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    honey apple pie with plenty of lemon zest for a bright finish

    Honey Apple Pie

    June 13, 2018

    I love this pie so much that I only make it when I know I’m bringing it for a BBQ, family or friend gathering, otherwise I could eat it all by myself. It’s an indulgence but has some bright flavors in there with lemon zest and honey. I do love to make everything from scratch but I have a lot of short cuts for when I am limited on time. Not only do these short cuts remove some of the stress from baking in a small window of time but they allow me to create something delicious in the end.

    My short cut here is the crust! Homemade pie crust is not hard to make, it just takes some time in the fridge, roughly four hours or overnight. I’m lucky if I will remember to make the crust that far in advance these days, so my solution is to have pre-made pie crust on hand. They are a HUGE time saver and fail proof. With that extra time you’ve gained from not making your own crust, you can create something unique to you by cutting shapes into the crust or braiding it, etc.

    HONEY APPLE PIE

    2 Prepared pie crust (from store or homemade)
    3lbs  Granny Smith Apples (peeled and diced)
    1/3 cup  Honey
    3 tbsp AP Flour
    1 large Lemon or 2 small (zested and juiced)
    1 1/2 tbsp  Cinnamon
    1/4 tsp Nutmeg
    Pinch of Salt
    3 tbsp Butter (cut into small pieces) Continue reading…

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    pecan paleo pancakes with blueberry compote

    Pecan Paleo Pancakes & Blueberry Compote

    June 6, 2018

    This recipe is great for that pancake craving and is another good option in place of the traditional coconut or almond flour paleo pancake recipes. I typically will try other paleo approved flours outside of coconut flour because it is very absorbent and you run the risk of a dry pancake.

    The other key I found with this recipe is getting air into the wet ingredients to yield a fluffy and light pancake. By folding the wet ingredients into the dry, you keep the air needed for that fantastic texture.

    Simple recipe and perfect for 2-3 people!

     

    PECAN PALEO PANCAKES
    1 cup Toasted Pecans (toasting pecans is optional)
    1 Banana
    2 Eggs (I used 1 duck and 1 chicken egg)
    5.46oz Coconut Milk (full fat)
    2 tsp Cinnamon
    1/2 cup Arrowroot Powder
    1 tsp Baking soda
    1/4 tsp Salt

    BLUEBERRY COMPOTE
    1 cup Blueberries
    1 lemon Zested, then juiced
    2-3 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional) Continue reading…

    hummingbird cake, cake, retro, dessert, sweets

    Hummingbird Cake – My Favorite!

    April 23, 2018

    Hummingbird cake is my favorite to make and certainly to eat. This easy-to-make cake yields delicious flavors of bananas, figs, pineapple, cinnamon, and toasted pecans. The cake is pretty much fail proof and can be adjusted to fit your preferences of more banana, more pineapple, or with this particular cake, dried figs. Figs are not in season yet so dried is the only way I could incorporate that flavor into the cake.

    I plan to make this cake in September for a friend’s wedding and will be using fresh figs in the cake and will brûlée some for the top as decoration. Another bonus of this recipe being easy to make, it is also fun to decorate. You can make it as rustic as you want or neat and perfected, it’s a great canvas to do as you wish. I added a fig caramel sauce on top, fresh flowers, brûlée lemons and slices of plum.

    Typically I would cut the cake board down to the same size as the cake as you don’t really want it peaking out. However, I had to transport this one and felt more comfortable having that extra bit of edge just in case and it worked beautifully. If you need to transport it yourself, you can always add additional fresh flowers around the bottom to hide the board. Remember this cake can be whatever you want it to be, have fun with it and make it your own.

    Hummingbird Cake Recipe

    INGREDIENTS

    3 cups organic AP flour

    2 cups organic cane sugar

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1 teaspoon salt

    2 teaspoons organic ground cinnamon

    3 large eggs, beaten well

    1 cup coconut oil or 1/2 cup applesauce

    2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract (favorite brand)

    1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple undrained

    2 cups diced bananas

    1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

    1/2 chopped dried or fresh fig

    PREPARATIONS

    1. Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl and mix. You can sift them together without the sugar if you’d like for a softer bite to the cake. If you sift the dry ingredients together without the sugar, add it in here with the eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients fully incorporated.
    2. Gently stir in  chopped figs, vanilla paste, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
    3. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9″ round cake pans which will remove the task of cutting the cakes prior to frosting.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
    5. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Wrap and refrigerate each individual layer for at least 2 hours before frosting. This will help immensely when it comes time to frost.

    Continue reading…

    arroz con leche or rice pudding garnished with toasted pecans, coconut sugar and strawberries

    Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding) Treat

    February 21, 2018

    Some of my earliest memories are of my great grandmother Primitiva making arroz con leche for me almost every night for dessert. There is such a nostalgic attachment to this particular dessert because of her and I’ve been thinking about it non-stop recently. I love her original recipe but it’s not exactly the healthiest way to enjoy it, so I wanted to switch out some of the ingredients to make it a bit more waist circumference friendly. The end result did not disappoint, it was everything I wanted it to be and a nice alternative for breakfast or dessert.

     

    ARROZ CON LECHE

    INGREDIENTS
    1 cup arborio rice
    3 cups almond milk
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    3 tablespoons honey
    1/2 cup almond milk
    1-2 teaspoons lemon zest
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    handful of pecans roughly chopped
    1 teaspoon coconut sugar

    1.  In a large saucepan, stir together 3 cups of milk and the rice.

    2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.

    3. Reduce heat to medium and boil  until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring often.

    4. Stir in the other 1/2 cup of milk, cinnamon, honey, salt and lemon zest.

    5. Increase the heat to high and return to a boil, stirring often.

    6. Reduce the heat to medium and boil again until creamy.

    7. Remove from heat.

    8. Stir in the vanilla and let the mixture stand for 15-20 minutes to thicken.

    9. In a small skillet, toast the pecans with the coconut sugar just until you can begin to smell the sugar. You want to toast them but watch carefully for the coconut sugar can burn easily.

    10. To serve,  spoon in rice mixture, drizzle with additional honey, add a fruit if you like, sprinkle the pecans with coconut sugar and finish with some lemon zest!

    Toddler friendly banana mini muffins with different toppings.

    Toddler Friendly Banana Muffins

    February 5, 2018

    This recipe is super easy and toddler friendly with healthier ingredients and fun textures! My toddler has been the pickiest eater lately and finding anything Sloan will gladly consume is next to impossible. Thankfully muffins seem to be one thing she will not turn down. I also wanted to make her some that would not have quite so much sugar in them and utilize flavors that I know she likes at the moment.

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    Refreshing Mango & Kale Smoothie

    December 29, 2017

    This smoothie is not only delicious and refreshing, it is also anti-inflammatory! The ingredients work together to create balance in flavors which is important to me when creating a recipe. I’m not a fan of when one component of the drink just overpowers everything else, especially if this replacing a meal in my day.

    Typically if I wake up feeling glumpy or sluggish (husband would say scary before coffee), it’s normally something I can turn around with my food choices and exercise. So this is my go to smoothie because I know I will get the anti-inflammaroty properties, great nutrition and mentally know that I’m doing something good for my body.

    Ingredients

    1 large handful chopped kale, no stem
    1 C frozen or fresh mango
    1 small handful of spinach
    1 C filtered water
    1/2 C orange juice with pulp (freshly squeezed if possible)
    1/2 – 1 C unsweetened almond or coconut milk
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder or fresh peeled and sliced
    1/2 tsp ginger powder or fresh peeled and sliced
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    Place all ingredients into a blender and enjoy!

    Smoothies are amazing because there is endless opportunities to tweak existing recipes to your liking or create new ones altogether.

