Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

Here is another recipe that I enjoy from the Hip2Save webpage. FYI: They freeze well too.

Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

IMG_9506

Ingredients

Servings: 12 cupcakes
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup almond butter (you could probably use another nut butter and get similar results)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon liquid Stevia (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Add coconut oil and banana in a Vitamix or blender. Blend everything until smooth. In a bowl, add the cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Now dump the coconut oil mix in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until everything is incorporated. Once finished, decide if you want to make an 8×8 cake or 12 cupcakes (make sure to grease your pan well or use cupcake liners or parchment paper).
  2. For cakes, bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes
  3. For cupcakes, bake at 350° for about 20 minutes

Chocolate Frosting

Directions:

Melt chocolate chips in saucepan with a little coconut oil and Stevia. Chill in freezer for a few minutes and then spread on cupcakes. You can also sprinkled chocolate chips on top of the cupcakes.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Oat, Chocolate Chip, Butterscotch Bars

Here is a recipe I reworked for Oat, Chocolate Chip, Butterscotch Bars. I added coconut flour instead of regular flour to be gluten-free and made my own sweetened, condensed milk to make this a little healthier (by no means healthy!) treat.

IMG_7187

Oat, Chocolate Chip, Butterscotch Bars

1/4-1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, cold and cut up
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (I made my own)
1 cup extra-dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13 pan (use butter).
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and salt. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until mixture is dry and sandy.

Reserve 2/3 cup oat mixture and press remainder on bottom of the pan. Bake 10 minutes.
Pour sweetened, condensed milk evenly over crust. Mix together chips and coconut flakes and sprinkle in an even layer across the condensed milk.

Sprinkle the reserved oat mixture over the chips and press down slightly.
Bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle a few more chocolate and butterscotch chips on top.

Let cool completely, and then cut into bars. They will be more crumbly than the kind made with wheat flour.

Enjoy!

Pear Dressing

This is one of my favorite dressings. I found it on Hip2Save.

Pear Dressing

1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, either minced or pressed
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1/3 cup white vinegar
A few drops of Stevia (optional)
1 tablespoon of mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Blend everything (but olive oil) in a blender. Once blended, drizzle the olive oil slowly into the dressing and continue to blend until combined.

Enjoy!

Air Freshener Candle

Our cozy little home has only two closets in it. One is for our clothes in the bedroom and the other is a small bathroom linen closet. I don’t have the room to store all our linens, extra blankets and towels in the bathroom, so I use some plastic crates and an ottoman with storage built in. These are great ways to store things; however, I do notice a plastic/store smell to some items that have been stored for longer periods of time. I set out to make some air fresheners for them.

Here is what you will need:

  • Mug warmer
  • Glass jar
  • Beeswax or other wax
  • Essential Oils of choice

Air Freshener Candle

I took out my mug warmer and a clean baby food jar…

IMG_9298

…added some beeswax to the jar and let it melt.

IMG_7437

Once the wax is melted, remove from heat and add essential oils–as much or as little as you like.

IMG_7441

Let harden and then place in the storage container. Be sure that it will not be near a vent as you don’t want it to melt onto your linens and blankets. My home stays pretty cool all year long and I do not put them near a vent. I have not had a problem with them melting yet. You could punch holes in the lid of the jar if you want to have a cover.

IMG_9303

I have also added essential oils to a cotton ball inside the jar, topped off with a piece of cloth over the opening, and that worked ok too.

Enjoy!

Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes

A pancake is a hard thing to make grain-free and have it turn out. The hands-down best recipe I have come across is called Grain-Free (and dairy-free) Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes from Nourishing Days.

IMG_9153

Ingredients

Servings: 12
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut milk or 3/4 cup cream + 1/4 cup whole milk (best); or 3/4 cup whole milk yogurt + 1/4 cup whole milk (good)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey or a pinch of stevia
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • coconut oil or butter for frying

Directions

  1. Preheat griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Mix in milk, vanilla, and honey or stevia.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together. Stir 3/4 of wet mixture into dry mixture until coconut flour is incorporated. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes.
  3. At this stage your batter should be thick, almost like brownie batter. If it is still fairly thick and dry, add the rest of the wet mixture.
  4. Grease pan with butter or coconut oil. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake. Spread out slightly with the back of a spoon. The pancakes should be 2-3 inches in diameter and fairly thick. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tops dry out slightly and the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with butter, coconut oil, honey, syrup, or fruit.

 

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” Dinner Theater Date night!

This year for one of our Advent calendar activities, I planned a “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” dinner-themed date night. It was pretty fun to plan and pull off. I searched for some food ideas online and here is what I came up with.

I found a printable invite online. Printed it and slipped it into my husband lunch box for the day of the party.

IMG_0162 

I search online and found some food ideas. I typed up a menu, printed it, and set it at the table.

IMG_0163

Movie Night Menu

Appetizer:

IMG_0217

Grinch Kabobs

(green grape, strawberries and banana)

 

Main Course: 

IMG_0236

Roast Beast

(Venison)

 

Side dish:

IMG_0244

Who Hash

(Potatoes & Cheese) 

 

Dessert:

IMG_0212

Who Pudding

(Pudding with dried cranberries and cinnamon)

 

Beverage:

IMG_0208

Beezlenut Splash

(Sparkling cider)

 

IMG_0227

When my husband came home I had some music from the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” soundtrack playing and had the DVD cued up.

I pulled out the good china and we had a candlelight dinner while we watched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

IMG_0242

It was a fun way to enjoy one of my childhood favorite Christmas movies.

Have fun planning your date night!

Christmas Minute-to-Win-it Competition!

If you are looking for a fun Christmas party game idea, I would check out doing a Christmas Minute-to-Win-it party.  I have seen some ideas for Minute-to-Win-it game nights on Pinterest (I believe that is where I found this blog a while back). It looked like a lot of fun, but at the time we were just in a small apartment so I put the idea on hold. Once we were in our small house, I wondered if we still had enough room to pull this off. So we invited some family over to try it out. It was so much fun!

Minute.To_.Win_.It_.Christmas

With my husband’s help we were able to show clips of what the challenge was on our TV for each game just like on the show. I think that worked well, as a visual can be helpful with some of these games. You can find most of the instructions by Goggling them or checking on YouTube. Here is a sample of some of the games we did:

IMG_4296

“Nutstacker”

You will need:

  • Candy canes
  • 8 nuts

IMG_4314

“Face the Gingerbread Man”

You will need:

  • Gingerbread cookies*

*These were the hardest things for us to find. We finally ended up finding some and just bought enough for everyone to have one gingerbread cookie. We used regular cookies if the gingerbread man one broke.

IMG_4312

“Merry Fishmas”

You will need:

  • Candy canes (4 small and one regular)
  • Chopsticks
  • String

IMG_4357

“Stack Attack”

You will need:

  • 36 red cups

IMG_4327

“Christmas Balls”

You will need:

  • A wrapped empty gift box
  • One round ornament

IMG_4341

“Christmas Cliffhanger”

You will need:

  • 10 Christmas cards
  • A table

IMG_4365

“Snowball Toss”

You will need:

  • Marshmallows
  • Bucket
  • Christmas wreath

 

Have fun planning your party!