Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Awesome Etsy Find - Purpose Design.



Now that Christmas is over, I can safely post this without fear that I will be showing the gifts I was giving this year. I began most of my holiday shopping in mid November and scoured Etsy in hopes of  finding the most personalized gifts for the people in my life. I came across the shop, Purpose Design, during the search for a gift for my boss. Keyword search: gift for baker. The shop owner, Julie, uses all natural ingredients for her spice sets and salt kits which she blends herself.  I wanted to order everything as I browsed the different items in her shop. I decided on the Artisanal Baking and Dessert Salt Kit for my boss. It consists of six different salt blends with flavors such as Espresso Sea Salt, Orange Ginger, and Vanilla Cardamon. For my brother who loves cooking Thai food, I found a Thai spice set. It's hard to come by certain Thai spices in the area we live so this was perfect for him. I couldn't resist getting something for myself so I purchased the Organic DIY Chai tea kit.  I've already enjoyed a pot and it was lovely.

Happy New Year everyone!



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Saffron Simple Syrup and a Saffron & Bitters Cocktail


For Christmas last year, my dad sent me a bottle of Averna. I'm not a huge drinker so it sat on the shelf next to the other bottles in my brother's bar area. What was our Mom's hutch is now his liquor cabinet. For my birthday the following month, Dad sent me multiple bottles of truffle oil, which have been put to use many times, and a tin of saffron which had been left untouched until now. I would see the cute little tin from Spain every time I opened the cupboard and it would remind me that I needed to do something with it soon. So I finally did. I wasn't quite sure what I would be using it for but a simple syrup sounded like a good idea. A healthier version of a simple syrup that is. And I finally got a way to use the Averna.

Saffron Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
4 generous pinches of saffron

To Make:

In a saucepan add the water and coconut sugar. Turn heat to medium-high. 
Gently stir till the coconut sugar has dissolved.
Add ginger, cinnamon sticks, and saffron and stir again to combine.
Once it reaches a boil, let it cook for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
Strain simple syrup into a glass jar and store in fridge until ready for use.

Saffron & Bitters Cocktail

In a glass with ice add:

1oz Averna
2 tablespoon saffron simple syrup
& top with tonic water.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Food For Your Skin - Sugar Scrub



It's just as important to use clean natural ingredients on your skin as it is to eat a clean healthy diet. The skin is our largest organ so it makes sense to take good care of it. Many commercial brands use harsh chemicals and fragrances in their skin care products which can not only be harmful for your skin but if you are sensitive enough, they will cause a rash. This happens to me often. :(

Today I'll be sharing a recipe for a sugar scrub that can be used on your face and body. It's made from natural ingredients that your skin will love. Sugar scrubs are great for all skin types. Yes, including you, sensitive skin. The grapeseed oil used in this recipe is light so it leaves your skin smooth but not overly greasy. This stuff is great to use prior to shaving. The oils give your skin extra moisture and it helps prevent itchy legs which can happen after shaving.

Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:
4 cups cane sugar
16oz bag of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
1 cup melted coconut butter
2 cups grapeseed oil
1/4 cup honey

The choices are unlimited for adding scent to your scrub. There are a variety of essential oils and you can blend them to your preference. Below are the ones I chose but feel free to be creative and choose what you like.

30 drops sweet orange essential oil
30 drops bergamot essential oil
2 teaspoons honeysuckle perfume oil (Sunshine Spa brand)


 To make:
In a large bowl add the brown sugar, cane sugar and vanilla if you decide to do so. Gently mix to combine. You may need to use your hands to break up any clumps from the brown sugar.
In a medium bowl add your honey, grapeseed oil,  melted coconut butter and scent of choice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well to combine. Use a spoon to scoop scrub into jars. 
I was able to fill 10 wide mouth 8oz mason jars. Create your own gift tags and give these out for presents this Christmas. These also make a great hostess gift. 








Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cranberry Orange Pan Jam


Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. My love for recipes with cranberries is so great this time of year. One of my favorites is what we do at work. We top cupcakes with the sugared berries. It's just so pretty with the contrast of the deep berry color and the whiteness of the sugar. Definitely brings on that joyous feeling of winter.
During the summer, I made a few batches of pan jams using stone fruit. I thought it would be great to make a batch using cranberries. I love pan jams because they are so easy to make. Since there is no canning process required, they need to be kept refrigerated. They usually keep for about a week or two in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer.


Cranberry Orange Pan Jam 

Ingredients:
1 12oz bag of cranberries
1 orange - zest and juice
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 stevia packets 
(If you don't use stevia, I would suggest adding more coconut sugar since the berries are so tart.)
1oz Grand Marnier (Optional)



To Make:
Rinse cranberries and place in large bowl.
Heat 3 cups water in a pot just until it starts to boil. 
Pour water over cranberries and let sit for 10 minutes.
During this time, zest the orange and set both zest and orange aside. 
You will need the juice from the orange in the next step.
Drain cranberries and place back in the pot along with zest, 
juice from the whole orange, honey, coconut sugar, and stevia. 
Turn heat to medium-high and stir gently to combine all ingredients. 
Continue to stir every few minutes.
After about 5 minutes cranberries will begin to burst. 
Use a wooden spoon or silicon spatula to mash berries down.  
Turn heat slightly lower after 5 more minutes and add 1oz Grand Marnier.
Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until jam looks thick.
Store jam in glass jars in the fridge or freezer. 

This jam makes a great topping for pancakes as well as oatmeal and ice cream. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten & Egg Free




 Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

3/4 cup gluten free oat flour
3/4 cup hazelnut flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients:

4 oz butter, browned
(All I had at home was salted butter so if you
 use unsalted add about 1/2 teaspoon salt.)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax meal plus 6 tablespoons hot water. Gently stir to saturate the flax meal.)


To Prepare:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
First thing in order is to brown the butter. For those who are not familiar, here is an easy tutorial. 
How to make brown butter.
Once the brown butter is done, pour into large bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then add the 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree. Whisk till combined.
At this stage you can prepare your flax eggs. It’s best to let them sit after the water has been added.
In a medium size bowl, sift together all dry ingredients except the coconut sugar and chocolate chips.
Gently mix well until flour blend is combined evenly.
Add the flax eggs to the brown butter and mix to incorporate.
Cream sugar into butter mixture.
Add flour blend a little bit at a time while mixing together in between additions. A spatula was handy at this stage.
Once the dough is uniform, fold in chocolate chips.
Form dough into 2 tablespoon size balls and place evenly spaced on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
Bake for 12 minutes.
I don’t know if it’s just me or because I use alternative flours and sugar but the cookies I bake never seem to flatten and expand outward. About 10 minutes into the baking I pressed down on them a little with the back of a spatula.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Spelt Lemon & Chia Pancakes Topped With Blueberry Honey Compote




Mondays are my Saturdays. After having worked with cupcakes all weekend, you would think the last thing I would want to do is bake or cook. Wrong. I find myself staying awake after I've gone to bed on Sunday nights thinking of what I can create on my days off. As breakfast will be my next meal, pancake recipe ideas tend to float around my head quite a bit. So this morning I got into my kitchen with the intent of making lemon pancakes. The end result was Spelt Lemon and Chia Pancakes with a Blueberry Honey Compote. These pancakes are full of fiber from the flax and chia seeds and made with stevia as the sweetener. The compote is sweetened with honey, and for serving, I drizzled a little more honey on top.



Spelt Lemon and Chia Pancakes with a Blueberry Honey Compote 

Ingredients for Pancakes (makes 6 pancakes)

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup spelt flour
2 Tablespoons coconut flour
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 packets of stevia (I use NuNaturals brand.)
Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

1 egg
3/4 cup almond milk
2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

How to Prepare:

Preheat large frying pan on stove over low heat.
In a medium-large bowl, sift all of your dry ingredients (expect chia seeds). Once everything is sifted, add chia seeds and mix together till flour mixture is evenly blended.
In another medium size bowl, add all of your wet ingredients and whisk together. 
Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix well till evenly combined. 
Adjust heat on stove to medium-high. Grease frying pan with oil or butter.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop pancake batter into pan. 
Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. If you are familiar with making pancakes, you will be able to tell when they need to be flipped (when you see bubbles forming around sides.)

