Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mini Chocolate Pudding Cookie Pie

Chocolate pudding Snak-Paks were a staple in my home growing up. Mom packed one in my lunch box almost every day. I had quite the sweet tooth back then, but now that I'm older, sweets just aren't something I want. But give me a bowl of chips and guac and I'll be at that all day. Anyway, just because I don't have the same sweet tooth doesn't mean I don't occasionally crave a little sugar. Pudding is surprisingly easy to make and paired with my Small Batch Chocolate Cookies, they're magical. 

Mini Chocolate Pudding Cookie Pie 

What you'll need

  •  chocolate cookie dough
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder (or use 4 tbsp and omit the FlavorGod)
  • 2 tbsp FlavorGod Chocolate Donut 
  • 2 tbsp maple sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp gelatin (I used Great Lakes Red can)

  • What to do:
    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Make the chocolate chip cookie pie crust. Make sure the dough is chilled as it will be easier to handle. Divide the batter evenly (using my small batch recipe, I was able to fill three) into a silicone muffin tin. Use your fingers to press down and up the sides slightly. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and use a greased shot glass to make a well in the center of each cookie. Cool and set aside. 
    2. To make the pudding, combine the almond milk, cocoa powder, maple sugar, and vanilla in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium low. Whisk until combined. Then evenly sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Allow the gelatin to bloom and then whisk until combined. Heat the mixture until it starts to steam. Remove from heat and allow to cool in a container. Cover and let it set in the fridge overnight. 
    3. The following day, whisk the pudding. Then add to the cookie crust. Serve with more cookie crumbles and whipped coconut cream. 

    Monday, August 8, 2016

    Asian Braised Oxtail/Short Ribs


    Braises and stews are staples in my kitchen. They're easy to prep and I let my slow cooker do the rest. Occasionally I like to use my fancy pants dutch oven too. When it comes to using meaty bones, I like to brown the meat (either in a cast iron or broil in the oven) first. Those brown bits at the bottom of your pan are like gold. Here, I seasoned the meat with a little Chinese 5 spice and then pan seared them before adding the rest of the ingredients. If you've never tried Chinese 5 spice, it's an aromatic blend of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, sichuan peppercorns, and fennel. Some variants have ginger and cardamon. But it adds such amazingly complex flavors, it's definitely worth a try. In this recipe, I opted to use Oxtails and Short ribs, but you can go ahead and use any meaty bone.

    Asian Braised Oxtail/Short ribs

    What you'll need:
    • 2-3 lbs beef oxtail, ribs, or short ribs
    • 5 tbsp gluten free tamari or coconut aminos
    • 2 tbsp mirin
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1-2 tbsp chinese five spice + 1/2 tsp for sauce
    • 1.5 tsp FlavorGod Garlic Lovers (or use garlic powder)
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
    • 1/4 tsp dried mustard
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2 cups beef/chicken stock (I used homemade)
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 6-8 oz dried shiitake mushrooms (fresh would be okay too)
    • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
    • 1 one inch piece of peeled ginger
    What to do:
    1. Preheat oven to 300F. Pat the beef dry. Season all sides with 1-2 tbsp chinese 5 spice, a couple large pinches of salt and fresh cracked black pepper. In a cast iron pot, heat 2 tbsp of fat of choice over medium high heat. Working in batches as to not overcrowd the pot, sear the beef on each side (about 1-2 minutes each side). Remove and set aside. 
    2. Add the ginger and garlic, scraping the bottom for the browned bits. Add the tarmari/coconut aminos, mirin, honey, paprika, 1/2 tsp chinese 5 spice, garlic powder, white pepper, and dried mushrooms to the pot. Stir. Place the beef back into the pot. Add the stock and the dried mushrooms
    3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover with an oven proof lid and place in the oven to bake for 2.5-3 hours. After 3 hours, remove from the oven and place the pot on the stove. Remove the cover and bring the stew to a simmer over medium heat. Allow the sauce to thicken for 25-30 minutes over medium heat. 
    4. Serve with chopped green onions (optional) over rice or cauliflower rice (for low carb/paleo) and your favorite sauteed veggie (I served mine with bok choy). 

    Monday, August 1, 2016

    Cherry Clafoutis

    In the summer, I crave cherries. I freaking love cherries. But I hate those pits! I finally got myself a cherry/olive pitter and wow, why didn't I get one sooner?! It's probably my favorite kitchen accessory, second to my waffle maker (duh!). When summer rolls around, it's cherries all day, every day. Anyway, clafoutis, sounds funny, right? This classic French dessert combines juicy cherries and a rich, but light textured custard. All it takes is a blender, about 40 minutes of bake time, and BAM you've got a funny named but delicious treat, even perfect for breakfast! You can even substitute the cherries for another fruit, like peaches or berries.

    Cherry Clafoutis
    What you'll need:

    • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
    • 1/3 cup maple syrup + 2 tsp honey
    • 3 whole eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 1.5 tsp tapioca flour
    • 2 tbsp melted grassfed butter
    • pinch of salt
    • 2-3 cups pitted cherries or other fruit
    What to do:
    1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a cast iron skillet or baking dish with soften butter or non-stick spray (I used Chosen Foods coconut oil spray, no propellants or fillers just pure coconut oil!). 
    2. Add all the ingredients, except the fruit to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour about 1/4 of the batter into the greased skillet/dish and bake at 350F for 7-10 minutes. This helps to keep your fruit from all sinking to the bottom. 
    3. Remove from the oven and top with the fruit, arranging in a pattern, if preferred. Pour over the remaining batter. Return the skillet/dish back to the oven and bake at 350F for an additional 35-40 minutes until the top is set and golden brown. 
    4. Remove from oven and cool slightly, sprinkle with powdered sugar if preferred. Serve warm. 

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