After Easter feast, my body needed to cleanse. A raw vegan diet is the best way for me to get rid of all the pies and cakes I indulged in and not to mention, my mac and cheese that’s made with six cheeses.
But a girl still needs a little something sweet in her life. My Carrot Cake Bites does the trick every-time. Now on my blog I do have this recipe, but the bites are shaped into balls. To make them square bites, you will need to pour the mixture into a square pan and gently smooth out, you want the bites to be about 1 -1 1/2 inches thick. Put them in the fridge for one hour or over night to firm up, cut them out into squares, top each one with dried coconut and Enjoy. These go well with a cup of cinnamon tea. Remember to always Set the Table with Love. 💕💕💕💕
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut, set aside 2 tbsp for garnish
3/4 cup dried raisins
1 cup grated carrots, peeled
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ cup water or more if needed
Blend oats, sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup coconut in vitamix (food processor should work too) until you get a fine consistency like flour.
Add in dried raisins, pulse a few times to break them up then add carrots, maple syrup, vanilla and spices.
Slowly add in water. You looking for a consistency of nice slightly wet cookie dough,
4. Pour the mixture into a square pan and gently smooth out, you want the bites to be about 1 – 11/2 inches thick. Put them in the fridge for one hour or over night to firm up, cut them out into squares, top each one with dried shredded coconut
Today I had the opportunity to do a television segment for Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, because back to school is upon us and we want to give our kids a healthy start to the new school year. Well, I got you covered. Try out some of these recipes with your kids and see how going back school can be a fun and tasty experience for the whole family.
Here’s a few tips to get your kids into eating healthy:
1. Show the new ways to eat fruit and veggies: peanut butter on celery, hummus and red pepper slices, coconut milk with berries popsicle sticks
2. Get them involved in the process. Let them come up with healthy recipes ideas that incorporates more veggies .
3. Plant a garden.
4. Let them explore new fruits and veggies once a week. They don’t have to love it, just be open to trying new things.
5. Make eating healthy fun and not a chore. They are exploring and getting to know how to make good eating choices. So keep light.
Today is day four of my 30 day cleanse and it’s going pretty good. It is challenging coming up with creative recipes, but hey, that’s my thing. I love to take what I have an make creative recipes, but even more when the recipes call for no diary, no processed white sugar,vegan and yep, no gluten. The truth is even though I am doing this cleanse, I still crave my favorites, like dessert, chips and bread. The body needs to cleanse and reset itself for optimum health and wellness, this is why I cleanse 3 to 4 times a year. We all need a reset, no matter how healthy we eat. So, back to dessert, chips and breads.
This dessert is very easy and you do not need a million ingredients. Take note, I am not using any sugars, such as, honey, maple syrup or agave, just coconut sugar. Coconut sugar only has 5 grams of sugar, much better for you while doing a cleanse, if you craving something sweet. The macaroons are excellent paired with French Broad 100% dark chocolate, now this will be intense, only for the purist. You can also use 72% or 80% dark chocolate, no milk chocolate, since we are doing a cleanse. LOL. 🙂
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy.
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp melted coconut oil
1/2 cup dairy free dark chocolate, chopped Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Add coconut and coconut flour to a food processor or high speed blender and blend, scraping down sides as needed, until you have incorporated the coconut and coconut flour. You want a pliable dough to feel like play doh. If the dough is not pliable, add more coconut and blend. Add coconut sugar and vanilla and mix again until just incorporated.
Using a 1 tbsp scoop, scoop out in enough to fill the scoop, pack down firmly, but gently with your hands to shape the dough, gently tap the dough out of the scoop. Shape it into a nice half moon ball. Place each macaroon gently on the baking sheet.
Brush the tops lightly with melted coconut oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to look golden brown. Allow the macaroons to cool.
While macaroons are cooling, melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments. Set aside.
Once completely cooled, drizzle the chocolate over each one. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or over night, this will allow them to firm up. Be gentle in handling the macaroons, because they are very fragile. Remove each macaroon from the cookie sheet and place on a nice platter. Serve and Enjoy.
