Category Archives: Holidays

MASALA SPICE COOKIES – Gluten Free & Paleo & Recipe Contest FOR YOU!

Masala Spice Cookies Paleo Gluten Free (12)

My life has taken some crazy turns in the last month.  My family and I are currently preparing for a move out of state.  Having spent my entire life as a Californian, I am excited for the adventure that awaits while also nervous, giddy, and BUSY!  Needless to say, I haven’t been giving Veggie Grettie much attention lately.  Did I mention that my son also broke his wrist…craziness I tell ya!!!

In the midst of the broken wrist debacle,  the folks over at Grandma’s Molasses called and provided me with some much needed cooking inspiration and a wonderful distraction to the endless lists of tasks still to be done.  I needed some time in the kitchen (my therapy) and here was my excuse.  The task I was given was to come-up with a cookie recipe using molasses that wasn’t your standard ginger snap (Put your thinking caps on because YOU will have an opportunity to enter their recipe contest!!!…see below for details).

When it comes to sugar, molasses is one of the all-stars.  I am not saying it is OK to go out and over-consume any sugar, but when it comes to molasses it actually does have some redeeming qualities.  One hundred grams of molasses contains 50% of the RDA for calcium, 95% of the RDA for iron, and 38% of the RDA for magnesium.  I dare you to find another sugar with the same nutrition profile.

When I think of molasses I think of spice and as I pondered spice my mind wandered to Indian flavors which led me to the flavor profile of this cookie.  Garam Masala and curry came to mind.  Mix that with molasses, honey, and ginger and you have one heck of a cookie on your hands; crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle, not too sweet, and packed with flavor.

I wanted to have the cookies be very thin, use a cookie cutter, and have the cookies keep their shape… a difficult feat when baking gluten-free and paleo.  I came upon this method on Primal Palate and had a good hunch it would work…it is brilliant.  Basically you spread the dough on parchment cookie that is on a cookie sheet, bake it for 5-7 minutes, allow it to cool quickly, and then roll it out, use cookies cutters, and repeat until you have used up all of the dough.  This method worked so well and for the first time I was able to use cookie cutters for gluten-free cookies and have them keep their shape.  Again, revolutionary!

Masala Spice Cookies Method

INGREDIENTS – Makes 2 dozen 2 1/4″ square cookies

1 cup blanched almond flour, packed
1 Tbs Garam Masala
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp finely shredded fresh ginger
2 Tbs. ghee ( I make my own), room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs Grandma’s Molasses
2 1/2 Tbs. orange honey
1 egg, room temperature

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (I used convection bake).

Pack the almond flour when measuring it and then place it in a bowl.  Use a fork remove the lumps from the almond flour.  Add in the Garam Masala, curry powder, and fresh ginger making sure to distribute the spices well.

Add the ghee and mix well with the fork until small lumps are throughout the crumbly dough.

Add the vanilla, molasses, and honey and stir well.

Lastly, add the egg and stir well until a batter forms.

Pour the batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet carefully spreading it into a thin rectangle.  Bake for 8 minutes rotating the cookie sheet half-way through.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow it to cool to the point where you can safely touch the batter.  Make a ball with the batter and roll it out between two sheets on parchment paper until it is 1/8″ thick.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookie shapes of your choosing (I used a 2 1/4″ square cookie cutter).  Roll the excess dough into a ball and repeat the process until you have used-up all the cookie dough.

Place the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes (rotate 1/2 way through).  Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Allow the cookies to cool and enjoy!

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For a printable version of this recipe CLICK HERE.

….Masala Spice Cookies Paleo Gluten Free (14)

1.    On Dec. 3rd, Grandma’s Molasses will launch a Facebook recipe submission contest and will showcase 12 featured blogger recipes over 12 days and celebrate recipe sharing in general, so check out their Facebook Page for details.

2.    The Cookie Exchange Recipe Submission Contest will begin on Dec. 3rd and is open to the public

3.    Entrants are required to submit an original cookie recipe that includes the use of Grandma’s Molasses

4.    One lucky winner will receive a $500 Visa gift card and the original recipe will be featured alongside the 12 featured recipes created by our esteemed bloggers

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*** I was compensated for this post, however the opinions and content of the post belong solely to me…It is so fun when a company gives you creative control and lets you run with it!

To learn more about molasses click HERE.

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Filed under Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holidays, Paleo, Recipes

Happy Fourth!!!

This is an oldie, but a goodie…I thought I would share this recipe with all of you again.  Have a wonderful Fourth of July!

