Picnic Perfect Herby Deviled Eggs

Picnic Perfect Herby Deviled Eggs / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I’m constantly looking for easier and more efficient ways to do things. Must be the engineer in me. Well today, I have an amazing genius picnic tip.

Use an egg carton to transport deviled eggs. Genius!

This weekend we had a tasty picnic with friends to celebrate the 4th of July. My hubby and I rode our bikes to the park and brought along some snacks, including deviled eggs. My solution to transport the deviled eggs was to use the egg carton as the perfect transport container.

I placed separate muffin liners in the carton to make these a less messy picnic dish. I also decided to use nearly the whole egg instead of cutting them in half. I cut the top third of the egg off and scooped out the yolk. The yolks were then mixed with greek yogurt (instead of mayo), herbs, salt, and Dijon mustard. I then scooped the yolk mixture into a baggy, cut off the edge, and pipetted the mixture into each egg white. Fancy pants picnic dish!

Picnic Perfect Herby Deviled Eggs / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I unfortunately do not have very many pictures of these puppies since I was running behind and had to rush to get these beauties loaded up in the egg carton and then head out on my bike to the picnic. But I will tell you that I will definitely be repeating this process for future deviled eggs that will be accompanying me to potlucks and picnics.

The only downside to this recipe is that deviled eggs go waaaay too fast. Womp Womp.

Herby Deviled Eggs (Grain Free, Gluten Free)

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives (some reserved to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 teaspoon minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Place eggs in a medium saucepan and add cold water until the eggs are covered by 1 inch of water. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and then let stand for 11 minutes. Drain the pot and run cod water over the boiled to cool them.
  2. Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and mix together. Reserve some chives and parsley for sprinkling on top.
  3. Peel all of the eggs. To transport easily to a picnic, make whole deviled eggs by cutting off the top third of the egg. Remove yolks carefully with small spoon or butter knife, leaving the whites fully intact. Transfer yolks to bowl of food processor with greek yogurt mixture. Process until smooth.
  4. For easy picnic transport, line egg carton with individual muffin liners. Place intact egg whites into each separate muffin tin liner. Place egg yolk mixture into a sealable plastic back (like a ziplock). Cut the corner tip off of the bag for easy pipetting into each egg white. Sprinkle with remaining herbs. Place plastic wrap on top of filled eggs and refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Creamy Polenta with Braised Kale and Poached Egg

Creamy Polenta with Crispy Kale and Poached Egg

Lately I have been cooking and posting a lot of my comfort food recipes. Hearty soul-warming french onion soup, curry (this one and this one), creamy tapioca, lemon pudding…mmmmm. These are foods that not only keep me cozy, but also nourish my tired and warn out mind and body.

They may not be the typical comfort food that most american’s have come to know and love. No mac n’ cheese. No cream o’ something soups dumped in a casserole. Sorry, no big fat cinnamon rolls are coming out of my oven (womp womp). No biscuits and gravy piled on my plate. Although, there are a few times that I miss some of those items, I feel better feeding myself and my family cozy winter comfort foods that are wholesome, full of nutrients to keep our immune systems up, and not laden with preservatives or packed with empty calories.

Lately I’ve been on a polenta kick.  Erhmergerd. It’s creamy. It’s sensational. It can be cheesy. It can be buttery. Hellooooo! And all it is is slow cooked stoneground cornmeal, water, and salt. You can add butter (yes) and cheese (OH YA) as options to kick it into winter overdrive.

Creamy Polenta with Crispy Kale and Poached Egg

You will need to spend a bit of time upfront cooking the polenta, like 40 minutes. But you can swirl it, let it bubble away, then put a lid on the dang pot while it boils away (stirring every 10 minutes) and then it’s done. The great thing about polenta is that any leftovers can be reheated with a little liquid to return to its creamy holiness OR it can be cut and baked into awesome polenta cutlets.

Polenta can be topped with a myriad of things: braised short ribs, sautéed mushrooms, or, my fave, a poached egg with braised kale. This dish is perfect for both brunch or dinner.  Bonus, make it for brunch one day, and leftovers can be reheated for dinner the next day. Win Win!

