I look forward to the one day J. and I can sit down for breakfast. I am usually up early, running around while sleepy sounds are heard far from the kitchen. What will it be this morning? Coffee and croissants? Eggs with braised lentils and vegetables?

Perhaps something on the sweeter side…

 

 

I feel great excitement during the summer when I can make my way out to the herb garden and pluck a few fresh herbs to work into breakfast. Fresh thyme or rosemary for the scones or a mixture of sweet herbs for the scrambled eggs.

Such decisions… so early in the morning…

 

 

After the clanking, mixing and cracking of eggs, we can sit down to enjoy breakfast for some unhurried conversation before the day takes off. Since I rarely sleep in on the weekend, this quick pace early in the morning energizes me after a long restful night and sets the mood for a good day to come.

 

 

As with most recipes that have gluten in them, the conversion is pretty simple for gluten-free. Sometimes there are ones that need a little tweaking to have them turn out properly. Various gluten-free flours all have different reactions, but can easily be overcome if any issues arise.  I like to think the gluten-free mix I make at home will work every time, but there are recipes I use this mix for poorly resemble the real thing. But not to worry, a few alterations and were back on track.

 

For these good morning muffins, I added just a bit more mix to have them looking and tasting like traditional muffins.

 

“Delicious,” J. replied as the final test muffins were inhaled.

Bingo! Mission accomplished.

 

 

If you are not going gluten free, I encourage you to give these muffins a try. I thank all of the wonderful creative gluten-free bakers out there who have paved the way for us to enjoy a better gluten free life!

Enjoy!

 

Coconut Apple Carrot Muffin Recipe [makes 12 small muffins]

 

1 ½ cups gluten-free baking mix*

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

½ cup dark brown sugar

2 large whole eggs

 

½ cup buttermilk

6 Tablespoons sunflower oil

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 

1/3 cup flaked coconut

1/3 cup apples, diced

1/3 cup carrots, peeled & diced

1/3 cup currants

 

½ cup flaked coconut [optional topping]

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

1. Whisk g/f mix, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt together. Set aside.

2. Mix together buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract together and set aside.

3. Whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and airy.

4. Mix wet ingredients and sugar mixture into the dry ingredient just until smooth.

5. Fold in coconut flakes, apples, carrots and currants.

6. Place one #20 scoop of batter in each baking cup.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until centers are done when tested with a toothpick.

*note: You can sprinkle the optional flaked coconut on the batter before baking or sprinkle a little sugar for a nice sugar crust.

 

I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe. However, I thought it looked rather delicious and I went ahead and arranged the chicken in my favorite copper pot and took this photo. Then right back to the table with dinner.

Most days in the kitchen, it’s just walking in and cooking. No recipes to follow, no precise measurements, just good clean cooking. Recipes are great as guidelines, but the fun part of cooking is adjusting, tasting and enjoying what comes to mind. Its excitement, a balancing act and I don’t think trying has ever hurt an impromptu meal.

 

We all find a particular style of cooking, preferring one method over the others. Braising is my top choice for cooking at home. Anything that has to do with infusing subtle flavors interests me. Fresh herbs, dried herbs, bundles, sachets and stocks all have a pleasant impact when braising.

 

Just about anything can be braised and any combinations can be tried, but the end result is always the same…tender.

 

So there you have it! Life is busy, braise with desire.

 

 

Braised Chicken w/ Chilies & Tomato Recipe [Serves 4]

 

4 chicken legs

2 Tablespoons sunflower oil -or- olive oil

 

½ medium onion, diced

1 large poblano pepper, diced

2 whole cloves

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 large garlic cloves, peeled & minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon crushed red chilies

 

¼ – ½ cup chicken stock

15-ounce can diced tomatoes

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

2-4 Tablespoons crème fraîche [optional enrichment]

1 cup cilantro leaves

 

1. Heat oil in a braising pan or large pot on low.

2. Place chicken in pan and lightly brown chicken on all sides.* Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Sauté onions and poblanos with cloves until tender.