Blueberry Honey Compote

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen).
2 Tablespoons honey
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 pinches of lemon zest

In a medium size frying pan over medium-high heat, add blueberries, honey, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Mix well.  Turn the heat up to high and let cook, stirring frequently until compote thickens. Cooking time varies depending on how thick you like it.




Monday, August 12, 2013

Panko Breaded & Baked Zucchini


Panko Breaded & Baked Zucchini, Gluten Free

Ingredients

Zucchini (I used 1 1/2 for this batch.)
Brown rice flour
Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs. Ian's brand is the best!
1 egg
Spices of your choice. I used salt, pepper & cayenne.

Prep

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
Line baking sheet with foil and grease generously with oil. 
Using a shallow bowl or dish, place 1/4 cup brown rice flour.  
In another dish, place 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs.
In a shallow bowl, add 1 egg and whisk with fork. 
(Use additional egg, flour, and breadcrumbs if you want to increase the recipe.)


To prepare

Slice desired amount of zucchini.
 Sprinkle slices with spices... that rhymes :)
Dip sliced zucchini in brown rice flour, then egg wash and finish with the panko breading. 
Place on baking sheet and repeat till all are covered with breading.
Place in oven and bake about 7 minutes. Turn zucchini slices over and turn oven up to broil. Cook for about 5 minutes, maybe a little less. You want them to be a golden brown color. 
Remove from oven and enjoy! They go well with various dipping sauces.
 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Afternoon Adventure & an Ice Cream Float



I don't know how long Clairmont Farms has been around but I've been driving by it for many years, it seems, and never once stopped to check it out. Until yesterday that is. I had a jar of Sweet Lady Cook's strawberry lavender jam and wanted to make something yummy with it. My intent was to go to the farm to purchase some culinary lavender and make a honey lavender syrup. 
Just driving into the farm felt magical. It looks like one of those French rustic farms you see in movies. The long driveway is lined with tall trees and to the left you see all the beautiful bushes of lavender. 

Their little shop is situated at the end of the driveway. They carry a variety of body care products as well as lavender infused teas, honey, salts, and other herbs and spices. I left with a jar of lavender rooibos tea, lavender infused honey and a bouquet of dried lavender just because it's so pretty. I took a quick walk through the lavender field before leaving. This place is just so darn cute. They even have picnic tables set up so visitors can bring and enjoy their lunch in this gorgeous place.


Having acquired that lavender honey, it was time to make something delicious. What better way to end a summer night than with an ice cream float.


Summer Ice Cream Float

What you will need:

Sweet Lady Cook strawberry lavender jam
Both vanilla and caramel ice cream 
(You can use just one flavor if you prefer) I used the Talenti brand gelato.
Lavender infused honey.
Club soda

How to prepare:

In a tall glass, add two heaping tablespoons of Sweet Lady Cook strawberry lavender jam. Using a muddler, mash down any larger chunks of fruit.
Add a scoop of each vanilla and caramel ice cream. Top with a generous spoonful of lavender honey. Pour in the club soda and enjoy. I forwent the straw on this one and dug in with a spoon.

Don’t feel limited to the ingredients in this recipe. I’m confident that any of Sweet Lady Cook’s jams would be great in an ice cream float. You can even change up the ice cream flavors and use regular honey to get new and fun flavor combinations.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Quinoa Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette




This last week I received some yummy new jams from Sweet Lady Cook. I had a little dinner party the other night where I tried out some new recipes incorporating her jams. Brie and apricot jam grilled cheese with truffle honey and this summer salad with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. My brother is my toughest critic when it comes to my "healthy" cooking and this salad was his favorite. I've already made another batch and he's eating it up. 