Notes: For a great tutorial on easy poached eggs, check this out.

Creamy Polenta with Crispy Kale and Poached Egg

Creamy Polenta with Crispy Kale and Poached Egg (gluten free)

Adapted from The Kitchn

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse ground yellow cornmeal (or polenta, not quick cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch of kale, inner ribs removed and discarded, coarsely chop leaves (wash and dry)
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 poached eggs (I use this method)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a vigorous boil. Add salt and stir. While wishing the water gently, pour the cornmeal into the boiling water in a steady stream. Turn the heat down to low and continue to whisk the cornmeal/polenta until it has thickened.
  2. Cover the pot and continue to cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring vigorously every 10 minutes. Once it is finished, stir in butter and cheese. Place lid on pot and let sit for up to 10 to 15 minutes until ready to use.
  3. While cooking the polenta, place a separate sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the kale and season with salt and pepper. Stir the kale lightly until it is slightly wilted. Stir in the vinegar, cover the pan, and turn the heat to high. Cook the kale over high heat until it is tender (about 5 minutes). Turn the heat off and set aside.
  4. Poach or fry eggs according to desired consistency. For a great poached egg, follow these directions.
  5. To serve, place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of creamy polenta in bottom of bowl, top with braised kale, and one poached egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Grain Free Pumpkin Apple Coffee Cake

Pumpkin and Apple Coffee Cake - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

It’s fall and we all know what that means. It is comfy time.

It is sweater time!

It is jeans time!

It is WOOL SOCKS time!!!!!

It is pumpkin time!

But first, before I roll into pumpkin flavored everything….I have to tell you about my big accomplishment. This weekend I went on a fall cleaning and organizing mission. This is monumental, people. I peeled everything out of all of our closets and was ready for a massive PURGE. Usually when I do a “purge” I just sit around staring at old memorabilia and becoming even more attached to the T-shirts that I bought 15 years ago but haven’t worn in 10 years. But seriously, folks…how can you get rid of a shirt that says “Not everything is flat in Kansas“!!?!?! I know! Precious. My point exactly.

Man, you guys just get me.

So this weekend’s purge was different. I properly purged. (No, don’t worry I didn’t get rid of that awesome T-shirt.) But I DID manage to organize everything in our closets (a.k.a shove-crap-wherever-it-would-fit space) and get rid of:

  • Other not-so-cool shirts,
  • Expired medicine (goodbye Benedryl from 1990),
  • Stained things (note to self – QUIT buying white things…ketchup loves it too much),
  • Single socks that have permanently lost their partner (let’s have a moment of silence for all of the poor sock widows), and
  • A metric boat load of half-marathon race packets with sample bottles of weird things, etc.

As I stuffed and crammed these unwanted and unnecessary items into either goodwill sacks or the trash, I wondered why have I held on to this crap for so long? Holding onto stuff is an interesting thing. I put a big importance on odd things, but seriously not EVERYTHING has to be a gem, does it? At this rate I will need to get a separate storage unit just to store my “awe remember when…” items.

But now I feel fabulous and comfy. I’m wearing my comfy old T-shirt and a pair of wool socks that I lost. My closet is clean, stacked, organized, and comfy. Everything is just…comfy.

Comfy like the fall weather blowing around the leaves outside.

Comfy like old love letters from my husband that I found in a shoe box at the back of my closet.

Comfy like my favorite broken-in sweatshirt that I found crammed underneath a suitcase (okay, so I didn’t purge EVERYTHING…baby steps, people).

Comfy like nearly anything pumpkin flavored!

Pumpkin and Apple Coffee Cake - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

We all get bitten by the pumpkin bug every year! I have held off for quite a bit, but now it is on like a pumpkin thong. Hrmmm….wait. Bad idea. A pumpkin thong would NOT be comfy. Scratch that…

Just make this pumpkin apple coffee cake instead. I promise that the scent of it will make you swoon. You will want to wrap up with a comfy blanket, have a warm cup of coffee, and grab a big square of this warm coffee cake.

