Raw mini coconut cream pies with chocolate crust

coconut cream pies

I’m one of those people who loves sweets. Think of how much you love chocolate, multiply it by ten, and that’s how much I love it. I could eat a whole pint (or more) of ice cream in one sitting. So for obvious reasons, I have had to learn to control my cravings and use smaller, controlled portions. So I went on a search to find delicious things that wouldn’t make me feel TOO guilty. And I have to admit that this recipe hit the spot.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Raw Cashews or Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Plain Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Agave
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa
  • Dash of Salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 Cup Coconut Cream (Refrigerated and skimmed from the top of a can)*
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp Agave
  • 1 Banana
  • Dash of Salt

*To get the coconut cream, take a can of coconut milk. Put it in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Open the can and skim off the thick, white coconut cream. That’s what you’ll use for the recipe.

Directions:

Place crust ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Evenly press dough down into muffin tin.

Place all filling ingredients in a separate food processor bowl (or washed bowl) and blend until smooth. Evenly top crust with coconut cream filling. Place in the freezer and let set for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Remove from freezer and and eat immediately!

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Paleo cheesecake

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It’s the New Year, so time for those New Year’s resolutions. In an effort to satisfy my sweet tooth with relatively healthy recipes, I went on a search for raw, wholesome desserts. I came across this “cheesecake” – however there is no cheese in it whatsoever! So of course I had to test it out!

I was pleasantly surprised with how the cheesecake turned out. I really love the crust, and the filling does have the same texture as the real thing. While it will never replace the real cheesecake for me, it is still a great alternative! Let’s be honest, I don’t need to be eating cheesecake every day 🙂

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans or almonds
  • a little more than 1/2 cup soft pitted dates or raisins
  • 1/4 cup raw flaked coconut
  • tiniest pinch of sea salt

Filling:

  • 3 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked & drained)
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans, scraped

Begin by soaking the cashews. You can do this the day before or four hours ahead. Leave in a bowl of water. After they’ve finished soaking, prepare the crust.

In the bowl of a food processor, chop the dates, nuts, coconut and sea salt. Process until it holds together when you press it between two of your fingers. Set aside. Begin the filling by slightly warming the coconut oil in a bowl of warm water (it melts at 77 degrees). Add the cashews, coconut oil, agave, lemon juice and vanilla into the pitcher of a blender, and blend well until completely smooth.

Press the crust evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan. Pour the filling on top and freeze for 4 hours, or over night. To serve, let the cheesecake thaw for about 30 minutes, and cut into small slivers.

I like to serve with fresh or frozen berries.

Paleo lemon bars

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I love lemon bars just as much as the next person. But if you know me, you know how I can’t leave a meal without eating dessert. That being said, I have put myself to the test to create alternative desserts to satisfy my craving.

If you like Paleo recipes, check my recipe box for a few more ideas or just type Paleo into the search box.

Filling:

  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup lemon juice (8 lemons)
  • unsweetened shredded coconut

Crust:

  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 cup of raw macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup raw organic honey
  • 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 2 eggs

For the filling, whisk your eggs, honey, and lemon juice together in a small sauce pan. Place on your stove over medium/high heat and add coconut oil. Stir until coconut oil melts and then continue stirring until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Once thick, remove from the heat and place in a bowl in your refrigerator to cool.

Then prepare the crust. Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees fahrenheit. Place your almonds and macadamia nuts in a food processor and blend until in small chunks. In a mixing bowl, combine nuts with the honey, melted coconut oil, and eggs and mix well.

Grease an 8×12 inch baking pan and then spread your nut mixture over the entire pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until your crust is done. It should pass the toothpick test. Cool your crust completely before applying your topping.

Once your crust is cool, spread your lemon topping over your crust, sprinkle as much unsweetened shredded coconut as you want over the topping, and then return to the refrigerator or freezer and keep it refrigerated or frozen until you serve it.

Holiday recipes + donation to Feeding America

Oh, how I love the holiday season! I have been blasting Christmas music (sorry neighbors), decorating and holiday shopping since before Thanksgiving. Now that we’re well into December I’m sure there is a lot on everyone’s mind, especially the thought of what you’re going to cook when the family gets together! I thought I would help you along with your planning by providing you with some of my favorite holiday recipes.

Starting with an appetizer, here’s a full menu idea (recipes below):

  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Marmalade-glazed ham
  • Goat cheese potato gratin
  • Cheesy grits souffle
  • Peanut brittle
  • Pecan-pumpkin pie

Another great tip is to make as much as you can ahead of time. And plan, plan, plan! Read your recipes a couple of days in advance to see how long each dish takes so your recipes can all come out at the same time and still be warm when you are ready to serve! Some parts can even be made the day before, or even the week before if you can freeze and store until you are ready to finish baking or cooking. You can also assign different activities to different people. I have also included a sample time-table below.

As an added bonus, the company I work for, GolinHarris, just launched their holiday site, GHoliday.com. Every time someone submits a recipe, they will donate to Feeding America. So share your favorite recipes – it’s for a great cause!

Stuffed mushrooms

mushrooms

  •  1 lb cremini mushrooms (small, bite sized mushrooms that are good for stuffing)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Remove the stems from the mushrooms by gently turning the stems and pulling them out. Chop the stems up and save for the next step. Chop the green onions and bell pepper. Melt the butter on the stove over medium heat in a 12 inch skillet.

