All posts by klee102013

Quick Homemade Ketchup

Quick Homemade Ketchup

 

If you don’t know me personally,  then I must tell you I’ve been known in some parts as the condiment queen.  I adore most condiments,  but not their plastic packaging , high sugar content and weird filler ingredients.

I made it a mission some months ago to try and reduce as much plastic as possible in my life, including in the pantry and refrigerator. It is almost impossible to get plastic totally out of your life, it is so omnipresent in everything, but try I must as we are all so toxic with BPA.  Thus I decided from now on I shall buy no more ketchup in plastic containers.

This recipe is so fast, easy and tasty it also yields way more ketchup for your dollars.  It has the stamp of approval from my family and friends.

 

Quick Homemade Ketchup

1 Can Organic Tomato Sauce (I like Muir Glen brand)

1 Can Organic Tomato paste (I like Muir Glen brand)

1/3 Cup Organic Apple cider Vinegar

2 TBL Maple Syrup (sweetness can be adjusted to your taste)

1 Tsp. Onion Powder

1 Cup Water*

Throw all the ingredients into a saucepan on the stove and cook on medium heat while whisking until desired thickness.  I usually cook it for 10-15 minutes.  Pour into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.

* You may have to add more water after it cools as it may thicken but it will still taste fine

 

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New and Improved Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Man

Happy Holidays!  It has been many moons since I have posted, but I hope to post more in the coming new year!   I have been so busy marking my 50th year, I had no time to sit down and post some recipes.  Man what a fabulous year it has been.  So grateful to have made it this far with so many blessings.  I plan on making it 50 more healthy active years to come.

I love gingerbread  and only indulge once a year, so I want the best tasting cookie for my holiday consumption.   I think this year I finally perfected a great tasting simple recipe that so far has passed the taste test with friends and family alike.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.


New and Improved Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men

1/2 Cup + 2 TBL Butter at room temperature

1/2 Cup Blackstrap Molasses

1/3 Cup Lakanto Sweetener or sweetener of your choice

1 Small Egg at room temperature

2 TBL Buttermilk

Zest of 1 Lemon

1 1/2 Cup Cassava Flour

1/2 Tsp. Baking soda

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ginger

2 Tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp. Cloves

1/2 Tsp. Allspice

1/4 Tsp Xanthan Gum (I find this helps to bind the flour and make it less likely to crumble)

 

  1. Preheat oven to *325 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease with butter.
  2. In a Standing mixer add the butter, sweetener, molasses and mix until creamed.
  3. Add the egg, buttermilk and lemon zest and mix to incorporate.
  4. Finally add the rest of the ingredients and mix until a soft dough forms.
  5. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Roll out dough between two sheets on parchment paper to a 1/4 of inch thickness a little thicker is better.  You may need to dust the parchment with some additional flour to keep it from sticking.
  7. Cut out your cookies and place on the cookie Sheets Bake for 6-8 minutes just until the edges start to turn golden.  They will puff up and get slightly firm.
  8. Decorate or Frost as you please.  I like them plain.
  9. Makes approximately 12 regular sized Gingerbread Men

 

Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Spring!  I keep meaning to post more often, then photography gets in the way, alas I am figuring it out so stay tuned.

Here yet again, is another version of the chocolate chip cookie.  My main flour of late has been cassava flour, it is very versatile and easy to use as a substitute in recipes.  I use this one here.  This recipe I found on the Otto’s cassava flour website here, which is also a good choice of flour too.

Of course I tweaked it just a bit and they turned out fabulous.  If any of you are from the Northeast you will have heard of Freihofer’s cookies, as a kid I ate my fair share of those cookies. Every June they would do a Freihofer’s road race 10 or 5K and tables of these cookies were there for the grabbing. Oddly enough these taste like those cookies, but with much more healthy favorable ingredients and of course they are gluten-free.

I also have been experimenting with a new sweetener it is made from erythritol and monk fruit, it has no glycemic index, no calories, and no impact on blood sugar. It is called Lakanto Sweetener and you can find it here.   Erythritol is a fermented  sugar alcohol and does not cause gas and bloating like other sugar alcohols.  This brand uses a non-gmo sugar alcohol.  Monk fruit or luo han guo is a rare fruit that grows high in the chinese mountains and has been studied for its many health benefits:

  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Able to prevent and decrease oxidative stress related to diabetes
  • Prevent tooth decay
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Inhibit tumor growth
  • Antioxidant
  • Antihistiminic

It is super sweet and you don’t really need to use much of this at all.  It looks like regular sugar and performs the same way as sugar in baked goods.  So go ahead and try something new and let me know what you think.

