About our blogger: Mommyland

I'm a mom, a wife and I cook for a living. I'm 26 years old and just found out I'm expecting our second baby. I love to be at home hanging out with my family and getting crafty whenever I can fine the time.

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Posts by Mommyland:

December 1st, 2012

Lentil shepherd’s pie

This week, I was trying to think of some healthy twists on some classic comfort foods. I started with Shepherd’s Pie.

1 cup dry lentils, rinsed and sorted
4-5 medium golden potatoes
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups stock (we’re not vegetarian, so I used beef. Veggie stock would be fine)
1/2 cup TVP (I threw it in because I had it, totally ok to skip)
1 cup frozen peas

In a small pot, simmer lentils in water until softened (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, boil your potatoes and make mashed potatoes in your favorite fashion. I used sour cream, garlic and margarine in mine.

In a large sauté pan, combine onion, carrot, celery, garlic and oil. Add any dry herbs you like now. Thyme would be great, but I skipped it because Hubs doesn’t like it. Stir until veggies soften. Add flour to make a roux. Add stock 1/2 cup at a time until you’ve got a gravy with your veggies. Stir in your cooked lentils, TVP and peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the lentil mixture into a large casserole dish. Dollop mashed potatoes over the top. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes just to heat everything through and crisp the top of the potatoes. Enjoy!


November 25th, 2012

Cinnamon rolls

My apologies. These are so not healthy, but a girl’s got to splurge now and again. And I’m totally blaming Hubs for this one. He’s been talking about cinnamon rolls for days. One of the downsides of knowing how to make just about anything from scratch, is there’s enough of something in the house to make something I shouldn’t. Oh, these were so good.


1/2 cup butter, melted, divided
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
2 tsp yeast (1 packet will work fine)
2/3 cup warm milk or water (I used half water, half almond milk)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup powdered sugar
And a bit more milk Read the rest of this entry »

November 2nd, 2012

Broccoli Quinoa pilaf

This stuff makes a wonderful, healthy, protein packed side dish, or a super filling vegan entree. Dig in and enjoy. Oh, and extra points, its way easy to make!

2 tbsp oil or margarine (or butter if you’re not going for vegan)

1/2 onion

3 carrots

1 large broccoli crown

1 cup quinoa

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth

And some of your favorite herbs and spices

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Chop up your veggies. I chose to use the food processor, because I was feeling lazy and wanted everything chopped tiny. Do whatever works for you. Read the rest of this entry »

October 8th, 2012

Black bean quinoa burgers

I finally got around to making these black bean burgers I’ve been fantasizing about for over a week. Totally worth it. And I’m sharing them with you.

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water or stock (I used beef stock to make them a little more like traditional burgers for Hubs)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup TVP (that’s textured vegetable protein. I threw it in because I had it. If you don’t have easy access to it, just skip it or substitute with toasted bread crumbs)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 egg

1. Combine quinoa and water (or stock) in a small pot over high heat. When it reaches a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes until water is absorbed.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium size bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Using a fork or potato masher, gently mash beans and mix ingredients. Leave some chunkiness in the beans. When quinoa is cooked, fold it in to bean mixture.
3. Shape into patties whatever size you like. I made 6 patties. Pan sear over high heat for about 3 minutes per side until heated through.

Our review: 4 out of 5. Everyone enjoyed their burgers. Hubs and Junior even asked for seconds! If you like full flavored foods, bump up the seasonings a bit.


September 19th, 2012

Coconut lentil soup

It’s day 2 of Project: Get Healthy. I have to work later tonight, so it’s a crockpot dinner night. Tonight, the guys are having Coconut Lentil soup. It might be a bit of a stretch for Hubs’ taste buds, but this is a challenge for all of us.

Please keep in mind, I tend to make big batches of most recipes. We use the leftovers for lunches or dinner later.

Veggies, dice them up – 1 onion, 2 large carrots, 3 ribs celery, 1/2 green bell pepper.

Seasonings – 1tsp salt, 2tsp cumin

Dry lentils, rinsed – 1.5 cups

Coconut milk – 1 can (12oz, I think)

Vegetable stock – 2 quarts

Sauté your veggies and seasonings in just a bit of oil. When veggies are a bit softened, deglaze the pan with about a cup of the veggie stock. Now just toss everything in the crockpot. Set it on low and let it go. Once the lentils are softened, it’s ready to eat. Plan on cooking your soup about 4 hours. I like leaving it longer and letting the lentils break down more, but it’s up to you.



October 10th, 2011

How to make your own rice milk!

The other day, I was talking to my friend E.  I admire the way she feeds her family: organic, natural, wholesome foods all the way.  The problem is, I’m just too cheap to make that switch.  I’ve always got my eyes peeled for small changes we can make, and I found one.  E told me about homemade rice milk.  I assumed it was difficult, time consuming, or otherwise excusable.  It’s not.  Rice milk is ultra easy to make, and fabulous!

This recipe is very forgiving, and I honestly didn’t measure anything, but you’ll get the idea.

Rice Milk Recipe

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 4 cups water
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sugar
  • Extra water for thinning

Simmer water and rice for a few hours until the rice is mushy.  Give it an occasional stir.  If the water level gets low, just toss in a little more.  Again, this is not specific, so just roll with it.  Blend the cooked rice and water quickly.  I did this in two batches, running the blender for about 10 seconds each time.  Strain; a nut bag would probably work best, or a couple of layers of cheesecloth.  Go figure, I didn’t have either on hand, so I just used a fine metal strainer; it worked ok and honestly, I’ll probably just do it again this way next time.

At this point, the rice milk will be very thick and pretty bland, but totally usable.  Right now, you could use it in place of cream in a lot of recipes, but I prefer to add vanilla, sugar, and some more water.  It makes the milk more like the stuff you buy in the store in quarts.  After thinning, I ended up with 8 cups of rice milk and added about a tablespoon of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Thin the rice milk as little or as much as you want; there’s no wrong answer here.

Store it in the fridge and use it up in about a week.

OK, now go try it!  For the cost of a cup of rice, what have you got to lose!?

June 20th, 2011

Shoot… now I’m that mom

Hubs and Junior love to wrestle and play fight.  Until recently, it’s all been in good fun.  But now, my sweet, mild mannered, loving Junior is the group hitter.  Yesterday at a play date, he ran up and hit a little boy out of nowhere.  I knew exactly where he got it from.  That’s the game he and Hubs play; when one of them isn’t looking, the other play hits him.  Kinda cute when it’s father and son.  Toddler on toddler isn’t so cute.  I made him go apologize and explained that it’s a game that he only plays with Daddy.

Today, we were at a going away party, and I hear a kid in the playroom scream.  I knew it wasn’t Junior’s cry, but given what happened yesterday, I went running.  The crier was pointing at Junior, and I knew what was up.  When he realized he was busted, he started to cry and wouldn’t answer me.  Turns out, the other boy was playing with a ball.  Junior wanted it, so he hit him.

This isn’t my sweet little boy.  I sort of blew of yesterday’s incident as a game played at the wrong time, but hitting out of aggression is a whole different story.  Not that either situation is ok, but at least what happened yesterday wasn’t meanness intended to hurt someone.  Of course, I made him apologize and removed him from the situation.  After we left, we had a talk.  He even said, “hitting people is not a great choice to make friends.”  I know he gets it, but what’s the deal?  Now he’s that mean kid, and I’m that mom.  Crap.  I guess it’s time for some real parenting.


June 16th, 2011

Love Child cookies

A s’more and a macaroon walk into a bar… Have you heard this one already?  No?  Good.  Ok, so a s’more and a macaroon walk into a bar.  Nine months later, this amazing bar cookie entered the world.  I may not have a career as a comic, but I can bake some mean cookies!  Why do I call them Love Child cookies?  Because, if a s’more and a macaroon could have a love child, this would be it.

Love Child bar cookies

  • 2 packages graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 12oz package chocolate chips
  • 2 cups mini-marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×13 pan (if you have a bar cookie pan, use it.  If not, anything about this size works great).

2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.  Press into pan.  Bake 8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients.  When the crust comes out of the oven, spread the coconut mixture over the crust.

4. Bake again for 10-12 minutes or until top is golden brown.

5. Cool and cut into squares.


June 10th, 2011

Gone but never forgotten

Today, my aunt has been on my heart and my mind.  It’s been almost exactly 7 years since she passed away.  Her daughter, my cousin, has been one of my closest friends since we were babies.  I remember how much I loved sleeping over at their house.  Of course, playing with my cousin was the main draw, but my aunt always made it so much fun.  I still remember one of my cousin’s birthday parties.  She must have been turning 10 or so.  My aunt must have bought every junk food under the sun, cases of gourmet soda and tons of ice cream.  She knew just how to spoil us.  Of course, my uncle’s amazing breakfasts were always a treat too.

By the time we were both in high school, my cousin and I grew apart a little.  We had our own friends, our own hobbies.  We didn’t see each other much and I didn’t see much of my aunt.  After high school, my cousin and I moved into a house together maybe a mile from her parents’ house.  I got a chance to be reminded how loving my aunt was, how giving she could be.  Once a week, she’d stop by our house and drop something off, most of the time it was food.  We’d sit and chat for hours.

I truly cherish that time my cousin and I lived together.  Not just for Read the rest of this entry »

June 9th, 2011

Father’s day gift from the kids

On a budget?  Don’t know what the kids should give their dad for Father’s Day?  I’ve got an idea for you!  Let the kids paint him a Tie T-shirt.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A solid color t-shirt
  • Freezer paper (you can find this at the grocery store)
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Fabric medium (this will be at a craft store near the craft paints)
  • Paint brush(es) – I like the cheap foam ones

Read the rest of this entry »