This coffee cake recipe is adapted from my Pumpkin and Apple Almond Flour Muffins and the Peach Streusel Topped Coffee Cake recipe featured in the fabulous Against All Grain Cookbook. It is moist and light with warm spices to fill your belly.  I whipped this up for a football brunch watch party last weekend. My house smelled SO good while it baked and for days afterwards.  I definitely think I will make this again for the holidays (or tomorrow).

Pumpkin and Apple Coffee Cake - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Note – To make this recipe, I used Honeyville blanched almond flour. I prefer this brand because it makes baked goods lighter and flufflier than almond meal. I have not tried this recipe with other brands or with almond meal. If you try it with another brand or almond meal, please let me know how it turned out. This coffee cake takes nearly an hour to bake. If you need something that cooks in less time, try my delicious Pumpkin and Apple Almond Flour muffin recipe.

Pumpkin and Apple Coffee Cake - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Pumpkin Apple Coffee Cake (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo-Friendly)

Coffee Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil (or grass-fed butter), melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium apples (dice one and thinly slice the other)
  • Streusel topping (recipe below)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 9X9 inch square pan or 9-inch round springform cake pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flours, salt, baking soda, and spices) with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor, mix the eggs and the maple syrup on medium speed until eggs become frothy (about 2 minutes). Add remaining wet ingredients (pumpkin, applesauce, oil, vanilla). Mix until all ingredients are combined. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir in diced apples (about 1 cup). Spread mixture into the prepared pan. Place thin apple sliced on top. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over the top.
  4. Place pan on middle rack of the preheated oven. Cook at 325 F for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Streusel Topping (adapted from Against All Grain Cookbook)

  • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the streusel ingredients into the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse a few times until the nuts are chopped finely and the streusel comes together.
  2. Sprinkle ingredients onto the coffee cake or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 day.

Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Banana Muffins

DSC_0296

Eight years ago, I walked barefoot down the aisle to a crazy man. A crazy man who was in love with me. For the past 8 years, he has been my strength through some very difficult times. He has kept me sane (sort of), been my cheerleader, held my hand through illness, hugged me through tears, and made me laugh even when I’d rather be mad.

I’m an amazingly lucky woman. This year we celebrated early with a trip to Paris. So this week we are playing it low key with gluten-free jalapeno-bacon pizza from our fave pizza joint and a few beers. Cheers to my man.

DSC_0298

DSC_0276

Speaking of amazing, I also made these Chocolate Zucchini Banana Muffins for quick treats and snacks.  They taste fabulous with a dollop of almond butter. If you do not have almond flour, these muffins can be made by replacing the almond flour with 2 cups of almond butter.

DSC_0280

DSC_0285

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with these muffins. The recipe is very versatile. I created a double dose of chocolate (cacao powder AND chocolate chips). However, you could leave out the cacao powder and just make Zucchini Chocolate Chip Banana muffins. I also delivered these muffins to several of our friends that are new parents. Huge thumbs up by all…and no one knew they were grain free. Muahahha.

DSC_0307

Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Banana Muffin

Adapted from Against All Grain

Makes 24 muffins (Note – This recipe can easily be cut in half to make 12 muffins…or freeze the extras for quick breakfasts and snacks.)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour (or 2 cups of creamy natural almond butter)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (for dairy free, use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place 24 muffin liners in two 12-cup muffin tins. Set aside.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, cacao powder, powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger) in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk and set aside.
  3. In either a large food processor or a stand mixer, beat eggs, bananas, vanilla, and honey together for 1 to 2 minutes, until egg mixture becomes slightly frothy. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stirring until just combined. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into lined muffin tins. Place in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and centers are cooked through. Ovens are variable, so this time may need to be adjusted based on your location (altitude) and oven.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in muffin tins. Remove from muffin tins and place on cooling racks.

Lemony Apricot and Cherry Clafoutis (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo)

DSC_0271

I’m jumping straight into this dessert.

Number one: it’s pronounced cla-foooooo-teeeee.

Number two: it’s good.

Number three: it’s easy.

Number four: We jumped straight into this dessert before I could properly photograph it. Doh!

This french-based dessert is a mix between custard, flan, heaven. Traditionally, clafoutis contain a little bit of all purpose flour, whole milk, eggs, sugar, and whole cherries that have not been pitted. The pits give off an amazing almondy flavor. But who wants to be enjoying a creamy amazing dessert and then break a tooth when you bite into a surprise pit. And then have to spit. Mmmm. Fancy.

