Paleo Meringue Ghost Tarts

halooween ghost meringue

Happy happy halloween my friends! Halloween happens to be one of my favorite holidays. Not because I like blood, gore and all things spooky. There’s just something nostalgic about it that reminds me of childhood and fun memories with my family and friends. I love the crisp fall air, parties, treats and dressing up. I love using my creative side and pretending to be someone else for an evening. Do you celebrate halloween? If so, what’s your favorite part about it?

I saw something similar to this on the internet, probably Pinterest, and I couldn’t wait to create a paleo version. Although my meringue came out shiny and smooth, I waited to long to pipe it onto my tarts so it kind of melted, face palm! The key is to pipe it on right after and serve immediately. Don’t take a million pictures and then serve them, ha ha! They still taste good, but they look so much prettier if you serve them right away! I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Paleo Meringue Ghost Tarts

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
    Meringue for ghosts:
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1.5 cups maple sugar
  • dash of almond extract
  • dash of lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add crust ingredients to a food processor and mix until combined
  3. Press into small non stick tart pans until evenly distributed on bottom and up sides
  4. Place tart pans on a baking sheet and cook for 10 mins in oven
  5. While those are cooking make your chocolate filling and set aside.
  6. Pull crusts from oven and let cool for a few minuets
  7. Spoon chocolate filling into crusts and smooth the tops
  8. Fill a pan with 2-3 inches of water & bring to a boil
  9. Turn to low and place a heat proof bowl on top
  10. Add egg whites & maple sugar & whisk continually until sugar is dissolved, check to make sure not gritty
  11. Once sugar is all dissolved add mixture & lemon juice to a kitchen aid mixer with whisk attachment.
  12. Beat on high until stiff peak form and it is glossy add in almond extract and beat to combine.
  13. Add meringue to a ziplock bag with end snipped off
  14. Pipe onto cooled tarts to form ghosts.
  15. Using a small brush, add eyes and nose with a bit of coconut oil & cacao powder.
  16. Serve immediately.
http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2016/10/ghost-tarts/

 

Pear and Almond Mini Cakes

mini pear cake paleo glutenfree 3

I refer to pears as, “California’s real gold” because the trees found here in the Sacramento valley were brought over during the gold rush and unlike gold there’s always plenty to be be found. Many of the farming families who planted pears near Sacramento’s gold rush communities are still farming today, it’s an incredible legacy! I totally agree with the Greek poet Homer who said, pears are “a gift of the gods”! There’s nothing quite like biting into a velvety, sweet, juicy pear at the height of the season. July- August is a busy time, summer pear harvesting is in full swing and I was so lucky to get to see a small glimpse of that!

california pear farmers courtland

At the end of July I had the privilege to attend the International Food Blogger Conference hosted here in Sacramento, California. We started the conference off by touring a few local farms in the area. Stillwater Orchards is located only 15 miles outside of my hometown. They grow many varieties of pears, Bartlett, bosc & comice to name a few. It was such an amazing experience to meet one of the wonderful families dedicated to growing these beautifully delicious nuggets. The Elliot family was so warm and welcoming I felt as though I was a part of their family. I’m hoping they will adpot me, haha!california pear farm

They took us through the groves where we saw picker’s harvesting the bosc pears in large canvas bags secured around their shoulders. As the bags filled up, the harvesters unloaded them into large white crates. They looked so beautiful all gathered together, I couldn’t help but peer through the large slits in the crates dreaming of what delicious things I could create with these little jewels! california pears peek through crate

We learned that California pear farmers are leaders in sustainability. 87% keep orchard rows vegetated to reduce soil erosion and over 95% use integrated pest management to control insects naturally, drastically reducing the use of chemical pesticides! I couldn’t love this more, you all now how big I am on sustainable farming! I’m hoping to have my own small farm one day soon!

paleo paparazzi california pear farm(Photo by Bella Karragiannidis ful-filled.com)

We ended the tour with a beautiful lunch underneath the shade of 140 year old sycamores. We ate a pear inspired meal that was so dreamy, but my favorite had to be the gluten free pear crumble. I was inspired to make something just as tasty to highlight this gorgeous summer fruit! I love mini desserts so I just had to make a cute paleo farm to fork baked treat!

