Chocolate Raspberry Heart Tarts

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Tarts

I know that it’s too early for Valentine’s Day things (well, Walgreen’s clearly disagrees), but since when are heart-shaped red chocolaty things just for Valentines?

insert a diatribe about cultural  food norms. i did this to save you having to read two rants. second rant below.

Okay, well maybe it’s not so much a rant as an observation. I think the whole Valentine’s Day being Singles Awareness day is true. When you’re single and it’s mid February, you are painfully aware of the fact. When you are in a blooming relationship, you freak out that you might become single if you mess this day up by either over celebrating or under celebrating.

But when you’re in a committed relationship, Valentines Day barely registers. You’re aware of the cute fuzzy animals in the store, and you maybe buy discount chocolate the next day, but that’s about it.  The year we got married, I got Jason a last-minute pink cake pop and he got me nothing.  I would have gotten him nothing too, but I just happened to already be at Starbucks and I know he loves those things.**   We made burritos for dinner. Nothing says romance like burrito breath and bean toots.

**And watching a big tall grown man eat a pink cake pop is pretty much the cutest thing ever. 

Valentines Day is also for your Nana, but that’s a different kind of love not applicable to this discussion. And maybe Valentine’s Day is also for very strict Catholics who still attend mass on every single Feast day. When I was in high school, my mom would get mad at me when I said I didn’t like 2/14, because I was apparently committing some sort of heresy by denouncing the Feast of Saint Valentine.

So…….I totally get if you don’t like Valentines or whatever, but you can still love chocolaty jam-filled things.

Speaking of love (or not love), here are some reasons to become enamored with — err get excited about — these tarts.

This almond-flour based crust is really easy and you can make in a blender. Cool! You use a banana as the binder, but make sure you use a greenish banana because riper ones will make the crust too wet.

The filling is made with my favorite homemade jam. Just dates and frozen raspberries. I love the pucker you get from raspberries, because it goes so well with the chocolate sweetness. But if you don’t like tart raspberries, I would recommend increasing the amount of dates in the recipe.

These freeze well (as long as you wrap them individually) so if you make them now, you can still have them in February. Make them for yourself, for someone that you love, or for a group of pals.

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Tarts vegan gluten free

 

Oh! I finally made a Facebook for this blogaroo. Check it out  here, and do the whole “like” thing. Please? 😀

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Tarts

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 greenish banana
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • filling
  • 8 oz bag frozen raspberries
  • 5 dates*
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

    Filling
  1. Place the raspberries in a small saucepan and cover. Cook over medium heat until raspberries defrost and liquefy --- this should happen very quickly.
  2. Add the dates and continue to cook for another two or three minutes.
  3. Blend the dates and raspberries together until smooth, then return to heat. Cook over medium for 9-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Towards the end, you may want to reduce the heat some so you don't get splattered on. Remove from heat.
  4. Liquify the banana in a blender. Ad the rest of the crust ingredients, minus the baking powder. Blend till an even consistency is reached. Manually incorporate the baking powder into the dough.
  5. Divide the dough into six balls. Press the balls into a heart shaped cookie cutter. Remove the cookie cutter.
  6. Flatten & widen the hearts with your thumb, making large well in the center about (just under) 1/2 inch deep.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350
  8. Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler.
  9. Fill the well in the hearts with the raspberry jam, and swirl in the chocolate,
  10. Bake for 16-17 minutes.
  11. Serve with love. Optional: Sprinkle big salt flakes over top.

Notes

*for a sweeter jam, use 7 dates

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/chocolate-raspberry-heart-tarts/

raspberryheart3

Ugly Christmas Sweater Apple Gingerbread

ugly sweater gluten free vegan gingerbread

This gingerbread almost didn’t happen. I made it so many times and it kept failing on me, and I was about to give up. Aw heck. But this final result made it all worth it — moist and spicy and sweet. Soft, toothsome. It’s a gingerbread dream.

