You Are Sweet Enough Just the Way You Are

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?  Maybe yours is similar to mine.  I resolve to limit processed foods, and artificial sweeteners from my diet.  I have been 60 percent on plan for several months, but the holidays were tough on me.  I’m aiming now to up my efforts and go from 60% to 80% of the time to eat as clean as possible.

Easier said then done.  So I will start with the basics.

 I will try to eat as much “real” food as possible and if I am going to indulge in a sweet treat from time to time,  I will aim to get my sweet fix from fruits, and natural sweeteners like honey and agave nectar.

The good news is that I have found dozens of recipes for naturally sweetened treats.  I have included my latest find.  The most delicious, moist banana bread ever.  It’s FABULOUS!  The recipe is free of all  processed sugar and can be made dairy free and gluten free, if you wish.

I hope you love this yummy bread as much as my husband  and I did.

Here you Go…

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  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of milk, almond milk, or water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour (gluten free flour if you like)
  •  Optional, 1/2 cup walnuts, pecans, carob chips

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and grease 9 x 5 loaf pan

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In a large bowl, beat oil, honey, eggs, mix together then whisk in bananas and milk

 

Add baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and flour, (and extras if you i.e. nuts) use a large spoon and mix all ingredients together….don’t over stir, leave a few lumps in the batter.20160907_201307

Pour batter into your greased pan, sprinkle the top with more cinnamon

Bake for 55 to 60 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean 

One loaf gives you 10 servings

Per serving: Calories 215, Fat 8.7 g, Sugars 16 g, Protein 4.3g,

Enjoy!

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Traditions

kathy blog 2 homeThere is something so nostalgic and a bit romantic about creating great traditions with family and friends. We started going ‘up North to the cabin’ every July with our college friends about 30 years ago.  Back then we were just a group of crazy couples (with even some of our parents), then babies came and weddings and funerals  . . . but we never missed this time together.  Fast-forward to more recent years and it’s back to just us crazy couples – now all empty nesters!  The events of the week have started to revolve around food, what could be better?!

kathy blog 2 beach fireSo picture this . . . lakeside cabin with a great beach, bonfire, loons (the bird not the people) and some great classic rock music . . . and now add in a traditional CLAMBAKE!

Here’s how we did it, and now it’s part of the tradition and everyone can participate.

Start with a visit to your local fish market to get the clams, shrimp, mussels and lobsters!  And the rest is kathy blog 2 lobstereasy.  We wanted to do this on the beach over an open fire, so we started with a huge galvanized tub and started picking rocks out of the lake to use at the bottom of the tub. Filled it with lake water – yep, lake water (a really clean lake) – and then started layering in all the goodies.

Here’s the recipe I use (not created but use, and it’s perfect every time):

Beach Clambake

1-½ lbs of baby red potatoes                                                                        1 lb little neck clams                                                                                         2 cups water                                                                                                      4 tablespoons salted butter                                                                              2 large yellow onions, cut into eighths                                                           8 garlic cloves                                                                                                   ½ bottle of dry white wine                                                                               1 ¼ lb of kielbasa sausage, cut into bit size                                                    3 lobsters, each 1 1/2 lbs or larger                                                                      5 medium ears of corn, husked and broken in half                                         1 lb of deveined shrimp                                                                                    8 lemons, quartered for serving                                                                 Tons of melted butter for serving                                                     Sourdough bread for serving

  1. kathy blog 2 guysPre boil the potatoes until tender
  2. Fill large bowl with cool, slated tap water and submerge clams for 30-45 min. This way they purge the sand.  Scrub.
  3. Start adding ingredients to the tub in this order (with enough water in the tub to cover the rocks) and steam the ingredients: onion, garlic, wine, cooked potatoes, sausage. Steam for 5 minutes by covering with wet beach towel. Add the lobsters and cook for 6 minutes. Add the corn and clams and cook another 6 minutes. Add shrimp, cover and cook another 6 minutes.
  4. Pour onto a newspaper-covered table and serve with lemons and melted butter and some fresh warm sourdough bread.

The bar is easy, we usually have cold beer in a tub and some crisp, cold, white wine.

We spread newspaper over a picnic table down at the waters edge, throw out a few plates and lobster crackers, and go to town!

Dessert?  That’s easy….s’mores of course!  Enjoy!

kathy blog 2 filled tubs

 

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Summer in St. Louis

BK photo 1 rightWhen I was a kid, Summers were filled with making my spending money cutting lawns, going to the McKenzie Neighborhood Pool when finished for the day, and frequent stops with my family at the St. Louis Phenomena, Ted Drewes, for the best Frozen Custard on this planet. If you ever travel to the “Show Me” State of Missouri, it’s well worth your time and travel to get there and get in line!

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Since the 1930’s, St. Louisans have been lining up 12-windows-across, sometimes 20-people-deep, to enjoy a cone, sundae or Concrete with our favorite toppings amidst the Frozen Custard Crowd.

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Depending on the night, you may see the mix of families with kids in red wagons, Muny Opera-goers dressed in full Lilly Pulitzer, and countless baseball, softball, & swim teams, either celebrating their victories or dusting off their losses.

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BK photo 5 rightMy favorite sundae is the ‘Tiramisu’, with chocolate, pistachios and cherries on top. It’s just one of dozens to choose from!  And yes, I have been more than once in the course of a day, on more than one occasion . . . (you would too!)

July is National Ice Cream month and, may I say, Frozen Custard more than qualifies.   So why not plan an ‘Ice Cream (or Custard) Social’! Gather your most deserving friends and family together to share in a tradition dating as far back as England’s King Charles II with something delicious that you make yourself.

No one Frozen Custard recipe would satisfy everyone’s different likes and/or food sensitivities, so I’m including a link to Pinterest to inspire you.   Note: frozen custard does not have to be just vanilla, and a number of recipes can even be made without an ice cream maker!  Custard is much like ice cream, just without the whipped air.  (Sorry, but Ted Drewes is not giving his up at any price, although many attempts have been made to buy him out.)

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/frozen-custard-recipes/

BK photo 7 middleWe make a lot of ice cream at home and will all the more with the fresh eggs our new chickens will provide this summer. Want to upgrade your creation? Consider shopping your local kitchen store for Lyle’s Golden Syrup. You’ll love the rich taste and it can be substituted in equal amounts to sugar, honey, or corn syrup. Enjoy!

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P.S. Let me know how your ice creams turn out. I love to learn from you too!

 

 

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