Summer Quinoa Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

What you will need

For the salad:

1 cup quinoa (cooking instructions below)
1 ear of sweet white corn, kernels removed
1 cup diced cucumber (1/2 of an English cucumber)
2 cups spinach, chopped
1/4 cup diced strawberries
1 tablespoon of chopped basil leaves
2 pinches of salt

For the dressing:

1/4 heaping cup Sweet Lady Cook strawberry balsamic jam
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon stoneground mustard
pinch of pepper
a few generous pinches of salt

Garnish (optional):

Feta cheese
Sliced strawberries
Chopped basil
Avocado


To prepare:

First thing you need to do is prepare your quinoa. Always rinse quinoa before use. It helps remove a naturally occurring outer coating that gives off a bitter taste. Add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until quinoa has soaked up all the water. Fluff with fork and let cool.

Once the quinoa is cooked, it will need to cool to room temperature. You may want to make it the night before or a few hours in advance. (Placing it in the fridge can speed up the cooling process. If you prepare it the night before, store in the fridge over night.)

When quinoa is ready, add in all ingredients for salad and toss lightly to combine. Add dressing and toss again to coat evenly.

For the dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk together. You can also add all ingredients to a glass jar and give it a good shake. This is great if you want to make it the night before. Just store in fridge along with the quinoa.

Keep salad in fridge until ready to eat. I like to garnish right before serving.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lauren's Fruit Cobbler



Years ago my dad dated a women named Lauren. I remember the night my brother and I met her for the first time. I had a preconceived notion she was going to be some young bimbo. I guess that says more about my dad. Anyway, she was great. She was a lovely woman. Over the years we spent a lot of time together. I will always remember what a great cook she was. On our beach outings, she would pack a picnic with the most amazing sandwiches. One day she served us a piece of her fruit cobbler. Oh my, it was amazing! The best cobbler I had ever tasted. So buttery and delicious. It was always such a treat when she would make it. I had gotten the recipe from her but never made it until now. I had been thinking in my head of how I wanted to make a gluten free version. The original recipe calls for self rising flour and sugar. I tweaked the recipe to make it gluten and refined sugar free. It still tastes just like that amazing cobbler I had years ago.

This recipe is great because you can use whatever fresh fruit you prefer. The first time I made it, I used strawberries and blueberries. This time around I used fresh apricots from my friend Wallace’s tree.


Lauren's Fruit Cobbler,
Gluten and Refined Sugar Free

What you will need:

1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 almond milk, unsweetened (soy or regular would work as well.)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cups fresh fruit of your choice (if using stone fruits, pit first and then measure.)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut sugar

To make:

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a 9 inch baking dish, preferably glass or ceramic. I just do this right over the burner on the stove.

In another bowl, sift together your flour blend and coconut sugar. Add milk and mix well to combine.

In a pot add your fruit, honey and coconut sugar. Substitute honey for the coconut sugar if you prefer. You can always adjust the amount of sweetener used depending on how sweet the fruit is. Heat until the sugar has melted and fruit is warm but not cooked.

To assemble, take the baking dish with melted butter, pour batter mixture into the middle. Again, into the middle, add the warm fruit mixture. Do not spread out!

Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden and crisp on top. Serve warm or cool. I like it best served with vanilla ice cream.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Brie & Blenheim Apricot Grilled Cheese


Happy Monday. It's a brand new week and the start of a new month. For those who will be having a summer BBQ or dinner party, check out the recipe for Brie and Blenheim Apricot Grilled Cheese I shared with Sweet Lady Cook on her blog today. Truffle honey makes this sandwich!



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Orange Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bread


Last Saturday I was at my local health food store. In their house-made gluten free baked goods section I came across orange chocolate chip breakfast bread. I passed it up but once I got home I kicked myself for not getting a piece to have for breakfast the next morning. Instead of going back the next day to satisfy my craving, I decided to attempt to make it myself. It's just so much more fun that way.  The first batch I made came out so good. Baking is an art of its own but gluten free baking is another story.  It's all about having a good and diverse flour blend that lends a similar texture as normal flours do.  I made my second batch yesterday afternoon so I could have a piece for breakfast each morning at work this weekend.
 