4. Add garlic and spices and continue to cook for a few moments.

5. Add stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

6. Return chicken to the pan and cover, simmer for 45 minutes or until tender.

7. Stir in crème fraîche and serve with cilantro.

 

*note: I prefer to gently sear chicken for braising as it keeps the chicken from falling apart towards the end. Then I remove the skin and discard. For a deeper flavor, brown the chicken well on all sides and continue with the recipe. Serve with potatoes or rice.

As it is with baking in the kitchen here at home I am always trying new ideas. This gluten free chocolate cake was a big hit back in September. So I changed things up a bit and worked in some fresh pears and pistachios. The cake again was really nice, but I didn’t want to revisit my failed attempt at making a Swiss buttercream just yet, to frost and decorate. The next best thing…trifles!

 

There are times I leave out the frosting and go for glazes or creams. With a few easy ingredients and some cute glasses, these trifles assemble quickly, sadly they disappear too fast.  I now realize I should have spooned some chocolate glaze on them. With extra cake always around, there will definitely be some next time.

 

Soft whipped cream, tender chocolate cake and ripe pears… yum.

This chocolate cake recipe can be used for whole cakes, cupcakes, mini chocolate loaves, etc. It is very versatile, moist, and has beautiful texture. I think you will just love this recipe.

Have a great start to your week!

 

Chocolate Pear Cake Recipe [makes one 8 inch round]

 

¾ cup g/f baking mix*

1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

¼ cup pistachio flour [-or- use more g/f mix]

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

½ cup dark brown sugar

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

 

2 eggs

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

2 large firm pears, peeled, cored and grated

 

Preheat oven to 350°F

Butter and line an eight inch cake pan.

 

1. Whisk together g/f baking mix, cocoa powder, pistachio flour, spices, baking soda and sea salt. Set Aside.

2. Cream together butter and sugar together until light, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.

4. Alternately mix in dry mixture and wet mixture into the creamed butter until fully incorporated.

5. Fold in grated pears and spread into prepared pan.

6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan and invert onto a cooling rack to completely cool.

7. Cut or break cake into bite sized pieces.

*note: If your pears are ripe and very juicy, drain or squeeze out the moisture. This will help the cake from becoming soggy.

 

 

Spiced Pear Recipe

 

4 firm ripe pears

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 Tablespoons cane sugar -or- honey
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

1. Peel, core and chop pears.

2. Melt butter on medium-low heat and add remaining ingredients.

3. Gently sauté until pear are just tender. Cool.

 

to complete trifles:

 

2 cups cream

4 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

¼ – ½ cup pistachios, roughly chopped

 

1. Whip cream with sugar until just soft peaks.

2. Layer ingredients: sautéed pears, whipped cream, pistachios, cake.

3. Repeat step 2 until the serving vessel is full then top with whipped cream and pistachios.

Serves 8 portions.

 

Last weekend I was working on a few recipes and one of them was for this sweet treat. In the midst of tackling the weekly dust buffalos at home, I managed to come up with a nice recipe for gluten free galettes.

 

As un-romantic as cleaning sounds, these galettes were perfect for the two of us. Forgive me as I find myself lost in these galettes. Sometimes it’s just the way it goes.

 

As we sat enjoying the galettes, my mind starts to wander off dreaming of new house projects, a new coat of paint for the office, one for the bathroom, a few new furnishings, and of course some new kitchen essentials. I am definitely ready for some bright new kitchen towels, updating some cookware and more baking supplies… where to start?

 

 

Spring is on the way and approaching fast, lists need to be made; paint needs to be bought, projects checked off before gardening and outdoor fun can begin. January and February are still times of nestling away and daydreaming of spring. Certainly a great time to refresh the home where time is still a bit relaxed.

 

Cleaning continues, unfortunately. Each time I passed the galettes, dustpan in hand, I smiled, sneaking another bite. When you’re alone in the kitchen, who’s to see!

 

 

Do you have any favorite desserts for two? I would love to hear about them!

