Crunchies Update

Hi Crunchie lovers,   I’ve been getting tons of comments and requests for my Crunchies recipe (traditional South African Oatmeal Cookies)—some nice and some well, umm, not so nice.   The reason I had to pull the recipe was that I had an opportunity for manufacturing my Crunchies and therefore had to remove the recipe from my site. (I’m sure you can understand!)   However, since it has caused such upheaval (I guess there really isn’t another great Crunchies recipe out there…?!) I’ve decided to not only repost my recipe—the traditional recipe and a healthier version—but also to make a YouTube clip of it in my brand new kitchen (COMING SOON – yippee!!!!).   I’m planning the re-launch of my website with all this—hopefully within the next few months. (Fingers crossed for a smooth remodel 🤞)   Stay tuned! (And stay happy 😉)   xoxo  ...

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Orna’s New Year Soup
Jan05

Orna’s New Year Soup

I went to TJ’s yesterday to get ingredients for soup (the first thing I do to get myself back on track), but alas, their truck hadn’t arrived and I couldn’t find most of my usuals (mirepoix, cauliflower, etc.). So I decided to change-it-up (leeks, parsnips, etc.)… and who knew, it turned out to be a big hit! (even with picky one and two) BTW – if you’re not buying TJ’s mirepoix (chopped onions, carrots, and celery), you should be!  You can mix and match veggies and liquids, and even seasonings—just use this as a base if you like. But then you can’t throw me under the bus if it doesn’t turn out delish (wink) Would you believe that I can’t use emoticons because wordpress literally obliterates every single word I type following it.  Yup, I’ve lost entire posts because of one cute little wink or smile. (Argh) And the secret ingredient is… If you’ve been following me you’ll know that my usual secret soup ingredient is curry powder, but since I love the taste of Good Seasons Italian Dressing (made with balsamic vinegar = huge yum) I thought… hmmm… I wonder how this would be in my soup? And it’s a big thumbs up. (New secret ingredient!)   And PLEASE peeps, taste, taste, taste, and season, season, season! You have to taste your food to know if it’s going to be delicious—so taste it along the way and add more salt and pepper if necessary. If it’s too acidic add a pinch of sugar. (I’m sure you won’t need any for this soup though because the squash and carrots are sweet) And if you wanted to garnish it with parmesan cheese, go for it! My little one prefers it pureed (she drinks it out of a cup with a straw), so I use an immersion blender and add some back to the soup to thicken it. (Much easier and less mess than a blender or food processor) Our Costco has immersion blenders for a steal, or you can find good ones on Amazon >>   Anyway… without further ado, here’s my latest soup recipe. (Check out my YouTube channel for my other version with curry as the secret ingredient. And check out my Butternut Squash and Apple Soup for another quick soup idea) Orna's New Year Soup 2016-01-05 14:50:53 Delicious, healthy, quick vegetable soup. Write a review Save Recipe Print 1164 calories 248 g 0 g 19 g 28 g 3 g 2483 g 606 g 78 g 0 g 14 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 2483g Amount Per Serving Calories 1164 Calories from Fat 169 % Daily Value * Total Fat 19g 30%...

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Friday Food Finds: My TOP SECRET Skinny Soup!
Mar12

Friday Food Finds: My TOP SECRET Skinny Soup!

The first thing I do when I need to get back on track is MAKE SOUP! I’ve only shared my unbelievably delicious, super-easy TOP SECRET 8 Vegetable Soup recipe with a few clients who kept nagging me for it… but now here I am on my Friday Food Finds on YouTube telling you exactly how to make it! (If you aren’t already following me on YouTube, hurry up and do it already!) But… you will have to guess the SECRET INGREDIENT! Hint: it’s a spice So what do I get if I guess correctly? (that’s what you’re thinking, right…?) The FIRST person to guess correctly will receive a FREE signed copy of my book “The Yummier You: 7 Secrets to a Happy, Healthy, & Yummy Life”. (now available on Amazon—Click here to purchase) Just follow OrnaBakes on your favorite social media site (what is your favorite social media site, BTW??) and leave your comment wherever you see “Can you guess the SECRET INGREDIENT?” Oh, and don’t forget to give this vid a big THUMBS UP! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any new Friday Food Finds. (Next week I’ll show you my favorite store-bought soups) Let me know how you like the soup!...

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Old Tradition Meets New: Ginger Cutout Cookies
Oct28

Old Tradition Meets New: Ginger Cutout Cookies

I didn’t grown up with Halloween, so even after living in the US for 21 years (how did that happen?!), it doesn’t have the same meaning for me as the die-hards around me. (I’m sure if I had grown up collecting pails of candy with my friends, and dressing up in lavish costumes, it would be my fayyyvorite holiday!)  But I did grow up with a tradition of ginger cookies. My love for ginger “biscuits”—as we called them in South Africa—began with these very gingersnaps that my step-mom, Pam, used to make. They’re characteristically crunchy, but if you prefer a chewy cookie, just bake for less time. I like them perfectly crispy around the edges with just a little chew in the middle. Yum! If you’re not gonna frost them, painting them with egg gives them a glossy sheen, but if you forget this step (like I did) they will still be delish!   My favorite taster said they’re just right! (She’s munching on a ghost cookie—in case you’re wondering.)   I found the cute jack-o-lantern cookie stamp set at Sur La Table. Would you believe I FORGOT to use them and just managed to scrape three together with the last offcuts of dough!     And even after being rolled and re-rolled they were still pretty yummy! Though I did leave these in the oven for about 30 seconds too long so they’re crrrrrispy! Make sure to keep an eye on them because every minute counts!   In my recent trip to South Africa, I poured over Pam’s recipe book, taking snaps of all my childhood favs. (I sure wish I would’ve been more interested when I lived there.) How cool is this? The original recipe from her mom, Nan, who was a fabulous baker.   You know I just couldn’t stop there though, right? I modified the recipe (after my usual hours of research and testing) which called for creaming the eggs and sugar. (Yes, you read that correctly) There are so few recipes that require this step, that I decided to go with the simpler method of whisking and stirring—from Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book (fabulous book) . I mean, why bring out the mixer unless absolutely necessary, right? And this way my daughter can be involved in the mixing too—not just the cutting and frosting. You might be wondering why they call for such a large amount of baking soda (2 teaspoons). This is so that they rise dramatically and then collapse, leaving the cute crackles on the surface. It also allows for better browning and the cracks in the dough allow more moisture to escape, making them crispier. Refrigerating the dough deepens...

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Get a Veggetti! (Fab Zucchini Noodles)
Jul17

Get a Veggetti! (Fab Zucchini Noodles)

I first saw Zinguini (zucchini “noodles”) on Caffe Delfini’s menu in Santa Monica—where they claim to have invented them. (Only in LA, right?!) But you probably know by now that I have a slight pasta obsession (okay, major), so I’m not about to order vegetables masquerading as spaghetti on date night.  But when I saw this Veggetti at Bed Bath & Beyond, I thought it would at least be fun to try with my four-year-old, and mayybeeee get her to eat more veggies. You’ll find this Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Cutter on Amazon for $13.05   It couldn’t be easier to use. You literally just insert the zucchini (aka baby marrow or courgette) or carrot, cuke—you name it—and twist…   and out come beautiful noodles! (Make sure to get large veggies or it won’t work as well.)   Okay, you probably realized from the face that Aja only made a couple—the rest was me.   Most surprising was that it felt like I was eating spaghetti!!! (Waaaaay better pasta fix than spaghetti squash or broccoli slaw.) SO yummy that I just couldn’t wait to share it with you. And it’s of course a Weight Watchers Power Food—fab if you’re doing Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling. (Or Gluten Free, Paleo, Mediterranean Diet, or any other kind of Low Fat, Low Carb, Clean Eating)   The plan was to plate it and take beautiful pics for you, but I just. couldn’t. stop. eating it… and so before I knew it there was nothing left to photograph. (Sorry) Plus, taking pics is the most tedious, painful process for me (does it look appetizing? will people want to pin it?) so this time I just decided to-hell-with-it, I’m just eating and posting.  Luckily I took a quick snap of it in the pan!   You could serve it as a side dish, or top with your favorite tomato sauce and parmesan. Yum!  I used Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning—a wonderful blend of mustard seeds, salt, pepper, garlic and just enough chili pepper for a slight kick—which happens to be from South Africa, but that’s not why I love it. But if you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s (sad as that may be), you could just as easily use S&P and garlic powder.     Next time I’ll try Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute which is my favorite spice blend. I use it in my Cauliflower Muffins which are aah-mayzing! >> Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and PointsPlus values) >>    Simple Start Dinner Idea For the ultimate low point, high-protein, Power Food dinner, serve with a tilapia filet sprayed with...

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Quick and Healthy Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins
May29

Quick and Healthy Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins

These moist and tasty muffins are SO quick and easy, and good for you too! Pop them in the freezer for a quickie breakfast-to-go, or fab for kids’ lunches.   Only 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for one low fat, high fiber, super-satisfying muffin!   I was pumped to find Toasted Oat Bran at Trader Joe’s. I’ve always been a huge fan of its creamy texture—kind of like Cream of Wheat meets Oatmeal. If you don’t live near a TJ’s, never fear, you’ll find it at most markets next to the oats. It’s delish for breakfast—or even as a late night snack. And since it’s a Weight Watchers Power Food, it’s ZERO POINTS if you’re following the Simple Start or Simply Filling plans.   What is Oat Bran?  I was surprised to discover that Oatbran isn’t just the ‘husk’ of the oat, but is contained in the outer layer of the ‘groat’ which remains after the shelling process. (Confused? So was I!)   Click here for the full explanation from Mornflake >>   Here’s my version of the Oat Bran Recipe on the back of the Trader Joe’s container. They have a nuttier, denser texture than traditional blueberry muffins (a/k/a cake!). And they’re, of course, waaaaay better for you!   Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with WW Power Foods & PointsPlus) >>   Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins 2014-05-26 17:23:04 Yields 12 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per muffin. Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 15 min Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 15 min 110 calories 22 g 0 g 3 g 4 g 0 g 67 g 119 g 11 g 0 g 3 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 67g Yields 12 Amount Per Serving Calories 110 Calories from Fat 30 % Daily Value * Total Fat 3g 5% Saturated Fat 0g 2% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 119mg 5% Total Carbohydrates 22g 7% Dietary Fiber 3g 11% Sugars 11g Protein 4g Vitamin A1%Vitamin C2% Calcium8%Iron6% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 2 cups Trader Joe's Oat Bran, uncooked 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup fat free milk (or 1 or 2%) 2 egg whites, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 3 tablespoons honey 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries Instructions Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups or spray bottoms only with no-stick cooking spray....

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