Category Archives: Home Cooked

The Food Babe Raw Cacao Candy Crunch

20190516_1351201626429915.jpgWoW! Craving something sweet but you’re careful about not eating processed sugar? Try the Food Babe’s candied almonds… or any nut or mix of nuts you may choose. I made mine with half almonds and half pecans. Want a slightly sweeter snack? Add one to two tablespoons of coconut. Because of Ray’s strong sensitivity to GMO products, we always choose organic everything… except that our pecans (from Trader Joe’s) do not specify that they are organic, just that they are raw. The Food Babe uses raw cacao nibs, Trader Joe’s only had toasted nibs ($1.99). We stopped at The Everett Food Co-op for a few groceries and I saw raw cacao nibs while we were there but they cost $10.99. Maybe next payday.

The Food Babe Raw Cacao Candy Crunch

  • 2 Tbs (tablespoons) coconut sugar
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1/4 tsp (teaspoon) sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almonds (or any nut you like)
  • 2 Tbs raw cacao nibs

Put coconut sugar, water, sea salt, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium skillet (I used a 2 qt sauce pan) set on a medium low heat. Stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.

Stir in the nuts, keep stirring 5 to 7 minutes to coat the nuts with the thickening coconut sugar syrup.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cacao nibs.

Pour the nuts on a sheet of parchment paper, spread out on a single layer and allow them to cool completely (if you can) before breaking them into pieces. Store airtight.

Original post here 

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Debs on a cool, wet day in Everett, Washington

All I can say is, “mmmmmmmmm’

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2018 Taste of Christmas Cookies.

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All our family and friends celebrate Christmas and are kind enough to include Ray and I. All year long I gather the elements that will come together to make Christmas Cookie boxes to give to them because I love them so!

20171207_1200051949650033.jpgI have a crazy amount of cookie recipes in my file. Narrowing them down is a chore. There will be Russian Tea Cakes, Date Dream Bars and Rum Balls from Rays mother’s collection. Thumbprints from Aunt Cindy (love those!) and Chitty Cookies from Aunt Sherri. That already seems like a lot of cookies. But I’ll do more.

I’m looking for flavors that remind me of Christmas. This is what I do.

  • img_20171204_191032_729554822292.jpgginger in Gingerbread Biscotti
  • mint in Triple Layer brownies
  • orange in Chocolate-Orange biscotti
  • cranberry in Holiday Biscotti
  • lemon in Lemon Bars.
  • Nutmeg in Sugar and Spice Cookies
  • eggnog in Eggnog cookies

Besides all those, there are some I make just because I’m on a roll. The trick is to give them all away before I start wondering how the are with a cuppa jo.

Happy Holidays

img_20171201_062833_7461141292996.jpgDebs in Everett, Washington

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Baked German Pancakes

German Pancake

First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F

Then, stir together:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbs melted butter or oil
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Finally, stir in without over-mixing:

  • 1/2 cup flour

Butter a pie pan or cast iron skillet with 1 Tbs butter.

Pour the batter into the buttered pan, bake the pancake 12 to 18 minutes (mine took the whole 18 minutes.

Top with seasonal fruit and powdered sugar. Serve with syrup or honey on the side.


For most of my adult life I have seen recipes for German Pancakes but never tried them. Nanny Ash changed my mind. I watched her and one of the quads make a pan of German Pancakes on The Gardner Quad Squad (September 15, 2018) BAM! I had to search for directions! Score!

German Oven Pancake from The RECIPE CRITIC.

Yum! I am going to need a whole lot more practice! What do you suggest?

Debs …on a brisk September morning in Everett, WA (Happy birthday Mom!)

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Road Food

Sending my love with our traveling family

RoadFood 5
Jason is taking his family for a long, hot road trip, across the state (Washington). The girls and 4 dogs (3 of them are really big dogs) in a small car. Ray and I wanted to send road food and something for the girls, to make the trip slightly easier. I’m sure their electronic devices will entertain them and the AC will keep them comfortable, but we really wanted to send our love with this family that shows us their love all year long.

  • RoadFood 3 We made our personal road-food favorites.
  • Summer Heat Chex Mix

We make ours with all organic ingredients including the cereals, kettle chips, raisins, pumpkin seeds and peanuts baked with Indian spices, cayenne pepper and butter. This mix is sort of like the traditional Nutz -n- boltz that Ray’s mom always made for Christmas, but with a summer time taste.

RoadFood 4 Dirty Gourmet Granola

Simple and just sweet enough, this road food has staying power. Made with traditional (organic) ingredients, the thick-cut oatmeal and nuts are filling, while honey, coconut ribbons, and black sesame seeds give a sweetness that keeps us away from the donut shop.

Both of these recipes are from our new favorite camp food cook book, “The Dirty Gourmet”

RoadFood 2 SnackleBoxes

This great idea was all over You Tube. A dollar store tackle box is filled with a variety of sweet and salty snacks. In my home town of Everett, Washington, the Trader Joe’s is right next door to a dollar store. We snagged cheese goldfish, chocolate chip Annie’s Bunnies, TJ’s jellybeans, Airheads, Sourpatch, chocolate covered grahams, white chocolate pretzels, some kind of TJ’s gummy things, and TJ’s corn-nuts. It looks like a lot, but we could have filled 5 more boxes with the extras… or we might have. We only bought snacks we like.

