Monday, March 18, 2013

Knives in My Face

Well, ok... not actual knives.

I have a sinus infection that just makes it feel like there are knives in my face.

Now, I know that sinus infections are the one and only reason you visit this blog. I mean, the thought of this topic must have you reeling with joy... Believe me, I feel the same way.

I'll be brief and without detail.

I am terribly sick. I have tried EVERYTHING.

Prescriptions, over the counter medicine, pain relievers, decongestants, essential oils on my feet, essential oils on my face/neck, steam breathing treatments with essential oils, supplements, vitamins, teas... EVERYTHING.

Nothing seems to be working and all I can feel are the knives in my sinuses.

Last week was Spring Break and I got to enjoy it with several days in bed weeping in pain. And to add insult to injury, I haven't been able to taste anything in about 2 weeks.

I tell you all this so that you will understand why I'm not in the kitchen testing new recipes. I'm desperate to get back in there... but this has been going on for weeks now and I just can't.

I apologize.

Thank you for understanding and let me know in the comments if there is something you would like me to test when I am back up and going.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chocolate G.A.P.S. Cupcakes and Buttercream Icing

My birthday was a few weeks ago and I made these cupcakes for my family. I was a little worried because I didn't have time to let the cupcakes cool completely before icing them.

That turned out to be a wonderful problem to have as the icing melted a little on the bottom and made the cake super moist!

These taste just like devil's food chocolate cake to me, but you'll have to judge for yourself!

Recipe -

Cupcakes - 

  • 2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I use raw,organic cacao)
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream honey and butter together in mixer for 1 minute.
3. Add eggs 1 at a time and beat for 30 seconds after each addition.
4. Add dry ingredients. Beat for 30 seconds.
5. Add vanilla extract.  
6. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
7. Set aside until only slightly warm to the touch. About 30 minutes. Then top with buttercream.

Buttercream Icing - 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  •  2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp butter
1. In small sauce pan, bring water to boil for double boiler.
2. Mix eggs, honey, vanilla and salt together in mixing bowl.
3. Turn heat until boiling water to low-med and place mixing bowl on top of pan.
4. Whisk egg/honey mixture constantly for 4 minutes.
5. Remove bowl from heat and pour contents into mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy. It will almost look like the marshmallow mix and will take about 5 minutes.  
6. Add butter one Tbsp at a time until all is added.
7. Beat on high for an additional minute.

Note: If you want this icing to be more firm you can refrigerate for a few minutes. Too long and it will become too hard to spread.

Troubleshooting: If your icing separates during the butter addition, allow mix to sit on the counter for about 5 minutes and then continue to beat the icing. It may take awhile, but it WILL turn into smooth and gorgeous buttercream!This happens when the butter is still too cold.

I also made this in a round cake pan, lightly greased with butter and spread the icing in a thick layer on top. It was even better than the cupcakes!! So good in fact, that it was gone before I could get a picture!

Any way you slice it, this chocolate creation is to die for. ;-)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Almond Flour Rolls

A few weeks ago I found this company that makes "Paleo" bread. I looked up the ingredients and it seemed pretty simple... so I tried to figure it out on my own. It worked out wonderfully!

Here are the results!

Recipe -

1 1/4 cup almond flour
5 tbsp psyllium husk powder (flax won't work)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 whole eggs
1 cup warm water

1. Pre-heat oven to 300 and line sheet with parchment.

2. Mix dry ingredients together until well combined.

3. Add eggs to form thick mix.

4. Add water and mix until thick again. This step may take a few minutes, but it will thicken!

5. Quickly form into small, flat discs and bake! Don't be tempted to make them too big... they rise a lot!

6. Bake for 90 minutes.

The raw mix texture is very similar to cornbread, but shockingly it rises into these beautiful bread rolls!

I think these would be great for sandwiches/burgers! I have a batch of bacon that I am going to use for BLTs tonight... we'll see how it goes! I will post pictures of the results! :-)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chocolate Drops and Candy Bars

Hey y'all. I'm glad to be back in the kitchen, I've been sick!

But today I got back in there and whipped up a few things with my new goodies! First was this beautiful batch of homemade chocolate.

Never having made chocolate from scratch before, I was a bit intimidated. This was something that I had always longed to do, but never had the gumption.

It was so easy!