Orange Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bread, Gluten Free

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

1/2 brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 tapioca flour
1/4 ground flax seed
1 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup Greek yogurt 2%
1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
1/3 cup olive oil

Additions

Zest from 1 medium orange
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, sift together your dry ingredients. Mix well to distribute flour blend evenly.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat one egg. Add in the rest of your wet ingredients and whisk till combined.
Add zest from orange and give another quick stir.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix till there are no lumps.
Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan dusted with white rice flour.
Bake for 55-60 minutes.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Carob Cherry Granola, Gluten Free


Carob Cherry Granola, GF


Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups gluten free oats
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/4 cup carob powder
3 packets stevia (NuNaturals brand)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
1/2 cup dried cherries

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl, add oats, sesame seeds, flax seeds, carob powder, and pinch of salt. Mix well to incorporate ingredients evenly.
In a medium bowl, add honey, olive oil, and stevia packets and mix well.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and toss to coat evenly.
Spread out on greased baking sheet or silpat mat placed on top of baking sheet.
 Bake for 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes.
Once removed from the oven, add 1/2 cup dried cherries.
Let cool completely before storing.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cashew Spinach Pesto


Cashew Spinach Pesto

Ingredients

1 cup roasted, salted cashews
3 large handfuls of spinach
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
Juice from 1 lemon
salt to taste
generous sprinkle of red chili flakes (optional)

Instructions

In a food processor, add cashews, garlic, lemon juice. Blend until cashews turn into small chunks. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides.
While the cashews are blending, add spinach through the feeding tube of the food processor.
Stop to scrape down sides and add water, salt and red chili flakes.
Continue to blend until desired consistency. I tend to like mine with some texture. 

This pesto pairs well with toast, crackers and veggies.



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gluten Free Strawberry Pancakes



Gluten and Refined Sugar Free Strawberry Pancakes Topped with Marinated Strawberries in a Ginger Honey Syrup.



In my last post, I created a recipe for ginger honey syrup to be used in a drink recipe. I still had half a jar left so I thought of what else I could use it in. As a lover of pancakes, it could make a nice alternative to maple syrup. Although the consistency was much thinner I decided to use it as a marinade for chopped strawberries and use that as the topping.
Prep the strawberries before you start on the pancakes so they have time to soak up the flavor of the syrup. 

Marinade:

1 heaping cup of strawberries, chopped.
Place in a shallow dish and pour syrup (see previous post) over to coat the chopped berries.
Set aside until ready to top pancakes.



Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 tapioca flour
1/4 ground flax seeds
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 packets stevia (I use NuNaturals brand)
Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 egg
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup Seascape strawberry jam from Sweet Lady Cook (sweetened with honey)

Instructions:

Preheat a large pan on the stove top.
In a medium bowl, add all of your dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
In a larger bowl, beat the egg and whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients.
Add the dry to the wet while continually whisking. Beat until there are no more lumps.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop batter into heated greased pan on medium heat.
Cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
Makes 10 pancakes.
Plate pancakes and top with marinated strawberries. I also topped my pancakes with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt.



Monday, May 6, 2013

Strawberry Ginger Honey Fizz

It's been so exciting to partner up with Sweet Lady Cook and create recipes using her homemade jams. Her latest batch of Seascape strawberry jam is made with honey, making this recipe free of refined sugars.



Strawberry Ginger Honey Fizz

Ingredients

1 cup water
Scant 1 cup honey
2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
Sweet Lady Cook’s Seascape Strawberry Jam (sweetened with honey)
Sparkling water
Strawberries for garnish (Optional)


Instructions


First thing you will need to do is make your ginger honey syrup. I made mine a day in advance so it would be chilled. You could even make it up to a few days in advance if need be.

In a small/medium size pot, add honey and grated ginger. Mix well to distribute ginger evenly and turn on the heat to medium.
Continue to stir until the honey starts to liquify.
Add water and mix well to incorporate.
Once a boil begins, turn down heat to medium/low and simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Using a strainer, pour syrup into a glass jar. It will fit nicely into a 16oz size.
Let cool before storing in the refrigerator.

In a glass or jar add 2 tablespoons of Seascape Strawberry Jam.
Using a muddler, mash down any chunks of fruit.
Add ice cubes, 1/4 cup ginger honey syrup, and finish off with sparkling water.
Give the drink a quick stir and enjoy!
Garnish with a strawberry or lemon wedge. 




