Monday, April 16, 2012

And the winners are.....

Congratulations to the two winners of a $10 Amazon gift certificate! 


Please email me at rebekahsfamilyfoodandfun (at) gmail (dot) com to send me your email addresses so I can send you the gift certificates!

Thanks to everyone for shouting out your birthday dessert ideas - I'll be sharing what I made soon. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Birthdays are for Giveaways!!

Tomorrow is my Birthday.

Somehow, birthdays just aren't as exciting as they used to be........anyone else relate to that?

I decided to make it a little more fun and have a giveaway.  I was planning on announcing it several days ago and actually drawing the winners on my birthday. 

Except I forgot about it until today.

Must be my old age.
(ha. I'm only turning 34 and I refuse to think of that as old.) 

Obviously there isn't much time for people to enter before I've decided to
draw the winners on Monday, April 16th at noon.  They'll be announced soon after that.

Nothing like extending the birthday fun!

Oh, I guess you want to know what the prize is.

I'm keeping it simple:

I will give away TWO $10 Amazon gift certificates (to 2 different people) that you can use towards whatever you want.  How's that?

To Enter:  Leave a comment -  Telling me what you would choose for your Birthday Dessert('Cause I've been deliberating mine for this year for awhile now and can't wait to make it!  It's a creation involving several recipes and it should be really over the top. )

If you don't eat dessert - just tell me your favorite birthday dessert as a kid. 

And if you didn't like dessert as a kid, I'm afraid we can't be friends. 

Just kidding.

Any sort of nice comment will do. 

One Entry per person. 

Good luck!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Resurrection Sunday/Easter 2012

We managed to get our crew out the door to church for breakfast and the early service on Sunday - it was the earliest we've ever gone anywhere all dressed up like that!  I think we left the house at 7:45.

Yep.  Definitely a new record.

It helped that we didn't have to cook breakfast.

Anyways, we had left church by 10:20 and decided on the spur of the moment to swing by our house and pick up the camera and tripod and head over to a nearby park to take a few photos.

Amazingly, we only took three shots before deciding we had done well; and this was the first one!

Here are a few more of our kiddos running around.

Ellia and Marissa




 Five little cuties!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Black Bean Brownies - Gluten Free

I've read about the "Black Bean Brownie" phenomenon around the web several times in the past few months.

Honestly, the first couple of times I read the recipes, I thought the people must be just plain nuts.

Who in the world would substitute beans for flour in a dessert?

Better yet, how could it be possible for the brownies not to taste like beans?

Who could possibly be fooled by such a thing?

Curiosity finally got the best of me after reading reports of how good black bean brownies are from so many sources, so I broke down and made some.  I did it during nap time, so none of the kids or the husband had a clue. 

When I served them up, I informed Grant that the brownies had no flour in them.  He was surprised and very skeptical. 
He took a small piece, said they were pretty good but not his favorite, and left it at that.  When I eventually told them what the secret ingredient was, he was nothing short of incredulous.
Could. Not. Believe. It.

"Knowing that makes them taste SO much better!  I feel like I'm getting healthier just by eating them!" he exclaimed.  He went on to eat a couple of large pieces.

Personally, I think they're great! 

No, they're not my favorite brownie (like this one or this one), mainly because the texture is kind of - for lack of a better word - feathery.  They almost melt in your mouth.  Not in a bad way, but I prefer brownies to be chewy. 

Other than that, they're really chocolaty, have absolutely no bean flavor at all, and except for the sugar content, are pretty much guilt-free.

I love having this recipe in my repertoire, for occasions when I want to make a dessert for someone who is gluten-free, and also for when we want a simple and delicious chocolate treat that isn't tremendously unhealthy. 

I'm told that if you add 1/3 cup flour to the recipe, the texture becomes more like traditional brownies - I may try that sometime.  Just to see.  But I really like them the way they are.

Recipe: (adapted from Life in a Shoe and Finding Joy in my Kitchen)

1 (15 oz) can black beans
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark)
3 eggs
3 T. oil (I used coconut)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (can try peanut butter chips, Andes baking bits, etc)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Drain beans in a colander and rinse very well.  Put beans in a blender with all other ingredients except chocolate chips and puree until completely smooth.
Pour into a greased 8 or 9" square baking pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Baked Chicken with Moni's House Tomato Vinaigrette

I was recently contacted by Moni's Natural Dressings and asked if I was interested in trying their sauces.
Well, yes, of course! 

They sent me three different kinds and we have had fun trying them out. 

This recipe features the Famous House Tomato and Oil Vinaigrette, which can be used just as a salad dressing or in a variety of different kinds of foods, from pasta salads to sloppy joes. 

I was in need of a quick and easy dinner and decided to slightly modify a recipe on their website. 

The result was so delicious! 

The dressing gave the chicken a zippy tang without being overwhelming, and it was so flavorful with the tomatoes and spices. 
We enjoyed it so much that we're having it for dinner again next week!  I love that with one bottle of dressing, I can make this entree twice, with some dressing left over!  

Thank you to Moni's for sending us their sauces!  While their products are used in many restaurants, you can also purchase them online or in various retail stores - check their website for locations.  


1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Moni's House Tomato Vinaigrette
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Cut the chicken into serving size pieces and place in a large ziplock bag.  Pour the dressing in and seal the bag well.  Make sure all the chicken is covered well and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, even all day. 
Preheat oven to 400°.
Remove chicken and sauce from the bag and place in a baking dish.
Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and then evenly distribute the cheese over the top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, (depends on how thick your chicken is), or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

I hadn't made baked oatmeal in quite awhile.

Corban usually complains about it; he prefers regular oatmeal.
Lately, my older two girls haven't been eating regular oatmeal well, either.
Despite it having loads of fruit and flavor, they were just tired of it and would barely take a bite, preferring to go hungry for the morning.
I refuse to give up eating oats....they're inexpensive and make delicious and healthy I just had to find another way to make them interesting.

Enter this recipe.

I think all of my kids not only asked for seconds, but thirds also.
It really is that good.

It was so chock full of apples and cranberries, it almost seemed like an apple crisp that you would serve for dessert.
With a dollop of vanilla yogurt on top, it made a terrific breakfast that we all enjoyed.
Hurrah for the return of the oats!

Recipe: adapted from Finding Joy In My Kitchen

3 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, optional
1/2 cup applesauce
2 apples, chopped
1/2-1 cup dried cranberries
Cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling, optional
Chopped nuts, optional (I sprinkled some chopped pecans on mine and loved it!)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the oats, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.  Add in honey, egg, milk, oil and applesauce and stir to combine.  Fold in apples and cranberries.

Spread in a lightly greased 13 x 9" baking pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and nuts if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and center is set.
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