I’d found a little bag of mini cookie cutters at the flea market and I bought them on a whim with no real plans for them. There was a gingerdude somewhere in there too, but I lost him. I’m sure he’ll turn up when I’m looking for something else. Still — Apatosaurus cookie cutter. 🐪

yes, i realize that is a camel emoji, but i’m pretty sure there’s no dino emoji. so squint and pretend the camel is a dinosaur.

This gingerbread is so very easy. It starts with a basic homemade apple sauce, and then you just throw in some molasses and ginger and other sweet things. I realized after I put it in the oven that I hadn’t put any oil in (which the other recipes did have).  So no extra oil, yay! But it does have quite a bit of added sugar. Legal addictive substances, yay!

ugly sweater gluten free vegan gingerbread

Speaking of substances, this was also supposed to have rum in it, but I went through all of the rum on the trial runs of this. Part of the rum went into the apple gingerbread, and part of the rum went me. Rum can soothe many a kitchen disaster, but it can also cause them.

ugly sweater gluten free vegan gingerbread

While I’m on the topic of booze, I  just realized it’s legal to sell diluted spirits here. Whhhhattt! That’s no fun. If I’m spending the money on it, I want whatever percentage it left the distillery at. I’m already a cheap date (two drinks and I’m done) so I don’t think it’s a lot of ask for, right? Now I have to be a label hawk on my booze too. Who’s idea was this? Probably some tax driven thing or what not.

I guess this cake is like a good spiced rum, even though it ended up not having any rum in it. It’s full flavored, deep and dark and satisfying. It’s just the thing to bring to your ugly sweater party.

ugly sweater gluten free vegan gingerbread

Ugly Christmas Sweater Apple Gingerbread

Ingredients

  • 6 apples
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, plus 3 tsp
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp vanilla (I used Rodelle)
  • 2 cups of Bob's Red Mill GF flour in the blue bag
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

  1. Chop up 4 1/2 of the apples. Place in a pot over medium heat, with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Snap the cinnamon stick in half and put in in there as well. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, discard the cinnamon stick, and puree till smooth.
  2. While the apples are cooking, carefully cut the remaining 1 1/2 apples into thin slices. Use mini cookie cutters to get shapes out of the slices. Place the shapes in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350
  4. You should have ended up with about 2 1/2 cups of sauce, maybe a little more. You won't end up using all of the sauce.
  5. Combine two cups of the apple sauce, the vanilla, the molasses, the brown sugar, and the ginger.
  6. Combine the flour, salt, baking power, and baking soda.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones.
  8. Pour batter into a lined pan. Pat the apple cutouts dry, and then arrange on top of the batter. Sprinkle a little brown sugar on top of the apple pieces
  9. Bake for 45-48 minutes. I baked it for 48, and it came out super moist.
  10. Combine 4 tsp of the apple sauce with 3 tsp brown sugar. Brush over top as a glaze. This step is optional.
  11. Enjoy!
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/ugly-christmas-sweater-apple-gingerbread/

Although I mention two brand names in this recipe, this is not sponsored content. I did receive a free box of Rodelle goodies as part of a giveaway.

ugly sweater gluten free vegan gingerbread

Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free) easy gluten free christmas cookies homemade christmas candy

I’m so excited to share this cheery little forest with you! 🌲 🌲 🌲

But first, how were y’all’s Thanksgivings?

Mine was wonderful. I worked in the morning, where I witnessed so much goodwill that I was literally jumping for joy (traditional sense of literal). It put me in a good mood right then and there.

I thought I was going to be wiped out by the time I got off, but everybody’s kindness must of energized me. I went home and changed and didn’t even need a nap before heading over to dinner.Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free) easy gluten free christmas cookies homemade christmas candy

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, large gatherings make me nervous. But for some reason, I was fine almost the whole time. I got there late, so everyone had already eaten and where heading out for a walk.  That was really nice, too. I feel like in my family, everyone would have waited for me to get there. Then they would have laid on major guilt about making everyone wait.

Since everyone had eaten, there was no awkward “you go first no you go first” line and I just scooped up leftovers here and there, taking as much as I pleased. Mainly I ate cheesy potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Jason’s aunt makes some really good cheesy potatoes. I might try to steal her recipe, but add jalapenos or something.