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gluten Free Stawberry Mascarpone Tart

Thanks to Instagram I discovered Sweet Lady Cook. Located in Santa Barbara, she specializes in small batch jams using local fruit, no preservatives and minimal sugar. I was so thrilled to see that she was located just 30 miles south of me! At the time she was only selling her product online. I placed an order and couldn't wait till my jams arrived. Along with strawberry habanero and blackberry lavender jam, I purchased her clementine marmalade for my mom. (I'm not a marmalade person.) Funny how that turned out to be my favorite. See previous post for my Gluten Free Clementine Marmalade Granola. It's been so much fun using her jams in my food experiments. 

Using seasonal fruits, her newest flavor is a seascape strawberry! The smell was absolutely amazing upon opening the jar. I decided on making gluten free strawberry mascarpone tarts using an almond and date crust. For the full recipe "click on the link below."



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Clementine Marmalade Granola, GF


Gluten Free Clementine Marmalade Granola

Ingredients

3 cups gluten free oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 Tbs ground flax seed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon
1/4 clementine marmalade from Sweet Lady Cook 
(I'm sure any orange marmalade would work just fine)
2 packets stevia
1/2 cup golden raisins

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, combine oats, sesame seeds, ground flax seeds, and cinnamon (to taste.)
Gently stir to incorporate ingredients evenly.
In a medium bowl, mix together honey, olive oil, marmalade and stevia. 
Pour your wet ingredients into the dry and mix well to evenly coat the oat mixture.
Transfer mixture to a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Spread out evenly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes stirring about every 10 minutes or so. 
Remove from oven and add raisins.
Let cool completely before transferring to container... or bowl if you want to snack immediately.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Good For You Carrot and Raisin Muffins



It took me quite awhile to perfect my gluten free pancake recipe. Moving on to muffins was a little easier since I had a better knowledge of how these alternative flours work together. Three times is a charm because the last batch I made turned out great. These muffins are free of gluten and refined sugars. I used brown rice syrup and stevia. The raisins add a nice sweet bite but overall these muffins do not have an overly sweet taste. The flax, buckwheat, and oat bran provide a good source of fiber so these muffins will help keep you satisfied throughout the morning. They also contain a good source of protein from the eggs and Greek yogurt.


Ingredients:

Dry ingredients
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 sorghum flour
2 Tbs tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 pure vanilla powder
4 packets stevia (I use NuNaturals)
Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 plain Greek yogurt (used 2%)
2 Tbs grapeseed oil
1 egg
1/4 egg whites

Add-Ins
3/4 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup golden raisins


Directions
Preheat oven to 350℉
In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and gently mix until flour has a uniform color.
In another medium bowl, whisk together all of your wet ingredients.
Pour the wet into the dry and mix well until there are no lumps. 
Add in the carrots and raisins and mix well to distribute evenly.
Scoop into a greased or lined muffin pan and bake for about 20-23 minutes or until done.

Enjoy these muffins on their own or add a little butter (Earth Balance) or jam. I eat one with my eggs in the morning for a little treat.



Happy and healthy eating :)



Thursday, January 24, 2013

25 Years Young


Happy Birthday to me!


Yesterday morning I thought to myself about turning 25. Instead of looking at it from a negative point of view, I thought of all the amazing things that happened during my 24th year of life. I was three months into a new relationship and I'm so happy to say it's still going strong. I let go of negative people in my life and was rewarded by meeting the most amazing new friend. The biggest accomplishment for me was overcoming an obstacle that had taken over my life for the past 3 years. Becoming free of something that holds you so far down is the most amazing feeling. I know that it wouldn't have been possible for me to move on without the love and support from those closest to me. I'm so thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful people. I'm excited to be 25. 24 was the best year of my life and can't wait to see what this next year will bring.


Smith hates photos but I always get my way on my birthday. The one on the left was from last year and the once on the right was from last night. They were taken in the same photo booth. It brought back the happy memories of last year and I'm so happy to be spending another year with him in my life.