 

Pear-Berry galette Recipe [serves 4]

 

1 cup millet flour

½ cup tapioca flour

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

6 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

½ teaspoon sea salt

 

2 large firm, ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

 

1 large egg, beaten

2 Tablespoons granular sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

1 Tablespoon finely chopped pistachios

½ cup fresh raspberries

 

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

preparing the galette dough:

1. Combine millet flour and tapioca flour together, set aside.

2. Cream the butter with the salt and whip in confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

3. Beat in egg yolks and whole egg.

4. Add flour mixture and mix until smooth and dough forms.

5. Press into a flat disc and chill for 4 hours.

 

preparing the fruit filling:

1. Core and slice pears.

2. Combine the granular sugar and cornstarch and toss with pears. Set aside.

 

assembling & baking the galettes:

1. Divide dough into four equal pieces.

2. Roll out each dough piece on a millet floured parchment paper into a rustic circle shape.

3. Place one-fourth of the pears in the center and gather up edges; place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

4. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Combine the remaining sugar with cinnamon.

5. Brush the dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until galettes are lightly golden.

7. Garnish galettes with fresh raspberries and finely chopped pistachios.

 

*note: When working with this gluten-free galette dough, allow the dough to warm up a bit before rolling, as cold dough will crack. Keep the rolling surface well-floured so the dough will not stick to the parchment. This dough is rather soft at room temperature, so if it needs a quick chill down, throw them in the refrigerator for a few minutes and continue. Once you have the time limit down you will enjoy making these as much as I do!

 

*note: If you are not going gluten-free then try this galette dough recipe.

 

January is coming to a close, which means another month closer to spring. The anticipation for spring’s arrival gets me a little excited, ok… really excited about playing in the garden and ready to fill the growing spaces with new life. This year I plan on finally setting aside some space for a good size herb garden, filling it with all of those wonderful fresh flavors, and giving these darlings some good open ground, where the roots can grow deep and sprawl to their delight.

 

Living in a bigger city, it can be hard to find adequate space to have such a restful place to be, but surely enough room to have herbs. While living in a more rural community years ago, there was plenty of room to have a garden which back then I did not think to enjoy gardening as much. It wasn’t until I had a place of my own that the interest took me by surprise. Even then, I have always loved to get into the dirt and seeing what becomes of it. 

For now, I will just need to be patient, very patient indeed [it's only January] until spring finally arrives and be ready to savor the first fresh farmer’s market produce. In the meantime, thinking how to best enjoy what we still have at the market which lead me to today’s recipes.

 

A game hen, which is perfect for two, glazed up to a mahogany finish with a mélange of vegetables.

 

I love so much working with vegetables and this recipe mixes them up, quickly blanches them and finishes them in a garlicky sauté perfectly. Besides it helps us get more of those healthful foods into our tummies.

 

Mahogany Glazed Game Hen Recipe [Serves 2]

 

4 Tablespoons butter, unsalted

4 Tablespoons tamari, low sodium

2 Tablespoons French brandy [optional]

½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 large garlic clove, peeled & sliced

¼ teaspoon crushed red chilies

 

1 game hen, brought to room temp. [Approximately 1 hour]

[Some twine to truss the bird.]

Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Truss your bird and set aside in an oven-able pan.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, cook for five minutes.

3. Strain glaze into a bowl and brush the bird.

4. Bake for 20 minutes and repeat with more glaze  every 15-20 minutes.

5. Once the bird gets its last glaze, finish cooking in the oven one last time. Discard glaze.

 

Different sizes of birds cook differently so here this game hen took approximately 50 minutes to bake. The juice should run clear when poked with a knife into the thickest part of the bird. No more glaze should be put on the bird as this has raw chicken stuff in it so discard.

 

Vegetables Mélange Recipe [Serves 4]

 

5 cups mix of vegetables

[Such as: carrots, green beans, broccoli raab, Brussels’s sprouts]

3 Tablspoons olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, peeled & thinly sliced

Sea Salt & fresh black pepper to taste

 

blanching the vegetables:

 

1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch one kind of vegetable at a time until just tender.