It was the most relaxed Thanksgiving I’ve ever been to, and I got to hold a baby in my lap the whole time.*

*this does not mean I’m ready to have one of my own. 

So. I love my family, but Thanksgiving with Jason’s kin pretty much won over every Thanksgiving I had with my own folks.

Also, Jason’s family uses paper plates, which meant FEWER DISHES.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free) easy gluten free christmas cookies homemade christmas candy

Okay, okay, enough about the holiday. Let’s talk about the cheery forest. I wanted to call it a magical little forest, that reminds me of bad paperbacks from the discount bin.

But these trees really are magical. Peanut butter with chocolate is enchanting in almost any form, but particularly if said form is a Christmas tree!

They are wonderfully easy to make. Ground up cereal, melted PB, and coconut oil come together to make this nice pliable dough to form the trees with. Then just a dip in melted chocolate and you’re good to go.

Since they include ingredients almost everyone enjoys, they are a great choice to bring to your next Christmas party. I feel like they’re already a classic in our home, and I hope they’ll be a classic in yours too. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free) easy gluten free christmas cookies homemade christmas candy

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chexmas Trees

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz box of Corn Chex
  • 1 and 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • holiday sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to grind the Chex to a fine, sandy powder. Mix in the salt.
  2. Use a double boiler to melt the coconut oil peanut butter together. It's melted enough when the peanut butter-coconut oil mixture drizzles in a thin, smooth stream off your spatula
  3. Turn off heat, but do not remove peanut butter from heat source. Mix Chex powder, 1/4 cup at a time, into the peanut butter.
  4. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then shape into a ball.
  5. Place the ball on a pan, then tap the pan against a hard, flat surface several times to allow the ball to flatten into a disk that is approx. 1/3 inch thick, diameter 9—9 1/2 inches.
  6. Cool disk in fridge for 5-8 min.
  7. Cut different size triangles into the disk — 28-30 of them.
  8. Stand the triangles up. For the larger triangles, curl the two bottom edges back slightly. They will resemble a slight c-shape from above. This will allow them to stand up without falling.
  9. Place triangles in freezer for 30-35 minutes.
  10. Melt the chocolate. Holding the trees on one side, use a silicone spatula to "paint" the chocolate onto the front and back of the trees. The larger trees will need to be set in the chocolate while you're doing this.
  11. Add the holiday sprinkles.
  12. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.

Notes

For a more kid-friendly method, melt the pb in the microwave and then put the pb bowl over a bowl of warm water while you mix in the cereal.

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-christmas-trees-gluten-free/

 

Double Caramel Banana Chocolate Oat Bars (vegan and gluten free!)

double caramel chocolate banana bars vegan gluten free

So.

So. I might just be in love with caramelizing bananas before using them in baking. It adds an extra layer of flavor and sweetness, subtle and toasty. And a little nutty. Even if you cover the banana flavor with other things (like with the Sour Cherry Scones), the toasty nuttiness remains. Heck yes, I’m tooting the banana horn here.

I’m apparently 8 years old because saying banana horn makes me laugh.

I didn’t use to like bananas, not in smoothies, not in cake, not in anything. But life doesn’t stay the same, and tastes don’t either. Did you ever think that you’d be obsessed with roasting cauliflower? I certainly didn’t, yet it’s rather popular. Probably because roast cauliflower is awesome, as long as you slice it thin enough.bars4

Wait, why am I talking about vegetables at a time like this? Y’all are here today for the caramel chocolate.

