Posted in Recipes

Chewy Chestnut Brownies

I’ve been craving chocolate and had some chestnut pieces I had to use up from syrup making, why not use the two together?

Chewy Chestnut Brownies: Makes 12

  • 1/2 cup butter (we used avocado butter)
  • 8 oz dark chocolate (we used vegan dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla or chestnut syrup
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used all purpose you could also use whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup roasted chestnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. To a microwave safe bowl, add your butter and chocolate. Microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted. For my microwave, it took about 3 – 30 second bursts.
  3. Allow to cool slightly, then mix in your sugars thoroughly.
  4. Mix in your vanilla, and 1 egg, mixing completely before adding the next egg and mixing until well combined.
  5. Add in your flour, mixing until just combined.
  6. Fold in your chestnut pieces gently.
  7. Grease a 9×9 square pan well (or a muffin tin) and add in your batter. If using the muffin tin, add about 2 oz of batter per cup.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes, rotating your pan halfway through to promote even baking.
  9. Allow to cool, then enjoy!
  10. Try topped with whipped cream or even with edible cookie dough!

Posted in Recipes

Berry Hibiscus Refresher

I’m not quite ready to let summer go just yet, so I whipped this up for a little taste of sunshine on this rainy day. This drink makes both a delicious non-alcoholic cocktail and a nice sunny pick-me-up.

Berry Hibiscus Refresher: Makes 1

  1. Muddle your sugar cube in a dash of hot water, and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add in your strawberry shrub, lemonade, and tea.
  3. Stir, then top with sparkling water.
  4. Carefully add in your frozen berries, stir once, and enjoy!
Posted in Recipes

BBQ Sauce

Slather on anything and everything!

Ribs, chicken, vegetables, your neighbor, beans, a flip flop, etc!*

It’s generally advised to only put on things that are safe/Legal to eat. Try not to torment your neighbors.

BBQ Sauce: Makes 2 Cups

  • ¼ cup BBQ rub (see bonus recipe)
  • ¼ cup Stock ( I use vegetable)
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 cups ketchup
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan, simmer over medium low/low heat for about 30 minutes, or until it reaches your desired thickness.
Posted in Recipes

French Toast Jammer Bake

A good way to add sweetness and a pop of fruit to your french toast, and great for meal prepping! It’s also a good way to use up bread that’s going a little stale.

French Toast Jammer Bake: Makes 4-5 Jumbo Cups

  • 1/2 loaf bread of choice, cut into cubes (we used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup jam of choice (we used blackberry for this batch)
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute (we used 1/3 cup plant based egg)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (we used oat milk)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your jam, eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  3. Toss the cubes in the mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
  4. Grease a jumbo muffin pan, and spoon about 1/4 cup – 1/3 cup of the bread into each cup.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating your pan after 15 minutes to promote even baking. (Tip: You can use a regular muffin pan, just reduce the amount in each cup and keep an eye on your cooking time, it’s likely you’ll need a little less time in the oven, about 15-20 minutes.)
  6. Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm. (Or if making ahead of time, let them cool completely and store in the fridge.) Try with maple syrup or whipped cream!

Just a quick note: I’ve found the best way to remove them from the pan is to carefully run a rubber spatula around the outside of the bake and then scoop from the bottom.

Enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

K’s Cukes… Er… Pickles

I am a pickle fiend. I’ll fully admit to that. It got to the point that when we visited family in Ohio, they’d pick up an extra jar of pickles just so I wouldn’t eat all of theirs. Needless to say, it’s about time that I shared my favorite homemade pickle recipe.

K’s Cukes – Makes 1 Quart

  • 1/2 pound pickling cucumbers, sliced into your desired shape, (I generally do spears)
  • 1 clove of garlic, smahed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp sambal (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp fresh herbs of choice (dill, rosemary, thyme, etc. My favorite for this recipe is rosemary.)
  1. Place your cucumbers, garlic, herbs, and bay leaf into a heat safe jar or plastic container (large enough so the cucumbers can be completely submerged in the pickling liquid.)
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add your remaining ingredients and heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  3. Carefully pour the pickling liquid into your jar or container and allow to sit on the counter until cooled.
  4. Top your container with a lid and store in the fridge. You can eat them right away, but I like them best after 3-5 days.
  5. Enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Creamy Dreamy Dressing

A little more protein, a lot of flavor! A good way to get your kids to eat their greens. Quick, easy, and also good for dipping!

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hummus (we love roasted garlic hummus or caramelized onion hummus)
  • 2 tbsp pesto (try using our pesto recipe!)
  • 2-4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (to taste)
  • 2-4 tbsp water (to thin to your desired consistency)

Simply add your ingredients to a jar or container, cover tightly with a lid, and shake, shake, shake until smooth! Get the kids in on it and have them put a little bit of the work in! If the hummus is being stubborn and doesn’t want to shake, stir until smooth. Store in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks. (Though I can never keep it around that long!)

Posted in Recipes

Herb Garden Pesto (Nut & Dairy Free)

I love harvesting herbs from my garden, seeing them grow is so satisfying! However, sometimes they grow faster than I can use them. This is a great way to use a bunch up at once!

Herb Garden Pesto: Makes 8-12 ounces

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp roasted garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Simply add all you ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth!

Use it on pasta, roasted veggies, as a salad dressing, marinate some mozzarella with it, mix it into foccacia dough, or for anything else your pesto loving heart desires!

Posted in Recipes

Strawberry Lemonade Coffee Jumbo Cupcakes (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Say that 5 times fast!

A little labor of love for a sweet summer treat that features farm fresh berries that almost everyone can eat! To make things easy, I’ve broken down the recipe into little recipes for each component.

Strawberry Lemonade Coffee Cupcakes: Makes 5 jumbo cupcakes or 10-12 regular cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 350F.

For the topping:

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup plant butter (we used avocado butter)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1)
  1. Add all of your ingredients to a small bowl, and mash the butter into the flour and sugar with the back of a fork (or a whisk) until uniformly crumbly. Think pie dough!
  2. Set aside.

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  1. In a small pot, add in your strawberries, water, and brown sugar.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together your cornstarch and lemon juice until well combined, adding water as necessary to make sure the cornstarch is dissolved.
  4. Pour your cornstarch mixture into the strawberries and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes, or until thick and bubbly.
  5. Set to the side and allow to cool.

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plant butter of choice (we used avocado butter)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dairy free milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together your flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. Add in your butter and using the same method as mentioned above in the topping section, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together your applesauce, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

All together now!:

  1. Lightly pan spray your jumbo or muffin tin.
  2. Spread 2 ounces (or 1/4 cup) of batter on the bottom of the tins (use 1 ounce or 2 tbsp for a regular cupcake pan), using the back of a spoon.
  3. Spoon in 2 tbsp (1 tbsp for regular sized cupcakes) of your filling in the center of your batter.
  4. Add 2 more ounces of batter on top of the filling (1 ounce for regular sized cupcakes), spreading it over the filling as best you can – I found small short movements made it easier to spread.
  5. Evenly distribute your topping onto your cupcakes. (I’d estimate that I used 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp of topping for each jumbo cupcake.)
  6. Bake in your oven for 30 minutes, rotating your pan halfway through the cooking time to promote even baking. For regular sized cupcakes, check them after 10 minutes to rotate, you may only need 15-20 minutes of baking to cook through the smaller size. If you’re not sure that they’re done, use a meat thermometer! They should read at least 190F.
  7. Allow your cakes to cool for 15-30 minutes before removing from your pan and serving.
  8. If desired, top them with your favorite whipped cream!
  9. Enjoy! I shared one with my kiddo as a sweet treat to start our morning.

Tip: They will be a tad messy, and if you’d like to minimize mess in your oven, place a baking sheet underneath your cupcake pan to catch any jam that might drip out. I’ve also found that the easiest way to remove them from the pan was to run a small rubber spatula around the edge before scooping it out of the pan.

Posted in Recipes

Fresh Mixed Berry Jam

‘Tis the season for farm fresh berries, and this is a super flexible and easy two-ingredient recipe that can be jazzed up any way you like!

  • 1 pint berries of choice (I used mixed berries from a local farm that I had frozen)
  • 1/4 cup sweetener (I used some AMAZING raw honey that we get from the local farmer’s market, you could also use splenda, sugar, brown sugar, a simple syrup, so on and so forth)
  • Anything else you may want to add! Baking spices, fruit juices, baking extracts, citrus zest, chopped herbs, etc. The jam is your oyster? Erm… You know what I mean. We often like to add cinnamon and lemon zest.

Simply add your berries and sweetener to a small sauce pan, and place over medium low heat.

Cook gently until the mixture is thickened to your liking and remember – it will thicken as it sits and cools. I like my jam a little on the thinner side, so I only simmered mine for about 15 minutes.

If desired, blend until smooth and strain out the seeds. Allow to cool slightly before storing in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.

This recipe is NOT made for canning and storage, but rather small batch jams that you’ll use up within a week or two and store in your fridge or freezer. My kiddo goes through so many PB&Js, this is an easy way to add variety to our sammies!

Posted in Recipes

Honey Peanut Butter

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with peanut butter all my life. This one I love and it’s stayed a love! Great for traditional PB&Js, mixing into yogurt, and even using in savory peanut sauces. I enjoyed some this morning on whole wheat toast with some farm fresh berries and raw honey.

  • 3 cups roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2-3 tbsp honey (to taste)
  • 2-3 tbsp canola oil (or any other neutral oil you might like to use, but I’ve found canola does best)
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
  1. Add the peanuts and cinnamon (if using) to a food processor, and process until fine crumbs. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  2. Add in your honey while your processor is running.
  3. Once your honey is incorporated, add in your oil as needed to get the peanut butter as smooth as you like. Remember: the peanuts are full of oil themselves that will come out as you process it, so you might need less than you think.
  4. Store in an airtight jar in a cool spot in your kitchen.
  5. Slather on toast, mix it into plain yogurt, add it to a smoothie, or use it in an Asian style peanut sauce! Get creative with your peanut butter! This should be safe to share with your canine friends, but remember to double check with your veterinarian before sharing human food with your furry friends.