Berry Clementine Snack Cake

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Berry Clementine Snack Cake

For The Fruit:

1/2 Cup Dairy Free Butter

2 Cups Frozen Blueberries

1 Tablespoon Sugar

For The Batter:

1 1/4 Cup Almond Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1/4 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

2 Tablespoons Clementine Zest

1/4 Cup Clementine Juice

1/4 Cup Dairy Free Butter, melted

About 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds

About 1 1/2 Tablespoons Raw Sugar To Sprinkle On Top

Preheat oven to 325°.

1.  Melt butter in a medium sauce pan and add the blueberries and sugar. Simmer softly for about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

2.  In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients (minus the almonds & raw sugar) and mix until just until smooth. 

3.  Pour half the batter into a square baking pan.

4. With a slotted spoon, cover the batter with the berries, then add about 2/3 of the juice over the berries. You will have a little left over.

5.  Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the almonds and sugar.

6.  Bake for about 35 minutes. You want to remove it from the oven when the middle is just done, maybe even slightly underdone.

Serve on its own or with almond milk.

Beans, Greens, & Bacon

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“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger,

eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”

- Auguste Escoffier

Beans, Greens, & Bacon Soup

1 Package Uncured Organic Hickory Smoked Bacon, chopped

4-6 (depending on size) Organic Carrots, sliced on the diagonal

1 Medium Organic Onion, chopped

2 Tablespoon Organic Thyme, chopped

2 Tablespoons Organic Rosemary, minced

5 Cloves of Organic Garlic, chopped

1 1/2 Cups Organic Purple Kale (packed), chopped

1 Cup Organic Green Kale (packed), chopped

2 Cans of White Beans, rinsed and drained

3 – 32 oz. Boxes of Organic, Free Range, Chicken Broth

Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Pepper To Taste

Heat a dutch oven on medium low and fry the bacon slowly until crisp. Remove the bacon bits to a paper towel to drain. Reserve about 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat in the pan.

Saute the onions until they are translucent and begin to caramelize. Add the carrots and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the thyme, rosemary, bacon, and both types of kale. Saute until the kale begins to wilt.

Add the beans and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots are tender.

Season with sea salt & pepper to taste.

Affogato

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Happy Wednesday To Me!

Affogato

2 Scoops Dairy Free Coconut Milk Ice Cream

1-2 Shots Instant Decaf Espresso

Grated Dark Chocoloate

Sliced Almonds

Place scoops of ice cream in coffee cup. Pour hot espresso over the ice cream. Grate dark chocolate over the top and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Garnish with a solid piece of dark chocolate.

Vegetable Rescue Soup

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Have you ever noticed how quickly organic broccoli spoils? I mean seriously, one day it’s fine and the next day it smells like something died in the fridge. A couple of days ago I went organic vegetable shopping and had plans for the broccoli that night. Well, the husband had plans for pizza. Needless to say, the broccoli didn’t get used and as I was lounging in bed at a seriously self-indulgent hour this morning, it donned on me that I needed to use that broccoli today before something ugly happened. On top of that, organic groceries are not cheap and I absolutely hate to see any of it go to waste.

I have a similar recipe  on my blog as well, but it’s much more involved and has many ingredients. This one is simple and easy and quickly came together in less than 30 minutes.

Organic Veggie Soup

1 Medium Organic Sweet Onion, Sliced

3 Cloves Organic Garlic, Chopped

3 1/2 Cups Organic Steamed Broccoli

3 Organic Cups Spinach, Packed

2 Cups Almond Milk

1 Cup Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

1 Poultry Cube or 1 Tablespoon Poultry Herbs, Chopped

Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Pepper

Steam the broccoli and set aside. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in a dutch oven and heat on medium. Add sliced onions and saute until they begin to brown and caramelize. Add the chopped garlic and continue cooking until the garlic softens.

Add the spinach and saute until wilted.

Remove from the heat. Add the steamed broccoli, chicken broth, almond milk, and poultry cube and stir to combine. Then, with an emulsion blender, carefully blend the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an emulsion blender this can also be done in a Vita Mix. However, beware when putting hot liquids into a blender. Don’t cap it all the way or you’ll likely burn yourself and end up with hot soup on the ceiling, counters, and floor.

Return to the heat and simmer until hot and ready to serve.

Sweet Potato Love

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Biscuits aren’t spelled the way you think they are. They are spelled, l-o-v-e.  That’s right. Everything about a biscuit screams love, and in case you’re feeding someone who doesn’t know that, cut them into heart shapes so they can’t miss it.

