Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!!

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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!!

Just in time for summer, I have the easiest, tastiest, ice cream recipe for you!!  It is also refined sugar free and egg free so no cooking or guilt involved! I have made this in my electric ice cream maker, but I am sure that it will work well in the old fashioned hand churn ones as well. :) This recipe would also be the perfect base to add other fruit pureés or chocolate chips or whatever flavor you want to try.  It can be easily adaptable for dietary restrictions too. 

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 ¾ cups heavy cream (**See note at the end of the recipe)
  • 1 cups half n half 
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 2/3 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Optional: 2 cups of add-ins - soft brownies, cookies and blondies work great 

Method:

  1. Pour the cream, milk, syrup, and salt into mixing bowl.
  2. Mix well with a whisk.
  3. Use a knife to split the bean. 
  4. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the bowl. (or add one of the other vanilla flavoring options.)
  5. Whisk mixture once more and pour into ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until ready to serve. 
  6. Enjoy!

**I also have made this using raw milk only instead of using cream and milk and it works great!  How awesome to have a raw milk ice cream, right?!
***You can also substitute coconut cream and coconut milk for a non-dairy, non-nut milk option.  I am sure that any non-dairy milk will work as well. 

View from the ice cream maker. :)

View from the ice cream maker. :)

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Week One of Spring Break Camp - Chocolate Confections

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Week One of Spring Break Camp - Chocolate Confections

Well the first week of the first ever chocolate confections spring break camp is over and I am still a little full from all the chocolate I consumed this week! :) It was so fun and worth it!  We had a full class (8-9 kids) most days.  I am so proud of all the kids for all that they learned this week.  Here is some pics from our time together each day! 

Day 1 we started with learning how to temper chocolate so that we could make chocolate bars and other treats throughout the week using our new skill.  Tempering chocolate is not a super easy task but these kiddos did great!  This first day we made a dark chocolate bar.  The only ingredients we used was cocoa butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla bean paste.  They turned out super yummy!

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Tempering the chocolate on my granite countertops.  You have to be consistent and patient. 

Tempering the chocolate on my granite countertops.  You have to be consistent and patient. 

We finished off the first day with a thick, French drinking chocolate!  So tasty! 

We finished off the first day with a thick, French drinking chocolate!  So tasty! 

Day two we ventured into making chocolate cups and filled them with a chocolate fresh whipped creme!  The bowls didn't turn out as planned, but no biggie.  We improvised and used our chocolate cups as chocolate shavings and they were still very delicious. We also made some homemade Nutella, but I didn't get a picture of it.  I guess we were too busy eating it. :)

Whipping up some whipped cream!

Whipping up some whipped cream!

Lily really enjoyed her chocolate creme cup. ;) 

Lily really enjoyed her chocolate creme cup. ;) 

Day three we used some of our left over Nutella, mixed with some dark, milk, and white chocolate bars to make my favorite item of the week, a chocolate torrone bar!  It was smooth, creamy, and delicious!  We also made some chocolate molten lava cakes! 

Chocolate Torrone bar with whole hazelnuts on the inside.

Chocolate Torrone bar with whole hazelnuts on the inside.

Day four we finished our week similarly to how it began.  We tempered some milk chocolate this time.  Instead of making them into bars, we used some flower molds and made the cutest little chocolate flowers.  The perfect size to pop into your mouth the enjoy a little treat! They were refined sugar free as well!  The final thing we made was some chocolate turtles!  We made our own caramel sauce, poured that over some toasted pecans, then topped with melted chocolate and froze them till they were set.  Is your mouth watering yet??  Mine is!! :)

This was the crew we had on the last day, we were missing a couple this day.  What fun we had this week!  Thanks for all of you who came! 

This was the crew we had on the last day, we were missing a couple this day.  What fun we had this week!  Thanks for all of you who came! 

