Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stovetop Popcorn

Jana here with one of my family's favorite snacks!  Making popcorn on the stovetop is so fast (just as quick as the microwave variety), and is much healthier!  In my opinion, it also tastes MUCH better!  This is so simple, but I thought some of you might be interested in how to make popcorn this way!

Stovetop Popcorn

2-3 tablespoons oil (we use coconut, but other types may be used)
1/3 cup popcorn kernels

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet on high.  Place 2 kernels in the oil during this time, and listen for them to pop.  When they do, you're ready to put the other kernels in the pan!

2. Put the remaining popcorn kernels in the pan, and cover with a lid!

3. Allow the kernels to pop, listening carefully for when the popping slows. Remove from the heat once the popping is spaced out by a few seconds between each pop.

Season however you would like!  (season salt is good!)


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Restaurant Style Salsa

Jana here with a salsa recipe that is a great addition to any Mexican meal!  I have made many different homemade salsas, but this is by far my favorite. It has a similar texture and taste as the ones they serve at our local Mexican restaurants. It is just spicy enough, but not overwhelmingly so. I got inspiration for this from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook.

Restaurant Style Salsa 

1 can whole tomatoes (with juice) or 1 quart canned garden tomatoes
2 cans (10 ounce) Rotel
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
*one jalapeno finely chopped if you prefer more heat

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse 5-10 times until you get the desired consistency. If the salsa looks too runny, I put it through a fine strainer to get some of the excess liquid out. Adjust seasonings as needed.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fresh Orange Muffins

Jana here with a new muffin recipe!  My six year old son likes helping in the kitchen, and loves to suggest new recipe ideas. Recently, he asked me if I could make some orange muffins soon. I love to bake muffins, and had never tried any orange ones so I was up for the challenge!  I followed a recipe I found on  This website, along with are great resources when you have an idea of something you want to bake, but want to read through ingredient lists and reviews. I loved that this recipe used fresh oranges, and the flavor is unbelievable!  The muffins are very moist, and the texture is awesome.  Another benefit is that the ingredient list is pretty short, so you can have these mixed up and ready to put in the oven in minutes!

Fresh Orange Muffins

2 medium sized oranges
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin by lightly greasing.

2. Squeeze the juice from one of the oranges until you have 1/2 cup. If you don't get quite this much from the orange, add water to make the total amount 1/2 cup.  (I did this, and the muffins were still so delicious!)

3. Cut the other orange into bite sized pieces (peel included, but make sure to remove any seeds!). Blend the orange pieces with the orange juice until pureed. (I used my immersion blender, and it worked very well)

4. Mix this puree with the egg and melted butter until well combined.

5. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.

6. Use batter to fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Savoring the Summer

In the spirit of savoring the summer, Thrice the Spice will be taking a temporary break from regular posting.  As much as we desire to feed our families well physically, that also extends to feeding their souls as well.  As we enjoy quality time with our kids during the long summer days we hope you'll feel free to browse the archives for some tasty treats to keep your family satisfied as well.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

It's zucchini bread time of year, wahooo! Do you get as excited about this as I do?  Probably not.  But try this bread and you will, I can almost guarantee it!  We are already knee-deep in zucchini and I knew I wanted to make some delicious bread as a healthy alternative to having sweets in the house (I've almost gone a month without desserts!)  I started looking for a recipe to use and ended up adapting one to fit my needs.  Next time I plan on cutting out the sugar from the recipe completely and I still think it would be plenty sweet. 

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread
1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
1/3 cup EVOO
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 TB plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sugar *See note below*
2 TB honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini

In true Sara fashion, I dumped all of the ingredients into the mixer together and turned it on a high speed for a minute or two.  Next I turned it down to a medium speed until everything was well blended.  I then poured the batter into a bread pan I'd previously sprayed and cooked it on 350 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes.  At close to an hour I checked on the bread and stuck a knife in the middle to see if it was still doughy. It was, so I continued to bake past an hour until the middle was solid. 

This bread was SO, so good.  Like fantastic!  I put a note next to the sugar because although I used 1/4 a cup (the original recipe called for 3/4-yikes!) I really felt like the sugar could have been left out altogether, and a couple extra TB's of honey used instead.  


Friday, June 27, 2014

Baked Chicken Chimichanga

Jana here with a Mexican recipe that you will definitely want to make! I found inspiration for this recipe here, and made some changes to fit our preferences. If you've ever had a chicken Chimichanga at a Mexican restaurant, you know how delicious they are....but they are also fried, and not very healthy. I was really happy with the texture of these tortillas once they'd been baked.  They were light and crispy, and just right!  The filling can be modified significantly from what I list below. Ground beef can be traded for chicken. Black beans for refried beans. Different types of cheese can be tried.  The recipe is very flexible!

Baked Chicken Chimichanga

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 cup salsa
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup refried beans
6-8 flour tortillas (8 inch size)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Toppings: sour cream, salsa, avocado, lettuce, tomato

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix chicken, salsa, spices, cheese, and beans in a medium sized mixing bowl.

2. Spread about 1/3 cup of the mixture in the center of a tortilla. Roll tortilla where all sides are sealed. (fold in 'short sides' first, then roll lengthwise)  Place seam side down in a baking dish.

3. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Garnish with toppings and ENJOY!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Herb Cream Cheese

Hi everyone!  I have the tastiest, quickest recipe to share with you today. This herb cream cheese is perfect for pairing with crusty bread and I've even eaten it on top of scrambled eggs.  It's great for a crowd because it is seriously simple to make but tastes very decadent.  We use the herbs from our garden, but you could also easily buy some at your local Farmer's Market or grocery store. 

Herb Cream Cheese
One block cream cheese 
Handful of dill and green onion, to taste
2 TB garlic

One loaf crusty bread

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for a few minutes.  Dice the dill and green onion and mix with the cream cheese, along with the garlic.  Spread on the bread (toasted if you like) and enjoy! 


Friday, June 20, 2014

Creamy Mexican Chicken

Jana here with a delicious, fast slow cooker meal!  This is a great meal for a day when you only have a few minutes to spend on dinner.  One of the things I love about it is the finished product is very versatile!  We ate it the first night over brown rice.  The second time we had it, we put it in tortillas, added salsa and cheese, and had a yummy burrito!

Creamy Mexican Chicken 
2-2.5 lbs frozen chicken breasts
1 can corn, drained
1 package cream cheese
1 can Rotel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro (optional)

1. Place frozen chicken breasts in your slow cooker.

2. Add remaining ingredients on top.

3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring every few hours if possible.

About halfway through the cooking time, I used a fork to stir and shred the chicken.  It did so very easily, and made it where the chicken could absorb the flavors and moisture of the sauce even more!  This would make a great freezer meal also!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

These Are a Few of my Favorite {Summer} Things!

Becca here with some of my favorite summer recipes today!  With the school being out around here, and the 4th of July approaching, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorites from the Thrice the Spice blog over the years.  Remember you can always use the search bar on the right sidebar to search by topic, ingredient, cooking method, etc.  You can also choose a category to browse on the right sidebar as well.  What are some of YOUR favorite summer treats & activities?
4th of July Flag Toast

and another idea for the 4th (also dye free!) 
Red, White, & Blue "Celebrate America" Dessert!

Fruit Butterfly Snacks

Fresh Lemonade

and while you're buying and juicing lemons, make this Simple Lemon Sugar Scrub for yourself or a quick gift!

Or, these 'Clean Eating' Lemon Bars are another tasty way to use lemons and enjoy a treat without going way overboard.

Strawberry Pina Colada Popsicles

I also make popsicles using just 100% fruit juice, or add frozen fruit or peas for an extra treat, although since we don't normally drink juice a juice popsicle is a treat in itself! 

These Orange Creamsicles are another delicious popsicle idea we've tried & enjoyed.

What is your favorite homemade popsicle 'recipe' or idea?  Enjoy! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Banana Muffins-no sugar, flour, or butter!

It's a hilly place, this life of mine.  Full of peaks and valleys, highs and lows.  Especially with my health.  About a year ago I decided I would learn to run.  I was certainly at a "healthy" weight, but really I'm using even that term loosely.   In my opinion, a skinny person isn't necessarily a healthy one.  We have that all kinds of mixed up in America.  Some of the strongest, most fierce and brave and HEALTHY women I know aren't the skinniest ones.  Some of the skinniest gals I know are the most self-conscious and the most obsessed with working out and the scale, and certainly the most unhappy.  To me, healthy covers more than our looks, happiness is included too.  So finding myself thin last year but not truly healthy wasn't a happy thing.  I began to run, starting and finishing Couch to 5k.  I even ran in my first 5k and came in third place! I was hooked.  

Fast forward through winter, where even after a few periods of majorally slacking off, I hit the treadmill again.  And then life sped up and Brett worked longer hours and there I was again, desperately looking forward to nap times, after breakfast times, and bed time for snacks and chocolate and m and m's, and chips.  Junk.  Folks, I was looking forward to junk.   
So I changed.  After having one particularly painful afternoon with a yucky stomach ache I was fed up.  I was feeling "Blah" emotionally and physically and not taking care of myself.  Since then I've cut out extra sugar.  I say "extra" because some things (but very few) like my soy vanilla milk has 6 grams of sugar I believe per serving, which I have once a day.  But I've said no to cake, cookies, pie, brownies, cinnamon roll, ice cream, and my FAVE, peanut m and m's.  I've been eating clean 80% of the time at least.  Most days 90% of the time.  I feel GREAT.  I have energy...I don't feel bloated.  I'm on day 11 of no sweets!! I've never done that in my life, ever.  

I even made muffins today that had no sugar, flour, or butter and they are delicious!  The girls liked them too.  Here's the recipe:
Banana Oatmeal Muffins

2 and 1/2 cups quick cook oats
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas

Combine everything in your mixer and mix on HIGH speed for 2 minutes or so.  Next mix on medium to low speed for an additional minute.  Spray a muffin tin with EVOO cooking spray.  We used our mini muffin tin! Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes!