Vegan Triple Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

#glutenfree and #vegan recipe for healthy and delicious triple chocolate cookies.  Only 5 ingredients! - thesimplehive.com

As simple as this recipe is, I can’t believe it’s so delicious!  I had to eat two just to be sure I wasn’t mistaken.  Maybe I should eat another just to be completely sure of its deliciousness.  I do what I can to ensure honest evaluations.  I’m here for you!

This recipe happened because the girls and I needed a little chocolate to push through our day.  Homeschooling can be hard, folks!

This was a perfect way to integrate life skills into our day.  The recipe is so simple, even a five-year old can do it and she did!  I have found that my little picky eater is more likely to eat the foods she helps make.  Get the kids in the kitchen and make these healthy chocolate cookies.

Continue reading “Vegan Triple Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies”

Easy Marinated Feta Recipe

Simple marinated feta - the simple hive

One of the easiest and most delicious condiments in this wonderful world of ours is marinated feta.  There.  I said it.  It’s on the internet.  It must be true.

I love marinated feta on salads, but my favorite way to have it is on sandwiches.  I had the best sandwich of my entire live a couple of months ago at a local cafe and it rocked my world.  I have been recreating it and I will share it with you as soon as I have perfected the flavors.  One component of this life-altering sandwich was this marinated feta.

The recipe is simple.  I don’t think it can be called a recipe, but I don’t know what else to call it.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Simple Marinated Feta

Ingredients:

1 bottle of Italian dressing (or homemade)

1 block of feta cheese

2 bay leaves

Directions:

Crumble the feta.

Easy marinated feta - the simple hive

Place the feta in a mason jar, wedging the bay leaves down along the side of the jar.

Pour the Italian dressing over the top and cover it with a lid.

Easy marinated feta - the simple hive

Shake.

Simple marinated feta - the simple hive

Refrigerate the jar and it will last for weeks, maybe longer.  Ours is usually eaten before then.

That’s all there is to it!  You can get as fancy as you want with the Italian dressing.  Make it from scratch if you want.  I went with a bottle of store-bought dressing  I had in my pantry since we keep it simple here at the hive, but I have also used homemade dressing with fantastic results.  Go with your heart on this!

Fruit Gazpacho

Fruit gazpacho recipe - the simple hive

I give all fruits equal opportunity, but I love when pineapples and mangoes are in season.  I play favorites.  It’s not right, but I do.

When my favorite fruits are available, I make them into gazpacho de frutas, or fruit gazpacho.

This is simple recipe that can be modified to suit your tastes or to use whatever fruits you have on hand.

Continue reading “Fruit Gazpacho”

Cooking with Kids: Chapati Indian Flatbread

 

 

Cooking with Kids: Chipati Indian Flatbread

In many families in which parents educate their children at home, cooking is interwoven seamlessly into the school day. Math, reading, science and critical thinking skills are cultivated and honed through measuring, reading recipes, baking and substituting ingredients. Children becomes great home cooks at an early age and learn to clean up after themselves and appreciate their parents who loving provide them with food on the table and a roof over their heads.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Continue reading “Cooking with Kids: Chapati Indian Flatbread”

Gluten-free Italian Wedding Soup

gluten-free Italian wedding soup | the simple hive Traditionally, Italian wedding soup contains meatballs and orzo, both which contain gluten. Therefore, this soup is off-limits for me.  Naturally, it would be the one soup I crave on these cold, rainy days that have parked themselves over Texas.

A shout out for you folks dealing with mountains of snow right now: I wish you the best.  I don’t know how you do it.  I would break.

Thankfully, I had the ingredients on hand to make some turkey meatballs and satisfy the need for the aforementioned soup.

Continue reading “Gluten-free Italian Wedding Soup”

Gluten-free and Vegan Coconut Sugar Cookies

 

 

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Coconut Sugar Cookies | the simple hive

Because my issues with gluten and Baby Honeybee’s severe egg allergy and mild milk allergy, I have made it a priority to figure out this whole gluten-free and vegan baking thing. In the past, when I bake cookies for the family, my focus has been on egg-free, not necessarily dairy or gluten-free and I often get left out.  No fair.

That all changed when I came across this recipe for gluten, dairy and egg-free coconut sugar cookie recipe from yammiesglutenfreedom.

The recipe, as written, accommodated all our needs without any substitutions. She is awesome.  I might cry a little.

Seriously, she is an amazing young woman.  Check out this About Me page on one of her blogs.  Impressive.

I could ramble on, or I could move along to the recipe.  That’s really why you are all here, anyway.  Well, there may be a few of you who love to read the ramblings of a lunatic. You know who you are.

 

Coconut Sugar Cookies

What you need:

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. coconut oil

1/3 c. coconut milk, full-fat

2 tsp. vanilla (make sure yours is gluten-free)

3/4 c. white rice flour

1/3 c. coconut flour

2 Tbsp. potato starch

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

coconut frosting (recipe follows)

What you do:

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

Cream together the coconut oil and sugar with an electric mixer. If your coconut oil is too hard, soften it in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds, then add the sugar and mix.

Add the coconut milk and vanilla and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a third at a time, mixing thoroughly.  The mixture will be moist and fluffy.

Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let sit at room temperature while the oven preheat to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Use a small scoop or your hands to roll 1.5″ balls of cookie dough.  Do not flatten the dough and you will get a nice, soft cookie.

1.5 inch balls

Bake for 11-12 minutes, rotating the trays halfway in the cooking time.

Let cool for about 3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Frost with the following recipe when completely cooled.

 

Coconut Frosting

1/4 c. coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar (the original recipe calls for 3 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, but I needed much less)

6 Tbsp. full-fat coconut milk

 

Sift the powdered sugar through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps.

In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut oil and vanilla.  Alternate adding the powdered sugar and the coconut milk, mixing well.

coconut frosting | the simple hive

Spread the frosting on each cooled cookie.  The coconut oil give the frosting the consistency of buttercream, so you can use a pastry bag to make them as fancy as you like.

gluten-free and vegan cookie love | the simple hive

Now go on.  Make these and share the cookie love.

The Simple Hive on Pinterest

 

This post is linked-up with The Art of Home-Making Mondays.  Hop on over to the party at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth for other great blogs.

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

DIY Chalk Painted Dresser

diy chalk paint

My world has been rocked. It has occurred to me that I need to change the names of all my kids.

Originally, I started this blog with College Bee, Teen Bee, Tween Bee and Baby Honeybee. Now it all must change. You see, College Bee graduated and landed a great job in a fun city and moved out. I don’t what to call him anymore.

Teen Bee is now a in his final year of homeschool and it taking dual-credit classed at our local community college. Should his name be College Bee now?

Tween Bee is the one that is most rocking my world right now. She just turned thirteen. Since she is my oldest daughter, this is the first time to cohabit with a teen-aged girl. I’m not sure how we can both survive this.

Finally, Baby Honeybee isn’t really a baby anymore. She wasn’t even when I started this blog, but she’s my baby and always will be, so Baby Honeybee remains Baby Honeybee and that’s final.

Now that I’ve muddied the waters in regards to my growing children and the names by which they are known, let’s move along to the real reason for this post.

Chalk paint.

Specifically, a DIY recipe for chalk paint.

With all these kids wrecking my house on a daily basis (homeschooling is hard on a house, folks!), I needed an easy way to revitalize my home without spending much money. In perfect timing, my awesome sister-in-law passed along her childhood furniture to my girls.

Enter this dresser.

1017

 

It really isn’t missing a drawer.  I just forgot to get a BEFORE photo.  I’m a dork.

After seeing on Pinterest all the colorful ways people have revamped this style of dresser, I opted for a more classic approach. After all, we know from the intro of this post, these kids aren’t staying the same age, no matter how hard I try to keep them small.  Sure the aqua dresser would be cool now, but what about in five years when their tastes change, or in five minutes when they change their favorite color. It happens.

So, I went with white. But, with a twist. The top is stained dark brown and slightly distressed. I figured I would get a head start on the wear so when they girls scratched and dinged the furniture it might look intentional and I might not let it bother me as much as if it were perfect.  That was a very long sentence and probably grammatically incorrect, but I don’t care.  What I’m trying to say is, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Onto the extremely easy chalk paint recipe:

1/4 cup Plaster of Paris
1/4 cup water
1 cup latex paint

I used a fine mesh sieve to make sure the plaster of Paris was free from any lumps. This made a big difference in the end result, so I would recommend it.

plaster of paris

Add the water to the plaster of Paris and stir thoroughly to combine.

Add this mixture to 1 cup of latex paint. Stir to combine. The paint will begin to thicken. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more paint.

This recipe is very forgiving and the amounts don’t have to be exact, but this is the recipe I found I liked best.

Before I began painting, I had already stripped and sanded the top and applied 2 coats of Minwax gel stain in Hickory.  I forgot to take a picture of the stained top, so let’s pretend this beautifully sanded dresser top has a dark hickory stain.  Thank you .

sanded dresser top

To work the chalk paint into the details and crevices, I used a 1.5″ sash brush then I rolled over the whole area with a foam roller for a smooth finish. The beauty of chalk paint is that it dries quickly if applied thinly, so after I completed one coat I was able to begin the next within a few minutes. Overall the dresser took 4 coats of paint.

I let the final coat dry overnight before sanding. I used a fine grit sanding block to lightly sand the whole dresser. I first sanded the dark top and hit the high spots to reveal bare wood to bring out the details. Then I flipped over the sanding block to a clean side and sanded the body and drawers.

After sanding, I thoroughly wiped down the entire dresser and drawers with a damp cloth.

For the finish, I used a paste wax. for the top, I mixed a small amount of gel stain into the clear wax. I wanted to lessen the contrast between the stain and the areas I sanded to reveal bare wood. For the white areas, I used the clear wax straight from the can.

Minwax gell stain and finishing pastedark wax

I applied the dark wax with a piece of cotton t-shirt material. After the wax began to look hazy, I used a clean rag to buff to a shine.

Since the body of the dresser has several recessed areas, I applied the wax using an angled, round fitch brush. I found mine at Home Depot for about 8 bucks near the Ralph Lauren paint display with their faux finish paint tools.

wax brush and buffer

After the first coat of wax was applied, I used a mushroom buffer by Ryobi that I attached to a drill. You can buff by hand, but this attachment made quick work of getting into the crevices.

Finally, because I wanted a slightly warmer tone to the dresser, I took the same dark wax I made for the top and wiped it all over the dresser, concentrating on the recessed areas. I worked quickly, not letting the wax dry. I buffed the dark wax into the paint, wiping off as much as possible. I didn’t want the dresser to look dirty or too old, as the teen-aged girl child would have definitely given me grief about that. She’s a little opinionated.

So that’s how this:

1017

Became this:

after

chalk painted dresser with dark top

after

And now I need a nap.

 

 

before and after

Make sushi at home

SUBTITLE

Please forgive me.  It has been a few weeks since my last post.  I have been busy and this is beginning to sound like a confession of sorts.  What a weird way to begin a blog post.  But, by  now you know me and would expect nothing less.

Now that this month of crazy is coming to an end, I promise I’ll be better at trying to post more regularly.  Don’t you love my commitment?  I’ll be better at trying to post more regularly.  Don’t be like me.

But, if you’re already like me, you need to eat gluten-free to be healthy. Also, if you’re like me, you prefer to stay at home in your t-shirt and yoga pants and have dinner and a movie night with the family.  Fun for all ages!

Although, sushi is healthy, store-bought or restaurant sushi is typically not gluten-free. The seaweed wraps and rice do not contain gluten, but the fillings can contain soy sauce, which contains gluten.

What’s a gluten-free girl to do?

She makes her own at home. That’s what!

Here’s what you need:

DSC_0027

bamboo mat

Nori (aka seaweed wraps)

1.5 cups Jasmine or sushi rice (cooked with 3 cups of water)

4 oz. smoked salmon (sliced into long strips)

1 cucumber (peeled, seeded and cut into strips)

1 avocado (sliced)

wasabi sauce

rice vinegar

gluten-free tamari or soy sauce

 

Here’s what you do:

Measure out rice and water into a pan and set on high heat.  When the water begins to boil, turn down to low heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.  Remove lid and fluff with a fork or rice paddle.

I would advise letting the rice cool, with the lid off, for several minutes so you don’t burn off your finger tips.  You will need those in the future.

Lay out the bamboo mat.  You can buy a mat specifically for sushi, or you can do what I do and use a place mat.  I have also been known to roll the sushi without a mat.  I’m a rebel.

Place a sheet of nori on top.  Sprinkle cooled rice over the nori, leaving about a quarter of an inch border on the bottom edge and about a half-inch along the top edge.  It only takes about a half cup of cooked rice for each roll.  Dip your fingers into a small bowl of rice vinegar to keep the rice from sticking and press the rice into an even layer across the nori.

DSC_0068

Make a horizontal indentation with your fingers along the middle of the rice and add a strip of salmon, cucumber and avocado slices extending from one side to the other.  It’s ok if you don’t go all the way to the edges, as you will trim the ends to make it all look pretty.

Squeeze a generous amount of wasabi sauce along the filling.  I like it hot, some like it not.  Do whatever makes you and your loved ones happy.  Or, surprise them and sit back and enjoy the show.

DSC_0048

Dip your fingers into the vinegar again and moisten the top edge of the nori.  Working quickly, roll the nori away from you and over the fillings all the way to the top edge, making sure it seals evenly across.  Use the mat or towel to lift and roll.

DSC_0051

Let sit, seam side down, while making the remaining rolls.

DSC_0070

When all rolls are complete, trim the ends with a sharp knife and slice into 1-inch pieces.  Between cuts, wipe the knife for cleaner slices.  It’s nice to have a friend who is willing to eat the ugly end pieces to destroy the evidence of you being anything but perfect in your sushi-rolling endeavors.

DSC_0075

I usually make my sushi in advance and cover and refrigerate until the chaos has subsided and we are all ready to sit down together.

When ready to serve. Make a dipping sauce with the wasabi sauce, tamari or soy sauce and rice vinegar mixed together.  I use small bowls for the sauce so that everybody can make their own according to their own tastes.

We buy frozen edamame to eat with our sushi.  Five minutes in the microwave and it’s ready to sprinkle with coarse sea salt and to eat.

Making sushi at home is easy and inexpensive. I can feed my family a meal of sushi and edamame for under $10. The fact that I can wear a t-shirt and yoga pants and watch a movie while I eat is a bonus.

Sayonara folks!

Gluten-free Crepes with Meyer Lemon Cream

Add subtitle text (2)

No matter the question, the answer is always Meyer lemon.

For example:

Q:  What type of lemons are the most delicious?

A:  Meyer lemon

Q:  What is a good way to squeeze in some vitamin C today?

A:  Meyer lemon

Q:  What flavor do I want my crepes that I’ve been craving for two weeks to have?

You see where this is going.

My point is, Meyer lemons are always a good idea.  Always.  Forever and ever.

Amen

First, we make the gluten-free crepe batter, then the Meyer lemon cream.

Patience is a virtue, grasshopper.

For the crepes, you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (cow’s, soy, rice, almond, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend*
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum (if your flour blend doesn’t contain it)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

*I’ll let you in on a secret.  I don’t know exactly what is in my gluten-free flour blend.  I’ll explain, lest you think ill of me.  Whenever I only have a little bit of gluten-free flour left in a container, I toss it in a large bin with an airtight lid.  It ends up being a blend of sorghum, millet, teff and quinoa flours with tapioca, potato and corn starches.  It might not be the best for baking when you need precise properties for the flour to magically transform into delicious baked goods, but it works well for crepes, flatbread, pancakes and as a thickener for gravy and cream sauces and soups.

I’m glad I got that off my chest.  Thank you for listening.

Add all the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spoon or silicone spatula to fully incorporate all the flour.

Once blended, place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before commencing with the crepe making.  You can leave the batter refrigerated overnight if you want to speed up the process for breakfast or brunch.

Easter is this Sunday.  These would be a delicious addition to Easter brunch.  Just a suggestion.  No pressure.

While the batter is chillin’ like a villain, (assuming villains spend time in refrigerated environments.  It could happen.) make the Meyer lemon cream.

Angels just sang when I typed the words “Meyer lemon cream”.

You will need:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (inspiration struck and I couldn’t wait for the cream cheese to soften, so I microwaved it for 30 seconds.  Plan ahead.  Don’t be like me.
  • zest of one Meyer lemon
  • juice of one Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar

DSC_0093

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until blended and fluffy.  Leave at room temperature to make spreading on the crepes easier.

Meyer lemon cream
Meyer lemon cream

Now for the crepe-making fun and festivities!

I used two different types of pans to speed up the process.  The cast iron Lodge allowed for larger crepes.  The smaller non-stick pan allowed for flipping the crepes.  I like to flip.  It makes me feel fancy.  Then I speak with a French accent and make my kids secretly hope the aren’t really related to me.  Sorry kids.  You are.

Heat whatever pan you choose over medium-high heat.  If using cast-iron, a slightly lower temp is best.

When drops of water dance across the surface of the pan, it is ready to roll.

I use a soup ladle to measure out the batter.  About half a cup is sufficient.

 

tilt pan

Pour the batter in the center of the pan and immediately begin to rotate the pan to spread the batter thinly and evenly in a larger circle.

DSC_0106

Cook for about 30 seconds or until the surface of the crepes loses its shine.

DSC_0130

Flip the crepe, either my your fancy flipping skills or with a spatula, and cook on the other side for another 30 seconds or so.

DSC_0124

Move crepes to a plate.  Some people layer parchment in between their crepes.  I don’t bother and I’ve never had a problem with them sticking together.  Go with your heart.

DSC_0116

Now for the fun part.  Take a crepe, spread with a generous amount of Meyer lemon cream and fold over.  Dust with powdered sugar, if you so desire.

DSC_0144

Then, eat daintily like a lady or gentleman, using the proper fork and dabbing your mouth gently with a napkin.

Who are we kidding?

DSC_0145

Dig in!

 

 

 

Gluten Free Crepes with Meyer Lemon Cream

Gluten-free crepes with Meyer lemon cream. #glutenfree - The Simple Hive

No matter the question, the answer is always Meyer lemon.

For example:

Q:  What type of lemons are the most delicious?

A:  Meyer lemon

Q:  What is a good way to squeeze in some vitamin C today?

A:  Meyer lemon

Q:  What flavor do I want my crepes that I’ve been craving for two weeks to have?

You see where this is going.

My point is, Meyer lemons are always a good idea.  Always.  Forever and ever.

Amen

First, we make the gluten-free crepe batter, then the Meyer lemon cream.

Patience is a virtue, grasshopper.

For the crepes, you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (cow’s, soy, rice, almond, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend*
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum (if your flour blend doesn’t contain it)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

*I’ll let you in on a secret.  I don’t know exactly what is in my gluten-free flour blend.  I’ll explain, lest you think ill of me.  Whenever I only have a little bit of gluten-free flour left in a container, I toss it in a large bin with an airtight lid.  It ends up being a blend of sorghum, millet, teff and quinoa flours with tapioca, potato and corn starches.  It might not be the best for baking when you need precise properties for the flour to magically transform into delicious baked goods, but it works well for crepes, flatbread, pancakes and as a thickener for gravy and cream sauces and soups.

I’m glad I got that off my chest.  Thank you for listening.

Add all the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spoon or silicone spatula to fully incorporate all the flour.

Once blended, place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before commencing with the crepe making.  You can leave the batter refrigerated overnight if you want to speed up the process for breakfast or brunch.

Easter is this Sunday.  These would be a delicious addition to Easter brunch.  Just a suggestion.  No pressure.

While the batter is chillin’ like a villain, (assuming villains spend time in refrigerated environments.  It could happen.) make the Meyer lemon cream.

Angels just sang when I typed the words “Meyer lemon cream”.

Gluten Free Crepes with Meyer Lemon Cream

You will need:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (inspiration struck and I couldn’t wait for the cream cheese to soften, so I microwaved it for 30 seconds.  Plan ahead.  Don’t be like me.
  • zest of one Meyer lemon
  • juice of one Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Gluten free crepes with Meyer lemon cream - The Simple Hive

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until blended and fluffy.  Leave at room temperature to make spreading on the crepes easier.

Meyer lemon cream - the simple hive
Meyer lemon cream

Now for the crepe-making fun and festivities!

I used two different types of pans to speed up the process.  The cast iron Lodge allowed for larger crepes.  The smaller non-stick pan allowed for flipping the crepes.  I like to flip.  It makes me feel fancy.  Then I speak with a French accent and make my kids secretly hope the aren’t really related to me.  Sorry kids.  You are.

Heat whatever pan you choose over medium-high heat.  If using cast-iron, a slightly lower temp is best.

When drops of water dance across the surface of the pan, it is ready to roll.

I use a soup ladle to measure out the batter.  About half a cup is sufficient.

 

gluten free crepes - the simple hive

Pour the batter in the center of the pan and immediately begin to rotate the pan to spread the batter thinly and evenly in a larger circle.

gluten free crepes - the simple hive

Cook for about 30 seconds or until the surface of the crepes loses its shine.

gluten free crepes - the simple hive

Flip the crepe, either my your fancy flipping skills or with a spatula, and cook on the other side for another 30 seconds or so.

gluten free crepes - the simple hive

Move crepes to a plate.  Some people layer parchment in between their crepes.  I don’t bother and I’ve never had a problem with them sticking together.  Go with your heart.

gluten-free crepes with meyer lemon cream - the simple hive

Now for the fun part.  Take a crepe, spread with a generous amount of Meyer lemon cream and fold over.  Dust with powdered sugar, if you so desire.

easy gluten free crepes - the simple hive

Then, eat daintily like a lady or gentleman, using the proper fork and dabbing your mouth gently with a napkin.

Who are we kidding?

Gluten-free crepes with Meyer lemon cream #glutenfree - the simple hive

Dig in!