Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Best Paleo Granola


Granola can be so expensive it boggles my mind, and I hate it when the taste doesn't add up to the price. Then, if you add gluten free or Paleo in front of the name, you will be paying astronomical prices with an even worse taste. Well if you are like me, you'll love this recipe.

Best Paleo Granola
Why I like this recipe:
  • I purchase a large amount of almonds and pecans from Costco, and then chop them all in the food processor at one time. I put all the chopped nuts in a ziplock bag and measure what I need as I make a batch. This saves time chopping the nuts each time I want to make this recipe. 
  • This is my preferred granola recipe, regardless of whether I'm doing Paleo or not. It's so tasty!
  • One batch is enough for several breakfasts, so I have granola all week to help with the busy mornings.  
  • Also a create recipe to consider for a crowd or brunch event. 
Paleo Granola Ingredients

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups chopped almonds
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the almonds, pecans, coconut, seeds, and raisin into a large bowl and gently mix together. Then mix the remaining ingredients in a microwave proof bowl (or measuring cup), and microwave quickly for 15 seconds. Add the warm mixture to the nuts and thoroughly mix together.

Paleo Granola Baking

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and gently press the granola onto the sheet. Make sure to press down to the rim of the baking sheet and compacting together. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Allow the granola to cool for 30 minutes before breaking apart into desired consistency. Store in an air tight container until ready for consumption.

Finished Paleo Granola

The Best Paleo Granola
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The Best Lemon Spritz Cookies


These are another holiday favorite; however, they can be enjoyed throughout the year! The dough is simple to make, and you have beautiful decorative cookies in minutes. You can even top these off with sprinkles or dye the dough to make it fit your occasion.

Most Amazing and Buttery Spritz Cookies

Why I like this recipe
  • The dough is made in the mixer, using only one bowl
  • You do not have to grease the baking sheet. 
  • This batch provides a lot of cookies, making it great for parties and big crowds.
  • If you don't have or like lemons, simply take out that ingredient, and you'll have excellent traditional spritz cookies.
Spritz Cookie Ingredients

Ingredients
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream or milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup of butter, softened 
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of flour
Preheat the oven 375 degrees. Begin by whisking together the egg, cream, vanilla, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside and cream the butter, sugar, and zest on medium speed together until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the egg mixture and combine thoroughly for 30 seconds. Turn the speed down to low, and slowly add the flour, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Spritz Cookie Dough

Remove the dough and put as much in your cookie press as you can. (Alternatively you can free form or use a piping bag to form the cookies.) Press the cookies out to an ungreased pan and cook for 10-12 minutes. Careful as the different shapes of the cookies can cook at different times and these burn quickly.

Finished Spritz Cookie

The Best Lemon Spritz Cookies
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Monday, January 15, 2018

5 Minute Apple Sauce: The Perfect Recipe for Busy People


As a Washington native, you can determine from the smell in the air when it is apple season. The cool breeze will tell you when you should head out to pick apples on the orchard. The best deals are if you hike slightly out of the city and get the apples fresh from the orchard. So naturally you come home with boxes of beautiful, crisp apples.

5 Minute Apple Sauce

Why I like this recipe:
  • Almost no prep time needed and the slow cooker does all the work!
  • This recipe is chunky and thick! I hate it when apple sauce in the slow cooker comes out with a water, soup texture.
  • Along with no prep time, there isn't much to clean up afterwards! It is only my apple cutter and measuring cups that go straight into the dishwasher after preparing the ingredients. 
Washington Apple

Ingredients:
  • 10 apples, cored and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon or 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Put all ingredients into the slow cooker, and cook on low for 6 hours. The sauce will need to be gently stirred, until your desired consistency level.

5 Minute Apple Sauce

5 Minute Apple Sauce: The Perfect Recipe for Busy People
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Ghraybeh: Best Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookie


I love trying out cookies from a different culture, and love it even more when the ingredients are simple and commonly found in my pantry. I typically have orange blossom water, but this is optional and the cookies are still equally delicious if you leave this out. Without the orange blossom water, this is a four ingredient recipe! How often does that happen?!

Why I like this recipe:
  • The dough is incredibly easy to work with making rolling into a ball very simple. 
  • The steps and ingredients are easy and simple. Plus everything is done in one bowl, making clean up a breeze. 
  • This recipe is vegan as it does not require any egg. Great if preparing a meal for a vegetarian friend. Also it removes one guilt factor from eating raw dough!
  • These cookies are delicious for a week after cooking, making them a perfect recipe to make in advance of an occasion. 
Ghraybeh: Best Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookie

Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water, optional
  • 2 cups flour
  • Slivered almonds or pistachios for topping
Middle Eastern Cookie Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cream together the butter, sugar, and orange water until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Slowly add the flour and mix until the dough is no longer crumbly. 

Ghraybeh dough

Roll the cookie into an 1 inch ball shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press an almond deep on each cookie, and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Rolled Ghraybeh

These cookies do not brown, so be careful not to over bake them. Allow the cookies to cool slightly, and dust with powdered sugar if you prefer. The cookies will last a week in an airtight container.

Ghraybeh Cookies

Ghraybeh: Best Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookie
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Unique Cardamom Pistachio Cookies


I love this recipe if I am feeling like I need to bring a fancier more adult cookie than your typical sugar cookie or chocolate chip. I feel like I sound very mature and elegant when I say "oh there are pistachios with a dash of cardamom in them." On top of feeling fancy, the taste is to die for!

Why I like this recipe:
  • No flour is needed on your counter to roll out this cookie. Makes for a much easier clean up!
  • I don't have a biscuit or circle cookie cutter, so I use the end of a thermos lid. The plastic edges are sharp enough and it doesn't smoosh the edge of the biscuit. 
  • Very easy steps to provide a fancy, unique cookie! 
  • I work full time and being able to break this recipe into two parts is nice. I make it up to the point of chilling in the fridge, then when I'm ready I take it out to roll and bake. 
Cardamom Pistachio Cookies

Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, plus 2 Tbsp for topping
  • 2 cup of flour
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
Put pistachios in a food processor and pulse until they are roughly chopped, about 10 short pulses. Take out 2 Tbsp and set aside. Add the flour to the food processor and give it 5 more pulses to combine. 

Cardamom Pistachio Cookie Dough

Place butter the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix for about 2 minutes until thick and pale. Then add the cardamom and egg and mix until combined. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour pistachio mixture, with the salt and mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with cling wrap, and chill for at least an hour in the fridge.

Cardamom Pistachio Cookie Dough

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take the dough, split into two, and roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper, until 1/4 inch thick. Place the other portion of the dough in the fridge, alternating as you roll out the dough. Use a circle cookie cutter and cut approximately 24 cookies.

Cardamom Pistachio Cookie Dough Cut

Once the cookies are placed on the baking sheet, take the remaining pistachios and combine with the sugar. Sprinkle the mixture over the cookies, and bake for 25-30 minutes. The cookies should be firm and golden brown. Allow the cookie to chill on the tray before removing.

Cardamom Pistachio Cookies with Tea

Unique Cardamom Pistachio Cookies
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