Do you know that time when you wake up and you immediately think of how much you love your kids? Yeah, me to. Granted parenting can be a very difficult thing in anyone’s life, but getting those ‘I love you Dad’ on a daily basis, especially, and personally nowadays it means everything to me. I love my kids and it is probably one of the reasons I cook and come up with recipes to hopefully continue to build memories and get them thinking about family, food, and all kinds of different cuisine. I mean what kid doesn’t love Thai/Lao larb, right? I know mine do.
My kids love breakfast, and I know how they roll. Chocolate chip whatever is how they roll. Me? I am not a fan of the sweet breakfast, but if you throw in a breakfast hash, some toast, and an easy egg, well then I am all in. But it is about them, and so are these super easy to make chocolate cake waffles.
Let’s get started.
1 box of your favorite cake mix
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup of water
It doesn’t get any easier than this. Read the back of your cake mix box if you want and take if from there. I go chocolate because that’s how my kids roll, but think of the endless amounts of waffles you could be making!
Heat your waffle iron. During this time mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and water, and make into a smooth batter.
Once your iron is heated, lightly coat it with cooking spray.
Ladle in some of the cake mix to fill into the waffle iron. Close, flip, and cook until your waffle iron tells you so. The waffles should easily be removed from the iron. Repeat and get ready to see smiles on your kids faces. The result? No clue, but what I can tell you is they LOVED them. Enjoy!
This past summer I was doing my best to get a good intake of fruits, vegetables, and try to heal my body as best as I could. My appetite was there, but typically only in small amounts. Not a bad thing I suppose, but it was not the same as it was in the past. One of the things I was thinking about was how could I get great nutritional blasts with a depleted appetite? I was eating yogurt like it was going out of style, probably more for the probiotic impact, as well as smoothies, but there were those times I simply wanted a snack, and a good one. That’s when that dehydrator came into the game.
As you may know, I recently posted on making apple chips, and those were a huge hit, but when these little kiwi chips hit the table, well, they were like nutritious candy.
This recipe is way too simple to make and only takes a few minutes to get the skins removed from the kiwi, and yes there are a couple of different ways to remove the skin.
Let’s get started.
3 whole kiwis, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
Whoa! Yep, pretty much only one ingredient and how awesome is that!
So your options for getting the skins off of the kiwi are up to you. You can use a pairing knife and work your way around the kiwi to remove the skin, or you can cut the ends of the kiwi off, and take a spoon and carefully insert it under the skin, working your way around staying close to the skin and the fruit, and wedge the whole kiwi out that way. It’s up to you.
Once the kiwi is out, cut them into 1/4 inch rounds.
Lay the kiwi onto the dehydrator racks, keeping an inch or so apart. Once all of your kiwi are on the racks, cover, turn it on, and let it go from 5-8 hours. Feel free to touch and feel to the desired texture you are going for. I liked a little spring or chew for that matter, so my time dehydrating was less.
The result is a bunch of not only cool looking kiwi chips, but a chip that is so delicious it’s seriously like candy. The great thing about eating these is knowing how good they are for you. I should really just keep my dehydrator out and on at all times. That thing is not just for beef jerky you know!?
Tenzo Tea reached out a while back asking if I would be interested in trying their brand of matcha tea. To be honest, I’m not an avid tea drinker only having a mug or two a week but I was willing to try their blends of matcha tea. I was excited to say the least. My wife, who is an avid tea drinker, was also excited as matcha was not one of our go to tea choices. Tenzo Tea had sent over a variety of matcha teas to try including blueberry, raspberry, and traditional green. We tried all three and really fell in love with the raspberry and blueberry blends. I mean really fell in love with them and it was probably the best cup of tea I’ve had in some time, plus it has all of the benefits of matcha. When trying the green blend, I knew that one needed a bit of help, and so I decided to come up with a recipe using Tenzo Tea and decided a great fruit smoothie would be a nice way to incorporate the matcha tea.
Tenzo tea has all of the benefits of match which includes focused energy, an antioxidant powerhouse, a way to a healthier heart, and a boost in metabolism. What’s not to love about that, and what a better way to start your morning!