 


Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 Cup Grass Fed Butter

3 TBL of Lakanto sweetener

1 TBL Maple Syrup 

1 TBL Vanilla

120 Grams of Cassava Flour (roughly a cup but I would weigh it)

1TBL Grass Fed Gelatin ( I use great lakes red label)

1/4 Cup Water

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

  1. In a kitchen aid or stand up mixer, mix Butter, sweetener, maple syrup and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin onto a 1/4 cup of water and dissolve it.
  3. Add the gelatin to the wet ingredients
  4. Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt and blend until it forms a dough.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  6. Use a cookie scoop or teaspoon and form dough balls on cookie sheet, slightly press the dough balls down.
  7. Bake in a *350 oven for 8-11 minutes until just brown on the edges or dough is set up.
  8. Let cool and Enjoy!  Makes about 16 cookies with 1 inch dough balls.

Smashed Potatoes

A close up of a smashed potato
A close up of a smashed potato

 

 

Hello and Happy 2017! It has been a while since I posted, but it is not for lack of material!! It is basically my poor photography skills, alas I am going to make an effort to post at least once a week from now on.

These smashed potatoes are my favorite way to eat potatoes, they are really easy to make and mark my words you won’t stop at one potato. They are crunchy and olive oil soaked like a really good french fry in a different form.

Speaking of olive oil make sure you are buying the real thing when you shop for it. Olive oil has a long history of being adulterated. So do your homework! Here is a great article on how to choose real olive oil.  Once you have real olive oil you will never go back.  I have a bit of an addiction to really good olive oil, it is my main fat source and does have many health benefits.  This is a really great read on the history and scandal of olive oil –Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller.  Your arteries and body will thank you when you do an oil change by ditching the seed oils,(canola and vegetable oils) and go for real olive oil.

 

Smashed Potatoes

10-12 Potatoes of a smaller variety (think yukon golds)

Good olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Place potatoes in large pot of water on stove and boil until the potatoes are soft. (mashable)
  2. Drain the potatoes and place evenly spaced on a cookie sheet.
  3. Proceed to “smash” the potatoes so they are flattened ( I use a metal spatula),
  4. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil all over the smashed potatoes 
  5. Bake at *375 until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy on the edges.  around 35-45 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!  Serves 4-6 

Decadent Gluten- Free Chocolate Bean Cake

img_0520I discovered this delicious cake on a visit back east this summer.  A friend of mine had made it and it sounded so easy and good I decided to try it for myself.  As usual I tweaked the recipe to my liking and have since made it several times for family and friends of all dietary backgrounds.  Only two people,  you know who you are, didn’t care for the cake, but my two daughters were not among them so I consider that a success.  My daughters are my toughest critics and usually ask if I made the dessert,  when I answer yes,  that is enough to turn them away, yes stinkpots they are!!

So after a somewhat involved recipe last post, here is a fast easy tasty dessert that most people will love.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

1 Can organic Chickpeas or White Navy Beans

3 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar or 4 Medjool Dates ( I like the dates but both work well)

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until well mixed.
  2. Pour  batter into a 8×8 greased baking pan.  Feel free to mix in a few more chocolate chips if you like chocolate a lot.
  3. Bake at *350 degrees for about 18-25 minutes until the center is firm be careful not to over bake.
  4. Let cool and eat plain or frost with my whipped cream/ Cream cheese Frosting  (recipe below) or plain whipped cream.
  5. Enjoy! Serves 6-8

Frosting 

1 8oz package organic cream cheese room temp.

1/4 organic whipping cream or coconut cream

1 TBL vanilla

1-2 TBL maple syrup or to taste

Whip the cream into firm peaks add the softened cream cheese and whip until smooth add the vanilla and maple syrup.

Nutty Granola (Oat free)

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I am baaaaaack!!  I have taken quite a long sabbatical from this blog, that does not mean I have stopped cooking or experimenting in the kitchen.  We have had a marvelous spring and summer filled with adventure, travel and good times.  Now we are into my favorite time of year, fall, when the harvest is here and the hoarding for winter begins.

I like the occasional yogurt and granola breakfast and pretty much had given it up since most granola contains oats and trust me you don’t want to be in the same room with me when I eat oats…enough said.  I found this product Paleonola a couple of years ago on a family visit back east and truly enjoyed it, but found it to be a bit pricy and sweet for my taste.  I decided to try to make my own version and with the help of the recipe for vanilla-almond granola from the Against All Grain cookbook, I have made quite an addictive tasty treat with or without the yogurt.

Nutty Granola

1 Cup Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts

1/2 Cup Raw Pumpkin seeds

1 tsp. Salt

2 TBL Maple Syrup

2 TBL Honey

1 TBL Coconut Oil, melted

1 TBL Vanilla

1 TBL Cinnamon

3/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

1/2 Cup Raisins

In a large bowl add the nuts, seeds and salt cover with water and let soak overnight.  (This helps to make the nuts and seeds more digestible).

After soaking rinse the nuts and seeds and place into a food processor.  Mix together the maple syrup, honey. coconut oil and vanilla, add to the nut mixture.  Add the cinnamon, salt and coconut and pulse a few times until combined and the nuts are the size of oats or to your desired size (I like mine more on the chunky side).

Transfer the mixture, spreading it evenly onto parchment lined trays in your dehydrator. With this amount of ingredients I use 3 of my dehydrator trays. (I have the nesco dehydrator).

Dehydrate the granola on the 120 degree setting for 24 hours I usually don’t flip it or mess with it while it is in the dehydrator.

When it is crisp remove it from the dehydrator and place into a large bowl, (it will crisp up even more once it hits the air).  Add the raisins at this time and gently mix them in with your hands.  Feel free to use any dried fruit you desire.  Store in an airtight glass container at room temp.

Enjoy!          Makes about 5 cups of granola!

 

Breakfast Sausage Spice Blend

Breakfast Sausage Spice Blend
Breakfast Sausage Spice Blend

Happy March!

I wanted to share with you my simple spice recipe for breakfast sausage.  I like to get plain sausage when I have my animals processed, that way I can season the sausage according to what my recipe calls for.  Also I then get to know exactly what is used to season my meat.  I am not a big fan of MSG or other undesirable compounds sneaking into my food.

Back in college I went on a dinner date to an all you can eat Chinese Buffet, yes I know cheap date.  I was not as much of a foodie back then and saw no problem with my date’s choice of eating venue.  As I was consuming my plate of varied Chinese buffet delicacies,  I felt a tightening in my chest and my heart rate sped up to an alarming speed. My tongue also swelled up and I was extremely thirsty alas, I kept eating, until at some point, I really thought I was having a heart attack. I was too dumb and embarrassed to say anything, so  I put my fork down and drank water hoping the symptoms would pass.  It wasn’t until later in the evening that they started to dissipate. I realized later that all the MSG in that Chinese buffet food was the culprit to my scary and bizarre symptoms.  Needless to say I learned my lesson and have become much more aware of my food and of speaking up when I feel uncomfortable in all situations, regardless of the company.

I use this spice blend in pork, elk, and antelope ground sausage.

Breakfast Sausage Spice Blend

1 pound  Ground Sausage, pork or game

1 teaspoon Ground Fennel

1 teaspoon Ground or Rubbed Sage

1 teaspoon  Thyme

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Ground fresh Black Pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Maple Syrup (optional)

  1. In a medium-sized bowl add the ground sausage and all the above ingredients.  Mix well with your hands.
  2. Use as you like for breakfast….make patties and fry in a skillet or fry loosely and add eggs for a breakfast scramble.
  3. Enjoy!   Makes approximately 8 breakfast sausage patties.

Baci Di Dama Cookies

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Happy New Year 2016!!!  I am sorry for not posting sooner, as you can see by my photo these were meant as a holiday treat, then again I usually don’t need a holiday to have a treat.  So in that vein, I present to you this addicting little babies.

I found the original recipe on David Leibovitz’s site HERE.  His site is so beautiful and inspiring.  He is an expat baker living in France and has great recipes and stories to share, check it out!!

I have simplified the recipe and of course cut down on the sweetener, I find they don’t need too much sweet and the hazelnut flavor is highlighted even more.

This year in lieu of resolutions, I have decided to try the Wim Hof Method course.  This is a ten week course that encompasses cold immersion and breathing techniques to make you stronger, healthier and happier.

Wim Hof is the Iceman check him out HERE.  He is very charismatic, funny and holds the world record for being immersed in ice water without changing his core body temperature.  I am starting week 4 and so far so good, I really like the breathing technique and the challenge of the cold showers.  My goal is to swim in the Yellowstone River come early spring.  I shiver at the thought, but hopefully by week 10 I will be eager to jump in!!!