Add the chopped mushroom stems, bell pepper, and onions to the skillet and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

If you want to make ahead of time, you can stop after this step and pick up with the next when you are ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use remaining butter to grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. Place mushrooms, open side up, in the pan. Fill each mushroom with the mixture. Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Total time: 30 minutes

Marmalade-glazed ham

ham

  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 cooked, spiral-sliced, smoked bone-in half ham

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together marmalade, sugar, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and rosemary. Place ham in a 9×13 inch roasting pan. Brush the mixture all over the ham. Place in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted horizontally in the bottom portion of the ham (not touching the bone) reaches 140 degrees. Transfer to a platter and garnish with herbs and fruit if you like!

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Goat cheese potato gratin

goat cheese potatoes

  • 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping cup soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Chives or green onions, chopped, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease an 11×7 inch baking dish.

Slice the potatoes very thinly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, garlic, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish overlapping them slightly. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes, then repeat the layers two more times with the remaining potatoes and cream.

Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and the potatoes are cooked through. Allow to stand at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chives or green onions and serve.

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cheesy grits souffle

souffle-e1324962973594

  • 6.5 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 large eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking dish.

In a saucepan, bring water, margarine, salt, and 1 1/2 cup of milk to a boil. Whisk in grits. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Whisk well, then stir in nutmeg, cayenne, remaining 1 cup milk, and the Cheddar cheese. Whisk in 3 egg yolks; discard the remaining yolks. Transfer to a bowl and cool.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat all 6 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add one-third of the whites to the grits mixture and stir until blended. Fold in remaining egg whites, stir gently, then transfer to a souffle dish. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown on top.

Total time: 1 hour

Peanut brittle

peanut brittle

  • 1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Grease a baking sheet, and set aside. In a glass bowl, combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook in microwave for 6 to 7 minutes on High (700 W); mixture should be bubbly and peanuts browned. Stir in butter and vanilla; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Quickly stir in baking soda, just until mixture is foamy. Pour immediately onto greased baking sheet. Let cool 15 minutes, or until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

Total time: 30 minutes

Pecan-pumpkin pie

pie

  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 prepared deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°.

In small bowl, combine one egg, pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Spread in pie crust.

In medium bowl, beat remaining two eggs slightly. Stir in corn syrup and remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the butter and vanilla; stir until well blended. Stir in pecans. Carefully spoon over pumpkin mixture.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until filling is set around edge. Cool pie completely on wire rack.

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Time table

Day before:

  • Make peanut brittle
  • Make pecan-pumpkin pie
  • Prepare the filling for the stuff mushrooms and store in the fridge over night

Day of:

  • 10:00 am Before guests arrive, set the table, set out wine glasses, etc.
  • 12:00 pm Assemble the stuffed mushroom, bake, then serve for guests
  • 12:30 pm Mise and place – Prepare the glaze for the ham
  • 12:40 pm Mise and place – Prepare the ingredients for the goat cheese potato gratin
  • 1:15 Put the ham in the oven to cook
  • 1:15 Put the potatoes in the oven to cook
  • 1:20 pm Mise and place – Prepare the ingredients for the cheesy grits souffle
  • 1:40 pm Put the souffles in the oven to bake
  • 2:30 pm Remove the ham from the oven and let rest
  • 2:30 pm Remove the potatoes from the oven
  • 2:30 Remove the souffles from the oven
  • 2:35 Serve!

I would love to hear about your favorite recipes – share them here and also on GHoliday.com!

The perfect pumpkin chocolate chip cookie

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Follow these directions, my friends, and you will have the perfect cookie. I’m not exaggerating. I get in a rush sometimes and tend to mix all of the wet ingredients together, then all of the dry and combine. Some recipes say that’s all you need to do, but if you follow these specific steps the cookies will come out ten times better! Trust me, it is SO worth the extra steps.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
  • Butter, nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub butter on cookie sheets to grease them, spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds.

 

Pour baking soda into a small dish or cup. Add a teaspoon of hot water (hot from the sink or boiling) to the baking soda and mix it together. Add to the batter, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges and an inserted tooth pick comes out clean. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Pecan pumpkin pie

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It’s October. That means it’s perfectly fine to start busting out the pumpkin. If you know me, you know I love ANYTHING and EVERYTHING pumpkin. I also happen to be a huge fan of pecan pie. So I combined them both in this amazing dessert.

  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 prepared deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°.

In small bowl, combine one egg, pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Spread in pie crust.

In medium bowl, beat remaining two eggs slightly. Stir in corn syrup and remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the butter and vanilla; stir until well blended. Stir in pecans. Carefully spoon over pumpkin mixture.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until filling is set around edge. Cool pie completely on wire rack.

Julia Child’s chocolate mousse

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This is the final part of the epic meal I made for my mom’s birthday. First it was the pork tenderloin, then the potatoes, then we finished off with the chocolate mouse. My mom already had all kinds of baked goods in her house from other people for her birthday, so I wanted to make a dessert that wasn’t too heavy. Not to mention, there is nothing like chilled homemade chocolate mousse on a hot summer night. This recipe is really quite simple and only took a few minutes to prepare, just be aware that you will need time to chill in the fridge before serving.

  • 8 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted with 1/4 cup coffee
  • 3 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Whipped cream for serving

Beat the butter into the smoothly melted chocolate. One by one, beat in the egg yolks.

Beat the cream just until it reaches stiff peaks.

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. While beating, gradually sprinkle in the sugar and continue beating until stiff shining peaks are formed.

Slowly mix the chocolate mixture with the whipped cream. Carefully fold in the egg whites.

Turn the mousse into serving bowls. Cover and chill several hours. Serve with whipped cream.