Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

 Everyone gets into this fall pumpkin everything baking theme... I love my pumpkin pie and a pumpkin muffin but not everything pumpkin, all of the time. BUT when I saw these I knew I had to give them a try now! I'll admit I was worried how they'd turn flour, all that honey...I was worried they'd taste like honey and have no structure like brownies do. I went with it. Well I was happy to see them puff up as they were baking so that gave me hope of the texture thing. Then I could smell the honey baking and I got a little iffy. I went with it. They were done after about 40 minutes and I let them cool, then I put them in the fridge to help set up so I could slice and photograph...and taste. WOW, these are amazing!!! If you love pumpkin pie like I do, you'll love these! The moist pumpkin parts in these are deeelicious! They also held up holding to eat too.  Oh and the honey can't tell! I'm sorry I ever doubted these, I will make them again!

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
adapted from fast Paleo

16 oz of walnuts (I used some walnuts & some pecans)
1 large egg
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 TBL vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 oz chocolate chips, divided

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease/parchment paper line a 9x13 baking dish.
Combine walnuts in a food processor and blend until it has the texture of almond butter. In a large bowl combine all ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) and mix until smooth, then stir in 3/4 of the chocolate chips. Set aside.

Pumpkin Mix: 
1 can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup honey
1 TBL cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1/4 cup almond flour
-Combine all and set aside.

Pour in the 3/4 of the brownie mixture into the pan and spread evenly (this is a very thin layer). Set aside the other 1/4. Take heaping spoonfuls of the pumpkin mixture and place on top of the brownie mixture in the pan until all pumpkin mix is used. Then add the rest of the brownie mix on top of the pumpkin and run a knife through the top layers making the chocolate and the pumpkin swirl, toss on the rest of the chocolate chips and bake for 40 minutes.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork

Here's a great recipe I recently came across and have made a few times since. Brown up some thick cut pork chops and throw together some ingredients for a teriyaki sauce then off it goes to slow cook the rest of the day. Shred and serve up with your favorite rice and veggie. This is one of the few recipes I like because it doesn't come out dry for me. I've been using my slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours for most things, yours could be different.

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork
adapted from Six Sister's Stuff

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless pork loin thick cut chops (2 1/4 lbs)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup Tamari
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 3 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to the slow cooker.
Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and just golden. Stir in the tamari, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remover from heat. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce.
Pour sauce over chops. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours until the meat is tender. Shred chops with forks and serve over rice.

brown them for a nice flavorful, golden sear

cooked, ready to shred

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Friday, September 5, 2014

S'mores Pie

When I saw this recipe online, I knew I had to make it for one last little hoorah before I start back into my workout routine. I adapted it making it gluten free and of course my family couldn't tell. I used my favorite gluten free flour blend (linked) and made some GF graham crackers (links). I used both chocolate chips, because I already had them and some chocolate bars. It came out just fine.  This baked up all nice and puffy and just looked amazing! I tasted a bit and it reminded me of a big cookie, a rich big cookie! This will easily serve 8-12 people, you won't need a big piece. 

S'mores Pie
adapted from Wishes and Dishes, serves 8-12

1 stick Softened Butter
1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup GLUTEN FREE All Purpose Flour
1 cup GLUTEN FREE Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
7 oz Marshmallow Creme
6 whole (1.55 Oz Bars) Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, Unwrapped (I used about 7 oz chocolate chips)
1 cup Mini Marshmallows
1/4 cups Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9″ pie pan (or tart pan) with baking spray.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar together until combined, then add egg and vanilla and stir them in. Stir in flour, graham cracker crumbs and baking powder.
Divide the dough in half. Carefully press half the dough in the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie pan as best you can (I used wet hands, makes it easier). Evenly spread the Marshmallow Creme over the bottom crust.
Separate chocolate squares (or sprinkle chocolate chips) and place on top of the Marshmallow Creme.
Place the 1 cup of marshmallows on top.
Using the remaining crust, pat sections of dough on top of and around all the marshmallows (they will not be completely covered and that is what you want!).
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup chocolate chips, then bake 20 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove pan from oven and set it on a wire rack. Cool completely before cutting.

gluten free crust carefully pressed into tart pan 
(I like that it cuts pieces better than digging them out of a pie dish)

marshmallow cream spread

I used both chocolate chips & chocolate bars

plop pieces of GF crust for top all over and slightly press together

can I just eat it like that?

oh wow, look at that!!

go ahead, take a bite!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Jalapeños

Everything is better made at home right? Shhh, I'd like to keep my job though lol. We make these yummies at work for you to take and bake and I thought I'd make them for my family at home. Mr. and I ate about the whole pan, they're that addicting! I baked them for 25 minutes and they were good, the cheese didn't melt out and the jalapeños were just slightly crunchy. You can go 5 more minutes if you want them softer. Don't waste those baked on little cheesy crunchies either, mmm!

Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Jalapeños

6 slices bacon
12 medium-large fresh Jalapeños
8 oz brick cream cheese, cold (can use less fat one)
1/2 C. or so, cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook bacon in a hot skillet until just crispy. Drain and let cool. Once cooled, diced up finely, set aside.
Cut jalapeños in lengthwise, cut out seeds and membrane (or be daring and keep some in if you want spicy!).
With a sharp, wet knife, cut cream cheese into 12 even slices. Add a slice to each jalapeño half. Top with a little cheddar and a sprinkle of bacon. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake 350' for 25 minutes. Best served warm.

cold cream cheese & a wet knife make it easy to slice

easy to "fill"! 

ready to bake

nom nom! It's like two treats in one!

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Boy was I craving an oatmeal cookie today! I went to Pinterest to search out recipes that looked great and using ingredients I had on hand. Recently I went to a little store here and found those Betty Crocker gluten free items such as their rice flour blend for recipes at a great price. It is similar to one I make but opted to try it anyways (hey it had recipes on the box too!). This recipe I came across just so happened to use that very box! Score! Not really knowing how they'd turn out I gave them a try. I added in some coconut for more texture and chewiness. I was pleasantly surprised how big and puffy these baked up, I loved the looks of them! These tasted fantastic too! I loved these cookies. 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Live Better America, makes about 33 cookies

1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 1/2 cups gluten-free quick-cooking oats
1 cup Betty Crocker™ Gluten Free all-purpose rice flour blend
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350°F. In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until butter is golden brown. (Watch carefully, as it can change from browned to burnt quickly.) Remove from heat. Beat in canola oil with whisk. Pour into small bowl; set aside to cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix oats, flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In large bowl, place sugars. Add butter mixture. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Stir in oat mixture until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips and coconut. Let dough stand 15 minutes.

On parchment paper lined cookie sheets, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown (centers will be soft). Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Store tightly covered.

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