Monday, December 23, 2013

Grain Free Gingerbread Blondies with Chocolate Chips (also refined sugar free)

Grain Free Chewy Gingerbread Blondies with Chocolate Chips 12-17-13

Probably the last thing I’m able to get posted before Christmas, sure wish I could get to posting more often like I used to.  Someday.  I’ve missed it.  But here we are, the last week of December, Christmas Eve tomorrow and the year is gone.  2013, not my favorite year, we’ve sure had our fair share of trials in our family.  Bring on 2014!  I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a great coming new year as well!

I haven’t been making as many treats as I’d like.  Just haven’t had the energy to do so.  Bums me out!  But I did make a few things worthy of getting posted, so here’s one.  I took a few ideas and recipes that were grain free, refined sugar free and made these blondies.  I’ve been craving gingerbread like crazy and these have really hit the spot.  I do like gingerbread without chocolate, but for some reason I prefer it WITH chocolate—go figure.

These are simply made with almond butter and coconut sugar for the sweetener.  There is a little coconut flour in them as well as some molasses and those wonderful spices that make gingerbread so good.  I have really enjoyed them slightly heated up with a few more chocolate chips on top—they get all melty and add a nice topping.  They are just find without the extra chocolate.

Grain Free Gingerbread Blondies with Chocolate Chips, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 cup almond butter (I made my own with almonds I roasted)

2 tablespoons unsulphured blackstrap molasses (It doesn’t have to be blackstrap)

2 large eggs

2/3 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/3 cup Organic Fair Trade chocolate chips, more for topping if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick foil (or grease with coconut oil).  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, molasses, eggs and coconut sugar.  Whisk together until well mixed.  (This can all be done by hand or with an electric mixer.)  In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Spread the mixture evenly into the baking pan.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool then remove from pan by lifting the edges of the foil and cut into squares. 

Grain Free Gingerbread Blondies with Chocolate Chips

Put those few extra chocolate chips on top of a piece of the blondies and  warm it up for 15-20 seconds.  Then let it sit for a minute.  The chocolate will melt a little, then just spread it over the top, it wasn’t all that pretty when I did it that way late one night, so I don’t have a photo, but it sure tasted great!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!  So grateful for all who read my little ol’ blog.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Raspberry Hot Cereal with Driscoll Raspberries

Raspberry Hot Cereal, Gluten Free
So the wonderful folks at Driscoll's sent me some more coupons for berries.  Happy Dance!  Thanks, Driscoll’s.  They didn’t ask me to do a post or anything, I’m just doing it because I wanted to tell you about my favorite breakfast as of late.  I was having smoothies everyday, but it’s just been too cold and I don’t want smoothies right now.  Since deciding to eat gluten free, I found some Gluten Free Hot Cereal that I’ve been using for my morning breakfasts. 
I don’t really have an exact recipe, but this is so delicious, you could try it with oats, too.  In fact, I usually do a couple tablespoons of the dry hot cereal and a couple tablespoons of gluten free quick oats.  I put them in a small saucepan with some almond milk.  Of course, you could use any milk or even water, but I definitely prefer my hot cereal made with milk.  I add a pinch of salt and then I add some washed raspberries, probably about half a cup.  Let it all start cooking away over medium-low heat.
Raspberries in Hot Cereal
Stir it a bit.  The raspberries will start to break down (ha, I almost typed break dance!).  Stir occasionally and if it starts to bubble and boil too much, turn the heat down.
Raspberry Hot Cereal
It needs to cook for a good 5-10 minutes.  When the milk is all absorbed into the cereal, it will be ready.
Ready to eat Raspberry Hot Cereal
Doesn’t that look good?  That would be fine as is, but I can’t ever seem to leave certain things out of my food—like chocolate and peanut butter.  After putting the hot cereal into a bowl, I always sprinkle it with some Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips and add a spoonful of natural peanut butter.  While eating this wonderful warm breakfast, I swirl the peanut butter and chocolate around so there is some of the melty deliciousness in each bite.  Looks so decadent—but it’s actually pretty darn healthy!  Try it.  And as your momma always told you not to, go ahead—play with your food!   What’s your favorite thing to add to hot cereal/oatmeal? 
Raspberry Hot Cereal with Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter
I had been also drizzling the cereal with a little agave nectar, sometimes honey or you could even do some maple syrup, but lately I’ve not been adding any of those and I still think the cereal is sweet enough without any of those.  Speaking of this delicious raspberry hot cereal breakfast, it’s that time right now.  And I know just what I’m going to make!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookies, Plus Two More(All Gluten Free and Vegan)—Secret Recipe Club

Orange Agave Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie-Dec. SRC (11-21-13)

I get to share three different cookies with you today for Secret Recipe Club.  I only picked one recipe from my assigned blog, Love & Flour, but I liked this Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookie so much that I played around with it and made three different versions using the basics of this recipe.  Of course, I love that they are made with agave for the sweetener.   Then I just made them gluten free with an all purpose gluten free pastry flour.

I love the texture of these cookies, they are almost a little sandy shortbread-like.  Oh, they are also vegan, I like that, too.  People who eat vegan are on to something—you can safely eat all cookie dough!  Instead of using canola oil, which was called for in the recipe, I used coconut oil.  And I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips.  These are so easy to whip up in one bowl (without a mixer), especially since I halved Leandra’s recipe, that I decided to try a couple other versions of the cookie.  All three are really good to me!

