nut-free chocolate truffles

IMG_6989We’ve had a rough few weeks due to my oldest being home sick with a terrible stomach bug that landed her in the ER last weekend.  She is now well, by the grace of God, and come to find out, she is more like her mama than even I knew.  It turns out that we both love to watch Food Network when we don’t feel well and dream about all of the things we will eat when our stomachs feel normal again.  She said she wished she could eat all of these at one time or another throughout the past week:  macaroons, whoopee pies, and cheese tortellini (she did finally have this).  Macaroons aren’t something I ever make because they require almond flour and my son has to avoid all tree nuts/peanuts, so those were definitely not going to happen.  Whoopee pies are something we all love, but thanks to watching a little Food Network today, we found a new recipe that required zero bake time and took all of 5 minutes to prepare!  The recipe we saw on “The Chew” actually had walnuts in it so we knew we couldn’t try those.  We went searching for a safe recipe for our house and about 30 seconds later, we found this gem!  And the best part is, THE KIDS LOVE THEM!  Another bonus is they have no refined sugar and the sweetness comes from dates, so they are the perfect snack for the “no sugar” fast!  Check out the recipe, whip up a batch, and have a great weekend!

IMG_7001

 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Quinoa Fruit Salad

IMG_6816I’m a little late in sharing, but I joined my friend, Wendy, in her 40-Day Sugar Fast this past Monday.  I highly encourage you to check out her website and join in!  You can also join a private FB group for more encouragement on this 40 day journey.  All of the details are on Wendy’s website.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 
 Psalm 34:8

Giving up sugar means something different for each person.  For me, it is giving up refined sugars and white/whole wheat flours, while keeping natural sugars from fruit, raw honey, or pure maple syrup.  I have been using quinoa in savory dishes, but thought I would try in a sweet dish.  I love the result, but my husband wasn’t sold on the texture.  He thought the flavors were there, but just didn’t love the grainy texture.  I loved both the flavor and texture, but also appreciated that this fruit salad didn’t leave me bloated, like a big bowl of fruit has a tendency to do.  Plus, this has the added protein the quinoa provides.  Play around with the fruits you add to this.  I had wanted to add blueberries and mangos, but if you live where we live, the fresh fruit selection is hit or miss.  There are variations of this recipe around the web, but this is the version I really like!  Also, if you are looking for a quick  DELICIOUS dressing for your spring or summer salad, you NEED to make this honey-lime dressing ASAP.  It is my new favorite!

IMG_6844

 

Quinoa Fruit Salad

Ingredients

    Quinoa:
  • 1 cup quinoa (I prefer the pre-rinsed version)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Honey-Lime Dressing:
  • 5-6 tbs raw honey
  • juice of 2 limes
  • Fresh Fruit:
  • 5-6 cups chopped fresh fruit

Instructions

    Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool.
    For dressing: blend honey and lime juice with whisk or immersion blender until well blended.
    For fruit: wash and chop according to size you prefer in traditional fruit salad.
    Combine all ingredients in bowl. Stir gently until all ingredients mixed well. Top with fresh, chopped herbs if desired.
    Note: I used white quinoa, which when chilled with fruit, will take on the color of the fruit. To avoid this, use red or black quinoa. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.messmakerbaker.com/quinoa-fruit-salad/

 

lemon-lavender scones

IMG_6682

Spring is almost here, can you feel it?  The birds are finding their way back to our farm and I know most people don’t love the time change we endure every year, but I love having the daylight last just a little longer after the darkness of winter.  Don’t be confused, though, this girl loves winter and I may be the only one that was disappointed with our lack of snow this year.  Once March hits, snow or no snow, I’m ready to move past winter and head into spring.  These Lemon-Lavender Sconces would be a great addition to a weekend brunch menu, a spring bridle or baby shower, or an after school snack, which is what they were used for at my house.

IMG_6675Lemon and lavender are a favorite combination of ours, both in food and essential oils.  In fact, the first time I ever made lavender shortbread cookies, my husband loved, to my surprise.  I feel like lavender is either a “love it” or “hate it” herb and there is no in between.  This scone recipe uses lavender in both its whole form and then also to infuse the cream prior to adding to the recipe.  I have to add that this is the easiest scone recipe I’ve used and yielded the best result of any I’ve made.  Typically I just find a great go to recipe and stick with it and give you the link to find the original recipe, but this recipe I created by combining a few different recipes and then tweaking to our tastes.  I will go ahead and say right now that I do think most scone recipes mimic so many others in various ways that it would be hard for someone to actually stake a claim as the “original” recipe developer, but if my recipe is similar or spot on with yours, please feel free to let me know.  This is very simple to put together and the hardest part is probably infusing the cream with dried lavender and not because it’s difficult, but because it takes planning ahead for the time involved.  Nowadays, you can find dried lavender at most health food or specialty grocery stores.  I’ve even been know to drop a single drop of pure lavender oil into recipes if I’m out of dried, but the dried version shows off by adding tiny purple flecks to the finished recipe.  Do you have a favorite scone recipe?  My friend, Lori, mentioned Strawberry-Rosemary Scones! I’m thinking those will definitely be apart of our summer menu rotation once my rosemary starts producing again.  What are you most looking forward to this spring, both in the kitchen and outside?

IMG_6662

lemon-lavender scones

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1 Scone

Ingredients

    Scone:
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender + 1 teaspoon for infusing heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Glaze:
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-3 Tbs milk depending on how thick or thin you want glaze
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

    To begin, heat heavy cream, honey, and 1 tsp dried lavender over medium heat just until it starts to foam. Remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes. Strain lavender from cream. Discard the lavender and cool the cream. Once cool, refrigerate until cold.
    Lemon-Lavender Scones:
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, dried lavender, and lemon zest. Using a pastry cutter or pulse button in food processor, to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients. Fold in the chilled lavender infused heavy cream, egg yolk, and lemon juice until well combined and crumbs are folded into the dough.
    Form the dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the ball into a circle about 1/2"-3/4" thick (a rule works great). Cut the circle into eight equal triangles.
    Bake for 14-16 minutes (time may vary based on your oven), or until slightly golden brown. Let cool completely.
    Lemon Glaze:
    Cool scones completely before glazing. Use a sharp (chefs) knife to separate the cooled scones before glazing. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, milk, and lemon juice until well combined and smooth. Drizzle glaze over scones.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.messmakerbaker.com/lemon-lavender-scones/

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Kale

kale 2

Roasted kale is a favorite snack food in our home.  It is ridiculously easy to make and if you’ve ever seen how expensive it can be to buy in the snack food section at your local grocery or health food store, you’ll definitely want to turn on your oven and get to roasting!  We typically use olive oil, but I imagine any other cooking oil you prefer will work.  This is a basic recipe that works great and you can mix it up by changing out spices or making with different oils for a unique twist on this simple recipe.  My favorite is a blend of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  As soon as the chips are removed from the oven, I shave a sprinkling of fresh parmesan over the top.  The heat of the chips causes the cheese to melt and adhere nicely to the kale.  We also love roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes!  Any other foods you think we should be roasting that are must to try?  Please share!