Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekly Menu Plan #57 ~ Hello, Winter

Cinnamon rolls and loafs (pre-glaze): gifts!
Yesterday, and all last night, we enjoyed our first snow.  It doesn't snow too often here, especially for all day and night.  It was a magical drive to a little Christmas get-together through the snowflakes, listening to the children squeal with delight at all the trees powdered in white.  As we prepare for Christmas for one last week, may you hold your loved ones a little tighter, kiss their heads a few times more often, and never allow an opportunity of connection be brushed aside by hustle and bustle.  Winter is here.  Let's snuggle in and be cozy with those we love.

Breakfast:  Porridge & Eggs
Lunch:  Lunch Meat & Cheese Wrapped in Rice Tortillas
Dinner:  Chili, GF Corn Bread, Salad, Late-Harvest Fruit Medley Crisp
Lunch:  Nut Butter & Berry Wraps, Pear Slices, Raw Cheese, Carrot Slices 
Dinner:  Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Chicken, Baked Potatoes with Roasted Broccoli, Cheese, & Creme Fraiche

Lunch:  Leftover Muffins, Raw Cheese & Pear Slices, Lunch Meat, & Carrot Slices
Dinner:  Christmas Party!

Lunch:  Mostly Raw Wraps, Orange Slices, Pumpkin Muffins from Wednesday
Snack:  Pear, Fennel, Kale, & Carrot Juice

Breakfast:  Yogurt
Lunch:  Quesorritos
Snack:  Frozen Blueberries
Dinner:  Family Dinner Out

Breakfast:  Porridge
Lunch:  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on GF Bread, Soup
Dinner:  Family Christmas Party!

Breakfast:  Fried Mush
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Leftovers
(Sunday is my day off)

I'm sharing this at Monday Mania, Pennywise Platter.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Healthy Cookie Dough Balls ~ A Raw, Gluten-Free, GAPS & Paleo Recipe

Picnics, park days, camping, work, school, home, road trips...  these little treats beckon you beneath their lidded containers with their siren call of the cookie dough.  Come and partake.  We are doughy and sweet and healthy.  Who can deny the power of cookie dough?  Once you slap a good-for-you label on them (because they really are), all hindrances fade away and you are left with happiness and sticky hands.

We make a batch of these delicious, protein-packed bites every week.  My kids don't even like almond butter, but I buy it in bulk because they adore these treats.  I know there are millions of cookie dough bite recipes out there, but frankly I'm tired of trying to remember how I make mine, so on the blog they go.  Other recipes are so cute and tiny.  We mow through them before the sun sets.  This recipe lasts us a whopping two days.  The superfood that is the chia seed not only absorbs the moisture and holds them together brilliantly, they also impart a yummy taste that reminds us of halva, one of our favorite desserts.  If you have never heard of halva, I shed a tear for you and for the sake of your well-being, will post a recipe for it soon.  In the meantime, do the world a favor and make a batch of cookie dough bites.  They will make you happy and in turn the world will be a better place.  It's for mankind, really.

Healthy Cookie Dough Balls
Prep time: 15 minutes, makes 24 balls

  1. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor.  Process until well-combined (about 1 minute).
  2. Add chocolate chips to the processor and pulse until mixed in (about 5 seconds.  You can distribute the chips more evenly while making the balls).
  3. Form dough into 1-inch-thick balls.  Store in a lidded container in the fridge.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie ~ A Gluten-Free Recipe with GAPS & Paleo Options

Sweet potato pie is a huge part of holiday feasts in some circles.  In others, it's never even made an appearance, which is a travesty.  Let's change this, for the sake of humanity and historic preservation.  This yummy dessert has been brought out of ovens with gloved hands since before these States were Untied. Sweet potato pie made it's debut in the 16th century and has been enjoyed ever since.  

This gluten-free rendition of it is a modified version of Paula Deen's filling and Elana's crust.  It worked out really well.  I wasn't planning on posting about it or more pictures would have been taken (and better ones at that), but I don't want to forget this compilation and all the tweaks made, so please forgive the lack of quality and quantity when it comes to the photographs.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pie
Prep time: 30 minutes, bake time: 2 hours (divided), 8-10 servings

For the crust:

