Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Something Sweet for Your Valentine February 9, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 8:24 PM
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I’ve tried out several new recipes lately with great success, but the one I wanted to share today would be a perfect special treat for the Valentines in your life.  These take some watching, but the work isn’t hard, and the payoff is delicious.  Also, these use basic ingredients and can be tweaked in an infinite number of ways.

The official name for these is Brigadeiros, but what they are is Brazilian Fudge Truffles.  I only made half the recipe, but I still got 2 dozen truffles.  These yield a very chocolatey, slightly chewy truffle that can be flavored or coated with whatever you like.  I coated half of mine with graham cracker crumbs and half with coconut.

Brazilian Fudge Truffles (from 17 and Baking)

2 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk

1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. cocoa

2 tbsp. softened butter

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly til the mix comes together into a thick batter, 10-15 minutes.  When you tilt the pan, the mix shouldn’t stick to the bottom, but should slide like a dough.  Cook another minute or so.
  2. Pour the mix into a bowl (or several, if you’re doing multiple flavors) and add any desired flavorings.  Let cool to room temp.  (Mine was a bit soft to work with at room temp.  Next time I’d put them in the fridge til they get just a bit chilled.)
  3. With a small scoop, scoop out portions of dough and use lightly greased hands to roll into a ball.  Roll in any desired toppings and return to the fridge.

Brazilian Fudge TrufflesBrazilian Fudge Truffles 2Brazilian Fudge Truffles 3  Mine were pretty soft at room temp, so they got a little squished as they sat.

Are you making something special for your Valentine this year?  I’ve got a special dinner already planned for me and my hubby!

 

Pumpkin Palooza February 5, 2016

I know it’s getting a little late in the season for pumpkin, but I figured I’d give it one last hurrah.  Also, apologies on the late post this week; things have just been very busy.  I actually made both of these recipes on the same day because together they use up a whole can of pumpkin.  (Don’t you hate having to figure out what to do with just a little extra pumpkin?)  As an extra bonus, both of these recipes are pretty healthy!  The first recipe is for a loaf of bread that my husband said (if it didn’t have the chocolate chips in it) tasted a lot like the Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf.  (I haven’t tried that one, so you’ll have to try it yourself or take his word for it.)  I enjoyed it with the chocolate chips, but you could easily leave them out.  The bread isn’t overly spiced, and if you’d like to use the chocolate chips, I think there are just enough of them.

Healthy Pumpkin (Chocolate Chip) Bread (from Well Plated)

1 1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour

1 c. old-fashioned, rolled oats

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 tbsp. coconut, olive, or canola oil

1/3 c. + 1 1/2 tbsp. milk

1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

2/3 c. dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×5 pan.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, brown sugar, and oil til combined.  Add the milk and pumpkin and beat again.  Gently stir in the dry ingredients til just combine and fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or til a toothpick inserted in the center removes cleanly.  You may need to cover it after about 30 minutes to prevent over-browning.  Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Healthy Pumpkin (Chocolate Chip) BreadHealthy Pumpkin (Chocolate Chip) Bread 2

Now, to use up that last half cup of pumpkin puree, you can make a batch of these delicious and healthy cookies.  These were easy to make and really tasty.  Personally, I’d like a little more spice and a touch less chocolate, but they’re very tasty either way.  This makes a small batch of just a dozen cookies so it’s great when you just need a little something sweet.

Flourless and Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Chelsea’s Messy Apron)

1/2 c. pumpkin puree

2 tbsp. honey

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. baking soda

1 pinch salt

1 c. oat flour

1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

  1. In a bowl, beat together the pumpkin, honey, egg, and vanilla.  Beat in the brown sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, pumpkin spice, baking soda, salt, and oat flour.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix just til combined.  Do not overmix.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350.  Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet and bake 6-8 minutes.

Flourless and Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesFlourless and Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

Have you made anything pumpkin lately or do you think it’s sacrilege that I used it in February?