 

Baci Di Dama Cookies

1 1/4 Cups Hazelnuts, toasted and skinned

1 Cup Rice Flour

1/2 Cup Butter, room temperature 

1/4 Cup Organic Sugar

Pinch of Salt

3 oz Bittersweet Chocolate

  1. Place the Hazelnuts into a food processor and blend until they are the consistency of fine sand.
  2. In a medium bowl add the hazelnuts, flour, butter, sugar and salt, mix with your hands until the dough comes together.
  3. Roll the dough into logs about an inch in diameter,  it will be a bit crumbly so just keep at it, place the logs in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Working with one log at a time cut it into even segments about an inch in length and roll into balls.
  5. Place the balls onto a cookie sheet and bake at *325 for 10-14 minutes until the tops are golden brown.  Let them cool completely.
  6. In a double boiler melt the chocolate and dip the top of each cookie into the chocolate and place them back on the cookie sheet.  Add sprinkles if you’d like and let the chocolate set up.
  7. Enjoy!  Makes approximately 18 cookies (depending on the size you roll them).

Uncle Ted’s Soft Scrambled Eggs

Uncle Ted's Soft Scrambled Eggs
Uncle Ted’s Soft Scrambled Eggs

Happy Holidays!  I hope your holiday season is joyful and peaceful.

I grew up in upstate New York and until I was in high school, we would get real winter with lots of snow.  It seems every Christmas of my youth, we would get a new red plastic sled.  This was because either we had broken the previous year’s sled, or the kid down the street ,Ray Ray, had stolen our sleds.

You know someone is badass when they are called by their first name twice, and let me tell you Ray Ray was.  That kid was tougher than nails and crazy wild.  I once saw him fall out of a 20 foot tree fort and land like a ton of bricks onto his back.  We all thought he was dead, only to be amazed when he got up, swore a mouthful of expletives and proceed to climb back up the tree to the fort (which he lived in for a while).

Ours was a rough and tumble childhood (not as rough as Ray Ray’s), but all the same we played hard and were always outside.  The hills we sledded on typically had barbed wire fences at the bottom, so you had to bail off your sled or be sliced to smithereens.

Depending on the snow conditions, we would either use our red plastic sleds or if it was packed and icy we used the red flexible flyer runner sleds.  We’d pile 4 kids deep on top of Michael D. and fly down an old unused road, each bump and turn tossing off the top kid.  Someone usually ended up with at least a bloody nose or a head full of burdocks.  Ahh such fond memories of my wild free range childhood, no cell phones or computers or ipads or over protective parents, just simple fun and good times.

These eggs are a far cry from rough and tumble. They are velvety and creamy goodness.  You have to dedicate a little more time and focus to them, but you will be rewarded greatly in the end.  Follow Uncle Ted’s directions to the tee (he is a foodie through and through and knows his stuff), and enjoy the best scrambled eggs you have ever tasted….guaranteed!!

Uncle Ted’s Soft Scrambled Eggs

4 Large High Quality Eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter for the Pan

  1. Heat a small fry pan on medium heat, use a pan that matches the amount of egg meaning not too big or not too small.
  2. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl.  Uncle Ted recommends removing the bit of white that connects the whites to the yolk.
  3. With a whisk vigorously whisk the eggs until a foam forms on top. (approximately 80 whisks).  Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. When the eggs are foamy, add the butter to the pan and pour the eggs in.
  5. Now here is where the focus comes in…continuously stir the eggs with a spatula DO NOT lose focus.  When the eggs are still a bit wet pull them from the heat stir one more time and serve immediately.
  6. Enjoy the creamiest eggs you’ve ever had!!!     Serves 2

Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies
Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

As the weather gets colder, I start craving hardier foods and molasses cookies fall into that category.  Something about the rich flavor of black strap molasses and spices, makes this cookie a perfect winter companion.

The Paleo Mom just posted about all the great benefits of unsulfured black strap molasses, which you can read HERE.  And read it you should, you will be amazed at all of the great nutrition in this sweetener.

I have made 3 half batches of these cookies and after eating 4 or more, gave them away only to make another half batch to eat and give away (Pete and repeat).  I tested these on non-gluten- free people and they had no clue they were gluten-free and low on the sweetener.  They have that crunch on the outside and are soft and chewy on the inside.

Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

2 Cups Almond Flour

6 TBL Butter, melted

5 TBL unsulfured Black strap Molasses (like this one)

1TBL Vanilla

1 TBL Ground Ginger

1 TBL Cinnamon

1 tsp Cloves

3/4 tsp Allspice

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

Coconut Sugar or Organic Sugar (to roll cookie dough balls in)

  1. Preheat the oven to *350 Degrees, Line a cookie sheet with parchment or lightly grease with butter.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter and add molasses, and vanilla
  4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients, Mix until all is incorporated
  5. Scoop out cookie dough with a cookie scoop and roll into a ball
  6. Roll the ball in the sugar, coating all sides, place on cookie sheet, slightly press each ball down.
  7. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minute until the tops begin to crack and the edges darken slightly.
  8. Let cool completely and enjoy.  Makes about 20 cookies