Strawberries with Ice Cream

 

 

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It’s strawberry season here in Krakow! You can find baskets heaping with these bright red berries all over town. They’re super sweet and not expensive- a win win. I bought a basket, brought it home and ended up staring at it not sure what to make. There’s the obvious chocolate dipped ones which of course we made, but what else can I make with them? So…I decided that I’ll make a compilation of strawberry recipes for myself, and you reader, to refer to.

I’d love to hear of your favorite recipes that include strawberries!

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This first one isn’t really a recipe. OK it’s not. But it screams summer- simple ingredients and fresh fruit. And it’s what happens when the kiddos have 10 min before bed time but want a dessert. They helped put it together which made it taste even sweeter for them. 🙂IMG_20150624_182726

*Bowls from Istanbul, Turkey

Crusted Parmesan Salmon

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Beautiful colors right?! The flavor was just as vibrant- you need to make this! And with a 20 min cooking time and with three ingredient it’s just as easy as it is tasty. Have I convinced you? 😉

OK, first you need a good cut of salmon. Our family is from the Pacific Northwest so we are used to high quality salmon. When we moved here to Krakow I wasn’t sure if there was good salmon or how to find it. Turns out we get great salmon here shipped in from Norway!

Here is the first in the ingredient list: Herb butter. About 1/2C butter.

I used my own homemade spice mix which is a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic and basil. I then added fresh cut chives to the butter helping to add flavor and prettiness. 🙂

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Mix the butter with your favorite spices and any fresh herbs you have in your kitchen/garden. Next add juice from half a lemon. Mix and spread on salmon.

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Seal in aluminum foil and bake in your preheated oven at 170’C. Cook for 10-15 min, depending on the size and thickness of your slab on fish. Till it’s almost firm throughout, then it’s time for the last ingredient to be added!

CHEEEEEEEESE!!!!

IMG_20150616_135830This might look like a huge bowl but it’s about 1/2C freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Mmmm, the saltiness of the cheese marries perfectly with the fish.  Ok, now that you’ve sprinkled and covered your fish with the cheese, KEEP UNCOVERED and put back into the oven till the cheese is bubbling. I like it once it turns a bit dark. The nice part is that the butter keeps the fish from drying out.

Then you’re done! Sprinkle with any fresh herbs if you like. 🙂 Enjoy!

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Parmensan Crusted Salmon

One large cut of Salmon

1/2C Herb Butter (room temperature)

Juice of half a lemon

1/2C Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350’F or 175’C. Mix butter and lemon juice. Spread mixture on fish and wrap in foil. Bake for roughly 10-15 min (depending on thickness of fish) then sprinkle cheese on top and cook uncovered till cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Enjoy!

Messy Chicken

Messychicken

 

I was looking through Pinterest and saw some meal ideas for making ahead and I looked in my fridge to see what I cold make in bulk to eat and freeze. And came up with this. No surprise it’s Mexican. My favorite. 🙂

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I can see different variations depending on what’s in the kitchen but this batch is made of:

1/2 Red Bell Pepper

1/2 Green Bell Pepper

1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper

2 Sm. Yellow Onions

5 coves of Garlic (Yes, I love garlic)

2C Shredded Chicken

1-2C Cooked Rice

1/2 Package of Taco Seasoning

I think next time I’ll substitute black beans for the rice. Enjoy!

Breakfast Cookies

 

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I actually made these with the hope that the girls will wake up in the morning, eat these and will watch Netflix together giving me an extra 30 min-1hr extra so I can ‘sleep in’ to 7:30am. I wonder how ridiculous that hope is…we’ll see.

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This is another recipe that I thought I could make in advance, girls would like it and I could make it as healthy as I want. Perfect. Turns out I didn’t have any bananas so I just winged my own recipe, making up the measurements as I went. And surprisingly they turned out great. Not dense, a bit more cake like and not too sweet which is nice.