If you know me just a little bit, my grandkids are my heart’s joy. I love cooking, baking and going on adventures with them. They both love to be in the kitchen with me, just like my boys, when they were kids. Valentine’s Day is coming up, so I am sure we will be coming up with some yummy, healthy treats, but until then enjoy Naleyla’s Mango Blueberry Smoothie and Gigi’s Peanut Butter and Dark Choclate Popsicles recipe. Remember to Set the Table with Love. Naleyla’s Mango and BlueberrySmoothie1 cup mangoes, chopped1/2 cup frozen blueberries1 cup organic orange juiceAnd a pinch of cinnamonAdd to a blender. Blend and enjoy.Serves 2 happy grandbabies.Gigi’s Peanut Butter and DarkChocolate Chunk popsicles2 cups of Plain Greek Yogurt1/4 cup Georgia Grinder Peanut Butter(I used their Cinnamon Vanilla PecanPeanut Butter)2 tbsps Xoccoalt dark chocolate baror any good dark chocolate bar,chopped into nice chunkspopsicle sticksMakes 9-12 popsicles, based on thesize of your popsiscle moldsDIRECTIONS:In a food processor or blender combine yogurt and peanutbutter until smooth.Add chunks of dark chocolate and toss them into the mix.Add the mix into popsicles molds and add dark chocolateshaving on top of the mixture.Place in freezer. Allow to set for about 8-10 minutesbefore placing drift wood sticks or popsicle sticks. Onceset, add in popsicle stick. Freeze over night.Allow to thaw just a bit, about 1-2 minutes and removefrom molds and enjoy.
I love dessert. I will talk about healthy eating forever, but I will never skip on dessert. A healthy lifestyle has a little dessert included, well at least that is what I believe and preach. Life is all about balance. We all need a little sweetness in our lives and honey these cookies will deliver just that. First off they are gluten free, so they are great for people with gluten allergies. They are small and just perfect with a cup of hot ginger tea. I love making these cookies and sharing with my granddaughter, can you say, TEA PARTY! Bottom line they are so yummy, that’s really all you need to know, right?
So, stay on your healthy path. Eat clean food, drink clean water and make your desserts from scratch with good high quality ingredients. Enjoy them at least once a week or so and get out enjoy nature. It’s all in Divine order.
As always, Remember to Set the Table with Love. 🙂
Gluten Free French Sable Vanilla cookies
2 soft, plump vanilla beans
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted organic butter
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1-1/3 oz. (1/3 cup) organic confectioners’
2 large organic egg yolks
2 cups of gluten free flour blend ( Pillsbury Gluten Free Flour Blend)
My favorite gluten free cookie blend
2 cups white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1. Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape the seed pulp into a small bowl;
add the sugar. Using your fingers, rub them together until blended.
2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, mix the butter on low speed until smooth and
creamy, mix in the salt. Add the vanilla sugar and the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add 1 egg yolk and mix for 1 minute. Still on low speed, mix in the flour just until blended; the dough will be soft.
3. Sprinkle a little gluten free flour onto the counter. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it gently a few times. Divide it in half and shape each half into a 9-inch log. Be
gentle with the dough and work with it, gluten free dough needs a little more care.
Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
4. Position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to
350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup sanding sugar onto a piece of waxed paper. Combine the
remaining egg yolk with a splash of water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork.
6. Brush each log with the egg wash and roll it in the sanding sugar until evenly coated.
Trim the ends of the logs if they’re ragged. Using a knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inchthick rounds. Put them on the baking sheets, leaving about 2-inches between rounds.
7. Bake the cookies, rotating and swapping the baking sheets’ positions halfway
through, until the cookies are brown around the edges and golden on the bottom, 18 to
22 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes; then carefully transfer to a cooling
rack and allow to cool completely before serving. Sable’ cookies need to be eaten cool, so
cooling with allow them to set, so you can enjoy to perfection.
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
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<<<
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
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!!<<<<
Some encounters bring you back home to what your soul is yearning for. This year has done that for me and my family. I have been around people and places that have made me feel like, I was coming home. One of those encounters inspired me to move my culinary creative juices back to Raw Foods. Raw foodism is the dietary practice of eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods. It only includes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Now I AM NOT A RAW FOODIST, VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN, but my diet is about 80% plant based. I believe eating whole foods is better for my body, mind and spirit. So, how did I come back home to raw foods? My best friend. She wanted to take a yoga class one morning and I did have the time, I had so much work to do. I was behind schedule on several projects, I felt run down and just wanted to work and maybe catch a nap in. However, inside of me, my spirit was calling from some release, so I went.
The funny thing is, as we were driving to the studio, it hit me where we were going, to my old yoga studio. The place I learned about the healing beauty of yoga and meditation, ironically another one of my best friends introduced me to this studio, 13 years prior. I got some teacher training here from some the best yoga teachers in the United States. I was very ill during that time, fighting kidney disease and trying to take care of a toddler.
The yoga studio was a place of love and great healing for me. As we walked into the yoga studio, there on her mat was the owner and one of my first yoga teachers. My heart felt so much joy. I felt like I was back HOME. The class was amazing and I felt more energy in my body and spirit, plus so much peace.
My yoga teacher and I caught up and we talked about health issues. She shared with me her journey of healing and it hit me why I was there. Food has been a healing art for me. So of course, my best friend and Creative Marketing Director of my wellness company, mentioned what I had been up to lately with food. My yoga teacher was excited, she had been eating raw to heal, but she runs three businesses and doesn’t have time to prepare the food. She asked me to help her and of course it was my pleasure to say, YES. The yoga studio and her classes brought me so much healing and now I could give back. Life is always trying to bring us home, if we just take the time out to slow down and listen.
Here are three ways you can use my Raw Chocolate Ganache.
Raw Chocolate Ganache: You can use this for many other desserts
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, pinch of sea salt
Using your blender, mix together syrup and coconut oil until well combined. Add in your cacao powder and a pinch of sea salt, and process until smooth – scraping down the sides as needed. Use immediately, or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. If using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit, or roll out ganache truffles using a melon scoop. 🙂
Raw Chocolate Ganache Torte with Pistachio Dust and Black Berries
1/2 cup black cherries, thawed out frozen cherries
3/4 cup Raw Chocolate Ganache
1 tbsp maple syrup
crushed pistachios and a black cherry
Using a blender Blend everything together, using a biscuit cutter, place on a sheet pan with parchment paper . Pour the ganache mixture into the biscuit cutter, almost to the top, leave room to add the pistachios. Add the pistachios and top with a black cherry. Put into the freeze and allow to set over night or for at least 2 hours to get it very firm. When ready to serve, allow to set room temperature for about 2-3 minutes, this will make it easier for you to push the torte out of the biscuit cutter. Gently remove, by pushing up from the bottom with a frosting spreader or the back of a spoon.
Serve and enjoy immediately because the base is made of coconut oil, it must be eaten immediately or kept frozen.
Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream
1 pear cut in half and seeds removed
Raw Chocolate Ganache, in it’s liquid form. if using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit.
whole coconut milk
1 tsp cardamom and a little more to dust over the pears
1 tbs maple syrup
Super simple. I add a little lemon juice to the pears, so they would not brown. Dipped them into the ganache. I dipped half of the pears here, added crusted walnuts, sprinkled with cardamom, you can also drizzle maple syrup, honey or agave over them for more sweetness. Put the pears into the fridge for an hour or overnight so the ganache can harden on the pears properly. The coconut cream is also super simple.
Open up a can of coconut milk and remove the creamy top part and add to a bowl. Using an electric hand mixer whisk attachment, beat the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add in maple syrup and cardamom. Put whipped cream in the fridge to harden a bit, about 10 minutes. Remove the pears and whipped cream from the fridge. Add whipped cream to the pears and serve immediatley.
NOTE: This ganache has a coconut oil base so it will melt fast, so keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream
Last one, but oh so good. My grandson helped me make these, notice the heavy handed areas of pistachios. Love it.
Raw Chocolate Ganache Bark with Peppermint and Pistachios
3 tbsp cacao
2½ tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
small pinch sea salt
2 tbsp crushed pistachios
1 crushed soft peppermint stick
Whisk together melted coconut oil, raw cacao and maple syrup in a small bowl until completely smooth.
Add a pinch of sea salt and combine well.
Add nuts and peppermint
Line a cookie sheet with non stick parchment paper.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined cookie sheet and spread out evenly using the back of a spoon, spread it thick so you bark doesn’t melt so quickly when eating it. 🙂 Add the goodies on top.
Place the container in the freezer for 30 minutes until the chocolate is completely hard.
Break up the pieces and serve immediately.