These soft, gooey bars get their sweetness twice. Once from the caramel bananas, and then again from a generous pour of a vegan caramel sauce. They are very rich and sweet, which is why I like to cut them into smaller triangles instead of huge bars.  They are more enjoyable that way…and um, you can always go back and get another or two or three. Or call up your favorite people and have them all over for an impromtu caramel party.  That’s a thing, right?

gooey3

 

Double Caramel Banana Oat Bars

Yield: approx 22 small bars, less if cut into large squares

Ingredients

    bars
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk, liquid part only (you'll use the solids for the caramel topping)*
  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden flax meal
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • topping
  • solids from the can of coconut milk*
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp old fashioned oats

Instructions

  1. Grease a small skillet with 1 tsp coconut oil and place over medium heat.
  2. Slice the bananas into the skillet, as thinly as you can get them.
  3. Cook the bananas for 9-12 minutes, stirring occasionally (about once every minute or so), making sure they aren't burning or sticking to the pan. By the time you're done, they should be in an lumpy and mashed in appearance. Remove from heat.
  4. Grind up the cup of oats to a soft, silky flour.
  5. Combine the oat flour, the cornstarch, the baking powder, the cinnamon, and the baking soda. Set aside.
  6. Measure out the liquid from the coconut milk. There should be about 1/2 cup. If you don't have half a cup, fill up as much as you can with the coconut liquid and then add water or almond milk to compensate the rest of the way.
  7. Puree the bananas with the coconut liquid, the vanilla, the flax, and the brown sugar. Blend till smooth.
  8. Add the banana mixture to the oat mixture and stir well until combined.
  9. Add the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to the batter.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350.
  11. Line a 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper and grease with the remaining coconut oil (this step is optional, but it makes cleaning the pan so much easier and also you get all caramel staying on the bars, and not on the pan)
  12. Spread the batter evenly into the baking dish.
  13. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup of chocolate chips over the batter.
  14. Sprinkle the 2 tsp oats over the batter.
  15. Measure out 1/2 cup of the coconut milk solids. There should still be some solids left over, which you won't use for this recipe. If still in a very solid state, warm up in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes liquid and pourable.
  16. Combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar with the coconut milkfat. Stir until an even color and consistency is reached.
  17. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the batter.
  18. Bake for 25 minutes.
  19. Allow to cool before cutting into small triangles.
  20. Enjoy with a cool glass of almond milk.

Notes

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* In order to get the coconut milkfat and liquid to separate, leave a can in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. You can also put in the freezer for a shorter amount of time. Be careful not to shake the can. When sufficiently chilled, you should be able to scoop the milkfat right off the top.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you are the kind of person who likes "extra caramel drizzle" at Starbucks, I suggest increasing the coconut milk solids to 3/4 cup, and the brown sugar to 3/4 cup. This will make them extra sweet and extra caramelly. I prefer to use 1/2 cup of each, but you do you boo boo. 😉

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/double-caramel-banana-chocolate-oat-bars-vegan-and-gluten-free/

Make Your Own Girl Scout Tagalongs (gluten free!)

not just any ol’ tagalong. PUMPKIN SPICE TAGALONGS.

tagalong1

I love this classic Girl Scout cookie, but I always thought they’d be hard to make. I’m so glad I proved myself wrong. You only need eight ingredients, and you probably have most of them in your cupboards already.

I’d rolled out of bed early on a Sunday, cookies on the brain. I stirred and baked and dipped, and by the time that Jas woke up, he had some sugar waiting for him in the kitchen. He smelled the cookies baking and thought I’d made pancakes.  He wasn’t disappointed at not-pancakes. It’s hard to be disappointed with chocolate and peanut butter and spice.

20150920_174020

 

Fall Spice Tagalongs

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies, or less if you used a bigger cookie cutter

