Chocolate Almond Smoothie

Chocolate Almond SmoothieThis smoothie has been a big part of my breakfast life the last few weeks. I have adapted this smoothie from Against All Grain. I was hesitant to try it because I just wasn’t sure how an avocado would flavor a smoothie. But truth be told an avocado makes a smoothie creamy and doesn’t have a strong flavor. The chocolate and almond stand out more and the cream is added from almond milk and texture from the avocado. A redeeming attribute of this smoothie is it has high fat content and keeps me satisfied for a good 3-4 hours after consuming – and I drink this whole recipe for breakfast when I have it. So, go ahead, try it! I think you’ll like the result and make sure you get raw cacao and raw honey (from health food or natural foods store).

Chocolate Almond Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • good handful of ice cubes
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Serves 1 immediately.

Source: Adapted from Against All Grain.

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Weeknight Marinara with Italian Sausage

Weeknight MarinaraIt’s true, we don’t always have the time to cook a marinara sauce all day long. My favorite marinaras are slow cooked but in a pinch this recipe can fill in for a hearty meal, you just need to allow about 45 minutes for the sauce to cook after the work is done. To serve it gluten free, cook up some rice pasta or even serve the marinara over vegetables. Tonight I reheated the sauce for dinner and for my main meal I had sauce topped with perfectly ripe avocado. It was delish.

Weeknight Marinara

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil, a few tablespoons
  • 1 pound ground italian sausage
  • 1 – 25 ounce jar marinara sauce (without meat)
  • 2 – 14.5 ounce cans (petite) diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook onion on medium heat in a few tablespoons of olive oil in large saucepan until softened. Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink on medium to low heat. While sausage is cooking, stir and break up the sausage into bite size pieces. Add marinara and diced tomatoes, basil, oregano. Simmer for about 45 minutes on medium to low heat until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed (sausage could be salty and peppery enough). Serve over your choice of pasta, steamed vegetables or with avocado on top.

Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane

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Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

There’s something magical about the flavor of gingerbread this time of year. The taste of dark molasses, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon are so holiday laden. I’ve adapted a recipe from Sun River Coffee Co’s Gingerbread with Whipped Cream and snipped the recipe from the Oregonian years ago. I’ve made this as a dessert and served with fresh whipped cream. However, keep your options open as it can also be a tasty breakfast or brunch treat. This gingerbread was made without the lemon adds or the lemon drizzle and was quite delicious. I’ve made the cake with and without the lemon and each is great. If you want to go with the lower sugar version skip the drizzle and add the lemon peel.

Enjoy your family, friends and the flavors of the Season!

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Preheat oven to 350.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (optional)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup applesauce

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing. Add vanilla, lemon peel, water, molasses and apple sauce. Carefully mix batter with boiling water on a low speed until well combined. Finish by stirring in the flour mixture. Pour batter into bundt pan greased with butter. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Drizzle

After bundt cake is turned onto a plate (let cake cool about 15 minutes before turning), blend these two ingredients together in a bowl and drizzle on warm cake.

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

At highest speed with electric blender whip 1 cup whipping cream until peaks are formed. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Serve whipped cream with gingerbread bundt cake.

Serves 8-10.

Source: Adapted from Sunriver Coffee Co’s Gingerbread with Whipped Cream.

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Triple Berry Crisp

Triple Berry Crisp

The holidays are fast approaching and I’m sharing a dessert that is a take off of my Mom’s crisp recipe. As I wrote in my very first post Living Beyond Lingonberry Lane this is a go to recipe on many occasions for me. It is quick, easy and delicious and enjoyed by many. It is a beautiful holiday dessert that can be varied according to which bags of frozen (or fresh) berries you have in stock. This is my own variation of Carol’s original.

Triple Berry Crisp

Berries…..mix in 9×13 pan:

  • 2 – 16 ounce bags of frozen blueberries, raspberries and blackberries (I used Trader Joe’s Triple Berry) or 6 cups berries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Topping….in large bowl with pastry blender mix:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1  cube (1/2 cup) frozen or chilled butter, cut up
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until topping is golden and berries are bubbly. Serve warm with real whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Options: Vary the berries with cranberry or rhubarb. Cranberry/blueberry combination or cranberry/raspberry are very tasty.

