Apple Oatmeal Muffins

– johanna | May 4th, 2008

Filed under: BUDGET MEALS, RECIPES - Breads, RECIPES - Snacks

These are a great family treat. The kids go nuts over them. I am glad, because they are healthy, as well as really tasty. They are perfect for breakfast, on the go, or as a snack. Or, if you are desperate for something sweet, try them warm with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and a dollop of whip cream.

1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup non-fat milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce (with cinnamon or unsweetened)

2 eggs (for a healthier option use the whites only)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
2 tsp. sugar, divided
½ cup each raisins or nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.

Ground the oatmeal with the flour in a food processor. Combine milk, applesauce and eggs. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl whisk or sift the flour, sugar, salt, soda, powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp sugar, raisins and nuts.

Fold wet ingredients into dry, and mix until just combined. Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will be tough. You should still see small ribbons of flour. Spoon into the muffin pan. Combine 1 tsp cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle on top of each muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. Remove from pan to cool.

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– johanna | April 27th, 2008


Making messes is what kids do best. As a parent, sometimes the last thing you need is another mess to clean up. Yet, we know hands-on activities, such as cooking, helping with the chores, painting, playing with play dough, and coloring, are important to a child’s cognitive and imaginative development. In addition, such activities are great for making memories.

Kids want to be like their parents; therefore, they love to mimic us pushing a lawn mower or cooking in the kitchen. Certainly there are some things little kids cannot help us with until they are older, but allowing them to help sweep, even though they leave a trail behind, empowers them and it creates a memory.

Those memories can be good ones or they can be bad ones. Water spilt, while helping you do the dishes, can be cleaned up. Flour all over you, the dog, and the house can be cleaned up. Give them a well of memories they can look back on. Say to yourself, “This is not a mess; it is a memory.”

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Roasted Salmon with Lemon Slices

– johanna | April 27th, 2008

Filed under: RECIPES - Main Dish

Roasted Salmon with Lemon Slices

Growing up, we never had salmon at our house. So, I never knew the fish existed until I attended a family reunion when I was a teenager. I had an Uncle who brought salmon he caught in Alaska. I have tried salmon prepared a variety of ways, but it was not until four years ago when a friend brought some over that I fell in love. It was like eating dessert. The flavors were so rich and decadent. You do not need to do much to cook perfect salmon. Just a few ingredients to enhance the flavor and do not over cook it.

4 Salmon fillets
4 tbsp butter, melted
Dill weed, 1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
1-2 Lemons, sliced

This can be cooked on stove top or baked in the oven. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking dish with tin foil, making sure to have enough foil to fold over to seal. Cover the bottom of the dish with the lemon slices. Pour the melted butter over lemons. Season salmon with dill, garlic, salt and pepper. Place salmon fillets on top of the lemon slices. Seal the foil shut. Cook for 15-25 minutes or until opaque.

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– johanna | April 24th, 2008

Filed under: NUTRITION


Eating a serving of vegetables or fruit from each color group is one way to get the nutrients and fiber your body craves. You can buy them frozen, canned, fresh, or dried.

RED: red apples, red grapes, raspberries, cherries, watermelon, cranberries, strawberries, pomegranates, pink or red grapefruit, rhubard, radishes, tomatoes, red peppers, radicchio, beets and red onions.

ORANGE and YELLOW: Carrots, pumpkin, yellow and orange peppers, corn, yellow tomatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes, peaches, nectarines, cumquats, starfruit, apples, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, mangoes, pineapple and lemons.

GREEN: Dark leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, red tip lettuce, green leaf lettuce, swiss chard, kale, bok choy, spinach, and arugula. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snap peas, edamame, zucchini, green onions, celery, asparagus, artichokes, parsnips, leeks, cucumber, collard greens, okra, green apples, limes, green grapes, kiwi fruit, honeydew melon, pears and avocado.

BLUE AND PURPLE: eggplant, purple cabbage, olives, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, plums, purple grapes, boysenberries, dates, figs.

WHITE: bananas, white nectarines, white peaches, jicama, palm, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, shallots, onions, white corn, water chestnuts and potatoes.

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GARDEN (gÃr-dÉn)

– johanna | April 16th, 2008

Filed under: THE GARDEN

A garden is a great way to spend time as a family. There is a surreal satisfaction watching little seedlings grow and sprout into magnificent vegetation. Gardens can be anything you want to make them. You can build a raised garden or simply use pots or barrels. You do not need a large plot of land to have a productive garden. In fact, even if you live in an apartment building you can grow a garden. Gardens can also be incorporated into the existing landscape. Try using strawberry plants as a border.

When to plant what:

January: Onions, potatoes, spinach

February: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, radishes, onions, peas, potatoes, spinach

March: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, watermelons, muskmelons, peas, potatoes, spinach, cucumbers, radishes, beans, lettuce, corn, tomatoes

April: carrots, radishes, spinach, beans, corn, cucumbers, watermelons, muskmelons, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes

May: Beans, peppers, corn, cucumbers, muskmelons, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, watermelons

June: Beans, corn, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, muskmelons, peppers, summer squash, winter squash

July: Celery, beans, corn, summer squash, tomatoes

August: Broccoli, celery, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beans, lettuce, peas, radishes

September: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach

October: Onions, peas, radishes, spinach

November: Peas, spinach

December: Onions, potatoes, spinach

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