Ingredients

  • Cookie:
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree (not prepared pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup hard packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • Peanut Butter Filling
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt (you can make it a full tsp if you like)
  • Chocolate Coating
  • 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Grind the oats into a fine, silky flour. I used my Nutribullet to do this. Set aside.
  2. Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Mix well.
  3. Add the oat flour to the pumpkin mix. You can start out with your spoon, and once it starts balling up, use your hands. Roll into a ball and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. Set the bowl in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  5. Once your dough is firmed up, roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350.
  7. Using a 2-inch diameter cookie cutter, cut out all your cookies.
  8. Place on a greased cookie sheet. You can crowd them as much as you want because they won't spread.
  9. Bake 15-17 minutes. Halfway through baking, pierce each cookie with a fork to let the steam out. They cook funny otherwise.
  10. Allow cookies to cool before adding peanut butter
  11. Melt the PB for about 20 seconds in the microwave, just enough to soften. This will allow you to mix the salt in easier, and also allow for easier spreading.
  12. Mix the salt into the PB
  13. Spread a heaping teaspoonful of PB over each cookie. I found a butter knife worked best to do this.
  14. Set the cookies in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will prevent the PB from melting into the chocolate during dipping.
  15. Once the PB is really hard, remove from the freezer`.
  16. Melt or temper your chocolate.
  17. Using your thumb and index finger as tongs, carefully dip each cookie, PB side down, into the chocolate. You don't have to coat the underside of the cookie (the part with no PB).
  18. If your chocolate starts to harden, give it a quick stir or return it to the heat. You probably won't need to do this, because the dipping goes quite fast.
  19. Set aside to allow the chocolate to harden. Or don't. They taste just fine all melty.
  20. Enjoy!
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/fall-spice-tagalongs/

20150920_174117

P.S. If you use vegan chocolate chips, these can be free of all animal products.

 

 

 


Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pies with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crusts

Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pies with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crusts

I had a pretty wonderful weekend. It was rather busy, but a lot of wedding things that are finished, so I felt rather relaxed.  I worked a lot and ran a lot and didn’t think about the wedding at all. I’m mad for March Madness, so while BGE and I were living it up watching basketball, I made these pies. I have hard time just sitting and watching sports, but I enjoy watching sports while doing other things.

Let me tell you about these little guys. First, they’re vegan and gluten free. Second, they have booze in them – hurray! And best of all, they’re double crusted, which delights me. I’m such a chocolate girl, but I have to say that the real star here is the bottom peanut butter crust.  It’s salty and crunchy and I could eat just this crust and still be happy. In fact, after I made these, a made a few crusts so I could eat them bare.

I’ve always had an issue with banana-based ice cream, because I feel that no matter what you do to it, it still tastes like bananas. That’s not a problem in this dessert, because it’s supposed to taste like bananas. Slightly boozy bananas. And yes, I checked to make sure the rum I used was vegan.

The only hard part was, I made these on Saturday night, and it rained all day Sunday, so I couldn’t eat the pies because I wasn’t able to photograph them until today. I work weekends, so I usually have Mondays off (yes, that’s as good as it sounds). It was so nice and sunny for pictures, I only wish I could have done these pies justice. I’m still working on making food look as good as it tastes.

Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pies with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crusts

 

Life is good.

 

Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pies with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crusts

Yield: 2 4-inch pies

Ingredients

    for the bottom crust:
  • 3 cups of corn Chex, divided
  • 6 tbsp creamy peanut butter, divided
  • salt
  • for the middle ice cream layer:
  • 4 bananas
  • 1/4 cup of rum
  • 10 dates, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts
  • for the top crust
  • 3/4 cup corn chex
  • 5 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter for drizzle, optional

Instructions

    for the bottom crust:
  1. Use a blender to crush 1 1/2 cups of the corn Chex.
  2. Melt 3 tbsp of the peanut butter.Combine peanut butter, crushed cereal, and a dash of salt. Mix it will with your hands and then press into a 4-inch biscuit cutter.
  3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 for second pie, using the remaining cereal and peanut butter. I guess you can do it all in one fell swoop, but I wanted to ensure that both crusts were the same thickness. As it was, they still came out a little uneven. If you don't have a biscuit cutter, you can use a large can with both ends cut off, or even make this into one larger 8-inch pie.
  4. Put crusts in the freezer to set.
  5. for the ice cream
  6. Put the dates in a microwave-safe dish and add water to cover. Microwave 1 - 2 minutes until soft, then drain the water.
  7. Combine bananas, rum, dates, vanilla, and cinnamon in a blender until smooth.
  8. Place mix in freezer till somewhat hardened, then swirl in the salted peanuts. For a smoother consistency, pour banana mixture into an ice cream maker and process. That's what I did, but I can understand not wanting to get your ice cream maker out or just not having one.
  9. Once ice cream reaches a consistency that is just a little harder than soft serve, spoon it onto the crusts. Place back in freezer.
  10. for the top crust:
  11. Melt the chocolate and dip the Chex in, one by one. Place on a parchment- or freezer covered tray. Let them sit for about 8-10 minutes until they are tacky but not completely hardened.
  12. Using your thumb and forefinger, carefully pile chocolate-covered Chex on top of ice cream and return to freezer.
  13. Once chocolate and ice cream are both set, drizzle with additional melted peanut butter.

