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Easter Dinner 2015! with recipes!

HAPPY EASTER!

Easter-HeLives-small

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23: 42 & 43

Well, Happy Easter Everyone!  Today is Easter, Resurrection Sunday, the day Christ rose from the grave.  A very important day for all Christians.  That’s all I’m going to say, if you have any questions about Easter, just ask.

We had our Easter Dinner last night, Easter Eve.  That’s when the whole family was able to get together.  What ever works. As long as I can have my whole family together, I’m a happy camper.  There were 11 of us, should be 12 but our granddaughter couldn’t be with us this year.  This is my dad’s 91st Easter!  In sorting through stuff a week ago I came across my mom’s Platzgraff dish set, very old.  My mom has been with Jesus for almost 10 years now and these dishes have been packed away since then.  So, when we came across them, we brought them into the house to see exactly what was in there.  Funny thing, there were enough for 11 place settings!  So, they were our Easter dishes this year.

1 Easter Dinner 2015 3 Easter Dinner 2 Easter Dinner

Our menu: I made, Deviled Eggs & Avocado (recipe below), Cream of Asparagus Soup (recipe below), Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Mashed White Potatoes, Leg of Lamb (recipe below) and Stuffed Peep Cake (recipe below).  My daughter in law, Abby made Corn Casserole & Cherry Cheesecake and my daughter in law, Val made Ham (she’s our designated Ham person, she just makes the best ham.  It’s the Love she puts into it according to our grandson Tyler.  I’m sure he’s right) and she made some cookies also.  Both our daughter in laws are very good in the kitchen, as well our our daughter, so I know my sons & son in law are very well taken care of! 😉

Below are my ‘recipes’.  The Stuffed Peep Cake will have a video attached that I found on Facebook I believe.  I will also post my pics and my cake recipe.  I made mine gluten free, its a new recipe and its definitely a keeper!

Oh, before I forget, my daughter, MaLinda, is now a Pampered Chef consultant, so now I’m beginning to use some of their products in my food prep and baking.  Also, my girlfriend, Pam, is now a Wildtree consultant and has me testing out some of her products.  I must say, I’m thoroughly enjoying testing stuff!

Okay, here we go!

DEVILED EGGS & AVOCADO
(these would be great to have, if your having a Green Eggs & Ham meal)

8 deviled egg and avocado complete 1 avocados 2 egg and avocado 4 mayo and spices 3 add sweet relish 5 cream mixture 6 pipe the mixture 7 deviled egg and avocado

Ingredients: 2 ripe avocados, 18 hardboiled eggs, Wildtree Dill Dip Blend, Sweet Pickle Relish, Spicy Brown Mustard (which I forgot! and you do need it)

Okay, simply put.  Peel your hard boiled eggs, I hard boiled mine the day before.  Cut your hard boiled eggs in half, length wise.  Take the yolk out and put in a mixing bow, place the white part on a deviled egg tray and set aside.  Along with the egg yolk, add your avocados, sweet relish, mustard and seasonings.  Mix with mixer or food processor until smooth.  You can spoon into your eggs or use a icing bag and pipe the mixture into your egg whites.  Its entirely up to you, I do it both ways, I had time this time, so I piped them.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  And YES, they are green not yellow.

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP

5 yum 1 soup base 2 add zuchinni 3 add asparagus 4 cream of asparagus soup
Ingredients: 1 stalk of celery cut up, 1 large onion skinned & cut up, 1 pound of carrots, washed well & cut (I don’t skin them you loose too many nutrients, so I just scrub well), 4 cloves of garlic, smashed & skins removed, 2 red bell peppers, enough grape seed oil (or oil of your preference) to coat the bottom of the pot generously.  I use Mrs. Dash Garlic Blend, Salt & Pepper, for seasoning.  3 bunches of Asparagus washed well & cut (reserve 1/2 a bunch or more for the end) and 3 Green Zuchinni washed a cubed. 1 quart Heavy Cream. (If you want to omit the dairy, by all means do so, add your favorite milk, coconut, almond, whatever.  I’m sure the flavor might be a tad different but if you work with your spices, you should be okay, just take your time with spices, add a little at a time and keep tasting.  You’ll know when its right)

I use a big….huge…. soup pot, I really don’t know how much it holds, but I can feed a small army when I make soup.  What you see in the crock pot is only half of what I made.  I made this the day before and just put half in the crock pot to reheat.

So, what I did:

I put the grape seed oil in the pot, heated to almost med/high heat, a little more than medium heat.  Added the onion, garlic, celery, peppers & onion, sprinkled with a generous amount of salt, the Mrs. Dash garlic and some pepper.  Cooked till they were almost translucent. I then added water to fill about 3/4 of the pot, brought to a boil, then reduced to a simmer.  Simmer for a couple of hours.  After a few hours I added the zucchini and 2 1/2 bunches cut asparagus, possibly a little more water and more salt and spice if needed.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce to simmer again.  When the asparagus is soft, you can put the soup through a blender, or I use my immersion blender (if you don’t have one of these and you make a lot of soup, you should have one, makes life easy)  Once blended, add in heavy cream and the rest of the asparagus, taste to see if you need to add any more seasoning.  Once the asparagus is cooked the soup is ready.

LEG OF LAMB

4 leg of lamb 1 leg of lamb 2 leg of lamb 3 leg of lamb
I apologize for not having a photo of the whole cooked leg of lamb.  Everyone was here and I completely forgot.  Sorry.

Preheat oven to 375°

Ingredients used: Leg of Lamb approx. 8 lbs., Garlic powder parsley spice mix, Wildtree Mediterranean Spice Mix, Brown sugar and rosemary.

Make a dry rub using brown sugar (approx. 3/4 cup), garlic powder parsley spice mix (approx 1/4 cup), Wildtree Mediterranean Spice Mix (approx. 3 TBL) & dried rosemary (approx. 1 TBL).  I don’t measure, I just add spice, until it tastes and smells right.

Place lamb in a big roaster pan on a rack, fat side up.  Cut slits in the fat.  Apply dry rub to the underside, then to the top.  Bake at 375° for approx. 2 1/2 hrs, depending on how many pounds your cooking.  Cook till the internal temperature with a cooking thermometer reads 140°.  Bring it out of the oven and let it set for about 20n minutes, cut and serve.  I actually served this with nothing more, sometimes I make a balsamic reduction or just use garlic jam or mint jam.  It’s up to you.

STUFFED PEEPS  CAKE

13 stuffed peep cake

Before getting started watch this video:

Gluten Free Yellow Cake

1 stuffed peep cake 2 stuffed peep cake 3 stuffed peep cake 4 stuffed peep cake 5 stuffed peep cake

Ingredients for cake:
This recipe make 1 9″ x 13″ cake, so you need to make the 9″ x 13″ then you need to make a cake in a bowl like in the video, so you’ll have some mix left over to fill an 8″ x 8″ pan, which you’ll use for snacking on or cake balls or something.  We snacked on it!

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups Betty Crocker Gluten Free Rice Flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup butter, melted (or DF margarine)
  • 1½ cups almond milk (milk or rice milk)
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites (or 2 eggs), I used 2 eggs
 Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour and sugar.
  3. Beat the egg whites.
  4. Add milk and melted butter.
  5. Add the liquids to the flour mixture and beat for 2 –3 minutes on high.
  6. Pour batter into  9 x 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
  7. Place on a cooling rack to cool. Once cooled frost.

8 stuffed peep cake 6 stuffed peep cake 7 stuffed peep cake 9 stuffed peep cake 10 stuffed peep cake 11 stuffed peep cake 12 stuffed peep cake

To put the cake together watch the video.  It’s very easy.  I did not use the marshmallow cream icing, I used 7 minute frosting.  Worked well, of course didn’t look exactly like a peep but did taste like one!  So here’s my recipe for 7 minute frosting:

Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
 Instructions
  1. Place the sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar into a large glass bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a makeshift double boiler. Make sure that the steam has a way to vent out.
  2. Beat with a handheld mixer on high until the meringue make peaks.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and continue to whip until thicken and cooled.
  4. Frost your cake immediately with the frosting. If you leave the frosting, the top will dry out, if you have to leave the frosting, put a damp paper towel on top.

So there are my recipes! Enjoy!  Let me know if you make any!  This cake is amazing, my hubby loved it, my grandson loved the peeps inside.  I probably won’t ever make the stuffed peeps cake again, but the cake will definitely be my cake recipe from now on.

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Paleo Caramel Brownies…my way

PALEO CARAMEL BROWNIES
my way…of course! 😉
adapted from Elana’s Pantry

9 yum

I’m sure I came across this recipe on Facebook, I’m not always looking for new recipes, but this one caught my interest and thought you might be interested to.  Since I’m always interested in health eating and sweets are sometimes hard to come by, I took a look at this recipe on Elana’s Pantry.

Okay, before we get started I want you know to know that I made this recipe twice and the recipes below are the final product.  If you want the original recipes you can click on the Elana’s Pantry links.  These were tested by my hubby and some family and the 2nd batch was the winner.  I also decided to use my ‘Perfect Brownie Pan Set (as seen on TV)‘  I must say, I do like the pan, its the cutter part I’m not in love with, I could easily throw that part out, its extremely hard to clean. So the second batch, my grandson suggested I leave it out and only cut the brownies with it after cooked, which I did, it was still hard to clean, but not as bad.  The 1st batch only filled half of the pan, the 2nd batch I doubled the recipe and it filled the pan.

This is a 3 part recipe, on Elana’s Pantry you have to click on 3 links for the 3 recipes, my altered recipes are all right below.

  1. Prepare and bake brownies (recipe below)
  2. Allow the Paleo Brownies to cool
  3. Drizzle with Vegan Caramel Sauce (recipe below) over the brownies, any left over caramel can be drizzled over the chocolate once it sets.
  4. Drizzle with Chocolate Ganache (recipe below) for my 2nd batch I didn’t drizzle the chocolate, pretty much iced them with it and they liked it better.
  5. Serve.  You can serve with ice cream, drizzle with melted peanut butter as my son did, whipped cream, etc.

brownie mix in pan baked brownies baked brownies completed brownies brownie 2nd batch yum

Paleo Brownies

  • 2 cup almond meal (the original recipe used almond flour which I didn’t have, but thinking it was going through the ninja I figured it would turn into flour.  It worked fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 ounces baking chocolate (100% cacao)
  • 16 dates pits removed (soak for about 15 minutes before using)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon PURE Maple Syrup (or honey, agave or stevia)
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life – Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips (Dairy-free, nut-free and soy-free)
  1. In a food processor (I used my NINJA), pulse together almond meal, salt and baking soda
  2. Pulse in squares of dark chocolate until the texture of coarse sand
  3. Pulse in dates until the texture of coarse sand
  4. Pulse in eggs
  5. Pulse in coconut oil and maple syrup until mixture is smooth
  6. Remove blade from processor, mix in chocolate chips with spatula
  7. Transfer mixture to a greased 9′ x 12 (I used my Perfect brownie pan)
  8. Mixture will be very thick, smooth with a spatula
  9. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes
  10. While cooling make the Caramel Sauce recipe and the Chocolate Ganache recipe, both below.

Vegan Caramel Sauce

  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or coconut nectar (I used the coconut nectar)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (no need to melt first)
  1. Place coconut milk fat, coconut sugar, and coconut nectar in a saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
  3. Continue simmering for 10 minutes
  4. Allow caramel sauce to cool for 5 minutes
  5. Stir in coconut oil until completely dissolved

Chocolate Ganache

  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2.5 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate chips
  1. Combine coconut milk and chocolate in a small saucepan
  2. Heat over very low heat
  3. Stir until melted
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Drizzle over ice cream, brownies or cake

A Gluten Free Christmas Tea


A Christmas Tea2 copy

Yup, It’s January 2015 and I’m posting A Gluten Free Christmas Tea! LOL!  I was only able to do 1 Christmas Tea for Michelle, last year (2014), I send out apologies to my other girlfriends that I didn’t get to have tea in 2014, hopefully this year will be better for having tea parties.

All us gals, at one time or another when we were little girls had tea parties.  Weren’t they fabulous?? Of course they were! Especially the ones we had with our daddy’s.  And then there’s the ones, if you really lucky, to have with your daughter and/or grand-daughter.  I can’t say that my daughter was big on tea parties, she was the only girl with brothers.  She was more the tom boy than the little girl who played bride & had tea parties, but the young woman she’s become can now host her own tea parties and does quite well.  She has become a chip off the ol’ block! plus she’s a personal chef! ❤

Anyway, lets get back on track.  As I said, I hosted 1 tea party in 2014.  Now, what makes a tea party a tea party??  It has to be special.  You have to use a TEA POT and TEA CUPS and I’m sure you all have them tucked away somewhere, if not, pick one up at a yard sale, they’re around and plentiful.

A Christmas Tea5 copy

Your tea party settings need not match, it can be eclectic, it can be seasonal, it can be anything you want it to be. Themes are endless, need ideas, check out Pinterest and your brain juices will start flowing!  Once you pull out the tea pot & tea cups, find a fabric table cloth and the fabric napkins.  The person your having the tea with is worth the fuss.  Let them know they are special.  And, don’t forget the centerpiece!  The centerpiece will tie everything together.

Okay, so we decorated the table, so whats going to be on the menu??  Well, it can be cookies, cake, finger sandwiches, etc.  If your not a baker or just don’t have the time, go ahead a buy something, but DON’T serve it from the container!  This is a tea, you need to serve on your plates (and not paper plates!).  Presentation is EVERYTHING!, its not hard.

My menu: Gluten Free Blackberry Scones with Sweetened Whipped Butter & Baked Rice Pudding and of course a good selection of TEA, herbal and regular.  (You can make all this in advance, but for me, I did it all the morning of, I like fresh and warm)

Blackberry scones and ricepudding1

Here’s the recipes:

Baked Rice Pudding (this is slightly adapted, from Paula Deen’s which you can get here)

Ingredients
1 cup cooked rice
2 1/2 cups half & half or heavy cream (Paula uses milk, I like the richness cream adds)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup raisins (if you don’t like raisins, leave them out, its okay)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch glass baking dish.

Put rice and raisins in baking dish, set aside.  In a large bowl, slightly beat eggs, stir in sugar, vanilla, half & half and salt. Gently pour into prepared baking dish. Place baking dish in a large pan; pour water into the pan to a depth of 1-inch. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until lightly browned and set. Grate cinnamon and nutmeg on top of hot pudding. Cool slightly and cut into squares to serve.

NOTE:  I have doubled and even tripled this recipe, it comes out great every time.

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Gluten Free Blackberry Scones (adapted slightly from Brian Johson, his recipe is here)

Ingredients:

2.5 cups of All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (Brian used Almond Flour but if your worried about nut allergies, use the all purpose)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 organic/pastured eggs
4 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff)
1/3 cup melted butter, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil (I use ghee)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries

Blackberry scones copy

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease a baking sheet with butter or coconut oil.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients.In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until combined.
  • Add melted butter, and honey.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  • Fold in berries.
  • Drop dough onto an oiled baking sheet, with oiled parchment paper (this will just make life easier)  Shape dough into an oval, then cut in half, then quarters, than eighths.
  • Bake 15 -20 minutes (times may vary based on desired consistency)

That’s it. Now, in my oven I had to bake mine almost 40 minutes, probably because I didn’t drop them into individual triangles, like Brian suggested.  When I’ve made scones before recipes always said to do the oval and cut before baking then cut again when you take them out of the oven.  It also makes it easier to check on the doneness you just pick up a slice and check!

If your new to scones, they are not sweet and they are dry.  This is so you can dip in your tea or add sweetened whipped butter!  My fav.  Don’t get nervous thinking where can I get sweetened whipped butter, make you own! It’s easy!

Sweetened Whipped Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
1/8 cup powdered sugar

Place butter in small mixing bowl, whip with electric mixer.  Slowly add in powdered sugar, taste.  Beat until sugar is incorporated and fluffy. If you want it sweeter add more powdered sugar.  Now, use an ice cream scoop to get the butter out of the bowl and scoop onto a serving plate.  TaaDaa!  Just make sure you serve at room temperature.  Enjoy!