 

Slow Days January 26, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 6:02 PM
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This is actually going to be quite a short post, as I only have one recipe to share.  Lately, I’ve been trying a number of new recipes (mostly gleaned from Pinterest), but few of them have turned out as I’d hoped.  As a consequence, I’ve used up nearly all the recipes I had in my notes to share with you; tonight’s is actually the very last one.  So what does this mean?  Merely, that I’m going to continue trying recipes and sharing the delicious ones with you.  I hope there will be no lag in posts, but I can’t promise it.  Also, I was in Florida visiting my family this week, so I didn’t get any cooking done.  (And I’m not at all sorry about it!)  For now, I’m going to give you a delicious gelato recipe, and we’ll just have to see how next week turns out.  ;)

Now you might be wondering why I’m sharing a gelato recipe in the middle of a cold January, but I’m one of those strange people who could eat ice cream almost any time.  I actually made this recipe when it was warm outside, but it will work anytime you get a hankering for it.  It made a smooth, super chocolatey gelato that I really enjoyed.  If, like me, you need the occasional (or more often) ice cream fix, this might be the answer to your craving.  It uses 4 basic ingredients, and is very simple to make.  Here’s how to get it done.

Chocolate Gelato (from Saveur)

3 c. milk

3/4 c. sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

3/4 c. cocoa

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 c. milk to a simmer.  Once it simmers, remove it from the heat.  In a small bowl, combine 1 c. milk with the sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa.  Add this to the hot milk and stir til dissolved.
  2. Let the mix cool and refrigerate it overnight.  After chilling, churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Chocolate GelatoChocolate Gelato 2  (If you’re a little frightened by how dark mine is, don’t worry.  I love dark chocolate, so I tend to use Hershey’s special dark cocoa.  If you use regular cocoa, yours will be much lighter in color.)

Are you an ice cream anytime person, or do you only eat it when it’s hot outside?

 

More Curry for your Crock Pot January 19, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 1:14 PM
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Before you say anything, YES, I know this is the second slow cooker meal in a row, but I don’t care.  It’s cold here, I like slow cooker meals, and I love curry.  So, here we go with another completely delicious recipe that’s easy to pull together, cooks while you’re at church/out shopping/whatever, and can be made with ingredients you probably already have on hand.  Believe it or not, my husband really enjoyed this curry (he’s hit and miss with curry, so that’s pretty good). So here’s how to get it on your table ASAP.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry (from New Leaf Wellness)

2 lb. cubed, boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 13 1/2 oz. can coconut milk

1 chopped onion

2 c. frozen peas (I prefer the texture of edamame, so I subbed it in for the peas – shelled, of course.)

1 14 1/2 oz. can tomato sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

3 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. curry powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. crushed red pepper (This gives it a nice kick, so cut it down if you’re not a fan of spice.)

  1. In a bowl, combine the tomato sauce, honey, garlic, curry, salt, and red pepper.
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker and cover with the tomato sauce mixture.
  3. Cook on low 4-6 hours.  (The original recipe said to cook it for 8 hours, but mine was perfectly cooked in 4. Maybe if you left the chicken breasts whole, you would need 8 hours?)

Slow Cooker Chicken CurrySlow Cooker Chicken Curry 3

What’s your favorite way to warm up?  I’m very partial to a thick blanket and a warm bowl of chili.  :D

 

Chili Is Always In Style January 12, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 4:10 PM
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Whether you’re looking for a meal to eat while watching a sporting event, a warm dinner on a cold night, or an easy dish that almost everyone will enjoy, chili is the answer to your search.  In particular, today’s chili is and easy and delicious dinner idea.  It’s made in a crockpot, which means you don’t need to do much work.  It has a good amount of healthy ingredients, and though are there are some delicious (though less healthy) cheeses, they don’t take away that it’s relatively healthy and more than tasty.  This made 6-8 servings that I look forward to having again soon.

Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili (from Pinch of Yum)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 c. salsa

1 1/2 c. water

1 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 minced bell peppers

1 14 oz. can rinsed, drained corn

1 minced jalapeno

1 14 oz. can rinsed, drained black beans

4 oz. cream cheese

6 oz. shredded pepper jack

  1. Place the chicken, 1 1/2 c. salsa, water, cumin, chili powder, and salt in the crockpot.  Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours.  Once cooked, shred the meat using 2 forks.
  2. Pat the peppers dry and place them in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Cook 4-5 minutes without stirring.  Stir once and let the peppers cook til completely roasted.  Repeat the same procedure with the corn and jalapenos.
  3. After shredding the chicken, add in the roasted peppers, corn, beans, 1 1/2 c. salsa, and cream cheese to the pot.  Stir and cover; let cook til the cream cheese is melted 15-30 minutes.  Top with the pepper jack before serving.

To make my life easier, I browned all the vegetables and chopped the chicken, then tossed everything but the cheeses into the pot and let it cook for a few hours.  It tasted just fine, so that’s probably what I’ll continue to do.

Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili 3

Is there another dish that you feel ticks all those boxes I mentioned at the beginning of this post?  I’d love to hear what it is if you do!

 

The Last of Christmas (for a while, anyway) January 5, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 11:45 PM
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I didn’t mean to disappear for 2 weeks, but I was fighting a cold last week and honestly just didn’t feel like I had the energy to put together a post.  Since I’m now feeling better, I figured it was about time that I shared with you two recipes for the most amazing Christmas cookies you could ever hope to make.  (Possibly a small exaggeration, but they are definitely amazing!)

This first recipe might seem normal, but once you start eating them, you might not be able to stop.  You can get 2-3 dozen, depending on how big you make yours.  My SIL and I made them one afternoon while our hubbies were golfing; honestly, the boys were lucky there were any left when they got home.  They just have this perfect balance of saltiness and spices that keeps you coming back over and over again.  As a bonus, these are incredibly easy to make and smell amazing while they bake.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (from Back to Her Roots)

3/4 c. softened butter

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

1/4 c. molasses

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 c. flour

  1. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars til light and fluffy.  Add in the molasses, egg, and vanilla and mix til well combined.
  2. Add in the baking soda, spices, and 1/2 tsp. salt and mix til just combined.  Add in the flour and mix til well combined.  Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, then roll each ball in sugar.  Place each cookie 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or til the cookies just begin to crack and the edges start to brown.  (The original recipe says to cook only 7-8 minutes, but both my SIL and I needed a few more minutes for our cookies to bake through completely.  I’d recommend checking yours around 8 minutes, but leave them in a few more minutes if they don’t seem set.)
  5. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Chewy Gingerbread CookiesChewy Gingerbread Cookies 2

Though these other cookies don’t have the addictive salty/spicy component, they are still my favorites.  They taste almost exactly like these amazing German lebkuchen that my best friend and I wait for every year.  (Have I ever mentioned that cinnamon, cloves, and orange are one of the most magical flavor combos available?  These make your whole house smell like Christmas.)  Now I can make my own anytime I want and spend less money.  Score!!  Though there are a few steps involved here, these are still fairly easy to make, and they’re definitely worth it.  SOOOOOO good!!  It makes about 60 small cookies, but they last longer than you think.

Glazed Orange Spice Cookies (from Eat the Love)

2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. sugar

2 tbsp. Dutch process cocoa

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

2 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. whole milk

Zest of 2 oranges

2 c. confectioner’s sugar

1/4 c. orange juice

  1. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk together.  Make a well in the middle and add in the eggs, oil, milk, and orange zest; stir til a rough dough forms.  Knead the dough by hand til all the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.  Pull 1/4 of the dough out at a time.  Roll the dough into a 1/2-3/4 inch thick rope and flatten slightly to about 1 inch wide.  Cut into diamonds about 1 1/2 in. long (gnocchi-sized).  Place on the baking sheet 1 inch apart.  Bake 9-11 minutes or til a cookie in the middle of the pan is dry to the touch and feels set.  Let rest on a pan for 5-7 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the confectioner’s sugar and orange juice.  Dip the cookies in the glaze, shake off the excess, and place back on the wire rack.  Let the glaze set overnight before transferring to an airtight container.

Glazed Orange Spice CookiesGlazed Orange Spice Cookies 3  They may not look like much, but it’s all about the taste.

Sorry if I’m messing up your New Year’s diet, but I just had to share these amazing cookies.  Hope you had a good holiday!  I’ve enjoyed the time with my family and friends, but I’m also glad to get back to my normal routine.

 

Quick One-Pot Dinners for Busy Nights December 15, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 7:51 PM
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The closer it gets to Christmas the more I have to do…and the lazier I feel.  Yikes!  In dealing with that busy-ness, it’s always nice to have a few really easy recipes that don’t take a lot of time, ingredients, or effort.  I’ve shared several one pot meals recently, and these are similar (in execution) and just as tasty.

This first recipe is for taco rice; how can you not want to eat that?  It’s simple and flavorful, and could easily be doubled to feed a crowd.  This recipe (with my tweaks) makes enough for 6 servings and was so delicious.  Unfortunately, all the pictures I took of it came out blurry (I guess I was in a rush.), but I’m sure you can imagine what it looks like until I make it again and take better pictures.  This is great served with re-fried beans, tortillas, or chips, and it’s nice to have such a simple meal sometimes.

Taco Rice Skillet (from Sweet C’s Designs)

1 lb. ground beef

1 diced onion

2 diced bell peppers

1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 c. salsa

1 (1/2) c. long grain white rice

1 (1/2) c. water

1 (1/2) c. beef stock

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 c. shredded jack or cheddar

1 15 oz. can drained beans, whatever type you like best

  1. In a large pan, brown the beef.  When it’s halfway cooked, add the onions and peppers and finish cooking til the beef is browned and the veggies are soft.  (Even if we’re eating this over several nights, I’ll cook all of the beef and veggies, then portion them aside for the other meals.  That way the rice is fresh for each dinner, but I have less work to do after the first time.  Just don’t forget to divide the other ingredients too.)
  2. Add the tomatoes, salsa, rice, water, stock, and spices.  Stir well, cover, and let simmer 15-20 minutes or til the rice is cooked.  Stir in the cheese til it melts.

This next recipe is extremely similar, just with a different flavor profile: chili!  This recipe gives you 8-10 entree portions and is super easy to make and flavorful.  Oh, and if you forget to put in the spices one time, you could stir in some picante sauce to help make it better.  ;)

Chili Rice (from Family Circle)

3 tbsp. canola oil

1 finely chopped red onion

1 finely chopped green bell pepper

1 finely chopped red bell pepper

1 seeded, minced jalapeno

1 c. chopped plum tomatoes

2 tbsp. minced garlic

3/4 lb. ground beef or turkey (I just used a whole pound.)

2 c. long grain white rice

2 c. chicken broth

1 c. rinsed, drained kidney beans (Again, I just used the whole can.)

1 tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1 1/2 c. water

  1. Heat the oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat.  (If you’re not doing the whole recipe at once, you could just use a covered skillet.)  Add the onion, bell peppers, and jalapeno and cook for 10 minutes or til the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and meat and cook 8 minutes or til the meat is browned; drain off any fat.
  3. Stir in the rice, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the broth, water, beans, and spices and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook 20 minutes.  (If you do leave the heat on medium, the rice on the bottom of the pan will overcook a little and form a crust.  Personally, we like this, but if you don’t, I’d suggest turning the heat down to low.)

Chili Rice 2 Chili Rice 3

On a related note, next week is going to be super busy for us, so I’m just planning not to stress myself out by trying to squeeze in another post.  So, I hope you’ll have a great, low-stress week and a very Merry Christmas!  I’ll talk to you in a couple weeks.

 

 
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