Get In Touch

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gingerbread Cake with Optional Lemon Curd Topping

Yesterday was my mom's birthday (yay!). But I'm not going to tell you how old she is, because I value my life. ;) I love celebrating birthdays or holidays, because I get to make dessert. Somewhat fancy desserts, even. I also just like to celebrate things. It makes me happy. :)

We had a bit of an adventure last night when my grandparents took my whole family out to dinner to Olive Garden. On the way there, there were several stoplights that were out, meaning they were stuck on red or green or were flashing. That itself was peculiar, but what happened next was even stranger. After we had ordered and gotten our food and whatnot the electricity went out! The only light to see by was the light outside and the emergency lights in the builiding. They couldn't even cook anymore. So we got a free dinner (except for the tip to our extremely kind waiter)! Free dinners are always nice.

Okay, story time's ever now, folks. Sorry for that little interlude.

The idea for this cake came from a Trader Joe's sample my dad had a few months ago. He had the sample during Christmastime obviously, but it doesn't have to be Christmas for you to eat gingerbread. Gingerbread is good any time of the year. Especially when something warm and spicy is what you're craving. The lemon curd in this recipe adds a nice zap of tartness to the cake and I highly recommend it. I didn't know that lemon and ginger went so well together. Now that I do I will definitely be trying that flavor combination out some more.

I based the recipe for the cake off of the one in the Paleo Paren'ts Beyond Bacon cookbook, so it does have lard in it. However, you can easily substitute the lard with butter or coconut oil. I don't know what you could use for the eggs, though. Maybe some extra oil and three flax "eggs"? If you try something out, post it in the comments! I love hearing when you guys make substitutions and they turn out good. It makes my job somewhat easier. Lol ;)

1/2 c. lard, room temperature
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. blackstrap molasses
3 eggs and 2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. coconut flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 baking soda
lemon curd, optional

1. Using a hand held electric mixer, beat together the lard, honey, and molasses for about three minutes on high or until light and fluffy.
2. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Whip until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the coconut flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. I don't own an acutal sifter so I used a strainer.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Beat until combined.
5. From here you can either make cupcakes or pour the mixture into a greased 9" cake pan, like I did. Bake in 350 degree oven for 17-19 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes in it with a fork and spread the lemon curd over the top of the cake.
7. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve with vanilla ice cream.

Inquiry of the Day:

Has the power even gone out when you've been in a restaurant?

Continue Reading...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mexican Eggs

Firstly, I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day! It doesn't matter if you spent it with family, friends, or a significant other, I just hope it was great and that you ate lots of chocolate. ;) I know that I sure did.

My dad, sister, and I decided it would be a great idea to make dinner for my mom. (And do the dishes, of course. Well- most of them. ;) We ended up making chopped sirloin with a mushroom gravy, sweet potato fries, and a delicious apple cherry salad with candied walnuts and a cherry vinigrette. See? I love my mom so much I made mushroom gravy for her. (Those of you that've been around for a while probably know how much I loathe mushrooms.) Oh, and I made this amazing chocolate lava cake that you absolutely must try. It's like heaven in a dish.

That morning (Valentine's Day) I went to spin class like super early with my parents. I had only gotten about four hours of sleep that night, but, for some reason, I was super awake. Like more awake than when I get eight hours of sleep. Go figure. Anyways, after an awesome spin class, I showered and made breakfast, which just happened to be this recipe. It was super easy and really good. A great change from the classic bacon (or sausage) and eggs. Although, it would've been better with ground chorizo...

If you, like me, find yourself in a breakfast rut fairly often I would highly recommend trying this recipe. I based it off of a dish I had while in Chicago. The eggs were scrambled with bacon, onion, ancho chile peppers, and were topped with avocado. Bacon would be good in this recipe, too. Along with the avocado. It adds a certain flavor depth to the eggs that I enjoy.

1 T. butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
1/2 link of Mexican chorizo, diced or 1/4 lbs. ground chorizo
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/3 c. peppers of any kind, chopped
3 eggs, beaten.
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 c. shredded queso (optional, but highly recommended)
optional: top with avocado, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, etc.

1. In a small pan, melt your butter.
2. Once the pan gets hot, saute your onions and peppers.
3. When the onions turn slightly translucent and your peppers are soft, add your chorizo. Saute until chorizo is heated through.
4. Pour the beaten eggs into pan and scramble with salt and pepper. I like to use a salt I got from Trader Joe's that has a chipotle garlic flavor to it.
5. At the last minute, after the eggs or cooked to your liking, top with cheese and cover with a lid until the cheese is melted.
6. Dish onto two plates and top with your favorite toppings.

Inquiry of the Day:

How did you spend your Valentine's Day?

Continue Reading...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Red Curry with Fish

I posted a recipe similar to this a few months ago, but, personally, I think this one is much better. Thai curry is one of my favorite foods on the entire planet. Give me green curry, red curry, yellow curry, panang curry, masaman curry and I'll eat it. Or any Thai food for that matter. ;)

The best part of this recipe is that you don't have to use fish. Any other kind of meat would work just as well. Even beans or tofu would be good! And you don't have to use just the vegetables that I have written in the recipe. Be creative and play with it.

