Spritz (not really Paleo, I know!)

Alright! Recipe #2 in this last minute Christmas countdown. I never grew up with Christmas spritz cookies, but my husband did. My in laws are here this year and even my MIL approves. Hurrah!

You’ll need a cookie press (or as my son calls it, a cookie gun!) for this recipe. I highly recommend this one. It has served me well for years now.

Spritz (not totally paleo, I know!)

Spritz (not totally paleo, I know!)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg plus 1 additional egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (If you prefer a sweeter cookie, increase to ⅔ cup)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick) softened

Instructions

  1. Using stand mixer with whisk attachment, eggs with coconut sugar until it appears dissolved nicely and a little fluffy (about 3 minutes on 4). Gently whisk in butter. Add almond & vanilla extract.
  2. While things are mixing, in another bowl blend together flours, baking soda and salt.
  3. Once the wet ingredients are creamy and delicious smelling, slowly mix in the flour mixture. Dough should be thick, but have a fluffy/springiness to it. Use your handy dandy cookie gun to make awesome shapes!
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 mins.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/12/spritz-not-really-paleo-i-know/

Almond Macarons

I am SO sorry my foodie friends. Life has been insane and I haven’t had a chance to come on here and share some recipes. So, to make up for it, I’m going to share one each day up until Christmas. Sound good? Well let’s get to it!

Today, we have a simple recipe that I adapted from the awesome cookbook, Country Cooking of France. 

Almond Macarons

Almond Macarons

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites, room temperature, whisked until very frothy. More may be needed.
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (or more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Whisk those egg whites! Prepare a baking sheet with silpat sheets or parchment paper.
  2. Throw the rest of the ingredients in your food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix it up.
  3. Now, put your whisked frothy egg whites in there too.
  4. Pulse until it forms a ball. If it seems to dry, add more whisked egg white.
  5. Now, run on high for 3-4 minutes until it forms a smooth, sticky paste.
  6. To bake, I like to put the dough into a pastry bag and squirt out cute little stars. My kiddo loves it, but you can also just roll into small balls and flatten them with your hands.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the site of the cookie. To prevent cracking, you might want to hit the pan on your stove once. That'll get some of those air bubbles out. I personally don't care. I'm all about taste.
  8. Once they're done, remove and let cool fully. If you used parchment, you can pour some water underneath onto the hot pan to get the cookies to destick.
  9. Enjoy!
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/12/almond-macarons/

Paleo Laddu

Two recipes in one day?! WHAT!? Well, I was chatting with my friend today about this delicious treat she had just gotten due to Diwali… so of course, I had to try making my own version. I love it so much that I needed to share it for those who want a little paleo Diwali goodie.

HAPPY DIWALI! 🙂

Paleo Laddu

Paleo Laddu

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 4-6 pitted dates (depending on size, about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cardamom (depending on preference)
  • To roll in -
  • Pistacho flour
  • Shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Put ingredients in food processor and run it until it starts to become tacky & you can roll it into balls.
  2. Roll it into balls, about an inch big.
  3. Roll the balls, pressing gently, in a little pistachio flour & shredded coconut.
  4. Chill if necessary or eat immediately.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/11/paleo-laddu/

Apple Custard Cake

This recipe is a grain free, sugar free modification of a recipe from my favorite cookbook, Around My French Table. It is the reason I bought it. Her publisher had shared the recipe, along with her awesome stuffed pumpkin recipe, on Amazon. I tried them, they were awesome, and I was sold. This is our “go to” cookbook. We both have loved everything we’ve made from it.

Obviously, this isn’t paleo since I use grassfed butter. However, it’s worth it folks.

Apple Custard Cake

Apple Custard Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (I make my own with arrowroot powder, cream of tartar, and baking soda)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large apples
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons grassfed unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Butter pan of your choice (The original recipe suggested using a springform pan. I usually just use my Emile Henry which doesn’t make as nice of a presentation). If using a springform pan, put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a little bowl.
  4. Peel the apples (if that’s what you prefer. I like the skins on!), cut them in half and core them. Cut the apples into chunks.
  5. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or two to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Now, switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, making sure you coat the apples in the batter.
  6. Put it in your pan, and try to use the spat to even things out a bit.
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.
  8. These directions are from the original recipe author for springform pan users.
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. The cake may have pulled away from the edges of the pan. If using a springform pan, carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/11/apple-custard-cake/

Huckleberry (or Blueberry) & Port Wine Sorbet

Today I want to pay homage to my new home, Seattle. I am absolutely loving living here. It is completely different from my home state (Wisconsin) and my home of the past 8 years (Southern California). I know some people complain about the rain, but honestly, it’s worth it when I get to enjoy gorgeous mountains, beautiful greenery, an awesome growing season for my container garden and like minded foodies! 😉

I have been LOVING these farmers markets. They’re not as big as some of the ones we frequented in Southern California (like the one in Hollywood), but they are jam packed full of AWESOMENESS. One of the awesome things I recently discovered were wild mushrooms and huckleberries. There is a vendor at the Seattle markets that just specializes in collecting wild edibles. How nifty is that? I immediately had to learn more about these fabulous foods so I bought Pacific Feast: A Cook’s Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine. It is jam packed full of wonderful information on foraging and delicious recipes to make with your findings. This is my modification of one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Huckleberry (or Blueberry) & Port Wine Sorbet

Huckleberry (or Blueberry) & Port Wine Sorbet

Ingredients

  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup honey (more if you prefer sweeter or if your berries are tart)
  • 8 cups huckleberries (blueberries work as well)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring your wine water and honey to a simmer.
  2. Once simmering, add berries and return it to a simmer.
  3. Once it has simmered again, remove from heat and cool.
  4. Puree in a food processor or using an immersion blender. Strain if you prefer a smoother sorbet. I personally don't mind the skins.
  5. Follow directions on your ice cream maker for freezing. If you don't have one, freeze in a shallow glass baking pan. Cut it into chunks and then run through food processor to smooth it out. Refreeze again for 3-4 hours.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/10/huckleberry-port-sorbet/

**Note: This recipe is modified from “Huckleberry and Port Wine Sorbet” in Pacific Feast: A Cook’s Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine. PNWers, or those interested in wild edibles, this is a must read!**

Brown butter & orange honey madeleines

We’re Francophiles in this household. My son goes to a French preschool and my husband & I are in the process of learning the language. (J’ai etudie le francais pour 6 ans, mais j’ai oublie beaucoup…including how to use accents on WordPress!) We hope to go summer in France in a few years once the kids are older.

My husband and I also just adore French food. If you looked at our cookbook shelf, you could tell. Our cookbooks are either locally oriented, Paleo, or French. What can I say? We like what we like. I hope you’ll like this one too! I have made a TON of modifications to my madeleine recipe that I’ll be sharing over time on this blog. I adore these cookies. They’re amazing with coffee or tea (not really paleo, I know, but we’re already established I’m paleo-ish. I love coffee too much to give it up!).

For those of you who don’t do dairy, use lard. It is awesome and works well. Just skip all the directions for infusing and go with lemon zest for a more traditional tasting madeleine.

Brown Butter & Orange Honey Madeleines

Brown Butter & Orange Honey Madeleines

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • ⅛ cup honey (I recommend a local honey for the best flavor!)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 TB orange zest or the fresh zest of one large orange
  • Infused Brown Butter Ingredients
  • ⅛ cup butter (You can use coconut oil, but do not brown, obviously!)
  • 1 vanilla bean - the caviar scraped from inside
  • 3-5 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • Makes 8 large madelines

Instructions

  1. Grease your madeline pan or cookie sheet (these can just be flat cookies!) if you’re using metal. If you’re using a silicone pan, I highly recommend the de Buyer Elastomoule. Only lightly grease this pan if it’s your first time using it.
  2. Melt butter and bring to a simmer over low to medium heat. Cook until the butter turns the color of a nut and smells nutty.
  3. Add the crushed cardamom pods & vanilla bean caviar just as the butter starts to brown.
  4. Turn off the heat once the butter is nutty and transfer to a clean bowl to let it cool down to room temperature.
  5. While that is going on, toss your two room temperature eggs in your stand mixer. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you’ll just have to take this one step at a time! I recommend asking for one for Christmas. ;o)) Beat them on high until they turn pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  6. While that’s beating, prep your dry ingredients in a separate bowl - almond flour, cream of tartar and orange zest. Mix them all up thoroughly. Use a fork to press out any lumps in almond flour ahead of time.
  7. Strain your butter to remove crushed cardamom pods. You’ll be using it in the next step!
  8. Alright, back to the eggs. After they’ve turned pale and fluffy, add in the honey and beat on medium for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Then, slowly pour in the infused brown butter while mixer is still going. Be sure to get it all in there - those dark bits and the vanilla bean taste so yummy! Spatula power!
  10. Mix your wet ingredients gently into your prepared dry ingredients. Try not to over mix!
  11. Spoon or pipe your batter into the molds so they are about ¾ full. I always end up overfilling mine, but it still works out okay. You may have a little leftover, but it’s delicious so feel free to eat it. ;o)
  12. Place the pan in the refrigerator. Start preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  13. Times up? Alright, well now put them in the oven 10-15 minutes (depending on what type of pan you are using. If you decided to make mini madeleines, your baking time will be shorter). Take them out when the edges start to turn a nice deep golden brown.
  14. Let the cool for a few minutes, then pop them out onto a plate and let them cool the rest of the way.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/09/brown-butter-orange-honey-madeleines/

Creamy Peas, please!

I love creme fraiche. Like, lovelovelove. I even make my own so that I can make sure it’s organic & grass fed. It’s as easy as adding 4 tablespoons of buttermilk to a pint of heavy cream and letting it sit on the counter overnight in a glass covered container.

I put it in desserts or slap some on top of eggs, but what I REALLY love to use it with are peas. Peas + creme fraiche = heaven, especially when you toss in some parmesan cheese. (There is a saying in our house “A little parm won’t do any harm!”) This is my go to savory snack and sometimes, my lunch when my kids are being squirmy and I don’t have a lot of time. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Creamy Peas

Creamy Peas

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • Onion powder, to taste preference
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste preference

Instructions

  1. 1. Heat up peas by your preferred method, with thyme. I usually just microwave with thyme in bowl.
  2. 2. Drain water.
  3. 3. Stir in creme fraiche, salt, pepper, onion powder, and parmesan.
  4. 4. Enjoy your healthy-ish snack or serve in a pretty bowl as a flavorful side green side dish!
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/08/creamy-peas-please/

Recommitting to Paleo & my better health

On the 4th of July, I got a very special phone call from Lindsay’s husband, tattling on her for eating non-paleo. This got me thinking. How well have I been doing lately?

For a woman who has been with the same man since she was 17 years old (which, let’s just say, was awhile ago), I kinda suck at commitment. I pick up hobbies (or what I should probably call them, obsessions) almost as quickly as I drop them. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’ve been gradually falling off the healthy eating bandwagon. For a long time, I was truly cane sugar free besides the occasional piece of chocolate (fair trade & organic Theo chocolate!). We were also super strict about our grain free-dom. No rice, corn or soy passed through our doors. However, with a rough pregnancy and the stress of moving to a new state/selling our home/etc with a newborn, I’ve fallen off the bandwagon.

So, let me stand up and say honestly… Hello, my name is Michelle and I’m a sugaraholic.

Sugar and carbs are an addiction. When I’m on them, they’re one of the things I think about most often. I’ll eat an entire bowl of organic ice cream and think… well, why not one more? Yesterday, I was so desperate for sugar that I took some the paleo-ish caramel sauce (dairy, but coconut sugar & maple syrup sweetened) I had made and smothered cashews, almonds and a ton of chocolate chips in it since we didn’t have ice cream in the house. It was both gross & delicious at the same time.

I’ve got a problem and I need to fix it. I’ve gone from following Mark Sisson’s 80/20 principle to being an absolute addict. The idea of the 80/20 principle is that you eat paleo/primal 80% of the time, but 20% of the time, you make practical choices based on availability, etc. So, when we were moving, obviously we couldn’t always be paleo, but as soon as we moved into our new place & had a working stove again, back to primal eating 80% right? That’s my problem. I never went back. I’m not making practical choices. I’m eating so…much…junk. It has to stop. It is wreaking havoc on my body. I haven’t felt well emotionally or physically in quite some time.

So, I’m here, publically admitting to this and making a commitment not just to myself, but to all of you. I’m back on the bandwagon. I am no longer going to say to myself “Well you still eat healthier than the average American!”, because well, that’s just not good enough. I am going to make wise choices, eat locally and organically, exercise, do yoga, and avoid cane sugar & grains once again.

To celebrate, let me share a non-sweet treat recipe today (no photo, sorry!).

Coconut Curry Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 bunches kale, chopped (curlier varieties work best, but any will work in a pinch.)
  • 4 TBs coconut oil, melted (I recommend something very fragrant, like Dr. Bronner's Whole Kernel.)
  • 2-3 TBs curry powder
  • 2 TBs coconut (finely shredded or macaroon)
  • Dash of salt

Instructions

  1. Rinse and thoroughly dry your kale (use a salad spinner or shake well).
  2. Coat your chopped kale in melted coconut oil in a large bowl.
  3. Add spices, salt and coconut. Stir around until evenly coated.
  4. Spread in a thin layer on food dehydrator and follow your device's directions. It usually takes between 4-6 hours.
  5. Prefer to cook them in the oven? Well, then be sure to have your oven heated to 300 degrees. Grease your baking sheets with coconut oil and spread the leaves on them in a thin layer. Bake for 18-22 minutes, flipping the kale over halfway through.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/07/committing-to-paleo-my-better-health/

Quick & Easy Tea & Vanilla Infused Crumble

Well, phew, I’m back. I have a kitchen once again. Moving is never easy, but we have survived and it feels SO good to get back into the kitchen. This was the first thing I made in the new kitchen. Simple, pretty, and oh so delicious!

Quick & Easy Crumble

Quick & Easy Crumble

Ingredients

    Base:
  • Fruit (fresh is best. If you use frozen, you will need to use less tea!). Chop it up!
  • 3/4c Black tea - I used Numi's Vanilla Decaf for an extra vanilla boost.
  • Vanilla bean pod (post scraping)
  • Topping:
  • 3/4c almond flour
  • 1/4c coconut oil
  • 1 vanilla bean's caviar
  • 1-2TB maple or coconut sugar
  • Dash of salt

Instructions

  1. Do the topping first. Mix together ingredients and set aside.
  2. Use whatever fruit you have got! Today, I used two apples (diced), about 1/2c rhubarb and 2 cups strawberries. Yay farmers markets!
  3. Drizzle some coconut oil in the bottom of a casserole dish of the appropriate size.
  4. Put in your fruit.
  5. Pour in the tea, put in the vanilla pods, and sprinkle the topping over the fruit.
  6. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes covered. Then, uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the top starts to golden. Remove vanilla bean pods before serving, of course.
  7. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy it while it's warm. Yum!
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/06/quick-easy-crumble/

Clean the fridge quiche

quiche

Quiche is one of those dishes that wows guests, but is quite easy to make. My version uses a crust from one of my favorite food blogger’s cookbooks, The Almond Flour Cookbook, by Elana Amsterdam of ElanasPantry.com. She has a paleo cookbook coming out next month which I’ve totally pre-ordered.

I call this “clean the fridge” quiche because it’s something I make frequently on Fridays, which is the end of our “food” week. This is the day that I try to use up all the produce leftover so that I have room in my crisper drawers for my farmers market run on Saturday mornings. You can do this too! Quiche seriously is so flexible and absolutely delicious. So, take my ingredient list as a suggestion and make your own variation. Be sure to share your combinations with me so I can try ’em too. 🙂

Clean the fridge quiche

Ingredients

    For the crust
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (Honeyville Grain brand recommended, only avail online)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TB water
  • For the filling
  • 1-2 leafs of kale, chopped up into bite size pieces
  • 1-2 slices of organic ham
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded manchego cheese
  • 1-2 TBs of dijon mustard (be sure to watch out for sugar! Not necessary for yummy dijon.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 TBs of creme fraiche or heavy whipping cream

Instructions

    Make the crust!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Add wet ingredients and mix 'em up.
  4. Press into a tarte pan. Bake for 10 minutes until just turning golden, but still mostly light colored.
  5. Filling time. 🙂
  6. Preheat over to 425 degrees.
  7. Saute kale and carrots with a little oil of your choice.
  8. Shred cheese and put on the crust. Top with sauteed veggies and chopped ham.
  9. Whisk together mustard, eggs, and creme fraiche in a small bowl. Pour into crust.
  10. Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for a couple minutes & serve!
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/05/clean-the-fridge-quiche/