This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible. If there’s anyone who understands that certain foods equal love, well, it’s Miss Paula Deen.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

*Makes 6 biscuits

3/4 Cup Cooked Mashed Sweet Potato

1/3 Cup Almond Milk (You will need about 3 Tbs. more when mixing the dough)

1 Cup Mama’s Almond All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup White Rice Flour

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

6 Tablespoons Dairy Free Butter

Line a baking sheet with parchment and pre-heat the oven to 425 ° or 400° for convection.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and 1/3 cup milk. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the sweet potato mixture and fold gently to combine. If necessary add more milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until all the flour is moistened, but not too wet.

Sprinkle the work surface with flour. Turn dough out onto surface and knead lightly 2 or 3 times until the mixture comes together. Gently pat the dough out to a 1/2 inch thick round. Cut the dough into the shape you prefer. Gently re-pat the scraps out and cut more biscuits. Place the biscuits on the lined baking sheet and bake 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter and honey.

“Seconds? Why…I don’t mind if I do!”

Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Sauce

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This is incredibly easy. Full of spicy flavor and the chicken is tender and juicy.

Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Sauce

12 Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Thighs (seems like a lot but it’s not, they’re really small)

1 Medium Onion, sliced

1/2 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar

1 1/2 Bottles Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (if you like it spicy)

Olive Oil

Gluten Free/Dairy Free  Buns (I used Udi’s)

In a dutch oven drizzle about 2 teaspoons olive oil. Heat to medium and saute the onions until they turn golden and begin to carmelize. Remove from dutch oven and set aside. Drizzle the pan again with olive oil and brown the chicken thighs on each side in two batches.

Once they are browned on both sides, add the previous batch of chicken thighs in with the others and add the vinegar, barbecue sauce, cayenne pepper, and golden onions.

Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 1 hour.

When the hour is up, test the chicken with two forks to see if it pulls apart easily. If not, add 10 more minutes of simmering.

When done, take two forks and carefully shred the meat. You can do it completely shredded or leave small pieces which is what I like to do. When it’s shredded too much, I feel it becomes stringy and I don’t care for that texture.

Serve with buns. You can also serve with a side of cole slaw or place the cole slaw right on top of the sandwich. So good!!

*Makes about 6 servings…although, we managed to eat it in 4. Once for dinner on Friday night, and then for lunch on Saturday.

Beautiful Days Ahead – My Corner Of The World

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Finally!

Our snow arrives. We’ve been waiting patiently…

Romeo’s snow nose.

Two minutes prior to that he had snow whiskers and brows too, but I couldn’t make it to my camera in time.

Equally as happy to see the snow.

Play time!

Hubby snow blowing for the 3rd time in 24 hours.

Chloe, staying warm inside.

Preparing herself for when the dogs come in and want to play chase with her.

They never understand why she won’t play fetch with their toys.

“Alright.”

“You can take one more picture and that is IT!”

The Best Things About Blogging – My Corner Of The World

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This morning when I checked my messages I was greeted with a nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award by Giovanna from bluejellybeans.wordpress.com. Not a bad way to greet the morning at all. Thank you, Giovanna! Giovanna was born and raised in Panama City and now lives in Madrid, Spain. Her blog is filled with delicious family recipes from her life in Panama. Here’s her mother’s Panamanian recipe for Flan, the most gorgeous and fluffy flan I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been blogging for about a year now and it has been so much fun! It’s of course great to hear that other people enjoy my recipes as much as I do, but the best part about blogging is the people you “meet”. Friendly, supportive, amazingly talented, people. I learn something new every day from following other people’s blogs. And how cool is it to be able to get a peek into someone else’s world? To learn new things, chit chat back and forth, be supportive and make friends with people you otherwise would never know?

There are some rules that go along with receiving the Versatile Blogger Award:

  •  Thank the person who gave you the award
  •  Include a link to their blog
  •  Select bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly
  •  Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  •  Tell people 7 things about yourself

I’ll answer the questions first, then I’ll try to pass on the award to as many of my favorite bloggers as I can that haven’t received the award in the past. Please click on the links below and visit their sites, you won’t be disappointed!

