Cranberry Orange Scones

In today’s recipe, I’m going to combine aspects of two classic favorites: Lemon Raspberry Scones and Orange-Raisin Irish Soda Bread. Since cranberry orange everything is a must in the winter, I took the idea of orange-raisin (or in this case cranberry) from the soda bread and replaced lemon zest with orange zest and raspberries with cranberries in the scones. The results were delightful! Plus there is only a 1/4 cup of sugar in the entire recipe and they are only 108 calories a piece. I may have found my new favorite scone!

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking matIf using the buttermilk substitute, combine the skim milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. If you’re using regular buttermilk, you don’t need to do anything with it at this time.

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In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest. Cut in the butter and mix it in using a pastry blender or by hand. If you happen to not double check that you have butter in the fridge and realize the only butter on hand is frozen (as I may or may not have done a time or two), try using a cheese grater instead of cutting it.

 

Whisk the buttermilk, applesauce, and honey in a medium sized bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the dough has come together, but do not over mix. If the dough is still very sticky, add some extra flour. Gently fold in the cranberries.

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Turn out half of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a circle, roughly six inches in diameter. Using a butter knife, cut the circle into 12 portions. Place each scone on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the scones turn slightly golden. Test them with a toothpick when you suspect they are ready. Then place them on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. buttermilk  or 3 Tbs. skim milk + 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (plus extra for kneading)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 7 Tbs. cold butter
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 3 Tbs. raw honey
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbs. orange zest

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. If using the buttermilk substitute, combine the skim milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest.
  4. Cut in the butter and mix it in using a pastry blender or by hand. If your butter happens to be frozen, try using a cheese grater instead of cutting it.
  5. Combine the buttermilk, applesauce, and honey in a medium sized bowl.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the dough has come together. Do not over mix. If the dough is still very sticky, add some more flour.
  7. Gently fold in the cranberries.
  8.  Turn out half of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a circle, roughly six inches in diameter.
  9. Using a floured butter knife, cut the circle into 12 portions. Place each scone on the baking sheet.
  10. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  11. Bake for about 15 minutes or until they turn slightly golden. Test them with a toothpick when you suspect they are ready. Then place them on a cooling rack.

Makes 24 scones

108 calories per scone

 

Spaghetti Pie

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day! Today I want to feature a family recipe of mine that my sister Lauren at LuBerry Pie posted a while back. Just as a side note (and I know this mentioned at the end of the post), since I make everything egg-free, flax seed works wonderfully in this recipe instead of the egg whites. Directions for this is listed in the variations. Enjoy!

LuBerry Pie

Today I am going to share a simple and delicious recipe that my mother shared with me. It is extremely adaptable so there are plenty of ways to spice it up if you are looking for something a little more exciting; however, even the most basic version is a crowdpleaser.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 lb. shredded cheese (I recommend mozzarella, but you can mix in other kinds for added flavor)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Your favorite pasta sauce! (I used Newman’s Own Marinara)

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
  2. While pasta is cooking, separate egg whites from yolks and beat.
  3. Rinse pasta with cold water to cool. (This is very important to prevent the eggs from cooking when they hit the pasta!)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked spaghetti and egg whites, fully covering all of the spaghetti.
  5. In a 9 x 13…

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Avocado Salad with Feta and Chickpeas

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to share my all time favorite salad. This avocado salad is my go-to lunch whether I’m at home or on the go. It’s so absolutely delicious, simple, and satisfying. The avocado is full of unsaturated fats and the lime juice gives it some pizzazz. The chickpeas and cheese provide a great vegetarian source of protein, too! Enjoy!

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 Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

1 avocado, diced

1/4 cup chickpeas

2 Tbs. crumbled feta cheese

2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped

1 Tbs. scallions, chopped

Juice of half a lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine avocado, chickpeas, and feta in a bowl.
  2. Toss with lime juice.
  3. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

Egg-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake

Merry Christmas! Today I would like to share a brand new recipe that I must admit is not totally clean. However, it is completely from scratch which is the most important part. Plus this is a Christmas Special Edition post, so we can indulge a little. 🙂

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For my family’s Thanksgiving this year, I tried my hand at my first ever cheesecake. It had a double chocolate chip cookie crust, pumpkin spice filling, chocolate ganache topping, and some buttercream piped around the border to clean up the edges. I know, it was probably the least healthy thing I’ve ever made, but in my defense it was 100% from scratch–even the cookies for the crust. I plan to publish the recipe sometime in the near future, but I would like to try it with low-fat cream cheese first to knock off a few calories, especially since it worked really well in today’s chocolate cheesecake.

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Anyway, this whole endeavor inspired me to take a standard chocolate cheesecake recipe and make a Christmas edition by making a peppermint chocolate ganache and topping it off with some crushed candy canes.

Now this is a pretty involved recipes, so be sure to read through the whole thing before you start and make sure you have plenty of time to spend in the kitchen. Enjoy and merry Christmas!

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Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 cups homemade chocolate chip cookie crumbs

1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter

Filling

1 cup dark chocolate chips

2 Tbs. melted coconut oil or butter

2 8-oz. packages of 1/3 fat cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbs. raw honey

1 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa

2 tsp. pure vanilla

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 tsp. melted coconut oil or butter

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

Crushed candy canes

Directions

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring-form pan with canola spray or melted coconut oil.

Put the chocolate chip cookies in a food processor and grind until they are just small crumbs. Use your favorite type of cookie, but I strongly recommend using homemade ones. Once I perfect a recipe, I will share it! Other options include graham crackers or Andes mint-chocolate cookies. Feel free to get creative!

In a small bowl, mix the cookie crumbs with the melted coconut oil or butter. Then press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

Add approximately an inch of water to the bottom of a double boiler and melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips on medium heat. Stir every few minutes and be sure not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbs. of melted butter or coconut oil. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large, deep bowl, combine the somewhat-cooled chocolate mixture, cream cheese, sugar, honey, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Use an electric mixture to mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides every so often to ensure that everything is well combined.

Put the filling in the spring form pan and using a small offset spatula, smooth out the filling until it is even across the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, making sure to not open the oven! Any rapid change in temperature or humidity can lead to cracking.

Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for another 30 minutes, still not opening the door. When the time is up, let the cheesecake cool for approximately 30 more minutes before letting it chill and set up in the refrigerator for at least three hours and up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is completely cool, it is time to make the ganache! Put the remaining chocolate chips in a glass bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the whipping cream and oil or butter to a boil on medium heat. Pour it onto the chocolate chips and let sit for five minutes. When the time is up, whisk the mixture until it all comes together. Then add the peppermint extract and mix it in.

Pour the ganache on the cheesecake and smooth it out with a small offset spatula. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top for a finishing touch. Be sure to do this right away before the ganache cools and hardens. Serve with whipped cream.

Merry Christmas!

Tips

Make sure you put together the spring form pan correctly. Otherwise, oil from the crust will leak into the oven causing a huge mess. I’ve learned this the hard way. Three times to be exact.

Line a baking sheet with foil and put the spring form pan on it while baking. This will prevent any major mess in the event that some leakage does occur.

Again, whatever you do, do not open the oven until it is time to take it out. I know it’s tempting, but this is crucial to cheesecake success! This is also where it becomes imperative that the pan is put together correctly and a baking sheet is below the pan. If you have to open the oven to clean up burned butter as the house fills with haze, the cheesecake will surely cave in the middle. (Yes, I also learned this the hard way.)

If the cake does cave in, the ganache will likely fill the crater, but not the edges. What you can do to remedy the situation is make a little buttercream frosting and pipe a boarder around the cake. No one will know that it’s caved in and you get frosting too!

Don’t cover the cheesecake in the fridge until it is totally cool to prevent condensation from collecting on top. If this does happen, dab it off with a paper towel.

Make the chocolate chip cookies ahead of time and store in the freezer until you want to make the cheesecake.`

Fall Harvest Couscous Salad

Hi everyone! I hope you are all enjoying fall as the air is getting crisper and the leaves are finally changing colors! Today I want to share a variation of my Sweet Potato  and Quinoa Salad. Instead of quinoa, I used couscous and replaced the sweet potato with butternut squash. At first glance, they look pretty similar, but the curry gives the couscous a totally different flavor and a bit a heat. I’d love to hear what you think or which you prefer, so feel free to comment below!

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Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, diced
  • 1 1/3 cup dry couscous
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup curly parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 3-4 tsp. Penzeys Curry
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the squash in your favorite olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spread the squash evenly on the baking sheet and roast until tender.
  4. While the squash is in the oven, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, curry, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  6. When the couscous is done, put it in a large bowl and toss it with the dressing.
  7. Add the squash, cranberries, onion, and parsley.
  8. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve hot or cold.

