Valentine’s Day Chocolate Heart Shaped Quinoa Coconut Macaroons 

This is one of my favorite holidays. I am such a hopeless romantic. I love Love.❤❤❤

Valentine’s Day can be decadent and nourishing. We usually see quinoa used for savory dishes, but this is one of my favorites. You guys know how much I love quinoa. Check out all the delicious recipes here on my blog, but try this one first. 😘

< y Chocolate Heart Shaped Quinoa Macaroons is one you will come back to often. Enjoy these on Valentine’s Day or any day of the week. It’s an awesome recipe to share with your kids as well.  b>Ingredients 6 tablespoons egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/2  cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup cooked  white quinoa. Follow package instructions.

Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:<<<
bine the egg whites and maple syrup in a heatproof bowl.

Begin by tempering the eggs, which will create a nice crispy cookie exterior. Place the bowl over a pot with boiling water and whisk the eggs and maple syrup  together until creamy and warm. When they’re warm to the touch, they are ready to go.

Remove the bowl off the heat and add in coconut, quinoa and salt, mix well.

Chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or double parchment paper,( so they will not burn under the bottom)

Spray canola oil inside a heart shaped cookie cutter.  Using an ice cream scoop, place the mixture in the heart shaped cookie cutter and fill to the top.<<<
tly press down the mixture into the cookie cutter, molding it into a heart shape. Remove the cookie cutter and continue until you have used all the mixture.  Separating the cookies about 1 inch apart.

Bake in the center of a warm oven for 15 minutes until the cookies are nice and golden brown.

Let them cool for at least 10 minutes or until completely cooled.

Top with Chocolate Ganache<<<
colate Ganache

4 oz dark or semi milk chocolate baking bar, chopped

1/2 cup milk or organic almond milk or any non dairy milk or heavy cream

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Easy version<<<<
ce chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat milk on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour milk or cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and stir. Drizzle over cooled heart shaped macaroons and Enjoy!!<<<<
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Cooking today with William Sonoma ~ Gluten Free Holiday Treats ~ Sneak Peak

It is always a pleasure to come out and share my passion for delicious, healthy eating with William Sonoma’s staff and customers. Today I am cooking up some yummy, decadent and   gluten free holiday appetizers and my gluten free brownie bites with a twist. I will be using William Sonoma’s famous Original Peppermint Bark as a topping for these rich and luscious brownies. I will also be making tuscan white beans stuffed in a roasted campari tomato and yummy zucchini bites stuffed with gruyere and parmesan cheese.

I am so excited to share some of my families favorite holiday treats today with William Sonoma’s customers, as they shop for wonderful gifts for their love ones. So stop by and find some great gifts for your family and have a brownie on me. Here’s a sneak peak of today’s menu.  

Zucchini Bites

INGREDIENTS

2 cups zucchini, grated

1 egg

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced,finely 

1/2 cup cheese gruyere

1/2 cup parmesan 

1/2 cup gluten free  bread crumbs – I used Italian style

Salt and Pepper, to taste. 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a mini-muffin tin with non-stick spray, set aside. Grate the zucchini and then place in a dish towel to squeeze out the excess water- like when using frozen spinach.  In a bowl combine, the egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, salt and pepper. 4. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is browned and set.  

  • Gluten Free Brownies with Chocolate Ganache these will be topped with William Sonoma Original Peppermint Bark

1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips 

4 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs 1 egg yolk

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten free-purpose flour. I love Bob Mills Gluten free baking flour or Pillsbury Gluten-free baking powder. 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1″ pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 -35  minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.

This recipe is gluten free, gluten-free flour can take a little more time to bake. It usually takes about 33 minutes on these. 

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  • Campari Stuffed with Tuscan White Beans with a balsamic glaze

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Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Walnut Flax Muffins

FALL is officially here in two days, September 22, YES!! I love the crispiness in the air, the leaves starting to change, yellow and orange and seeing some of the Fall produce out in the farmer markets and grocery stores. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is one of my favorite seasons.

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Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Walnut Flax muffins

I love everything about Fall, from the decor, fashion and especially the food. Today I was inspired by one of my favorite fruits, Fall brings, apples.

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Fall Decor

My Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Walnut Flax Muffins, screams FALL is here!! This recipe is very simple, super nutritious and above all, DELICIOUS. It makes a wonderful breakfast, loaded with good carbs, fiber and protein, but also a nice healthy snack for pre and post workouts.

If you’re not into walnuts, add your favorite nut, you can also add dried cranberries instead of raisins. If you have a nut allergy, leave the nuts out altogether. But above all else, enjoy them and remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Walnut Flax Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium apple, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 1/2 cups flax seed meal

1/2 cup gluten free oats ( Bob Mills)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup organic maple syrup

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup  unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

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Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Walnut Muffins

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350º. Add chopped apples in a blender, blend until you have a rustic puree. Set aside. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, with canola oil spray, generously. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, flax seed meal, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well, and slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring. When the wet and dry ingredients are combined, add the apples and and stir to combine.

Using a measuring cup,  evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups. Fill the cups almost to the top, gluten free baking goods, will not rise like normal baking goods.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin for 5 to 10 minutes.

Leftover Sangria Fruit ~ No Prob! Ginger Peach and Green Apple Crumble

So, yesterday I had some ladies over for a luncheon. It is one I have been wanting to do for awhile. Life can get very busy and we can run from one thing to the next, but the busyness of life has to take a back burner sometimes, so you can connect and show appreciation to those in your life, that support you and just maybe need a little bit of encouragement. The best way I know I how to do that is to cook for people. It truly is my love language.

 

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Ginger Peach and Green Apple Sangria Crumble
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Ginger Peach and Green Apple Sangria Crumble
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Ginger Peach and Green Apple Sangria Crumble

I have been in this mood for foods from Spain, one of my favorite things is Paella, so I made a vegan version of this dish for my friends and they loved it. I also paired it with this wonderfully refreshing sangria. I love using seasonal food, so I made a Ginger Peach and Green Apple sangria. I am a Georgia girl, so honey, we got peaches. It was a hit, but you know after you make the sangria, you are left with all this aromatic  wine infused fruit.

I looked at my happy guest and said, Girls I need to do something with this fruit. Maybe some wine infused chutney or a preserve?  I did not do anything of that, I wanted dessert, so this crumble was born.

It is delicious, sweet, tart, you taste the ginger, the peaches, the green apples, and a touch of the wine flavor comes through beautifully. I was so surprised how good it turned out. Well, enough of that babbling, here’s the sangria and crumble recipe. Enjoy and take a pause from the busyness  and Set the Table with Love for those beautiful souls in your own life.

 

Ingredients
1 bottle Pinot Grigio,
2 cups of Rosé (optional), I had it, so I used it. You can add 1 cup go Grand Marnier
Bottle of gingerale
5 medium peaches, sliced
3 medium green apples, sliced
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger)
handful of ice

Instructions
Stir all ingredients together. Chill until you’re ready to serve!

 

Sangria Ginger Peach and Green Apple Crumble

Preheat the oven 350. 

Ingredients:

Super Simple!

In a buttered greased baking dish, add all the fruit. Add 2 tbsp of gluten free flour to the fruit. Add 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon , 1 tsp ginger powder and pinch of salt. Toss gently.

Crumble:

1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1 cup brown sugar
1  1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, oatmeal, cinnamon and butter in the bowl ,work the mixture with your hands or you can use an electric blender with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute or crumble with your hands, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

 

 

 

Galettes ~ Easy ways to Celebrate Summer’s bounty

A galette is probably one of the easiest ways, I know how to celebrate summer fruits. Today I am sharing my Summer and Fall versions of my favorite dessert, The Galette. Sometimes you need to enjoy a little sweet treat and I love dessert. The truth is, I look at the dessert menu first, when I go out for dinner. It determines what I will order for my main course. I believe,  Dessert first, makes life a little sweeter. These easy recipes will open your mind up to the possibilities of the rustic beauty and elegance of this humble tart.

Today after Mother’s Day I was thinking of my mom and all those southern dishes she use to make for us growing up. My mom always inspires my cooking and baking. I just like to take a more healthier route, but dessert, forget about it. Indulge a little.

Here is a basic galette recipe that I love to use. This is my favorite go to recipe by the one and only Chef Jacques Pepin. You can find this recipe here  Basic Galette Recipe

 

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Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette
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Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette

This recipe is for an Apple Galette.

Pastry

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
Apples

3 Green apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey, preferably wildflower
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For my  Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette, I used the same basic galette recipe, and treated my apples according to Chef Jacques Pepin’s recipe. I just decided to make a homemade caramel to drizzle over it.

Sea Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoon water
1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon William Sonoma fine grey sea salt

Directions:

Add sugar, cream of tartar and water to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture begins to caramelize. Use a rubber spatula to gentle stir occasionally until mixture reaches a honey color.

Reduce heat to medium-low, continue to cook until mixture turns a deep amber, roughly 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat, immediately whisk in vanilla and butter. Whisk in cream and sea salt.

Cool slightly in pan before pouring into glass storage or a bowl for immediate use.

Cool completely before covering and chilling. Warm before using.

I drizzled this over my Galette once it cooled.

Directions for Pastry and Apple Recipe

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt and butter and process for about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and process until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds; you should still be able to see small pieces of butter in it. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate until chilled. (You can also roll out the pastry and use it right away.)
  2. Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Set aside the larger center slices and coarsely chop the end slices and any broken ones; about half of the slices should be chopped. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-by-14-inch rectangle and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread the chopped fruit over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge.  If you are using blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, no need to chop them, just lay them in the center of the galette.
  4. Drizzle the honey over the fruit. Decoratively arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the apples and dot with the pieces of butter.
  5. Bake the galette for about 1 hour, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp and all of the apples are tender. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Galette OPTIONS:

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Georgia Peach and Blueberry Galette

 

For my Peach and Blueberry galette. The galette recipe is the same. I just added the peaches in the pastry as you would do the apples. I made the blueberries sauce separated. It is so simple to make my  Blueberry Sauce. Just three ingredients, that’s it.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed
1 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Combine the blueberries and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Add 1 cup of water, the lemon juice to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature. The cooling will allow it to thicken more. You can use it soon as it cool or cover and refrigerate for later.

 

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Strawberry Galette

For my Strawberry Galette, you can use the same galette recipe. I sliced my strawberries added them to a bowl with organic sugar and a little lemon juice and pinch of cardamom. Cardamom does something magical to strawberries.  Add the strawberries into the pastry and fold the edges and bake. These are mini galettes, so you do not have to share. LOL. 🙂

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Story ~ Breakfast in Bed Ideas

I love Mother’s Day. I have two boys, one 29 and my youngest is 15. I have two grandchildren, I adore and could get up with a biscuit and some gravy. They are truly yummy. My favorite thing growing up as child was to think about how I was going to make my mom feel special for Mother’s Day. Of course, I did the usually cards with macaroni glued to them and flowers, candy and little things I made with popsicles sticks. Okay, I need to confess soon as I wrote, macaroni, I thought about my mom’s cheesy, buttery, gooey macaroni and cheese, bubbling over in her special mac and cheese glass bowl. So where were we? Yes, Mother’s Day. One year I came up with the idea to make my mom, breakfast in bed.  Now granted I was about 9 years old and I never really cooked a meal all by myself, but I was determined to do this for her.

I went into the kitchen very quietly. I made sure not to make a sound. I remember opening up the fridge and getting out,  bacon, eggs, butter and the orange juice. Yes. I was going to make my mom, a good old southern, bacon and eggs breakfast. I put on a cup of coffee, aka, hot water and Folgers, put the cast iron skillet on the stove and added the bacon. It smelled so good, but it was making too much noise, so I closed the kitchen door.

