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Splendid Peach Ginger Smoothie

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This smoothie was a what’s-in-the-freezer-and-fridge creation. It has the loveliest pastel lime color because of a sneaky handful of baby spinach, but it’s the ginger and peach combination that make it just splendid. I’ve had this for dessert and breakfast several days in a row!

Ginger Peach Smoothie

1/2 cup greek yogurt (original)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

handful frozen peaches (frozen give it the smoothie consistency)

handful baby spinach

about 2 teaspoons honey – I eyeball this amount

about 3/4 teaspoon grated ginger (fresh or frozen) – I eyeball this amount also

Blend until smooth and enjoy while it’s still cold!

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Blondie Tea Cake

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Oh my…right smack dab in the middle of that Blondie Cake are two chopstick sized testing holes. Missed that one amidst  grading over 50 midterms, quizzes and final assignments. I just needed a break from the mundane! Is this tasty little tea cake ever yummy. Dipped like a biscotti, with the texture of brownie, this treat settled our sweet tooth right away.

Blondie Tea Cake

6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

1 cup cake and pastry flour (all-purpose is ok too)

1/2 unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet squares

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Coat an bread loaf pan with a non-stick ingredient (I use coconut oil on a paper towel).
  2. Mix melted oil with brown sugar and beat until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add salt, stir in flour. Add shredded coconut and chocolate (or anything else you may find tasty!).
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set. Cool before cutting.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

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Winter Cider

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Here is a *simple* recipe for making cider for your next holiday bash or family night! Taught to me by the dear friend who gave me these mulling spices as a gift.

WINTER CIDER

The recipe varies depending on how much you want to make. You can’t go wrong, and you can always taste as you go!

2 parts Apple Juice

1 part Cranberry Juice

2 tablespoons Mulling Spices (or toss in 5 whole cloves, half of an orange rind, 1 cinnamon stick, and 2 whole allspice)

In a large pot, pour juice together and add spices. Set on a low heat for 25-30 minutes. Remove spices using a spider skimmer or strainer-sifter. Keep on low heat while serving.

Mmmmm. Enjoy. 

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Stovetop Popcorn

unnamed I share a love for popcorn with my dad and one time for Christmas I got a Popcorn Bowl and Kernel gift from Crate & Barrel from him and my mom. Start the Hallelujah Chorus…all those kernels!

Now I make it almost every week when watching a movie or for an afternoon munch. It’s just a great snack: crunchy, gluten-free, adaptable. Mmhmm.

Stovetop Popcorn

Makes approx. 4 cups popped corn (a personal size)

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive, canola, vegetable oil, depending on your preference. This could change the ratio. So, my rule: use enough oil to generously coat all kernels to create a juicy, popping sound when hot)

1/4 cup popcorn kernels (blue kernels used in this picture)

Olive Oil Spray

Salt

Put oil and kernels in a small pot. Shake around over a high heat until all kernels are coated. Place a paper towel between the pot and the top to collect the moisture while popping. Shake around again as oil begins to heat.

At the sound of the first pop, let it sit until the popping is consistent. Then casually shake over heat until popping slows down. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl immediately.

Coat with olive oil spray and toss…spray and toss. Then salt and toss to taste.

Variations:

Spice it up with a dash of paprika (Yum. Really.)

Make some kettle corn. Put oil and kernels into the pot then add 3-5 tablespoons white sugar and follow the  remaining directions (depending on your sweet tooth, increase or decrease sugar). Be quick about removing it from the heat when finished otherwise the sugar will burn! 

When you just want butter Put 2-4 tablespoons butter in with olive oil and kernels then follow remaining directions. 

OR

Replace the olive oil spray with anywhere from 2-4 tablespoons butter. Pour a bit and toss. Pour the rest and toss. Then add salt.

 

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Beet Apple Soup

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This soup is my go-to. I make a bunch and freeze it in individual serving sizes so I can pull it out for lunches. I just can’t get enough of the warm flavors, the clean experience, the simplicity of this recipe.

The original recipe is Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup from GP’s It’s All GoodI don’t usually have fennel on hand so I make it without (except for once). And I don’t miss it.

Page 79 of  my cookbook is crinkled with a signature pink splotch in the middle of the recipe. When you see the color of this soup…

Beet Apple Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion (white or yellow)

2 garlic cloves

pinch of salt

3 medium beets (peeled and chopped)

2 apples (peeled and chopped)

6 cups (approx.) Vegetable or Chicken stock (i make a bunch of my own and always have it in the freezer)

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic with the pinch of salt. Cook, stirring a bit until softened but not brown.

Add beets, apples, and stock. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to a simmer for 30-35 minutes or until beets and apples are soft.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or blender. Serve warm or chilled.

adapted from It’s All Good

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Onions

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We are a young, newly married couple…on a b.u.d.g.e.t. If you look around a bit, onions are economical and often easy to buy from a local supplier (though we don’t buy organic). I always have them on hand and I often buy in bulk. A little goes a long way when it come to these guys and flavour. Onion-farmer-friend’s of ours said that a bag of onions, if kept in a cool, dry place (even in the fridge) can last up to six months.

My favorite (aside from the mirepoix that is often used in every day cuisine) is to go-to-town, caramelizing them away. Oh boy. All it takes is a little time (and butter or olive oil) and this vegetable is transformed!

These days, these are our most frequented recipes using caramelized onions:

French Onion Soup (This is one of three recipes I tested this fall-it’s a winner)

Philly Cheesesteaks (For that treat)

GP’s White Bean Soup w/ Kale

 Pizza (We almost always do the following: Red sauce, goat cheese, caramelized onions. And. thats. it.)

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Olive Tapenade

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This is one of my favorite entertaining recipes. Bring it to a Christmas party or offer it as an hors d’oeuvre for at home. I learned this recipe from a friend a while ago and adjust it a bit every time. It’s the easiest, yummiest thing!

Olive Tapenade

1 14oz. can artichokes

1 large garlic cloves

1 tablespoon capers

1 1/2 cups kalamata olives (pitted)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processer and pulse until finely chopped (but not pureed!), it should look a little chunky, but you can always adjust it to your preference.

Enjoy with crostini (sliced baguette brushed with olive oil and baked until almost crisp), rice crackers….almost anything!

photo from itv

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