Orange Agave Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies--Dec. SRC 11-21-13

Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free and Vegan), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Love & Flour

1/3 cup agave nectar

5 tablespoons (70 grams) coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon ground flax

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

zest of 1 mandarin orange (or 1-2 teaspoons orange zest)

1  1/2 cups gluten free pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cream together in a bowl the agave and coconut oil until well combined.  Add the flax, extracts, and zest and stir together.  Then add the flour (you can use regular all purpose flour and not make these gluten free), xanthan gum, baking soda and salt.  Stir together until well mixed into a cookie dough.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Roll dough into 1-inch sized balls and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Makes 12-15 cookies.

Orange Agave Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 11-21-13

*Raspberry Version.  Leave out the orange extract and add 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries.

Agave Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Vegan)

See, you know you want to just eat the dough.  The second time I made them, I left out the orange extract and zest and just added some freeze dried raspberries to the dough.  Delicious!  I love the combination of raspberry and chocolate.

Agave Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF) 12-2-13

Then I had the thought yesterday to try the cookies with honey instead of agave and replacing some of the flour with cocoa powder—double chocolate.  I really couldn’t tell you which of these I like the most. Here’s the quick recipe for the double chocolate cookies, since I changed the recipe a bit.

Double Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Vegan Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/3 cup raw honey

5 tablespoons (70 grams) coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon ground flax

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup gluten free pastry flour

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup organic semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cream together in a bowl the honey and coconut oil until well combined.  Add the flax and vanilla and stir together.  Then add the flour (you can use regular all purpose flour and not make these gluten free, if you do, you don’t need the xanthan gum), xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together until well mixed into a cookie dough.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Roll dough into 1-inch sized balls and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Makes 12-15 cookies.

Double Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Vegan Cookies

I think I liked the dough for these double chocolate cookies the best, at least I think I tasted it the most. ; )  I forgot to take a picture of the dough for these.

Double Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Vegan Cookies 2

I sure enjoyed “snooping around” Leandra’s blog, Love & Flour for Secret Recipe Club this month.  So many great recipes on all these wonderful blogs.  Really enjoying being a part of Secret Recipe Club.  Check out all the other good stuff people have made this month.




Saturday, December 07, 2013

Grain Free No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls, also Gluten Free, Vegan and Refined Sugar Free

No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls--Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Vegan 12-6-13

Yesterday I made two batches of cookies and some Gingerbread Cookie Bars (I mentioned them on Facebook, they are from Six Sisters’ Stuff).  I love baking.  But I am SO happy to know that I can still have yummy, much-healthier treats, too, even though I am  no longer eating gluten or refined sugars.  Here’s the link for the Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies I posted recently.  I made two kinds of them, some had white chocolate chips and coconut and some had semi sweet chocolate chips and M&M’s, the caramel is the sticky star of these cookies, and the flavor and texture from the cream cheese in the cookie dough. 

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies and Gingerbread Cookie Bars

These Grain Free No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls from Beth at Tasty Yummies hit the spot and are delicious!  They are super easy to make, have just a few ingredients and those delicious holiday spices that I was going crazy over smelling while I made the Gingerbread Cookie Bars. 

Simple and great and they do not even any oven time, I didn’t change a thing from Beth’s recipe—so go there now and make these.  They are a perfect treat for when you’re in the kitchen baking away other goodies for people and wish you could have just a little something.  They would also be great to give away to others.  I love all the no-bake treats out there, especially the ones like these with no refined sugars! 

Grain Free No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls 2

That MIGHT be enough for me to snack on for a few days.  They are made with nuts and dates, a little molasses (unsulphured organic) and yummy spices.  They are rolled in unsweetened coconut, but they wouldn’t need to be and I think I’ll leave them “plain” next time I make them (in a few days).  One more photo, since you need to see them again and since I’m not posting the recipe.  Go to the link above for Beth’s recipe.

Grain Free No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls 12-6-13

Monday, December 02, 2013

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello, Friends.  I know, it’s been over two weeks since I blogged anything.  I’m sorry.  I’m lame.  I’ve been busy.  I haven’t felt that great.  But you totally need a cookie.  Tis the season.  So cookies it is!

In all seriousness, I want to bring you lots of yummy things this month—the holidays are coming!  I made these cookies weeks ago and you need to know about them.  I take no credit for them—that’s how I seem to roll these days.  Have you been to Krista’s blog, Budget Gourmet Mom?  Well, shame on you if you haven’t.  How could you not love the blog of a mom with four boys, just saying.  AND, how lame is it that Krista recently moved to the same city in Utah that I live in and we haven’t met yet.  We could blame those eight boys!

I made these cookies and I think one boy and one husband ate one or two and I gave the rest away to a number of wonderful neighbors who recently helped us out making us dinner when life was crazy.  I didn’t taste the cookies, but I heard from more than just my family that they were delicious.  Besides that, I think they look GREAT!  So, if you’re looking for something just a little different from plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies, try these.  You can’t go wrong with caramel AND cheesecake.  I made a few ever-so-slight changes to Krista’s recipe.  I added some salt to the cookie dough and I made a different caramel swirl.  Therefore, I think you should try both to see which you like better.   You need to add these to your holiday cookies.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Krista at Budget Gourmet Mom

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used the 1/3 less fat kind)

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea salt

12 ounces (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips

Caramel Swirl

4 ounces caramel (I have a BIG block of caramel and measured out 4 ounces, you could use the caramels that need unwrapped)

3 tablespoons heavy cream

sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat until combined.  Scrape sides of bowl and add both sugars.  Beat to combine well.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Scrape sides of bowl again.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture and beat just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Scoop dough onto baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes.  Let cookies sit on baking sheets for a few minutes.  Remove to cooling racks. 

