Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Strawberry Power Pina Colada Smoothie

This was my breakfast this morning, and it was delicious, I didn't even need to add agave nectar, honey, or stevia to make it sweet.  My husband bought me Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry by Elana Amsterdam about a month ago.  She's also the author of the Gluten-Free Cupcakes and Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, as well as a food blogger of

At first I wasn't sure what the paleo diet was, but apparently it is a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and legume-free diet.  The diet also avoids processed food, but we all should avoid those type of foods.  Anyway, this recipe has a lot of coconut ingredients, but I honestly didn't taste any of it.  It wasn't an overwhelming flavor, you taste the pineapple and strawberries more.  It also called for egg white protein powder, but I just used my rice protein powder instead. 

Here's what you'll need:
  • 3/4 cup bottled coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries ( I used fresh to avoid brain freeze.)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup or 1 serving of rice protein powder (I used the vanilla flavored one by NutriBiotic.)
Puree in a blender and enjoy! Serves two just in case you wanted to know.  ;-)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thin Mints done the Babycakes way

I have always been a fan of all things mint, especially with chocolate, and the Girl Scouts' Thin Mint cookies fit that category.  This recipe was very easy to make, but I feel like the cookies turned out too minty.  I don't know if there was a typo in my Babycakes Covers the Classics cookbook or not, but there was too much mint extract added.  Other than that, the cookies turned out really well.  A lot of my husband's co-workers really enjoyed them. 

Here's what you'll need for the cookies and the topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
  • 1 cup sugar (If you want to keep it vegan buy "evaporated cane juice")
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegan gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons mint extract (I would use less, maybe 1 1/2 tablespoons)

First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, arrowroot, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt.  Add the coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix with a rubber spatula until a thick dough forms.  Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Gently flatten each mound of dough, smoothing the edges with your fingers.  
Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the baking sheets, and bake for 7 minutes more.  Let stand on the baking sheets for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the chocolate chips and mint extract in a small saucepan and place over medium heat.  Stir until the chocolate chips are just melted.  Do not overcook.  Remove from heat.  Dunk the top of each cookie into the melted chocolate or spread it over them (I found the latter easier).  Refrigerate the cookies for 30 minutes on a platter, or until the chocolate sets.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Banana Cake with Coconut Topping

This is another Penzeys recipe which came from their Early Summer catalog.  The recipe is from the kitchen of Ceci Droll, and I think might be one of the best cakes I've made thus far.  It got great raves and reviews from my family when I brought it over for a Sunday night dinner.  I really don't know how to describe this cake, it was just delicious.  I'm not usually a big fan of coconut, but it worked really well with this cake.
Here's what you'll need for the cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Spice (Penzeys) (I added this, it wasn't in the original recipe)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, sour cream or plain yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup very ripe, squished banana (2-3 bananas)

Here's what you'll need for the topping:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (I used unsweetened and it was fine)
  • 5 tablespoons milk 

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9"x13" pan and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Gradually beat into the creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.
Stir in the vanilla and banana and mix until just combined. 
Pour into the pan and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until browned and springy to the touch.  Let the cake cool before frosting.
For the topping:  Turn your oven to low broil.  Beat together the melted butter and brown sugar.  Stir in the nuts, coconut and enough milk to get a nice spreading consistency.
Spread over the cake.  Place under the broiler until bubbly, 5-10 minutes depending on your oven.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Raspberry Chipotle Marinaded Chicken

Once again, it's been a while since I last updated my blog.  A lot has been going on in my life, so I apologize if some of my posts are a month late on here.  This recipe comes from Penzey's.  It comes from a person named Fran Timme.  The marinade is very versatile, it can also be used on pork tenderloin or pork chops.  Since I don't eat pork I couldn't tell you how it turns out on it.  It did turn out very well though on my chicken.  It was sweet and a little spicy but not overly sweet or spicy, it was just right. 

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup raspberry vinegar or wine vinegar (I used wine)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons Raspberry Enlightenment (Penzeys)
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used regular Penzeys, but the recipe calls for Vietnamese Cinnamon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Penzeys Minced Garlic or 1 clove fresh garlic (I just used granulated garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Penzeys Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Regular Mustard Powder
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Pour over 3-4 lbs. of your meat of choice and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. 
Grill the meat to your desired level of doneness over medium high heat. 
We live in a one bedroom apartment, so we have no real girll.