Carrot Brownies… Yeah, you heard me,

I said CARROT BROWNIES.

Trust me, if I didn’t tell you carrots were in them, you’d have no idea.

Dairy Free Semi Sweet Chocolate – 1/2 Cup
Carrot Puree – 1/2 Cup
Light Brown Sugar – 1/2 Cup
Soy Buttery Spread – 2 Tablespoons
Cocoa Powder – 1/4 Cup
Vanilla Extract – 2 Teaspoons
Apple Sauce – 1/2 Cup
Flour– 1 Cup
Kosher Salt– 1 Teaspoon

You will need – Mixing Bowl; Measuring tools; Rubber Spatula; Food Processor for Puree; Sauce Pan; Spoon; 9×9″ Baking Dish.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease the baking dish. Over a very low burner, melt the Semi Sweet Chocolate until creamy and remove from heat. Let the chocolate cool a bit while you puree your carrots and then combine the two in a mixing bowl. Add in the brown sugar, buttery spread, cocoa powder and vanilla and mix together until creamy. Will likes to take his time with this by using a potato masher while pretending to be a giant crushing machine… you may do the same should you be so inspired.

Once the batter is creamy, stir in the apple sauce, flour and salt. The batter will seem thick as you spoon it into the baking dish. Try to keep the batter even in the dish by spreading it around before putting the brownies into bake.

Bake the for approximately 30-35 minutes… Please be sure to wait a few minutes before you attempt to eat — I know, the temptation may be too much to handle, but trust me — the wait will be worth it.

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? YES, well… sort of. He’s had a nibble here and there — but I think he might be slightly suspect after seeing the carrots as part of the mix… Just trying to keep the little man honest — although it probably doesn’t help that his parents are polishing them off before he has too much time to think about it.

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Sunflower Orange Cookies

There isn’t anything nuttier than a little orange love…

Rolled Oats – 1 Cup
Sunflower Seeds – 1/2 Cup (unsalted)
Flour – 1 1/4 Cup
Soy Margarine – One Stick or 4 oz., Cubed
Orange Zest – Grated skin of one orange
Orange Juice – 2 Tablespoons
Light Brown Sugar – 1 Cup
Maple Syrup – 1 Tablespoon
Honey – 1 Tablespoon

You will need – Mixing Bowl; Measuring tools; Rubber Spatula; Grater for zesting; Sauce Pan; Spoon; Baking Sheets; Parchment paper.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a couple of baking sheets with Parchment paper. (Side note: I have mentioned our disdain for Parchment paper before.. but until something better is invented, it really is the best way to prevent your cookies from overcooking or melting before they have a chance to cook.) Once your sheets are ready (relax!), place the oats, sunflower seeds and flour into your bowl — mix together until combined and then set aside. Zest the orange directly into your saucepan, and then squeeze as much orange juice out of the fruit as you can. If you need a little more, supplement to make 2 tablespoons with store bought juice. Add the juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey and margarine into the saucepan and then heat on low until melted.

Pour the butter mixture over the dried ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir together with your spatula until combined. Place heaping spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheets and then bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown… cool and then taste!

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? YES! We are pleased to announce another success… But then again, when Crispy combines with Chewy, Sweet AND tangy, who can resist!?!?

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Apple Raisin Crisp

An Apple a Day….will not keep you from the Doctor… but add a little sugar and WOW — we feel better already!

Apples – 6, peeled, cored & chopped into small cubes — No seeds!
Lemon Juice – 2 Tablespoons
Light Brown Sugar – 1 1/4 Cups
Sugar – 1/4 Cup
Cinnamon – 2 Teaspoons
Raisins – 1/2 Cup
Soy Margarine – 1/2 Cup cubed
Flour – 1/2 Cup
Rolled Oats – 1 Cup
Non-Dairy Cooking Spray

You will need – 2 Mixing Bowls; Knife for peeling & coring –watch little fingers!; Measuring tools; Spoon; Rubber Spatula; 9×13″ baking dish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray your baking dish with the non-dairy cooking spray, set aside.
In one mixing bowl, combine chopped apples with the lemon juice, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.

In the other bowl, stir together soy margarine, flour and oats until the mix becomes crumbly — you may find that it will be easier to get a little messy and use your fingers at this point. Pour the margarine mixture over the apples in the baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly (yum!).

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? Well, we had high hopes. At first, he was eating all of the apples — then he was eating the mix before we added the margarine, but once we baked everything combined he wouldn’t have anything to do with the Crisp… The rest of us, however, were more than happy to polish off every sweet bite!

