Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer Berry Trifle

Today is my 57th birthday so obvisously I am the mother of the K and K team.  Over the years, my favorite birthday treats were Angel Food cake with strawberries and Grandmom's Icing or Grandmom's cream puffs made with custard inside. So today for my birthday, I wanted to share this Summer Berry Trifle that combines some of the best of both desserts.  This also is a beautiful dessert to celebrate the 4th of July with the combination of the red, white and blue.  It is super easy to make so you still have time to whip one up for your celebration today.

Happy 4th of July to all of our followers and remember the fireworks are really celebrating my birthday (that is what I was told growing up by my family)!

Summer Berry Trifle

Recipe from the Compliments Foods Inspired Summer 2104

3 tbsp custard powder (I love Bird’s) * I added a couple of more tbsp to thicken faster                    
¼ cup + 1tbsp sugar, divided
2 ½ cups skim milk
¾ cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sliced strawberries
Angel Food cake cut into cubes (I used a store bought one for easy prep)
2 tbsp orange-flavored Liqueur (I did not have any so I left it out)
1 cup each of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
½ cup sliced almonds (I forgot to put them n mind, oops)
¾ cup whipping cream (I used Cool Whip as it was faster)

In a medium saucepan, stir together the custard powder and ¼ cup sugar.  Slowly add milk, whisking to prevent lumps.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Transfer the custard to a heatproof bowl and set it in a larger bowl of ice, stirring occasionally until completely cooled, about 10 minutes.  Mix in the yogurt and vanilla.

To assemble the trifle, spread ½ cup of the custard in the bottom of a 3 to 4 cup or liter glass bowl (I used an actual trifle bowl).  Stand some of the sliced strawberries in a ring against the sides of the bowl.  Add half of the cake cubes and dizzle1 tbsp of liqueur over the cake.  Add half the berries and half of the remaining custard.  Repeat layers.  Recipe can be made ahead up to this point.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator over night if wanted. 

To finish before serving, lightly toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat until golden.  Cool to room temperature.  Using an electric mixer, whipping cream to stiff peaks, gradually beating in remaining sugar.  Spread the whipping cream over top of the trifle and sprinkle with the toasted almonds and serve.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

This banana bread is fully loaded.  No messing around here, that is for sure.  I made it once with just strawberries and coconut, then I got a request for chocolate and nuts as well.  Believe me, I was happy to oblige. 

I know we've been sticking to healthier choices lately on the blog (when we post at all that is), but do yourself a favor and make this for your guilt-free day or maybe just because life is short and we all need some decadence once in a while.  Do it! You will be happy.  Share it with others and they will be happy too.  Spread happiness in the form of fully loaded, extra-delicious banana bread.

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of sea salt
1 cup diced, fresh strawberries
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.

Mash bananas and whisk together with coconut oil, brown sugar, and sugar until well blended.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Whisk in flour and baking powder until just combined.  Don't stir it too much. Then fold in the strawberries, dark chocolate chips, coconut, and walnuts. 

Bake for 50 minutes to an hour at 350.  Allow to cool before removing from the pan. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

Whew, it's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  Our assigned blog this month was Flying on Jess Fuel, an adorable blog written by Jess as she feeds her Navy pilot husband, Nick.  Together, they've lived all over the country and are settled in California for the time being.  I'm just a tad jealous, especially since I used to live there, and since one of Jess' recent posts was "Why California is the best place to live."

I made these cookies to share with my triathlon club teammates as we cheered on the runners for the Ottawa Race Weekend half and full marathon.  It felt like I needed to bring something "healthy" for my fellow athletes and I was thoroughly impressed by all the healthy choices on Jess' blog.  Plus, these cookies reminded me of my favorites from a local coffee shop, so I knew that I had to try them.  The cookies were a hit and I had a great time cheering for the runners!  It's so inspiring to see people of all ages putting themselves through the test of a marathon or a half marathon.  Maybe one day, I will be out there running one myself!

Thanks for the recipe Jess!  (As a note, these are a vegan version - you can check the original recipe on Jess' blog for one with butter and eggs if you'd prefer.)

Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

From Flying on Jess Fuel

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons lukewarm water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used spelt flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped

Stir together ground flax seeds and lukewarm water in a small bowl to make your "eggs."  Let sit for a few minutes.

With an electric mixer, cream coconut oil and sugar together. Add orange juice and zest, vanilla and water/flax mixture and continue mixing. Beat in applesauce.

In a bowl, combine flours, baking soda and powder, and salt. Mix into applesauce mixture. Add oats, fruits and almonds and mix on low until just combined.

Chill dough in freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.

Form the dough into heaping tablespoon sized balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Jess recommends an ice cream scoop.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until slightly golden around edges.

For more delicious recipes, check out my fellow SRC members' picks!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Baked Eggs in Avocado

It's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal day! Each month we are assigned a blog, and we get to choose a recipe to make in secret.  This month we were assigned the blog, Curious Cuisiniere, a blog written by Sarah with help from her husband Tim. They love to travel and explore the cuisines and cultures of new places. And if you need some inspiration, go read about their philosophy on food on the About Us page. I loved it and couldn't agree more about the power of food and sharing it with others. And obviously, they have a treasure trove of recipes!!

I chose Egg Baked in Avocado, mostly because brunch is probably my favorite meal and avocado is one of my favorite foods.  If you pay better attention to your cooking time and watch the egg carefully, you'll end up with nice runny egg yolks paired with creamy avocado. I like to have some toast handy to spread the avocado and egg on for easy eating. Delicious, filling and good for you!

