Crispy Coconut Tea Cookies

3 Comments

2015-07-27 15.47.18

The weather has been a bit “chilly” the past few days around here. We’ve been in the 70’s instead of 100 degree weather, which we’ve actually gotten used to and like. It feels cold now!

_DSC1892

When it’s chilly my body goes into almost instantaneous Fall mode. I like to turn on the fireplace, grab a good book, have hot cups of tea and crispy cookies to go with that tea. My favorite tea right now is organic green tea, raw honey, and coconut milk. To. Die. For.

_DSC1895

Yesterday while these cookies were cooling, I had three failed batches of grain free bread. Had these cookies not turned out, it would have been a very disappointing day!

_DSC1909

I was able to salvage one batch of bread and turn it into something else, so at least all was not lost. You’ll be seeing that recipe in a few days.

_DSC1916

Testing recipes can be very time consuming and expensive. Grain free baking is a big challenge compared to gluten free baking. All of the science is different, the flavors are different, the textures… and I’ve probably had more fails than I have wins.

_DSC1917

Having numerous fails are disappointing of course, but I don’t shy away from challenges because when I finally come up with a win, it’s like a super duper win and very satisfying!

I’d consider this new cookie recipe a super duper win and I think you will too. Now, I’m off to have my afternoon tea and cookies and muster up the energy to bake yet another loaf of bread so we can have it for french toast this weekend.

Fingers crossed!

_DSC1915

Crispy Coconut Tea Cookies

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper

3/4 Cup of Soy Free Dairy Free Butter

1/4 Cup of Organic Powdered Coconut Sugar

1 teaspoon of Pure Almond Extract

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cups of Organic Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup of Chestnut Flour

1/8 Cup of Arrowroot Flour

1 teaspoon of Organic Coconut Sugar

1 3/4 Cups of Organic Shredded Unsweetened Coconut (Let’s Do Organic brand)

Organic Coconut Sugar

Organic Cinnamon

Beat the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl. Add the extracts and mix well. Add the coconut flour, chestnut flour, arrowroot, the 1 tsp of coconut sugar (not powdered), and the shredded coconut. Mix until fully incorporated. 

Roll dough into small balls and press with fork. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and coconut sugar. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Serve with tea, hot cocoa, coffee, or dairy free milk

Homemade Organic Super Green Powder

2 Comments

2015-06-22 09.56.42

I couldn’t be happier with our weather this summer. Heck, even spring was fantastic! The abundant sunshine and high temperatures have been great for the garden (and me!). I can’t believe I haven’t been gardening in raised boxes my entire life. From this point forward, I wouldn’t do it any other way.

2015-07-06 06.58.49

It just makes it SO easy. I haven’t had to pull even one weed of course, watering is a breeze, and all the plants seem to really enjoy being nestled together. Two thumbs up for square foot gardening.

2015-06-24 08.49.28

The only small battle I’ve had is with beetles on my zucchini and squash plants. By the time I started to notice the bugs and figured out what was happening, the plants quickly went downhill. I’ll probably lose the zucchini. It has yet to produce anything edible.

2015-07-15 09.02.56

But I caught the yellow squash in time and we’ve been enjoying them grilled, in smoothies, egg scrambles, and salads.

2015-07-15 09.04.24

We’ve already gone through three plantings of spinach and two waves of different types of lettuce.

2015-06-24 08.19.22

2015-06-24 08.42.03

One wave of beets and carrots. The kale is abundant and I love how it just continues to grow as I snip.

2015-07-15 09.03.39

I planted more beets and carrots yesterday and another wave of snap peas in hopes that we’ll continue to have great weather and I’ll have a vegetable crop well into late October.

2015-06-23 16.01.16

I planted all heirloom tomatoes and they are growing like crazy! After a small issue with blossom rot I added organic bone meal to the soil and now all is well.

2015-07-15 09.03.09

The Sunsugar tomatoes were the first to begin to ripen about a week ago.

2015-07-15 09.03.27

Very sweet and wonderful in our salads.

2015-07-05 13.03.55

The other tomato plants are just now beginning to ripen. Fingers crossed they won’t all ripen at once or we’ll be up to our ears.

2015-07-15 09.03.19

2015-07-15 09.03.57

I’ve already dried several batches of herbs.

2015-06-12 06.08.05

2015-06-23 13.21.28

2015-06-23 13.18.49

Not wanting to let carrot tops and beet greens go to waste, I also dried those along with kale, swiss chard, and spinach.

2015-06-14 08.36.16

Simple to do and an easy way to add super nutrients to almost anything. In fact, it dawned on me that I could make my own Super Greens powder to add to smoothies, soups, stews, or even baked goods. You probably already know that super green powders sold online and in stores are quite pricey for the good ones. Mine is about as inexpensive as you can get. The price of a packet of seeds basically.

