Category Archives: cooking

Dwight Schrute and Fellow Beet Lovers.

Dwight Schrute. Fellow beet lover.

Dwight Schrute. Fellow beet lover.

I love beets. Love them. Roasted in a little olive oil and they taste like candy. Seriously. I had spinach, beet and mushroom salad for lunch today. Heavy on the beets. I made a dish with beets and goat cheese when Dane visited last summer. He and Don freaked out but promised they’d try it. There weren’t any leftovers. They became beet loving converts.

We are having dinner at a friends house this evening and I said I’d bring the dessert. Secret Chocolate Cake. One guess on what the secret is…

2 cups beets cooked, peeled and chopped (I cheated and used canned beets. I have something else in store for the fresh ones in our fridge).
1/2 cup applesauce (we used the unsweeted kind. Mott’s #2 ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. yummy).
Puree’ in blender until smooth. Set aside

1 1/2 cups suger
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
(which I started to make in our crock-pot because I’m awesome)
3 eggs
Combine in a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer 2 minutes.

1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 t vanilla

Add along with the pureed beets; beat another 90 seconds.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t sale
1 t cinnamon
Gradually sift into the batter, mixing it in with a spoon but stirring only until blended.

1/2 c chocolate chips and/or nuts (chopped)
Stir in. Pour into greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350F until knife inserted in center comes out clean (40-50 min). To bake in a bundt pan, pour half of batter into the greased pan, sprinkle choc chips evenly on top, then add remaining to batter.

Summer variation: Substitue 2-3 Cups shredded raw zucchini or summer squash for the cooked, pureed beets. Use cinnamon and add 1/2 t allspice.

From the cookbook Simply in Season: a world community cookbook. This cake is good plain, but I’d image would be good frosted (or served in bowls with applesauce).

Note: I am not delusional. I realize that just because this contains whole wheat and my beloved beets, it is not health food. It’s dessert. Also, I am not advocating the “hide your kid’s vegetables” craze (i.e. Sneaky Chef,  Deceptively Delicious). I think this is  a ludicrous trend. Kids should learn to eat, and love, vegetables. Not vegetables parading as chocolate cake.

However, chocolate cake with beta carotene…and folate…and vitamin C …and, you get the idea….is not a bad thing.



Filed under cooking

Oatmeal is so underrated.

Owen starts every morning with a bowl of oatmeal. We started using steel cut oats instead of the instant stuff. They taste better and are better for you. The down side is they take 20-30 minutes to make. Every Monday I make a big patch and then just reheat in the morning (who has 30 min to make breakfast… with a toddler. I’m not crazy). It’s worth the wait, no matter how you do it. These are Owen’s favorites. 

Oatmeal a la Owen
Owen loves raisins more than anything else on Earth. No. That’s wrong. Baseball is first. Raisins are a close second. Mom and Dad? Distant third. 

steel cut oats
unsweetened applesauce
dash of cinnamon
1 splenda packet 

Add applesauce to cooked oatmeal (cools it off). Put raisins in small dish. Add water. Microwave until plump (20 sec). Stir in cinnamon and splenda. mmmm….

Owen’s Fancy Smancy Oatmeal
Pumpkin adds fiber. This is my personal favorite. 

steel cut oats
3 T canned pure pumpkin
1 T maple syrup
1/4 t cinnamon

Cook/reheat oats. Stir in remaining ingredients. Enjoy.  

Earlier this week Owen helped bake some oatmeal cookies. I measured, he poured and stirred (with a little help). They aren’t a healthy snack by any stretch of the imagination, but we had fun and they turned out pretty darn good.  

oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal Fruit Cookies

12 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 T molasses or honey 

In a large bowl cream together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, craping bowl frequently.

1 egg
2 t vanilla

Beat in.

2 1/2 c rolled oats (regular ‘ol instant stuff)
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 – 1 1/2 cups diced dried fruits: cherries, blueberries, apricots, raisins, cranberries, currants
1 cup grated coconuts or nuts (chopped)
1 t baking soda

Combine separately. Add dry mixture to the creamed mixture in about 3 additions, stirring just until thoroughly mixed. Add a little extra flour if mixture seems too wet. Drop by rounded teaspoons on greased baking sheets.


For chewy cookies: Bake in preheated oven at 325F until just set, 18-20 minutes. Immediately remove from pans and place directly onto clean countertop or table surface. As soon as cookies are cool put into air-tight containers.

For crisp cookies: Bake in preheated over at 375F until centers spring back, 11-13 min. Watch carefully to avoid burning.


Filed under cooking

Taco Night

We postponed taco night for Monday since we were baby sitting Kai yesterday. We ordered in instead. What five-year-old doesn’t like pizza?

The last month or so we have made vegetarian tacos. Although this taco filling has meat we included rice in the recipe so we wouldn’t over do it. 

In large frying pan, saute’ until onion are clear and meat is browned.
1 lb. ground turkey
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
1 carrot  

Add and saute’ until garlic is cooked Add liquid if needed so that it can stew a little, allowing the flavors to blend.
3 cloves garlic
1 T fresh cilantro
1T fresh parsley
2 t chili powder
2 t lime juice
1 t cumin
1/2 salt
dash chipotle pepper

Add 3/4 cup rice and stir well. Fill taco shells or tortillas. And what taco would be complete without avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, and salsa?  

Serves 4

And this is me being a terrible influence on Owen and Kai Sunday.




Leave a comment

Filed under cooking