Notes

For best taste and texture, let these warm up a little bit after you take them out of the freezer. What's five more minutes?

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/bananas-foster-ice-cream-pies-with-chocolate-peanut-butter-crusts/

Brussels Sprout Poppers

brussels sprout poppers brussels sprout appetizers

I haven’t had jalapeno poppers in years, so I can’t say for sure whether these are better than the classic casual dining appetizer. But they’re not fried (extra points for sprout poppers), have a goat cheese-sriracha filling (more points), are gluten free (yada yada points) and made with the best veggie ever, Brussels sprouts. I think we know who wins here. And considering I am a lover of jalapenos and all things spicy, that’s saying a lot. Well, these are spicy too.

The crunchy coating is made from finely-ground corn Chex (or, um, “oven-toasted corn cereal”) and it’s so very crispy. 

I made sure that I got the precious caramelization on the sprouts before I added the cheese. I’ll eat non-caramelized sprouts, but only grudgingly or if I got home late and was really hungry and just wanted to shovel something in my mouth. The thing is, you can’t stir-fry like you’re used to. You have to stir very carefully so that as many leaves stick to each sprout. You also have to be  careful when cutting them. Cut as close to the heel as possible, so as to not lose leaves. 

These taste best when they are hot and fresh and right out of the oven. They just don’t taste anywhere near as good the next day.  Refrigerated-reheated sprouts are never quite as fun.

What is fun is being able to make these right at home, without any of that casual dining flare.

Ok, maybe a little flare.

brussels sprout poppers brussels sprout appetizer

 

 

Brussels Sprout Poppers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sprouts
  • 3 1/2 cups of corn Chex
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dry Italian seasoning mix (Hidden Valley is GF)
  • pinch of salt
  • small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp sriracha

Instructions

  1. Grind up the Chex in your food processor until you have fine crumbs.
  2. Toast the crumbs gently in a sauté pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally so they don't burn. It will take 10-15 minutes. They can go from almost-done to brunt in mere seconds, so watch closely.
  3. Combine the Italian seasoning mix, the Chex crumbs, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Wash and trim the sprouts. Cut them in half lenghwise.
  5. Coat a large sauté pan with non-stick spray or oil and bring to medium heat.
  6. Sprinkle the sprouts with a little salt and place them, cut-side down, in the pan.
  7. Cook for 10 minutes, turn, and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring slowly and constantly, for 5 more minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  10. Combine the sriracha and goat cheese in a blender until an even color and consistency is reached.
  11. Scoop the sriracha cheese into a pastry bag with a larger-than normal piece of the tip cut off.
  12. Place the sprouts on a large tray or baking sheet, cut side up.
  13. Put HUGE dollops of cheese sauce on the cut side of each sprout.
  14. Place the sprouts and cheese in the freezer for 10-12 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 350.
  16. Beat the eggs together with a fork.
  17. When the sprouts come out of the freezer, the cheese should be very hard.
  18. Dip the sprout poppers in the eggs and then in the corn chex crumbs. It's best to use a fork to do all this or else your fingers will be very messy.
  19. Place poppers on a non-stick silicone sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy right away.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/brussels-sprout-poppers/

Berry Cream Pie (paleo and vegan)

paleo berry pie paleo pie vegan berry pie mini pie cute pie

If there’s one thing that I’m infamously bad at, it’s time management. I have a huge calendar right by the apartment door and I have to write stuff in big letters or else I’ll forget about it. And don’t get me started on my poor, abused daily planner. 