I added the eggs to the skillet, with lots of butter, just the way my mom did.  Well, maybe too much, but hey I was 9. I cracked the eggs, very gently into a bowl and used a fork to gently whisk them. I was doing something. I felt like my mom, for just a moment. I remember my little sister and brother getting up. I pulled them in the kitchen and demanded they keep quiet. We made our brother sit at the table quietly and my sister made the toast and poured the juice.

All of a sudden I hear footsteps. I wanted to cry.  Oh no, it will not be a surprise anymore, I thought. But, it was my dad. He open the door very slowly. It seemed as if, it took forever for him to open that door and for me to see, it was Dad, not Mom.

He asked with a smile on his face, What are you guys doing? We replied, Making mom breakfast. He left out and said, Okay, carry on.

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My grandson Mikey
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My oldest son Bernard and granddaughter Naleyla
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My granddaughter Naleyla
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My husband, Joseph, my youngest son,  Tyler and my granddaughter Naleyla

It was almost done. I had my sister run into the dining room and get a pretty tray from our china cabinet. We got a rose from my Dad’s rose garden and put it in a nice vase. I was so proud of that breakfast. The toast was a little burnt and the the bacon on the crispier side, but my eggs were awesome. We carried the tray to her bed and the best thing about that day that I remember, is my mom’s face when she say we had made her breakfast in bed.

Just writing this makes me cry. She has been gone for 14 years now and I miss her as though it was yesterday, when she left this Earth. She kissed me, my sister and brother and said, Thank  you so much, this makes mama feel special. But I remember the special look in her eyes she gave me. She was so proud of me, she knew how much this meant to me.  I will never forget that look as long as I live. She ate that breakfast as though it came from a five star restaurant. This is properly where my love of cooking for those I love comes from.  The day I first Set the Table with Love for my Mama.

Thanks everyone for taking time out to read this post. I usually don’t write long. I just get to the recipes, but that will change. I believe setting the table with love, is much more than just good healthy food, it’s about expressing love and that love being experienced through food.

Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂

Check out these links for some yummy Mother’s Day breakfast and brunch idea.

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Waffles

Southern Style Biscuits No Lard Needed Sorry Mom

Caramelized Pears with Homemade Granola

Gigi’s Fluffy Pancakes with Nutella Almonds and Chocolate Chips

 

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Coconut Bread Pudding

I do indulge sometimes. This recipe my friends have been asking for me to post, so here goes.

The other night I wanted bread pudding, but not the same old vanilla with raisin bread pudding. If I was going to indulge I wanted something fancy. So this bread pudding is So Fancy. I will cut to the chase on this one, because soon as you read the recipe you will want to go and make it. Well once you see the picture you will want to go and make it. : )

White Chocolate, Cranberry, Coconut Bread Pudding
White Chocolate, Cranberry, Coconut Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Cranberry and Coconut Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

12 slices day-old baguette or stale bread, cut into 3/4-inch
cubes

4 organic eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup Ghirardelli Candy Making & Dipping White Melting Wafers ( white chocolate lovers go for it!!)

3/4 cup Organic Dried Cranberries

1/2 cup Dehydrated Organic Coconut Flakes

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of salt

4 cups almond milk or coconut milk

Directions:

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Spread the bread cubes in it.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Pour in the milk and whisk until combined. Add the bread to the greased baking dish. Add the white chocolate chips and coconut. Mix the ingredients into the bread thoroughly, where you see the ingredients throughout the dish. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Let stand, pressing down on the bread occasionally, until it is evenly soaked, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 350°F.

Scatter the cranberries evenly over the surface of the soaked bread and press to submerge the fruit. Set the baking dish in a large, shallow roasting pan. Add very hot tap water to the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

Bake the pudding until a knife inserted near the center comes out almost clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.