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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Chocolate "flourless" Cupcakes with ganache

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups chocolate syrup (like Hershey's or make your own recipe here- super easy!)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour  (I use coconut flour or Gluten-free all purpose)
For the ganache:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) good chocolate, chopped (or chips)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso 
Preheat the oven to 325º F   Line or grease muffin pan.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined.  (Do not overbeat)
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups (about 3/4 full) and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don't overbake!!!  Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan.
For the ganache, heat the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
Drop a spoonful of ganache on the top of each cupcake, swirl with back of spoon to cover.  

Do not refrigerate.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hello, Hollandaise

Keto fans meet your new fav sauce. 
Serve it over eggs, meat or cooked vegetables. It is an easy way to be sure you are getting enough fats in your diet. And did I mention delicious?
This once "guilty pleasure" splurge-at-brunch-sauce is no longer that now that we all are realizing what we knew about fats and cholesterol is totally wrong. So, dive in.. enjoy. And once you see how easy it is to master, it transcends any meal.
Replace the bread with a low-carb fried green tomato for a delicious keto-friendly version of the classic Eggs Benedict. Or simply line a muffin cup with bacon (forming a nest) and drop in an egg, baking until desired doneness.
Take a chance and try this.  Why it seems intimidating, I'm really not sure.  Once you do, you'll see .. there is nothing to be afraid of.  And you won't ever think of using one of those packets, ever again.  

Perfectly yummy (and easier than you think!) Hollandaise Sauce

4 egg yolks
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. water
1/8 tsp. salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 pinches of freshly ground white pepper
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

Have a kitchen towel at ready.  Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Combine the egg yolks, lemon juice and water. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, then continue whisking about a minute more. Remove the bowl and set on a kitchen towel as soon as the mixture thickens. Whisk in the salt, cayenne and white pepper.
Whisk the mixture while slowly pouring in the melted butter in a thin stream until incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cover and keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.

**No-Whisk Blender Method:
Now while I prefer the classic method of whisking, you can easily make this in a blender or food processor. The french chef I trained under would not have it, but you can if you choose.
To make in Blender: Melt butter, set aside. In a blender, blend egg yolks, lemon juice, water, salt and peppers. With the blender going on the lowest speed, slowly drizzle melted butter into the blender until its all in there. I am quite certain this method would also work well in a food processor.
Tip: The variable speed on the Vitamix blender will work perfectly here.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Moroccan-style Butternut Squash, Ceci Bean & Kale Stew

Moroccan, don't let that intimidate you. This stew or ragu.. is super easy, delicious and a very healthy meal that can be made in one pot.. in under an hour.  Those are all the reasons it's a fav and a repeat dish around here.    You probably have all ingredients on hand or within easy reach.  So similar to my Butternut minestrone (recipe here), just a few tweaks and the flavors are just a little different.  Same, good old, comfort-food at it's best.  Very satisfying on it's on but empowered over a spoon or two of amino-rich, protein perfect, quinoa.  Even better.  
And, moms.. This is Scarlett approved. She doesn't just eat it, she loves it.  She is 8 now but has been eating this since she was about 3.  She doesn't always jump at kale when she sees it but when she eats this dish, she asks for a bite of kale in every bite.  Perfect balance.  I love that too. 

So, if you follow my recipes and blog, you know I am obsessed with butternut squash. And why not? It is a super-food at it's most delicious best!   I love it steamed, pureed, in risotto (oh, yum) , soups and in stews.  I eat it for breakfast, simply steamed with a slight drizzle of maple syrup or simply mashed in my oatmeal with a little cinnamon.  It is the perfect food.  If you have energy and time, buy it whole and work it yourself, or take the easy quick route and get it packaged and ready to go.  For this recipe I prefer large chunks.  
What goes better with butternut squash than kale? One of my favorite combos.  The bitterness of the kale tempered by the sweetness of the squash, oh so good.  I also love the tomato here for all those reasons too, it just works perfectly.  Good dose of garlic and onions, because.. why not? It's boosting the healthiness of this stew or ragu.  
Beans, love the hearty, creaminess they add.  Speaking of adding.. they also add a protein boost. Love bean nutrition.  Here I chose chickpeas/garbanzos.. (which we call Ceci Beans) and they add to the Moroccan factor.  But you could easily substitute creamy cannellini beans. 

Note:  This can easily be made in the crock-pot in 8 hours.  Same recipe, just swap out dried beans for canned.  Start it in the morning and be oh so happy when you return home.  
To serve with quinoa, just follow basic quinoa instructions on the package.   

Moroccan Butternut Squash & Kale Stew with Ceci Beans

2 Tbsp. olive oil or bacon fat
1 large onion, sliced or 2 large leeks (white and light green part only, well washed)
1 tsp. sea salt
6 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped

1 can chickpeas/garbanzos (rinsed and drained)
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4" dice
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 bag of chopped tuscan kale (Trader Joe's) 
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1 pinch of saffron (optional) 

Over medium heat, sauté onions in oil or fat til translucent.  Add salt.  Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.  (Transfer to crockpot at this point, if using)  
Add ceci beans, squash, stock, water, kale, tomatoes and paprika (and saffron, if using).  Bring to boil, lower to simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes or until butternut squash is fork tender.  

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 

Serve over a bed of quinoa with a drizzle of good, flavorful olive oil, sprinkle of red pepper flakes and finishing sea salt. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chocolate Zucchini Breakfast Muffins Protein & Nutrient Rich

Revising favorite recipes to boost the nutrition levels.  This Chocolate Zucchini muffin recipe was always a favorite.  And now with the updates, I think the muffins turned out really well, even Scarlett approved. She had one after lunch and just now at 4pm she's asking for another.  That's a good sign that it's worth making.

The reason I wanted to make these, well, there are a couple of reasons.  One is this is what I love to do.  Take a delicious recipe that is tried and true that we love and make it healthier.  And two, is I have a mom that is fighting cancer, recovering from brain surgery and a stroke that is the result of the brain surgery.. and I am trying to come up with more nutrient dense meals or even bites, if you will.  The amount of food she eats coming out of chemotherapy is so minimal and every bite crucial.  I am a firm believer in food as medicine and using nutrition to boost your immune system and healing. 
Praying this overcomes the evil known as chemo.  

But not just for mom, this is something that is perfect for breakfast on the run for anyone.  

A couple of things I recommend for anyone trying to make things a bit healthier in the kitchen... throw out the cocoa powder in your pantry and get some live superfood cocoa powder.  It will change your life.  
We make these most delicious-super-chocolatey brownies with it.  Add it to a cup of hot milk with some honey for a super healthy hot cocoa.  Make these Chocolate (cocoa) banana pancakes which require no syrup.. and all nothing to feel guilty about. When Scarlett asks for hot cocoa, I am happy to give it to her.   The nutrient boost is a real thing, raw, full-bodied chocolate flavor, packed with anti-oxidants.. this is my favorite and I purchase it there.  I am partial to balinese sourced, but that may be simply because it's one of my favorite places to travel.  Probably.  However, cocoa tasting.. bring it on! Would love to taste the differences.  
Did you know?.... Raw Cacoa Powder has more anti-oxidants than blueberries, red wine and black and green teas.  Four times the antioxidants than green tea!  
Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese. 
It also has healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite. 
But this isn't all cocoa powder.. this is when in it's purest form.  That is why raw live powder is best and considered a superfood!  

Alright.. head on down and make some already! 

Dense, dark and delicious.
Packed with zucchini and healthy choices, but you won't even think about that.. they're that delicious. 

I made mine in these "muffin top" pans.
But this can be made in a regular muffin pan and loaf pan also.

Chocolate & Zucchini Muffins 

1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I mix 1/2 turbinado & 1/2 coconut sugar) 

1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup coconut oil, unrefined

3 (lg or xl) eggs

1 t. vanilla

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup dark chocolate chips (tossed with 1 T. flour)

2 cups whole wheat white flour

1 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1/2 t. kosher salt

2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. cloves

1/8 t. nutmeg (or large pinch)

2 t. cinnamon 

1/2 c. peanut protein powder or whey protein powder (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350º F. 
Lightly grease large muffin pans with coconut oil or line with muffin cups.

In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well Incorporated. Stir in vanilla, yogurt, zucchini and chocolate chips.

In another bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into large muffin pans. 
Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes. 
Cool on a wire rack.  

Note: Do not overcook as they will dry out. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

In it to END IT

Slavery must end. Today we raise our collective voice for those who cannot raise theirs.  #EndItMovement

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Rights

Laying down my rights, stepping out in faith, trusting my God who is ever faithful.

Huge Movement toward Ending It

This is awesome in the fight against slavery and human trafficking which is so close to my heart.  Sen. McCain, Sen. Bob Corker, Ashton Kutchner and Elisa Massimoni totally rock and I am so excited that this is coming to a bigger awareness where action can be made and rescue can begin to happen on a larger scale.  Ashton's testimony is so compelling and exciting! Thorn is doing amazing work.  Thank you God for this. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

End It . . . Action We All Can Take

Perspective! Pornography is the CATALYST of SEX trafficking. It objectifies both parties involved. It is the machine that drives the engine. Endorsing Pornography=Endorsing Sex Trafficking. Something to ponder: 
(#Repost @dalepartridge) ...It doesn't matter how many red X's you draw on your hands if those same hands are clicking on pornography sites in the darkness of your bedrooms. Recent statistics support that one-third of the girls in the videos you're watching and on the sites you're visiting are being actively trafficked. Quit the ignorance. Study after study support the unarguable connection between the growth in pornography viewership and the rise of human trafficking. In other words, your online participation is the very fuel the trafficking industry uses to maintain its growth. So you can keep on watching your documentaries, you can keep on partaking in your public protests, you can even keep on praying for these girls, but until you recognize that your online habit is wrong, sinful, and dangerous your efforts will remain impeded. 

Photo via @nytimes #DaleyWisdom #enditmovement #humantrafficking #purity

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Why we freeze zucchini

A little bit of summertime from the freezer on this cold morning! 


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Perspective

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be grateful! Enjoy your day with family and friends, remembering above all it is Christ who enables us from death to life! Speak words of life with those around, be a light and a difference that makes them want to know "who is this Jesus?" 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. - Col. 3:15