Make the caramel swirl by putting the caramel in a microwave safe bowl.  Add the cream to the bowl and microwave in 20-30 second increments, stirring each time, until the caramel and cream have combined well and are smooth.  The consistency will be like a caramel ice cream sauce.  Let it cool slightly (10 minutes or so).  Pour the caramel into a plastic zip top bag, seal it, removing any excess air, then snip off a tiny corner of the bag and drizzle the caramel over the cookies.   Sprinkle sea salt over the tops of the cookies. 

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know you want to make these.  Get your holiday baking started!  I think I’m going to make them again for a shindig on Friday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Grain Free Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache—National Bundt Day and It’s My Birthday!

Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free Chocolate Bundt Cake 11-15-13

It’s my birthday!  It’s my birthday!  And if some will recall, my birthday is also National Bundt Day, so for the last few years, I’ve been making a bundt cake for my birthday.  Today is no exception.  However, in the last few months, I have started eating gluten free and refined sugar free—which posed as more of a problem finding just the right kind of treats.  Never fear—this bundt cake I made is just as delicious as any other chocolate bundt cake you’ve had and is not only gluten free, it’s grain free!  And has no refined sugar, it’s made with maple syrup. 

You cannot tell.  I love it.  I’m so happy with how it turned out.  Especially since I took a few other recipes I’ve seen and made it up.  Make this cake for your gluten free/grain free friends.  It’s practically health food.

Grain Free Refined Sugar Free Chocolate Bundt Cake

It isn’t quite Paleo, if some are hoping for that, but could be if you leave the ganache off or using something else for the ganache.  I used a combination of 70% dark chocolate and 85% dark chocolate with a little heavy cream—that’s the only thing not Paleo about it.  I wish I’d baked it just a few minutes less, but it’s still super good and moist enough.

Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/2 cup arrowroot powder

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 cup almond flour/meal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup natural cocoa powder

1 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup Enjoy life mini chocolate chips (optional)

For the ganache--

1 oz. 85% dark chocolate, chopped

1  1/2 oz. 70% dark chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread coconut oil evenly (with your fingers) throughout the bundt pan, making sure to get in all the crevices, then sprinkle with cocoa powder and tap out the extra.  Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the arrowroot powder, coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.  Whisk together.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk to combine well.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  (I did 25 and wish I’d checked it at 20.)  Remove from oven and let sit on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Turn cake in pan upside down and carefully tap around the pan to release the cake.  It should pop right out.  Let cool completely.

Make ganache.   Put chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Heat cream in microwave safe glass measuring cup just until starting to bubble.  Watch it in 20-25 second intervals.  It can boil over if you’re not watching, but it only took mine less than 45 seconds.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a minute.  Slowly stir the melted chocolate and cream together until a smooth, glossy chocolate appears.  Let sit until cool.  Drizzle over cake.  I like to put it in a plastic zip top bag and cut the corner off and squeeze it over the cake.   

Grain Free Refined Sugar Free Chocolate Bundt Cake 3

Hello, Delicious Chocolate Bundt Cake!  Try it.  I think if you didn’t tell people, they’d never know it wasn’t just a regular cake.   Happy Bundting!

Check out all of Mary’s bundt cakes at Food Librarian.  She rocks bundt cakes!

Corn Fritters with Green Chile Buttermilk Dip—Cooking from The New Midwestern Table Cookbook

Gluten Free Corn Fritters with Jalapeno Buttermilk Dip

Don’t you hate it when you make something, it’s really good, you snap a few photos for your blog before the family devours it, THEN find out when it’s too late that the photos were pretty bad.  Sigh.  Yep, I hate that.  I did that with this recipe. 

The corn fritters from Amy Thielen’s book, The New Midwestern Table, 200 Heartland Recipes were our groups’ pick for today.  I made them a couple days ago and realized the photos are not good.  Well, it is what it is.  What is really important is that the corn fritters with the spicy buttermilk dip were delicious.  What more, I changed the recipe a bit (okay, quite a bit) and made them gluten free and instead of deep frying them in oil, I fried them in a shallow amount of coconut oil (which is why they are flat and not round like fritters should be).

I’m telling you, if you don’t have this book yet and enjoy collecting cookbook and trying new recipes, you need this one.  It’s great.  Because of my current diet changes, I changed a number of things from the recipe. 

For instance—the recipe called for green banana peppers or poblanos—I used jalapenos.  Instead of regular sugar, I used an organic natural cane sugar (the recipe only had one teaspoon).  I also changed from using basil in the dip and tarragon in the fritters to using cilantro in both.  The recipe called for 3-4 ears of corn, since corn is no longer in season, I used frozen/thawed corn and blended up about 1/4 cup of it to get that corn “milk” that was supposed to be from scraping the corn cobs.  I know, brilliant of me. ;)  I used a gluten free flour rather than all purpose flour.  I used Club Soda instead of light beer.  And finally—I fried the fritters in about 1/2 an inch of organic Spectrum brand coconut oil instead of deep frying them in canola oil.  So there, it’s almost not the same recipe, but it is for the most part.  I never would have done any of this without following the recipe. 

