Sunday, September 18, 2016

Paleo Butter Pecan Nice Cream

Paleo Butter Pecan Nice Cream

Is there truly such a thing as healthy ice cream?

Maybe not but this Butter Pecan Nice Cream is a healthier knock-off indeed.

It redefines healthy gourmet indulgences for sure.  It’s not only gluten free, it’s dairy free, egg free and free of added refined sugars too.  But beyond all that it’s downright delicious.

Most nice creams are done using only bananas as the base ingredient before adding the other flavors.  I’ve combined bananas with unsweetened coconut cream to add a more luxurious mouth-feel. Then dates are added to give a more complex sweetness and a touch of sea salt helps to mimic the salty flavor of butter.  And this smooth creamy frozen dessert has plenty of chopped pecans stirred-in at the end to complete the masterpiece.  

This nice-cream is beyond good reaching a level of mind blowing deliciousness.

Butter Pecan Nice Cream
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: Makes 1 quart (8 half cup servings)

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 3 pitted dates (roughly chopped)
  • 8 pecan halves
  • ¾ cup coconut cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (to stir in at the end) 

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Slice the bananas into 1 inch pieces and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  2. Add the frozen bananas to the bowl of your food processor with the pitted dates, pecan halves, salt and coconut cream, then process until it is smooth and creamy.  (You’ll need to stop the processor a few times to scrape down the bowl.)
  3. Place into a freezer safe container, stir in the chopped pecans, cover and freeze for 2-3 hours then serve.     

Notes: If frozen solid, remove from the freezer 10 minutes ahead of serving to soften a bit.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Peanut Butter Brookie

Peanut Butter Brookie

Have you ever had a Brookie?  They’re part brownie, part cookie and 100% delicious.

But some Brookies can be a little too sweet. 

Not these!

The typical recipe combines brownie batter with a classic chocolate chip cookie dough.  I reduce the sugar in both recipes and switched things up by stirring my chocolate chips into peanut butter cookie dough instead for that sweet and salty component. 

The small change makes these less cloying and more delicious.  You're gonna love this.

Peanut Butter Brookie
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24

Ingredients For the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
  • 1 ¼  cups gluten free flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼  tsp salt
  • ¾ cup peanut butter (192 grams by weight)
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • ¼  cup sugar
  • ½  cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 eggs
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

Ingredients For the Brownie Batter
  • ½ cup gluten free flour
  • ½  tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)
  • ¾  cup sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Video Tutorial: Coming Soon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175 °C) and line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray.
  2. For the peanut butter cookie layer, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside
  3. Cream together the peanut butter, butter and both sugars until smooth.
  4. Add the egg and mix until well blended. (the mixture may look curdled at this point)
  5. Add the flour mixture mix until incorporated then stir in the mini chocolate chips and mix until evenly dispersed.   
  6. Reserve ¼ of the dough and press the remaining 3/4 of the dough into an even layer onto the bottom of the prepared pan then use a knuckle to make some divots over the surface.
  7. For the brownie layer, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.   
  8. In a medium microwave safe bowl melt the butter then add the sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla then whisk until well combined.
  9. Add the eggs and mix until incorporated.
  10. Add the flour mixture and stir until the wet and dry ingredients are well combined then stir in the chocolate chips and spread the brownie batter over the cookie layer.
  11. Break off small pieces of the reserved dough and scatter them evenly over the brownie layer then bake for 38-40 minutes.
  12. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.  Cool completely before cutting.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Kimchi Slaw

Kimchi Slaw

If you love Kimchi but think it's too much work then this might be the perfect recipe for you.  It's an easy slaw that uses the flavors of kimchi mixed with an easy bagged cole slaw mix so you can throw this together in minutes.

And once you've got a batch in the fridge the ideas are endless.  It's great on burgers and sandwiches but it's also great as an ingredient in other recipes.  I like to mix it with an egg and make kimchi fritters.  It's great in fried rice or soup.  

If I've got a bowl of this in the fridge your meals will be interesting all week.

Kimchi Slaw
Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (gluten free)
  • 2 tbsp Korean pepper flakes, (Gochugaru)
  • 1 large clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix (about 6-7 cups shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ granny smith apple (grated or finely diced)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional garnish)

Video Tutorial: Coming Soon

  1. In a small bowl add the vinegar, fish sauce, pepper flakes, and minced garlic and stir until well blended.
  2. In a large nonreactive bowl add the slaw mix, green onions and apple and stir to combine then add the pepper paste and toss well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but overnight is better tossing occasionally.
  4. Sprinkle with sesames to garnish before serving

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Almond Raspberry Jam Bars

Almond Raspberry Jam Bars

What a pleasure these Almond Raspberry Jam bars turned out to be.  Their soft delicate almond crust and sweet raspberry jam seem to be made for each other while the toasted slivered almonds on top add a textural juxtaposition that sends this dessert over the top. 

But beyond these bars being delicious, they’re also one of the easiest confections you can throw together when you have last-minute company.  Is it me or does it seem that family gatherings always seem to happen at the spur of the moment.      

In my case it was the birth of my first Granddaughter, the beautiful Charlotte Sophia that lead to the impromptu mass pilgrimage of relatives clamoring to catch a glimpse of the little bundle. 

Have no fear, with easy recipes like this,  you can easily bang out a couple of desserts to accompany that obligatory pot of coffee. 

But to really have a party you'll need a bit more than coffee and confections.  Try adding a cheese board with some charcuterie, fruit, nuts crackers, crostini and various nibbles. 

I guess you could call this blog post my blueprint for a bunch of happy guests while the host maintains some sanity.  

Welcome to the world baby Charlotte.

Almond Raspberry Jam Bars
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 35 min total (20 first then 15)
Servings: 18 small rectangles (cut 3x6)

Crust Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup softened butter (1 ½ sticks)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼  tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 2 cups of Almond Meal (I used the blanched variety)
  • (1) 10 oz jar raspberry jam (I used polaner all-fruit)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds

Video Tutorial: Coming Soon

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (or 175ºC) and line an 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray.
  2. For the crust cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla then add the egg and mix until it is well incorporated (at this point it will look curdled) add the almond flour and mix until you’ve got a soft cookie dough.
  3. Transfer the dough into the prepared pan use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer on the bottom.  
  4. Bake the crust for 20 minutes then allow it to cool completely so it doesn’t break apart when you spread the jam.
  5. Once cooled top the crust with the jam and gently spread into an even layer.
  6. Sprinkle over the slivered almonds and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Allow the bars to rest in the pan to cool completely before removing the slab onto a cutting board.
  8. Refrigerate to chill completely before slicing. 

Notes: With a sticky dessert like this I like to use cupcake liners to make them easier to serve.  
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