Gingerbread Truffles!

The holidays may have come to an end, but winter is still in full swing (even here in California! lol). Each month L & I send out an informative post card to our Real Estate clients in town with a simple, yet DELICIOUS recipe on the back for them to enjoy … this month’s was SO good we thought we’d share with you all too!

*Our only substitute was  Ghirardelli white chocolate chips instead of the vanilla almond bark, which melted so easily and tasted divine! 

Ferguson, Loralee-207134.cdr

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-L&A

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Stuffed Artichokes

The thought of baking artichokes (in any form) has always been overwhelming to me. But I picked these bad boys up from Baron’s on my way home and told myself today’s the day I conquer this fear! Ha! Naturally, I Googled for a recipe and the first one that sounded good I went with! The result being one of the most delicious artichokes I’ve ever had! And the most simple, non-overwhelming dish to prepare!

Stuffed Artichokes

Ingredients:
3 artichokes
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Cut the stems from the artichokes to leave a neat, flat base. Lay each artichoke on its side, and cut away the upper third with a sharp knife. With kitchen shears, remove the prickly leaf tips from each remaining leaf. Rub the cut sides and bottom with a lemon slice, squeezing lemon juice onto the cut areas and set aside.

3. Place the prepared artichokes, lemon slices, and bay leaves in the boiling water and simmer, partially covered, until the bottom is tender and can be pierced with a sharp knife and an outer leaf pulls out easily, about 25 minutes.

4. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.

5. To the onion pan, add the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds.

6. Remove from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs, lemon zest, Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Mix well and adjust seasonings with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7. Drain the artichokes upside down in a colander.

8. When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, press the leaves gently back so that the artichoke opens to reveal the inner choke and prickly leaves. Pull out the cone of undeveloped white leaves and gently scrape out the choke with a spoon so as not to damage the heart. Gently pull the leaves outward from the center until the leaves open slightly.

9. Fill the artichoke cavities with bread stuffing, and pack a little bit into the space between the leaves.

10. Place the artichokes in a baking dish and drizzle the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

11. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the dish and place in oven. Bake until the artichokes are golden brown and the bread crumbs develop a nice crust, about 10 to 15 minutes.

12. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle some grated Parmesan. Serve with additional lemon wedges.

Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed

 (And everyone will think you’re a gourmet chef hehe)

-A

Adventures with “The Paleo Kitchen” Cookbook!

Let me start by saying this cookbook is everything I’d hoped it would be and MORE!

From how beautifully set up it is, to the absolutely DELICIOUS recipes inside! George (of Civilized Caveman) and Juli (of Paleomg) truly out did themselves. My first choice was the Cinnamon-Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread, and it was divine! The simplicity of both the ingredients and preparation made the end result even better! Can’t wait to try out their next recipe!

If you haven’t picked up your copy of “The Paleo Kitchen” run out and do so now, for this and many more recipes! You will not regret it!

Ingredients

For the pan
  • coconut oil, to grease the pan
For the banana bread:
  • 4 medium bananas (about 1 pound)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted grass-fed butter, melted
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt
For the swirl:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the bananas, eggs, butter, and almond butter in a food processor or mixing bowl and mix until the ingredients are well blended. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt and continue to mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
  3. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, mix together the swirl ingredients. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate has melted.
  4. Pour the bread batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. As soon as you pour the batter, pour the chocolate swirl directly on top and use a knife to swirl the chocolate throughout the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.

*UPDATE: Julie featured my photo as one of her faves! Check it out below! :]

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Enjoy!

-A

 

 

 

Paleo Thin Mints

Paleo Thin Mints

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, today’s treat is a delicious guilt-free take on everyone’s favorite Girl Scout Cookie … the Thin Mint! These are so delicious it will be hard for you to believe they are paleo, gluten and dairy free!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp. coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut cream
  • 1/4 Cup RAW honey
  • 1 tsp. organic peppermint extract
  • 6 oz. ENJOY life mini chocolate chips (for melting)
  • 1/2 tsp organic peppermint extract

Directions:

  1. In your food processor, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder
  2. Pulse in coconut cream, honey and peppermint until doughy in consistency
  3. Freeze dough for 10-15 minutes
  4. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out dough
  5. Transfer onto a non-stick baking sheet (or parchment paper)
  6. Bake at 350 for 4 minutes
  7. Cool completely, then freeze for about an hour
  8. Once completely froze, melt chocolate and peppermint in a small saucepan (or in your microwave)
  9. Dip each cookie into chocolate, then place on to parchment lined plate
  10. Transfer plate to freezer for chocolate to harden (about an hour)
  11. Serve & Enjoy!

