Author Archives: sweeterandsweeter

“Cheesecake” out of pecans

Yep, you heard right! Probably for those who are vegan this has been around a long time, but for me it’s a first! I couldn’t believe it when I saw the recipe. I had pecans on hand so had to try it. I love cheesecake but know it’s just a heavy non-nutritious dessert. Um, that would go for most desserts except fruit. 😜

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And again my new Blendtec came in super handy. I’m pretty sure it would not have turned out right if I had used a regular blender. Got the recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie including the super easy graham cracker crust recipe from there. Next I need to make my own graham crackers!!! Too many recipes, too little time 😐 I made her No Bake Oreo Cookie Pie also and that’s great if you like Oreos. I forgot to freeze it to set so I served it as a blob on a plate and didn’t want to take any pictures of that!

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But I made this one right and it actually looks like cheesecake!!!!! Sorry for my horrible pictures. I almost forgot to take a pic. It was about to all be eaten up!

Crockpot Lasagna

Amazingly this is the first time I’ve made lasagna! Actually, the second time. I tried the recipe last week and didn’t take any pictures. Tonight we had some hungry college guys for dinner so did a repeat. I always heard it tastes good but takes so much time and I love Costco lasagnas so why spend so much time making it? Well, I had bought some lasagna noodles on sale and needed to use them so that got me started. But had to find a shortcut if there was one. Of course! The crockpot! And voila, a tasty lasagna full of nutrients without having to fiddle with the noodles first.

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After going through several recipes and reviews I went with recipe from Taste of Home and adjusting some. Some mentioned cottage cheese didn’t do ricotta justice so I went with ricotta. Should try cottage cheese sometime though. And I heard key is a flavorful sauce so cheese mixture doesn’t have to make up for the flavor. Made a gluten free, no cheese one for friends who are allergic and it tasted pretty good. I enjoyed using my Blentec and turning all the veggies into a puree that made the sauce flavorful and disguised all the nutrients so the kiddos couldn’t pick anything out. :mrgreen:

Crockpot Lasagna

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion
2 eggplant
1 zucchini
2 tomatoes
1 jar favorite spaghetti sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 package (8 ounces) no-cook lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook beef. Drain fat. Use high powered blender and blend veggies into a puree. Add puree and spaghetti sauce to meat and simmer on low for 15 min.

In crockpot pour enough meat sauce to cover bottom. Layer with uncooked noodles. Layer with a third of cheese mixture. Layer with meat sauce. Repeat. Layer with uncooked noodles. Layer with remaining cheese mixture and cover.

Cook on low for no more than 3 hours or you will have very soggy noodles.

Enjoy!

Healthier Banana Bread

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Wow! I never posted a banana bread recipe? Well, instead of constantly searching the web every time I want to make some I’d better just post this recipe I just used tonight. Found this one from Ambitious Kitchen and it’s pretty healthy so why not. If I find a better one I’ll let you know. And you can adjust accordingly to make it gluten free. Satisfying after dinner healthy treat or quick breakfast on the go. Add some flax seed and/or nuts to fill you up more. Enjoy!

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Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

I used a concoction of oat and rice flour and nonfat Greek yogurt instead of applesauce.

Tasty little Mediterranean place

I’m a So Cal girl but rarely explore L.A. but an opportunity arose when my husband’s cousin flew in from Korea the other night.  Where else would we take her but Griffith Observatory for a spectacular view of L.A.

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It was an out of the ordinary overcast day with the usual haze. See downtown on the right? But a great day for touring without the great of the sun beating on us. But it was still bright!

For lunch I searched for something nearby and boy, did we enjoy ourselves! She came to experience America and we gave her some Mediterranean.  Well, this IS L.A. and America in L.A. is, well, a mix of everything.

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It was a great place just off Vermont between Los Feliz and Hollywood.
Give it a try!