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Blue Skies in November

Blue Skies Portland doesn’t usually grace us with blue skies in November but this Fall of 2013 has been atypical and I like it. The sky has been blue for about a week and these crisp mornings bring me back to fall in Alaska when the lingonberries are in a burgundy freeze. I look out my in the back ‘yard’ with the thick dense trees dormant until next spring.

Every other year I am well into the planning for the turkey and fixings by this time. Every other year we travel to Gig Harbor to celebrate with friends and homestead neighbors the Mack family would gather with often for holidays. This is the the time of year when I pause and realize how fleeting time is and how important these holidays are for our family. I have many holiday memories as a kid in Soldotna, they include mostly happy and some sad memories. I choose to recall the fond memories of laughter at a table covered in our best table cloth and special crystal bowl we used only for the lingonberry sauce every single holiday. I hold dear the holidays surrounded by family and friends and lingering at the dinner table. And I hash over the not so fond memories and wonder how my Dad must have struggled inside to not come home to his family on Thanksgiving that one year. And my Mom who made such a beautiful meal and worked so hard to make memories for us must have cried inside over the circumstance. I know we all wanted to cry but we tried to be strong.

I am so thankful for my family and every holiday we spend together. In this world of iPhones and iPads and soccer year round there are few too many times spent baking and preparing together and laughing and playing games with friends and family. These times of memory making are what I look forward to every holiday season and I count my blessings and my beautiful family + 1 that I get to spend these days with. Tomorrow we will bake Grandma’s rolls, pumpkin pie, some Danish treats and Alaskan salmon dip. We will proudly bring our treats to ‘the Gig’ and enjoy sharing our gifts and the wonderful meals our friends prepare. We will walk by the harbor all bundled up and ferry into Seattle on Friday to show our Danish girl just how crazy Americans can be on Black Friday. We’ll take photos of the Northwest’s beauty and the beauty of our families. We’ll reminisce about homestead days and we’ll laugh about what happened last week. We’ll make memories and enjoy the moments.

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Cherry Pear and Pecan Breakfast Crumble

Cherry Pear and Pecan Breakfast CrumbleI’m still on a cherry kick and I had pears I needed to use….they became a breakfast crumble on Veteran’s Day, a day off of school.  I adapted Healthy Delicious‘s Pear and Cranberry Crumble. This breakfast is was a great start to the day with fresh whipped cream on top. The taste was fresh, crunchy, nutty and not too sweet. This dish could also serve as a dessert topped with the whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Pear Pecan Breakfast Crumble

  • 4 pears, peeled, sliced and cut into medium chunks
  • 3 cups frozen cherries (could substitute sliced apples or another frozen berry)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour or corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix pears, cherries, lemon juice, flour (or cornstarch), brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in 9×13 baking dish.

Melt the butter and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats and pecans with the butter/honey mixture. Combine until well mixed and all ingredients are moist and crumbly. Spread the topping over the fruit mixture in pan. Top with cinnamon.

To whip cream; pour 1 pint whipping cream into mixing bowl. Using an electric blender or Kitchen Aid beat at highest speed. Add vanilla when cream is getting firmer but just before it forms a peak in the bowl when pulling your blender. Serve with the warm breakfast crumble.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serves 6.

Source: Healthy Delicious

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Cherry Vanilla Smoothie

Cherry Vanilla Smoothie

I’ve been buying large bags of frozen fruit for a few months from Costco for smoothies. I noticed last time I stocked up they had a new product – frozen organic cherries. I thought cherries would be a nice add to smoothies and a fresh flavor we only get to enjoy for a short time in the summer. Here’s a recipe for a smoothie using the yummy cherries. I can imagine these cherries would be great in a crisp or cobbler. Hmmm, I think I’ve got something to Pinterest about or substitute in Carol’s Berry Crisp recipe.

Nutrition note on cherries I just learned: Cherries are bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. And! Bonus points – cherries contain a natural melatonin that can help you sleep. 

Cherry Vanilla Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I used 2%)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt or plain kefir
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds, a handful of ice to make colder and thicker.

Blend all ingredients and enjoy immediately. Serves 2.

Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane

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Southwest Chicken Bowl

Southwest Chicken BowlThis is a little of the Southwest in a bowl. It started one night when I was short on time and I pulled out the crock pot and added chicken, a can of black beans, onion, tomatoes and Southwest spices. I had planned to eat the chicken in a tortilla but the girls made a bowl out of it and we topped with guacamole, fresh tomatoes, red pepper and sour cream. The dish was yummy and I will make it again.

Southwest Chicken Bowl

  • 4-6 fresh or frozen chicken thighs
  • 1 – 15oz can of black beans, drained
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 – 15oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Add all ingredients to a crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours. Chop up chicken into bite sized pieces after cooked, stir well and serve. Serve in a bowl topped with guacamole, sour cream, fresh tomatoes and peppers. Or serve in a tortilla with toppings.

Guacamole recipe click here

Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane

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Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Pumpkin Spice PancakesA day off school is a great day to try a new fall recipe. The recipe is adapted from All Recipes and was easy to throw together with items I stock in my cupboard. The canned pumpkin is the only seasonal item that I stock only in the fall. This is a great breakfast if you’re craving a little fall pumpkin spice and it got a thumbs up from the family.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups flour, all purpose or whole wheat
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixer and blend well. Heat griddle to low/medium. Butter griddle and test small pancake to make sure grill is hot enough. Grease griddle with butter and pour pancake batter onto griddle. Cook each pancake until golden brown on each side. Serve immediately with butter and heated maple syrup. Serves 4.

Source: Adapted form All Recipes.

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Hot Lemon and Honey

Hot Lemon and HoneyA long time ago, when we still lived in Minnesota, even before my daughter was born, it was the holiday season and I got sick. My mom was visiting for the holidays so it’s a good memory and I remember having the chills and her tucking me into bed. Now, I was in my late 20′s at least and there was still nothing like my mom tucking me into bed to make me feel better at that time. During those days I distinctly remember her making me a hot lemon and honey drink. It went down easy and was a kick of vitamin C and just tasted really good at the time. More recently when my family has been sick I have been taking that old remedy of my mother’s and putting on the kettle, squeezing the lemon and adding raw honey. The drink tastes fantastic and the honey seems to coat a sore throat and sooth a cough. The drink’s a little magic with some really healthy ingredients. A quarter cup lemon of lemon juice, according to WHFoods, provides almost 50% of our daily allowance of vitamin C. Now, that’s a big hit of Vitamin C full of antioxidants to strengthen our immune system (see article for detail). And raw honey is another tip top health boost. WHFoods says raw honey is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Now that’s a line up of immune boosting sweetness. The most important note on the honey, is buy your honey RAW and local. Raw generally means it has not been processed or heated beyond a temperature that would destroy the nutritional benefits. You can usually find local raw honey at a health food store or your local health conscious supermarket. There are different levels of ‘raw honey’ but according the MD Bee, there is a general rule among bee keepers that honey is not raw if it has been processed or heated beyond what would be normally found in a bee hive. says “Heat above 115 deg F destroys the beneficial enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, and aroma”.  I buy Wessels Raw Honey which is processed as they describe: “We gently warm the barrels to 105 degrees no warmer then it would be in the hive itself.  Honey is then pumped into a jarring drum, because of the low temperature of the honey you will see a lovely creamy creamed honey at the top of our honey containers….(my favorite part!!). Honey is filtered threw a natural cloth, our process or technique healthy  pollen,beeswax, and other natural hive goodness floating around!!”

So there you have it – a bit about lemon and honey. I’ve served lemon and honey to 4 family members since August. The first, my father in law had a sore throat and the next morning he said it was much better. The second was our exchange student. She loved it and I made it for her at least twice. The 3rd and 4th my husband and daughter in the last few weeks both have had a cough. At night they share a 16 oz lemon and honey drink and have said the next morning they slept better and less coughing. Now if we can only find a natural miracle remedy to make that cough go away for good. Let me know if you know something I don’t.

Hot Lemon and Honey

Juice the lemon using a cup sized juicer (see mine in photo) or squeeze the lemon juice into the cup by hand. Using the juicer I add the extra pulp to the drink. Add a tablespoon of raw honey, mix and serve.

Source: Carol Mack

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