I changed a lot of the recipe, but we as a group decided not to post the recipes so you’ll want go buy Amy’s book.  So do it.  And really, if you want MY recipe as I made it, let me know and I’ll get it to you.  These were very tasty.  I wasn’t even able to fry all the batter, so I poured the rest into a round 8-inch baking pan, poured the remaining coconut oil over the top (which was just a couple tablespoons) and baked it for 15-20 minutes.  It was like one big fritter!  I forgot to take pictures of it, but reheated in the oven it was just as good and crispy as the fried ones and we sliced it like a pizza.  The jalapeno buttermilk dip, which also has sour cream is delicious and would be a great dressing for a salad or a dip for corn chips or even crackers, also as a sauce for tacos, ooh, fish tacos.  I will make the dip again for sure.  Just a few simple ingredients blended up in the blender.

Jalapeno Buttermilk Dip

Yes, I hurried and snapped this photo under the lights just as I was serving dinner, so it’s got too much light.  You see, I know my photos stink, but I just don’t have the time I’d like to spend making everything so pretty and perfect.  So there. ;)

I was so happy to be able to taste this since I made it gluten free and used a healthier oil. 

Corn Fritters

If you missed my first post from this book, check out the Fried Onion Dip with Homemade Potato and Sweet Potato Chips.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Bars-Gluten Free and Cranberry Almond Oat Breakfast Cookies-Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free—Secret Recipe Club

Pumpkin Pie Bars--Nov. SRC

It’s time for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.  Can I just say what a month it’s been?  Phew. 

I loved looking through my assigned blog and had a number of recipes picked out.  Before I knew it, I had less than a week left to make something.  I’ve gotten it done just in the nick of time.  We have had quite the month with my husband’s brother passing away this past week after a very short stint of lung cancer that had spread all over his body (he lived 7 weeks after the diagnosis), to my health issues always making me tired and fatigued, to also dealing with my first grader deciding to have some serious separation anxiety and right now insisting he can’t go to school without one of his parents there.  I have gained the utmost appreciation for teachers!  If anyone has any bright ideas for us to get Sam to decide he will be okay at school we’re up for trying just about anything and feel like we already have tried everything.  We have taken him to a psychologist a few times, but he won’t even talk.  Not giving up.  Not sure how much longer I can go sit with him in class everyday.  Kevin has been great and gone when he can work it out with his schedule.

So, yes, what a month!  My assigned blog this month was Lisa’s blog, Cook Lisa Cook.  I was delighted with all her gluten free recipes to choose from and have on my short list to make soon her A-Maisie-ingly Wonderful Gluten Egg and Dairy Free Bread.

Gluten Free Cranberry Almond Oat Breakfast Cookies--Nov. 2013 SRC 10-29-13

I found a cookie recipe that intrigued me enough to try them and cranked out a half batch of them one evening—they are not only gluten free, but completely sugar free, egg free and dairy free.  These Cranberry Almond Oat Breakfast Cookies turned out great.  I enjoyed all 10 of them in my school lunches (been packing school lunches since I’ve been there with Sam so much) throughout the last week.  These are simply made with gluten free oats, banana, applesauce, cranberries and almonds.  What’s that?  You see some chocolate in the photo?  Okay, okay, I added some Enjoy Life chocolate chips because I just can’t seem to make anything without chocolate. ;)

Cranberry Almond Oat Breakfast Cookies (Gluten Free, dairy free, egg free, sugar free) by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Cook Lisa Cook

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (60 grams) gluten free oats

1 medium sized ripe banana

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/2 cup almond meal/flour

2 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium sized bowl or small food processor, puree the banana.  Stir in the applesauce and extracts.  Add the oats, cranberries, almonds and chocolate chips.  Scoop 10 cookies on to baking sheet and flatten slightly.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes then remove them to a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container. 

Gluten Free Cranberry Almond Oat Breakfast Cookies 2

Not the prettiest cookies, but tasty for a great healthy addition to lunch or for a snack.  I didn’t want that to be the only thing I made from Lisa’s blog, so I also had these Pumpkin Pie Bars on my list and decided I could make them since I had some pumpkin puree in the fridge that I needed to use.  Lisa cooks gluten, dairy and egg free for her daughter, Maisie, who has allergies.  I adapted these bars by using organic pure cane sugar and almond milk instead of soy milk as well as light olive oil instead of vegetable oil.  These turned out like a really moist snack cake.  I think they are a great treat for me!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Bars 2

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Bars, (also egg and dairy free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Cook Lisa Cook

3/4 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

pinch of ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons flax seed meal

1  1/2 cups organic pure cane sugar*

2 teaspoons molasses*  Stir the molasses into the sugar with a fork until you have the consistency of brown sugar.

6 tablespoons almond milk

1/2 cup light olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

7.5 ounces pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick foil or spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the rice flour, tapioca flour, corn starch, xanthan gum, spices, baking soda, flax seed and sugar/molasses mixture.  Whisk all together.  Add the milk, oil and lemon juice and mix to combine.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the pumpkin.  Mix until combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let bars cool on a wire rack.  Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Bars (2)

Sorry my photos aren’t great—I have barely had time to get things done and it’s been after dark lately, so I can’t seem to get a decent picture (not that mine are ever that great anyway). ;)


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fried Onion Dip—Cooking from The New Midwestern Table Cookbook

Fried Onion Dip--The New Midwestern Table 10-27-13

If you know me well, don’t die of shock when you see this post for Fried Onion Dip.  If you don’t know, I have a deep loathing for onions.  Always have.  Probably always will.  So you might be wondering why in the world I would make and post an onion dip.  I have joined with a group of fellow cooking, baking and cookbook lovers in making our way through Amy Thielen’s new book, The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes.  If you don’t know Amy, she also has a new show on the Food Network, Heartland Table.  Check it out on Saturday mornings. 

