Christmas

Roasted Fingerling Purple Potatoes

fingerling potatoesDon’t you just LOVE colorful food?!  I’m not talking about artificial colors either!  I’m talking bright, colorful, full of vitamins and nutrients our bodies NEED.  Omar always teases me about how bright and colorful our meals are… I love to eat the rainbow!  I saw these purple potatoes at the grocery store this week and thought they looked so yummy!  I needed something different to add to our monotonous, quick and easy dinners throughout the week…  Continue reading

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Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

pecan pie bars2Let’s chat about these bars… Are they not just the cutest!?  Yes, a dessert bar can be cute if you didn’t know!  I’m not going to insult your intelligence by calling these “healthy” just because they’re vegan, gluten free AND paleo…. BUT…. they’re a LOT more healthier than your typical pecan pie ingredients!  And here is why…….. Continue reading

Lemon Butter Green Beans

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Don’t you love it when a recipe you’ve been thinking about for a while comes together perfectly the very first time you make it!?!  THAT is something that makes me very, very happy!!!  All that to say – if you need a perfect side dish for an upcoming Christmas gathering, dinner or party – look no further… These babies are a crowd pleaser and they’re so easy to make!!!   Continue reading

PMS Flour-less Chocolate Cake

Happy, sad, glad, or mad?!?!  This is a fudgy, super chocolatey, melt in your mouth, makes everything better kind of cake!  I would not put this recipe in the “healthy” category… Although, it is flour-less…it does have a good chunk of butter, lots of sugar, and eggs.  I’ll be honest, it makes me feel better to at least call it “Gluten Free”.  So, let’s do that!  It’s a GLUTEN FREE PMS Flour-less Chocolate Cake!!!  I did use a healthier chocolate… Feel free to use your favorite.  Dark or milk chocolate will totally work.

Please note: your cake WILL crack on top!  Don’t fret…it’s supposed to!  I love the rustic, not very perfect look!  Kind of reminds me of life at times… How something is perceived on the outside isn’t always the case of what the inside of something/someone looks, feels, or even tastes like.  I think this cake is a good example of not judging a book by it’s cover!  🙂

The decor for this cake is endless… The sky is the limit!  Use your favorite fruit, make a home-made whipped cream (which I totally should’ve done!), or drizzle a little ganache on top!

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Yields: 1 – 9 inch spring form cake

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 10 oz package Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 6 eggs, room temperature, divided
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup organic unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch spring form pan; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter and chocolate chips.  Set aside and let cool.
  3. Separate 4 of the 6 eggs.  In the bowl with the yolks, add the almond extract, cocoa, salt, remaining eggs, half the sugar, and the melted butter and chocolate chips.  Whisk everything together really well and set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, with your whisk attachment beat the egg whites until frothy.  Once frothy, gradually beat in the rest of the sugar.  Continue beating until stiff peaks have formed.
  5. Using a spatula, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Fold until well incorporated and you can’t see anymore white.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan and bake until the top is slightly cracked and the middle doesn’t jiggle; about 50-55 minutes.
  7. Transfer the cake to a cooling wrack.  DO NOT CUT THE CAKE UNTIL IT IS COMPLETELY COOLED!!  If you need it to cool it faster, stick it in the refrigerator for a while…  Dust the cake with a little cocoa powder and decorate it with some fresh berries!  It will look BEAUTIFUL and taste AMAZING!!!

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Orange Rolls

Baking, shopping, and running are my 3 “therapies” if you will… If I’m in a funky mood, mad at the world, worried, having a fat day, etc…I’m going to be doing ONE of these 3 things, if not all three.  The day before Christmas Eve my phone decided not to work anymore.  I was furious.  It was my first Christmas away from home and all I could think was, “I’m not going to get ONE ‘Merry Christmas’ phone call or text message from anyone NOW!!!”  LOTS of tears were shed.  It was really a dramatic scene.  Especially when the phone company told me I was going to have to pay MORE than what I paid for the phone the first time in order to get a new phone shipped to me.  So, in the midst of my anger, I started reminiscing on old family traditions that my mama always makes.

My mama has made Orange Rolls for as long as I can remember… They are seriously one of my favorite holiday treats!  Growing up these were always one of those pastries we made around the holidays…WHY only around the holidays, I don’t know?!  Actually, if she had made them more often, we would’ve had to spend MANY hours in a gym…anything doughy and from a can isn’t the healthiest of foods.  You feel me?  But back then we didn’t care.  So, I’m still enamored with my new Paleo cookbook, Every Last Crumb… There’s a recipe for Cinnamon Rolls in the book that I HAD TO MAKE.  Instead of copying her recipe 100%, I decided to use her dough recipe, then create a new, healthier version of our family’s favorite Orange Rolls… They turned out SO GOOD and it makes me so happy to know that I’m not eating dough from a can.  🙂

Note:  This is a lengthy process…BUT…Totally worth it!

Yields: 9 Rolls

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp spoon of instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp oil or melted butter, plus more for the work surface
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp double-acting, aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp Spectrum vegetable shortening
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted salted butter, for brushing the rolls

Cinnamon Filling:

  • 2 tbsp melted salted butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 1 cup raisins, optional

Orange Glaze (I could eat this stuff by itself with my finger, or be a lady and use a spoon!)

  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar OR organic, nonGMO powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1-2 tbsp orange zest

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees to warm it up as a “hot box” for the rolls to proof.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.  Drizzle the oil or melted butter into the pan and spread it evenly across the parchment with a paper towel.  Set aside.
  2. In a small microwavable bowl, heat the applesauce in the microwave for 10-20 seconds just until it’s lukewarm (but not hot).  The yeast needs this warm temperature to activate!  Stir in the yeast.  Set aside and let it proof.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, mix the coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, guar gum, and salt until blended.
  4. Add the sugar and shortening mix until the shortening is evenly incorporated into the flour mixture
  5. Add the eggs and the yeast mixture, which should have started to bubble up a little.  Mix on high speed for roughly 1-2 minutes, until a dough comes together.  The dough will thicken as as it’s mixed.
  6. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter-top and lightly oil it.
  7. Place the dough on the parchment paper.  Oil your hands (I used butter) and shape the dough into a rectangle that is roughly 14×10 inches and about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Onto the dough, spread the filling ingredients: Start with the melted butter and then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon, raisins, and pecans (if using them).
  9. Turn the parchment paper so that the long side of the dough is facing you.  Starting at the bottom, using the parchment paper as a guide, roll the dough into a cylinder, with the seam on the bottom.
  10. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 9 rolls.  Place them in the prepared pan.
  11. Drizzle the tablespoon of melted butter on top of the cinnamon rolls  and cover the pan with a towel.
  12. It’s time to proof the rolls!  Turn off the oven and slide the covered pan into the warm oven to proof for a total of 30 minutes.  Leave the door cracked open for the first 15 minutes, and then close the door for the last 15 minutes.
  13. After 30 minutes of proofing, take the rolls out of the oven and remove the towel.  Brush the tops of the rolls with 1 tablespoon of water.  Cover with foil and place on top of the stove.
  14. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  When the oven is fully preheated, bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown, leaving the foil on the whole time.  You can peek under the foil toward the end to check the color.  If the rolls are starting to look a bit brown around the edges, they’re done.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  15. While the rolls are cooling, make the glaze: Place the coconut palm sugar in a coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind until you have a powder.  OR… if you’re lazy like ME…Just buy the organic, nonGMO powdered sugar from Whole Foods and call it a day! Place the sugar, zest, and juice in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
  16. Once the rolls have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the top and EAT!  IF for some odd reasons you have leftovers, they can be stored at room temperature or freeze them for another day!
  17. I hope you love these little rolls of yummy goodness as much as I do!

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