Friday, December 28, 2012

Cranberry Bars

Every year my sister and her husband prepare and serve a sit down dinner called, The Cargioli Ravioli Extravaganza. They make home made ravioli and spaghetti sauce and various other delicious Italian type soups and dishes and serve about 18 to 25 friends and family.
Last year I made these cranberry bars and my sister loved them so much she asked me to make them for all future Cargioli Ravioli Extravaganza dinners, thereby, creating a new tradition.

I found this recipe here on blog. She is my favorite blogger for grain free baking. Check her blog out.
This is my adaptation of Elana's original recipe.
Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 20 dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbs walnut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  1. Place pecans and dates in food processor and pulse to coarsely ground.
  2. Pulse in oil and sea salt until it begins to form a ball or pack together.
  3. Press crust into an 8X11 pyrex dish. For a thicker crust and bar you could use an 8X8 dish.
  4. Bake for 18 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned.
  5. While crust is baking make the filling.

  • 6 cups fresh cranberries (discard the bad ones)
  • 1 cup agave
  • 1 Tbs orange zest

  1. Clean and separate out bad cranberries
  2. Place 4 cups of cleaned cranberries agave and orange zest in saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, until cranberries start to dissolve.
  4. Add remaining 2 cups cranberries and cook covered another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove filling from stove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour filling over prepared crust.
  7. Let cool for 60 to 90 minutes or overnight in refrigerator.
  8. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

Just in time for Christmas baking!!
I've been doing alot of baking the last couple weeks. I love trying new recipes and the way my house smells when I bake is better then any air freshener.
The recipe today is Gingerbread Cookies. 
I have one word to describe them YUM. 
OK, I use the word alot. 
So I love intensely flavored foods. The coconut sugar and molasses and spice combination gives this cookie a special flavor that is not too sweet and fully engages your sense of smell and taste.

Weird ingredient alert!! You're going to need a fair amount of arrowroot flour. You can find a 20 oz bag of it at Whole Foods.
 I got the recipe from The Food Lover's Kitchen here. I have an app on my iphone with lots of awesome recipes at my fingertips. I also get new recipes delivered to my email inbox. This is not the first recipe I have tried from here and it won't be the last if they are all as good as this. This site is a great resource for all things Paleo.

Gingerbread Cookies

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 4 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Heat molasses to boiling in a small saucepan and remove from heat.
  4. Add coconut oil into molasses.
  5. Pour molasses mixture into the dry ingredients and mix completely with a wooden spoon.
  6. Make sure you get it mixed up well, It's going to form a ball.
  7. Break off a piece of the dough and roll it out between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Dig out you cookie cutters or biscuit cutter and make you some cookies.
  9. Place the cut out cookies on a piece of parchment paper that has been placed on a cookie sheet and bake for about 9 minutes. 
  10. After your first batch reduce your cooking time to 8 minutes.

 Have fun with those tupperware cookie cutters that are in the back of your kitchen drawer. I found trains and hearts in my drawer. Or you could make superball(remember superballs?) size cookie dough balls and smash them with the bottom of a glass. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for some wicked ginger snaps. Bake a little longer if you don't smash it too flat.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Paleo bread, buns (oven adaptation)

My sister Sherry has been eating paleo for a few months now. She started it as a challenge to eat better. She has been a great source for recipe trials for me. She made this recipe for bread. It is from primal bread 2.0. The one thing I don't like about the recipe is the fact it is cooked in a microwave. So I adapted this bread to bake in the oven.
I could have easily used my 5 inch ramekins instead I used my stand alone, paper quiche cups. I bought these at Marshall's Home Goods Store. They are approximately 4.5 to 5 inches.
I doubled the recipe and reduced the baking powder by one teaspoon. My adaptation of this recipe made 5 "buns". Which made 10 pieces of bread when you slice each bun in half width wise. 15 slices if you make thinner slices. Your choice. There are lots of ways you can use this bread. Beware! It is very filling so a small piece is super satisfying and delicious!

Paleo Bread (buns)

  • 1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal (I used golden flax)
  • 1/4 cup salted toasted sunflower seeds 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup or coconut nectar(optional)
  • 3 Tbs walnut or coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease or butter ramekins or paper quiche cup
  3. Measure sunflower seeds into a Ziploc baggie and smack it with a rolling pin to break up the seeds slightly. Don't pulverize the seeds.
  4. Measure all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, sweetener and oil in a small mixing bowl. 
  6. Now dump the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to incorporate everything.
  7. Divide the batter between the 5 quiche cups or ramekins.
  8. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

This bread has the taste and texture of a multi-grain bread but without the grains!! It's simple and quick to make and keep on hand for toast or sandwich bread.
Important thing to remember...Cool completely before you slice it. It will hold together better, No worries though if you slice and butter it while it's still hot. You'll be polishing off all the crumbs that fall. This also toasts great!!

Hot from the oven with melting butter

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
I love making cookies and candy to give away as gifts at Christmas time.
This year I am making paleo treats to give away.

I have gathered treat recipes from across the paleo blog globe. One of my favorite blogs is written by Danielle Walker at Against All Grain. She does some amazing things with out of the ordinary ingredients. I have never failed to be impressed with recipes I have tried from Danielle's blog.
One of my favorites is the Chocolate Chip Cookies. I loved the way she rolled up the cookie dough and refrigerated or froze it for a slice and bake cookie. I actually made a double batch and stored the rolled dough in the fridge over night. I baked a batch before I had company for a nice bakery smell in my house. You can't fake that yummy smell.
Here is my adaptation of Danielle's recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1/2 cup softened butter, palm shortening can be used
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 eggs, suggested room temp but I used mine right out of the refrigerator
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 Tbs + 2 tsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)


1) Preheat oven 350 degrees
2) In a food processor cream together, butter, palm sugar, coconut nectar, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
3) Scrape the sides of the canister down once or twice.
4) Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips and pulse for 30 seconds or so, until all ingredients are incorporated.
5) Turn out into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.
6) Divide into 2 portions and form each portion into a log.
7) Slice and flatten cookies.
8) Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 9 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. 9 minutes for softer cookies and 10 minutes for firmer cookies.

Special notes:
You can also place the parchment wrapped log in the refrigerator for use within the next few days or place in the freezer for use in the more distant future. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
These cookies do not raise and spread out like glutenous chocolate chip cookies so be sure to flatten them and don't be afraid to place them closer together on the cookie sheet. This means more cookies on the cookies sheet and less time in the kitchen.

These have gotten two thumbs up from everyone at my office and close enough to satisfy your desire for treats.

Real food satisfies your nutritional needs so you are less likely to overeat.


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