Monthly Archives: December 2014

Carrot Ginger Juice

My Faithful Assistant photo-bombed me but did not drink my juice!

My Faithful Assistant photo-bombed me but did not drink my juice!

No one feels great in my house right now. My throat is a little raw and scratchy and I’m thirsty. I am tired of tea and have a lot of carrots and some ginger. Time to put the Vitamix to use and make some…

Carrot Ginger Juice
2 carrots, chopped or shredded
2 clementines, peeled and sectioned
1 tbsp or more grated fresh ginger
1 cup ice cold water

1. Put the ingredients in the blender and start blending on low.
2. Slowly increase the speed to high. Not too fast or you will end up with a foamy mess that will be pretty gross.
3. If the juice is too thick, add a little more water. Serve chilled

As is normal for my smoothies and juices, this is not sweet at all. But it has wonderful flavor from the three key ingredients. Feel free to add more ginger if you’d like. And here’s a little tip. If you happen to have a super tough Pampered Chef Garlic Press, you can actually chop up your ginger and put it through the garlic press. You will get a lot more flavor from the juiced ginger.

This juice really soothed my scratchy throat. I can feel myself getting better already! Okay. Not really. Could be that I’m sitting down and relaxing.

Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

vcmI didn’t mean to make Vegan Chocolate Mousse. I meant to make a chocolate smoothie with avocado. Here’s what happened. I was at the store to get the second flu victim his medicine and was wandering around waiting and I came across some Almond Coconut milk in the natural food aisle milk case. Sounded good to me! Into the cart it went.

At home, patient tucked safely in bed, it was time to eat and make up for all the junk I’ve had the past few days. I put all my ingredients in the blender. Too thick. Add more Almond Coconut milk. Hmm. Not getting thinner. Getting thicker. So I stop it to see what’s happening. Apparently, coconut milk has been used by vegans for years to make whipped cream. WHO KNEW!!! I added a little sugar and blended it a little more. Voila! Vegan Chocolate Mousse.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse
1 avocado
2 cups Almond Coconut Milk or just Coconut Milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar or some other sweetener of choice
1 cup ice

1. Put the ingredients in the blender in the order listed.
2. Begin blending on low and slowly increase the speed until the mousse thickens.
3. Chill for 30 minutes.

I’m pretty excited about this treat. I really have been quite a pig the past few days. I know I’m going to want a sweet treat and this mousse will be perfect. And with the tiny amount of sweetener, it will satisfy my craving for sweets but not leave me feeling like I have overdone it.

I hope you’ll give it a try.

Enjoy!

Spicy Glazed Pecans

sgpOriginally published 12/24/2013

Do you have a formal Christmas Eve dinner, or is it more casual? Ours is definitely on the casual end. In the past few years on Christmas Eve, we have dealt with a whole range of minor crises from emergency root canals to broken sump pump pipes. A formal dinner is the last thing I would have needed to deal with. I am very thankful for this easy dinner tradition in our home.

This year, we will once again have soup, cheese and crackers, shrimp, for those who can, fruit, and as an added treat, I have made some Spicy Glazed Pecans.

These are remarkably easy to make. They take about 20 minutes from start to finish. If you don’t like pecans, consider using almonds or walnuts or even peanuts! I’m excited to have these on top of a cracker with camembert and a little slice of apple!

Spicy Glazed Pecans
3 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp or more cayenne pepper

1. Dissolve the sugar with everything but the pecans. Use a heavier sauce pan if you have one and stir a lot.
2. Bring to a boil for a minute or two.
3. Add the pecans and stir around so they are all coated.
4. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
5. Bake for 15 minutes at 350.
6. When done, cool on waxed paper and separate.

These are great in soup, salad and give a great kick to a hot fudge Sunday. I’m sure you’ll find many uses for them for the holidays and many other times of the year.

Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!

Salted Carmel Chocolate Pecan Tart

sccptAs part of the #SettlementCookbookChallenge I am doing with family and friends around the country, I set out to make Spritz Cookies yesterday. Sadly, after the first load of the spritz gun, it broke. Curse you Wilton! So I was sitting on a batch of shortbread-like dough and no cookie gun.

Thankfully, I am usually chock full of creative ways to cook. And I had some caramel, pecans and chocolate. I also have a very willing baked goods tester at church. So…

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla (not in the original recipe)
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

1. Cream the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until nice and light.
2. Gradually add the flour until a dough forms.
3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
4. Roll the dough out and place into a tart pan.
5. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and spread crust with caramel. Be careful so you don’t tear the crust.
7. Sprinkle with salt and then top with pecans and chocolate chips.
8. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

I baked a lot yesterday and I am kind of done with cookies for a while. But I will admit that this was my breakfast. It was so wonderful. WONDERFUL! The salt and caramel. The shortbread crust.

Feel free to make this in a rectangular pan and cut into bars.  I will probably do that for a party I am going to later this week. You could also use almond extract instead of vanilla and top with chopped almonds. Dried fruit would also be a nice touch, instead of the caramel. So many options for this tasty treat!

Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Scones

“Are you going to make some scones?” 

cos

I hear this at least once a month. My darling spouse loves scones. While they aren’t hard to make, they require cream cheese and buttermilk which I rarely have. Since I was baking anyway today, I decided to get some so I could make him his treat. I was also asked to use a Chobani product as part of their#MadeWithChobani project. So this turned out to be a “two birds, one stone” baking event!

#MadeWithChobani

#MadeWithChobani

Cranberry Orange Scones
3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 container of Chobani Blood Orange yogurt
6 oz buttermilk
1 cup frozen cranberries – I used a mix that had cranberries infused with cherry, mango and peach
4 oz cream cheese

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. Add the butter and mix until the mixture is like bread crumbs.
3. Add the yogurt and give the mixer two or three turns. Not too much!
4. Add the fruit and do the same.
5. Same thing with the buttermilk, and finally, with the cream cheese.
6. Drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet covered in parchment.
7. Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the scones. Bigger=longer baking time.
8. Serve as soon as possible. They’re best when they are fresh, fresh, fresh!

I topped my scones with a glaze I made with a little powdered sugar and orange juice. I have to say, they were pretty tasty! I liked the little bite the yogurt added to the flavor. It was perfect with the cranberries. And the glaze was a nice, sweet contrast. They got a big smile from the main recipient. He was a very happy camper!

The good news is that I have enough buttermilk and cream cheese to make another batch on Christmas morning! Lucky family!

If you’re interested, Chobani has a lot of very good recipes right on their site. Here’s a handy dandy link for you! http://www.chobani.com/culture/recipes

Enjoy!