Lydia's Nest · Recipes

Hulk Muffins

Hey all! I have a yummy recipe to share with you.

I’ve been making these muffins regularly for breakfast lately. I’ve been noticing that Deacon eats the most at breakfast – even if he’s having an ornery day and doesn’t want to eat much lunch or dinner, he ALWAYS finishes his breakfast. This has put me on a mission to find more healthy, nutritious breakfasts. Our go to’s are easy things like toast and fruit, and I wanted to expand our repertoire and get some good stuff in him while I have the chance. These are perfect! They have lots of spinach, without a ton of sugar. They are super yummy too- they taste like banana bread (and not at all like spinach!)

A couple of notes, you can be relatively flexible with this recipe. The recipe includes what I find works/tastes the best for us, but you could certainly change it out to your preferences, like dairy milk instead of almond milk (you might need to add vanilla), a different sweetener, or vegetable oil instead of butter. Also, they freeze really well. The recipe makes two dozen so we eat some fresh and then I pop the rest in the freezer for later. A minute or two in the microwave, and they are ready to go! I don’t know for sure how long they would last in the freezer – probably a couple of months, but we’ve always eaten them within a couple weeks. Lastly, the riper the bananas the better. If we have bananas that get too brown to eat, I peel and freeze them until I make these muffins. Just let them thaw on the counter for a bit before using.

I love these muffins because they are super easy to throw together in the morning. First, combine the dry ingredients.

Then, put all the wet ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour the puree into the dry bowl and gently stir to combine.

Spoon into muffin tins, and bake!

I think Deacon likes these.

Hulk Muffins

Makes 2 dozen. Prep time: 20 min, Bake time: 20-25 min

Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 4 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Wet:

  • 2 cups spinach (packed)
  • 1 ½ cups vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cups applesauce
  • 3 large bananas
  • ½ cups butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed (optional, but I love the nutrient boost it adds)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray or line muffin pans.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Place all wet ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour puree into dry bowl, and gently stir until just combined.
  5. Spoon into muffin tins, and bake for 20-25 minutes until firm but not browning.
  6. Serve warm or cold
Gail's Nest · Recipes · Uncategorized

Making Your Own Relish

I’m an avid gardener and the garden is abounding in peppers and cucumbers. So, what do you do with all that produce that you can’t possibly eat? You make relish, of course.

Here’s a great simple recipe:

  • 5 cups finely chopped unpeeled pickling cucumbers
  • 2 cups finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped peeled onion
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1 3/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds

Place all the vegetables and the salt in a stainless steel bowl to mix and then let rest for about 4 hours.

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Place your glass jars into the dishwasher and time it so they will be clean and hot right before you’re ready to put the relish into them.

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Place the vegetables into a colander and drain out the liquid. Use your hands to squeeze out extra liquid. Next, place the vegetables into a pot along with the sugar, mustard seeds. celery seeds, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, cover,  and let simmer for 10 minutes. While that’s boiling get your canning water boiling.

Place the vegetable mix into hot jars. Be sure to dunk the lids and rims into boiling water to sterilize as well, and then place the lids on to the jars. Place the jars into the canning water (which should be at a rolling boil). It will cool a little after you lower the jars. Let it get back to boiling and then let them boil for about 10 minutes.

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Take them out carefully and let cool. Listen for the “pop” that indicates the lid has sealed, Later, test the lid by pressing the center to make sure it’s sealed. It shouldn’t give. If it didn’t seal properly, you can try boiling it in the canning water again, or putting it in the fridge to use up right away.

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Try your relish on hot dogs and sausages! Yum!

Blessings!

-Gail

 

Family Activities · Gail's Nest · Recipes

Make Your Own Bath Bombs

There’s nothing quite like a luxurious bath with candles and dim lights that helps you feel relaxed at the end of a busy day. Here is a recipe to make your own bath bombs, guaranteed to give you a little fizz, and an aroma that carries you off to a faraway place.

Start with a few inexpensive ingredients:

 

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The list includes Epsom salt, coconut oil, baking soda, citric acid, food coloring, and an essential oil of your choice.

First, put the dry ingredients together:

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup citric acid

1/2 cup Epsom salt.

Next, mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl:

1 teaspoon water

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon essential oil (you an always add more if it’s not strong enough)

Enough drops of food coloring to get the hue of your choice.

Now, drop a small amount of the wet into a small section of the dry and mix with your fingers until it’s the consistency of wet sand. Continue adding wet into the dry in this slow and careful way. You don’t want to activate the citric acid but if you mix slowly and carefully you’ll end up with a nice lump can easily be compacted into a mold.

Once you’ve packed it into the mold, let it sit for several minutes. It should pop right out. Leave out for 24 hours and then wrap in some cellophane until you’re ready to use. These make great gifts!

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Ready for my next bath!
Gail's Nest · Recipes

3-2-1 Mug Cake

How about a super simple dessert the kids can make themselves?321-mug-cake

Mix a box of angel food cake mix and also a box of a cake mix of your choice (the above was made from Duncan Hines Deluxe chocolate cake). 321-mugcake2Store the mix in a sealed container. Now comes the fun part. Just remember 3-2-1.

3 – Tablespoons of mix in a mug.

2 – Tablespoons of water. Stir thoroughly.

1 – minute in the microwave.

Add a scoop of ice cream or chocolate sauce and you have a yummy single dessert.

Blessings! — Gail

 

 

Lydia's Nest · Recipes

The Best Ever Chicken Noodle Soup

Today is Election Day. Not just any election day either, but a presidential election that could drastically change America. No matter how you slice it, no matter who you are voting for, that is a pretty scary thought. A the beginning of the year, I couldn’t wait for today. It will all be over, I thought. But now the day is here and I admit I’m still scared. Whatever the results bring, a lot of people will be upset. I might even be pretty upset. But I can only worry about it so much.

In fact, I’m not supposed to worry about it at all.

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matt. 6:34)

I’ve done all I can. I have cast my vote, and I have prayed.

So, it is time to do what I can: spend time at the stove, nourishing those I love. Praying for our country while peeling carrots and sautéing onions. Distracting myself with the heavenly smell of roasting garlic.


I’m stepping away from the internet for just a bit, to make this Chicken Noodle Soup.
Step 1. Preheat your oven to 375, and place a pound of chicken in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Chop off the top of a head of garlic to expose the cloves, and nestle in the baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the garlic, and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning at about 10 minutes.


Step 2. While the chicken is roasting, chop up some onions, carrots, and peppers. I prefer bell peppers in my chicken soup, rather than the traditional celery. I just like the taste better. If you’re a celery person though, you do you! Once everything is chopped and prepped, sauté the onions and carrots in a big soup pot on the stove. If someone in my house is sick, I have also been known to mince up another few cloves of garlic and sauté them with the onion.


Step 3. Once the onion and carrot are nice and soft, add the bell peppers and cook for a minute or so until they are soft too. Then, throw in the broth. You need about 8 cups of liquid. Sometimes I have homemade bone broth on hand, but that can be kind of bland as a soup base so if I use that I will do four cups of that and four cups of water with a boullion soup base. Also add some thyme, oregano, and a bay leaf, to further flavor the broth. Bring to a boil.


Step 4. When the chicken is cooked through, pull it out and let it rest and cool. Take the head of garlic and squeeze the cloves out and add them to the soup (be careful not to get any garlic paper in the soup!). Chop up the chicken into bite size pieces and throw them in too.

Step 5. When the soup returns to a boil, add the noodles. You can use pretty much any noodle that you you have on hand, i like smaller noodles like rotini. Be careful though – it is really easy to add too many noodles! You really only need a cup or two of the dry pasta. If you expect to have leftovers, its not a bad idea to cook the noodles separately and add them into each indivdual bowl so they don’t get soggy.

Step 6. When the noodles are cooked, its time for the secret ingredients that really make this soup killer. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon, and add two teaspoons of dill. Taste it to see if it needs anything else, then stir and serve!


I hope this is as comforting to you this election season as it is for me.

Best Ever Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chicken (breasts, tenderloins, or thighs)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano, divided
  • A dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 8 c broth (if using bouillon soup base, cut half with water)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 c pasta
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dill

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken in a glass baking pan, and drizzle with 1 1/2. Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp of oregano, salt and pepper. Chop off the top of the head of garlic and place in baking pan. Drizzle 1/2 tbsp olive oil onto the garlic, and roast the pan for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Flip chicken at around the 10 minute mark.
  2. While chicken is roasting, peel and dice carrots, and dice peppers and onion. In remaining olive oil, sauté onion and carrots in a heavy-bottomed soup pot until fork tender. Add peppers and sauté for a minute to soften, then add broth, thyme, 1/2 tsp oregano, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  3. Chop chicken into bite size pieces, and add to pot. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of the head and into pot.
  4. When soup begins to boil, add pasta.
  5. When pasta is cooked, remove from heat and add lemon juice and dill. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, and serve immediately.

Love, Lydia