Plum Upside Down Cake

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You know when you want to have a cheat meal without really cheating? That was the predicament I was in yesterday, when I desperately wanted to bake some thing in celebration of mine and J’s anniversary without totally ruining the liver cleanse I’m doing with my nutritionist. I still had a few “cheat” ingredients that don’t completely fit into my cleanse [hence, me calling it a “cheat”] but this recipe is 100% Paleo and delicious!

I got the recipe from Paleomg.com which is a fantastic resource for delicious clean food for every occasion. She uses peaches, but all I had on hand were plums. It was still delicious, and dare I say I may even prefer the plumbs! There were a few other modifications I used that I will highlight below.

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For the Plum topping:

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 plums, halved and sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
For the batter:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ cups tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • ½ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, combine the coconut oil and sugar until sugar dissolves, then toss the plums in the sugar mixture until they are soft. Set plums aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for your cake batter. In a medium bowl, whisk together all your wet ingredients until the sugar has dissolved. Mix both wet and dry ingredients together. In a round cake pan, spray with coconut oil and lie down a piece of parchment paper. Carefully arrange your plums on the bottom, then pour the cake batter on top, smoothing evenly with a spatula. Bake for 35 minutes, then check on the cake. The top should have a brown crust beginning to form. Leave in the oven for 10 more minutes if it does not seem finished. Let cool for 10 minutes before flipping over your cake to reveal the plum topping! Enjoy.

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Yes, I made a small version for myself… for taste testing purposes! Have a good weekend, y’all!

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Pumpkin Crumb Cake

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I wanted a coffee cake, but I also wanted some thing a little more seasonal, and so I birthed this little recipe. It’s great to use your leftover pumpkin in, or you can take advantage of all the pumpkin your local grocery store has most likely marked down since it is after the Thanksgiving holiday.

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What you need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s)

I begin by heating my oven to 350 degrees, and greasing a pan with some butter. I used a 9×13 dish. In a bowl, I mix all the DRY ingredients together [flour, salt, powder, soda, and spices… NOT sugar]. In a mixer, on medium speed, I mix softened butter with the sugar until beat together. I add the eggs to the mixer one by one, then I add the can of pumpkin. The texture of this mix will be some what chunky, that’s fine. Add half of your flour mixture to the electric mixer. Once it’s blended, add the other half of the flour and stir until completely mixed. Pour into the baking dish and set aside.

Crumb topping:

  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick COLD butter, cut into cubes 
  • 1/4 c. oats
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of flour

Combine all the ingredients in an electric mixer, until the cubes of butter have broken down into smaller balls, and all the cinnamon sugar is sticking. Sprinkle this mixture on top of your UNBAKED pumpkin cake, slightly pressing the sugar into the batter. Bake the entire cake for 60 minutes. Enjoy!

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New York Recap

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As I announced on Friday, the husband and I were in New York City this past weekend, attending comic con! While we mostly hung around the convention center doing nerdy things, we also had time to explore a bit of the city. I wanted to share all my favorite things with you guys in a post, so here it goes! [I plan to do a separate post on the convention for all you nerdy followers, but this will just be a recap of my favorite city spots and places to eat…]

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First things first, if you want a chic place to stay near the convention center or Hell’s Kitchen, then I’d highly recommend the Yotel. You can’t miss the signature purple neon of this place if you’re on 10th ave. They have killer free coffee all day [which, even though coffee has been giving me acid reflux, I seriously couldn’t resist a cup…] and in the mornings, they have really delicious muffins for free. It’s clean, updated, and only a 5-10 minute walk to the convention center which made it perfect for this trip.

Our favorite place for a meal was Friedman’s on W 31st street. I cannot say enough good things about this place. All of their food was fresh, they has a wide variety of gluten free options, and the staff was so friendly and helpful despite being overwhelmed with business from people leaving the convention at night. J and I both got salads, but they must have housemade dressings because I am telling you, I have never had a better balsamic vinaigrette in my LIFE.

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You all know I love my sweets, and while I was disappointed that I didn’t get to visit the Manhattan Carlo’s Bakery, it ended up being a blessing because I got to go to this delicious cookie spot instead. Schmackary’s has THE BEST cookies. We got an Oatmeal Scotchie [oatmeal and butterscotch], The Monster [oats, PB, m&m’s, semi sweet chocolate chips], Red Velvet, Caramel Delight [chocolate cookie with caramel in the middle and a tiny sprinkle of coconut], Funfetti [reminiscent of the funfetti cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles (also my favorite from the bunch)], and Maple bacon. It was hard for us not to eat these all in one sitting, and pictured above it me sneaking half a cookie in the airport terminal while hubs was using the restroom…

As you know, J and I are Catholic, which means we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to go to mass at St. Patrick’s. This is some thing that was on my bucket list last time we were in NYC, but we just never made it there since there was a convenient little Franciscan Friary down the street from us. This time we walked the 10 blocks it took to get to St. Patrick’s and I’m so glad we did! Not only was it a beautiful mass, knowing that the pope had just recently visited, but we also got to walk through Times Square, a farmers market, and Rockefeller Center on our way to the church. So, even though most of our time was spent inside the convention center, we got to do a quick walking tour of NYC on our way to mass. [Not to mention, the streets are almost empty early on a Sunday morning, which made our walk much more enjoyable, and less rushed.]

Overall, it was just a really fun trip! It was definitely tough on my pregnant body, and I had to keep a close eye for swelling and take every opportunity possible to sit down and rest my hips… but I am so glad I was able to have this short little “babymoon” with my husband.

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Salted Brown Butter Krispies

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It’s been awhile since I did a recipe post! It’s not surprising though, because as a pregnant woman, I often crave things. The other day, I was craving rice krispy treats, but not just any treats – homemade, nutty, salted brown butter krispies. Luckily I stumbled upon this recipe and it seriously took the same amount of time. The brown butter added a luxurious depth of flavor, and I don’t think I’ll ever make rice krispy treat the same way again!

Usually, I’m a chocolate girl, but I wanted something a little lighter. I know these hardly seem “light” seeing as how they require a stick of butter, but alas, they were delicious and hit the spot for this typical chocoholic.

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What you’ll need:

1 stick of butter
10 oz. bag of marshmallows
5.5-6 cups of rice krispies
.25 tsp of salt

Maybe you’re thinking, why does this recipe need salt? how much difference could brown butter make? I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. The salt isn’t salty so much as it highlights the darker nutty flavor of the brown butter.

1. First, on medium heat, melt your butter in a big sauce pan. Stir frequently until the butter starts to bubble, then turn golden-clear. Be sure to scrape butter from off of the bottom of the pan. Watch vigilantly for the butter to turn from gold to brown. Remove from heat immediately after butter has turned brown, because there is a short amount of time between butter browning and butter burning.
2. Add your bag of marshmallows. You shouldn’t need to turn the heat back on, the hot brown butter should melt the marshmallow. Stir until most of the lumps are gone.
3. Add 4 cups of krispies and stir into the marshmallow mixture.
4. Sprinkle all of your salt over the krispy mixture.
5. Add the 2 remaining cups of krispies to the saucepan and mix until fully incorporated.
6. pour and press into an 8×11 pan [I spray mine with coconut oil before hand, but you can rub butter on the sides to prevent it from sticking.

Enjoy!

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Baby Ice Cream Pops

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When Sugar Plum first started teething, I would make her little popsicles out of breastmilk to soothe her gums. Now that she’s older, she still has to deal with getting new teeth, but we have more of a variety of ingredients to choose from for her popsicles!

I was excited to experiment with popsicle recipes when I stumbled upon these adorable, under the sea themed molds. The silicone makes it especially easy to push the popsicles right out. I was so impatient waiting for them to freeze!

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This is a healthy recipe I came up with that tastes great (so you both can share one!)

What you need:
1 package of yobaby or yokids  organic yogurt (we used yokids strawberry vanilla)
5 large-medium strawberries
1/2 cup of grapes
1/2 cup blueberries
3 cups of cashew, coconut or almond milk
1 cup of spinach
popsicle molds
blender

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*if this recipe isn’t sweet enough for you, try adding a Tablespoon of honey or agave nectar

Blend in a blender or nutribullet. Pour into popsicle molds, and let freeze. Enjoy!

Salted Cocoa Cookies

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These are the richest cookies I have ever made. This is good, because it means I literally can’t eat the whole dozen in one sitting.

Do you ever wake up just feeling like you NEED chocolate? Need chocolate like you need water? No? Ahem…. in any case, I was having a major craving the other day, but I also wanted to feel like I accomplished something else besides consuming a bag of chocolate chips. Not only do these cookies require a bag of chocolate chips, but for a little bit of effort, you can create something decadent!

What you need:
10 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sea salt, for sprinkling

[Don’t even think of foregoing the salt. Trust me, you won’t have a saltly cookie; the salt simply highlights and balances the sweetness oall those chocolate chips you just packed it with.]

  1. Melt 8 ounces of chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan on low heat, stirring until smooth and melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl to combine.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl to combine. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk until fully incorporated. Fold in the flour mixture and remaining 2 ounces of chocolate and mix until just combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the baking sheets, spacing the cookies 1-inch apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the tops are dry and cracked. Remove from the oven and top each cookie with a pinch of sea salt. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.
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Easiest cake pops!

With Baby’s 1st birthday coming up, I thought I’d resurrect this recipe!

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Traditional cake pops are a little labor intensive. Ideally, you are supposed to bake a cake, smash it up with frosting, roll it into balls, and then dip those balls in a chocolate coating. Doesn’t seem worth the effort right? Wrong, cake pops are delicious….

But if you’re looking to minimize the time it take to make these delicious morsels, I have a solution for you!

In the back of most grocery stores, there are racks containing “day old” baked goods. Now, these options are always changing, but more often than not, there are cakes, cupcakes, and whoopie pies about to expire. No baking required!

I picked up 4 medium sized whoopie pies [two cake patties, filled in between with frosting]. I tossed them into my mixer using the paddle attachment on low speed. I added 1/4 c. of my own frosting, not because it necessarily needed it, but I wanted extra flavor and a creamier texture. Then I rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate [I used melted “Enjoy Life chocolate chunks]. SO easy! The whole process only took me about 45 minutes which is NOTHING compared to the time is take to make traditional cake pops.

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Check you grocery store for day old baked goods. Its quick, easy, and even cheaper to use a day-old, pre-made cake!