Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: October, 2015

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Twin Takes on Pumpkin


A¬†funny thing happened this week when we chose pumpkin as our special ingredient for the blog – we both made the same dish! (Just like when we were in high school and would come out of our rooms dressed for school and be wearing the same outfit – we think alike sometimes!) It is a delicious, super easy and waistline friendly snack/dessert we call pumpkin muffins. There are only two ingredients: one 15 ounce can of pumpkin and a box of cake mix (any flavor). Holly used a yellow cake mix and Heather used an oatmeal muffin mix. Chocolate is good too ūüôā Mix the two ingredients and pour the batter into cupcake tins. Bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes for minis and 20-23 minutes for larger muffins. ¬†Heather made full-sized muffins and Holly made minis. A great snack!

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Twin Takes on Pizza

We love all different types of pizza and these are two of our favorites to make!

This week’s theme: Pizza; shared ingredient – mozzarella cheese

Heather’s recipe: Individual Fig and Prosciutto Pizzas

fig pizza
Ingredients: Mini Naan bread, fresh mozzarella cheese, fig spread, prosciutto

Naan makes a great base for a pizza. If you’ve never heard of it it’s a flat bread that is thicker than a tortilla wrap but not as dense as a pita. Put¬†the naan¬†on a cookie sheet and spread 1 tablespoon of fig¬†jelly on top. Slice fresh mozzarella cheese thinly and place on top of the fig spread. Put it in¬†the oven on broiler setting and watch carefully. After a few minutes the cheese will melt, take¬†it¬†out of the oven. Top with a few slices of thinly sliced prosciutto. The combination of the sweet fig jelly with the salty prosciutto and warm naan is delicious!

Holly’s recipe: Tri-color Pepper Pizza


Ingredients: Store bought thin crust pizza dough, olive oil, pressed garlic, tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, red, yellow, orange bell peppers sliced into small pieces

This is more of a traditional pizza with a fresh-homemade taste. Spread the dough on a cooking stone and brush with about a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle on garlic and then pre-bake about 5 minutes at 400 degrees. Spread tomato sauce, top with mozzarella cheese and peppers.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes or so when cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Twin Takes on Apples

This week’s shared ingredient: Apples. ‘Tis the season! Holly has an apple tree growing in her front yard and several years after planting it now yields dozens and dozens of apples. So in addition to using them to make the traditional “apple” recipes (apple pie, apple crisp, etc.) here are a couple of creative ways you can eat them as well!

Holly’s recipe: Baked apples


Ingredients: Your favorite apples, butter, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground clove

Fill a large pan with about and inch of water. Core each apple being careful to leave the bottom of the apple intact, and place them in a pan of water. Put a small pat of butter inside each cored apple, sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon and clove on each apple as well. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. When cooled but still warm, eat with a spoon – the peel acts like a bowl and the inside tastes like apple pie!

Heather’s recipe: Spinach Salad with Apple and Blue Cheese


Ingredients: 1 apple diced, spinach leaves, 2 oz blue cheese crumbled, 2 Tbsp safflower seed oil, 2 tsp fig vinegar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup

Whisk together the safflower oil, fig vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup and a little sprinkle of salt and pepper.¬† In a separate bowl put in rinsed spinach leaves, blue cheese and diced apple (mine is from Holly’s apple tree!).¬† Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.¬† If you want to add a little crunch you can put some chopped walnuts on top.¬† Healthy and delicious!


Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Twin Takes on Chicken


For the month of October we thought it would be fun to¬†write¬†a series of blogs we are calling “Twin Takes”. They will be posts dedicated to cooking different recipes using similar ingredients. While we are not professional chefs, we make meals for our families regularly and have been doing so for the last couple of decades. You may not always see quantities (for example, we cook for 3-4 while you may want to make the recipe for one or two), but you’ll get the idea. We will decide on an ingredient or two for the week that we will both use and, without discussing our concoctions with each other, we will each post pictures of and recipes for our creations. Wonder if we’ll ever cook the exact same meal without knowing it? You’ll find out here!

This week’s ingredients: Boneless chicken breast and a green vegetable!

Holly’s recipe – Lemon Chicken Breast with Green Beans

Ingredients: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, canola oil, flour, salt and pepper, fat free-sodium free chicken broth, white cooking wine, garlic powder, corn starch, one lemon, fresh or frozen green beans.

Heat about 3 tbsp. of oil in a large pan on top of the stove. Dust the chicken with flour, sprinkle a little salt and pepper then brown both sides in the pan. Remove from pan. Add about 1 and a half cups of chicken broth, a splash of white wine, a dash of garlic powder and the juice and zest of one lemon to pan. Whisk in about a teaspoon of corn starch. Then add chicken back to pan, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add green beans to the pan, cover and cook for five more minutes.

Heather’s recipe: Chicken and Broccoli

chic broc quin

Ingredients: 1 1/2 lbs of boneless chicken breast, 1 head of broccoli, 1/8 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce, 2 Tbsp honey.  Optional: brown rice or quinoa

This is a nice 5-6 ingredient dish with a satiating¬†protein and veggie that you can prep ahead of time and put together very quickly.¬† I like to cook as healthy as possible and¬†this “stir fry” has no¬†oil¬†in it!¬† I also had the butcher trim the fat off the chicken and¬†I actually used shoyu sauce instead of soy (same great flavor!).¬† Bring a pot of water to boil and put in chicken.¬† Boil¬†for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts.¬† Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken when done and place on a cutting board to cool slightly.¬† Carefully cut up chicken into bite size pieces (there should be no pink inside).¬† Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper while it is still very warm.¬† Cut broccoli into bite size pieces and put it into a¬†large pan on the stove.¬† Turn heat to medium high and¬†add half the soy sauce and half the teriyaki sauce.¬† Toss while cooking until broccoli turns a nice, bright green.¬† Add the boiled chicken to the¬†pan.¬† Drizzle with a little honey.¬†¬†Stir¬†and add the rest of the soy sauce and teriyaki sauce.¬† Continue stirring and add a little more honey.¬† Stir to finish.¬† You can eat it just as it is but the¬†sauce will be¬†thin.¬† I like to turn off the heat and add cooked brown (or white) rice or cooked quinoa to the pan (that’s what is in the pic above) and stir it all together.¬† The grain absorbs the liquid and makes a very satisfying, tasty dish when eaten all together!

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Branching Out

Image result for food tree

We love to blog about healthy living and doing things that make you happy. Our belief for a kind, peaceful environment always starts off with you…when you do good and feel good, you act good and that makes this world a better place! We’d like to start October off with a month of blogs that make us feel good – both figuratively and literally – devoted to our homemade foods. Since we are twin sisters, we thought it’d be fun to pick one dish and each do our own version of it. We’ll call it “Twin Takes”. ¬†We’ll agree on an ingredient (or a few) and then not talk about what we’ve made until it’s done – and that will be hard for us! We’ll put up pics¬†of our dishes and recipes and see how they compare. Fall into food with us this season as our month of blogs start with some of our favorites!

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