For the filling:
For the topping:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup honey or grade B maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Peel sweet potatoes, cut them into fourths, and place in pot.  Fill with water just to cover sweet potatoes.  Cover and bring to a boil, boiling for 15-25 minutes, or until the pieces are very soft.
  2. While the sweet potatoes boil, assemble crust by placing all crust ingredients in the food processor and run it until the dough forms a ball.  Press dough into a 9-inch pie pan.
  3. Place all filling ingredients into the mixer and mix until well-combined.  Pour filling into the prepared crust.  If you have any leftover filling, simply grease a glass dish of your choice (bread, another pie dish, or in some ramekins) and bake along with the pie.  Then you'll have some yummy custard.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a clean knife pierced in the middle of the pie comes out.  Cool completely on a cooling rack.
  4. To make the meringue topping, whip egg whites in your mixer with a whisk attachment until peeks form.  As it continues to whip, slowly pour in maple syrup.  Using a spatula. spread topping over the pie, making sure you can't see any of the filling underneath.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the topping's peeks are lightly brown.  Allow to cool and serve slightly warm or completely cool.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Coconut Lace Cookies ~ A Gluten-Free Recipe

Colonial Americans would host open houses during the holidays, serving many different kinds of jumbles, nogs, ciders, and finger foods.  They would place an announcement in the local paper and  neighbors would escape their wintertime isolation and brave the bitter-cold to join in the festivities.  Family news was shared as everyone thawed themselves by the fire with a mug of hot cider in hand.  Little, homemade gifts of heart-felt thanks were given to the hosts.

Among the holiday spread you would find jumbles, the first cookie.  Some are soft and fluffy, others are flat and round.  I've come up with a gluten-free version of coconut lace cookies, or jumbles.  These flat, buttery, crispy little treats are delicious by themselves or are a beautiful finish to a bowl of ice cream.

Gluten-Free Coconut Lace Cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes, Bake time: 13 minutes, Makes 45 cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat the mixture together.  Turn the mixer on low and slowly add almond flour, arrowroot powder, and coconut until combined.
  3. Use a teaspoon to measure and drop dough onto the cookie sheet; not a heaping teaspoon, or else they won't cook properly.  Keep the cookies at least 2 inches apart.  They spread a lot.
  4. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  Take care not to over-bake or they will lose their buttery, almost caramel-ish flavor and just taste burnt.  Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.  Store in air-tight containers.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekly Menu Plan #56

It's hard to believe this is our last full week of autumn.  Does anyone else feel like it was summertime two blinks ago?  Maybe it's because ours lasts until early October.  

We are hosting a guest for the first part of this week and preparing for our Christmas trip down south to be with family.  In the midst of all the activity, these are my favorite mugs to look at first thing in the morning as I pour the day's cup of coffee.  A third one says "love."  That one might be my very favorite.  I raise my mug to autumn and with bittersweetness, bid it farewell until next year.

To do: soak beans for chili
Breakfast:  Porridge & Eggs
Lunch:  Turkey Sandwiches, Apples, Almonds
Snack:  Kale, Fennel, Lemon, Apple, Carrot Juice

To do:  make peppermint bonbons
Lunch:  Berry & Nut Butter Wraps, Apple & Raw Cheese Slices, Leftover Scones
Dinner:  Chili, GF Corn Bread, SaladPeppermint Bonbons

To do: thaw pumpkin
Lunch:  Hummus, Carrot Sticks, Pear Slices, Raw Cheese Wrapped in Lunch Meat
Dinner:  Raclette with several cheeses, potatoes, broccoli, onions, sausage, peppers, and pears, Raw Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart

Lunch:  Leftover Muffins, Pear Slices, Raw Cheese Slices, Carrots, Almonds
Dinner:  Daikon Radish Cakes (using almond flour instead of bread crumbs) & Wilted Spinach

To do:  Make refried beans
Lunch:  Cookie Dough Bites, Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches on GF Bread, Pear Slices
Snack:  Leftover Coffee Cake

Breakfast:  Bacon, Eggs, & GF Biscuits
Lunch:  Quesorritos
Dinner:  Taco Salad

Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Leftovers
(Sunday is my day off.)

I'm sharing this at Menu Plan Monday, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Festive Traditions eBook WINNER!

Many thanks to those who entered to win this eBook.  It was a pleasure to be apart of and I hope families who invested in it enjoy each treasured recipe.  If you aren't the winner you can take advantage of the coupon code RIDDLE25 to get 25% off Festive Traditions now until December 12th.

Are you the winner?  Check below and see if you are!  Your eBook copy will be emailed to you shortly, Dorothy!  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Peppermint Bonbons ~ A GAPS, Paleo, & Raw Dessert Recipe

Christmas time, as happy and joyous as it is, can also be a daunting season for those on a restrictive diet.  Everywhere you turn, there's a platter of sugar cookies and fudge.  Constantly denying oneself these treats wares on a body, so this month I'm focusing on creating beautiful, delicious desserts that you could easily see on any "normal" holiday dessert table.  It's a happy thing when everyone at the party can indulge without destroying their bodies.

Peppermint Bonbons {Gluten-Free, Paleo, GAPS-Friendly, Raw}
Prep time: 30 minutes, makes about 24 bonbons

For the filling:
For the shell:
  1. Scoop coconut cream concentrate out into saucepan with all the ingredients and melt over low heat until everything is thoroughly combined.  Shape mixture into balls that are about the amount of 1 tablespoon.  Place them in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate shell.
  2. Put all shell ingredients in a saucepan over very low heat and stir until it's liquified and smooth.  Pour in a small bowl (I used a ramekin).  Dip each bonbon in the shell, then dip them again for a second coat.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  They will hold their shape for several hours outside of the fridge.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Heart-To-Heart with Stay-At-Home Moms

Myriah Grubbs Photography
Homemaker is the ultimate career.  All other careers exist for one purpose only: to support the ultimate career.   ~C.S. Lewis

Mountains of laundry, dirty diapers, never-ending dishes to wash, school with the children, housecleaning, sleepless nights, early mornings, conflict resolution between siblings...  So often this is the landscape of our days.  How is it that the house can look this messy when I've never stopped once today?  It's a stealthy lie that creeps in and makes us believe this is our only existence.  It frequently seems there is no light at the end of the laundry tunnel.  I know I've hit rock-bottom when I find myself feeling like an invisible creature with little meaning and not much to show for my existence; especially when the children can't seem to get along, the house is a wreck, and there is no energy to cook dinner.  Lack of sleep leaves me feeling dumb and empty.  It's always at these low moments when I look up and see the workforce moms, smartly-dressed, hair and make up always done, taking the world on by storm. Then I wonder, did I make the right choice?  Is this what my life is supposed to be about?

To be a mother is a woman's greatest vocation in life.  She is a partner with God.  No being has a position of such power and influence.  She holds in her hands the destiny of nations, for to her comes the responsibility and opportunity of molding the nation's citizens.  ~Spencer W. Kimball

So many opportunities are presented to women these days.  It's endless, really.  Long gone are the days of women being expected to keep the home fires burning and only being aloud to help in children's ministry, and this is a wonderful thing.  I love that the sky is the limit for my daughters.  Both the world and the church opens wide the doors of endless possibility, and applauds mothers working/serving outside the home.  This is not a post that bashes workforce moms one bit.  I have a dear friend who manages her business and relationship with her husband two children beautifully, and I deeply respect her for it.  This post is simply to encourage mothers who have made the choice to embrace the artistic lifestyle that is sometimes called SAHM (Stay At Home Mom).  It seems our western culture, both secular and sacred, has taken a pendulum swing when it comes to women and work, and I have noticed a dire need for us to find balance and truly respect and honor mothers who choose to stay at home.

All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother.  I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Constantly, I must remind myself what a privilege it is to be a keeper of this home.  It's easy to remember during the sweet moments.  The trick is bringing the current moment into a place of sweetness, especially when they are ugly to begin with.  I am learning to protect my connection with the Father, to take time to enjoy what I love, to gaze in awe of His creation, and to refuse to get swept away in the day-to-day drudgeries of cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning.  When I'm in good spirits, it changes the atmosphere of the home and I bring my family with me to a place of peace and joy.  It's a miraculous thing to realize the power that we have over our home life.  When I forget to do any of the things that centers and brings life, I find myself with no resource to help siblings solve a conflict, to defeat the piles of laundry and dishes with a heart of worship, or to make it through a day victoriously without much sleep.  It's those day-to-day moments that shape the lives of our children.  Each interaction with them is a sacred learning experience.  Being Jesus in these exchanges takes everything I have, and then I need to pull on Him because I just don't have enough on my own.  Nothing fills my heart more with reward than going to bed exhausted, knowing that my energy was spent where it counted: pouring into our children and protecting an environment that encouages the fruits of the Spirit.

Before you count the profit, count the cost of a working mother. ~A. Theodore Tuttle

The vocation of a mother steadfast at home varies from each valiant mother.  The unending differences of personalities, circumstances, family size, and location makes each homemaker as different as the snowflakes.  As a member of this elite, creative, artistic guild of mothers at home, it is imperative that we all hold a deep respect and honor for one another, and for each mother: full-time in home or out.  We each do our best with what we've been given to steward.  We each have shining moments and horrible ones.  We can be so hard on ourselves and in turn so critical of each other.  As members of this guild, and truly for the sake of mankind, it is crucial that we encourage and build each other up; to extend grace to one another and to ourselves.  Sometimes we feel invisible, but ladies, we are on the front lines and we must link arms and stay indivisible.  We are a crucial part of the Body of Christ and we must stay united.

I looked on child-rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I would bring it.
~Rose Kennedy
Mothers who choose to stay home: you are a hero.  You have chosen a ministry that is one of the most hidden.  You are imparting what has been imparted to you, linking the generational chains and giving your children opportunities to grow farther than you could have ever imagined.  You are shaping the world for the better, raising up world-changers, and deeply imprinting the mark of unconditional love into the hearts of the next generation.  When push comes to shove, it's the day-to-day interactions that shape grown-ups of the future, and you are choosing to be the one who imparts morality and virtue to them. What a noble thing you have chosen to give your life to.   Never forget how important you are.  Never forget that the One we long to delight sees you, even when no one else does.

Do without if you need to, but don't do without a mother. ~H. Burke Peterson
I'm sharing this at Simple Lives Thursday.

Monday, December 3, 2012

GIVEAWAY! Festive Traditions ~ A Real Food Guide for the Holidays eBook

I am very pleased to offer a copy of an ebook I had the privelege to be involved with.  Festive Traditions: A Real Food Guide for the Holidays.  Isn't it beautiful?  This book is packed full of delicious, real food recipes for the holiday season so we can enjoy feasts without the guilt (and impending sickness after stuffing our bodies with processed fake food).  There really is a way to enjoy delicious, festive food and nourish our bodies at the same time.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if our children grew up looking forward to holiday dishes every year that we didn't feel bad about making?  This could be the cookbook you pull out every year during the holidays to make your family's cherished dishes.  Are you ready to start real food traditions in your home?  Take a look at all the delicious recipes offered:

Each recipe has been tested and approved by several families, ensuring a quality collection of tasty dishes for your home.  Take a closer look at this eCookbook here.  Because this is an eBook, this giveaway is offered worldwide!  A copy of this 53-page holiday cookbook can be yours for free!

Enter the giveaway from Monday, December 3, 2012 to Friday, December 7, 2012.  Open to readers around the world!  You may get extra entries by tweeting about this giveaway every day until it closes. The winner will be randomly chosen shortly after the giveaway closes and announced on a separate post here on riddlelove, so be sure to check in to see if you won!  Winner must contact me with his/her email address within 48 hours after being announced and we will email you a copy of the cookbook.  Have fun!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekly Menu Plan #55

Pastured bacon from down the road, eggs from our hens.  A happy breaky.
Happy December!  We just weathered a pretty big storm from the Gulf of Alaska.  The wind did some damage and the rains brought a bit of flooding, but nothing major.  World record snowfall was even recorded on our mountaintops.  It looks like we get a couple sunny days before the next one hits.  I'm as happy as a clam, cozy in our snug little house while it howls out there, and equally as thankful for a warm little Christmas Cabin.  These are the comforting meals our family will be enjoying this week:

To do: soak porridge, thaw chicken stock for tomorrow
Lunch:  Hummus, Carrot Sticks, Raw Cheese Wrapped in Lunch Meat, Apple Slices
Dinner:  Spaghetti with Rice Noodles, Salad

Breakfast:  Porridge & Eggs
Lunch:  Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches on GF Bread, Pear Slices, Crispy Walnuts

Lunch:  Nut Butter & Berry Wraps, Apple & Raw Cheese Slices, Leftover Scones from Monday

Lunch:  Leftover Muffins from Breakfast, Oranges, Hummus, Carrot Sticks, Raw Cheese 
Dinner:  Warming Butternut Squash Soup, Cranberry Pear Galette (recipe coming soon)

Lunch: Cookie Dough Bites, Ham & Turkey Sandwiches on GF Bread, Orange Slices
Snack: Fennel, Lemon, Carrot, Spinach, Chocolate Mint, Apple Juice, Leftover Coffee Cake

Breakfast:  Eggs, Bacon, GF Biscuits
Lunch:  Baked Potatoes with Steamed Broccoli, Cheese, & Creme Fraiche

Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Leftovers


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