I took the easy route on this recipe and used curry paste. But if you, unlike me, are more adventurous, by all means make your own curry paste. However, I have found a fairly clean brand of curry paste. It's not vegan, unfortunately. But it is gluten, soy, dairy, and nut free. I found my curry paste at our International Market and it was cheaper than what you can get it for on Amazon. So I would recommend looking there before you try the Internet. Thai Kitchen has a vegan red curry paste, but it costs about $5 per each little 4 oz. bottle. That's only enough paste to make one or two curries.

On a different note, next week it's going to get warm (maybe)! Like in the 40s and 50s! I was super excited when I found this out. I'm so sick of the cold and snow. It's time for spring and green leaves and grass and blooming flowers. Ugh. Spring can't come soon enough.  

1 lbs. firm white fish, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 lbs. asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
3-4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1/2 large onion, sliced
2-3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
100 g curry paste
1/3 c. olive or coconut oil
2/3 c. coconut cream
2 1/3 c. light coconut milk
2 T. coconut sugar
3 T. fish sauce or soy sauce
cauli-rice or brown or white rice, for serving
Thai dried chilies, to taste (optional)

1. In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Whisk in the curry paste and stir gently for about 1 minute.
2. Add the coconut cream and stir for about two minutes. Then add the coconut milk and simmer for another three minutes.
3. Sprinkle the coconut sugar and fish sauce of the coconut mixture. Stir to combine.
4. Add your potatoes, carrots, and onions. Bring your curry to boil and cook your vegetables for about 10 minutes.
5. Then add your asparagus and fish. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until fish and aspargus are cooked through.
6. Serve over whatever type of rice you have and enjoy!

By the way, this recipe easily makes 8 servings, so you can cut it in half if you need to.

Inquiry of the Day:

What's your favorite type of curry?

Personally, mine is green curry with pork. It's super yummy. :)

Continue Reading...

Friday, February 7, 2014

"Fried" Pickle Chips

Fried pickles are a Midwest favorite. You can find them at any sports bar or even some local sandwich places. And they are a favorite rightly so. If you've never had a fried pickle before, you're definitely in for a treat. Imagine crispy, dill pickles dipped in a creamy ranch sauce. They're a nice break from the usual fries and burgers tradition.

This recipe passed my best recipe-testers: my family. They definitely are a very picky bunch and aren't afraid to tell me when something I make truly is horrible. So, you can trust my judgement when I say these pickles are superb.

I do use egg in this recipe, but you can easily substitute with milk or an egg substitute. And if you can't have corn, use all almond meal. If you don't want any almond meal, use all corn meal. It's really up to you. Although, I highly recommend serving the finished product with either ranch or a blue cheese dip. Oh, and, if you really want, you can fry instead of bake the pickle chips. But I can't vouch for the results if you fry them. It would definitely be worth trying, though.

1 16 oz. jar dill pickles
2 eggs
2 T. tapioca starch
2 T. almond flour
1 T. worcestshire sauce
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. corn meal
1/2 c. almond meal

1. Drain you pickles and pat them dry.
2. Grease a cooling rack (very well) and set it on top of a baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, mix eggs, tapioca starch, almond flour, worcestshire, hot sauce, garlic, pepper, and salt together.
4. Stir together the almond and corn meal in a pie plate or plate.
5. Dip each pickle into the egg mixture, then the corn/amond meal mixture, and place on the cooling rack.
6. Broil for 6 minutes.
7. Serve immediately with ranch or a blue cheese dip.

Inquiry of the Day:

Lately, I've been trying to come up with more savory recipes to share with you guys. If you have any ideas please so say in the comments! I'm also looking for suggestions from readers. Or, if you'd like to guest blog, let me know about that, too. I'd be glad to let you!

Continue Reading...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chai Bread with Cinnamon Swirls

Every time I try to spell chai, it always comes out as "chia" the first time around, then I have to go back and switch the 'a' and 'i' around. It's kind of annoying actually. So I try to consciously think of how to spell chai everytime I type it out. Anyway, sorry for that brief interruption. On with the bread...

In this cold, snowy weather I really crave chai tea. I love the spicy and versatileness of it. It's a warm, comforting flavor that I try my best to indulge in every day. Since I love chai tea so much, I've been looking for ways to put it into food. I've seen a lot of chai banana/pumpkin bread recipes as of late and thought that I might as well jump on the bandwagon.

This bread packs in all the flavors of chai that you love in the form of a warm loaf of bread. It would be even more spectacular toasted and spread with raspberry jam or pumpkin cream cheese and/or eaten with a mug of chai tea. I'm going to try turning it into French toast sometime this week. It would also be good for a bread pudding or a light dessert. However you eat it, I hope you enjoy the bread! :)

2 c. almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 chai tea bags, spices removed
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs or flax "eggs"
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
3-4 T. honey or agave
1 T. milk of choice (may need to add more if using flax "eggs")
2 T. olive oil
1 T. honey or agave
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two mini loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl combine almond flour, baking soda, salt, chai tea spices, and cinnamon.
3. Add the eggs, coconut oil, and honey. Stir well to combine.
4. In a smaller bowl, stir together the olive oil, honey, and cinnamon.
5. Fill each loaf pan half full, then drizzle the olive oil, honey, cinnamon mixture over the batter. Cover with remaining batter. If you have any leftover drizzle mixture, pour ontop the top of the batter.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Keep a watchful eye on it so it doesn't burn.

Inquiry of the Day:

Do you like chai tea? What are some of your favorite kinds of tea?

I really like this cinnamon apple tea we get from Celestial Seasonings. They're Bengal Spice tea is good, too. Along with their coconut chai. 
Continue Reading...


Social Media