Orange Blueberry Bread

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I received local blueberries in my farm share this week and needed to use them. What better way than in a yummy baked good? 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Orange Blueberry Bread – adapted from Julia’s Album

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  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 8×4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, orange juice and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk.
  4. In the same bowl where you combined flour, add blueberries and toss them in 2 tablespoons of flour. This will help prevent blueberries from sinking.

WP_20150421_016                  5. Fold in orange zest, and blueberries into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.

WP_20150421_020                   6.   Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

WP_20150422_005               7. Cool bread in pan for 40 minutes on a wire rack.

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Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper

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I have made it at least three times but I wasn’t able to take decent pictures of it to post. It’s not the prettiest meal I have ever made, but it is a new favorite in my house. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Taco Hamburger Helper – adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 large shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 – 2 TBSP homemade taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1-3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Toppings: crushed tortilla chips, salsa, sliced avocado, chopped green onions

Directions –

Brown ground beef with shallot in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain then return to the skillet. Add taco seasoning, salsa, and chicken broth then bring to a boil. Add rice then place a lid on top and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender then remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Place lid back on the skillet then let sit for 5 minutes before serving with toppings.

The “I want Chocolate Cake” Cake

My son turned 12! Good grief, where did the time go? PicMonkey Collage
The “I Want Chocolate Cake” Cake – adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

Cake

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table or fine sea salt

Frosting

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoons cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions –

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, and either butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan, or spray the interior with a nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to beat the butter and sugars until fluffy; scrape down bowl. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla and beat until combined, then the buttermilk and mix again. Scrape the bowl down well and don’t worry if the batter looks uneven. Place your flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a sifter (I find this step necessary because my cocoa is very lumpy) and shake it over the batter bowl. Stir on low until just combined; scrape down bowl a final time. Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth flat.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in cake pan on cooling rack, then flip out onto rack or serving plate to completely finish cooling before frosting.

Make the frosting: Place frosting ingredients in a food processor and run machine to to mix. Scrape down bowl then process for another 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and somewhat fluffed. Scoop the frosting onto the cooled chocolate cake and swirl it around. Cake keeps at room temperature for a day or two, or in the fridge up to a week,.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes

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These are so yummy and you wont miss the gluten 🙂

Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes – adapted from Paleo Grubs

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted, plus additional for pan
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
Directions –
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – the coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – the pumpkin puree, almond milk, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir together until just combined.
  2. Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet to medium heat. Coat pan with coconut oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet. Cook for 2-4 minutes until the bottom is cooked through, and then flip. Cook for another 2-4 minutes until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm and enjoy!

Healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte

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This was my first pumpkin spice latte ever, so I can’t compare it well to a coffee shop drink. What I can tell you is that this is like pumpkin pie in a cup! It’s also much cheaper and not full of empty calories and syrupy-goodness that is the typical coffee chain offering. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte – adapted from Detoxinista

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
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Directions – 
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust flavor to taste, and serve warm.

DIY Hot Chocolate Mix

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The kids had been asking for hot chocolate for a while now, so I decided to let them make it 🙂 I love that there are only three simple ingredients in this decadent hot chocolate and it makes 4 cups of mix. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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All Natural Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix – adapted from Clean Mama

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa – I used this Dutch cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt

Directions – 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk. Store in a four cup, air-tight container or into smaller jars for gifting.

To make one serving of hot chocolate, combine 1 cup of warm milk and two tablespoons of mix. Stir to combine and enjoy!

**I added the milk and cocoa to my Vitamix and blended it up for a few seconds to make it nice and frothy. Top it with mini marshmallows or whipped cream if desired 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Bread

The apple spice bread I made two days ago is already gone… I did give my neighbor an entire loaf, so I’m not that much of a glutton 😉 As expected, the bread tasted much better the day after I made it, especially when I topped it with Kerrygold butter and popped it in the microwave! So good and none of the guilt or bloat.

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I used the exact recipe, but exchanged the apple sauce for pumpkin puree – easy swap and an even tastier product! Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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Weeknight Roast Chicken

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I love roast chicken! This was the most simply seasoned chicken I have ever made and also the quickest to roast. The pan sauce came together so easily while the finished bird was resting. I loved every bit of this meal and I would gladly make it weekly if my family let me 😉 Instead of typing up all the recipe here, I’m posting a link to where I found it at Nom Nom Paleo (I love that name). Over there you’ll get to see step-by-step photos and extra tips and tricks. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

**Weeknight Roast Chicken Recipe**

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Apple Spice Bread

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Yum! This was my first attempt at grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free baking… that’s a lot of “free”! 😉 I am so used to baking with flour that I was slightly apprehensive about how this recipe might turn out. I was relieved when this baked up beautifully light and soft. The kids and I, (well, mostly I), ate a whole loaf today. Instead of making one large loaf, I made three minis, cooled them completely, then wrapped them and stored them in the refrigerator. I know I’ll make this again and I’ll have fun trying out new coconut flour recipes soon. My next experiment will be testing this same recipe, but swapping the apple sauce for pumpkin puree. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

1Ingredients, minus the vanilla extract.

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These popped out of the pan nicely after cooling for 15 minutes. I love my USA Pans! 🙂

Applesauce Spice Bread – adapted from Au Naturale Nutrition

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, or ghee (melted)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, natural applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend until evenly combined. Grease pan(s).  Pour batter into 3 mini loaf pans or 1 large glass loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes in mini pans.  Bake 65-70 minutes for 1 large loaf. Allow to cool completely.  Store in fridge.

Paleo Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

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While sometimes I miss grains, I don’t miss the “bubble-gut” from eating them. Spaghetti squash can be a good replacement for pasta, especially if you cook it right. I have tried the “bake cut-side down”, (not my favorite – it becomes soft and mushy); and then bake “cut-side up” – my preferred method. I like a little bite to my finished “noodles”. Also, I recommend microwaving the whole squash for a few minutes before splitting in two. It softens the squash just enough to get my knife in without threat of losing fingers! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Meat Sauce – adapted from Food.com

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 -6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional or adjust to taste)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (can use two cans for a thicker richer sauce if desired)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole Roma tomatoes, undrained
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 – 1  cup water (according to your desired consistency)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add sausage to the pot and break up Add onion, garlic, dried herbs and pepper flakes saute for 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and shredded carrots to the pot, cook for a few minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add canned tomatoes and water and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours stirring occasionally. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. You can add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce.