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All Dressed Up

Even though it’s starting to get a little colder (you have no idea how much it pains us to admit that!) we here at Two Saucy Sisters still believe that it is never too cold for a big ol’ salad!

That being said, there are definitely a lot of ways to change up a salad to make it more seasonable.  Adding cooked, cubed sweet potato or squash adds a nice Fall flair, as do some crisp apple slices.  Pair that with some toasty walnuts and creamy goat cheese and you’ve got yourself a pretty tasty fall-ified salad!

But of course, salad just isn’t salad without dressing, now is it?  You could just go with your usual oil-and-vinegar combo, but why not make it a little more special?

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Something you may not know about us is that the house we live in (when we’re not at school) is actually a more than 100-year-old fruit farm.  Most of the orchards are gone now and we only have about 3 acres of the original land left, but we do have a few pear trees that still produce fruit every year.  So, you can imagine that when our gracious father picked us a whole bunch of them, we needed to figure out a way to use them up before they got too ripe.  Who knew the answer would be salad dressing?

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Yup- we made a pear vinaigrette!  It’s a little sweet, it’s a little savoury, and it makes the perfect topping for a Fall-inspired salad!

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This works really well if you just so happen to have a couple slightly over-ripe pears in your fridge.  If you don’t, just leave a pear out on the counter for a day or two and you’ll be ready to make this tasty dressing.  It’s simply a matter of throwing the ingredients in a blender and you’ve got yourself enough dressing for several salads in mere minutes!

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So now you have no excuse not to eat your greens 😉

Happy Fall Salad-Eating!

Pear Vinaigrette

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Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: ~1 cup

Ingredients:

1 ripe pear
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp white vinegar
dash of salt
pepper, to taste
1/2 c. olive oil

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender except for the olive oil, and blend until the pear has been pulverized.   With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream.  Blend for another minute or two to ensure the pear is fully blended and everything is combined.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. (Just be sure to set it on the counter a few minutes before using it, and give it a stir before pouring)

~twosaucysisters

Do you ever make fun salad dressings?  What’s your favourite way to jazz-up a salad?

Curve Balls and Ice Cream

Sometimes life can throw some serious curve balls at you.

One minute, you think you’ve got it all together.  You’re certain of yourself- you’re confident, happy.  You’ve got plenty of friends and family and everything is smooth sailing.

Then one small change can throw you right off.  All of a sudden you’re left questioning whether what you thought all along was real.  Something you thought was one thing seems to be something else entirely.  You start wondering if this entire time you were in the middle of some big joke that no one let you in on.

Yeah, sometimes life gives you not-so-pleasant and unexpected surprises.

And then sometimes it gives you ice cream.

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But here’s what we’re not going to do: We’re not going to tell you that this “ice cream” is as rich and decadent as a bowlful of Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s.  Sorry everyone, but that kind of sinful deliciousness cannot be achieved without the addition of cream and sugar, which doesn’t really work with the whole healthy food blog thing…

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However, we will tell you what it does have:  Banana, chocolate and peanut butter.  Some of you may think we’ve over-done that flavour combo over here, but we can’t disagree more!  You can never have too much peanut butter-chocolate-banana.  You just can’t.

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So although this may not be as indulgent as regular ice cream, this stuff makes for a pretty delicious, simple and healthy summer snack or dessert.  And that’s the honest truth.

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Because you know what?  Sometimes things happen that you wish hadn’t, and sometimes people disappoint you- but chocolate, peanut butter and banana will not.  So enjoy, friends!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream”

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Prep: 10 minutes
Chill: 2-3 hours (optional)
Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas
1/4 c. peanut butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
pinch of salt

Directions:

Peel the bananas and place on a tray lined with wax paper.  Place in the freezer and chill for 2-3 hours, or until the bananas are frozen or almost frozen. (We recommend doing this with a whole bunch of bananas and then just keeping the frozen bananas in your freezer all the time to use whenever you’d like)

Slice the bananas and place them in a food processor along with all other ingredients.  Blend on high speed until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary.

You can eat it right away as soft serve, or you can pour the mixture into an air-tight container and freeze for 2-3 hours for a more “hard-scoop” kind of ice cream.

~twosaucysisters

Summer Prep

Summer has arrived and while there have been a lot of days so far that hasn’t exactly felt like it, we have finally had a few hot ones over this past week.

And you know what that means?

Healthy no-bake treats, of course!

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Because who really wants to turn on an oven when its 30 degrees outside?  No one, that’s who.

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And like we said, when we had those few hot days last week, we were ready for them!  Because our freezers were full of chewy chocolate-peanut butter Rice Krispie treats.

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These bars are not crispy-crunchy like a traditional Rice Krispie square.  They are dense, they are chewy, and they are full of chocolate-peanut butter amazingness.

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You can keep your fluffy marshmallows- we’ll take our chocolate and peanut butter, thank you very much!

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We have also finally opened our pool, so between that and these freezer treats, we are set for summer to begin!  Now if only it would stop raining…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Freezer Bars

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours
Makes: 16 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 c. all natural peanut butter (you can use regular if that’s what you have)
1 ripe banana
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
5 cups Rice Krispie Cereal

Topping:

1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

Add the banana, peanut butter and yogurt to a blender and blend on high until the mixture is smooth.  (If you prefer, you can skip the blender and simply mix it all by hand, just be sure to thoroughly mash the banana before mixing in the other ingredients!)

Transfer the peanut butter, banana and yogurt mixture to a bowl and add the honey and cocoa powder.  Stir until the mixture is smooth and all the cocoa powder has been absorbed.  Add the Rice Krispies 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition to ensure you get an even coating.

Line a 9×9 inch square pan with wax paper.  Press the mixture into the pan and smooth out the top. (Don’t press too hard, there’s no need to pack it in too much).

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on high for about 40 seconds-1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds or so.  Add the coconut oil and stir until the coconut oil melts into the chocolate. Drizzle the chocolate over top of the Rice Krispie mixture and place in the freezer for 2 hours before cutting into bars.  Store in the freezer in an air-tight container.

~twosaucysisters

Has summer weather arrived where you live?  How do you like to beat the heat?

Simple Sunday: Stir Fry

It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve done a Simple Sunday post, but we’re back, and today we have quite possibly one of the easiest dinners you could make!

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Because in our opinion there is no simpler a meal than a stir-fry! But simple does not mean boring or bland- all you need is a few ingredients to give it a pop of flavour.

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All you need is one pan, a handful of veggies, a source of protein and a little seasoning and you’re in business, people!

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Ok, so you actually need two pans, one for the stir fry and one to cook your noodles or rice or whatever you decide to serve it over.  But the pot you cook your grain in hardly gets dirty at all so in our minds it doesn’t really count 🙂

So what went into our stir fry this time around?  Carrots, bok choy, onions, mushrooms and salmon. Only a few ingredients but we assure you our family ate it right up!

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We feel as though the stir-fry has been shoved under the rug.  Its a meal that many cooks turn there noses up at, one that is considered “too simple” or “commonplace”.  Stir-frys are under appreciated in our opinions, so today we’d like to give them the spotlight.  Let them take back the credit that is rightfully theirs.

So grab your frying pans and join us in a deliciously simple stir-fry-making extravaganza!

Simple Salmon Stir Fry

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

450 g. salmon filets
1 tbsp olive, grape seed or coconut oil
ground black pepper
Garlic salt or powder
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches of bok choy
2 large carrots
1 c. sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the salmon filets with black pepper and garlic salt or powder.  Place in the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side.  Put the lid on the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.  Remove the filets and set aside.

Add the minced garlic and diced onion to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes, until the onions soften and become translucent.  Julienne the carrots (aka- cut them into thin match-stick pieces) and add them to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Slice the bok choy and mushrooms and add them to the pan.  Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.  Add all other ingredients and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender yet still crisp.

Serves over rice or noodles, is desired.

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite veggies to put in a stir-fry?

Muffin Fix

Muffins are our answer to everything.

Need a quick lunch snack? Muffins.
Want a light breakfast?  Muffins.
Packing for a road trip? Muffins.
Bored?  Why not do some baking to pass the time?  Why not bake muffins?

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Our other answer to everything is chocolate and peanut butter.  Obviously.

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We don’t want to be redundant, or predictable, but our craving for chocolate and peanut butter is just never quite satisfied.  And we were baking these to share with a friend who’s favourite flavour combo also happens to be chocolate and peanut butter, so in our minds the decision was already made!

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So in case you haven’t guessed already, these are chocolate peanut butter muffins.

Make that chocolate peanut butter swirl with chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Whaddup.

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These little beauties are truly decadent.  And they’re the perfect snack to bring along for post-race snacking, Toronto road-tripping, beach-bumming and post-night-out-breakfasting.  All of which took place in a span of 24 hours this past weekend.

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So the real question is: can you ever have too many muffins?  No, no you cannot.  We suppose the other question is: can you ever have enough chocolate and peanut butter?  Again, the answer is no.  And these little snacks are the perfect marriage between the two.  Win-win!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
Makes: 19-24 muffins (depending on the size)

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Batter:

1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white
1 c. milk of choice
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. peanut butter chips

For the Peanut Butter Batter:

1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. white sugar
1 egg. beaten
1 egg white
1 c. milk
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 c. apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray two muffins pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In two large bowls, combine the dry ingredients for both batters separately. In two separate smaller bowls, combine the wet ingredients for both batters separately.  Pour the wet ingredients for each batter into the bowls of dry ingredients. (You will have two bowls with two different batters).  Stir both bowls just until everything is combined and there are no dry spots.  Gently stir the chocolate chips into the peanut butter batter and the peanut butter chips into the chocolate batter.

Place a spoonful of the chocolate batter into each of your muffins tins, only filling the muffin tin about 1/3-1/2 full with the chocolate.  Now go along and top the chocolate batter with a spoonful of peanut butter batter.

Using a butter knife, gently swirl the two batters together.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the muffins are firm yet still soft.

~twosaucysisters

Do you like muffins?  When you have to make snacks, what are your go-to favourites?

Cookie Comfort

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The other day we made you waffles.  Today we made you cookies.  Aren’t you people spoiled?

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But that’s ok- we enjoy spoiling you guys, especially when it involves cookies.

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Oatmeal raisin cookies.  We honestly can’t think of anything better to chase the blues away on a rainy day than a fresh-out-of-the-oven oatmeal cookie and a glass of milk.  Except for maybe two cookies.  Yes, that would be better.

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Yes, we know there are other cookies out there that are delicious, too- chocolate chip, ginger snaps, peanut butter cookies, double chocolate cookies, and chickpea cookies (ok, we threw that one in there as a shameless plug, but they are pretty awesome)- but there’s something about a chewy oatmeal raisin cookie that just gets us, you know?

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The oatmeal just makes them so hearty and the raisins get so plump and juicy in the oven that they are simply irresistible!  And these particular cookies are made with whole wheat flour, contain no butter, and have a fraction of the sugar that an average oatmeal cookie has, so you can feel good about eating them, too.  That’s a major win in our books!

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So do yourself a favour- pour a glass of ice-cold milk and make these cookies.  You’ll be glad you did when your beach day gets rained out and you’ve got nothing to do all day.  We know we were!

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 10-11 minutes
Makes: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

1 c. large-flake rolled oats
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 heaped tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. coconut oil, softened (not melted)
1/4 almond butter
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter extract (optional)
1/2 c. raisins

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F.  line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients.  In a separate bowl cream the coconut oil and almond butter together.  Add the egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and butter extract (if using).  Stir until fully combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until all the dry ingredients have been moistened, adding the raisins in about half way through.

Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto your prepared baking sheet.  Roll each clump of dough into a round ball and flatten with a fork or the palm of your hand.  Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly browned, but still feel a little soft.  They should feel slightly under-done when they come out, that way they’ll be nice and chewy.  Allow to cool fully before placing them in a container.

You can keep these cookies in the pantry (aka- they don’t need to be refrigerated), but we don’t know how long they will last since ours were all gone in less than 2 days!

~twosaucysisters

Do you like oatmeal cookies?  What is your favourite type of cookie?

Waffle Hause

So, yesterday our kitchen turned into a bit of a waffle-making factory.

You see, yesterday was an extremely beautiful day in these parts!  It was sunny and warm with a light breeze- perfect for spending an afternoon outdoors (and maybe getting our tan on?) 😉

But we had a race yesterday evening, which meant no sitting in the sun for us!  Talk about torture, right?

So what do you do when you need to distract yourself from the gorgeous weather and the desire to spend the whole day outside?  You make waffles, obviously.  Lots and lots of waffles.

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Why make such a large batch of waffles?  Because you can freeze them and then have fresh, homemade toaster waffles whenever you feel like it!  How great is that?

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Not that we have a problem whipping up a quick batch of waffles on any given morning, but who doesn’t love just popping them in the toaster to have homemade waffles ready in just minutes?

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No muss, no fuss, just light, crispy waffles ready to be topped with whatever your heart desires!

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Strawberries and cream?  Bananas and peanut butter? Berry compote?  These are such a neutral-tasting waffles that you could basically do anything you wanted!  The possibilities are endless!

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And hey, if you just want to go the classic route and throw a little butter and maple syrup on there, we won’t judge 😉

So we didn’t exactly get to enjoy the beautiful weather, but at least now we have a freezer full of waffles, right?

Big Batch Buttermilk Waffles

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Makes: 14 large waffles

Ingredients:

3 c. whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1-2 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, whisked
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 c. maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your waffle iron.

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients.  Add the wet to the dry and stir until just combined.  Spoon the batter even onto the waffle iron.  Close the lid and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the waffle is lightly browned and firm to the touch. (Times may very depending on how hot your iron is, so keep you eye on ’em!)

The key to getting a nice, crispy waffle is not putting too much batter on the iron at once.  You don’t want it to be too thin, either, but over-loading the plates will make it difficult to get a crispy waffle.

Repeat the process until all the waffles are done.  Lay the waffles out and allow them to cool. (As some of the first ones start to cool you can start to stack others on top of them with wax paper between each waffle).  Once the waffles are cool, place them in an air-tight ziplock bag, keeping the wax paper in between them.  If they start to get a little soft as they sit, don’t worry because you’ll be toasting them later.

When you want to eat them, remove however many you want from the freezer and pop them straight into the toaster.  Then top with whatever you like!

~twosaucysisters

Do you like waffles? What are your favourite waffle toppings?