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Paleo Pumpkin-Cashew Blondies

Hello Baking Friends!

I had some requests for the sharing of a recipe I made last night and took into work today for my unsuspecting coworkers.

Paleo Pumpkin-Cashew Blondies

I have recently discovered I have quite a lot of food ‘allergies/intolerances’, and the closest ‘diet’ that I can follow is the Paleo diet. Knowing that this is something a lot of people are getting into, I have been intrigued by some of the lovely blogs and resources that I have found.

So far, however, my favorite named blog, and inspiration for my Blondies, is Clean Eating With A Dirty Mind. First of all, the name is just giggle worthy. I love it. Next, the author actually responds to comments, which is sometimes rare for some of the more popularly commented on bloggers (due to time). And finally, Vanessa actually discussed some alternatives with me, and gave me her stamp of approval. So of course, I am biased towards her! ūüėČ

So here is the Paleo Pumpkin Pie Blondie recipe from Vanessa at CEWADM. Her blog entry is worth reading.

Now, here is the recipe that I did, which yielded a deep-dish 13×9 pan of Blondie yumminess!

Paleo Pumpkin-Cashew Blondies

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tspn vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup cashew butter (I used JIF)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (I used Libby’s)

1 cup oat flour (homemade is easy, recipe below)
1/2  cup coconut palm sugar (looks like brown sugar)
1 tspn each ground nutmeg, ground cloves and Saigon cinnamon
1/2 tspn each ground cardamom seed, ground ginger, vanilla bean powder and ground allspice
1/4 tspn (or a dash really) Pink Himalayan Salt

Directions:

Step 1: Mix all the wet ingredients together with a whisk until evenly blended.

Step 2: Add the pumpkin and the cashew butter to the wet mix, and whisk until thick but well mixed.

Step 3: Mix all the dry ingredients together with a whisk until evenly blended.

Step 4: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture..

Step 5: Whisk until evenly blended.

Step 6: Pour batter into a 13×9 baking pan.

Step 7: Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour, but best if it sits overnight to settle.

Final Touches: Slice into 24-28 pieces, and add a dollop of cashew butter to enjoy to the utmost!

I input the caloric value, roughly, at 28 pieces per recipe, into CalorieCount.About.Com and came up with the following nutritional information (which is probably not entirely accurate, guessing on the high side):
Serving Size: 1 piece + 1/4 teaspoon cashew butter spread on top
Calories: 180
Total Fat: 14.3g
Saturated Fat: 7.8g [I am going to see if I can reduce this in a further rendition of this recipe]
Cholesterol: 6mg
Sodium: 98mg
Total Carbohydrates: 13.2g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8g
Sugars: 5.3g
Protein: 2.1g
Vitamin A: 11%    Calcium: 2%    Iron: 4%

As promised Рif you want to make your own oat flour, all you need to do is take equal amounts (i.e. 1 cup) of raw oats, or 75% oat bran, to what you need for a recipe. Pulse in food processor until completely refined to almost a powder, about 2:00 Р2:30 minutes. I made mine a little thicker, and it came out pretty tasty in the recipe, I thought!

So all of my coworkers who tried it enjoyed it (and no, they didn’t say it just because I was standing there, many actually came and found me to tell me they enjoyed it, so neener to all you nay-sayers who may have wanted to give me some teasing crap on that one, hahaHA!). Favorite way, however, was indeed with a smidge of cashew butter on top!

So go check out Vanessa, and try one of our variations of this recipe (or both), and let me/us know what you thought of it! I look forward to hearing about it!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Quick, Simple, Fancy Appetizers

Hello Cooking Friends,

I don’t know about you, but I love quick and simple appetizers that everyone thinks took you forever to make, and are super complicated.

Baked Asparagus Citrus Haba√Īero

Citrus Haba√Īero Asparagus

I have two standbys that I used this weekend for a bring-appetizers-to-share event. I would like to share with you because I got so many “how did you make this?!?!” comments this weekend. I am going to share multiple variations for both just to be fair to all palates!

#1) ‘Fancy’ Asparagus

What you need: 1 bunch of asparagus, flavored olive oils, flavored balsamic vinegars, and various spices, as desired.

Preheat your oven to 350, and spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray (I prefer aluminum ones to bake-and-take-and-toss when I’m going somewhere not at a house).

Keep the rubber bands on your asparagus and rinse the stems in cold water for a few seconds. Then, using a very sharp and long knife (i.e. not a paring knife), cut the bottom 1 inch off the asparagus stems. This is key to taste and keeping the rubber bands on is key to sanity. It also lets you cut your asparagus to mostly equal length quite simply!

So now we have our rinsed, prepped asparagus, remove the rubber bands and dump the stems into your pan (layers are perfectly fine). Over top of this you will drizzle and sprinkle your olive oils and spices. Bake for 12-18 minutes, until they’re to your desired tenderness (18) or crispness (12). I usually do about 15 minutes, to get it right in the middle!

A) Citrus-Haba√Īero: pour about 3 tablespoons of Butter Olive Oil evenly over your asparagus. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of Citrus Haba√Īero Olive Oil evenly over top you asparagus. Bake.

B) Peppery Citrus: mix together 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Olive Oil, and pour over top the asparagus. Using a peppermill or grinder, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of fresh ground pepper over top the asparagus. Bake.

C) Garlicky Mushroom & Fig: mix together 2 teaspoons each Garlic Mushroom Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic Vinegar, 1 teaspoon of dill weed, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Pour over asparagus evenly. Bake.

D) Butter & Bacon: sprinkle about 2 teaspoons worth of Bacon!Bacon! over top, evenly. Pour 2 tablespoons of Butter Olive Oil evenly over asparagus & bacon. Bake.

E) Garden Veggie: sprinkle about 2 teaspoons each worth of Garden Veggie and Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto mixes evenly over asparagus. Pour 2 tablespoons of Butter Olive Oil, OR pour 1 tablespoon melted butter plus 1 teaspoon Sun-dried Tomato Parmesan & Garlic Olive Oil, evenly over asparagus & spices. Bake.

**Note, 2 tablespoons butter olive oil is equivalent to just under 1/4 cup melted (unsalted) butter.

#2) Rumaki

BBQ Barbeque Rumaki Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

BBQ Rumaki

What you need: toothpicks, 1 package bacon, 2 cans diced & drained water chestnuts, sauce as desired.

Preheat oven to 350, and either line a cookie sheet with foil or use an 11×7 pan – spray either one with cooking spray.

The basics of what you will do: cut your bacon strips into thirds, and then wrap 1 of these strips around 1 diced water chestnut. Stick a toothpick through starting where the wrap ends, and going through the water chestnut to the other side. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until bacon is to your taste (crisp or soft). This does 2 things for you: 1) this keeps the bacon from getting messy and going everywhere while baking, and 2) creates an instant ‘serving’ option for guests to enjoy these without getting more utensils dirty!

So here are some ways to flavor the rumaki!

A) BBQ Rumaki: Take a barbeque sauce of your choice, I used the Laurel Gray Crazy ‘Bout Butts BBQ Sauce, and pour about 1/4 cup into the bottom of your pan. Place your tooth-picked rumaki into the pan in rows, and then drizzle another 1/8 cup of the sauce over top of the rumaki. Bake.

B) Ginger-Soy Rumaki: Place your tooth-picked rumaki in the pan in rows. Meanwhile, mix together 1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Butter Olive Oil (or 2 tbspn melted butter), dash of cumin, and 2 teaspoons ground ginger. For the ginger, if you happen to have pickled ginger on hand, you could substitute either 1 teaspoon of the pickled liquid OR 2 teaspoons of blended pickled ginger (solids only) for the ground ginger. Mix this well. Pour over rumaki and bake.

C) Garden Veggie Rumaki: Place your tooth-picked rumaki in the pan in rows. Sprinkle Garden Veggie and 2 tablespoons Garlic Mushroom Olive Oil over the asparagus, evenly. Bake.

So I sincerely hope that you enjoyed these, and if you try them, please let me know which version you tried (even if it’s your own) and how you liked them!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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