7 Things About Me

1.  Coming up with 7 interesting things about myself is much more difficult than I thought it would be!

2.  Where I fit in the family – I am an only child. I’m the wife (21 years) to a loving and supportive man who raves about my cooking even when I’ve made something I don’t like. I’m the mother of a soon to be 20 year old son whom I cherish, who now lives on his own and navigates life without me quite well (empty nesters at 43…wow!). I have been blessed with not 1 but 2 Hungarian Vizslas, Romeo and Abigail Grace, who stole my heart from the moment I met them and never cease to amaze me when they greet me like I’m the most fantastic person on earth, whether I’ve been gone 5 minutes or 5 hours.

3.  I love, love, love, to read and typically read 1-2 books a week.

4.  I have an invisible neon, flashing sign on my door that says “all stray dogs welcome”. We’ve rescued at least 5 or 6 over the past year who have just appeared in front of our house with either no collar or invalid phone numbers on their tags. Sometimes it involved waiting patiently for hours, in one case two days, for them to trust us or driving around and knocking on doors all day to find their parents. One time was particularly sweet when I found a tiny little chihauhau that was the cutest thing ever. I drove around for two hours around our neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods while she stood on my arm rest and stuck her head out the window. I finally ran into the frantic owner who pulled up to a stop sign behind me. A 20 something great big, burly guy that had a catch in his voice when he saw her. He jumped out of the car and said, “OH Fiona!” Clearly so relieved and happy to have found his best friend. The peace and joy you get from that is priceless.

5.  I just started journaling again about 4 months ago after taking about a 25 year hiatus, and am loving it. So cathartic!

6.  I reward myself with a hot bath and good book every night before bed, whether I deserve it or not.

7. I am a sentimental hugger who loves a happy ending.

OK, now for the real talent:

None of the blogs below are “gluten-free”, but for those of you who follow my blog that are gluten free, you know by now that converting recipes from gluten full to gluten free isn’t hard at all. Enjoy!

sweetridgesisters.com (fantastic stories, recipes, fun photos)

ringfingertanline.wordpress.com (hilarious and a little naughty)

thedasslereffect.wordpress.com (Beaitiful photography)

thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com (My #1 favorite blog, …Ceclia I know you’ve already been nominated so don’t worry about answering the questions, I just wanted people to see and read your lovely blog!)

loveandaleash.com (Recently started following this one, if you’re a dog lover…it’s a must!)

yesiwantcake.com (Gorgeous food photos, fabulous recipes)

swellkid.wordpress.com (Delicious recipes like crab bread pudding…can you imagine!?)

eatandrelish.com (Mouthwatering recipes, amazing photography, and an adorable Pug)

channelingcontessa.com (Healthy, beautiful, food)

rufusguide.wordpress.com (Delicious recipes and an impressive array of cocktails)

fromthebartolinikitchens.com (Just a fantastic blog all around. Family history, authentic Italian food…I know you’ve already been nominated so don’t worry about answering the questions! Just wanted to make sure everyone has a chance to see your incredible, mouthwatering food)

Thanks again, Giovanna!

Presto! Fresh Flavor By The Spoonful – Anytime

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Not really sure what to call these…I’m sure there’s a name for them…little flavored pestos, citrus zest cubes, citrus juice…yummy goodness to toss into pasta, top roasted vegetables, season fish, slather meat, throw into smoothies, and add into whatever is your favorite food for the day. I’m not a trained chef or cook, or a trained anything, really. So for now, I don’t have a name for them until one of you can tell me what to really call them. If you can give me a great and unique name for them, then that is what I will call them forevermore.

So, as I was making a batch of pesto the other day, I thought, “Now why couldn’t I do this with all kinds of things? Herbs, fruit, juice, roasted garlic? The things I like to cook with on a regular basis. But in smaller batches, so I could just pop one out of the freezer and toss it in a pan or defrost it quickly to season a beautiful piece of meat or flavor my favorite Clementine Cookies?” There’s no reason why not!

I love freezing little servings of things. People with food allergies need to be a little more organized in that area if they want the convenience of having something fresh and homemade to eat on a whim. I freeze small servings of soups, lasagna, whatever we’re having that allows a little leftover, usually. It’s nice to be able to grab something delicious when my husband is traveling and I don’t feel like cooking, or heaven forbid, if I’m sick with something that only allows me to make it to the freezer, microwave, and back to bed. It’s also nice to have fresh herbs on hand at all times, and if you buy organic, you know they don’t last long. I try very hard to steer clear of sprinkling my food with fresh herb pesticides so this is turning out to be a really great way to have “fresh” herbs on hand all the time.

I can’t wait until summer when I have pots and pots full of plump, fresh, herbs to whiz together and stash away in the freezer for winter!

You Will Need:

Organic Beef, Pork, Poultry, and Seafood Herbs

About 5 Heads of Organic Garlic

Olive Oil

Citrus of Your Choice, I Used Clementines

Juice of Your Choice, I Used Pomegranate

Food Processor

Ice Cube Trays

Tin Foil

Fine Point Permanent Marker

Start off with all of your favorite herbs. Remove the woody ends and check for soil that was left behind. I didn’t remove the rosemary leaves from the stems for the pictures, you will want to do that before you put them in your food processor.

Next, label the herb piles and grab a piece of paper. Make a list of which herbs are in each pile. For Example: 1. Poultry – rosemary, sage, thyme, and olive oil, 2. Clementine Zest…etc. Once you begin to grind up the herbs and olive oil, you will mark each ice-cube tray so that it correlates with your list of ingredients.

This is incredibly easy. I think I did the entire pile of herbs, including photography and clean up in an hour. An extra bonus was that my house smelled fantastic when I was done.

Here’s what you do: 

1.  Place the herbs in the food processor. Whiz them up until they are small bits.

2.  While the processor is running, add a small amount of olive oil…maybe a teaspoon or two at the most,

to bring the mixture together a bit.

3.  With a small spoon, add the herb mixture to the ice trays. Label with the corresponding number on your paper.

EASY!

Below are the herbs, garlic, zest, and juices that I used.

Dill, Parsley, and Thyme

Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme

Oregano, Sage, Tarragon, and Thyme

Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme

Rosemary and Lemon Thyme

For the roasted garlic you will need about 5 heads of garlic, tin foil, olive oil, sea salt, and a sprinkle of herbs. Slice the tops off the garlic heads with a sharp knife, remove any loose paper. Place on a layer of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil, herbs, and sprinkle with sea salt. Place another piece of tin foil over the top and wrap them up tightly. Roast in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. When they are easily squeezed out of their skin, they are done.

Allow them to cool and then squeeze them out of their skins. Pack them into the ice-cube tray.

The zest and juices are incredibly easy…pretty much a no brainer.

Once everything is in the ice-cube trays and labeled, cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Once they’ve sat overnight, loosen them by twisting the trays just like you would for ice cubes. Using a fork, carefully loosen each one and place it in a small plastic freezer bag and pop them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Remember to label the bag and pay attention to which ones you’re removing!

Crepe Lunch – Clementine Goat Cheese & Mixed Berries

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Crepes. Beautiful, sweet, and elegant.

Crepes for lunch? Why not?

Clementine Goat Cheese & Mixed Berry Crepes

*These crepes are at their best when all ingredients have been mixed and allowed to mingle overnight*

Fruit Sauce

2 Cups Frozen Mixed Berries

About 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

Mix berries and sugar together in a small bowl and allow to thaw on the counter. Once thawed, stir, cover, and refrigerate over night.

Clementine Goat Cheese

1 Container Soft Goat Cheese

Zest of 2 Clementines

Juice of 1 Clementine

About 2 teaspoons Powdered Sugar

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate over night.

Crepe Batter

1 Cup Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

1 Cup Almond Milk

1/2 Cup Lukewarm Water

4 Eggs

1/4 Cup Dairy Free Butter Melted

1/8  teaspoon Sea Salt

3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum

Combine in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate over night.

If your crepe technique is a little rusty, jump on youtube.com, there are plenty of tutorials.

When you’re ready to make crepes (they are good any time of day!), remove the batter, cheese, and fruit from the refrigerator and heat a crepe pan or medium-sized non-stick skillet on medium heat. Rub with butter. I prefer my pan on medium not medium-high because I don’t like my crepes browned. A lower heat is easier to control and then you’re not in a rush to flip. The flipping is a bit tricky…

Once the butter starts to sizzle, add a little under 1/4 cup of batter or so (depending on your pan size) and quickly swirl it around the pan to cover the entire bottom of the pan.

It only takes a quick minute to cook. Loosen the edges with a spatula and then flip in any way you’re comfortable. You can use the one-handed pan flip or use a long metal spatula, whatever works for you. It only needs to cook on the 2nd side for about 30 seconds or so.

If you’re making a lot of crepes, you can place them on a plate in between waxed paper and place them in the oven on warm until you are ready to use them.

Once you’re ready to eat, you can fill them with the fruit and cheese or put it on top, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.