Monday, April 30, 2012

Slow Drip Fudgepops

I love a good fudge pop and so does Amelia! I made lots of these slow drip fudge pops last year for a hot summer treat. The weather has been in the high 70s and low 80s so I want to make some to enjoy even though it's not summer yet! Now that I said that it will probably turn cold.

Homemade Slow Drip Fudgepops

2 cups milk of your choice
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup of sugar (or honey to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
1 package Knoxx gelatin

In a medium sauce pan heat all the ingredients and stir until sugar and gelatin has dissolved and cocoa powder has been incorporated well. Cool to just warm before adding to the popsicle molds. Add popsicle sticks and freeze for a few hours. Makes 6-10 pops depending on your type of molds. I like to take them out of the molds and store in a gallon bag or container in the freezer so they are easy to get to. I want to experiment with the liquid vanilla creme stevia drops that I love so much.

There you go! The gelatin is the secret. It keeps the liquid from dripping too quickly!

{This picture was from last year. She has grown so much since last year!}

Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekly Recap

Finally put together the crochet coat I had started in December! I'm just working on the collar now.

Painted on one of my favorite nail colors. "Read My Palm" by OPI for Sephora.

We've been eating a lot of chia pudding this week. We love it and since we use liquid vanilla stevia to sweeten it we feel a little less quilt when eating it as a dessert.

Amelia and I have tea time a few times a week. I'm so glad she loves tea time as much as I do. We are using my aunt's tea cups.

The weather has been amazingly warm this week considering we recently entered Spring. I wore one of my favorite wrap skirts that I bought while living in Guatemala.

I made raw dehydrated zucchini chips for snack.

Amelia took advantage of the hot weather and played in her swimming pool while wearing the bathing suit I wore as a young girl!

We had pho per Amelia's request. She loves "noodles" and they are gluten free.

I also turned 28 this week! Yikes! Much closer to 30!

I made myself a small batch of gluten free cupcakes to celebrate.

I also put together grain free, honey sweetened zucchini muffins. I just need to make one more batch before blogging the recipe.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Birthday Cupcakes for Six

Today is my 28th birthday!!! 

I still feel 21 and am shocked that I'm getting closer to 30. Not that 30 is bad, it's just that I don't feel like I should be almost 30. Sometimes I still feel like a teenager and sometimes I feel like an old lady. Numbers really don't mean anything after all.

To celebrate I made a small batch of gluten free chocolate cupcakes. All of my cupcake recipes make 12 or more cupcakes and I didn't want that many hanging around the house or I would get in trouble so I came up with a recipe that made 6 cupcakes. If I'm really desperate for a cupcake one day I can divide this recipe even further and make 2 cupcakes for me and Amelia. Yum!

Chocolate Cupcakes for Six

9 tablespoons gluten free flour or regular wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon xanthum gum if using gluten free flour
7 tablespoons sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/16 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white

Whisk together dry ingredients well and set aside. Mix together wet ingredients thoroughly then add to the dry mixture. Stir till just combined. Fill 6 greased and floured muffin tins or paper lined muffin tins evenly with mixture. Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a cooling rack.

Frosting for 6 Cupcakes

3 tablespoons butter soften
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
9 tablespoons powder sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk
pinch salt

Blend the butter with the cocoa powder well then slowly blend in powder sugar. Add a little milk at a time until the frosting is spreadable.

Wordless Wednesday- A Day In San Francisco


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chia Pudding

 Cha Cha Cha Chia!

Yes! Chia pudding IS made from the same seeds we gelled and spread all over our terracotta pets when we were kids. I learned about chia seeds a few years ago when I first started learning about the Raw Food Lifestyle. We love chia pudding and eat it in a bowl with fruit for breakfast, as a snack or dessert. We also add the chia gel to our smoothies. I love the crunch it has even after it has soaked up liquid and gelled.
Chia is the Mayan word for strength. It is an amazing super food. It contains more protein than any other seed or grain, more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas, more antioxidants than blueberries and more iron than spinach plus lots of omega fats! They are a complete source of protein and a great source of soluble fiber. Great for keeping you regular if you know what I mean. They can hold up to 12 times their weight in liquid! Eating a bowl of chia pudding will fill you up and keep you full and hydrated for a long time making it a great "diet" food.