The wedding is less than three months away and there’s still so much to do. My aunt, who is pretty much a wedding expert, has this huge list for us and we’re trying to make sure everything gets done on time. We have all the big stuff taken care of, but we’re trying to nail down the details. Honey, I really don’t care what your dad wears. No, mom, I still haven’t found comfortable shoes yet.

Aaaaand the lady who sold me my dress assured me that there would be cloth leftover from hemming to make me some sleeves and there isn’t. So I might not have sleeves, which I had my heart set on. Plus, I’m going back to school and classes start two days after the wedding. So I have to get everything all set for that too.

paleo pie berry pie vegan pie gluten free pie crust cream pie

All this wouldn’t be a problem if I weren’t so terrible at planning.  (Why am I still writing, there are other things I should be doing right now.)

Luckily, this pie comes together lickety-split.

Mix, bake, mix, pour, refrigerate. DONE.

Now excuse me while I go find a mini pizza box to put the rings in. We’re having the ring bearer carry that instead of a pillow, as an ode to BGE’s pizza worship. Thanks to Jocelyn over at Inside Bru Crew Life for the idea!

paleo pie berry pie vegan pie mini pie berry pie cream pie gluten free pie crust

Berry Cream Pie

Ingredients

    for the crust
  • 1 banana
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups of fine almond flour (it depends on how ripe your banana is. The greener is is, the less flour you'll need. If it's on the riper side, you'll need more flour)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • for the filling
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1 can of chilled coconut milk
  • 16 dates
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • for the optional garnish
  • 1/4 of a banana
  • 1/4 cup fine almond flour

Instructions

    for the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mash the banana.
  3. Add 1 cup of almond flour to the banana. If it still seems mushy, add the other 1/4 cup.
  4. Add in the salt and baking soda.
  5. Press crust evenly into a small baking dish (mine was a 23 oz stoneware oval dish, 9 x 6 x 1).
  6. Prick bottom of crust with a fork.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  8. Allow crust to cool before continuing.
  9. for the filling
  10. Put the dates in a microwave-safe dish with enough water to cover.
  11. Microwave them 2 minutes and drain away the water.
  12. Puree dates in the blender and set aside.
  13. Microwave the blueberries until just room temp.
  14. Scoop the fat out of the can of coconut milk. Save the water for smoothies or something, you won't be needing it for this recipe.
  15. In a blender combine the blueberries, half of the coconut fat, and half of the pureed dates.
  16. Pour blueberry mix into the cooled pie crust.
  17. Repeat steps 12-14 with raspberries.
  18. Add the cinnamon and vanilla to the raspberries.
  19. You'll notice that there is a lot less raspberry mix than you had blueberry mix, because raspberries hold less water. That's ok -- it's exactly what you want.
  20. Put the raspberry mix into a pastry bag with the tip cut off. Drizzle over the blueberry mix and then run a knife though it to make a swirl pattern.
  21. Put the pie in the fridge to set, about 4 hours.
  22. for the optional garnish
  23. Combine banana and almond flour, shape or cut into little hearts. Bake for 10-12 min at 350.
  24. Allow hearts to cool before putting them on the pie.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/berry-cream-pie-paleo-and-vegan/

Crispy Kale and Potato Stacks

A few years ago, I was at a diner having brunch with my family. My aunt offered me her leftover hash browns, and I shrugged. Ok. As she passed the plate over, she gave me a sheepish look. “I only ordered them because I like the crispy crust,” she explained.

I looked down at the potatoes. All the crust had definitely been picked off, showing the pasty tubers below. They were pale. There might have been an onion in there somewhere. But they definitely didn’t look or sound good anymore.

And I realized my aunt was right. She was the kind of person who was right about pretty much everything, and hash browns were no exception.

The best part of the hash brown is the crust. So we need a hash brown that is all crust, and these potatoes are nothing but crust. Well, there’s a little kale in there too, but what you won’t find are sad, slimy, undercooked hash brown middles. (Oh, dear please don’t let me have offended the people who like hash brown middles. We’re still pals, right?)

