large salad!
Sunday Supper Movement
This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Strawberry Vanilla Canapés for #choosedreams #SundaySupper {#dairyfree}

This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own 

Happy Sunday and welcome another fantastic #SundaySupper event.  This week's event is sponsored by American Family Insurance and I am very excited to be one of the Brand Advocates.  American Family Insurance is a champion of dreams and aims to inspire all of us to pursue our dreams. Learn more about the #ChooseDreams campaign  by following this hashtag and American Family Insurance on Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest.

Is one your goals to eat healthier? This event has you covered as this week's #SundaySuper theme is Family Favorites Turned Healthy and our gracious host this week is Katie of Ruffles & Truffles.

What does eating healthier mean to you?  Is it eating more vegetables, reducing fat, or is it adjusting to special dietary needs?   Whatever it is just know that it can be done by making a few changes. Add a salad with some light dressing to every meal,  cut up carrots and celery sticks for an easy after school snack, or add some chopped up or grated vegetables in your favorite foods.  For the person that does not really love vegetables you can always add some grated vegetables to any dish.  I have added shredded carrots to meat loaf, diced carrots, turnips, celery to hearty meat sauces turning these dishes even more delicious.

If eating healthier for your family mean adjusting to special dietary needs to due allergies or other food related medical issues know that it can be done.  Honestly, believe me  I can tell you this from experience. Both of our children were born with a rare metabolic disorder called Classic Galactosemia;  neither of them can eat foods containing any form of (ga)lactose {milk sugar}.  When Alena was first diagnosed I was thrown for huge loop.  What will we eat - what about our favorite recipes, desserts…but then looking beyond that I saw the challenge.  I learned to adjust recipes, learned which substitutions work, and which ones do not.  Believe me you get used to working with different ingredients, it is beyond gratifying to know when a meal is prepared that the entire family can eat, plus I absolutely love the challenge.  It is not possible does not exist in my playbook - have fun playing with substitutions, trying them out and finding your favorite ones.  You know, just follow my favorite saying "When live throws you lemons make lemonade" and yes,  lemonade is always delicious.

In our kitchen I like to use almond milk to substitute milk, vegan sour cream standard sour cream, plain soy creamer instead of heavy creamer, vegan margarine instead of butter etc.  It works for most recipes and most guests would never guess that the dishes served at our house are also (ga)lactose {milk sugar} free.

Are you ready to hear about our delicious Strawberry Vanilla Canapes?!  In German we call them Erdbeerschnittchen and it has been one of my all time favorite early summer desserts.  It is a dessert that does not meet the girls diet but how they can miss out such a delicious dessert, right?!  Plus we have picked these strawberries now take a look….

Strawberry Vanilla Canapés
  • 1 pack of puff pastry defrosted {double check label}
  • 1 C sliced almonds plus 1/2 C for topping
  • 1 pack Vanilla pudding
  • 1 C Almond milk
  • 1 C plain soy creamer
  • 1-1/2 - 2 lb strawberries sliced, sprinkled with a pinch of sugar
  1. Prepare pudding according to directions using almond milk together with soy creamer.  Let pudding cool for at least 1-1/2 hr.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Roll out 3/4 of the puff pastry to cover the baking sheet. Roll out the remaining 1/4 of the puff pastry and place it around the edges of the baking sheet forming an edge
  4. Cover puff pastry with 1 C of sliced almonds
  5. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until slightly golden
  6. Let shell cool down, then fill it with the prepared vanilla pudding
  7. Top vanilla pudding generously with strawberries, and sprinkle with almond slices
  8. Cover with kitchen wrap and place in fridge for about an hour before serving
  9. When ready to serve cut into slices


Now are you ready for all the other great healthy options we bring you today?  Take a look….

  Angel Hair & Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Tomato Sauce by Ruffles & Truffles
  Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere
  Beef Stroganoff by Country Girl in the Village
  Buffalo Cauli-Tots by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
  Corn and Crab Chowder by The Dinner-Mom
  Crab Cake Salad by Family Foodie
  Grilled Portabella Mushrooms On Red Pepper Slaw with Cucumber Dressing by Seduction In The
  Healthy Chicken Salad by Run DMT
  Lighter Beef Tacos by Alida's Kitchen
  Meatballs with Vegetable Noodles and Fresh Tomato Sauce by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
  Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese by The Messy Baker
  Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Spinach by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Sunday Supper Movement  Superfood Pancakes by girlichef
  Tex Mex Enchilada Skillet Lasagna by Neighborfood
  Zucchini Meat Lasagna by Peanut Butter and Peppers


  Chewy Coconut Granola Bars by Savvy Eats
  Enlightened Southern Banana Puddings by The Weekend Gourmet
  Mom's Fruit Salad by Magnolia Days
  Strawberry Vanilla Canapés by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
  Zucchini Carrot Snack Cake by The Foodie Army Wife

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Overnight 4th grade trip…{are not so scary after all ~ #Galactosemia}

How are you today?  I am so behind on my posts…lately it seems that they only take place in my head and never make it onto the screen….this one is long overdue.  This is about something I have wondered abut for a very long time.  What will it be like if our girls go on overnight camp trips.  Will the food be "safe" for them?  Will they be singled out, or will they be included?  Will it be an issue?  Well, the answer to my question came earlier this month as Alena went on her first trip to outdoor school.  Her class actually went for two nights, and as chaperones were needed I asked to join.

Let's just say that both of us were very excited; I was probably more nervous than Alena.   I went being all nervous and came back excited. Oh, we had SO much fun…it was simply amazing; Alena's teacher had called ahead to make sure the kitchen knew about her dietary restrictions.  Every meal a person came out to her and explained which foods were not safe.  There was pudding for Alena, soy milk, treats, and they even made special breakfast sausage for her.  I was just blown away as were my worries.  Alena herself - yes, she decided to sit at a different table from mine a couple of times - always asked and other chaperones told me how impressed they were that she always made sure that the food was safe for her.  Yes, I will say it here and now I am so proud of our big girl :)

The camp itself was beyond amazing; the setting was on 550 acres in nature away from the city right at the foot of Mt. Hood.  We slept on bunks in cabins, and enjoyed a large camp fire every night.  During the day there was outdoor school and we hiked through the woods exploring nature around us.  The most amazing thing to me was that the "Solo hike"; it is what it sounds like.  Everyone goes on a hike all by themselves.  The teacher went ahead and put little notes down and signs where to turn; then one kids and/or chaperone followed alone every 5 minutes.  To say that I was nervous about my girl hiking alone is clearly an understatement; yes I was beyond nervous and so was Alena as well as all the other kids.  Take a look there she is before the hike…

…however the Solo hike was the most amazing event.  Each kid got to experience nature by themselves, each kid was challenged and then realized what they can do. It was the single most empowering moment.  Simply amazing…and you know what? It was the favorite event of almost every single kid...

I have learned so much on this trip.  Our children are so strong, they stand up for themselves, and yes they do understand their dietary restrictions.  It makes me so happy…..

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Orzo Salad for a #picnic #PicnicGame {#dairyfree}

Today we are celebrating International Picnic Day by bringing you a basket packed with goodies from A to Z, in the style of the picnic game! Drop by the Sunday Supper Movement to see the whole picnic spread out on our virtual blanket. I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing…
Asian Chicken Salad from Try Anything Once Culinary
Beautiful Beet Salad from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Chicken Muffuletta from Marlene Baird
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups from The Dinner-Mom
Elote from Peaceful Cooking
Fennel Slaw from FoodieTots
Greek Farro Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Honey Porter Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Skewers from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Italian Pasta Salad from Casa de Crews
Japanese Plum Sushi from
Kudos Kitchen Kolaches from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake from In The Kitchen With KP
Molasses Lovers Baked Beans from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Northern Bean Salad with Egg and Prosciutto from Family Foodie


                            Orzo Salad

Delicious Orzo Salad packed with olives, shallots, olives, arugula, red pepper…take a look - what do you think?!

Orzo Salad

  • 1 C Orzo
  • 3 oz pickled red peppers ~ 1/8 C of the juice reserved
  • 1/2 C pitted, mixed olives
  • 4 shallots sliced {1/2 C firmly packed}
  • 3 Tb Olive Oil
  • 2-1/2 Tb white balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 C washed arugula

  1. Cook orzo according to directions. Drain and cool
  2. Dice red peppers into bite sized pieces
  3. Slice olives
  4. In a large bowl combine the cooled orzo with red peppers, olives, and shallots
  5. In a separate bowl combine Olive Oil, white balsamic vinegar and reserved juice from the pickled red peppers. Mix up thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour dressing over the orzo vegetable mixture and combine well.  Cover and let rest for about an hour before serving.
  7. Before serving, place arugula in a ring around the top of the salad.
  8. Mix orzo with arugula when ready to serve.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Stuffed Pork Chops for #SundaySupper on #FathersDay

Happy Sunday and Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dad's!  Today's #SundaySupper event is 
Manfood and is hosted by my friend Susan The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen, be sure to visit her great blog.

When the Manfood #SundaySupper event was first announced I asked Ron what manly meal he would like me to make for him.  His answer? Well, yes you guess right Stuffed Pork Chops because I can tell you that my husband really, really loves pork chops and a stuffed pork chop just makes it even better.   Now let me share a couple of pictures of Ron and the family with you….
 yes, he also loves strawberries, the occasional donut, and beer….

Now let me tell you a little bit about these Stuffed Pork Chops; they are stuffed with mushrooms, shallots as well as some Emmental Swiss Cheese.  It was super easy - really, I kid you not - to prepare plus this dish was an absolute hit not only by Ron but also the girls loved it.  Serve on a bed of egg noodles, and a side salad….

Stuffed Pork Chops - serves 4

2 C Crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 shallot, diced
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
3/4 C shredded Emmental Swiss Cheese
1/2 C Panko bread crumbs
4 boneless pork chops, ask your butcher to cut a pocket into each of them
3 tsp Herbs de Provence
3 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Saute crimini mushrooms and shallots with salt, pepper, as well as Herbs de Provence. Once mushrooms and shallots have softened put them into a medium size mixing bowl.
  3. Place cast iron pan into oven
  4. Add Panko crumbs, as well as Emmental to the mushrooms and mix well
  5. Mix Herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika together 
  6. Rub pork chops generously with the herb, salt, pepper, paprika mixture
  7. Divide the stuffing into quarters and place a quarter into each pork chop.  Lightly press together 
  8. Carefully remove cast iron pan from the oven - be careful not to burn yourself - and place the stuffed pork chops into the pan.
  9. Place in oven and bake for a total of 20 - 25 minutes.  Turn the meat over after 1/2 of the baking time.

Now be sure to check out the amazing spread the rest of the #SundaySupper contributors brought to the table today…

Manly Starters:

Manly Mains:

Manly Desserts:

Wine Pairings for Man Food #SundaySupper byENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's Hood #Strawberry Season & #Recipe for Strawberry Dutch Baby #Pancake {#Dairyfree}

Let me tell you about all the blog posts I have written in the last couple of weeks…ahhhhm setuugxfzhfcf, yes you are right there have not been very many lately.  Okay, I admit time has been at a premium in our little green house and it is hard to keep up.  However,  I have written many, many posts in my head but just have not managed to get them out on paper screen.  Will someone please invent a device that let's you transpose posts straight from the mind to a blog post?!

Anyway, exciting things are happening in the Willamette Valley and you know what it is?  Yes,  Hood Strawberries are in season;  the sweetest most amazing strawberry ever.  We first learned about this varietal when moving to Oregon twelve years ago, before that a strawberry to me was a strawberry.  Yes, this is the most delicious strawberry you will ever meet and you can never have too much…

So it will not be much of a surprise for you to hear that it is has become a tradition to go strawberry picking each year. It is fun, and it is so important for children to learn where our food comes from, that it does not magically gets placed into pint boxes and that it takes a lot of work…

In past years we have been picking at various farms on Sauvie Island but this year we decided on a change of pace and went out to visit Unger Farms in Cornelius. Let me tell you it was not only fantastic strawberry picking but also pretty, with the pluses of a small playground and nice little cafe where both girlies enjoyed a strawberry lemonade each...

Now we have 20+ pounds of Hood Strawberries.  Some already made it into jam,

many others made it into the freezer {tip ~ freeze them first individually on cookie sheets before transferring them to freezer bags},

some become delicious accents for salad and vinaigrette,

while others became part of

Strawberry Dutch Baby
  •  3 Tb Earth Balance, cut into chunks (or other "butter" of your choice)
  •  1 C    flour
  •  1 C    Almond Milk (or other  "milk" of your choice
  •  4 eggs
  •  1 C strawberries cut into chunks
  •  Powdered sugar
  • 1 pint strawberries sliced and add a sprinkle of sugar if needed
  1. Place "butter" in cast iron pan.
  2. Place pan in oven and preheat the oven to 425F (yes, pan should be in the oven when you preheat it)
  3. While the oven is preheating with the pan in it prepare the batter
  4. Mix flour, "milk", and eggs together until you have a smooth batter. Add 1 C of strawberry chances to the batter.
  5. When the oven is preheated carefully remove the pan and pour the batter  into the pan.  Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.  
  7. Serve with a side of fresh cut strawberries
Bring to the table and serve right away as the pancake will deflate as it cools :)



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