The first recipe that was chosen for the group to make from Amy’s book was Fried Onion Dip.  There is no requirement for making any of the recipes, it’s all just for fun and whenever we can or would like to make one of the chosen recipes that will be two times a month.  But I felt bad and was so torn to not participate on the first one.  So I talked myself in to frying some onions to make this dip.  I have never enjoyed any of the aspects of onions, the taste, the smell, cutting them, the lingering smell, what they do to your breath, all of it.  My mom has always teased me that someday when I grow up I’ll like them.  Well, I’m cough, cough—almost 44—and still no-likey.  I have tried.  I consider it an aversion much like one of my best friends HATING nuts (unfathomable to me), or one of my sons not liking chocolate (despicable!).

That said, I do put onions in salsa, but I only like the very non-chunky, super pulverized kind.  And I HAVE grown up somewhat from my youth, where I used to pick every little piece of onion out of everything I ate, you couldn’t hide them small enough—I’d find them and be able to taste them.  I don’t do that anymore, so give me some credit for that, Mom. ;)  While living in Kansas over three years ago, I had the pleasure of taking some wonderful cooking classes from Paige at For Love of the Table.  (She should have her own cooking show!)  There I chose to eat the things she cooked and I learned that I can handle shallots and that I’m not going to die eating onions.  Can I now say I like them?  No.  But I don’t go out of my way to pick them out of food I’m eating that has onions.  AND I can even be found chopping up a shallot to add to certain sauces I’m making.  Shallots ARE in the onion family.  Go me.

Frying Onions

Kevin loves onions.  He has had to really sacrifice by not eating onions because I don’t cook with them hardly ever and because as he likes to tell people “he doesn’t want to sleep on the couch tonight”.  Poor guy.  I have always told him he can eat all the onions he wants when we go out to eat, but he will often give up those onions rings or whatever so he can sleep in our bed.  Aw!

This dip, which you can get the recipe for by buying Amy’s book, The New Midwestern Table, is first made by clarifying butter, which is one of the reasons I decided to make it as I’ve never clarified butter before.  Mmm, butta!  The onions are then fried in the butter until they brown and even start to crisp.  This is not the same as caramelizing onions, which is done at a lower temperature—low and slow.  I know many would say that is such a great aroma.  It is not one I enjoy.  My house smelled of onions for two days.  I lived.

Fried Onions

Are they done yet?  Not quite.  At this point, some wine or vermouth would be added and thickened with a little honey.  Since I don’t use alcohol, I used a little chicken stock.  Works just fine!  I do that with most recipes that have alcohol.  Sometimes I use fruit juice, too.  There’s garlic added, too.  I don’t have a problem with garlic, but I do not enjoy the smell either one leaves on my fingers and have never really found a remedy for getting rid of it.

Fried Onions and Garlic

Ahh, the onions are done.  Cooled.  Chopped finely, then added to a cream cheese and sour cream mixture, which I used lite for both.  There you have it—Fried Onion Dip.

And I decided to make some homemade baked chips to serve with it.  I made some potato chips and sweet potato chips.  And yes, I tasted the dip—just making sure to not get any of the onion bits.  I even had more than one bite.  I served the dip to the boys for dinner with some sandwiches.  They all ate some of it except Sam, my youngest.  Kevin enjoyed it and ate most of it.

Fried Onion Dip 2There you go, onion dip.  Get Amy’s book.  I’m excited to stretch myself and try some new recipes.  Yes, those chopped, green herbs on top should be chives, but I didn’t have any, so they are the last of my indoor, fresh parsley.  Next recipe—on my birthday, November 15—Corn Fritters with Green Chile Buttermilk Dip.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Paleo Breakfast Bread—It’s Cinnamon Goodness Is Not Just For Breakfast!

Paleo Breakfast Bread

Hi!  Besides not feeling well lately, I’ve also had to deal with some family issues.  (Don’t worry, all is or at least will be fine.)  Just know that it’s nearly killing me to have ignored my blog for so long.  So I had a few minutes today and wanted to get a post up for you.  I sure do appreciate all my readers and hope you’re still around waiting patiently for me to post something.

You may have noticed I’ve been trying a lot of Paleo (grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free) recipes lately and posting some of them.  Here’s another.  I hadn’t realized I never blogged it, but it’s good and SO easy to make, so I wanted to share it with you.  I take no credit for it and didn’t even change anything in the recipe that Elana from Elana's Pantry came up with.  Love this lady and her blog.  We could be twins. (Ha!)  We do have a few things in common.  She has MS.  I have MS.  She has all boys (2) and I have all boys (4).  She’s got a great blog.  I’ve got a blog. ;)  But really, she is an inspiration to me and I have found many recipes on her blog that I enjoy.  She is a cookbook author and blogs great gluten free and Paleo recipes.