     

     

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    Lamb Merguez Patties – Sunbasket Meal

    July 1, 2017

    A friend of mine graciously gave me one of her Sun Basket meals to try since she knows how much I love to cook. I personally have only tried www.hellofresh.com during my pregnancy make dinners easier when I was too tired to yield the brainpower needed to meal plan. I love these instructional and portioned meal services because they make cooking dinner simple and remove any stress of trying to figure out what to put together. Being that they’re several options like www.hellofresh.com and www.sunbasket.com out now, I think each of them has something great to offer. Really it’s just learning which one fits your dietary needs the best.

    Sun Basket did not disappoint! This lamb merguez patties meal was delicious! I added some cauliflower rice and spinach I needed to use up and it complimented the patties perfectly. The spices that were included were fantastic! There is something so nice about having everything measured out for you with a recipe card!

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    Make Leftovers Beautiful

    January 4, 2017

    Some weeks I meal prep for the entire week and others, I cook most nights. By the end of the week, I always have  left overs from those dinners, typically just enough for a small meal. I can’t stand to waste food, so I challenge myself to combine these components into a cohesive dinner. I do not prefer leftovers (unless its pizza) so I have to find a way to make a new dinner that is appealing to me. If you make food that you like, others will most likely enjoy it as well.

    Adding a few fresh ingredients and plating can transform anything leftover into something delicious! Trust me when I say, I am not an expert chef and I’ve had no formal training. I think if you have a desire to cook or maybe just elevate the dishes you love to make, anyone can create a gorgeous plate of food. It’s easy to get intimidated but what I try to remind myself with plating, is that there are a million ways to make something beautiful. I am only limited by the fears of not doing it right and if I can look past that, the process yields growth and a successful outcome. I realize that everything I cook, even if it doesn’t turn out great, is a learning opportunity. Don’t get discouraged if you mess up a little or a lot, that is how you learn.

    I am not a professional food stylist (although I would totally love that job too) and I’m just sharing what I have learned over the years. There are so many talented chefs out there who plate things that are stunning and beyond my current skill level. This simply is just my style and my desire to share with you what I do at home.

    INGREDIENTS
    Fresh/ New
    2 Petite Jalapeños
    1/2 C Coconut Milk
    1 C Salsa Sriracha (garnish
    1 Tbsp Avocado Oil

    Leftover Items
    1.5 – 2 C Rotisserie Chicken (pulled)
    1 C Organic Sprouted Red Rice
    1 C Organic Bean Medley & Spinach (beans cooked up with chopped spinach and coconut oil)
    1 large steamed Sweet Potato cut into 1 inch thick rounds

    In a small saucepan, heat the avocado oil on medium heat and put in the sweet potato and petite jalapeños. After the sweet potato has some nice caramelization color on it, remove it from the pan and set aside, along with the jalapeños. Put your beans and rice into the same pan and stir just until heated.

    While that is cooking, move onto the chicken. In a medium saucepan, heat up the other tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Then add your rotisserie chicken, coconut milk and salsa. The coconut milk adds a nice creaminess to the dish. Cook until heated through and the sauce coats the yourchicken.

    Time to assemble. If you don’t own a ring mold, I would highly recommend investing in one as they serve many purposes. You can plate food, cut biscuits, mold desserts, donuts, etc. This will become a helpful tool in your kitchen and you can purchase an adjustable one for any application. The one I use is available here on Amazon and is super easy to use.

    To begin building this dinner, begin with the rice and press firmly into the mold and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remember that layers should always be seasoned. Removed the mold, the rest can be assembled by hand. Secondly, gently add your chicken on top of the rice. Place the sweet potato on top and garnish with jalapeños, salt and pepper and sriracha dots. The nice thing about most standard sriracha bottles come with a perfect tip to make these dots. Super easy and if you’re nervous to put that last step on the plate, just practice on cutting board, tin foil, counter top, paper plate, etc.

     

     

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