Family Favorite

Why, hello there, Oats In A Jar.  It sure has been a while.

  • 1/4 c. oatbran
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran
  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 T. raisins
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove

I cooked the oats to perfection and then poured the hot mixture into an almost empty pb jar.  The Galaxy Granola was added a little bit here and a little bit there as I ate my way through.  This breakfast will never—never, never—grow old.

But enough with breakfast.  I have an announcement to make.  Ladies and Gents, I have found a yogurt that deserves to be called my most favorite yogurt of all: Voskos Honey Vanilla Bean.

It’s true.

I can’t decide if it was the silky texture, the homemade blueberry banana muffin that was crumbled on top, or the pure, sweet creaminess of it all.

I think the fact that real, honest-to-goodness vanilla bean is used instead of vanilla extracts or flavorings has something to do with it too.  Just look at these little vanilla specks sprinkled throughout!  This is the real deal.  My mom stated it was the best yogurt she’s ever had, and I couldn’t have agreed more.  All I can say is that it’s a good thing my local grocery store doesn’t carry this, or I’d go in debt over yogurt. 

Now that I’m on a role with personal favorites, deep obsessions and other such matters, I think it’s time I introduce you to a new favorite salad combination of mine…

  • 1 broccoli crown, cut into bite sized peices
  • 1/2 c. canned black bleans
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Combine the above ingredients and bake on a cookie sheet at 425 for about 20 minutes (remember to flip halfway through cooking time and adjust salt and pepper to taste.)

Once the veggies are browned to your liking, mix in:

  • 1/4 avocado (very ripe), smashed
  • garlic powder (don’t be skimpy!)
  • 1/2 tomato

If you think this sounds odd and strange, you are not alone.  It does sound peculiar.  Which is why you simply must try it. I promise that if you love guacamole, garlic, and roasted vegetables, you will love this simple meal.

On the side, I had 1-1/2 slices of Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Sourdough bread, toasted, with a pat of butter.

Afternoon Snack: Homemade Dates & Coconut Granola Bar

If you’re a regular reader of Running To Slow Things Down, you have probably seen this Gypsy Soup more than one too many times.  But that’s simply because it’s one of my absolute favorites.  This is one of those recipes that has wiggled its way into becoming a family favorite.   It’s that “go-to” soup recipe.  It’s a soup filled with memories.  In fact—if it wasn’t too dangerous to say—I might even put it up there with chicken noodle soup as being a comfort food.  But that’s dangerous territory, so I’ll have to save it for another day. 😉

Needless to say, the recipe for Gypsy Soup will forever be dog-eared in my Moosewood Cookbook, and it will permanently be stained with turmeric and tomato juice.  And, yes, you will see it many more times in the future of this blog.  It’s just that kind of recipe.

Gypsy Soupcourtesy of Moosewood Cookbook with some minor tweakings

  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. chopped onion
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 2 c. peeled, diced sweet potato
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. mild paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp basil
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of cayenne (I use about 1/8 tsp to make it spicy)
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15 oz. can of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot.  Add onion, garlic, celery, and swee potato.  Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add salt, and saute 5 more minutes.  Add seasonings and water, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add tomato, bell pepper, and chick peas.  Cover and simmer for 10 + minutes or until all vegetables are as tender as you like them.  Taste to adjust seasonings and serve.

This bread is also a tried-and-true family favorite.  I love that it’s made with all whole wheat flour while still remaining moist and soft.  Yesterday I confessed to having a fear of tasteless, rubbery, overcooked red meat.  But I also have a fear of dried out, stale, tasteless bread.  100% whole wheat breads have a reputation for being dense and dry—cardboard, they call it (and oftentimes, rightly so!)  This bread, however, is the furthest thing from being dry.  On first bite, you’ll note how soft and moist it is.  You’ll taste the subtle sweetness of molasses.  And you’ll forever be convinced that whole wheat bread does not have to taste like cardboard. 😀

King Arthur’s Whole Wheat Bread

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/3 cups (10 1/2 ounces) water
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (3 ounces) honey, molasses, or maple syrup
  • 3 1/2 cups (14 ounces) King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) nonfat dried milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for “dough” or “manual.”) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 hour, or until it’s crowned about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices.

Nutrition per serving (1 slice, 51g): 150 cal, 3.5g fat, 5g protein, 24g total carbohydrate, 5g sugar, 3g dietary fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium.

Off to chillax with My Homemade Life.  What a great book!!! 

Question: Do you have a Family Favorite Recipe that is made over and over again?


14 thoughts on “Family Favorite

  1. wow, so much deliciousness in this post! and i definitely smiled when I saw the teddie pb jar 😛
    that yogurt does look amazing – it’s probably a good thing we don’t have it around here either, because i can’t see how i would dislike that flavor, leading my wallet to become too light 😉 And that bread!! it looks perfect.

  2. That yogurt looks sooooo good and I want some now. 🙂 One of my favorite family recipes is mom’s sweet and sour chicken stir-fry. Super yummy.

  3. Mmm roasted veggies. I won’t knock any combo until I try it…and try it I will.

    My mom used to make chicken spaghetti all the time growing up and I loved it. But I’ve kind of forgotten about it lately. Thanks for the reminder of a family favorite. 🙂

  4. I had bookmarked that Gypsy soup recipe and made it last year but forgot where I had found it! I didn’t add enough liquid so it was more of a stew but it went over AMAZINGLY within my family. Everyone LOVED it!!

  5. We have several in my family and it would be like picking a favourite child to pick only one! I am very lucky to be apart of a family that loved to putter in the kitchen. 🙂

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