I first made this “breakfast bread” back in July and it was great.  I can be an easy thing to grab for breakfast as you and/or your kids are running out the door, but it also makes a great little snack when you just need something.  It is full of protein with almond butter and eggs and has just a few other ingredients, like honey, salt, baking soda and the star of the show—cinnamon.  This is packed with cinnamon.  You can add less if you’d like, but it’s pretty tasty.  Oh, it has a touch of Stevia drops, too.  Get some and keep it for recipes like the ones Elana shares and that I link.  It’s a great all natural sweetener and just a little dab will do ya.

Check out Elana's recipe for Paleo Breakfast Bread.  Better yet, make it.  I’m going to again right now.

It bakes in 12 minutes in an 8x8 square pan.  So easy. 

Paleo Breakfast Bread

Just takes a couple minutes to mix up the ingredients in a bowl and stir them with a spoon.  Bake and done.  It can even be enjoyed warm.  Yep, see, ya gotta go make some right now.

Paleo Breakfast Bread 3

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Banana Bread Recipe—Secret Recipe Club

Spinach Tiger's Banana Bread 10-5-13

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I had the privilege and pleasure to fill-in for a blogger who wasn’t able to make their assignment at the last minute.   After volunteering and getting the blog information I would be filling in for, I was a little overwhelmed because I’ve been following this blog for years and have been so impressed with it that I almost felt I wouldn’t be able to do it justice.  That said, I certainly loved looking through all the wonderful posts and deciding what I could do with just a couple days left until the reveal.

Spinach Tiger is the blog I am posting for since our Group A leader, Jane, didn’t want her left out.  Angela’s blog, if you haven’t been there yet, is full of such great recipes.  But not only that, she has added a perfect balance of wit, humor and knowledge with her sharing.  She lives in Nashville with her husband and writes great posts for restaurants they visit in the area.  You should finish my post and go right to hers.  Read more about her on her About Page.  You’ll soon wish you were her BFF.  How I would love to be able to cook like she does.  My family is too picky.  If I was real life friends with Angela, I would eat everything she makes. ;)

In my haste to find something to make from her blog, as I only had two days to do it, I settled on this Banana Nut Bread.  I know, kind of lame of me—but with overripe bananas on the counter and everyone here loving banana cake, bread, muffins, I decided to try her recipe.  I’ve probably made too many banana bread recipes in the past to count them, but just like chocolate chip cookies, you can never try too many.

Angela got the recipe from a friend and it is quite similar to many others, though she cut the sugar, which is totally fine.  I agree with her, banana bread often has more sugar than necessary.  What I did like was that she said you can basically put whatever add ins on the top of the loaf or inside.  Her friend puts the nuts on top that are mixed with a little brown sugar.  That then reminded me of one of my favorite cakes, this Absolutely Delicious Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake that has a swirl of brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and chocolate in the middle and on top.  I decided I had to do that with this bread.  Had to. ;)  I only wish I could eat some of it.  It looks great.  Technically I could eat some, but since I’m not eating gluten or refined sugar right now, I haven’t eaten any of it.  The boys are eating it and Kevin even made a piece of French toast with some this morning while making breakfast for the boys.

Banana Bread Recipe (Oct. 2013 SRC Fill-in)Banana Nut Bread with Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl and Topping, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Angela at Spinach Tiger

1  1/2 cups all purpose flour

2  1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

dash nutmeg

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup mashed over ripe banana (3 medium)

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9x5 inch pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Whisk together to combine.  Mash the bananas. (I also do this in the food processor, I like it more like a puree than a little chunky.)  Combine in a separate bowl the eggs, vanilla and oil.  Add the bananas and egg/oil mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Don’t overmix.

Make the swirl/topping mix.  Combine in a small bowl the nuts, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, mini chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  Pour half the batter into the pan.  Sprinkle evenly half the swirl mix over the first layer.  Pour the rest of the batter into the pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining topping mix over the batter.  Bake for 45-50 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan.  Remove from pan by carefully turning it to the side and letting the loaf fall into your hand.  (A few of the nuts and topping will fall off, but it’s okay, you can eat those.)

Banana Bread 10-5-13

Definitely a test of wills here for me with this one as I love all things banana and adding nuts and chocolate are like heaven to me.  I suppose there comes a time when we choose our health over indulging in all the treats we’d like and I don’t feel like I’m suffering.

That reminds me, do you know how cool Angela from Spinach Tiger is?  Just because she wanted to see what it was like, try it out, be in the know and understand what being gluten free is like, she did just that for a month recently.  Check it out here.  She had a craving for a fresh tomato tart at that time and made a gluten free pie crust.  I SO wanted to get that done in time for this posting, but it was not to be—it WILL happen soon though.  I’ve been craving apple pie, so I do plan to try her Gluten Free Pie/Tart Crust here.  Her post is full of tips on making a gluten free crust work just right.  An apple tart or galette is calling my name. ;)

I, like Angela, don’t have dietary reasons for giving up gluten (or refined sugar for that matter), but after being diagnosed with MS recently, I decided to try going gluten free and sugar free.  I don’t really know if it is helping me, but I KNOW it certainly can’t be hurting me to not have white flour and refined sugars.  I am finding a world of good things that are still just as much a treat as the refined things out there.  And I know it will be okay to go for that splurge once in a while if I really want.  Check out my blog in recent months for those “healthier” treats I’ve been making. 

Thanks for picking me to fill-in this month, Jane.  My apologies to Angela for not being able to do her blog more justice that it deserves.  The best thing to do is CHECK OUT SPINACH TIGER for yourself, especially if you haven’t been there before.   Since I have two posts today, don’t miss my other post for my October secret assignment for Kate’s blog, Kitchen Trial and Error.  So many great blogs out there, so little time. 