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INGREDIENTS

CRUST
1 ½ cup Gluten Free graham style crumbs (I used kinnikinnick foods)
1-2 packets stevia
6 Tbs. Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread
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BASIC FILLING
2 cups raw cashews (soaked 6-8 hours)
1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts (soaked 6-8 hours)
2 tsp probiotic powder (I used New Chapter All Flora)
½ cup filtered water
1 Tbs. meyer lemon juice
1/3 cup So Delicious Vanilla coconut creamer
1 Tbs. vanilla flavor (mine is by Frontier)*
4 Tbs. agave or maple syrup
4 stevia packets
Pinch of salt
*Do not use vanilla extract.  Since this is raw the alcohol will not cook out and will taste bad.
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Blue
½ cup frozen organic blueberries
1 cup Basic Filling
All natural blue food coloring (optional)
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White – Basic Filling (as is) OR
1/2 cup sliced bananas
1 cup Basic Filling
 
Red
½ cup sliced organic strawberries
1 cup Basic Filling
All natural red food coloring (optional)

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Upon first glance this cheesecake recipe seems much more time consuming than it really is.  This is how I easily tackle this recipe…

In the morning put 2 cups of raw cashews and 1 cup of macadamias in a container and cover the nuts with filtered water.  Place the container in the fridge to soak (click here to see how I did just this for raw vegan goat cheese).

In the afternoon or evening take the container of cashews and macadamias out of the fridge and drain and rinse the nuts.  Place the drained and rinsed nuts in your Vitamix along with ½ cup filtered water and blend VERY well.  This process will take quite a few minutes and your Vitamix will be working very hard!  Make sure you use the center agitator to help it along.  You want to mixture to be very, very, very smooth…it will be warm from all of the blending.

Once the mixture is smooth, place it in a bowl and combine with the probiotic powder.  Mix well.

Place the mixture in a cheesecloth lined colander and cover it.  Place the colander in a bowl (in case any liquid leaks out) and leave it out at room temperature for 12 hours to cure (overnight).  You can also place a plate and pie weights on top of the cheesecloth to encourage the release of moisture.

Meanwhile make the crust by combining the graham style crumbs with the melted Earth Balance and Somersweet.  Once combined, press the graham crust into the bottom of a springform pan or create individual cheesecakes by using a mini crumb cake pan and filling each with 1 Tbs. of the graham crust mixture and pushing it down (in a crumb cake pan the bottom of each cake lifts-up to help unmold the cakes).  Place in the fridge to set-up.

In the morning place the cured cheese mixture in a bowl and use a hand mixer to blend in 1 Tbs. lemon, 1/3 cup So delicious, 1 Tbs. vanilla, ¼ cup agave, 4 stevia packets, and a pinch of salt.  The Basic Filling recipe is now complete.

Create the blue layer by blending 1 cup of the Basic Filling with ½ cup of frozen blueberries (optional blue food coloring).

For the white layer, either use the Basic Filling as is or blend 1 cup of the Basic Filling with ½ cup of sliced bananas.

Create the red layer by blending 1 cup of the Basic Filling with ½ cup of sliced strawberries (optional red food coloring).

Pipe a small layer of the blueberry mixture onto each crust.  Smooth the layer to make it level and follow with a layer of white, and then a layer of red.  Place in the freezer to set-up for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the cheesecake to thaw slightly.

Top with your favorite non-dairy whipped cream and fresh berries.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

Note – I am a Vitamix affiliate and whole-heartedly endorse the use of this wonderful machine!

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Filed under Cheesecake, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Holidays, Recipes

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

I wish you all a very happy day filled with love and friendship.  I thought I would revisit one of my family’s favorite recipes…the recipe I created for my honey last Valentines and the recipe that my children requested for tonight’s dessert!

Click HERE for my Chocolate Molten Lava Cake recipe (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

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Filed under Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Recipes

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Xmas Card 2012 POST

As I type this Christmas music is playing in the background, there is apple cake in the oven, and my family is putting together a holiday lego set while feasting on gluten-free pancakes.

I hope your next few days are filled with family and friends, rest, and gratitude.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours.

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Filed under Holidays

HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

homemade vegan peanut butter cups collage

Now that we are into the holiday season I do make a few more treats than normal (though I do feel the need to admit that I generally do not eat many of them).

People tend to think that making candy is complicated…it doesn’t have to be.  Last year the kids and I make homemade peanut butter cups.  These peanut butter cups were made with only three ingredients:

  1. Freshly ground peanut butter
  2. Chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chips)
  3. Coconut oil

Melt the bag of chocolate chips over a double boiler along with 1-2 tsp. of oil.

Once melted, pour a small layer into mini cupcake liners and place it in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes.  Place the melted chocolate over the double boiler to ensure that it remains melted.

Top the hardened chocolate with some peanut butter and try to keep it in the center allowing a rim of chocolate to remain around it (this will allow the next layer of chocolate to completely cover the peanut butter).

Cover the peanut butter with another layer of chocolate and place in the refrigerator to harden.

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This year I used the same method to make chocolate covered pretzels (gluten-free) and peanuts.  My daughter and I broke small pretzel sticks in half and mixed them with the melted chocolate.  We then placed spoonfuls of the chocolate covered pretzels on waxed paper to cool and harden…little chocolate bird’s nests.  We had some left over at the end with a little too much chocolate, so we mixed in some peanuts and made spoonfuls of that.  They have been a total hit with my family!

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Filed under Candy / Fudge, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

TEACHER / COACH GIFTS

I am in the thick of preparing gifts for the coaches and teachers in my children’s lives and I thought I would share with you what we are gifting food-wise this year.

My daughter wanted to gift her teachers with some body butters, and my son will be giving some of his middle school teachers gift certificates, but we will be giving the coaches in our lives the “healthier” caramel popcorn that I made one month as my Secret Recipe Club assignment.

The original version was loaded with butter and sugar, so I rolled-up my sleeves and did my best to remake the recipe. My family loves the recipe I came-up with and while it is definitely a treat, it is much healthier than the traditional version.

I just air popped the popcorn and will be making it into caramel popcorn tomorrow.  This recipe is SO EASY.  I have made caramel popcorn before where you have to stir and stir and stir and with this recipe you shake it all up in a big brown paper bag…it couldn’t be more simple.

Click HERE for the recipe or HERE for the original post with detailed pictures.

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Filed under Dessert, Gifts, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

HOLIDAY CANDLE DISPLAY

Christmas Candle Collage

Last month I did a post about the Fall candle display I created for my kitchen’s center island.  This past week I spent the evening changing it up to reflect the holidays which are now in full swing.

With a few simple changes and a glue gun at my disposal, this project quickly came together.  I picked-up some candles at IKEA,  a 40 pound bag of salt (intended for a water softener) at Home Depot, and 2 containers of cinnamon sticks from Costco (I already had the ribbon in my gift-wrapping stash).

I also filled 4 mason jars with salt, glued a halo of ribbon around each jar, and topped each with a red tea lights before placing them on my windowsill.

I am having so much fun decorating and getting into the holiday spirit.

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Filed under DIY, Holidays, Home

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving!  I have spent the last few days prepping for our feast and spending time with my parents.  We have had lots of great family time and hope the same for you.

From my table to yours…

 

Please excuse the iPhone pics…today was ALL about cooking and family, so I am sure these will do.

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Filed under Holidays

CITRUS INFUSED CRANBERRY PEAR SAUCE

Thanksgiving time is a favorite in our household…family begins to gather and it signals the beginning of the holiday season.

I always like to make sure that at Thanksgiving each family member has their favorite dish at our Thanksgiving celebration.  For my husband that means Stove Top stuffing.  For my son that means my mom’s ambrosia.  For my daughter that means apple crumble and for me that means cranberry sauce.  I have always enjoyed cranberry sauce, especially the sauce that my mom always made when I was a kid.  She found the original recipe in the local paper.  The recipe called for fresh cranberries, diced pear, orange juice, and white sugar,

For the past three years I have been working on making a healthier version of the cranberry sauce that did not include sugar.  I tried making it with xylitol (I am not a fan), stevia (it just wasn’t the same), and this year I made my favorite version yet using apple juice concentrate.  This will be my go-to cranberry sauce for years to come.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

INGREDIENTS

Trader Joe’s organic fresh cranberries (8 ounces)
1 container (12 oz.) frozen organic apple juice concentrate 
2 pears, diced
zest of 1 orange
 

Place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer on low (make sure it does not boil over) until it is reduced to 1/3 of its original volume.

Cool and refrigerate until ready to eat.

 

Images by Tony Tseng

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Filed under Cooked Fruit, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holidays, Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian

TREE OF GRATITUDE

My family will be spending Thanksgiving at home this year and I want it to be very special.  It is important for all of us to remember what this day is truly about (not the food…though it is always amazing), and with a little help from Pinterest, we are on our way.

The blog Bargain Bound inspired our family’s Tree of Gratitude this year.  Admittedly I am clearly not a professional tree-maker (the leaves will cover the evidence of that up more and more each day), but with the help of my local scrap booking store,  I did NOT have to become an expert at cutting out leaves.  Within 30 minutes I had over 120 perfect leaves thanks to their collection of maple leaf die cuts.  Somehow I had never ventured into the store before and I know I will be spending a lot of time there now for future holiday projects, etc.  Talk about a MAJOR time saver!

The kids and I have been filling-out one leaf per day and it is heart-warming to see how they are getting more and more into the exercise each day.

I can’t wait to watch the tree’s branches become full of my family’s gratitude.

Do you have any special Thanksgiving traditions?

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Filed under DIY, Holidays, Home