Store in the freezer. PSA
Since the base of this bark is coconut oil it will melt at room temperature, so please keep it in the freezer, until ready to serve. Eat immediately.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
So this blog will be short and really naturally and organically sweet, LOL, school just started back, and we are off to get school supplies for my son. In honor of school starting back up, I decided to do a 30 day cleanse. I will try my best to post some of my detox recipes for this cleanse, but you can find some amazing cleansing recipes already here on the blog. Okay, so what are you doing with this cleanse, Lisa?
Well here is an example, I am eating a vegan, gluten free, no processed sugar diet, well no white sugar or grains, no honey, no maple syrup or agave, just coconut sugar. No alcohol, so enjoyed my sangria week. LOL. No yeast based products. But I will have dessert, and yes it will go under this cleanse. Since we are on desserts, here’s my Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bake, now I am eating this for breakfast, but it’s so delicious you may want to call it dessert. It’s super simple. Enjoy and keep a look out for some more of my 30 day cleanse yummies.
2 1/4 cups quick rolled oats, certified gluten-free, if possible
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups lightly packed shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnut halves (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F and lightly greased brownie dish. I used an 8″x 8″ 2in. rectangular casserole dish.
In a medium saucepan, add the non dairy milk and salt to a boil. Add quick rolled oats and the remaining ingredients, except the raisins and walnuts. Lower the heat, cook for 3 minutes, add the raisins and walnuts. Stir. If it’s too thick, add a little more non dairy milk. Add the mixture into the greased casserole dish smooth out with a spoon.
Sprinkle on a little coconut and coconut sugar, as garnished.
Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden along edge. The oatmeal may look wet in some places, that’s okay, it will firm up.
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.
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.
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
Stir all ingredients together. Chill until you’re ready to serve!
Sangria Ginger Peach and Green Apple Crumble
Preheat the oven 350.
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.
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.
I love my friends. I am even so grateful that God put some incredible women in my life. I have women that have been in my life for over 3 decades. They have celebrated life with me and some of my most tragic times. These ladies have loved me unconditionally. They understand me and allow me to just be Lisa, without depends. I am so grateful for that more than anything.
Yesterday I was able to throw a birthday brunch for one of those beautiful souls, Dee Armstead. I met Dee when we both were going through a very hard time in our lives, we both had lost our moms and we were there for each other. We kept each other afloat. She loves me for me, she builds me up and never tears me down. This is 14 year friendship and I can honestly say these words about her.
Dee is the fabulous one in the linen pants
Dee is a big giver. When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said, Lisa I want to do something that will inspire and empower women. This is her gift, Dee inspires others, so I want this to be really special. So, I decided to do one of my Coming Home to You workshop brunches. I filled the whole entire brunch and exercises with positive affirmations, deep breathing technique , meditation and a lifestyle behavioral coaching exercise. The ladies were very inspired and the best part, my Dee was happy and pleased with the outcome.
God is amazing in how he works. There were many components in planning such a brunch, because it is not just about beautiful table settings and food, but helping people move passed the things that get in the way of connecting again themselves and what is next in there lives.
Dee trust me, she never once asked me, what I was planning. This is how you now it is God, she closed it out with a speech of gratitude and gave each of her guest, a beautiful frame with the most inspiring words that went along side the workshop’s entire message. “Allow ALL life to move though you, let go of fear and embrace love.”
One of the best things I got a chance to teach my granddaughter how to Set the Table with Love. She pressed napkins, linens, we made floral arrangements, and made the prettiest table settings. We had a blast.
Thanks Dee for being one of my dearest friends and allowing your light to ignite my light within. Love you.
The menu was vegetarian. I wanted to share recipes with everyone that was simple, easy, delicious and healthy . The chai muffins were gluten free and one of my favorite recipes, we served the muffins with a simple ginger and cardamom butter.
The menu included:
Blueberry and Lemon scones with lemon sugar
Chai Muffins made by my bestie, Kristina Millsaps
Frittata Muffins with cheddar cheese and parmesan
Roasted Asparagus with parsley and parmesan
Roasted Potatoes with herbs and parmesan
Strawberry Basil Rosé Lemonade punch
Chocolate Oolong Tea
I want to share with you one of the recipes that was one the favorites. I will share the other recipes, including that incredible punch later this week. Enjoy this one.