DSC_0249

DSC_0263

So when coming up with a grain free clafoutis recipe, using almond flour seemed like it would work wonderfully and provide that almond flavor naturally. I scoured through several different recipes and finally landed on this one from Gourmande in the Kitchen. I slightly adapted it, by adding the zest and juice of one lemon, a tablespoon of coconut flour to thicken the mixture (making it more sturdy and creamy), and honey instead of sugar.

DSC_0265

A friend brought me some fresh Michigan sweet cherries and apricots that she brought back from her vacation.  We ate most of the cherries, but I managed to squirrel away a batch for this clafoutis.  Halve and pit the cherries and apricots and then place them into the bottom of a cast iron skillet. You could also use a 9-inch pie pan, cake pan, or a shallow tart dish. Simply place all of the remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor and whirl together for one minute. Then bam! Pour the custard filling on top of the prepared fruit. Then pop this baby into the oven and 45 minutes later, you have a light, creamy, and amazing dessert. The best thing about this dessert is that you can prepare a stunning dessert for company without having to worry about it. You can focus on the main course, or a side dish…or your drink and company!

If you don’t have cherries, no worries, I also have prepared this clafoutis with blueberries. It would be awesome with any fruit that is in season…pears, apples, peaches, raspberries, blackberries…plums!

DSC_0274

Lemony Apricot and Cherry Clafoutis (adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen)

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • butter or coconut oil for baking dish
  • 1/2 cup pitted cherries
  • 4 apricots, pitted and sliced in half
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • juice and zest of 1/2 large organic lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter or grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or 8X8 inch pyrex dish or even a 9-inch round pie pan or cake pan will work.
  2. Place prepared and pitted cherries and apricots in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange in a single layer and evenly disperse the fruit.
  3. Meanwhile, place all of the remaining ingredients (coconut milk through salt) into either a blender, food processor, or bowl of a mixer. Blend or mix on high for 1 minute. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish on top of the fruit, being careful to not disturb or dislodge the fruit.
  4. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Heirloom Tomato Quiche with Rosemary Almond Flour Crust

DSC_0209

People! We have a lot to celebrate around here. The weather in Kansas City has been ridiculously amazing. Highs in the 70s…in AUGUST! I’m in heaven. My windows are wide open! I’m sitting on my back patio. I’m wearing long sleeves in the mornings! Could it get any better? Oh yes it can…

DSC_0195

We got our Google Fiber hooked up this week! My internet is Speeeeeeeedy McSpeederson!

AND my family sent me some fresh honey from the farm!!!!! YUM!

AND my husband started back as a teacher! High five hard working teachers!

AND my middle sister went off to college! High five college students!

AND I went and saw my first NFL game…GO CHIEFS (even though you lost…:( )

AND the Royals are dominating… wild card spot here we come!

AND my tomatoes are FINALLY turning red…after sitting green for eveeeeer…

AND one of my best friends is having her baby!!!!! Right. Now.

Well…*looks at watch* maybe in a few hours. *checks phone*

DSC_0197

DSC_0200

I’m anxiously waiting for this beautiful baby girl. She is 13 days past her due date. COME ON lil’ lady!!!! So, I’m cleaning my house, scrubbing my floors….*checks phone*

Mowing my lawn, pulling weeds…. *checks phone*

Pulling more weeds….*checks phone*

Tweezing my eyebrows…. *checks phone*

DSC_0202

You get the picture. The arrival of this beautiful baby girl is more exciting than the onset of my amazing juicy heirloom tomatoes. Ya…Mirabel, you are that special and your KC family can NOT wait to meet you.

*check phone* Still no word.

Ok, so, since Mira still hasn’t come, let’s talk about this heirloom tomato Quiche. I used my basic almond flour tart crust and filled it with a thinly sliced Cherokee purple tomato, fresh herbs, and fresh farm eggs. I have made this for the past several weekends. The rosemary crust and fresh heirloom tomatoes are splendid together. This is definitely a winning brunch recipe that is perfect whip up when you have company. And don’t think quiche is just for breakfast, I ate this puppy for lunch and dinner!

*checks phone*

DSC_0213

Heirloom Tomato Quiche with Rosemary Almond Flour Crust (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo Friendly)

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch savory rosemary almond flour tart shell
  • 1 large heirloom tomato (I used cherokee purple)
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs (such as basil, chives, parsley), chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prebake rosemary almond flour tart shell (or crust of your choice) for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the tart crust to cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
  2. Slice one large heirloom tomato in half. Then slice in very thin slices, perpendicular to the first cut so that you have thin half moons (as shown in the pictures above). Place a few layers of paper towels onto a large plate. Lay out the tomato slices in a single layer on top of the paper towels to drain some of the extra juice. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, herbs, salt, dijon mustard, and pepper.
  4. Place the tart crust on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any flow over of the quiche filling). In the slightly cooled tart crust, place the tomatoes in a single layer in a circular fan patter on the bottom of the tart crust. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the tomatoes. Using the rimmed baking sheet with the filled quiche into the preheated oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes, keeping an eye on it. It will be done with the center of the quiche is set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Rosemary Almond Flour Tart Crust

I’m on a mission to take life slower. Sometimes things move so quickly that I get caught up in trying to get everything done perfectly and on time and I miss the important things that are going on around me. I forget to breathe. I forget the basics. I focus on the wrong things.

This weekend I decided to slow down, to be present, to breathe.

DSC_0219

DSC_0221

Hang my clothes out on the line.

Read a book.

Spend meaningful time with dear friends.

Eat butter pecan ice cream and remember my father.

Remember the basics.

Hold my husband’s hand.

Eat simply. And simply eat.

DSC_0222

DSC_0226

Bake something wholesome…. like a savory tart, which is where this basic tart crust came into my life this weekend. Everyone should have a basic pie crust and tart crust recipe up their sleeves. And bonus for the gluten and grain free gang, almond flour makes a wonderful flaky and light crust.

DSC_0205

This basic tart crust is based on a fabulous recipe from the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. (Which is a great book for those who are breaking into the world of almond flour baking.) This basic tart crust recipes is easily adaptable to go to the savory side or the sweet side. Currently my fave way to serve this tart crust is by adding fresh herbs from the garden and filling it with eggs and heirloom tomatoes. Simple. Done. And leftovers will be breakfast for the upcoming week! Man, I’m liking this simple life.

For other savory fillings, you could use this crust for a quiche crust or as an open pot pie crust! However, if going sweet, eliminate the black pepper and rosemary and add a tablespoon of honey. This would be simply great filled with lemon curd. Mmmm.

DSC_0232

Rosemary Almond Flour Tart Crust (Adapted from Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook)

Makes 1 9-inch tart crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (or butter), softened
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons cold water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter or oil a 9-inch tart pan and set aside.
  2. Place the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and combine with a wire whisk.   Add softened coconut oil and mix with a spoon until combined. Add in the ice water, starting with just 1 tablespoon. Combine with your hands until the mixture begins to hold together. If the dough is not holding together, add a second tablespoon of cold water. Press into a ball. If making ahead, you can cover the ball of dough in plastic wrap at this stage and place in the fridge for a few hours until you are ready to bake it.
  3. Place the dough ball into the prepared tart pan. Starting from the center of the dough, press into the tart pan evenly working your way out to the sides. Press the dough up the sides evenly. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
  4. If making a tart crust that will be cooked after it is filled, then you will want to partially bake the crust. However, if you are filling the tart with something that will not bake after it is filled, then you will need to fully bake this crust.  Place the tart crust in a preheated 350 F oven and either partially bake for 15 minutes or fully bake for 30 minutes or until the tart is lightly golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before filling.

Almond Flour Blueberry Peach Muffins

DSC_0223

I don’t know what evokes more tasty, comforting memories: peach cobbler or blueberry muffins.  Both make me giddy. Both make me drool. Both make me scramble to the kitchen and wait impatiently for them to get out of the oven and promptly take too quick of a bite which then results in me burning the crap out of my mouth.

Every. Dang. Time.

And do I learn, people?

No.

DSC_0202

DSC_0191

A friend of mine went blueberry picking and graciously parted with a few of her fresh, sweet, awesome blueberries.  I also had some fresh Missouri peaches at the house. Oh YaH!

Are you guys thinking what I’m thinking? YAH! Let’s burn the crap out of our mouths with hot sexy blueberry peach muffins!!!!! YAH.  Wait….that’s not what you were thinking? Seriously? Well it should be. Cuz that’s what we are going to DO! Tell your mouth to get ready.

DSC_0205

DSC_0219

What do we want? BLUEBERRY PEACH MUFFINS. When do we want them? NOW!

Fresh blueberries + fresh peach + lemon zest = dreamy

DSC_0194

While these muffins were cooking, I sat and waited and watched through the oven door as they rose. I smelled the ridiculous spell-binding, blueberry-peach aroma as  it wafted through my house. My stomach growled. I couldn’t take it! I nearly pulled them out of the oven too early because I WANTED THEM NOW! I was drooling.

But once they were finished, I pulled them out…I let them cool (for 2 seconds) and then I took a bite and felt those bursts of blueberries, the zip of lemon zest, the fresh juicy peaches…. And then it hit me.  OOOOOOW…crap…burnt again…but…Mmmmmmm. The burned roof of my mouth and seared finger tips forget the pain easily when tempted and provided with such awesomeness.

DSC_0213

Almond Flour Blueberry Peach Muffins (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Paleo-Friendly, Dairy Free)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 C almond flour (I use Honeyville blanched almond flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon (organic preferably)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 C maple syrup or honey
  • 2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ripe peach, diced (ok to leave skin on)
  • 1/2 to 1 C blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place 12 muffin liners in a 12 regular-sized muffin tin. Set aside. (I ran out of muffin liners half way through so I just sprayed coconut oil inside the muffin cups that were not lined.)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, salt, and zest. In a separate bowl, combine together wet ingredients, which include eggs (slightly beaten), maple syrup or honey, melted butter or coconut oil (allow to slightly cool before adding to eggs or you will scramble those suckers), and applesauce. Add dry to wet and stir until combined. Stir in peaches and blueberries carefully!
  3. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into each lined muffin tin. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350F. Muffins will be set in the center and lightly browned on edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes. Then move to cooling rack (if you can stand it) and allow to cool the rest of they way…about 30 minutes…or if you are me, 30 seconds.

Notes:

* The base recipe for these delicious muffins is adapted from an awesome blog called Power Hungry.

Jalapeño Bacon Jam

Heaven in a jar. Spicy + Smokey + Sweet + Salty.

I am going to give you a huge warning. Once you begin making this, your house will turn into a drool zone. People will come from all over. If you make it, they will come. Headlights will line up your street. People will pay admission to just be near you. It is the Field of Dreams of Jams. True story.

DSC_0015

DSC_0001

After researching and researching different versions of this amazing jam, there are several ways to make it. I really think you could stir nearly anything into it and get something magical. No matter what, it will be hard for you to not devour in one sitting or even while you are cooking it. Seriously.

Typically this jam consists of:

  • bacon (duh),
  • onions (I used red but yellow would work too),
  • vinegar (many recipes used cider vinegar but I opted for balsamic),
  • sugar (I used maple syrup + 1 tablespoon of molasses…several recipes use a combo of brown sugar + maple, you could definitely play around with the ratios here)
  • liquid (I used water, but Martha used strong brewed coffee)
  • Optional spices (I added a jalapeño, but I also think some chipotle powder or other spicy add-ins would be redonculous like this recipe)

So without further ado…I present to you, the heavenly and amazing Jalapeño Bacon Jam!  *Jazz Hands*

We had several people over and slathered it on burgers…erhmehgeeerd. SO GOOD. Somehow there was magically one tablespoon left. So I squirreled it away for my lunch the next day and topped a baked sweet potato with it. *swoooon*

DSC_0022

Notes on storage – This should keep in a jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or the freezer for up to 6 months. But if this stuff is around longer than two days, I will be AMAZED at your self control. And don’t be surprised if it gets stolen…don’t look at me???

Jalapeño Bacon Jam (adapted from Martha Stewart and Homesick Texan)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bacon (nitrate free if possible), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon reserved bacon grease
  • 2 red onions (about 2 1/2 cups), diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, deseeded and diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
  • salt and cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the bacon slices into 1-inch strips. Over medium-high heat, cook the bacon in a dutch oven stirring frequently until the bacon is browned but not crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain the bacon grease but reserve about 1 tablespoon.
  2. Add onions, jalapeño, and garlic to the dutch oven and cook over medium heat until the onions become translucent. This should take about 5 minutes.  Add bacon and remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If jam gets too dry, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time. After it is good and thick, remove it from heat and allow to cool.
  3. If you want the jam to be a finer consistency, add it to a food processor and pulse a few times (not too much).  I personally liked mine a bit chunky. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in refrigerator for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months. But if this stuff lasts longer than one or two days in your house, bravo to your self control!

Almond Butter Banana Muffins

I am a bit of a hoarder.  I’m definitely a food hoarder, but also a hoarder of things. My husband thinks it is junk.  Which it isn’t! But seriously, I keep things in boxes that I have never looked at for the past four years that we have lived here.  I find myself holding on to things because… “don’t you dare get rid of it because I am saving that chair just in case some day I want to paint it red and have a tea party”. Yes…that really came out of my mouth.

DSC_0001

He recently decided to have a garage sale…or an “Alissa’s Things Sale” as I refer to it. He doesn’t hold on to anything. When we got married, he moved into my house with a single box. I had a U-Haul trailer that could have fit a plane. So needless to say, purging is a hard thing for me. I remember every gift someone gave to me. I can’t seem to part with it even if that person totally does not remember giving it to me. They probably just picked it up randomly and thought “crap, it’s her birthday…uhm…ya, here’s a chicken tea pot…she eats chicken…she drinks tea…CHICKEN TEA POT!”.  And here I am 15 years later with the ugliest tea pot and refusing to get rid of it. Until one day I wake up and the love of my life is selling all of my precious belongings (crap) and other people are walking away with my chicken tea pot!  *sob*

DSC_0003

DSC_0015

It was a similar feeling for me when I made the switch a year ago to give up gluten. Making the switch to being gluten free can be tough sometimes. It’s hard to not feel like an outsider when everyone is laughing and enjoying cake and big plates of lasagna. Family gatherings and cookouts and office parties offer a plethora of pasta salads and cupcakes and brownies and bread and crackers.  I would end up being the person in the corner snacking on carrots and a bag of nuts that I had stashed away in my purse like a squirrel.  BECAUSE I AM A HOARDER.

One day I decided to PURGE! I threw away everything that contained wheat or even traces of wheat.  It felt awesome.  I began researching and arming myself with easy recipes to bring to gatherings. So now I always offer to bring something that I know that I can eat and that will blow the socks off of others that have no idea how great gluten free food can be.

DSC_0010

This recipe uses nut butter in place of flour! No flour, no oil, no butter.  Basically it is just almond butter and bananas and honey and eggs. Those purged cabinets probably have these simple ingredients in them.  These muffins are rediculously good and rediculously easy!  I have made them with almond butter and also with peanut butter. Both are fabulous.  You can also add cocoa powder to the batter for chocolate cupcakes!

Almond Butter Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond butter* (see note below)
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the banana, eggs, and almond butter until well mixed. Add the remaining ingredients except the cocoa powder. With half of the batter, fill 6 muffin liners 3/4 full. I use a 1/4 cup to measure for each. With the remaining muffin batter, add the cocoa powder. Fill the remaining 6 muffin cups to 3/4 full with the chocolate batter.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F. Muffins will be firm a slightly golden, but fluffy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the muffin pan to a wire rack.

*Notes

  1. I have also made these with peanut butter and they were great. I assume other nut butters would work too. If you have a nut allergy, sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) would be a good substitute.
  2. I recommend all natural and unsweetened nut butters. However, if you aren’t using all natural nut butters (that is, if they have added sweeteners) then lower the overall amount of added honey in the recipe.
  3. These are also delicious as cupcakes!