I post recipes here the way that I make them, so of course you should feel free to adapt these to what your family likes!
To make this blog user-friendly, I put tags for each major ingredient of each recipe, as well as for type of dish, and ethnicity, so you can go to the list on the side here (scroll down) and search for specific things.
If you like a recipe, please comment! If you have a yummy adaptation, please leave that in the comments as well!

Lentil soup

I have to say, in the most serious of tones

"Don't knock it till you try it!!!"

This is one of my favorite soups. I got it from America's Test Kitchen, so I've put their original recipe here, but in the blue are my 'tweaks.'

This takes about an hour to cook, but much of it is just 'let it simmer' time, so it's not actually that labor intensive.

Lentils du Puy, sometimes called French green lentils, are our first choice for this recipe, but brown, black, or regular green lentils are fine, too. I use plain old cheap brown ones and it tastes fine to me! Cooktimes are slightly shorter. Note that cooking times will vary depending on the type of lentils used. Lentils lose flavor with age, and because most packaged lentils do not have expiration dates, try to buy them from a store that specializes in natural foods and grains. Before use, rinse and then carefully sort through the lentils to remove small stones and pebbles. The soup can be made in advance. After adding the lemon juice in step 2, cool the soup to room temperature and refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 2 days. To serve, heat it over medium-low until hot, then stir in the parsley.

3 or 4 or 5 slices bacon cut into 1/4-inch pieces cut it before you cook it!
1 onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 carrots , peeled and chopped medium (about 1 cup)
3 cloves /1 Tbs garlic , minced I do about 3Tbs. We like garlic.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander or cilantro, or nothing (I never have coriander around)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, or chili powder, or double the amount of paprika, or nothing at all
1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces), drained
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
1 cup lentils (7 ounces), rinsed and picked over
2 teaspoon salt don't skimp--I usually cut down the salt in recipes, but ths soup needs it.
ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or just a little more broth or water
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or good homemade bone broth that you've frozen or canned
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves or not, cuz I'm just not fancy like that!

Here is my pretty picture of how I cut the bacon (with scissors, over the pan)

Fry bacon in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Don't drain off that beautiful bacon fat! Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, a
bout 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Another pretty picture! This is usually the part where the smell makes me begin to drool. No need to resist this very natural urge! Simply try to keep said drool out of the soup, and press forward!

Stir in lentils, salt, and pepper to taste; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils have darkened, 8-10minutes.
Uncover, increase heat to high, add wine, and bring to simmer. Add chicken broth and water; bring to boil, cover partially, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 35 minutes; discard bay leaf.
Puree 3 cups soup in blender until smooth (or dump into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer), then return to pot; stir in lemon juice and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro and serve, garnishing each bowl with some of remaining cilantro.

By leaving out the bacon and using veggi broth, it would be easy to adapt this to be a vegetarian meal. Please though, use some fat in place of that bacon greast--you'll need it!

Anyberry Streusel Bars

So, this isn't my recipe...but I will give credit to the person I got it from, so I figure it's ok for me to post it here.
I have not actually tried it, but it looks positively drool-worthy!
without further ado, from DomesticGoddess
Anyberry Streusel Bars
(I suspect it would also work with other moist fruits...peaches, cherries, etc)

Pumpkin Chip Muffins

I adapted this recipe to make it a little healthier (reducing sugar and fat), and also adjusted some proportions so that it can be made with one (small) can of pumpkin (the size to make one pie).

Makes 24-30 muffins

4 eggs
1 1/2 c pumpkin (one small can)
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/4 oil (I use olive oil, as the pumpkin flavor is strong enough to mask it)
2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
about 1 c chocolate chips (the original recipe called for 2 c, but that is really overkill if you want to consider this anything but a dessert!)

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil together until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 400* for 16-20 min. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing.
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