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Blueberry Pancakes (Gluten Free)

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Blueberry Pancakes (Gluten Free)

Right now I'm doing a digestive cleanse where I can't have any grains, nuts, or sugar. I know... it's hard. BUT, there are so  many wonderful grain free and gluten free ingredients and ways to still enjoy your eating.  These pancakes may now be my favorite pancakes!  Over the years I've really grown to love cooking with blueberries.  But there is something else about these pancakes that is my favorite thing.  Since I also am not doing any sweeteners or sugars other than found in fruits, that means no honey or maple syrup either.  That means I'm learning to eat and love DATES!!  What an amazing fruit it is!  I came across this Date Syrup by "The Date Lady" and I've been using it for lots of things!!

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Atop pancakes and waffles, in coconut cream for a sweet dipping treat, in my tea, and to sweeten my sons birthday cake.  THIS STUFF IS AMAZING!  If you are into natural sugars and sweetening naturally you need to go buy some today.  (I am not being paid to say this. :))  My other favorite new find is this super creamy coconut milk/cream.  It's the So Delicious brand and it's called "Culinary Coconut Milk".  I guess because it's "culinary" is why it comes so creamy and soft.  

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It doesn't really require refrigeration in order to whip well bc it is already fluffy when it comes out of the container.  If you have any experience with coconut cream, then you know that normally you find it in a can.  This comes in one of those cardboard containers (SUCH a plus since those are always BPA free already) and is so thick and soft from the beginning. Not hard like the cream of the canned versions. 

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All this to say, I made a coconut whipped cream, sweetened with date syrup to put ontop of these amazing pancakes.  Let me tell you, it was so good!!  This recipe is a must try, just as it is written.  I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as I have been!

Ingredients Needed:

For the Pancakes

  • 2 TBL flaxseed meal
  • 6 TBL coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp real salt
  • 4 eggs (you can just more flax seed meal mixed with water for an egg replacer to make these vegan)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • coconut oil or butter when cooking

For the Coconut Cream

  • 5.5 oz of the culinary coconut cream (about half the container)
  • 2-3 TBL date syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you like it)

Directions:

1.  Make your coconut cream first by putting both ingredients in a medium size bowl.  

2.  Using a hand mixer, whip the cream for 2-3 mins or until desired consistency.

3.  Set aside while you make the pancakes.

4.  Put all the pancake ingredients besides the blueberries in a large bowl.  Whisk them by hand or with a hand mixer until smooth.

5.  Gently fold in blueberries.

6.  Cook on a cast iron skillet over a medium heat. 
**Pro Tip:  I have found that when cooking gluten free pancakes, it works better to cook them slower.  So use a lower heat to ensure that you cook the outside and the inside at the same time.  If you cook them too quickly on the outside, the inside will be mushy and not cooked through.

7. Serve hot, topped with a dollop of coconut cream and more date syrup over that!

8. Enjoy!!

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Coconut Candied Cashews

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Coconut Candied Cashews

Holy Cow.  These nuts are so good.  You will want to always have them on hand now.  Seriously, get ready.  There are not a lot of ingredients, which to me, is always a mark of a good recipe! They are refined sugar free, which is a must for me. They don't have a lot of hands on time either.  They do roast in the oven for 30-35 mins, but you are just having to stir during that time.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 3 cups whole cashew
  • 1 TBL coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup full fat coconut milk (from the can)
  • 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut fine shredded coconut flakes, plus more for sprinkling 

Materials Needed:

  • Large bowl
  • Small pot for melting coconut oil
  • Wooden spoon
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  1. Place cashews in a large bowl. 
  2. Melt coconut oil and pour over cashews.
  3. Open up the can of coconut milk and whisk it smooth. 
  4. **Easier would be to blend the entire can in a blender until smooth.
  5. Measure out ¼ cup and add it to the nuts. 
  6. Add the coconut palm sugar and 1/2 cup coconut flakes to the nuts and fold the coconut-cashew mixture until everything is mixed well.
  7. Spread nuts onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake cashews at 300* F for 10 minutes. Stir.
  9. Bake 10 minutes more. Stir.
  10. Bake 10 minutes more. 
  11. Sprinkle with more fine coconut flakes.
  12. Bake 3-5 more minutes (for a total of 33-35 minutes cook time) or until all the sugary mixture has stuck to the nuts and there is no liquid left.
  13. Let cool before serving.  
  14. Try to not eat them all in one sitting. :)

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King Ranch Chicken Dip!