Recipe -
3/4 cup cocoa butter
3/4 cup cocoa (I used cacao)
1/3 cup honey
dash of vanilla
dash of salt

1. Melt cocoa butter completely. Do not leave on the stove after melted, removed it right away.

2. Add cocoa and mix thoroughly.

3. Add honey, vanilla and salt. Mix thoroughly with a whisk until smooth.

4. Pour into molds or greased glass pan and allow to cool completely*.

*The cooling process took several hours for me, even in the fridge. They will set up, but it will take a while!

I had these cute little fun-size candy bar molds which I made use of today. I mixed some dried cherries and walnuts into half of the chocolate and then spooned the mix into the molds. They turned out really well.

I think I'll make these with a marshmallow filling, or caramel, or almond butter... or any number of other things...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mail's Here!!

Today all my orders came in from Amazon and I cannot wait to get cooking with them!!

2lbs - Grass-fed beef gelatin (kosher)
2lbs - Raw organic cacao power
2lbs - Cold-pressed organic cocoa butter

Oh I'm so excited to try these new products out! The gelatin you've seen in the Honey-Marshmallow recipe, but the others I haven't tried before. I'm looking forward to seeing how the tastes compare to the processed stuff that most of us grew up with.

And yes... I know that many of my recipes are chocolate right now. They won't be for long... it's a phase... bare with me!

With these new kickin' ingredients, you're going to have to "suffer" through just a couple more chocolate posts... then we'll try something else for a while... I suppose :-)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Candy - G.A.P.S. Tootsie Roll Copy-cat

Made with full-fat butter and local honey, these candies really hit the spot when you're having a craving for something you shouldn't eat!

Guilt free, I keep a few of these in my purse and haven't really even been tempted to eat non-G.A.P.S. at all!

Recipe -

Yields 150 (+/-20)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
2 tbsp vanilla extract
Dash of salt

1. Melt butter and add honey.

2. Bring honey/butter mixture to a boil and boil for 3 full minutes.

3. Add vanilla carefully, will splatter in hot liquid.

4. Remove from heat and add cocoa powder and salt. Use a wooden or metal spoon to work the powder into a dough. Make sure it is as smooth as possible.

5. Spread between two layers of parchment paper and smooth with rolling pin (or whatever you have at hand) while still hot. ** I make mine about 1/4" thick, but you could make them thicker without a problem. You would get fewer pieces and since they are so rich, I find that a little piece is more than enough to satisfy!

6. Allow to cool. Use pizza cutter/knife to cut into 1"x1/2" pieces. Wrap in pieces of parchment paper/wax paper.

7. Eat and enjoy!!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Sprouted Almond Flour

Most recipes that call for almond flour use blanched almond flour. You can buy this at the store or in bulk online. However, you can make it yourself at home for a fraction of the cost and at the same time, you can soak them so that you get all those lovely benefits!

Recipe -

1. Place almonds in a bowl with twice the room needed for the almonds. They will grow in size when soaked, just like beans.

2. Fill bowl to top with water. You can use tap or filtered, whichever you are more comfortable with!

3. Soak for at least 8 hours and a max of 12 hours.

4. Rinse almonds thoroughly! You will be amazed at how much dirt comes off those little guys!

5. Place on dehydrator trays and dry on 145 for 24 hours and then check for crispness. They should be completely crisp all the way through with no chewiness at all. This has taken up to 4 days for me before. It all depends of the humidity in your home and the time of year.

6. Allow to cool in the dehydrator (so just leave it off) for about 8 - 10 hours. Then you can store them in an air tight container without condensation building inside the container. That would cause the almonds to get soggy and allow for mold growth!

7. Place a handful of almonds into a coffee grinder (not one that you grind coffee in. Use a dedicated nut/flax/coconut grinder!). Grind until as fine as possible, but be careful because it will turn to butter quickly and that's just a mess. Scrap powder into a sieve to catch any big pieces and then separate the two.

Big pieces in one bowl, flour in another. You will regrind the big pieces again once you've done all the flour you need. repeat until you have enough flour for your project.

You may need to take breaks if your grinder starts getting warm. It may overheat and shut down for awhile, but it will come back on if that happens... it will just need to cool down! Try to avoid that by being sensitive to how much you can grind before it even starts to overheat.

8. Use them all up and start again!

There is a lot of time involved with this process, but only about 30 minutes of active work. The rest of the time is just waiting for the dehydrator.

I may try an oven version of this process to see if that works faster without roasting the nuts.