Salted Caramel Fudge with Coconut Palm Sugar

October 30, 2014 in Desserts, Holidays

A decadent homemade candy for any time of year (Halloween is just the current excuse).

Salted Caramel Fudge

Salted Caramel Fudge, made with coconut palm sugar in the mix

Caramel is my kryptonite. I feel about caramel the way others describe their feelings about chocolate. I like chocolate well enough, don’t get me wrong, especially in brownie, Nutella, fudge, or chocolate chip cookie form, but I don’t love it, don’t crave it, am not overcome with a wistful thousand-year-stare at the thought of it. But caramel, oh caramel, that’s a different story. And in continuing our October family reunion anniversary theme, this particular taste appears to have been inherited from my biological dad, who wrote me in an early getting-to-know-you email, “I have a weakness for caramel.” The proverbial caramel apple didn’t fall far from that tree, did it?

Now, no one has been happier about the advent of salted caramel as a trend, and I’ll remain devoted to the form long after various food culture lists declare it Over (which may have happened already, for all I know). The best thing about salted caramel is that it tends to be offered all on its own, rather than in combination with chocolate, which, to me, completely ruins both components. Alas, many “caramel fudge” recipes I’ve encountered really mean regular chocolate fudge WITH caramel, not a fudgy version of caramel all on its pure, glorious, buttery own.

So I set about to make a caramel confection that would stand all on its own, and if I could reduce the refined sugar in the recipe a bit with the help of Wholesome Sweetener’s coconut palm sugar, all the better. (I also used their organic brown sugar and natural cane sugar.) Read the rest of this entry →

Pumpkin-Shaped Pumpkin Mini-Quiches

October 16, 2014 in Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Holidays, Vegetarian Entrees

More pumpkin goods! An easy, dairy-free autumn breakfast or savory snack.

Pumpkin Mini-Bundt Quiches

Pumpkin Mini-Bundt Quiches

Pumpkin in both shape and content. You could just as easily bake these mini-quiches in regular muffin tins if you don’t have one of these snazzy numbers, and they’d be just as tasty a savory fall breakfast or snack. But if you want to add a little extra seasonal flair, I loved how the quasi-pumpkin shapes turned out. Totally dairy-free, and if you omit the pretzel stick garnishes for stems, paleo as well.   Read the rest of this entry →

Maple Molasses Popcorn Balls with Cinnamon-Glazed Pecans

October 9, 2014 in Holidays, Snacks

Perfect popcorn treats for Halloween parties or any other autumn occasion – using no refined sugar.

Maple Molasses Popcorn Balls

Maple Molasses Popcorn Balls with Cinnamon Honey-Glazed Pecans

What’s a better homespun Halloween treat than popcorn balls? Being a big fan of Wholesome Sweeteners’ line of non-refined, organic options, I experimented with their hearty blackstrap molasses and their lovely golden honey. Both worked fabulously for a twist on the classic sweet and salty treat, made without any refined sugar. Just a tablespoon of the rich molasses was enough to add just the right robustness to the maple syrup – a little goes a very long way! And the honey with the cinnamon and pecans, well, you may want to make a little extra just to nosh on.

Make it a fun project with the kids! Enjoy.

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Pumpkin Deviled Eggs

October 1, 2014 in Appetizers, Healthy Fare, Holidays, Snacks

Pumpkin – in shape and flavor – deviled eggs.

Pumpkin Deviled eggs

Deviled Eggs with a splash of pumpkin!

October begins today, and you can tell by all the pumpkin recipes on food blogs everywhere. I love fall flavors, and especially pumpkin, so I decided to try pumpkin puree in deviled eggs.

Turns out, pumpkin and eggs are heavenly together!

You just decrease the amount of mayonnaise in your usual deviled eggs and swap it with pumpkin puree. And, we had some season’s end okra in our garden, so the tips made perfect handles for the pumpkins. You could use any green veggie – string beans or green onions or even a piece of bell pepper.

I won’t say how many the Hubs and I ate, but let’s just say this became our dinner after the photo shoot. Just a sprinkle of chili powder on top and these babies are perfect for a fall appetizer, snack, or == ahemmmm  == dinner.

Happy Fall, Y’all!

— posted by Donna

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Lemon Curd Linzer Cookies for a Frozen Birthday Party

April 21, 2014 in Desserts, Holidays, Oh My!

A Frozen-Themed Birthday Party featuring gluten-free Lemon Curd Snowflake Cookies

Elsa & Candles on the Icy Mountain. Fabulous Frozen Cake courtesy of the very talented Amanda Hill.

For the First Time In Forever: My daughter Lily turned SIX last week, and like just about every elementary-age child, Frozen is the obsession du jour. Being me, I of course seized the opportunity for a theme party. And I will go ahead and state for the record that I deliberately avoided looking at Pinterest AT. ALL. for any of this. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest for all kinds of things, but for parties, I enjoy the process of coming up with ideas 100% from my own brain, take it or leave it. Scroll down for the cookie recipe, but first, check out a few shots of the other offerings.  Read the rest of this entry →

Sticky Sweet Balsamic Lamb Chops

April 16, 2014 in Entrees, Holidays

Sticky, sweet, tangy. The perfect lamb chops for your spring feast.

Honey Balsamic Lamb Chops

Easiest and Tastiest Lamb Chops Ever.

This is the very first time we have posted a lamb recipe on this blog. Because lamb is spendy where I live, it is a once-a-year treat at our house – usually for our Easter feast.

And so, it has to be yummy. And easy. This honey balsamic glaze is tangy and sweet and just the right amount of sticky to make you lick your fingers brazenly with every bite.

This is a version of a recipe by Jamie Oliver, whose love for cooking healthy real food is contagious. I am an avid fan of his show 15 Minute Meals, and this recipe is the kind of food he cooks – playful and flavorful food that is easy and quick.

I did make twice as much of the glaze as he calls for – and for me this is the perfect ratio of glaze to lamb chop. I also added a dash of cayenne pepper sauce – just for a little heat. I think this is the perfect mix of flavor and texture for these chops – and this will be on my table on Easter Sunday.

– posted by Donna

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Beet Deviled Eggs

April 1, 2014 in Appetizers, Holidays, Side Dishes

Double duty beets: flavor inside and color outside deviled eggs.

Beet Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs, flavored and colored with beets.

Beets add sweetness and flavor to the classic deviled egg – and a bonus: soak your peeled hard boiled eggs in beet water to add a rosy hue to the outsides of the eggs!

Once a year in early spring I become a deviled egg fanatic. I have tried all kinds of mix-ins to the yolks, and I have to say that it was a surprise how delicious the sweetness of the beets was mixed into the yolks. They are delicious mixed with a little Dijon to balance the sweetness.

There are lots of food bloggers doing naturally dyed eggs – so beautiful! I just added my beets in two places!
See How to Dye Easter Eggs the Natural Way, Simple Bites
Tea Stained Easter Eggs, Yummy Mummy
Vegetable Dyed Eggs, Weelicious

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Caulicannon: Irish Comfort Food – minus the carbs

March 16, 2014 in Gluten Free, Healthy Fare, Holidays, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Entrees

A low-carb, nutrient-packed version of the Irish comfort food classic for St. Patrick’s Day.

Caulicannon: The Irish Comfort Classic made low-carb.

This is certainly a last-minute entry for the St Patrick’s Day recipe bonanza that’s blown up the foodblogosphere all week, but the brainstorm just hit me yesterday and it would be remiss of me not to share it with you posthaste. I was hanging out on Pinterest with my morning coffee as per usual, thinking how lovely a nice bowl of creamy, starchy colcannon would be. Wait a minute, I’ve come to love cauliflower rice, why not use cauliflower mash as the foundation of a low-carb colcannon?

All on its own, I do generally prefer either ricing cauliflower or roasting it,  rather than the pureed version that can be substituted for potatoes, but in this instance, it really hits the spot. My only regret is not doubling the recipe so I’d have more leftovers.

Slainte to all! Read the rest of this entry →

Kale Hummus Cucumber Bites

March 12, 2014 in Appetizers, Holidays

 Green bites of kale hummus goodness in honor of St Pat.

Kale Hummus Cucumber Bites

St Patrick’s Day approved bites of healthy green goodness!

Lots of folks have added lots of things to hummus – including a few tweaks of our own: Asparagus Hummus; Hot Pink (Beet) Hummus;and Black Bean Hummus, to name a few. But I was searching for green hummus, in honor of the second biggest holiday of the year at the Kelly house: St Patrick’s Day.

I found lots, but none with kale, and so I gave it a whirl- literally – in my food processor and this is now my new favorite hummus! If you saute the kale in a little coconut oil first, it softens and adds flavor to the kale. This dark leafy green adds so much depth and flavor to plain hummus – your taste buds will be amazed! Then, just whirl it into your favorite hummus recipe – or use our recipe below – and you have even more healthy hummus and GREEN to boot, in honor of St Pat’s.

My Irish foodie wish I wrote for all:

May your souffles rise to meet you,
May your colcannon be first rate,
May you find joy in every Irish stew, and
May nothing but deliciousness be found on your plate!
Happy St Pat’s All ~
– posted by Donna

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Corned Beef and Cabbage Pot Pie Recipe

March 10, 2014 in Entrees, Holidays

Irish comfort food – corned beef and cabbage in little pot pies.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pot Pies

Good old American pot pies – St Patrick’s Day  edition.

These easy pot pies combine one of the greatest American dishes – pot pies – with the Irish classic – Corned beef and Cabbage. It had to happen, really. The salty flavorful bits of corned beef is perfect in a sauce with sweet veggies like onions, carrot and peas. Oh, yes, and cabbage.

You cook this dish the same way you would cook a chicken pot pie. I used corned beef I bought at the deli counter, sliced a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Then, I diced the corned beef into small cubes so that the corned beef flavor does not overwhelm the pies. I stirred in the diced cabbage after turning off the heat in the skillet, because if you cook it, the cabbage will turn to mush. This way it has the perfect texture.

You can use whatever biscuit recipe you like. James Beard’s famous cream biscuits (TWO ingredients: cream and self-rising flour!) would work well for this. Just roll the biscuit dough thin and cut into circles to top the ramekins. If you like, you can cook this in a 9 x 13 inch pan, but you will need to extend the cooking time a bit.

We at the Kellys celebrate March 17th as the second biggest holiday of the year. If you come to my house you you will meet lots of folks dressed in green – and please be prepared to eat a lot of Irish stew and colcannon. And mint chocolate chip ice cream = our neighbor insists on bringing it every year. St Pat’s Ice Cream, he calls it.

Either way, Happy St Patrick’s Day to All!

– posted by Donna

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