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King Ranch Chicken Dip!

One of my favorite comfort food has got to be King Ranch Chicken!  I love most things tex-mex so this is obviously right up my alley.  I came up with this recipe one day when I was planning to make the traditional King Ranch Chicken for dinner. Of course as I have the chicken layer prepped and ready, I go to my fridge to find my corn tortillas, and there are only 2. TWO!!  That is not enough to make three layers of the casserole I was dying to dig into. What was I going to do??  I couldn't run to the store before dinner because no store close was gauranteed to have organic corn tortillas (and corn is one of the ingredients I never compromise on. If its not organic corn then it's almost always GMO). 

The filling before I added my homemade cream of chicken soup.

The filling before I added my homemade cream of chicken soup.

So, I decided to improvise!  I was using my cast iron pan so I adjusted the recipe to add more cream of chicken soup and more cheese.  I torn up the two tortillas I did have into bit sized pieces, mixed them into the chicken mixture, crumbled some corn chips on top, added some more shredded cheese on top and popped it in oven!  That night we ate our King Ranch Chicken by dipping chips into it and it was as tasty as ever! Plus my boys love anything that allows them to eat chips!  This is great for a family meal or a dip to share at a football party or any gathering.  Enjoy!

Bubbly King Ranch Chicken goodness!

Bubbly King Ranch Chicken goodness!

Ingredients:
King Ranch Filling:

2 - 2 ½ cups shredded chicken (I use 1/2 of a whole chicken)

3 cups cream of chicken soup (recipe to follow - I always make my own. SUPER easy)

1 cups diced fresh tomatoes

1/2 cup diced onion (any color will do)

2 TBL butter

2 cups shredded cheese (divided)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 corn tortillas

1 cup frozen organic corn (optional)

corn chips for crumbling

Cream of Chicken Soup:

1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 - 1 1/2 cups milk or cream

1/3 cup flour

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*.
  2. Make your cream of chicken soup and set aside.
    • Put all ingredients in a small pot.  Whisk well to combine the liquid and the flour.  Cook over a medium to medium/low heat for about 5 mins, until thickened.  Stir often to prevent flour settling on the bottom and burning.  Once thick, taste and add seasonings to your liking.
  3. In a 9 inch cast iron pan, melt butter and add chopped onions. Cook onions until soft, about 7-8 mins.
  4. Add tomatoes and stir, cooking for 2 mins more.
  5. Add the corn, if using.
  6. Add shredded chicken, torn corn tortillas and spices.  Stir well to combine and coat all the ingredients with the cumin, chili powder, and salt. Let cook for 4-5 mins until everything is warm throughout.
  7. Add in the cream of chicken soup and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.  Mix well to combine well.
  8. Crumble up corn chips and sprinkle them on top.
  9. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. 
  10. Put the whole cast iron pan in the oven.  Cook for 20-30 mins, until bubbly.
  11. Serve plain or eat with chips as a dip (my favorite option :))

For a hands on demonstration, come to my next Adult + Child event class to learn this recipe and more!  Check out the Special Events page for details and registration!

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Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!!

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Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!!

Ok so I'm totally after the fact but I still wanted to take the time to share with you some wonderful pics and memories from the first ever Adult + Child event!  It was so much fun and I want to thank everyone who came out to participate.  There were three different dates and times to choose from and all classes ended up being full!  We made some Christmas treats that were great!  We made Easy Toffee, Hot Cocoa Mix, Almond Butter Truffles, Gingersnap Crinkle Cookies, and decorated some sugar cookies.  Everything turned out great.  Here are some of the pics I got from the event.  

