Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Month: June 2014 (page 1 of 3)

Lemon-Mint Sunshine Water

lemon-mint water steeping Now that the temperature is heating up outside, we need to think about staying hydrated more than ever.  I have been reading a book called Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard, and she includes water in the top 200 superfoods, or healthiest foods on the planet.   She reminds us that water is one of the six essential nutrients necessary not only for survival, but for good health as well.  It is so easy to reach for some kind of sweetened drink when we are thirsty, but water delivers the best hydration without all the sugar and additives.  Sometimes it can feel like work to drink enough water, so in the summer, I like to make my own version of herb-infused water.  It is more fun than drinking plain water–it gives the water a delicate flavor and adds some extra health benefits as well.  According to www.naturalnews.com/042942_lemon_balm_health_benefits_antioxidants.html, lemonbalm is a calming herb.  It also contains antioxidants.  Mint adds some assets to the water too.  Besides a refreshing flavor, mint boosts our health.  An article at www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html says that mint is soothing to our bodies.  It can help with nausea and even boosts our mood, among other things.  Both lemonbalm and mint are really easy to grow.  In fact they are so easy to grow, that you need to either plant them in a pot, or plant them somewhere where they are contained somehow.  Otherwise they will spread like crazy.

lemonbalm and mintWe grow our own herbs here at home, so in the summer, I love to just walk outside and pick a handful of lemonbalm and a handful of mint, and prepare to make what I like to call lemon-mint sunshine water.  (You can also find lemonbalm and mint leaves in the herb section of many grocery stores).  After you wash the herbs, just fill a glass container with water (I use a 3 quart glass jar) and place a handful of the herbs in the water. (You can experiment with the amount of herbs, depending on how much flavor you want.)  Cover the jar and set it outside in direct sun.  This water works best if it can steep out in the sun for the whole day, so I start it in the morning and pull it in when the sun gets lower, in the early evening.  It tastes best cold, so refrigerate it and give your some true refreshment!

glass of lemon-mint waterpretty pitcher

Wholesome Weekend Waffles

waffles 2Although it is not a weekend, I made waffles for my kids this morning because we were home and had a little extra time.  Usually, it is my husband who makes them for us on Saturday or Sunday mornings.  And he really does a better job than I do at them.  But this recipe, which I have posted below,  is pretty solid, so even those who don’t make waffles very often (like me) can do it.  Just remember to preheat and lightly oil your waffle maker before you pour the batter in.  I learned that the hard way.  There is no white flour to be found in this recipe, which I find very appealing.  It’s full of fiber and all the other good things associated with whole wheat flour and oats.  According to www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/reap-the-benefits-of-whole-grains, whole wheat and oats also contain protein, B vitamins, trace minerals, and antioxidants.  And there’s only a teaspoon of sugar, yet the waffles are tasty and hearty.  If you are looking to fuel up for an active day, these waffles are a great way to do it.  Topped with peanut butter or maple syrup, and fresh fruit on the side, they taste even better.

waffles 3waffles 1

Recipe for Weekend Waffles

Weekend Waffles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: approximately 30 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions:

Combine the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with a fork.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the rest and stir well.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, and stir until combined and the batter is smooth.  Pour batter in approximately 1/3 cup increments  into a lightly oiled, preheated waffle maker and cook till done.  Top with real maple syrup and/or peanut butter.  Enjoy!

 

The Joys of Strawberry Shortcake

strawberries 1What would June be without strawberry shortcake?  When I was a kid, before we could get strawberries year-round from all over the world, my mother made strawberry shortcake almost every day that strawberries were in season.  She and my dad really loved strawberries.  I have cozy memories of eating strawberry shortcake with my parents and brothers out on the porch after baseball and softball games.  And there really is a difference between strawberries grown halfway across the country or world and strawberries grown in a field within a few miles of where you live.  You just can’t beat the freshness, or the bright red color.  According to www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32, strawberries have lots of good nutrients in them, especially vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.  And the longer the strawberries are stored, the less nutrients they retain.  So it is most beneficial to eat them soon after they are picked.  Strawberries are one of those foods that not only taste great, but are really good for you.  So enjoy the local strawberries while you can!  There are several farm stands and farmers markets around here that sell local fruit, and it’s even more fun to pick the berries if you get the chance.  I have posted a recipe for shortcake that tastes really good topped with strawberries. I made some yesterday for my family, and we savored the rich, juicy strawberries on top of the mild shortcake.  Though the calendar doesn’t say it’s officially summer yet, to me, strawberry season is the unofficial beginning of summer.  I am going to try to savor it as much as possible this year.

strawberries 2shortcakestrawberry shortcake in bowl

Recipe for Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

  • Servings: about 8
  • Time: approximately 30 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar, plus about 1/4 to1/2 cup for strawberries
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 Tablespoon of sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Place the butter in the bowl, and with a fork or pastry cutter, press and cut it into the dry ingredients until it has the consistency of large crumbs.  Pour the buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, just use regular milk and substitute 1 of the Tablespoons of milk for 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar) into the bowl and stir with a fork just until a dough forms.  When the dough holds together, spoon it into the pie plate and press it down so it is evenly distributed.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until shortcake is puffy and lightly browned.

Cut the shortcake into pieces, split the pieces in half, and top pieces with washed, sliced strawberries.  Or if you want a sweeter topping, wash strawberries, remove stems, and mash them in a bowl.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 half cup of sugar, depending on amount of strawberries mashed, and according to your taste.  Pour the strawberry-sugar mixture over the shortcake pieces. Enjoy!

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