In the Kitchen

Here I will share with you some of our family's favorite recipes, as I have time to add them.  I hope you enjoy them and that they will inspire you to re-think your kitchen's capabilities!

Granola Bars

Mix in large bowl:
2 2/3 c rolled oats
2 c Rice Crispies
2/3 c Pamela’s baking mix (or your choice of flour)
½ - ¾ c crushed Honey Nut Chex
½ - ¾ c chopped raw cashews
½ - ¾ c chopped raw almonds
½ c ground flax seeds
½ t baking soda

Combine in small sauce pan over medium heat:
2/3 c unsalted butter (or combine butter and peanut butter to total 2/3 c)
½ c honey
¼ c brown sugar
2 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla

Once the syrup mixture is thoroughly combined, pour it over the oat mix.  Stir/fold gently until entire mixture is wet.  

Add in and mix:
¼ - 1/3 c semisweet chocolate chips
¼ - 1/3 c white chocolate chips

Pour into a 9 x 13 pan lined with parchment paper.  Pat firmly into pan.   
Bake at 325 degrees for 18 – 22 minutes, or until lightly golden.   
Let it cool for 15 minutes, then cut.  Let cool COMPLETELY before removing from pan.


Lentil & Sausage Soup
Olive oil
1 package mild Italian sausage links (brat-sized, uncooked)
2c yellow onion
½ - 1 c carrots, finely diced
½ - 1 c celery, finely diced
1 T garlic, minced
2 quarts chicken broth
1 lb lentils, picked and rinsed
1 t cumin
½ t thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
1 – 2 T balsamic vinegar

Lightly oil bottom of large stockpot or Dutch oven.  Brown sausage links on all sides over med-high heat.  Add veggies and ¼ c of the broth, cooking till veggies are translucent, about 5 – 10 minutes.  Add remaining broth, lentils, cumin and thyme, stirring to combine.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to simmer for 1 hour.  Remove sausages to a plate or cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.  Add salt, pepper and balsamic to soup.  Let simmer another 10 minutes.  Blend with stick blender to desired consistency.  Serve soup in bowls with sausage slices on top.
Goes great with fresh, warm corn-bread.

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancakes
That Don't Taste Gluten-Free

Mix in medium bowl and set aside:
2 c  rice flour
2 c  warm water

Mix in large bowl:
6 T  tapioca flour
2/3 c  potato starch
8 T  dry buttermilk powder
1½ T  sugar
3 t  baking powder
1 t  baking soda
1 t  salt
1 t  xanthan gum
½ c  Lecithin granules (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)

Mix in small bowl, then add to rice flour and water mixture:
4  eggs
6 T  canola oil
1 c  water
2 t  vanilla

Add all liquids to dry goods.  Mix until smooth.  Cook on medium-hot griddle. 

Optional add-ins, gently stir in immediately before cooking, or sprinkle on top of batter once poured on griddle:
½ c to 1 c ground walnuts
½ c to 1 c blueberries

With Easter coming up this week, I thought I would share one of our traditions we started years ago.  It is geared towards small children, but could be used for any age.  These "cookies" aren't the tastiest, I must warn you.  But the hands-on, visual learning that connects your little ones to the story of Christ's death and resurrection is priceless.  My kids started asking me about these cookies a couple months ago...they cannot wait to do it!  Be sure you have your Bible ready to read the corresponding scriptures.  This is a very powerful way to share the Gospel with your children.

Easter Story Cookies

1 cup pecan halves                 3 egg whites    
1 cup white sugar                   1 t distilled white vinegar     
1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.

Read John 19:1-3

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.

Read Luke 23:27

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  Explain that on the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.

Read Matthew 28:1-9

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.

Read John 10:10-11
Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.  Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.

Read John 19:28-30
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.

Read Matthew 27:65-66
Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.

Read Matthew 27:57-60
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.

Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.  Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know and belong to Him.

Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16

Go to bed.  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.

Read John 16:20 and 22