-L&A

Chocolate Almond-Coconut Muffins

Chocolate Almond-Coconut Muffins

Happy hump day everyone! To get you through the mid week rut, we have a truly scrumptious chocolate treat for you to enjoy! These muffins are super simple to bake and will have you licking the spoon (seriously the batter tastes JUST like brownies, too good to be true! hehe)

Give it a try for yourself and let us know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 1 C. Barney Butter Cocoa + Coconut Almond Butter
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 C. vanilla spice maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C. coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 C. Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add cocoa powder, mix. Add coconut flour, mix. Finally add baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt, mix well.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop batter into greased or lined muffin tins  (this recipe will make about 9-10 muffins)
  6. Sprinkle some extra chocolate chips on top and place into the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

-L&A

Banana Bread Coffee Cake

Banana Bread Coffee Cake

It has finally started to drizzle in southern California, and we are so excited about it! So in honor of this chilly weather we’re staying indoors, brewing some fresh coffee and whipping up this DELICIOUS Banana Bread Coffee Cake! It is another great recipe from paleomg.com and it truly hits the spot!

Give it a try for yourself, this super moist totally paleo treat is the perfect way to start (or end) your day with a treat!

Ingredients:

  • 3 brown bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup almond butter (or other nut/seed butter)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
For the toppings:
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) grass fed butter, at room temperature (or coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup pecans, crushed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8.5×4.5 baking dish with oil then line the middle with parchment paper. It will make it easier to remove from the pan without it coming apart.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, and almond butter.
  3. Then add coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
  4. Pour batter into baking dish. Place on a baking sheet.
  5. In a small bowl, add butter, coconut sugar, almond flour, cinnamon, and pecans. Use your hands to mix the toppings together.
  6. Place chunks of the toppings all around the top of the banana bread mixture.
  7. Place in oven to bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Berry Bliss Bars

Berry Bliss Bars

Why is it that healthy desserts just don’t quite seem to hit the spot the same as their sugar and dairy filled counterparts? And how does one replace the many delicious frozen treats with healthier options? Well we’re happy to say that these Berry Bliss Bars are the answer!! A scrumptious treat for your tummy and your taste buds that you just won’t believe are sugar-free, diary-free and totally paleo!

Go on, we dare you! ;]

Ingredients:

For the crust
  • 5 dried dates, pitted
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
For the toppings (part one)
  • 2 teaspoon coconut milk/water
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the toppings (part 2)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of coconut milk (placed in refrigerator overnight), only use the cream on top, leave behind the coconut water/milk at the bottom
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place dates in food processor and pulse to break down into pieces.
  2. Then add almond butter, coconut, honey, vanilla extract and salt and pulse turn on to blend until ingredients are well combined.
  3. Line a bread pan with parchment paper, add ingredients from the food processor and press down until even throughout. Place in freezer while finishing the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Scoop out the coconut cream that has settled at the top of your canned coconut milk and place in the bowl and back in the fridge.
  5. Place 2 teaspoons of coconut milk/water that is at the bottom of the can, into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  6. Add raspberries, blackberries, honey and lemon juice in the pan and mix together. Let simmer for less than 5 minutes or until the berries become just slightly soft. You don’t want a soup. Let cool.
  7. Now mix together the coconut cream, honey, and vanilla extract in the bowl that you placed in the fridge.
  8. Once the berries have cooled, finishing the layers. Add the coconut milk mixture on top of the crust, spread out evenly, then pour the berries on top, once again evenly.
  9. Place in the freezer for 1+ hours to harden a bit. And serve.
  10. *To store these, store them in the fridge. The coconut milk will melt fast.