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Elephant Ears with Fresh Cherry Tomato Broth

Any excuse to crush tomatoes makes for a fun afternoon…

It’s still summer! Which means that we have a plethora of tomatoes! Either from our own garden or from our neighbors, we have more arriving everyday — And, since it’s still a little too hot to bake anything, we’ve been busy crushing…

This recipe makes approximately 2 Cups of Tomato Broth

Cherry Tomatoes  – approximately 2 pints (do not use green tomatoes)
Basil – 1 Tablespoon Chopped
Garlic  Cloves – 3 Crushed
Dried Oregano – 2 Tablespoons
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/4 Cup
Salt to taste

You will need – Measuring tools; Tomato Crusher; Skillet; Spoon; Pot (for cooking pasta); Strainer

This recipe is really so simple…
1. Crush the tomatoes – discard the skins and reserve the liquid
2. Crush the garlic and chop the basil — cook over low heat in the skillet until it starts to crisp up… add the other ingredients along with the tomato broth, and simmer.
3. Cook your pasta — for this we choose Dischi, which kinda has the shape of an elephant ear… Not that anyone would want to eat an elephant ear — but Will thought the idea was hilarious.

Serve the broth over the pasta and season to taste. The broth is light and sinks into the pasta quickly which also makes for a very nice dish as a leftover…

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? This is where the leftover tip comes in handy… Will didn’t want to eat it the first night — he said “No, I’m not gonna like it..” but I suspect he was just too tired from all the tomato crushing… The next night, however, with the broth all soaked up into the pasta, he ate it and actually said, “I love this pasta.” which was nice until he also said that he loved the fork… We are working on our definitions.

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Presto… Pesto!

Dairy and nut free Pesto.. WE DID IT!

This recipe makes approximately 2 Cups of Pesto

Basil – 3 packed Cups
Unsalted Sun Flower Seeds – 1/2 Cup
Garlic  Cloves – 3 Crushed
Dried Parsley – 1/4 Cup
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/2 Cup
Soy Butter – 2 (generous) Tablespoons, Melted
Salt to taste

You will need – Measuring tools; Rubber Spatula; Food Processor; Grinder (we use an old coffee bean grinder)

Using your food processor, chop up the basil until it is finely cut and then grind up the sunflower seeds until they turn to dust — mix together in the food processor and then add the other ingredients. Blend until the mixture has a consistency to your liking. We found that the creaminess of the soy butter was an excellent replacement for regular butter and parmesan cheese, while the sunflowers replaced the usual pine nuts.

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? No… Although he enjoyed making the pesto, he pretty much soured at the idea of putting it in his mouth… It is nice to know that we have this recipe for him for future attempts, however, because the rest of us all agreed that it tastes just like the real thing!

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All American Muffins

Can you say… HEAT WAVE?

It’s been too hot to cook or bake these days, which has resulted in a bit of a hiatus for Will’s Kitchen… The fun thing is that when the weather happens to break, we have all these fresh ingredients from our gardens to work with! Here are our “Best Blueberry Muffins Ever” with one cup of Blueberries replaced with one cup of freshly picked raspberries… we were able to whip these up during a thunderstorm. Check back when the summer turns to fall — we have tons of awesome recipes to try!

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If at first you don’t succeed… Fish Sticks!

He LIKES them, he REALLY REALLY LIKES THEM!

Canola Oil – 2 Cups
Flour – 1 Cup
Salt – 1/2 Tablespoon
Baking Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
Sparkling Apple Cider – 1 Cup
Fish — Flounder, Cod or other White Fish – 1 pound
Lemon – 1/2 to squeeze

You will need – Mixing Bowl; Measuring tools; Whisk; Knife for Cutting – watch little fingers!; Rubber Spatula; Deep Pot for Frying; Slotted Spoon

Start by pouring the oil into your pot and heat it over medium/low heat and then whisk together the Flour, Salt and Baking Powder in your mixing bowl. Pat down the fish with a paper towel and then trim while looking for any bones to remove and then cut into strips. Slowly pour the Sparkling Apple Cider into the flour mixture and stir with the spatula until smooth.

Once the batter is combined, use your fingers and dip the fish into the batter piece by piece and add to the hot oil. Only add in a few at a time making sure that they aren’t touching — otherwise they will stick together. Let one side cook for approximately 4 minutes and then use the slotted (or holed in our case) spoon to turn each piece over. Cook both sides until the color is golden brown and then remove to drain. Repeat until all the fish is cooked, give a good lemon squeeze over the whole lot and then GO FOR IT!