Berklee stirring up her toffee!

Berklee stirring up her toffee!

Gluten free sugar cookies with cream cheese icing. :)

Gluten free sugar cookies with cream cheese icing. :)

Moms and Daughters making some gingersnaps!

Moms and Daughters making some gingersnaps!

The sweetest family brought their twin boys as one of their Christmas presents.

The sweetest family brought their twin boys as one of their Christmas presents.

Cora really working hard on her toffee. :)

Cora really working hard on her toffee. :)

Such a fun group of ladies right here!!

Such a fun group of ladies right here!!

This is everything that each person got to go home with!! Quite a yummy haul! ;) 

This is everything that each person got to go home with!! Quite a yummy haul! ;) 

Our next Adult + Child event is coming up in the next couple of weeks and you won't want to miss that one either!  Click on over to the special event page for details and registration! 

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Adult Pumpkin Cooking Event!

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Adult Pumpkin Cooking Event!

This past Saturday I hosted the first ever Sharing Sustenance adult event and it was a huge success!  I had four lovely ladies here and we just cooked our little hearts out with all sorts of pumpkin dishes, as well as my favorite fall drink, Chai Concentrate!  Everything turned out super yummy.  Sadly I forgot to take pictures while all the ladies were here (I seem to have a hard time remembering to photograph my events. :)) But, he is a few snaps of how the treats turned out.  

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler!  We topped it with ice cream and a sugar and pecan drizzle. 

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler!  We topped it with ice cream and a sugar and pecan drizzle. 

We made Whipped Pumpkin and Cinnamon Honey Butter!  I tried  mine over whole grain biscuits the next morning and sprinkled a little extra cinnamon on top. Top Notch!

We made Whipped Pumpkin and Cinnamon Honey Butter!  I tried  mine over whole grain biscuits the next morning and sprinkled a little extra cinnamon on top. Top Notch!

These are Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies.  Pumpkin spice and molasses might be the best flavor combination ever!

These are Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies.  Pumpkin spice and molasses might be the best flavor combination ever!

We finished off the day with making a chai tea concentrate.  I made mine into a chai latte, while others enjoyed it as a rich tea.  Truly this is my favorite drink "treat" out there.  It's just THAT GOOD!

We finished off the day with making a chai tea concentrate.  I made mine into a chai latte, while others enjoyed it as a rich tea.  Truly this is my favorite drink "treat" out there.  It's just THAT GOOD!

There you have it!  Everything we made was made with all organic ingredients and mostly no refined sugars.  (Rolling the Pumpkin Spice cookies in Organic Cane Sugar was the only refined sugar we used :))  

Check out the special event calendar to find out when our next adult event is! See you there!

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August Cooking Camp!

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August Cooking Camp!

The August cooking camp was last week and everyone had a blast!  We made lots of yummy recipes, including Spaghetti and Meatballs, Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Homemade Ketchup, Patty Melts, German Chocolate Cupcakes and several other things. All the students got to go home with a taste of everything we made as well as book full of all the recipes at the end of the camp.  The skills we worked on was learning how measure out ingredients, whisking, what it means to simmer or boil, and how change out refined sugars with unrefined sugars to help make sweets a little healthier. ;) Here's a pic of the kids making one of my favorite meals, French Toast!  We used the Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread we made to make the french toast. It was divine! 

The kids all did great and I hope that they had just as much fun as I did.  :)  It made me super excited for the fall and the monthly classes.  I hope to see some of your faces there in one of the fall classes. Here are some more highlights. 

Grain-free no bake cookies!

Grain-free no bake cookies!

Whisking up the icing for our german chocolate cupcakes! 

Whisking up the icing for our german chocolate cupcakes! 

Ready to grill up the hamburger patties for our patty melts.

Ready to grill up the hamburger patties for our patty melts.

These cupcakes... my fav! German Chocolate Cupcakes made with no refined sugars and whole wheat flour.  Might be the healthiest cupcake I've ever eaten. ;)

These cupcakes... my fav! German Chocolate Cupcakes made with no refined sugars and whole wheat flour.  Might be the healthiest cupcake I've ever eaten. ;)

We can't wait for the French Toast to get finished cooking!!!

We can't wait for the French Toast to get finished cooking!!!

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies **Refined Sugar Free**

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies **Refined Sugar Free**

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!  HOORAY!! Cookies are definitely up there on my list of favorite desserts.  I almost always have this cookie dough ready to go in my fridge, and bake just 1 or 2 at night for a treat.  It's a fun treat and a great way to have fresh baked cookies each time you eat them.  I mean, is there really any other thing that can compete with a warm chocolate chip cookie with raw milk? I modified the recipe from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip bag to make my recipe.  I changed it to have no refined sugar and made a couple other changes. I hope you try it out and enjoy these cookies as much as I do!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick butter, softened (I used grass-fed butter)

3/4 cup coconut palm sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 - 1/8 cup flour (I use whole grain spelt flour)

1/2 tsp bakin soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4-1 cup pecans **optional. And I love pecans so I put a lot :)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees *** (see note at end)
Beat butter, egg, and sugar together with a hand mixer until smooth.  Add vanilla and beat a few seconds.  Add the dry ingredients and beat until well combined and it has a smooth texture. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans by hand. Scoop batter onto a pan lined with parchment paper. Cook for 7-10 mins, depending on the size of the cookie.

***When I am cooking these from out of the refrigerator and they are cold, I preheat the oven to only 325 degrees and cook for 15 mins.  I have found that when they are cold, the higher temps burned the bottom of the cookie before the rest of the cookie was cooked through. Lowering the temperature and lengthening the cooking time helped solve that problem. :)

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COMING THIS FALL... Kids cooking classes!!

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COMING THIS FALL... Kids cooking classes!!

I am super excited to announce that starting in September, I am offering monthly cooking classes for kids ages 6 and older.  Each course will be a month long and have a different theme (ex: chicken dishes, breakfast, holiday side dishes, desserts).  Classes will be offered on either Thursdays or Friday afternoons.  Once signed up, you will come on your chosen day a learn 2-3 new recipes each time and have loads of fun while learning about different kitchen skills, healthy eating, and more! Each course is $75 per month when you will have 4 weeks of classes, or $65 for a month that will have only 3 weeks of class.  There is a $20 one-time fee when joining to get your child all the materials needed to start the class.

If you live here in the OKC area and you are interested in learning more or signing up, Click here to go to my registration form and information. I hope to see your kiddos there! :) 

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Summer Cooking Camps!

IMG_0258 We have begun our first ever summer cooking camp!  The first week was an absolute blast! Here's a list of SOME of the yummy things these kiddos learned to make: homemade bread, french toast, spaghetti and meatballs, patty melts, german chocolate cupcakes, Fresh berries and cream, and much much more!  They used all organic ingredients and no refined sugars in any of the recipes.  Check out some more highlights in these pictures!

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Fresh Tomato Salsa

ImageHow are you going to eat your vegetables today? ;) This fresh salsa is a delicious way to inhale lots of veggies in one sitting!  Check out all these pretty colors!ImageThis salsa is super easy and can be made mild or spicy.  I made mine mild because I wanted my son to be able to eat it.  Here is the recipe. Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 1/2 - 2 lbs roma tomatoes

1 large yellow pepper, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 large red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt, plus a little more for your taste

A pinch of red pepper

Juice of one lemon or lime

Chop all the veggies and put them in a food processor.  You don't need to chop the garlic, just put it in whole.  One helpful tip I got from Rachel Ray was when squeezing a lemon or lime into your recipe.  Hold it with the cut side up into your palm and squeeze.  This prevents the seeds from falling into your bowl, and they stay inside the fruit! :)  Worked like a charm for me!  Turn on the processor and puree the veggies! That's it!!

