Monday, August 31, 2015

Pear Chocolate Chip Muffins

We saw this Pear Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe in Clean Eating Magazine and altered it to fit our needs. We needed pears to make this and our friends Maria and Matthew came swimming bringing us pears. We do love how things are provided without even asking. We will have to freeze a couple for them to give them next time we see them!!!

Makes 16 muffins
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled 
oats, divided (used GF)
  • 2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups whole buttermilk (we used almond milk)
  • 5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp safflower oil (we used extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 1/2 cups finely chopped pears
  • 5 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted pecans (we used crispie walnuts)
  • 2 tsp Sucanat
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a blender, pulverize 2 1/2 cups oats into a fine flour. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, remaining 
1/2 cup oats, 2 tsp cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk egg; stir in  almond milk, maple syrup and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in pears and chocolate chips. We placed walnut halves on top for those with texture issues.
  2. In a small bowl, toss together Sucanat and remaining 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
  3. Line cups of 
2 standard muffin tins with 
16 paper liners. Fill each liner 
three-quarters full with batter. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp Sucanat mixture over batter in each liner. (Fill empty muffin cups with 2 to 
3 tbsp water so tins won’t warp during baking.) Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in tins for 10 minutes, then remove and cool muffins completely 
on wire racks.
Nutrients per serving (1 muffin): Calories: 155, Total Fat: 6.5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g,
 Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Carbs: 22.5 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 9 g, Protein: 3.5 g, Sodium: 130 mg, Cholesterol: 14 mg

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Maple Roasted Chicken dinner

While our son and i ate Living Lasagna, we made Maple Roasted Chicken for the hubby. This recipe is from Clean Eating.
We were able to purchase the acorn squash at the farmers' market for 2/$1.

Serves: 4
Hands-on Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
  • 1 acorn squash (about 
1 1/2 lb), halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch-
thick slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (we used sweet onions)
  • 3/4 tsp each sea salt 
and ground black 
pepper, divided
  • 4 large boneless chicken thighs (about 1 lb), trimmed (we used boneless breasts)
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp coarsely 
chopped garlic
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, toss squash with oil; spread in a single layer on a large rimmed parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange onion wedges around squash. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper over vegetables. Bake for 
15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in same bowl, toss chicken with maple syrup, rosemary, garlic and remaining 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Place chicken on same baking sheet on top of squash and onions. Pour any remaining syrup mixture from bowl over chicken. Return to oven and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the largest thigh registers 165°F, 
25 to 30 minutes. Baste chicken once or twice during baking time using juices from bottom of baking sheet.
Nutrients per serving (1 thigh and 3/4 cup vegetables):calories: 401, total fat: 22 g, sat. fat: 6 g, monounsaturated fat: 10 g, polyunsaturated fat: 4 g, carbs: 4 g, fiber: 6 g, sugars: 10 g, protein: 21 g, sodium: 460 mg, cholesterol: 11 mg

Monday, August 24, 2015

Red Lentil Hummus

We try a new ingredient each month. This month is sumac. We purchased 25 pounds of organic red lentils through our co-op and need recipes. Our son does better with lentils than beans. There are many recipes for lentil hummus, and we have combined several recipes using what works best for us. We will serve it with carrot sticks, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and jicama (another new ingredient we tried last year)

This serves 8

2 cups water
1 cup rinsed, soaked, drained rinsed, drained red lentils
cook the lentils in the water for about 20 minutes

In a food processor are the lentils and the following:
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic

add the following spices to taste:
salt (we used 1 tsp)
pepper (we used 1/2 tsp)
cumin (we used 1 tsp)
oregano (we used 1/4 tsp)
sumac (we used 1/8 tsp)

nutritional information:
calories: 153.8
fats: 11.1 g
carbs:12.3 g
fiber: 2.7 g
protein: 3.6 g

Healthy Salad from Israel

We had this salad at the Museum of Israel and loved it. We are trying to copy the recipe using the ingredients from the menu.
We added a few things.

julienne 1 beet
julienne 2 carrots
julienne 1 cucumbers
2 scallions sliced
on a bed of hot lentils
on a bed a lettuce

1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 cup tahini
1 lemon, juiced, ~ 3 TBS
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp of raw Dupree's Bees honey
salt and pepper to taste

nutritional information:
calories: 369
fats: 22.7 g
carbs: 38 g
fiber: 10 g
protein: 10 g

Our son swimming

Our son has global delays, diagnosed as an infant. He has loved the water since he was a toddler. After swim lessons from professionals and neighbor swim team members, 10 years later, he learned to swim. We want to thank all those who have given us advice on how to get him to swim. He did it his way in his time.
Below are three videos of him swimming (all arms but his legs are straight), floating on his back, and diving under from a swimming position. Many have thought his RASH swim shirt is a flotation device, it isn't, it is just a sunblock shirt. He had 3 dysplastic nevus or stage 0 melanoma (as they are being called today) removed several years ago.

We will be looking for an indoor pool this winter!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Dead Sea area

August 14-15th: We traveled east of Jerusalem to the Dead Sea through several check points. It is interesting to racially profiled and quickly sent through. It didn't hurt that Tom speaks Hebrew.
It is shocking to see the Bedouin camps with animals living in the middle of sand dunes.
We went to Qumran to see where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
The date trees are so plentiful.

We went to En Gedi to see an early temple ruin. 

The mosaic tile work was still so beautiful.

Then we went to the nature preserve to hike, short walk in over 100 degree temperatures to two waterfalls.
lower falls

mid falls
me cooling off
There was a third at the top, but I am too old and westernized to handle the best waterfall.
On the way up we could see hundreds of caves.
We then went to the Dead Sea to float. I had a tough time raising my arms and legs without flipping over to my belly.
We spent the night at the Oasis.

We were able to see the Dead Sea Salt mines from the road.

When we returned to Tel Aviv area, we had lunch with Tom's cousins, aunt and uncle. I was blessed to sit next to a cousin, Shiki, who shared his daughter's wedding album with me. As we talked ,our similarities reminded me how alike we are going through divorces, our children, we remarried, our occupations and the occupations of our children, wedding ring designs, cakes, wedding locations... I love when God does that!

I left the next day. This is the sun setting over the Mediterranean Sea on the way to the air port in Tel Aviv. Valerie and Tom thank you so much for the trip to Israel, being amazing tour guides and your hospitality. This was a once in a lifetime AMAZING trip!!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Northern Israel

August 12-13th: We went to the Sea of Galilee in the late afternoon. The descent to sea level is amazing.

We went to the Jordan River at the baptismal site. There we way too many LARGE fish for me to do more then place my feet in the water.

We spent the night north at the Savyonei Hagalil. There was an apple orchard there.
The following day we went north to Mt. Hermon, the Golon Heights, and back down to Capernaum.
In Mt. Hermon we went to see the Bania Falls and Springs. The falls were beautiful.

At the springs was a Pan sacrifice temple.

Then we went to Golan Heights and Mt. Bental on the Syrian border.

We were able to talk with an UN official watching the Syrian Civil War.

At Mt Bental was "War Art".

A few days after leaving this area missiles were launched into this area. Syrian Missiles launched into the Golan Heights and Galilee

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

August 9th: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is beautiful. It claims to have built the church over the crucifixion and burial sites of Jesus the Christ.
 The other pictures are from other places within the church.


August 10th: Tom and Valerie made reservations for us to go on the Western Wall Tunnel Tour for today. We spent most of the afternoon in the Jerusalem market. I go every Saturday with friends to the farmers market in Raleigh to purchase much of our produce every week, and thought it was impressive. It is rather small compared to this market.

Then we went to see the umbrella alley.

We went to see an excavation site outside of occupied Israeli territory of the City of David, 1st and 2nd temple grounds.

This is where we "ran" into Roxy from the plane with her husband and daughter Sarah.
Would you believe they were also on the same tunnel tour?
The tour was amazing. The guide was one of the best storytellers. She explained how the temples were buried under rubble and cities were built on top of the rubble. She explained theories and how those theories have become fact. Then we walked through the excavation tunnels.

Here is a video of dancing as we walked back to our