I was lucky enough to be selected to participate in the One Hour Cheese blog tour, featuring the delicious (and simple!) homemade cheese recipes of Claudia Lucero from her book, ONE HOUR CHEESE.
I have to admit it was intimidating looking through this book at first since I’d never made cheese, and it sounded like a project with lots of room for error… my error, that is. Since I have a weakness for sweets, the recipe I tried out was the No-Bake Cheese Tartlet (recipe below) which didn’t require any special tools or fancy processes — just several yummy ingredients cleverly mixed and served up together.
Next up I tried the Triple Pepper Hack, which thanks to Lucero’s step-by-step photo instructions, surprisingly turned out to be a breeze. Can’t wait to try out a few more soon!
No-Bake Cheese Tartlet
- 2 Tbs honey or real maple syrup
- 1 cup Fromage Facile
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted almonds
- 1/4 cup juicy medjool dates, pitted (I had a hard time finding these, so I used some Dole-brand pitted California dates. They worked perfectly)
- 1 cup total berries, chopped melon, peaches, and/or plums (I used fresh peaches)
- 1 Tbs orange marmalade or honey (I used honey)
I’ve been trying to bake more and buy fewer processed goodies, so I’ve been baking away to keep the cookie jar full since we seem treats like this seem to disappear quickly in our house. Here’s a cookie recipe I finally mastered, with just enough sweet, just enough healthy, and all-around easy! Hope you enjoy!
Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
With a surplus of Mason jars in our home that we use for everything from serving drinks, storing spices and dry pantry ingredients, and as flower vases, I’m always looking for new creative uses. And for salads and on-the-go meals, it’s a no-brainer—freshness, convenience, portion control and an absolutely delish looking meal!
Check out these recipes from Mason Jar Salads And More! by Julia Mirabella—packed with recipes and bright, stunning photos for inspiration. In the book she shares step-by-step layering and assembling tips, along with salad recipes and lots of delish dressings.
Spinach, Radish, and Quinoa Salad
While it may seem like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed—an awesome, nutrition-packed
seed. Quinoa is a great source of protein, fiber, and iron, and its fluffy texture makes it
a perfect addition to salads. Here I’ve included it in a spring salad along with spinach,
radishes, and peas.
Makes 1 serving
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- ½ cup water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Blueberry Vinaigrette (recipe in the book!)
- ⅓ cup cucumber chunks
- ⅓ cup diced vine-ripened tomatoes
- ⅓ cup fresh peas (or substitute sugar snap peas)
- ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1 quart-size Mason jar
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under running water. Place in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Let the quinoa cool before adding it to the salad.
- Layer the ingredients in the Mason jar, starting with the vinaigrette dressing and continuing with the cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, and radishes. Add the cooled quinoa and finish with the spinach greens. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.
I’ve been making a big effort to clear out as much processed foods from our diet, and cut down on the excess sodium, additives, GMOs and preservatives. I’ve found some great ways to cut the junk without sacrificing flavor or the convenience of the little things that make our meals quick and easy, while also tasting sooo good. While I haven’t been able to let go of the Chili Cheese Frito’s or Oreos just yet, we’re picking our battles, and DIY Pantry by Kresha Faber has been wonderfully helpful. This book is packed with recipes for all-natural kitchen staples—from pastas, stocks, spices, snacks and more.
Here are a few staples I’ve already made and enjoyed, and keep conveniently in mason jars to always have on-hand. Enjoy!
Dry Onion Soup Mix
The store-bought powdered dry onion soup mix that comes in a package contains anti-caking agents, preservatives, and other additives, but this homemade onion soup mix features all whole-food ingredients that taste fresh and would also be great on a pot roast or added to some French Onion Chip Dip since it makes a quick addition and adds a ton of flavor to each dish.
Ready in: 5 minutes
Yield: Serves 8; Makes 2 cups dry mix
- 1½ cups dried onion flakes
- ¼ cup onion powder
- 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons celery seed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until combined.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 6-12 months.
- To use in recipes, use ¼ cup in place of one onion soup packet.
- To prepare as soup, stir ¼ cup into 1 cup boiling water. Serve immediately