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Korean Spicy Udon Soup (Jjampong)

Last week my daughter and I went food shopping and they were giving out samples of instant black bean noodles. It tasted pretty good and my daughter pleaded for me to get some. I gave in and said this time but we’re not buying those all the time. The next day I needed to put together a quick lunch and was glad I had bought the instant noodles. My husband enjoyed them and my daughter did too of course. She wanted to eat it again for the next meal too! So I realized I’d better just learn how to make it and use fresh noodles. It turned out not bad but I didn’t have the exact black bean paste I needed for it. So I didn’t take any pictures and I’ll have to post about it the next time I make it now that I do have the black bean paste that I need.

As I was purchasing noodles for that particular dish I decided to get some fresh udon noodles also. So the next meal I searched what to make with those noodles and found out you use them for a spicy Korean seafood dish. My husband loves anything with noodles AND seafood so I thought I’d give it a shot. And it turned out pretty good! Simple too! Just time consuming to chop the veggies. And the next time I make it I need to add WAY more veggies even though I thought I added plenty. Sure enough they all shrunk and half a pot became a sixth of a pot of veggies. My husband asked for a green juice shot after that since we didn’t have many greens with all my experimenting with different dishes the past couple of days. Sorry I’m so bad at the presentations of my final product…

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Went to my favorite website for Korean dishes…Maangchi! Recipe is here. It’s pretty detailed so I will not include it here.

I used chicken stock that I made since I wanted to make a spicy and non spicy version. I will have to try one with the mushroom and kelp stock at a later date.

 

Sesame Crunch Candy

Whoa…it’s been a long, long, long, looooong time. I really love these sesame crunch candies and I always have to fight the urge to buy them since 1) they are not cheap and 2) not good for me. Well, I sort of figured a solution to that, at least the first problem. It is so much cheaper to make your own and you get sooo much more (doesn’t help my second problem). AND, it’s SUPER easy! I would rather stick with honey so I cut the brown sugar some but realized if you cut all the sugar you get a blob of sesame not sesame crunch! And you have to eat it with a spoon or keep it always in the fridge so it can stay “hard.” I think the key when cutting the brown sugar is making sure you heat the honey/sugar to the right temperature. If it’s too cool it will not set. Oh, and to offset my second problem, the extra sugar is not good for me, but sesame seeds are REALLY good for you, no matter what color. Supposedly it helps keep your hair black. Haven’t eaten black sesame seeds consistently enough to see if it actually works. Or actually, haven’t made my husband eat it enough to see if it works since I’ve only started graying. I’d better put it in my diet so I don’t gray!

Got the recipe from Spoonful.com. Crunch away!

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1 1/4 cup sesame seeds

3 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp brown sugar

 

Place honey and sugar in sauce pot. Heat and stir for about 5 minutes until you notice  that it bubbles up, Allow it to bubble for a couple of minutes but don’t let it burn. Remove from heat and add sesame seeds. Stir mixture and place on oiled surface or parchment paper. Flatten and allow to cool and set.

Mango Ice Cream and Mango Sorbet

Asked a friend what I should try after the coconut sorbet and she said something with mangoes. Since we spoiled Southern Californians still have them I gave it a try!

Tried mango ice cream first. It wasn’t bad but the sorbet was much better! I think it just depends on if you want something creamy or fruity. Was able to find a recipe that called for honey or agave syrup instead of sugar so that was a plus. I used super ripe mangoes too.

Took a picture of ice cream as it was churning but forgot to take a pic of the finished product!

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And the sorbet!

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The recipes are both simple and I didn’t make any adjustments except for cutting the honey for the sorbet to half of what recipe called for.

Recipe for mango ice cream comes from Just One Cookbook.

3 large mangoes
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup whole milk

Note: Refrigerate mangos before using or you’ll have to chill mixture before putting in ice cream maker.

1. Blend all ingredients
2. Place in ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions. Chill more if needed.
3. Enjoy!

Recipe for mango sorbet comes from King Arthur Flour.

4 large ripe mangoes
1/3 cup water
1/8 cup honey or agave syrup
1/3 cup lime juice
1/8 tsp salt

1. Blend all ingredients
2. Place in ice cream maker
3. Enjoy!