Serve these hot, with a side of sunny side up eggs and a big glass of freshly squeezed juice. We had them as breakfast-for-dinner. There was some leftover sauce and I had it the next morning, mashed up with a hard-boiled egg before work. I’m pretty sure this sauce would be a perfect sandwich spread, or a pasta sauce, or, even a dip. That means you’d be dipping veggies in more veggies, which is a super healthy way to kick off the weekend. And earns you lots of chocolate.

Not that you need an excuse to eat chocolate. ♥

 

Crispy Kale and Potato Stacks

Yield: 10 stacks

Serving Size: 5 stacks

Ingredients

    for the potatoes
  • 4 medium golden potatoes
  • 2 1/2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • for the kale
  • 1 lb kale, stalks removed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • pinch of cayenne

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Scrub the potatoes and grate them on the fine side of your grater.
  3. Put all the grated potatoes in a flour sack cloth and squeeze as much moisture out of them as you can.
  4. Mix the potatoes with the chives and salt.
  5. Put the potatoes on a silicone sheet and spread them out really thin. You should be able to cover most of a 12 & 18 pan. It won't spread all the way to the edges. I used a rolling pin.
  6. Make some score marks on the potatoes so that you have about 10 even rectangles.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Flip the rectangles and bake for about 20-25 more minutes.
  9. When you remove the potatoes from the oven, they should be crispy but still a little pliable.
  10. Cut each rectangle into 3 pieces. It's easiest if you use scissors. Set potatoes aside.
  11. Put the vegetable broth in a sautee pan and bring to a boil.
  12. Add the kale and garlic to the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes without stirring.
  13. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 more minutes, or until it looks as though broth is reduced to 1/4 cup.
  14. Remove from heat and puree. I just put in in a huge mug and used my beloved immersion blender (thanks again, Ema!)
  15. To serve, layer three potato crisps with kale sauce in the middle (potato, kale, potato, kale, potato, kale).
  16. Garnish with crema or sour cream if desired.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/crispy-kale-and-potato-stacks/

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

These wraps contain two of my favorite veggies ever.

I say a lot of things are my favorite, but it’s true! It’s also true that if you love everything, then you don’t love anything. Trust me, there are a lot of foods I can’t stand. I just don’t want to talk about them right now because I’d like to tell you about these instead.

That bright red filling is made of shredded Brussels sprouts and beets. I like to make a sort of hash out of them for dinner and scoop it up with flatbread. That’s rather messy, so I decided to roll them up into neat little packages. You can make several of these at once, which is good for a few days worth of salad lunches.

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

The citrus dip is the easiest thing ever. Just throw everything in the blender and you’re done!   It’s not vegan, but can be easily made so.

There are so many things you can do with sprouts. Here’s a list of goodies for all you Brussels sprouts lovers.

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

Yield: 14-16 wraps, depending on leaf size

Serving Size: 1 wrap

Ingredients

    for the wraps
  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb turnip greens (you won't use them all)
  • for the dipping sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 1/2 cups grapefruit juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 medium-large garlic clove
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Shred the beets and the sprouts in your food processor. Work in batches if you must. (I had to).
  2. Coat a big sautee pan with non-stick spray, and bring to medium heat.
  3. Cook the beets & sprouts for about five minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Cook for 4 minutes more, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle on the nutritional yeast.
  6. Let it cool a little bit and then sprinkle with salt to taste.
  7. Gently wash the turnip greens and pat them dry.
  8. Pick the fullest, greenest leaves. You'll need about 16. It's ok if they're different sizes. Just as long as they don't have any holes or brown spots, you're good.
  9. Place 1 - 2 tablespoons of the beet-sprout mix in the center of each leaf. Fold lengthwise then crosswise. For some of the bigger leaves, you might even be able to use 3 tbsp.
  10. for the mix
  11. Put the avocado, grapefruit juice, sesame oil, garlic clove, fish sauce, chili powder, and honey in a blender till well combined. Taste and add salt if desired.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/ruby-wraps-with-grapefruit-dip/

inspired by Spinach Tiger 

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip