Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chocolate Fruit Pizza. [with gluten-free crust]


Okay, So the other day I decided to finally try out an idea that had been churning around in my mind for quite awhile now. A twist on a classic. A fruit pizza, with a chocolate "sauce", instead of the normal white cream cheese stuff. I also wanted a crust that wasn't super sweet and all sugary.

You know, next time, I'm actually going to have lots of awesome fruit on hand when I decide to make a fruit pizza. Instead of just strawberries and kiwis. Even though I absolutely love both of those. But I guess one of the main things about this blog is that I promote using ingredients you have on hand. Since I just so happened to have a pile of strawberries and kiwis about to go bad on me, I suppose I did live up to my motto.

But really, I do wish I would've had more, awesome fruit.

But anyway! Here is what I came up with.


My Marlin loves coconut. So for the crust I used 4 cups of unsweetened coconut, 2 cups of almond flour, a cup of butter, and about a half a cup of honey. I really just added the honey until it had the sweetness I wanted. And did you hear that? It's gluten free! Yeah. I  felt proud of myself. It wasn't even intentional.
So yeah. You mix all of that up and spread it evenly onto your pan and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.


While that is baking slice up your fruit. I really don't have any idea how much I used. Between me eating it, and slicing more up, and Marlin coming in and randomly snitching a pile...wow. Yeah. No idea. So really, just feel it. It's not that difficult.

When the crust comes out. You want to make sure that it's pretty much completely cooled before you put your cream cheese mixture on it...otherwise it will make the whole thing all runny and....ewww. Honestly, I feel your pain. You have no idea how much I sincerely desired to just put the sauce on when it was still lukewarm. I mean, I was really excited about this idea...and I'm not a patient person to begin with. Just, chill. Take some deep breaths...and check the temperature outside or something. Or facebook, or pinterest....or eat some more of your carefully sliced fruit. Because trust me, simply mixing up the cream cheese, coconut milk, honey, and cocoa powder will not take long enough to make this crust cool.

You could also try holding the pan up in the air and swooshing it around like an airplane in an effort to cool it faster. But then you risk losing the pan. Plus, pans can retain an amazing amount of heat. And you could get burnt. Not like I'd know or anything. Ahem. Cough.

So yeah. Once the crust is finished cooling you want to spread the cream cheese on evenly, and top with your fruit. Make it look cool. Or not. :)


Recipe

Crust:
4 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups of almond flour
1/2 cup of honey (or to taste)
1 cup of softened butter (two sticks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix everything together and press onto lightly greased pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.

Sauce:
1-2 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup of coconut milk
1/2 cup of cocoa powder. (or until it's as chocolate-y as ya want it)
Honey to taste
1/2 banana
(I added the banana for a little extra sweetener. this is totally optional. Ok, I'll be totally honest. I actually just had one very ripe banana that I managed to only eat half of before I was totally grossed out by it... so I threw it into the mix. I wouldn't recommend putting in more unless you want a really banana flavor to the whole thing. P.S. I hate really ripe bananas.)


Mix well and spread onto crust.

Top with Fruit of your choice.

Enjoy at your leisure. :)

Question: Do you have any cute Ideas to make garnishes out of fruit? I really wanted to do something with the kiwis but couldn't figure out how to turn one into a flower or something. ;) I tried to do one like this kiwi flower but I'm afraid I totally failed...either that or it's going to take a little more practice. So I just went back to my strawberry flower. :)

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Mousse! [ & A new look for me????]

Do you wanna know what I did yesterday? I helped my Marlin frame up a deck...or whatever it's called...you know, like, put up the frame of the deck...so the deck structure is there, but the boards aren't on or the rail? yeah. I think it's called a deck frame. If it's not. Too bad. You get the picture.

But seriously! I think guys are strong. Like, stronger than you actually think they are. Because, I've always considered myself to be a strong girl. Maybe even stronger than I thought I was. ;) Yesterday kinda made me take a second look at that. But let's not focus on that. How morbid. Anyway! About the guy's being strong thing.

We were putting up these 2 by 12's around the edge...and then 2 by 10's for the floor joists. AND IT HURT!  Okay. now that I put that out there, I feel better. So what happened was: I stood on a ladder in the middle of the structure. (on the ground of course) and Marlin had the edge. He handed one end of the board up to me and then carried the other end up his side of the ladder. Then we held them up. (above my head, mind you. yeah, SUPERWOMAN!) and he lined his end up with whatever he was lining it up with, and then managed to hold his end of the HEAVY board up with one hand and wrestled the nail gun up there and nail his end in. (I say "wrestled" because that's what I would do. It actually was pretty effortless on his part.) Then He would climb down and come over to my end of the board and do the same thing over. Repeat process, repeat process, repeat process....um, yeah. Your getting the point.

You wanna know something? I seriously thought I was going to drop my end of the board every time! It just got heavier and heavier. I'll bet I'm several inches shorter now. But it got me thinking. How many times have I watched my dad and bros...and a few other guys do something like that and act like it was no biggie. When, hello? It IS a biggie. Just saying. I really do think they're stronger than I think they are. Which, really leaves me with a dilemma...because now I have no clue how strong they are! Oh, and My Marlin? He's stronger than all of them. (I just had to say that. You understand, I hope.)

Alright! Enough of that. Yay!

I'm so excited right now. I actually feel like, a genius or something. I always get so happy when I learn something new...something that I thought was hard, but turned out easy. I learned this last night at like, midnight. Yeah. My poor Marlin...he had to put up with me being all excited about this.

But here it is! I always thought the fish tail braid was super creepy looking. Like, idk, it sorta looks like a rattle snakes tail. But when I found out how easy it was, I decided to do it anyway. And it actually isn't that bad. It kinda grows on you. Besides, when you run your hand down the length of the "braid"? It's super trippy feeling. Seriously. That alone is worth the work. :) I'm not good at it yet. This is only my second try. But here ya go.


Once I took a good long look at it. I decided that the best look to go with this weird braid...is like, the hippy style. So Basically, I think all you need to do for this style is just throw on some bright colors and a flowy skirt. Then do the braid thing...and make sure you just have random hairs hanging out. Which for me is not a problem. My hair just doesn't enjoy staying where I put it. Then! This the tricky part. Grab all of your colorful bracelets and a couple necklaces and throw it all on....after I did all of that... I felt like I should be out in the middle of the meadow meditating in the early morning sunshine or something. So I went and peaced out for awhile. I really think I need to work on my meditative form though. But bear with me, it's a work in progress....and of course no rush! But wow. Now I feel like my mellow has been put in place for the day.

I really think I could work this look....or not? I mean. For today, anyway. Tomorrow I might be something else...because I won't have the braid. But, it's a good thought.


Okay! Okay. Focus Vonda. Focus. I'm very focused right now. Recipe. Mousse, recipe. Healthy, Mousse recipe. Got it.

Awhile back I found this recipe for a Vegan Chocolate Mousse. Quite frankly, I was fascinated. I just had to make it. I mean, it has...wait for it: Avocado's in it! How weird is that anyway? Yeah. Pretty weird. I mean, I love guacamole...it's so green, and, well, green. But, guacamole, in chocolate? Seriously? WHAT?! Now I realize, avocados aren't guacamole. But be honest, I am not the only one that immediately associates the two. So this recipe is so cool me. Especially since it worked. :) Plus, it only takes like 5 minutes to make.


Recipe
4 ripe organic avocados. halved, pitted, and with their flesh scooped out.
3/4 Cup of Cocoa Powder
3/4- 1 cup of Raw Organic Agave Nectar (or to taste)
3 Tablespoons of Raw Almond butter, (or 1/4 cup of coconut cream)
2 Tablespoons of Raw Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
(I did NOT like it with the cinnamon. I just added more vanilla. But it's your choice.)
pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and puree until smooth. You might need to get a spatula and scrape the sides a few times and pulse. Because the mixture gets very thick.
Refrigerate for 2 hours and Serve!


So seriously! Now answer me, How awesome is that? Very awesome! Totally guilt free too. And you seriously cannot taste the avocados. :)

Speaking of Avocados [aka guacamole]: What is your favorite spring/summer time chip dip? :)
I love fresh salsa and.....guacamole. :)



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Friday, April 20, 2012

Turkey Bacon & Feta Cheese Salad With Bonus Honey Butter Rolls

Alright! I'm almost done updating these promised recipes. I can't wait! I've been making some pretty cool stuff. But I have to get this out of the way first! :)

So first up is the salad. This salad was delish. Honestly. Another thing is...I didn't follow or use a recipe. :) But if you can't make it just with knowing the ingredients and "feeling it"...I'm sorry. I'll try and do the approximate with everything. :)

Okay. Baby Spinach. Turkey Bacon. Feta Cheese. Bosc Pears. Baby Bella Mushrooms. Hardboiled  Eggs. Red Onion.
So just use however much spinach you want. Cause I have no clue on this one.
Approx half a package of cooked and cut turkey bacon.
2 Baby Bella Mushrooms per plate.
1 1/2 hard boiled eggs per plate.
Half of a red onion distributed between the two.
Sprinkle with as much Feta Cheese as you want.
Half a Bosc pear. Slice it. And garnish each plate with one half.
Sprinkle lightly with Pepper.
Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Enjoy! :)




So next up is some Honey Butter Rolls. :) Super Easy. Fast. Delicious. I'm really sorry that Once again, I didnt take many pics. Mainly, after they came out of the oven pics. I was just in a hurry to get everything set on and served before it got cold...that I sorta forgot.

I also used White Whole Wheat Flour in these instead of Whole Wheat. I realize that yes, White Whole Wheat is not as "healthy" of an option. So for the longest time I just didn't use it. But I have done a lot of research on different flours...and decided that know. In the end it isn't necessarily the "unhealthiest" flour of the two. True, Whole Wheat Flour contains approximately 5% more protein than White Whole Wheat does, and it has tannins and phenolic acids...whereas White Whole Wheat does not. But! White Whole Wheat has considerably less gluten content. So if you are trying to monitor gluten, the fact that it's lacking 5% of the protein value, is outweighed by the benefits of less gluten. That however, is just my opinion. If you decide to buy White Whole Wheat Flour, make sure it's organic.




Recipe

1 Tablespoon of Instant Yeast
1 1/8 cups of warm water
3 cups of White Whole Wheat Flour
 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
3/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup of softened butter (1 cube)
1/4 cup of dry milk

Dissolve Yeast in Water & Honey. Let set for approx 15 minutes or until the yeast has started to bubble and expand. Add remaining ingredients to mixture and mix and knead until you have a smooth dough. It is going to be sticky.
Set in a greased bowl and let raise until doubled in size.
(I was in a hurry so I just skipped this step. They probably would've been fluffier if I wouldn't have.)
Lightly grease your desired pan, and form dough into even balls. Space evenly on pan and let rise until double. While they are rising preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stick in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and immediately butter the tops and sides. Serve warm, with your choice of jam. :)


So there ya go!

Question: "Do you have a tried and true dinner roll recipe or do you enjoy trying out different recipes?"


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lemon, Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Game Hens

Okay. First things first. ;) I passed my test!!!! Yay! Seriously! I'm so happy right now....I got this cool certificate....and cool card...and cool little First Responder patches...and it awesome! Even though I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the patches...they're still cool. That's how happy I am. I also got a WAY better grade than I thought I would. Which is also...well, very cool. But no, it wasn't a 100% so you cannot know what it actually was.

Second thing. I apologize for my complete lack of pictures...but I was rather in a hurry when I made this meal...so I didn't have time to take lots of pictures. So yeah, sorry.

I would apologize for taking so long on an update...(again!) But, it's my blog...and seeing as how it's my blog, I get to update it when I have time/feel like it. Life is getting much busier. That's all.

First up: The Awesome Cornish Game Hens!


These are so simple to make, and absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making these again. They take about 45 minutes to cook. So without further ado (or pictures) here is the recipe:

Recipe

2 Cornish Game Hens
1 lemon quartered
2 Tablespoons of Rosemary
(or more if you really like Rosemary)
1/2 cup of olive oil
6 or 7 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of chicken broth
fresh rosemary sprigs for a garnish
[if you have fresh rosemary..if not use whatever you want]Oh! And salt and pepper to taste. :)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Get yourself a roaster or an oven safe dish.
Put the hens in that dish. ;) Okay. I'm going to be serious now.
Quarter your lemons and put two quarters in the cavity of each hen. Put a Tablespoon of Rosemary in there too. Or if you have fresh Rosemary, like a sprig or two. Mix your salt and pepper into about a 1/4 cup of olive oil and rub onto the hens...I added more pepper after that. Arrange your Garlic cloves around the hens and put in preheated oven, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F and in a mixing bowl whisk together the wine, chicken broth and remaining olive oil...then pour the mixture over the hens. Cover the hens (or don't, I don't care.) and put them back in for approx. 25 minutes. Or until they're a nice golden brown and the juices are running clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes or so.
Transfer the hens to a serving dish and make sure to empty all of the juice and stuff from the cavity. Cover to keep warm. Take all the pan juice and garlic and put them in a sauce pan. Boil until it is a sauce like consistency...approx. 4-6 minutes. Spoon sauce over hens, garnish...and enjoy!
Additional super easy recipe. Honey Seasoned Yams. :)

Recipe

2 yams
4 Tablespoons of honey
Salt and pepper to taste
(and your favorite seasoning salt)
Slice of butter.

Poke yams with a fork...many times. In a small kettle combine the honey, salt and pepper and a little butter.  Add Yams, and enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, cover and keep on low heat for 25-30 minutes, or until soft.
Remove from kettle. Cut Yams in half, and add a little butter and more seasonings to the top of it. Enjoy! (and remember, they're much better hot!)

okay! So that's everything. I'll see ya next time with the dinner roll recipe and the salad!



Today's question: what is your favorite thing about spring?
I love all the flowers and sunshine.
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I linked up with: Little farm in the big city

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Love Holidays

Hey again everyone! Sorry, I didn't mean to neglect my blog for so long. But I have been so busy. It's crazy. Since  I last updated I have made a round trip to Idaho to visit my family. (we drove. AND I learned how to drive a stick shift.) That was such a blast though. Just hanging out again and catching up...my family is so funny. I can't describe how much I've missed all the noise and craziness. Except, I have a lower noise tolerance than I once did. I used to not really be bothered by a ton of noise, but there were several times I found myself wishing I was back home in my quiet apartment. ;)

As soon as we got home I had to run off and take my State Practical test for the First Responder class I was taking. I can't tell you how relieved I am to finally not have to worry about tests anymore...the next day was the written test and so I studied some more...then I got there, and they totally tricked me...they hardly had any questions about the stuff I had studied...and they asked so many questions that looked ALL the same. I haven't gotten my results back yet, but trust me, you will hear my exclamation of joy, if I pass. :)

Then there was Easter. I love Easter. Everything is all springy and cheerful, and everyone dresses up in pretty bright colors...and its awesome. I have heard the story so many times, but it never grows old. What Jesus did for me(you) is absolutely incredible and beyond my comprehension. I also enjoy all the cute plays people do about the Easter story.

And then there's the food...I don't know about you all...but my family was the type to celebrate holidays. My mom made the BEST food ever...and we NEVER ran out...there was always so much food, that we could've just sat there at the table and feasted all day without a worry. That's one of the things I've missed the most about home....is the holidays. Everyone celebrates them differently...but it's not something you really think about. Until, BAM! You aren't home with your family for the holiday...and you go to someone else's place, or your in laws. My husbands family isn't really the type to just go all out with an awesome feast...and so that made me super homesick over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. So I decided that the next holiday we came to, I was going to take things into my own hands. ;)

Along came Easter. I planned out a menu and when shopping. I was so annoyed though, when I couldn't find the meat I wanted. I was looking for some nice lamb chops. Because, A. I don't really like Ham...AND it's not good for you. And B. Why do so many people celebrate days like Christmas and Easter with a big juicy Ham? Ham is from pig, which was considered by the Jews an unclean animal and they were forbidden to eat it. Plus, the fact that Jesus was considered the "Lamb of God"...idk, it just seems more awesome and meaningful to eat lamb on those holidays. But I couldn't find any!! All I could find was this giant lamb leg, and that grossed me out. So I opted for 2 Cornish Game Hens. They're small. Delicious....and small...and delicious. Oh! They also are not ham. ;) That being said...I really don't care if you  eat Ham for those holidays. :) I was just stating my personal opinion, and since I like to have my opinion, I will more than gladly allow someone else's theirs. ;)

We didn't actually have our Easter meal on Easter Sunday. We had it Monday night instead. Because we were invited over to a friends place for Sunday afternoon lunch. Where we enjoyed a delicious meal, and some awesome times. 

Lemon Pepper, Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Cornish Game Hen
Honey Seasoned Yam
Spinach & Turkey Bacon Salad Sprinkled With Feta Cheese, and drizzled with Balsamic Vinaigrette and garnished with Bosc Pears. (Ingredients: Baby Spinach, Baby Bella Mushrooms, Red Onion, Hard Boiled Eggs, Turkey Bacon, Feta Cheese and Bosc Pears)
Raw Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse
This was delicious and I've been wanting to try it for ages. But! I don't think I will put cinnamon in next time.

Oh. And we had some nice fluffy White Whole Wheat buns...But I failed to get an after pic of them...they are on the plate. :)

I will post all the recipes for everyone in following posts. :) 
I will also give a post of what I used the left over chicken for...as there was no way we could each eat an entire chicken. ;)
Question: What is your favorite Holiday and why? Are you the type to celebrate holidays? Also, do you have any special traditions? Tell me about them.

I would love to hear what your menu was!


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