Honey Nut Popcorn—Secret Recipe Club

Honey Nut Popcorn

In my new adventures of giving up gluten and refined sugar, I am sometimes finding it difficult to find treats that will cure certain cravings I have.  I’ve been using raw honey in many things.  When looking through my October blog assignment for the Secret Recipe Club, I found one of the things I’ve been wanting—something crunchy with a little sweetness!

This Honey Nut Popcorn hit the nail on the head!  I was assigned Kate’s blog, Kitchen Trial and Error.  There is definitely lots to see and try on her blog.  The cookies alone that she’s posted made me pine for those good ol’ days of making lots and lots of cookies.  You know, I haven’t given up on making goodies for other people, so I do still get to dapple in the good stuff when I want.  Kate lives in New York state, has a hubby and a cute baby boy (Boys rule!).

While we always have a full fruit basket here and plenty of other healthy choices for snacks, there is definitely a fair share of other treats available often.  As I mentioned, I’ve been craving popcorn.  My current favorite is white popped corn that I make with our Presto Stirring Popcorn Popper.  You put a little oil in the bottom of it, then add the popcorn and a little arm turns it around and around as it pops.  I’ve been loving using coconut oil and just putting salt on the popcorn.  You’ve got to try the white popcorn, the kernels are smaller and more tender.  You can get the white popcorn in most stores. 

Along came this honey nut popcorn and I was sold on trying it.  I did adapt Kate’s recipe that she got from Healthy Food For Living.  That recipe used some honey and some corn syrup.  I just used all honey.  Also instead of vegetable oil, I used coconut oil.  The honey nut popcorn is great!  Some peanut butter and peanuts are added to make it nutty.  It would be fun to try with almond butter and almonds.  That’s it, I’ve just decided, as soon as the honey nut popcorn I made is gone, I’ll have to try that.

Such simple ingredients and still a great treat.  Sure, it might not be just the same as a buttery caramel popcorn, but it works for me.  The boys tasted it and like it okay, but are leaving it alone and I’ve been enjoying it here and there throughout this week. 

Honey Nut Popcorn

Honey Nut Popcorn, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Kate at Kitchen Trial and Error

4 quarts popped popcorn (1/2 cup kernels) *I used white kernels

1/2 cup salted peanuts

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

1/2 cup raw honey

1/4 cup smooth, natural peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. 

Put the popped popcorn in a large bowl with the peanuts. 

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, honey and peanut butter.  Stir constantly and cook for two minutes.  Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla and salt.  Pour the peanut butter/honey mixture over the popcorn and peanuts and stir to coat evenly using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula.  Spread the popcorn in an even layer on the baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Cool completely before eating and store in an airtight container.

Honey Nut Popcorn 3

Great sweet, crunchy treat for snitching a handful now and then!  Great blog, Kate!  Really enjoyed it and will be back.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chippy Peanut Butter Cookies

Chippy Peanut Butter Cookies

(Sorry about the photos, I took them with my phone and it really doesn’t have a very good camera so they aren’t the best pictures.)

It’s about time I post again.  Sometimes I can’t believe how much time goes by when I realize I haven’t posted anything.  This might seem like a lame post, but these cookies NEED to be blogged.

I went home to Idaho to visit family this past weekend.  We had a Sunday dinner with people over at my parents’ house.  My mom and I made a dinner of taco soup, salsa with chips, jalapeno poppers and fruit.  I decided to make cookies—everyone had to have dessert. ;)  I whipped up these cookies in a matter of minutes the night before and put the dough in the fridge until the next day. 

Check out the recipe, I got it from Taste of Home.  You know what’s kind of funny, I saw the name Chippy and since I often call our doggy, Chip, Chippy, I wanted to make these.   I didn’t change anything.  Well, except since my mom doesn’t eat chocolate, I left some of the dough plain for peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I thought they looked like perfect peanut butter cookies.  With the rest of the dough, I added Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips.  (That is the only difference I made, so I won’t retype the recipe.)

I was even nice and “burned” a batch for my dad.  He prefers well done cookies.  I took a photo of those, but it looks horrible, (and not because they were burned) not worth adding to this post.

The cookies flew off the plate and some in my family told me they were seriously perfect peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with a perfect chewiness and crisp on the edges. 

Chippy Peanut Butter Cookies

I plan to make these again soon since my immediate family didn’t get to taste them (I went home to Idaho by myself).  Here’s the link to the recipe again.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grain Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

Grain Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake 9-16-13

I wasn’t planning to go all pumpkin crazy like all the food blogs are starting to do and I probably still won’t have like 30 days of all pumpkin posts or something like that, but I was actually just walking by the pantry one day recently and right there staring at me was a can of pumpkin.  It was a sign.  I needed to make something with it. 

After searching for just the thing I was craving, I found this cake.  It was everything I was looking for and craving.  It’s got those fall spices we all love and has healthy pumpkin in it, not to mention almond butter and raw honey to sweeten it.  Can hardly believe making a cake with no flour turned out so well.  You really wouldn’t know there is no flour.  It would be fun to have someone try it who didn’t know and see if they could tell what was different.  I’ve made a couple other things that are completely grain free, like brownies and they are really good.