2. Place immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

3. Drain and dry vegetables on paper towels.

 

finishing the vegetables:

 

1. Heat oil in a sauté pan and add garlic.

2. Once garlic turns lightly golden add the vegetables.

3. Cook for a few minutes to reheat and season with salt and pepper.

 

This is a basic recipe that you can adjust and add a few things to suit your taste. It is particularly delicious with prosciutto and toasted pine nuts. Add a few chilies and there you have a beautiful mélange of vegetables.

Today I have a few recipes to post. I could not decide on which one so I thought I would share what has been made in the past week. The weather is finally feeling like January. Blustery cold winds and sunny skies. It is a shock to think just a few days ago it felt like early March, watching as the little snow we have had melt away. I don’t think much of us mind this mild winter weather from last years’ experience.

 

These recipes are the kind of foods that I make on an everyday basis. No need to get fancy here, no special imported food stuff to acquire, just a few quality ingredients and a good turn of the pepper mill can make all the difference. If you experiment with gluten-free recipes you should try this honey hazelnut cornbread. No one would ever guess it was gluten-free! Too bad I did not make any slow roasted ribs to go along with it, but I can guess as summer approaches, an outdoor rib roast will be in order.

Have a great rest of the week!

 

Carrot & Parsnip Soup Recipe

 

2 Tablespoons sunflower oil

2 whole cloves

1 small bay leaf

1/3 cup shallots, thinly sliced

1 large garlic clove

 

1 ½ cups carrots, peeled & chopped

1 cup parsnips, peeled & chopped

3 ½ cups chicken stock -or- vegetable stock

 

2 Tablespoons honey -or- to taste

1 teaspoon sea salt

 

Chopped pistachios [for garnishing]

Cream

 

1. Heat oil over medium heat and add whole cloves and bay leaf. Cook for a few minutes.

2. Add shallots and cook until translucent and starting to brown. Add garlic and cook for a minute.

3. Add carrots, parsnips and stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook covered until vegetables are tender.

4. Puree soup in a blender and return to the pot.

5. Add honey and sea salt to taste and serve with pistachios and a bit of cream.

Serves 4.

 

Honey Hazelnut Cornbread Recipe

 

½ cup gluten-free baking mix

5 Tablespoons cornmeal [gluten-free source]

3 Tablespoons hazelnut meal

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

 

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup milled honey

1 large egg

½ cup buttermilk

 

1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped [for topping]*

2 Tablespoons hazelnut meal [optional topping]

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.

2. Beat together butter and honey.

3. Incorporate egg and buttermilk. [Mixture will be lumpy.]

4. Add dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.

5. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full or a buttered dish.

6. Sprinkle tops with hazelnuts and hazelnut meal if using.

7. Bake for 15-18 minutes for muffins and 25-30 minutes for a pan.

 

Makes 8-10 muffins -or- an 8 inch skillet.

 

*note: toast hazelnuts for 10 minutes and cool before chopping.

 

Braised White Bean Recipe

 

1 cup white navy beans

 

1 ham shank

½ small yellow onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 sprigs winter savory

1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

¼ teaspoon crushed red chilies

3 cups chicken stock, unsalted

 

soaking & precooking the beans:

1. Soak beans in cold water to cover generously overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Place drained beans in a pot and cover with water.

3. Bring to a simmer and cook for one hour. Drain and set aside.

 

cooking the beans:

1. In a medium pot sear the ham hock until browned and there is a little fat coating the pot, remove.

2. Sauté onions and garlic on medium heat until translucent and starting to brown.

3. Add drained beans, ham hock, savory, crushed chilies and stock to cover.

4. Bring to a gently simmer and cook until beans are tender.

Serves 4-6.

As a new year begins I find that I do not make resolutions, but a list of projects I would like to complete and things I would like to do. When it comes to sticking to a diet, I like to think in terms of moderation. Since I love food and with so many recipes to make, making smaller portions is the way to go, even making smaller sized desserts.