1 pound asparagus
A bunch of parsley leaves
Fine sea salt, ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400.
Trim away the bottom third of each asparagus stalk.
Put the asparagus on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, top with parsley. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until slightly tender, about 10 -15 minutes. Just before serving, add shaved parmesan.
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
This recipe is for an Apple Galette.
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
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
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed
1 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
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.
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. 🙂
I believe food is Beautiful Healing Art. Okay, I am busted that’s the title of my new cookbook. Hee Hee. 🙂 Today I woke up and wanted to have a fruit salad for breakfast,but not any old fruit salad, something special. I am so happy it’s cherry season, because this girl love her some cherries. LOL. Beside, cherries are very healing for the body. I decided I wanted a monochromatic salad. Yes I am one of those people who likes to eat in color and today I chose red. Red fruits are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, ellagic acid ( a potent anticancer agent), Vitamin A and C and high in potassium. So why not eat red today. This salad is super simple and you go with what you love. I added, cherries, strawberries, goji berries and cranberries. But you can try raspberries, even little pieces of cut watermelon in here would be very refreshing. I also added a little coconut whipped cream, cut up some of my leftover granola I had in the freezer and a few cacao chips sprinkled over the whole salad. That is all to it. This is a vegan version, but you can add greek yogurt to this as well.
Let your mind run wild. Instead of red fruit, do purple and blue fruit. It is a easy way to incorporated more raw foods into your diet, and a fun experience for your whole family.
This is a rough recipe, because it just putting your favorite fruit together in an artistic way and top it with coconut cream, honey and cacao chips. Enjoy! Remember to Set the Table with Love.
Handful of cherries and strawberries
1/4 cup cranberries and 1/4 goji berries
1/2 cup coconut cream and honey to taste
1/4 cup of cacao chips
Cut the fruit in half and position on a plate that suits your fancy. Add coconut cream and honey. Garnish with cacao chips.
*The coconut cream is just the top of the cream a can of coconut milk with a tsp of honey, gently stir and top on your fruit salad.
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.
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.
Breakfast and brunch is my favorite time of the day to eat. I love everything about a good breakfast and brunch. I feel, it’s the most creative time of the day to combine savory with sweet. You can have eggs, grits, muffins, toast, cakes, salmon, meat, chicken, juice, coffee and champagne, all at once. So, you see why it’s my favorite time of the day to eat.
I love having fruit for breakfast, but sometimes you want more than a raw apple or a banana. Sometimes, you want something decadent, rich, but also nutritious. I came up with this pear recipe when I got a little to happy in the produce department and bought tons of pears. I ate several and put several in salads, but there was just a few left over and starting to look a little too ripe. I am standing over my counter thinking, what will I do with these pears? Hmm… sauté them!! Yes!!
I sautéed these pears in coconut oil and I sprinkled a little coconut sugar over the, to give them a nice caramelization, but the coconut sugar also gave them this wonderful nutty flavor. I made homemade granola the night before and thought this would be fantastic over the pears. But, here’s the decadence. I topped them off with little mascarpone cheese with lemon zest. OMG!! I hope your mama is not near, because you would want to slap her. LOL 🙂 Now, if we are going all out healthy , yogurt would be perfect. But sometimes you need to indulge a little, or a lot, depending on the day. This makes an amazing dessert as well.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. Oh yeah, remember to Set the Table with Love.
4 tablespoons coconut oil
4 medium Bosc pears, pitted and halved
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup granola, homemade or bought tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup blueberries or your favorite fruit
Drizzle of honey
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Sprinkle each pear with coconut sugar just enough to over lightly cover the pears, you will have some left over. Melt the coconut oil. and then add the pears, cut-side down, cooking until they are slightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remainder of the coconut sugar and continue cooking until caramelized, 4- 5 minutes, depending on your stove top.
Mascarpone Cheese with lemon zest.
Add the mascarpone to a bowl and add the lemon zest and gently stir, until the lemon zest is incorporated into the cheese. If you are using yogurt, just add the zest into the yogurt or just add honey to the yogurt, if you desire.
Divide the pears, 2 pears to a plate. Add the homemade granola, a dollop of mascarpone cheese, drizzle of honey, add the berries all around the plate and a little shake of cinnamon and it’s the bees knees.