I take no credit for the cake.  I found this at Mel’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.  Haven’t seen or heard of this blog before, but I love discovering new ones and will be back.  I didn’t change a whole lot of Mel’s recipe, but will retype it with my changes.  She also frosted her cake with a maple-vanilla frosting that is made with coconut butter.  This cake doesn’t even really need anything, it’s a great snack cake.  I certainly played around with toppings though.  Melted chocolate is my favorite way to top a slice of this cake.  I just love chocolate with fall spices like cinnamon and ginger.  I also topped some with some whipped coconut cream and while that’s good, too, I prefer the chocolate.  (Go figure.) ;)  Stock up on almonds and make your own almond butter, it’s much cheaper than buying almond butter.  Mel used Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and suggested if you didn’t use that to add some maple syrup, so that is what I did.  I’m tempted when I make this cake again to use maple syrup for the sweetener instead of honey to really bump up the maple flavor.

Grain Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

Grain Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Mel at The Clothes Make the Girl

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup almond butter

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 cup raw honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Topping (optional):

1-2 ounces Enjoy life mini chocolate chips, melted

coconut cream, whipped  (or heavy whipping cream)

maple syrup or honey to drizzle over slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick foil (foil is optional), coat the bottom and sides with a light coating of coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, almond butter, maple syrup, honey and eggs and whisk together.  In a small bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom and lemon zest.  Add to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes.

When the cake is cooled, remove from the pan by lifting the foil edges.  Cut into desired sized pieces.  Drizzle with melted chocolate or top with whipped coconut cream (or heavy whipping cream).  A drizzle of maple syrup or honey is great on the whipped cream.

Grain Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with whipped coconut cream and maple syrup

 You could also put all the toppings on the cake to really kick it up! ;)  I still like the melted chocolate the best though.  Heck, it’s a great snack cake with no toppings as well.  Try it.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars and No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies—Secret Recipe Club

Gluten Free Fruit (Cherry) Chocolate Crumble Bars--Sept. SRC

Love, love, love these healthy, gluten free, no sugar, No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars I made for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.  These were easy to make, required no baking (hence the name ;)) and are tasty as can be, especially if you like cherries and chocolate.  Great combo!

I came up with this recipe after seeing (and taking most of the inspiration from) the No Bake Fruit Crumble Bars on my Secret Recipe Club blog, The Saturday Evening Pot, this blog is written by The Chef and The Lucky Wife—they have Two Well-Fed Kids they love cooking for.  My bars were made with gluten free oats and they just have unsweetened dried cherries, walnuts and a couple other essentials.  Then they are sandwiched with some homemade cherry jam I made that is delicious!  For kicks and because I just can’t seem to leave chocolate out of anything, I added a mere two tablespoons of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips.  Mmmm!

No Bake Cherry Crumble Bars 9-2-13

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from The Saturday Evening Pot

2 cups oats (I used gluten free)

1 cup walnuts

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened dried cherries

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or any brand you’d like)

1/3 cup (or more) homemade cherry jam**see recipe below

Line an 8 inch square pan with nonstick foil.  Combine the oats, walnuts and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.  Add the cherries and blend until they are well combined with the oat mixture and are small bits of dried cherry.  Add the coconut oil and honey and pulse to combine and mixture just starts to clump together.  Add the chocolate chips and pulse again a few times.  Sprinkle half the crumbly mixture evenly in the bottom of the square pan.  Spread the jam over the crumb layer.  Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the jam and press it down gently.  Cover the pan and refrigerator for an hour.  Remove bars from pan using the overhanging foil.  Cut into squares on a cutting board.  Keep bars in the refrigerator until serving.

**Homemade All Natural Cherry Jam

2 cups cherries, pitted (I used some that I had in the freezer)

2 tablespoons raw honey

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed.  Leave it as chunky as you’d like.  Put the mixture in a small saucepan and boil for 15-20 minutes until thickened.  Cool.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Use within 2 weeks. 


If I only had more dried cherries right now……..

Before I made the crumble bars, I also made the No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies.  Again, I used gluten free oats and unrefined sugar.  I also used coconut oil instead of butter.  The cashew butter I used was homemade.  These are great.  I put most of them in the freezer to share with my mom when my parents come here next week, since she doesn’t eat chocolate and loves cashews, she will like them.  My son, Parker really liked them and I thought they were great.

Ingredients for No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I made the brown sugar with some organic natural pure cane sugar and added about 1/2 teaspoon of molasses to it and mixed it together until it was brown sugar.  Love doing this.  I’m still trying not to use too much pure cane sugar even though it is pretty unrefined, but these had quite a bit.  We must “splurge” sometimes, right and I still even consider these bars pretty healthy compared to many other treats.

No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from The Saturday Evening Pot

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (I made it homemade with 3 tablespoons organic pure cane sugar and 1/2 teaspoon molasses mixed)

1/2 cup organic natural pure cane sugar

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

1/4 cup almond milk (or any milk you’d like)

1/3 cup cashew butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  3/4 cups rolled oats (gluten free)

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

pinch of salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, cane sugar, coconut oil, milk and cashew butter.  Whisk together and let come to a boil.  Boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, oats and coconut.  Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Drop dough with a cookie scoop onto waxed paper lined baking sheet or plate.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes until set.  Store in refrigerator until serving and any left over. 

No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies 2

I always enjoy looking through my monthly assigned blogs for the Secret Recipe Club each month and The Saturday Evening Pot was no exception.  Lots of great recipes!