potato & leek soup.

fall is the perfect season for enjoying a bowl of yummy soup! this particular soup is a family favourite and has been in on our regular dinner rotation for years. it’s fast, delicious and there’s always room for creativity! we started with the original recipe from “the joy of cooking”, but through the years we have modified it to fit our tastes better. the recipe below is ours.



INGREDIENTS:

3 medium leeks
7-10 medium yellow potatoes
4-5 cups water/ broth*
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 sprinkling of ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic

DIRECTIONS:

1. wash and peel potatoes. cut in to quarters.
2. wash and chop leeks.
3. chop garlic into desired size.
4. heat olive oil in your soup pot on your stove, but do not let it get too hot. 
5. add vegetables and garlic. let them sautee at a medium heat. then add the salt.
6. add broth and let the veggies soften.
7. once the potatoes are soft, take pot off the hot stove top and with an immersion blender puree until smooth. sometimes i add a little water if i think the consistency is too thick. you could also add a little milk.
8. serve with fresh ground pepper and a dollop of sour cream on top. 

* we only use veggie broth as we are vegetarian. some use a chicken broth. i prefer to use a homemade broth, instead of the bouillon cubes, as they often tend to be full unknown additives.

** today, i added a medium bunch of fresh kale to the mix. just before i blended the soup i finely chopped up the kale and added it to the pot. it’s a quick and painless way to add dark leafy greens into the family diet!


enjoy!
happy monday everyone!

. . . . . . . 

lastly, i want to mention that i’ll be participating in a blog carnival soon… can’t wait to let you guys know the exciting details!


xo, mama lola

carrot, apple & cranberry salad.

i usually do my groceries on a tuesday morning with lion as my co-captain. that means, on monday i often end up scrounging ingredients for dinner. this past monday was no exception. then i found some yummy, seasonally perfect ingredients for a quick and yummy salad!



INGREDIENTS:

SALAD:
2-3 carrots 
1-2 apples
1 small bunch of parsley
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 small handful of sunflower seeds

DRESSING:
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar*

DIRECTIONS:
1. shred peeled carrots and apples (i left the peel on) into a bowl. choose how many to shred depending on how big the goods are and how many mouths you’re feeding.
2. finely chop parsley.
3. add in rest of ingredients and mix in.
4. make dressing and once all ingredients and mixed well, add to salad. ensure you mix the salad well and let it sit so that the dressing gets absorbed. i let it sit for about an hour.



*if the taste is too tart for your liking, add more sugar and/or a little water.

this was the perfect salad to serve with my mashed potatoes and baked salmon. yum! my kids gobbled it right up, especially lion who still refuses to properly chew foods like raw carrots!

HAPPY THURSDAY!
we are definitely having a better today than yesterday!
phew.


xo, mama lola

pizza pops!

bear complains that he doesn’t have enough time to eat at school. he is an excruciatingly slow eater at home and i’m sure at school he is even slower, as he gets distracted so easily. i’ve tried to figure out how to fill him with lots of good calories, fats and energy, without loading him up on sugar. 


here’s my first try at pizza pops/ rings. i found the recipe from here, at “cooking with my kids”. her recipe is super small and simple, but i thought it was good place for the bones of the recipe. since i only have one tiny muffin tin, i also pulled out my donut pan to see if i can make pizza rings. the donut pan purchase was inspired by tiffanie at corner blog who has a 101 donut pan ideas.


INGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups milk
2 egg, lightly beaten (i just used my egg substitute)
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 small handful of pitted black olives

1 sprinkling of dried oregano
1 sprinkling of sea salt & fresh ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and grease muffin and/ or donut pans.
2. Chop up olives, shred cheese and zucchini and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg.
4. Stir in the mozzarella, veggies and olives and let stand for approx. 10 mins.
5. Stir the batter and divide among the pans. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
6. let cool on a cookie rack before serving!

* i think using tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, other cheeses and whatever else you may find in your fridge, would create great  flavours for the pizza pops. 

* i did try a couple of pizza pops, with pasta sauce mixed into the dough, but they turned out really soft. a bowl of sauce for dipping might be the way to go, as suggested from the original recipe.

[ lion shed a few tears as he waited for the pizza pops to cool down. ]


a big hit with the boys and a perfect after school snack for my hungry cubs!

YUM!

xo, mama lola

butternut squash & ricotta pizza pie!

dear hubby has taken on the sunday dinner responsibility around here. since buying a bread maker from a friend a few months ago, he has started making his pizza dough in the maker. it’s easy for him, as long as he just has to plan it ahead of time.

this past weekend, dear hubby made a pizza that was one of the best he has ever made; a butternut squash and ricotta cheese delish pizza pie! i found the recipe on pinterest, but THIS is the site it’s originally from. the directions are so nicely and clearly spelt out there, tha i am not going to re-write them here. 
so, go check it out!


this time of year squash is bountiful, fresh and local for us, so we’ll be eating various foods made with it. in fact tonight for dinner for the kids, squash soup. dear hubby and i will skip the soup and go on a long over due date night!

happy friday everyone!

xo, mama lola

maple pumpkin oat muffins :: oh, my!

i came across this perfect fall, thanksgiving muffin recipe on pinterest. i’m not the biggest pumpkin flavour fan, but there was something about these muffins that made me want to try them. so, i did.

the recipe for the maple pumpkin oat muffins with maple glaze is directly from the hazel bloom.

yield: approx. 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

Maple Pumpkin Oat Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have butter milk, take one cup milk and mix in 1tbsp of lemon or white vinegar.)
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree – canned or homemade
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg (i used egg substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon-Maple Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, depending on your tastes
  • 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line 12 standard (1/3 cup) muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk just until the ingredients are well incorporated. Try not to overmix!
  6. Bake for about 22 – 25 minutes, until the top of the muffins spring back when poked and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.
luckily for me, i had some seriously cute help. lion was a wonderful mixer of ingredients!

 

i skipped the glaze part, as i thought the muffins were sweet enough and the sticky mess from the glaze was not something i wanted to to deal with.we all loved the muffins.
to all my canadian friends, go whip up a batch this weekend for thanksgiving this weekend! yum!

xo, mama lola

tomato n’ cheese sami’s.

these are the perfect sami’s for lunch on a cold, damp fall afternoon. 


all you need is bread of any kind, butter, cheese of any kind, tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh ground sea salt n’ pepper. i buttered each piece of bread first, layered some thinly sliced extra old cheddar cheese, then i placed the tomatoes  and tucked a big leaf of basil in. on top i put thick chunks of cheese (i found some left over havarti, which was yum).



preheated the oven at 350F, once it was hot enough, i baked the sami’s for about 10 minutes. obviously, this will vary for everyone depending on your oven, but it’s a fast, delish lunch.


i served them with ketchup and pickles, the kids loved ’em!

xo, mama lola

healthy quinoa patties for dinner!

i have been looking on pinterest for more interesting lunch ideas for bear. he loves wraps and sandwiches just fine, but they look pretty plain and no amount of avocado will jazz things up enough!

while pinning, i stumbled upon this recipe for quinoa patties from an aussie food blog, cook republic. yum! we have quinoa in the pantry and the kids love it, so i made them, just like that. i had to customize the recipe, removing the eggs and using ground flax seeds instead. i also added and removed ingredients according to our likes and supplies on hand.
:: INGREDIENTS ::
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
egg replacer : 2 table spoons of ground flax seed mixed with 6 table spoons of water to make paste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 handful of fresh spinach, chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sprinkling of sea salt & ground black pepper
olive oil to pan fry
:: INSTRUCTIONS ::
mix all ingredients in a bowl. heat olive oil in pan. take a spoonful of the quinoa mix and mould the patty in your palm. i found that if i made them slightly thicker initially, they flattened out better. i made my patties about 2cm’s high with a 5cm diameter. the patties are very fragile and can easily crumble, but if you fry them on a low heat and remain patient you can get good shapes.
i used red quinoa, the patties are not burnt.
quinoa patties, healthy dinner, vegetarian
quinoa recipe, patties, healthy dinner
we enjoyed our quinoa patties with a bowl of potato and leek soup, and a green salad. i made a quick sour cream dressing (sour cream, white vinegar, sea salt, sugar, fresh dill)l to dress up the patties, instead of having ketchup as suggested by cook republic.
next up, home made crescent rolls. i like the idea of the small snack, but hate to think of all the additives and chemicals used in the ready-made stuff in tube. and, if i make lots i can freeze ’em! and they can be jazzed up with various fruits and seeds, oh my!
what kinds of things do you make your kids for lunch? i’m looking forwardto the day i can send bear with a thermos of warm food in it.
xo, mama lola

layers of yummy.

don’t you just love smoothies? i’ve been on a bit of a smoothie kick as it’s a great breakfast boost for the kids and the perfect way to get that needed protein into them. especially now that bear is in JK all day! I’ve even gone out and purchased the Best Juicer I could find to create delicious glasses of goodness.

i check the fridge for various fruits bits, veggie chunks and other possible smoothie ingredients. i chuck what i can find into my container and blend away (i just use my immersion hand-held blender). i always make sure i put in flax oil, tofu, unsweetened organic almond milk and some kind of fruit. often i use banana’s, berries, or left over fruit salad chunks. sometimes, i’ll throw in a dollop of plain organic yoghurt or a splash of organic whole cow’s milk. when i was on my cleanse i was encouraged to make smoothies with spinach, so i now i put in big handfuls of the fresh organic green stuff. once i had no spinach so i threw in some kale. the spinach is tasteless when mixed in, but provides awesome nutrition. this smoothie pictured below also has ground flax seeds in it.


i don’t measure anything when making smoothies. i add until i like the colour, consistency or taste. i only use about a 1/4 cup of flax oil and one heaping table spoon of the ground flax seeds.

have fun! enjoy!

do you have favourite smoothie flavour?


xo, mama lola

what i see…

bear has started to express lots of interest in my computer lately. specifically, how to use it, how to type, but he loves to draw in paint! we’ve been doing art with the paint program for a few days now and he his picking up quickly how to use his finger to move the cursor, when to left click on things and he’s learning the letter placement on the key board at a shocking rate! it’s all a bit astounding to me, in fact. it appears as though he’ll be computer guy, just like his dad (and paternal grandparents) in a matter of years. 
i bet he’ll be programming his own games before he’s 10 years old or younger.

here are a few sweet pics i took, before i had to rush off to make dinner. pinaattilettuja, may i add! the last one is a bear original!


.  .  .  .  .  .  .



today we are hitting this amazing music festival with some friends! cannot wait! awesome line up, gord downie of the hip, mix master mike, sarah harmer and feist, just to name a few. it’ll be a day of wonderful music, wicked dance moves and i’m sure, epic melt downs!


xo, mama lola

baking (blueberry) peach ring things.

it’s that time of year again when fresh ontario peaches are in the markets. yum! today with the cooler temperatures i was inspired to get my baking groove on. so, we got busy and a little messy with baking THESE today, kinda. i got the idea from tiffanie over at cornerblog. i was too lazy to find the actual recipe as suggested from the joy of cooking, so i used a finnish crepe/ lettu dough instead, one that i have winged countless times from memory as i’ve been making lettuja for so long, recipe for them found HERE


i bought my donut pans at a local bulk store a while back and have been getting my ice makin’ groove on during these intense heat waves. lotsa lemons and blueberries! yum!

back to the baking…

lettu/ finnish crepe recipe

5 dl (2-3 cups) of milk
2 eggs (we used the boxed egg substitute)
2 dl (approx. 1 cup)flour
2 tbls (a dollop) butter or veg oil
2 tbls spoon sugar
1 sprinkling of salt

1-2 peaches (depending how big your slices are and how much you sample!)
and/ or as many blueberries as you think look yummy!

i filled each ring with the dough. then, i cut the peaches into fairly thing slices and placed 2-3 pieces into each ring. i had to do some pretty serious peach sampling, as they were screaming to be eaten. oh boy! i preheated the oven to 350F and once ready baked the ring things for about 20-30minutes. a slightly hotter oven would have been better, but this way they cooked pretty evenly. i will keep perfecting this recipe : it’s a keeper!


well, they are a humongous hit!
both of the the boys, yes lion included, have been sneaking up onto the counter to try and get more peach rings! 
silly boys!

it’s finally raining. i hope it rains all night. we have not had a decent rain fall in a very long time, not only is everyone’s grass yellow, but i wonder how all of the wild animals are faring. 

xo, mama lola
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