RoadFood 1Are We There Yet” bags

Do you know how difficult it is to find old-fashioned make-up bags? They seemed like a good idea for the extras we packed. I know we will be looking for smaller coloring books for next time. The regular size books did not fit into the bags we finally found. Into these bags we tucked tissues, wet wipes, a pen, crayons, note pads (the old fashioned paper type), paper doll stickers, a few more snacks and those little plastic write-on things (wish I knew what they are called) for tic-tac-toe and hangman. It has been forever since I’ve been in a dollar store. They have great ideas for stuffing these bags.

Have a great time my loves! Honestly, I hope you have more pool time then color book time!

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The quest for camp pizza

We have a 4th of July tradition, Dutch Oven Pizza. It began in the summer of 2015 when we could not afford to turn the key in our vehicle knowing that we could not afford to refill the tank. Determined to not feel depressed or to go on government assistance, we had an awesome year. Summer was the best. That was when we began The great Dutch Oven Pizza Cook Off. That was when I first discovered overnight Pizza Dough. It occurred to us that this would be perfect for camp pizza. Not that there is anything wrong with Trader Joe’s pizza dough. It is inexpensive and quite good. But a family of pizza makers ought to be able to make their own pizza dough.

I’ve lost the recipe we originally used (the guy is famous for having Labradors, I think he lives in Connecticut and has built an outdoor pizza oven from stacked bricks and cement stones) Here is a recipe that comes close…. more to follow.

Overnight Refrigerator Pizza Dough from One Lovely Life

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Hello March!

Forget the lion and the lamb… March is the month when I need to make my final decision on what tomatoes I am going to plant and which tomatoes I am going to put back into the drawer. I am amazed at how difficult the decision is. I chose them all and love each them for different reasons.

March 1
After weeks of February snow and rain, even hail and wind that never quite blew the gray clouds away, March 2018 begins with the blue sky my soul has been longing for. Suddenly there are buds swelling in the trees.

Lettuce 2 March 1 The last week of February has been all about starting a tray of lettuce. I had to run down town to the Natural Foods Co-op to get packets of seeds that I did not realize I was out of, but as of today, Thursday, March 1st 2018, I have a full tray of lettuce. Of course it still looks like I have a tray full of dirt, but never mind. Soon enough I’ll be stressing over who will be thinned out and who gets to go on to the next stage of salad garden.

Lettuce 3 March 1 I was seduced! So we went to the Food Co-op to pick up two packages of seeds. There I was, minding my own business when I spotted the organic plant starts on a rack in front of the co-op that had not been there the day before. First it was the lavender violas that will look pretty in my morning yogurt or on my salad. Then I spotted the little tray of organic spicy mesclun mix! It nearly sprang into my hands while I was telling Ray about the small planter with red-leaf mustard that needed some friends. I’m telling you, I was as surprised as Ray when the little box of greens found its way to the check stand. <grin>

Mark 16 March 1 Tonight I’ll celebrate the  1st of March with a Tomato Soup spiced with Cognac… or at least Apple Jack. A small salad for me and baked Macaroni and Cheese for my men-folk and we will call it dinner. Maybe a glass of screw-top wine while I make my preliminary choice of tomato seeds to plant. Life is good…. and is brightened up by eleven full hours of day light from sunrise to sun set. It’s crazy how sunshine on my face energizes me.

Debs in Everett, Washington, starting the book of Luke in the morning!

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Day 13; Fava Beans

The last of the Celebrating 10 Hours of Day Light…. Maybe we should uncork a nice Chianti! 

Fava Beans
It doesn’t matter if they are golden-brown or black when they sink into the soil, they all harvest green for fresh eating. I’ve heard of fava beans (a.k.a. broad beans) but it wasn’t until we moved to Everett that I tried them. I was actually looking for different sources of vegetarian protein that moved me to even consider the beans made famous by Silence of the Lambs. It turns out that an Italian TV Chef named Lydia that got me excited about Favas. Success!

Fava 1 February 23 Spoiler alert… this is the first time I’ve planted Fava beans by starting them in the greenhouse. Usually we celebrate Halloween by planting garlic and Fava beans for the next season. My Halloween Favas are doing great, but I have fava beans from a local farm that I want to get into the ground. There were only 15 break-away cells left, so there are only 15 seeds planted. They will most likely be planted by the front fence near the wild rose vine. Sadly the dear love to browse our front garden. They will be at risk, but any beans that come to harvest will not be crossed with the broad Windsor growing in the back 40.

Fava 2 February 23 All of my really kewl greenhouse tools were discovered on Sean’s Allotment. He used them to start Fava beans one season. That year we still had a good income, and soon they found their way from England to Everett. They are probably more fun then practical.

In the background of this picture are the “No More Radiation Sweet peas” which are happy for now. I’m hoping the same for these Frog Island Fava beans. I’ll let you know how it went when they are ready.

Fava Journel February 23 How to spring plant Fava Beans

  1. Watch for Crocus’ to bloom. That is when you should plant Fava Beans.
  2. If the ground is frozen or muddy, plant them in tall break-away pots or toilet paper cores.
  3. Plant seam side down.
  4. Plant two times as deep as the width of the seed.

You can eat favas at any stage, green skinny beans or full size beans. Mark 12 February 23

That’s it! Don’t be afraid. I’ll add a garden to table video I made the first year I grew favas. Hope you try them.

Debs in Everett, Washington were it is a another dull, gray, western Washington day.

Warming things up on the weekdays with #NTin2018 on Instagram. I am on my last week of the Gospel of Mark, see ya there!

 

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