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I was lazy and just wrote down the measurements and took a picture. 🙂

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Ham & Cheese Fritata

10325509_10152511235252379_5709341501811487799_nEating food has become super stressful for me. Or at least I’ve allowed it to become that. I have so many friends that swear by their special food plans. Paleo, no carb, eating clean, raw diet, lactose free, corn free, sugar free, nut free and countless others. Plus I’m nursing, so my food has to include certain elements to  maintain and boost my milk supply. Sigh. It’s not the eating plans themselves that stress me out but the ‘you have to eat this way or you’re killing your body’ mentality. They can’t ALL be right. Right? So I talked with Jesus to see what my answer should be. Because it’s mainly just His advice that matters. And in the end I came to the conclusion that we all have different bodies that can’t handle different things. Yes, be smart in eating. Not a lot of sugars (have them come mostly from fruit), I’m nursing so whole grains are OK. Milk in moderation. And no processed foods. But the main breakthrough was the fear factor. So many plans use fear as they give you information. And I, personally, was allowing that fear to take root. So after dealing and uprooting those things, I chose rethink what we eat.

And it’s not a huge change. We eat mostly clean with a sweet treat to end the day with. However, breakfasts have been mostly sweet carbs. Cereal, pancakes or toast. See, we have only 20 minutes max for us to eat in the mornings. Couple that with two super slow eaters and a time consuming healthy breakfast is way out the window. I went to Pinterest and saw many great ideas. This being the first: Fritatas. I made it a couple days ago and all I have to do is heat it up! We’ve been eating it for breakfast or lunch for days and it’s great. It allows me to have something healthy for myself and eventually for the girls that’s fast for school mornings. That’s the kill zone I was aiming for. Plus it’s made breakfast different, and different is good.

This fritata in particular is a ham and cheese, along with bell peppers, red onion and fresh basil. It turned out so great!!! Travis and I loved LOVED it however the girls wouldn’t eat it because so much of it was green- a mindset we’re fighting these days. At least they tried it. Baby steps. But I’m happy to make a broccoli and ham/cheese which the girls should be able to choke down. :/

I didn’t follow any recipe but threw it together so this recipe will be totally based off me guessing the amounts. So if you like more cheese, no milk or whatever-please feel free to tweak it to your liking, it’s a forgiving recipe.

Ham & Cheese Fritatas

8 eggs

1 small package of pre-shredded cheese (or about 1C. I used mozzarella cause that’s just what I had)

1 med. red bell pepper

1 med. green pepper

1 small red onion (I used it for color but a yellow would work great too. Adds the sweetness)

2-3 cloves of garlic ( I actually used garlic powder but real cloves would be way better)

dash of pepper and salt

1/3 C milk

Handful of fresh basil leaves cut julienne style

Ham ( I used ham sliced by our ‘behind the meat counter person’ and used 4-5 slices. Cut julienne style)

Greased pan ( I used coconut oil but Olive oil would work great too)

Instructions: Stir fry onion and garlic until soft. Cut meat and vegetables to similar sizes. Put onion and garlic in large bowl and mix all ingredients together. Poor mixture in greased pan. Cook at 155’C for about 20-30 min or until top is cooked and slightly browned. Hope you enjoy this! It’s fast, crazy easy and healthy. Perfect! 

Massolit Bakery and Cafe

Being an American here in Krakow my craving for an American pie was, I thought, cruel and pointless. However, I soon found out (thank you Google) that there was a cafe that had just opened specializing in American pies! What?! And just in time for my birthday!!! I must start off by admitting I’m a picky dessert eater. No chocolate, no candy bars, Not a big fan of cheesecake, no cake, no cupcakes or cake pops. No poppy seed (popular here), no chewy dried fruit that will get stuck in my teeth, no candy, no ice cream and no frosting. Please. I know, pretty crazy. But before you freak out I must convince you I do actually have a sweet tooth. I love pies! And lemon things, doughnuts, fruit cobblers/crisps, caramel, peanut butter things, pumpkin anything and milkshakes. See…sheesh.

And looking at Massolit’s Facebook page made me very excited to visit. Beautiful pictures with huge windows and a hip trendy vibe. I talked with the owner who sounded like he might be American. Super nice. Thankfully they also serve HOMEMADE bagels, incredible quiches, cakes and soup. Seriously, look at their Facebook page because they have better pictures than the one below. I’ll update it when I go again. 🙂

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When we went, they didn’t have a cherry pie made. My favorite- bummer. But they did have strawberry rhubarb. Yeah- aaaamazing. So we ordered a whole cherry pie for my birthday dessert and each of us had a slice of the rhubarb warmed up. (above picture) It wasn’t too sweet or tart. Just the way I Iove it. I will say though that once we got the cherry pie, it was incredibly sweet. As in too sweet for me to eat. I had a couple slices but probably won’t order it again. I am however excited to try out their pumpkin. (remember, all handmade without canned cherry filling or canned pumpkin. All pitted by hand or roasted in their ovens)

I will also say that I tried their broccoli quiche and it blew my socks off. Down to the crust. Oh man. So yeah, go and try them out. You’ll be happy you did. (below is their apple)

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Standard Pancakes (American Style)

 

I’ve been looking for a great pancake recipe that I can make in Poland which doesn’t require buttermilk. Not because I can’t find it there or even make it there…I’m just lazy. lol Honestly. I also want something that’s a bit healthier. However if you find those recipes, most are complicated or doesn’t taste how you hope. 

Well, to this date, this is the best one I’ve found. And it’s already made my paper recipe book so you know it’s good. Super good and straightforward. The hardest part is finding a syrup now that doesn’t contain crazy sugar. Did I mention this was a sugar free pancake recipe? 🙂 I’m interested in making coconut whipped cream with fresh berries. I know. Yum right?!

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Pancake Recipe:

1 3/4C Flour

1T Baking Powder

1/2t Salt

1 1/2C Milk

2 lrg Eggs

3T Veg. Oil

Mix all the dry ingredients first then add wet. Remember to not over mix. 

This is for plain simple pancakes. Some fun flavor ideas: Ginger and Cinnamon Spices, Berries, 1/4C Pumpkin Puree, 1/4C Sweet Potato Puree, Chocolate Chips, swirl in a mix of melted butter/brown sugar/cinnamon, 1/2C oatmeal, etc. The sky’s the limit. 🙂 

Starbucks Oatmeal

Oatmeal

I was going through our local Starbucks recently, and my hubby gushed about how awesome their oatmeal was. (love my healthy babe) I saw it on their menu and my jaw dropped when I saw the price. Um, no. Then I had a little hissy fit- why does healthy food have to be so expensive?! I ordered the pumpkin scone. Principles over health. 😉

So I decided to make my own a little afterwards. Learn from my mistakes friends: add the berries AFTER the water/brown sugar thing. I was overly excited and mixed it with the dry stuff. Even though it tasted great, the water turned purple. Kinda different. (might be fun for kids?) And this recipe all depends on you. Some like their oatmeal nuttier, sweeter or thicker than this recipe. Experiment and enjoy!

 

Blueberry/Nut Oatmeal

1/2 C Quick Oats

3/4 C Hot Water

2T Brown Sugar

2T Your Favorite Crushed Nuts  

1/4C Blueberries (again, any favorite berry you like)

Mix the oats, sugar and nuts. Then add hot water. Mix and wait a couple minutes. Afterwards add the toppings.  Make this with a hot cup of tea and feel smug that you saved yourself about $5. (BTW, I’ve have had Starbucks oatmeal and yes, it’s amazing. hehe)

Vegan Chocolate Cake

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We were invited to a friends house for Easter and I had grand plans of the desserts I would be bringing.  Unfortunately they fell apart. No, like it actually did fall apart. I was trying to make many thin layers and unfortunately it crumbled everywhere. Still tasted great with what parts I could salvage. One of  Travis’ favorite cakes is German Chocolate. So I added a little store bought sweetness.. Tasted amazing and was incredibly moist. 

So try it! It’s AMAZING and crazy simple. Here is the blog I found it from. I know when my vegan sister comes to visit I’ll be making her a cake to bring back to Seattle.. 🙂

Recipe:

Ingredients
1 1/2 Cups flour
3 Tbsp. cocoa (unsweetened)
1 Cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp.  salt

1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp.  pure vanilla extract
5 Tbsp. vegetable oil 
1 Cup water 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8″ square baking pan.  Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients. Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third larger depression.  Pour water over all.  Mix well until smooth.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes.  Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.  Cool.  Top with your favorite frosting.  Enjoy!