Let’s get started.
Ingredients (makes 1 smoothie):
2 tsp matcha tea
4 oz hot water
1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries
4 frozen strawberries
1 banana, cut up
1 whole kale leaf, torn, optional
1/4 cup of your favorite yogurt, optional
Add the matcha tea to the hot water and stir well. Once it cools down, prepare your smoothie.
My favorite smoothie is pretty much everything listed above, however make this to your liking, just don’t forget to use the Tenzo Tea!
Add all of the ingredients to your blender, or smoothie cup, and blend until smooth.
Pour and serve.
The result is not only a great smoothie, but one with the additional benefits of matcha tea! The tea itself does have a bit of a jolt as well which is even a better start to the morning, and yes beats that cup of coffee.
I find it interesting that over the last few months there are a couple of boxes of fillo dough and puff pastry in my freezer. I’m almost certain I had a couple of ideas bouncing around in my head during those purchases, but it was not until team members from D’Vash Organics contacted me once again to partner with them in creating yet another great recipe using their amazing D’Vash Date Nectar. That’s when I knew exactly what I was going to make. A traditional baklava, in some ways, but using D’Vash date nectar in replace of honey. The result was mind blowing to say the least.
Start by making your sweet sauce that will be used after the baklava has baked. You will want to do this ahead so that it has time to cool.
Add 3/4 cup of sugar, water, lemon juice, and D’Vash date nectar to a small pot. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then once boiling reduce the heat and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir along the way. After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and let it cool.
Now the backbreaking work. Just kidding. This is the only time consuming part, and if you are having your kids help, this can take a bit of patience as unlayering each piece of fragile fillo can be a bit nerve wracking. Just make sure your fillo dough is completely thawed. I set mine out the day before and place it in the refrigerator overnight for a day or two to ensure it is completely thawed.
Get a baking sheet out, or if your are super detailed get a baking dish out that will fit your sheet of fillo dough. I go with my baking sheet and make sure that when I layer each fillo that it matches up with the previous fillo dough.
Make the sugar and nut mixture. To a food processor, or use a knife if you desire, pulse the nuts into a fine chop. Add the nuts to a bowl along with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon and give that a good mix.
Get your bowl of melted butter ready along with a pastry brush. Unroll a roll of fillo and get ready to baklava!
Place 10 fillo sheets onto the baking sheet one at a time, and brush each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next sheet of fillo. After the 10th sheet, spread about 1/5 of nut mixture over the fillo dough.
Do the same process, but this time layer only 5 sheets, buttering each sheet, then on the 5th sheet, top with the nut and sugar mixture.
Do this about 4 more times with the 5 sheet layer process, then on the final top, go back to the 10 stack of fillo, ensuring that all nut mixture is used up before layering the top 10 sheets of fillo.
Butter the top of the 10th sheet, then gently push down and form the baklava.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Now let’s cut the baklava. Cut the fillo into about 2 inch strips, lengthwise, then make diagonal cuts to make somewhat of a diamond shape. If you want to keep things simple, just cut into rectangles, it’s up to you.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook for about 1 hour, up to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Once the baklava is a great golden brown, remove from the oven, and immediately ladle over the cooled syrup you made earlier, ensuring that you get into all of those crevices.
Now the hard part… waiting.
The goal is to not only let the baklava cool, but you want that syrup to penetrate all of that great fillo that you took your time stacking. After about 4 hours, go ahead and try the baklava, but trust me the longer you wait, the better it gets. Kids approved, neighbors and friends approved, and chef approved.
If you are looking for a great treat that will be sure to please everyone (with the exception of those with nut allergies), then give this baklava a try. The replacement of D’Vash really made this baklava stand out. It had this subtle tartness that really made this delicious baklava pop.
If you are wanting to try D’Vash Organics Date Nectar (and I highly recommend it), then head over to their store and pick some up. My lucky readers can use the coupon code DVASHSIMPLECOMFORTFOOD upon check out! Hope you enjoy D’Vash as much as we do!