Chia Pudding

2 cups almond milk or milk of your choice
1/3 cup chia seeds
15 drops liquid Vanilla Creme Stevia or sweetener of your choice to taste

Mix everything well with a whisk then wait 5 minutes and mix again. Wait 5 more minutes then mix again. Cover and let thicken in fridge for about 30 minutes. I like mine really thick so I wait about 45 minutes before enjoying. You can also sweeten with honey, maple syrup, chocolate syrup or even use chocolate milk instead of plain milk.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cauliflower Crust

I've been reading about cauliflower crust pizza everywhere so I finally tried it out a few weeks ago. We have eaten it several times since. Amelia and I are gluten intolerant and gluten free crust pizza is yummy and all but I didn't like the idea of consuming so much starch. So many gluten free bread products and recipes have a lot of starchy flours in them. Cauliflower has a pretty neutral flavor so it works great as a crust. The texture is great and my husband said it kept tricking his brain! lol

Cauliflower crust pizza with mushrooms and spinach from the garden.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

2 cups grated cauliflower (grate raw with a hand cheese grater or food processor with grater attachment)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

Mix all ingredients together well. Spread mixture out onto a parchment lined baking sheet to about 1/4 inch thick. I like to make it into a traditional circle but if you double the recipe it's easier to spread it out into a rectangle. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and add sauce, cheese and toppings then broil until cheese has melted. If you let it cool slightly then it is easier to pick up the slices or you can just dig right in with a fork like we do.

I also took the same cauliflower crust recipe and made a quiche with it! It worked perfectly. Make the crust like above but press the mixture into a nonstick or greased 10 inch tart pan or pie pan. Press up the sides as well then bake at 400 for 25- 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pour in your quiche mixture and bake at 350 until center has set.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Quiche

6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
6-8 asparagus spears cut up into bite size pieces
salt and pepper
Breakfast chicken sausage (optional)

Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper well. Stir in crumbled goat cheese, asparagus and sausage. Pour into prepared cauliflower crust and bake at 350 until center has set.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekly Recap

Amelia has been eating a lot of raw vegetables! She snatched the cauliflower off the counter. Lol

We had breakfast outside and enjoyed Irish breakfast tea and gluten free English muffins.

Played at the part on a warm sunny day! It was so beautiful.

Of course we bought more flowers! I'm loving purple and pink flowers thanks to Amelia. I wonder how long purple will be her favorite color.

I wore shorts for the first time this year! Yikes!

Finally bought an American flag for our house. We are very patriotic. :-)

The lettuce has been coming is all at the same time!! Ahhhhh! I'm going to start giving it away. This butter crunch lettuce is beautiful though. Has a nice flavor and texture.

I've been serving more fish lately. The lemon dill salmon was a hit. Amelia loved it.

I did my first sock bun! I love it. It's kinda hard to do right now because my hair is shorter and layered but it's so cute.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Handmade Dessert Pedestals

 I knew I wanted to have a few dessert pedestals of varying heights for my friend's baby shower but I didn't want to spend a fortune buying them all. I remembered that I had a lot of crystal candlesticks from my wedding so I bought inexpensive plain white plates from World Market and heated up my glue gun! I could have used an epoxy to glue them permanently but I wanted to be able to use vintage floral plates with the candlesticks for Amelia's 4th birthday party in July.

I applied a bead of glue around the top part of the candlestick and then turned it upside down and pressed it in the middle of the plate. Luckily these square plates from World Market had a small square in the middle which was very helpful!

I then applied glue where the candlestick holder met the plate, sealing any gaps. I built the glue up and over the lip of the candlestick a little to insure it was securely attached.

Let the glue dry completely before turning the pedestal over.

There are so many options and designs you can make with a candlestick and plates! I'm so excited to start searching now for vintage floral plates to make pedestals for Amelia's Mad Hatter Tea Party!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Baby Shower

I recently threw a baby shower for my good friend and she is expecting another baby girl! I came up with a French country theme for the party. Rustic paper bags, accented with doilies. I stuffed mini brown paper bags with pink and white taffies that I found at Trader Joe's. Instead of stopping all the chatting and eating to play games I just set up a game station where the ladies could go to write their answers when they were ready.

 Simple craft twine with doilies folded and glued. Pink pom poms of course.
 I decided on a mini dessert buffet. Petite fours, lemon meringue bars, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate almond macaroons, and mini madeleine.
 I used Martha Stewart's Lemon Meringue bars recipe but made a cooked meringue instead of a raw one and torched the top with a mini torch.
This madeleine recipe was perfect! I love how it came together. I found mini madeleine pans at Sur La Table.
 These petite fours were so much fun to make!!! I used a petite four recipe from Martha Stewart. These are made from a dense yet moist pound cake and the poured fondant was so easy to make! I topped them off with royal icing decorations. I tinted the pink ones a little too much for my liking but they turned out pretty cute for my first time making petite fours. I plan on making petite fours and French macaroons for Amelia's 4th birthday in July instead of cupcakes. I'm so excited!
 I used yet another Martha Stewart recipe for these amazing chocolate almond macaroons. I'm guilty of being a huge fan and having the childhood nickname of "Little Miss Martha". hehehe

The macaroons are crispy on the outside and perfectly chewy on the inside. Gluten free too! I sandwiched them with seedless French raspberry jam instead of melted chocolate. One recipe make a lot of small ones.

 A sweet friend from church gave this beautiful hand crocheted tablecloth to me. Such a wonderful gift. I layered it over a cream colored tablecloth.
 Chocolate covered strawberries are always easy and delicious.
 I made all of the pedestals for the buffet. I will post a tutorial about them tomorrow.