Eggs Baked in Avocado

By Curious Cuisiniere

2 avocados
4 eggs
2-4 slices of bacon
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven broiler and place your oven rack in its lowest position.

In a small skillet, fry bacon until desired crisp-ness. (We’re so-crispy-it’s-nearly-burnt people.) Remove from pan, let cool, and crumble into pieces.

Halve the avocado. Remove pit.  Remove about half of the interior pulp, to create a bowl large enough to hold one eggs. Leave a layer of avocado intact to surround the egg.

Place avocado halves into a oven-proof bowl or small baking dish. You want to make sure the halves stay upright so the egg doesn't spill out.

Crack one egg into a small bowl. Pour egg from bowl into the hollow you have cut out of the avocado half. Repeat with second egg and second half.  Feel free to crack the egg directly into the pit. 

Top each egg with the crumbled bacon and a little salt and pepper.

Place baking dishes on a baking sheet in the oven.  Broil for 10-15 minutes, until egg is firm, checking frequently to be sure the egg is not burning (be careful!).  Remove from the oven and serve with toast.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Big Bowl of Goodness

The "Big Bowl of Goodness" is more of a guideline than a recipe, inspired by Oh She Glows and Deliciously Ella.  You can take your favorite ingredients and make it your own.  My recommendation is to have:
  • Protein: chicken, tofu, tempeh, beans
  • Carb: brown rice, quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes
  • Roasted veggies (I like peppers, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini)
  • Raw veggies (shredded carrots, beets, chopped peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes)
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Marinated kale
  • Hummus or avocado
These are just suggestions, so feel free to make this any way your heart desires.  I love the big bowl of goodness, because I can prep a bunch of ingredients ahead of time, then throw things together willy nilly when I'm ready to eat! I can mix and match what I've prepped or add a salad dressing to switch the flavors around depending on my tastes.

These bowls are really filling and satisfying.  They are full of nutrients and you can feel good about what you are eating!

The bowl pictured contains the following:

Kale massaged with garlic vinaigrette
Quinoa (with coconut oil stirred in after cooking)
Shredded roasted chicken
Roasted sweet potatoes
Roasted cauliflower
Chopped red peppers
Shredded carrots
Sundried tomato hummus

Roast veggies for about 20-30 minutes at 400F.  Cook the quinoa according to the directions (usually 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, boil, then cover and cook for 15 minutes).  Once the quinoa has cooked, fluff it with a fork and stir in a 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil and season with freshly cracked black pepper.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Superfood Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding

Superfood Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding recipe

Sometimes you just need something chocolate.  This quick dessert makes just enough for one person and it is chocolate overload!  It is packed with superfoods too - chia seeds and cacao - and topped with more if you add Goji berries for some crunch.  I love how chia seeds magically turn this mixture into a pudding like consistency.  Chia seeds have a massive absorptive power, and they are full of fiber, protein, and calcium.  I've been adding chia seeds to my smoothies, and I even made jam out of chia seeds last summer, but this was my first attempt at chia seed pudding.  I have a feeling this dessert will be on heavy rotation this summer.  It is so simple to make and so delicious!

Superfood Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding

3/4 cup coconut milk (you could use almond milk)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tablespoon cocao powder
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Dash of cinnamon

Goji berries
Toasted coconut
Dark Chocolate Chips
Chopped almonds

Blend together all ingredients in a blender.  Pour into a glass jar and cover.  Refrigerate for a few hours.

Top with toasted coconut, dark chocolate chips, goji berries, and chopped almonds. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Banana Bread Granola

Banana Bread Granola recipe

Okay, I saw this recipe on Pinterest and I had to make it immediately.  I often pin things that look delicious, but I rarely get around to making them.  I'm sure you are the same way.  Pinterest is how my life would be if I had about 20 extra hours in every day to make my life pretty, perfect, and full of delicious food, fabulous clothes, and fantasy vacations.  I love my life the way it is though, and as much as I wish it looked more like my Pinterest boards, I'm definitely more than happy with reality.  BUT, sometimes, life is better if you really do reach into those boards and actually try something new.  And this is definitely one of those occasions... this granola is amazing!  Your house will smell fantastic and your tummy will be very happy.  I had to give some of it away because I would have eaten it all myself (in a day).  I also served it at brunch during the Olympic Gold Medal hockey game, and I think it was a hit.

Banana Bread Granola recipe

Banana Bread Granola

Slightly Adapted from The Minimalist Baker

3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup pecans
1/3 cup whole, raw almonds
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flax seed
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium ripe banana, mashed (approximately 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix the oats, cinnamon, sugar, salt, flaxseed and nuts together in a large bowl (see photo).

Whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until well combined, then whisk in banana puree. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.

Spread the mixture evenly onto one or two baking sheets (making sure it doesn’t get crowded) and bake for 23-28 minutes or until golden brown. The coconut oil will help it crisp up well, but be sure to watch it carefully as it can brown quickly. It is up to you whether you stir or toss the granola while it is baking. The less you stir it, the clumpier it gets, but watch to make sure its not burning if you do not stir it!

Once the granola is visibly browned, remove from the oven and toss just a bit to let the heat escape.

Cool completely on the baking sheet or in a heat-safe bowl.  Seriously, make sure it is completely cool so that it stays crispy, if you put it in a jar too quickly it will soften (which is still delicious, but I like mine crispy).  Store in a container or jar with an air-tight seal – it should keep for a couple weeks (if it lasts that long without you eating it all!).

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