 

Is this recipe low-fat? Why make low-fat anything? Something I hear a lot. Things that contain cream can make one think is it terribly bad for the waist line, but keep in mind, cream may not always be the culprit. This simple spring like soup I made has only one tablespoon of cream per serving, but still seems full bodied. A touch of cream can go a long way to pull flavors in a recipe together.

 

A simple food philosophy I like to stick to is: enjoy your food in manageable portions, enjoy what you eat and of course eat plenty of vegetables. Just don’t ask me about my crazy cookie habit. Friends that see me on a daily basis usually see me with a cookie in hand! Something I guess needs addressing.

 Enjoy these fresh new recipes from my kitchen!

 

Smoked Salmon Stew Recipe

 

1 Tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup shallots, julienne thinly

1 garlic clove, minced

 

¼ cup dry vermouth

2 ½ cups seafood stock -or- cold water

 

1/3 pound tiny red-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced

 

¼ cup small pea pods, snow peas or frozen peas

8 ounces smoked salmon, broken into bite size pieces

¼ cup cream

 

Freshly chopped dill

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

preparing the stew:

 

1. Sauté shallots in oil on low heat until tender. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes more.

2. Deglaze with vermouth and add potatoes and stock or water.

3. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until potatoes are just about done.

4. Add peas and finish the cooking. Potatoes should be tender, but not falling apart.

5. Add cream, salmon and fresh dill, heat through.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2-4.

 

 

Beet & Kale Salad Recipe

 

1 bunch purple kale, stemmed & torn into bite size pieces

3 large red beets, peeled & fine julienned

1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/3 cup sliced almond, toasted*

 

¼ cup sesame oil [not toasted]

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons orange juice [red navel oranges used here]

2 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon freshly minced ginger

1 teaspoon orange zest [from the red navel oranges]

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

 

preparing the salad:

1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl, set aside.

2. Combine all of the dressing ingredients except oil in a food processor.

3. Add oil while the machine is running to emulsify.

4. Dress salad and enjoy.

Serves 2.

 

*Toast almonds in a 350°F for 8-10 minutes.

 

Some things you may like in this salad are: sliced pears, chicories, orange segments and/or radishes.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. It was a pleasant weekend here, visiting several gatherings. To my surprise, this year a few of us broke out in song, singing all of the classic holiday tunes. It was a welcoming event for the not so typical snowy weather and everyone’s tight schedules. A nice pause from the hustle and bustle the holidays can be. This is what I like about the holidays, a bit of cheer, enjoying the company of family and friends.

With the tight schedule and all of the things to do, I had hoped to have made a dessert, but settled on a chocolate Swiss roll that was delicious from a much loved bakery in town. This one is definitely on the make a recipe for list and to share with you.

 

In a few days it will be a new year, a new year of possibilities, more cooking and of course more photography. Thank you everyone for visiting and your wonderful comments!

 

Braised Lentils & Vegetable Recipe

1 cup French lentils, picked over

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 large garlic clove, peeled & cracked

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 small bay leaf

 

4 cups assorted vegetables, peeled & cut to similar sizes

[Such as: turnips, carrots, beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, etc…]

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

 

Chopped fresh chives

 

preparing the lentils:

1. Place lentils, vinegar, garlic, sea salt and bay leaf in a pot and cover generously with cold water.

2. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until just tender.

3. Drain and discard garlic and bay leaf. Meanwhile…

 

preparing the vegetables:

1. Place prepared vegetables in a wide pan, with light chicken stock or water just to cover.

2. Season with sea salt.

3. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until tender, drain.

 

To complete the dish, warm the lentils with butter in a sauté pan over low heat. Add in the vegetables. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is a great recipe to serve with grilled or roasted poultry.

 

*note:  If you plan on using beets as I did here, braise them separately so they will not taint the other vegetables. As for using green tender vegetables such as beans and brussels sprouts, add them in in the last few minutes of braising to maintain their bright green color.