**Now, if you want to make it more spicy, you could do a couple things.  Raw garlic has a bite.  If you want it a little spicy, but not too hot, you could try adding 2-3 more raw garlic cloves.  If you want it very spicy, add some jalapeno pepper.

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Irresistible Peanut Butter Cups (gluten and dairy free, naturally sweetened)

Image If you have  not figured it out yet, I am addicted to sweets!  I just can't get enough.  No shame here. :)  Ok these things are truly irresistible.  You will not be able to eat just one... or two for that matter.  So delicious and so addicting, if I do say so myself! ;)  They are very easy to make too!  There are three layers to these.  The crust, peanut butter filling, then the chocolate topping.  Here is the recipe...

Peanut Butter Cups

The Crust Layer:

2/3 cup almond flour

2 TBL coconut oil

2 tsp cocoa

2 TBL honey

The Peanut Butter Filling:

1 cup peanut butter ( I used unsalted, fresh grind)

pinch of salt (if your peanut butter already has salt in it, you won't need to add this)

4 TBL maple syrup

The Chocolate Layer:

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 TBL milk (I used raw milk)

Line a mini muffin tin for mini peanut butter cups or regular size muffin tin for big peanut butter cups with muffin liners.  Combine all the ingredients for the crust layer.  For mini peanut butter cups, put about 1 tsp or a little more into each cup.  For big peanut butter cups use about 1 TBL or a little more for each cup.  Put the entire muffin tin in the freezer while you  mix the next layer.

Mix the peanut butter and maple syrup together, making sure that it is a little more runny than normal peanut butter, but still able to hold its own shape.  Once you have reached your desired consistency add the peanut butter on top of the crust.  I fill my mini muffin liners almost to the top.  For big cups, you might just want to eye ball what would be an equal amount to fill each cup.  Put them in the freezer again while you are melting your chocolate.

Put your chocolate chips and milk in a sauce pan and heat over a low heat, stirring constantly, until it is just melted.  The chocolate should be smooth.  Spoon a little bit of chocolate over each peanut butter cup.  Spread using a spoon, covering with chocolate.  If you want ALOT of chocolate you could double this part of the recipe. :)  Once all cups are covered with chocolate, return the muffin tin to the freezer to finish hardening all together.  I would freeze for at least 1 hour to make sure they are good and hard.  Makes about 24 mini cups or 12 big cups.  Store in an air tight container.  You can put them in the fridge but you don't have to.  I don't think they will seriously last long enough to go bad if you leave them out! :)  Let me know your thoughts!  My sis always requests I make these for her for ANY occasion! Image

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Gluten Free "Breaded" Chicken

Image I used to live right near a Trader Joe's, my favorite grocery store.  I have been mourning the loss of my beloved store ever since I moved away.  They have so many yummy items that are their brand name and made only for their stores.  One of my family's favorite items was their breaded chicken.  So easy and delicious.   A couple times a month we would have chicken caesar salad and it was just so delicious.  Although I'm sure it wasn't the most healthy option to buy prepared, frozen meat, but like I said, it was so easy and so delicious.  Well, I finally decided to make my own breaded chicken.  I made this one gluten free, just for fun, to see how my family liked it.  It was a hit!  Here is the recipe...

Gluten Free "Breaded" Chicken

2 lbs chicken

1 small egg

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 2/3 cup almond flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp thyme

Lightly beat the egg and combine it with the buttermilk in a small bowl or pan. (I use my pyrex pie pans when doing stuff like this).  In a separate bowl mix the almond flour, salt and thyme.  Rinse your chicken and cut into little pieces.  Drudge your chicken first in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, then again in the flour mixture.  Place the breaded chicken then in a pyrex glass dish.  Broil for 10 mins at a level 3, flip the chicken, then return it to broil for 10 more mins.  I like the broil option because it really crisps up the breading nicely.  If you want to just half the recipe, start with 1 cup almond flour and 1 tsp salt.  I still use the same amount of wet ingredients even when just cooking 1 pound of chicken.  You can use the chicken a top a salad like I did, or you could add some parmesan cheese to the flour mixture and use it for chicken parmesan, over noodles and marinara sauce.  You cook the chicken like normal, then once cooked put a little marinara sauce and cheese on top and return back to broil until the cheese is melted.  (Try my marinara sauce recipe! :)) This really is a delicious chicken!  Give it a try!!

