Weekly Dish: Fuzzy Caterpillars

 

This one’s for the kids!┬áMy 4-year old couldn’t wait to bite the heads off of them. Yes, he is a boy.

Fuzzy Caterpillars

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 8 raisins/dark chocolate/carob chips
  • 4 cashews

Peel bananas. Spread almond butter over the entire banana and roll in the coconut. Cut in half to make 4 caterpillars. Add 2 raisin “eyes” and one cashew “smile” to each one.

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Thanksgiving Menu- Check!

Thanksgiving 2011 is now 12 days away. 11 days for me, as we are having a feast with friends on Wednesday and a feast with family on Thursday. This means I had to get on the ball (Butterball?) and plan a menu. Which, of course, is not foreign to me. And I love it, just a little. But still, it had to be done ASAP or disorganization, stress, and caffeinated last minute-ness would ensue.

I offer a disclaimer right off the bat: There is white bread on my Menu. *gasp!* I am not an experienced Thanksgiving-er. This is technically my first one. So you can see why I would be a little afraid to try whole wheat or an alternative bread when other non-family member people are coming to my house to eat dinner. People who may or may not care about eating white bread. So I had to do it. However, with this one small exception, the menu is packed with REAL food. Maybe no one will know. Maybe no one will care. Except for the neurotic hippie. (That would be me.)

With that being said… let us proceed.

The Menu

Turkey
No stuffing inside the bird. Instead, lemon, orange, carrots, celery, thyme and butter. So I guess it is sort of stuffed… just not with bread.

Caramelized Onion Dressing
A classic stuffing with the addition of caramelized onions and parmesan cheese.

Cheddar Jalapeno Dressing
A dressing made with an Italian loaf, cheddar, jalapenos, and a lager beer for depth of flavor.

Green Bean Casserole
Not your grandma’s recipe. This one is made with fresh mushrooms, cream and homemade chicken stock, and topped with caramelized onions.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey
For the kids as well as the adults. Takes the marshmallow topping idea to a new and sophisticated level, gracing it instead with candied pecans.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Gotta use the gravy with something! Made with Yukon Golds.

Cranberry Orange Sauce with Maple Syrup
Replacing white sugar with maple syrup is always a good idea. So is combining cranberries with oranges with cinnamon.

Appetizers, Rolls and Dessert
I am passing this off to anyone and everyone who offers to bring something. Like our friend, the Pastry Chef!

I hope to be posting many of these recipes in the near future. I have high hopes; hopefully there is nothing to disappoint on that day. But who can go wrong with caramelized onions, butter and cream?!

Egg-less French Toast

Since finding out that my husband is highly allergic to eggs, and being unwilling to use egg-replacers, I assumed our family breakfasts would no longer include French Toast (along with many other beloved egg-filled recipes). But I wrongly assumed! I discovered an egg-less French Toast that turned out to be the most delicious French Toast I have ever had. (Or maybe I think it is so scrumptious because I was faced with not making French Toast again, so anything would have tasted good.) Whatever the reason, I’m so happy we have this as part of our breakfast recipe repertoire! (***note: I think eggs are an incredibly nutrient dense and healthy food. I would use eggs if I could. But for all those who are also unable to have eggs, I wanted to share a recipe showing that things can still taste good without them!)

Eggl-ess French Toast

2(ish) ripe bananas

3/4 C milk

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (also can add nutmeg, cloves, etc…)

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Whole Wheat bread, soaked or sprouted if possible

lots of butter for cooking

Blend bananas, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour into dish and dip bread slices into the mix, coating both sides. Fry in butter in medium-hot skillet until golden brown. Serve with real maple syrup, pecans (or other nuts), sliced bananas, and more butter if desired!

Serves 2-4