 

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Glaze

Hi! So I’m super excited to announce that today is my family’s second annual Fall Fun Day! “What is Fall Fun Day?” you ask. Fall Fun Day is any day in the middle of October dedicated to doing every fun fall activity one can think of in one awesome day! It originated last year as my birthday celebration because I had day off school the Friday before my birthday. I decided I wanted to spend my last days before legal adulthood doing all the fall things I love, but never have time to do anymore. We baked, went apple picking, hiking, picnicking, and ended the day with a corn maze.

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Lauren and I almost had too much fun at the apple orchard last year!
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What is Lauren doing with that apple cider doughnut? That’s not clean eating! 🙂
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Hiking at Blue Mounds State Park

We had so much fun that we decided it would be an annual event, so here we are one year later with me still being a kid at heart. This year’s itinerary consists of baking these scones, going to the Dane County Farmer’s Market, hiking and picnicking at Yellowstone Lake State Park, apple picking, and ending the day with the corn maze once again. Hopefully I can follow up with some new pictures of this year’s festivities. For now, here is the recipe for these mouthwatering autumnal scones! Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Scones

  • 3 Tbs. skim milk*
  • 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar*
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. + 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 7 Tbs. cold butter
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • Mini chocolate chips (optional)

Glaze

  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, stir the milk and apple cider vinegar together. Set aside as this will make a “buttermilk” after 10-15 minutes. *
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cut in the butter and mix it together with the dry ingredients by hand or with a pastry blender. (I recommend using your hands as always.)
  5. Add the pumpkin and maple syrup to the “buttermilk” and then combine with the dry ingredients.
  6. When everything is well mixed, add some chocolate chips if you would like. If the dough is still pretty sticky, add some extra flour.
  7. Turn out half the dough onto a well floured surface and form it into a circle about six inches in diameter. Cut the circle into six pieces and place the scones on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. When they are cool, whisk all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and drizzle over the top.
  10. Enjoy!

*Instead of using skim milk and apple cider vinegar, regular buttermilk will work as well.

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the start of fall and looking forward to all it has to offer! Before I jump into today’s recipe of Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins, I want to give a quick explanation on a few of the ingredients. As you look through the list, you may see some strange and unfamiliar things and wonder how on Earth will these exotic ingredients turn into a decadent pastry.

The first ingredient is sucanat. Sucanat is essentially evaporated cane juice and is a type of unrefined sugar. It can be used to replace white or brown sugar in equal amounts. However, taste wise, it is more equatable to brown sugar because the naturally occurring molasses has not been removed. What I mean is that white sugar is made by refining out the molasses from the sugar cane and brown sugar is made by taking molasses-free, refined white sugar and adding molasses back in…makes a lot of sense right? And that is why I like to use sucanat. I also figured it would make the muffins a little more rich.

The next new ingredient I want to discuss is aquafaba. Aquafaba is a really awesome new egg substitute and I can’t wait to try it in some other recipes such as royal icing! Now don’t worry about having to go out and buy some expensive weird egg-replacer to make these muffins because believe it or not, you may already have aquafaba in your pantry! Literally all it is is the liquid in a can of garbanzo beans that would normally go down the drain. A can of garbanzos has about 3/4 cup of aquafaba which is perfect for this recipe. If you want to try it in other recipes, 3 Tbs. aquafaba = 1 egg and 2 Tbs. aquafaba = 1 egg white.

The rest of the recipe should be pretty self-explanatory, but feel free to comment with questions or comments! Happy baking!

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Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup aquafaba
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 generous cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Shred the zucchini and set aside. One medium/large zucchini should be plenty.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sucanat, coconut oil, aquafaba, applesauce, and vanilla.
  3. Slowly add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Be sure not to over mix.
  4. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
  5. Place the batter in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  6. When the hour is almost up, start preheating the oven to 425°F.
  7. Once the batter is adequately chilled, fill a muffin tin with muffin wrappers and fill them all the way to the top. This recipe makes enough for 18 muffins.
  8. Bake at 425°F for 6-8 minutes or until the muffins are beginning to rise.
  9. Turn the oven down to 400°F and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  10. Insert a toothpick into the center of a few muffins to see if it comes out clean (other than a melted chocolate chip of course 🙂 ). Enjoy!