2015-06-22 09.47.25

All I did was dehydrate the greens I wanted in my powder, put them in a baggie to crush them, and then whiz them up in the Nutribullet.

2015-06-22 09.50.00

Such a gorgeous, healthy, color.

2015-06-22 09.52.33

Incredibly easy and inexpensive. A 1/4 cup of dried powder holds the contents and nutrients of at least 12-16 cups of fresh greens. A tiny bit goes a long way.

2015-06-22 09.56.25

Easy gardening, easy dehydrating… high yield happiness.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

~Alfred Austin

2015-06-26 09.02.08

Independence Day & Grain Free Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

1 Comment

2015-07-04 16.21.51

Ahhhh…summer. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

2015-07-04 15.55.37

After having an unusually sunny and warm spring, we’ve been blessed with a sunny and hot summer. The sunlight, the heat, the patio and gardening time…cupcakes and barbecues… It fills my soul.

Homemade coconut sugar powdered sugar.

Homemade coconut sugar powdered sugar.

I cringe when I hear people complain about it. Don’t they remember our long, long, gray winter just a few short months ago here in the Northwest? I want to yell, “bite your tongue!” God forbid we get stuck with a terrible summer that sneaks its way into 6 months of winter.

We need to appreciate every second of it.

I try to absorb as much sunlight and heat as possible to prepare for the long winter ahead, skin cancer be damned.

2015-07-04 16.54.06

 In fact, I read an Australian study that stated that people who cover themselves with chemical laden sunscreen and spend less time in the sun are actually more likely to get skin cancer than those of us who bask in gorgeous rays. The key is to get just enough, not too much.

We celebrated a quiet Independence Day a couple of weeks ago. I made a big batch of Double Chocolate Raspberry Filled Cupcakes…grain free and dairy free of course! And, some fantastic roasted red potato fries, broccoli and veggie slaw, and burgers topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions.

2015-07-04 13.39.16

I splurged and allowed myself potatoes and an Udi’s gluten-free bun. My body doesn’t like those things on a regular basis, but once in a blue moon, it’s a real treat.

2015-07-04 17.40.23

Broccoli slaw and diced veggies. Toss with dressing of olive oil mayo, apple cider vinegar, fresh herbs, coconut sugar, salt, and pepper.

Broccoli slaw and diced veggies. Toss with dressing of olive oil mayo, apple cider vinegar, fresh herbs, coconut sugar, salt, and pepper.

2015-07-04 17.40.30

This year’s Independence Day was not quite the same party we had in New Hampshire last year, where it’s legal to set off any kind of firework anywhere that your heart desires.

2015-07-04 16.38.11

Personal fireworks are illegal in Washington.

2015-07-04 17.55.19

There are three public firework shows to choose from that are close to us, but wanting to avoid the thousands of people who attend, we opted for a nice relaxing 4th of July dinner and evening at home. No crowds, no traffic.

And it was worth every bite.

2015-07-04 16.20.08

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

*This recipe is adapted from Satisfying Eats

Preheat oven to 350°

1 Cup of Organic Coconut Flour

3/4 Cup of Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 1/2 Cups of Coconut Sugar

2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

2 teaspoons of Baking Soda

1/8 teaspoon of Sea Salt

8 Organic Eggs

1/2 Cup of Earth Balance Soy Free Dairy Free Butter

3 Tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Cup + 1/2 Cup of Organic Full Fat Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup of Strong Brewed Decaf Coffee

1/4 Cup of Dairy Free Chocolate Chips or Chopped Dairy Free Dark Chocolate

Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the eggs, butter, vanilla, coffee, and 1 Cup of the coconut milk. Mix on medium to blend well, scraping down sides. Let the batter rest while you’re getting the cupcake tins ready. Add the 1/2 Cup of coconut milk and mix on medium just until combined.

Spray each of the cupcake liners lightly with non-stick spray and fill each 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 22 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

3/4 Cup Dairy Free Butter

3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar (I use homemade coconut sugar powdered sugar)

1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Almond Extract

3-4 Tablespoons of Full Fat Coconut Milk

About 1 1/2 teaspoons Instant Coffee Granules

Pour the coconut milk in a measuring cup and add the instant coffee granules, stir to combine. Set aside and allow the coffee granules dissolve.

Cream the butter in a mixer until it is light and fluffy, scraping down sides once or twice. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and almond extract. Mix on lowest setting (so you don’t end up with a cloud of powdered sugar and cocoa powder over your whole kitchen) until mixture starts to come together.

 With the mixture on medium, slowly add the coconut milk coffee mixture, 1 Tablespoon at a time (keeping an eye on the consistency…not too soft!) scraping down the bowl once or twice in between. Once all of the coconut milk has been added, beat on medium for 3 minutes.