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Marinara Sauce

Image I promised you a few posts back that I would post the marinara sauce recipe that I made with my homemade meatballs.  I have come to really love making a homemade marinara sauce.  It is so much lighter and has a really great flavor.  You can use this sauce for a pasta recipe or a homemade pizza recipe (pictured below).  Here is the recipe...

Homemade Marinara Sauce

1 - 1 1/2 pounds of Roma tomatoes, peeled

1 TBL EVOO

1 large garlic clove, minced (or 2 small)

1/2 onion chopped (about 1 cup)

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

To peel tomatoes:  Score tomatoes with an 'X' lightly on one end.  Make sure to not go very deep, just right through the skin.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Once water is boiling, drop in a couple of the tomatoes and leave for only a minute or maybe a little more.  Once you see the skin started to peel back then you know it is long enough.  Immediately remove the tomato and plunge it into very cold water.  Let the tomato cool in the water.  The skin will just peel right off!

Chop the peeled tomatoes and set aside.  Chop the onions.  Heat EVOO in a pan and add the garlic and the onions.  Cook until the onions are soft and more translucent in color.  Once onions are cooked, add the tomatoes and spices.  Bring the mixture to a light boil or bubble.  Once it is bubbling, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 10 mins.  Puree the sauce in a blender or with an emulsion blender.  If you aren't "dairy free", once it is pureed, mix in parmesan cheese.  Makes about 2 cups.

** You can also add cooked ground beef to make it a bolognese sauce.  I love doing this!

** Another variation would be added   1/2 - 1 cup milk or cream to make it a vodka sauce.  If you like a super creamy sauce    that is a GREAT option! :)  Enjoy!

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free, Naturally Sweetened)

Image I have been wanting to write a recipe for a while now for a chocolate chip cookie that is made with honey.  I am so pleased with how these turned out.  I did go a little further than making these with just honey, and went ahead and made them paleo friendly.  I have only recently been starting to experiement with paleo recipes.  If you are a paleo veteran I would really love your feedback to know if these really are good. :)  Here is the recipe.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/4 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup almond flour

1/2 TBL baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup honey

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks, Enjoy Life brand (This brand is the only paleo brand.  If you use a different kind then they won't be paleo cookies :))

Preheat oven to 350*.  In a mixing bowl, put both kinds of flour and your other dry ingredients.  Add eggs one at a time and stir the contents well.  Add the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla and mix.  Stir in your chocolate chips.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cook the cookies 13-15 mins.  Enjoy!

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Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

 

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I know that I just did a post recently with pancakes, but I did also tell you that pancakes are my go-to breakfast.  There are easy, delicious, and filling.  This recipe is a spin off of a traditional buttermilk pancake recipe that I have made many time.  I have also made these into waffle form and they are just as delicious, if not more! :)

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 TBL baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup milk

1 TBL coconut oil

1-2 ripe bananas

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Put all ingredients except the bananas and nuts together in a mixing bowl.  Whisk together until desired consistency.  Once well mixed, add in your bananas and whisk more.  Stir in your nuts. Heat a stainless steel skillet over a medium to low heat.  Grease pan with butter or coconut oil.  Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto pan to form pancakes.  Flip the pancakes once you start to see some bubbles appearing.  Serve warm with maple syrup or honey.  Makes about 8 pancakes.  Serves 2-3.

