General Recipes

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy [Homemade] Valentine’s Day <3

If you are a last minute holiday gift-giver like myself, you might still be looking for some ideas for the big V-Day tomorrow.  Of course, I’m not talking about running out to the store to buy a card and some chocolates (although those are nice, too).  And I’m not really a jewelry sort of person. 

 

I’m talking about whipping something up with what you might already have in your refrigerator and making a homemade card from your crafting supplies. 

 

Because it doesn’t (have to) take much to show our love to those who really matter.  And love is all we need to celebrate Valentine’s Day together. 

 

So, if you’d like a few quick ideas that won’t take much time or money, I’d like to share what we have planned for Valentine’s Day this year. 

 

The boys and I prepped a yummy, healthy (and all pink!) breakfast for tomorrow morning. 

 

homemade Valentine's Day breakfast

 

 

We will probably serve some eggs on the side to make it a heartier meal.  This could also be served as a Valentine’s Day snack at any time of the day. 

 

(We got the idea from an issue of High Five magazine.  The recipes are at the end of the post….)

 

We also make homemade Valentines every year for classmates, grandparents, and other special people in our lives. 

 

I usually Google some fun ideas and this year I found three fun animal quotes and decided to print out pictures and have the kids cut them out and glue them on heart-shaped cards (which they also traced and cut out) and then write the quotes on the cards.  Here’s what they looked like:

 

homemade Valentine's Day cards - toad, bee, fish

 

 

Joe and I also make homemade Valentines for the kids each year.  We always include a few simple coupons that take hardly any time to make and are easy to follow through on but mean so much to the boys. 

 

We actually haven’t finished ours yet for this year but here is an example of one of the coupons that was leftover from last year:

 

homemade Valentine's Day coupon for kids

 

 

Some other coupon ideas are:

Get out of one chore free

Schedule a date night with Mommy or Daddy

Choose an extra book to read at bedtime

 

Whatever you choose to do, I hope that you give and receive LOVE tomorrow!  <3

 

Valentine's Day Heart Snacks
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Ingredients
  1. heart-shaped cookie cutter
  2. whole wheat bread
  3. spreadable cream cheese
  4. strawberry or raspberry jelly
  5. sliced ham
Instructions
  1. Use a cookie cutter to cut heart-shaped pieces out of the bread. If desired, toast the hearts.
  2. Spread cream cheese on each heart.
  3. Top with either jelly or a slice of heart-shaped ham (also cut with the cookie cutter).
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/
Valentine's Day Berry Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup yogurt
  2. 2 cups milk
  3. 2 frozen bananas
  4. 2 cups frozen raspberries
  5. 2 cups frozen strawberries
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Pulse a few times. Blend on high for one minute, or until frozen fruit is all incorporated and smoothie is smooth 😉
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/
overnight waffles served with clementine wedges

Overnight Breakfast Recipes

 

As many of you know firsthand, getting a healthy breakfast on the table on a weekday morning can be a challenge.  Everyone rushing around with their own agendas….showers happening in one bathroom, teeth being brushed in another, backpacks being packed with lunches and water bottles and homework and library books, coffee being made…three little boys that would rather play with their toys than get dressed for school…and everyone getting increasingly cranky the longer we are awake without food in our belly!

 

A few years ago, I had raised my hand and asked for help from Joe with food preparation in the house because it felt like too much to handle planning and making dinner every night as well as planning and making breakfast every morning.  Joe eagerly stepped up and has been making our breakfasts ever since.  (Much to the delight of the boys who were getting tired of Mommy’s attempts at a healthy breakfast…don’t even mention “Super Cereal” to them or they might start screaming!)

 

In addition, due to our predisposition to allergies in our family, we make an effort to rotate the foods that we eat from day to day.  That way we aren’t bombarding our bodies with things like wheat and dairy and other common allergens at every meal.  So, as a result, we now have a 4-day rotating breakfast menu that looks like this:

 

Day 1: Pancakes or Waffles

Day 2: Oatmeal

Day 3: Eggs

Day 4: Yogurt and Granola or Cereal with Milk

 

Rinse and repeat.

 

During the week, it can be difficult to pull off something like pancakes or waffles in a timely manner and without blowing up the kitchen with dirty dishes and messy counters. 

And maybe it’s not realistic to cook hot oatmeal on the stove when it takes 15 minutes of stirring and close supervision to avoid burning the bottom of the pot. 

 

So instead we have started making an overnight pancake/waffle mix the night before and then cooking it in the morning. 

And we also make overnight oatmeal that goes in the fridge the night before and then we eat it cold in the morning (although you could certainly heat it up, if desired).  

 

The pancake/waffle mix can be made with either 100% whole wheat flour or with gluten-free flours – both with great results. 

When we make them gluten-free, we use our own homemade GF flour mix by combining equal parts of the following flours: coconut flour, quinoa flour, amaranth flour, and millet flour.  [We tried out a few others but most of the typical gluten-free flours, such as garbanzo bean flour or fava bean flour, have too strong of a flavor and we felt like it overpowered the end product in a negative way.]

 

Both of these quick and easy breakfast recipes are below.  I hope that they help you get a delicious and nutritious breakfast on your table, even on the craziest of mornings!

 

Overnight Pancakes or Waffles
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ¼ cups whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  2. 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  3. ½ teaspoon salt
  4. 1 ¾ cups milk
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Cover loosely (we use an upside-down plate on top of the bowl) and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, stir the batter one more time. Pour onto a preheated griddle or waffle maker. Enjoy!
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/
Overnight Oatmeal
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups rolled oats
  2. 3 cups milk
  3. ¼ cup chia seeds
  4. Honey or maple syrup, for serving
  5. Optional toppings: seasonal fruit, nuts, or granola
Instructions
  1. Combine oats, milk, and chia seeds in a large bowl. Cover loosely (we use an upside-down plate on top of the bowl) and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, add honey or maple syrup to taste (we use about 1 teaspoon per serving) and stir one more time. Serve with additional toppings, if desired.
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/

 

For both of these recipes, you can easily vary the flavors each time by adding in different fruits or spices.  Some easy seasonal variations would be:

 

     SPRING: add chopped strawberries to pancake/waffle mix; add strawberries and rhubarb to the oatmeal

    

     SUMMER: add fresh fruits – berries to the pancake/waffle mix; sliced nectarines or peaches to the oatmeal

    

     FALL: add pureed pumpkin or squash to either recipe (you can use it in a 1:1 ratio to replace the oil in the pancake/waffle mix) along with ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice

            …or add applesauce (again, in place of the oil in the pancake/waffle mix) along with ground cinnamon

 

     WINTER: add dried fruits – raisins or cranberries to the pancake/waffle mix; cherries or goji berries to the overnight oatmeal (TIP: add these dried fruits to the oatmeal the night before so that they can soften overnight)

 

     ALL YEAR LONG: add smashed bananas in place of the oil in the pancake/waffle mix; add sliced bananas on top of the overnight oatmeal

 

(NOTE: Thank you to Jess for sharing the wonderful overnight oatmeal recipe!)