December 15, 2011

Peppermint "brownies" or balls

I adapted this recipe to what we had on hand and to our tastes.  Andrew liked it.  Try it and see what you think.

Peppermint "brownies" or balls

1 c raw almonds
1 c raw cashews
20 dates, pitted (Note: I don't have the nice juicy medjool dates, we get ones in bulk from Winco so if you have the medjool they are probably about half the size)
1/2 tsp peppermint extract...I used some concentrated stuff from Market Spice in WA so they were extra minty!
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 T cocoa powder (Note: No fancy stuff here, just the Hershey or whatever brand is in bulk at Winco again)
couple pinches of salt

Grind the nuts to a powder in your food processor or Vitamix in our case.  Dump most of them out into a bowl.*  Add the rest of the ingredients and grind into a paste.  Dump into the bowl with the rest of the nuts and mix together by hand.  Press into an 8x8 pan and enjoy or roll into bite sized balls!  Chill in the fridge or freezer.

* One more note: I tried to do all of this in the Vitamix at once...basically, grind the nuts and then add the other ingredients.  It bound the machine up.  I had to dump everything out and then grind in about 3 batches and dump in another bowl and mix with my hand.  So, that's why I suggest dumping most of the nuts out.  Just a thought.  Some other way might work for you or if you have a food processor you might not need to dump stuff out ;)

December 8, 2011

Cream of Broccoli Soup (GF, Can be Dairy-free)

This paired quite well with the flax seed "bran" bread and barbecued lamb chops.  If you don't have to keep it dairy-free, it also is pretty tasty with a bit of shredded cheddar on top!

Cream of Broccoli Soup

2 T butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small shallot
1/2 c or so potato diced (small to medium potato)*
~ 4 c broccoli chopped up*
6 c. broth
1/2 c full-fat coconut milk
2 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chipotle sauce (Tabasco brand is tasty; so are others)

Melt butter in medium pot. Add diced garlic and shallot.  Saute on low for 2-5 minutes until it starts to carmelize.  Add potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add broccoli and broth.  Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Cook for 20 minutes or so until the potato and broccoli is soft.  Puree in batches (REMEMBER IT'S HOT) in a good blender.  Pour back into pot.  Add coconut milk, lemon juice, salt and chipotle sauce.  Stir to combine and serve.  Tastes especially yummy with shredded cheddar melted on top!

* I am fond of potato skins.  I don't peel the darn things.  It takes too much time and you lose good vitamins and such.  In addition, go ahead and eat the leaves and such on the broccoli.  You're going to puree the hell out of everything anyway!

Love Letters to My Sons..