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? We are happy to announce that YES, Will ate them! He actually tried a bite of each one to see which was the yummiest! It was only a few months ago that he did an about-face rejecting the frozen fish sticks — needless to say, we are really happy to see fish back in his diet again! Just goes to show how important it is to TRY TRY AGAIN!

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The Unquesadilla

We try a lot of things here in Will’s Kitchen.

Many of our attempts fail, unfortunately. But sometimes we come across a recipe that turns into something completely different, which is OKAY because it then becomes something else… Something new… Something we were not expecting, but enjoyed nonetheless.

We started off to make quesadillas using a recipe for Tortillas from the May 2010 Food Network Magazine. And to say we started off — we did everything that the recipe called for… We even tried to flatten our tortillas with a coffee can , which they recommended should you not have a tortilla press… we ended up finally using one of Will’s plastic plates instead… Note to self – get a tortilla press.

But that wasn’t the only hitch. When we started cooking, the tortillas became stiff – like little pie crusts — not soft at all. We were, however, half way through combining the filling for the quesadillas from a leftover Chicken Fajitas, so we continued on to make these fun little chicken sandwiches…

Here is the link for the Tortillas — please note, again, that ours turned out like crusts.

For our filing, we used Vegan Monterey Jack as well as leftover Chicken Fajitas and then baked the sandwiches for 15 minutes at 350°.

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? He actually really liked the mini corn pie crusts and he liked the vegan cheese, but once everything was all put together he lost interest and cared more about cleaning up and riding his bike. Maybe it was the time it took to make the tortillas? Regardless, the rest of us ate them and agreed that we had created something yummy!

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Anders & Martha – A Great Combination!

When Cousin Anders sent us his recipe for Thai Stir Fry, we knew we were in for a challenge.

First of all, his recipe is all about peanuts and spice — clearly both traits not in-tune with Will’s current allergies and tastes.. But we were certainly up for the task — and Anders’ recipe sounded so delicious, that we started searching for ways to modify the dish. It was in April’s 2010 issue of Body+ Soul (a Martha Stewart Publication) that we found Cold Peanut Noodles… Here is what what we started with:

Anders’ Thai Tofu Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Extra Firm Tofu – 1 Block
Chunky Peanut Butter – 1/2 Cup
Water – 1/2 Cup
Soy or Tamari Sauce – 2 Tablespoons
Sherry – 1 Tablespoon
Lemon Juice – 1 Teaspoon
Brown Sugar – 1 Tablespoon
Peanut or Coconut or Vegetable Oil – 2 Tablespoons
Garlic – 2-4 Cloves, minced
Crushed Red Pepper – 1-3 Tablespoons
Stir Fry Veggies – 3-4 Cups — Anders uses broccoli, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, baby corn, bok choy, red peppers and carrots
Chili Thai Sauce – 1-2 Tablespoons

Martha’s Cold Peanut Noodles
Whole Wheat Spaghetti – 1/2 lb.
Natural Creamy Peanut Butter – 1/2 Cup
Low-Sodium Soy Sauce – 2 Teaspoons
Toasted Sesame Oil – 1 Teaspoon
Chile Garlic Paste – 1 1/2 Teaspoons
Garlic – 1 Teaspoon, grated or minced
Sugar -1/2 Teaspoon
Water  – 1/2 Cup
Served with shredded Bok Choy and Carrots dressed with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a little toasted sesame oil. Season with salt.

Here is what we did to make this dish kid friendly and peanut free:

Anders & Martha Inspired Soy Nut Noodles
Whole Wheat Linguine – 1 package
Creamy Soy Nut Butter – 1/2 Cup
Chunky Soy Nut Butter – 1/2 Cup
Water – 1/2 Cup
Light Soy Sauce – 2 Tablespoons
Lemon Juice – 1 Teaspoon
Canola Oil – 1 Tablespoon
Garlic – 3 Cloves Crushed
Gomasio – 1 Tablespoon
Sugar – 1/2 Teaspoon
Served with Shaved Carrots, Daikon Radish and Snow Peas

First, we cooked our pasta according to the package directions and then let it drain and cool. Then we combined all the ingredients and until smooth and then mixed it in with the noodles. We decided to keep all Chili ingredients out of the recipe as well as the Tofu — Will is very specific about how he likes his Tofu, and we didn’t want to scare him off. To compensate for the lack of heat in the dish, we added some shaved Diakon Radish, which has a bit of a bite to it.

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? Well, he ate pieces of the dish on it’s own… the carrot shaving, soy nut butter, snow peas, pasta… but once we threw it all in a bowl together he wouldn’t have anything to do with it… We did, however, serve it to guests for dinner and it was a huge hit! Thanks Anders (and Martha)!

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