The holidays for me conjure up glistening desserts, hearty main meals and of course small sweet treasures. Growing up I remember eating all kinds of things, but the one thing I always loved about the holidays was my grandmother’s orange flavored gelatins. As the holiday approaches, I wanted to recreate that taste of the past.

 

For an updated version of that recipe, I used a bubbly citrus beverage, filled with fresh Satsuma oranges! To top things off and give a more finished look, a layer soft set coconut cream was used; this works very well for the garnish of pistachios and coconut. If you are not going dairy-free, cream would be a nice replacement.

 

As for the holidays go, I have yet to decide on a dessert to bring to the family gathering. Usually this time of year I have already baked up countless dozens of cookies for eating and sharing. With all of the possibilities one can get pulled in all sorts of directions. Once I have decided I will post as a holiday recap. So enjoy the holidays everyone. The snow has been steadily falling the past few hours, maybe we will have a white Christmas after all! Enjoy!

 

Satsuma Gelée Recipe

 

2 cups bubbly orange juice

1 Tablespoon gelatin

 

10 Satsuma oranges, peeled & segmented

 

¾ cup coconut milk [-or- cream]

2 Tablespoons cold water

1 teaspoon gelatin

 

Chopped pistachios [for garnishing]

Shredded coconut [for garnishing]

 

preparing the orange gelée:

1. Place the orange bubbly in a sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let the gelatin bloom for a few minutes.

2. Whisk in the gelatin and heat just to a simmer. Set aside.

3. Fill serving glasses with orange segments and pour in the juice.

4. Chill in the refrigerator until set, approximately 2-4 hours.

 

preparing the coconut cream:

1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and allow to bloom.

2. Heat the coconut milk in a small sauce pan and add sugar and any flavorings you like.

3. Whisk a little coconut milk into the gelatin and then add it to the rest of the coconut milk.

4. Cool slightly and pour over the set orange gelée.

5. Garnish with pistachios and coconut.

Serves 4

 

 

Playing on the coconut theme a lot of my dairy-free recipes have been over the past few months, I made a delicious tapioca pudding. I have to confess I made six full batches this past weekend of pudding and found this to be the best spin on the age old classic.

 

Sometimes making desserts does not mean spending laborious amounts of time making tarts, jelly rolls or mousse cakes. It’s all about variety, comfort and spending time with others, not to mention they would be happy to help with over abundant dessert making!

Using coconut has been a great way for me to enjoy dairy rich recipes without using dairy at all. I am not saying no to dairy, but I think experimenting and variety to be what keeps cooking and baking exciting here at home.

Another recipe today is a cardamom spiced pecan cookies that was paired with this dessert just for fun and a nice balance from the creamy pudding.

 

Enjoy!

Coconut Tapioca Pudding Recipe

½ cup tapioca pearls [not instant]

2 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk [drinking beverage]

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoons cornstarch*

2 teaspoons cold water

1/3 cup granular sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

1. Soak tapioca pearls in coconut milk [drinking beverage] overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Once soaked, place in a medium saucepan with the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.

3. Reduce heat if necessary to keep coconut milk at a gentle simmer and cook for 8 minutes.

4. Add the cornstarch mixed with water to the pan. Stir until mixture comes back to a boil and has thickened.

5. Add sugar and vanilla extract and remove from heat.

6. Chill pudding in a shallow bowl and covered with plastic wrap directly on the surface.

Served room temp or chilled, makes 6-8 servings.

*note: If in the event you boil the pudding to hard you may not need the starch to give a more pleasant body.

Cardamom-Spiced Pecan Cookie Recipe

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

½ cup finely ground toasted pecans

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 large egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 cup gluten-free baking mix

2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

1. In a food processor cream the butter and then mix in confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

2. Add egg and vanilla; process for a minute until well incorporated.

3. Add pecans, cardamom and sea salt and mix in.

4. With the processor off place the full amount of flour mixture and process just until dough forms.

5. Chill dough for 2 hours in a flattened disk or one inch logs.

6. Cut eight inch slices and arrange on a parchment lined sheet pan and sprinkle on pecans.

7. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.

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