Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Flora

Let us be grateful
to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.
-Marcel Proust

Monday, April 9, 2012

Berry Good Smoothie

A few months ago my husband bought a Vitamix mostly so that I could figure out how to get my picky kids to eat veggies and fruit instead of mac and cheese 24/7.
Okay I was a skeptic at first and thought whats the big deal over this blender? And, what does it do that other very less expensive blenders can't do??? How about that you can make hot all natural low calorie soup or your own almond soy milk? I am really like this and yes we use it almost everyday, but the most fun is creating tasty, healthy smoothies for my girls and they drink them all up! A win win situation and might I add a machine well worth the money.
After some trial and error for consistency and taste I came up with the following ingredients that you most certainly can edit by adding a 1/4 to 1/2 cup more of any of the following ingredients. Many smoothie recipes also call for a cup of ice but since this is using sugar free frozen berries, there's no need for ice and it's jam packed with vitamins

Berry Good Smoothie


1/2 cup of red or green grapes
2 cups baby carrots
1 apple (skinned and quartered)
1 small ripe banana
1 1/2 cups unsweetened frozen strawberries
1/2 cup unsweetened frozen peaches and or mangoes

Certainly I love using fresh fruit, but depending on the season, the markets may not have them readily available.

Mix all ingredients in blender on high till well blended.  The mixture will be thick so you can add 1/4 cup of water and blend again for a minute or so.  The other option is to add 1/2 - 1 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt and this adds a creamy texture making it all that more delicious and a bit sweeter since the berries can be tart and I don't add any sugar. 


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Raspberry Cheese Pancakes

These pancakes are so delicious they inspired me to even take some photos!

I mean who can't resist a good carb load now and then, especially on a weekend morning.  When I saw the cottage cheese ingredient I thought "no way are my picky kids going to eat this." However to my delight they ate them all up.  Either they are tired of scrambled eggs everyday or really loved the flavor and I think it's the later.

Okay so they look just like ordinary pancakes right???

Well they are far from ordinary and so easy to make.  Instead of taking photos of mixing dough and adding ingredients I thought I would cut to the chase and post the ingredients and results.


1 cup cottage cheese and feel free to use low fat
4 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar


1. Whip cottage cheese, sugar and vanilla with hand mixer on low to medium speed.  Add the flour and eggs and start the mixer again. With mixer on, add melted butter. This should be a thick batter.

2. Test a small amount of batter on grill. Add a small amount of flour if it needs thickening.

3. Cook pancakes until golden, then flip and cook for an additional minute. Do not overcook. These pancakes are moist and should spring back to the touch.

4. The batter yields about 10-12 three inch pancakes and they should look like the photo.  Usually I add a 1/4 tsp of extra vanilla but in this case you don't need to because of the most delicious topping using raspberries and maple syrup.

Now onto the raspberry syrup!

Raspberry Maple Syrup:

1 cup Vermont Maple Syrup (again you can try low sugar syrup)
2/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (fresh are best)
2 Tbsp raspberry jam

Combine ingredients in a non-stick saucepan. Hear on low until raspberries defrost- stirring occasionally. Stir in the jam which helps the syrup mixture thicken. Heat until the syrup boils, then turn off the heat and let sit. Syrup is ready to spoon over pancakes after the mixture has set for a few minutes allowing it to thicken.