 

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Waffle Sandwich (Made with Gluten Free Waffles)

Image My mouth is still watering when I look at these pictures and I ate this meal two days ago.  It was SOOOO delicious!  I made some gluten free waffles, cooked some home cured bacon and some eggs, and added some cheese and grilled it all together to have all this goodness come together.  I then dipped it in some scrumptious, real maple syrup and enjoyed my feast.  I'm pretty sure I mentioned that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, which it is, but I ate this for lunch because I will eat breakfast food anytime of day!  Especially if this is what I am eating. :)  Here is my recipe for the gluten free waffles.

Gluten Free Waffles

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup milk (if you want it dairy free you can use coconut milk and they are good that way too)

2 TBL coconut oil

Put all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  Don't forget the coconut oil or your waffles will be sticking to your waffle iron :/ Be sure to grease your waffle iron as well.  I'm not completely sure but it seems that almond flour is more sticky than wheat flour, so be careful.  This makes about 4 waffles with regular size waffle maker.

To make a delicious sandwich, cook the eggs however you like, and add whatever you want on the inside!  I then "grilled" mine like a grilled cheese to melt the cheese.  (I did make sure the waffles were a little on the soft side when they were cooking in the waffle iron so that that weren't too crispy when I grilled the sandwich.)  Top with syrup or have it to dip with. Enjoy!

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Potato Soup

Image I consider potato soup to be one of my comfort foods.  When I was little, I was a pretty picky eater and this was one of the only kinds of soup that I actually did like.  I like my potato soup more creamy than chunky, so that is what I made for you today.  This recipe tastes a little bit like mashed potatoes, in a more liquidy form of course, but who doesn't love mashed potatoes?!  Like most soups, it does taste better the second and third day after you make it. :)

Potato Soup

2 lbs potatoes (I used yukon gold but you can use whatever you like)

1 cup chopped onion, very small

2 tsp salt, divided

6 oz bacon

Olive Oil for cooking bacon

1/2 tsp thyme

3 cups milk or cream, if you would like it less like mashed potatoes then use half milk half water or chicken broth

1 3/4 cup water

2 TBL parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste for individual servings

Peel the potatoes, cut and cube them.  Together with the onions, put them in a medium size pot.  Cover them with water, add 1 tsp of the salt.  Bring them to a boil and then let them cook and simmer for 10 mins or until the potatoes are tender.  Once the potatoes are cooked, measure out 1 3/4 cups of the cooking water to save to use later once you are adding the liquid in.  While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon in a separate pan.  Once the bacon is cooked, save the grease to add to the potatoes.  Add in all the spices and all the other ingredients .  Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.  (You can use a regular blender too!) Once its smooth, turn the heat on low to keep it warm until its ready to eat.  Garnish with the bacon pieces, cheese, cilantro, or whatever else you think would be good. :)  I had this Cauliflower Garlic Cheesy Bread as a side and it was DELICIOUS!!!

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Italian Meatball

Image I'm always a sucker for a good meatball recipe.  I like to try different ones to find one that I love.  I think that I came up with a pretty good one, if I do say so myself! :)  Through trying a lot of different recipes, I think that it helped me pick and choose which ingredients I wanted to put in mine.  Here is the recipe:

Italian Meatball

1 lb ground beef (I used venison but you can use whichever kind you like :))

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBL milk or cream

1-2 TBL butter, put in pan to cook the meatballs with (Do not mix in)

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Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Using an electric hand mixer, mix the ingredients for 3-5 mins.  I have found that this helps the meatballs stick together much better, especially if you are using a lean meat.  Form each meatball into about a 1"-1.5" ball.  Brown all sides of the meatballs in the butter on a Medium heat.  Warm your oven to 200* and as meatballs are getting finished browning, put them in the oven to stay warm and continue cooking through a little bit.  Once all meatballs are cooked, add them to your sauce of choice and let them both simmer together for 10 mins or so to marry the flavors and make sure that the meatballs are cooked all the way through.  Enjoy them over your choice of noodles or on a yummy meatball sub sandwich! :)  I do have a delicious homemade marinara sauce recipe that I will post soon that I had with these meatballs.

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