mini pear cake paleo glutenfree

These little cakes are so easy to make and they taste even better made with fresh fruit on top! I made them with some Bartlett pears from the Elliot farm.  I recommend making them with Bartlett pears, although you can use whatever pear variety you like best!

mini pear cake paleo glutenfree 2

I waited a bit before baking with them as my pears were green and not quite ready to use. I let them sit on the counter for a few days until they were yellow. Bartlett pears ripen at room temperature, turning from green to yellow as the pear becomes softer and ready to eat. Don’t put them in the fridge until they turn yellow to preserve their ripeness. They will stay good for about 3-5 days.

mini pear cake paleo glutenfree 4

Once they were sweet and ripe I happily made them into these small cakes. They’re so fun and the perfect size to snack on! Especially for kids or kids at heart ! I hope you love them as much as we do! Now go buy some lovely pears and go get your bake on!

Mini Pear Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups almond flour
  • 2 fresh Bartlett pears, sliced
  • 10 dates
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter/palm shortening
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • Cinnamon to garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. First combine almond flour & dates together and mix until well combined.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor & mix well.
  4. Fill 6 greased mini cake/tart pans 3/4 of the way full.
  5. Top with fresh sliced pear & sprinkle tops with cinnamon.
  6. Cook in the oven for 15-20 mins
http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2016/08/mini-pear-cakes/

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Strawberry Balsamic Coconut Cream Popsicles-California Strawberries “Get Real In CA” Recap

Remember how I teased you a few posts back about a fun bloggers trip I went on? Well, first I wanted to apologize for teasing you, that wasn’t nice ;) But I know I can make that up to you with this post because now I can share all of the “juicy” details!! Last month California Strawberries invited me and a few other bloggers on a retreat to learn all about your favorite berry! It was an incredible experience, to say the least!

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When I think of strawberries, I can’t help but be transported to summer and my childhood. We grew strawberries in our backyard, along with plums, peaches, nectarines, tangerines & lemons, but the strawberries were always my favorite. It seems as though summer wasn’t official until that first sweet bite. Strawberry juice drizzling down my chin, that’s when summer began for me! Being a native Californian I didn’t realize how good I had it until I packed up for college out of state and missed a few summers at home. Little did I realize back then just how important my beautiful state was in producing this luscious little berry!

California strawberries get real in Ca recap cannery row

The strawberry retreat started out in the heart of Cannery Row. We checked into the gorgeous Intercontinental The Clement in Monterey California for our stay. The ocean view from the rooms is stunning, and is a great reminder of why strawberries thrive in this area. The ocean helps create perfect moderate temperatures for these beautiful berries year round!

ca strawberries get real in ca monterey seals

Shortly after checking in we were whisked away to Montrio for dinner. The talented Chef Tony Baker created so many heavenly dishes inspired by strawberries. Tony & his team work closely with local farmers, ranchers and fishermen making it possible for those who dine at Montrio to be able to enjoy only the freshest most sustainable ingredients. You can definitely tell that the food is farm to fork because it tastes so fresh & flavorful!

MONTEREY, Calif., June 6, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the first day of the event eat at Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif., June 6, 2016. Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

This strawberry panna cotta with scallop ceviche was a favorite appetizer of mine! The flavor combination was unreal! Have mercy! I had no idea how delicious these pairings would be together!

MONTEREY, Calif., June 6, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the first day of the event eat at Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif., June 6, 2016. Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

Here’s me and Kristen of Living Loving Paleo in true paparazzi style, trying to capture this delicious ceviche.

MONTEREY, Calif., June 6, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the first day of the event eat at Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif., June 6, 2016. Photo by Robert Durell

Photo by Robert Durell

One of my favorite dishes of the evening was this dreamy crispy pork belly with balsamic compressed strawberries, poison oak honey and feta. Truly delicious! Look at that glistening pork belly! I mean, COME ON?! I dipped those luscious strawberries into that honey shortly followed up by a mouthful of that pork belly, flavor explosion!IMG_7097

The next day we had a delicious breakfast together where we learned some pretty amazing things about strawberries from the California Strawberry Commission. Like that fact that 90% of the Nations strawberries are grown in California, MIND BLOWN! Also, did you know that there is no such thing as a commercially grown GMO strawberry? Pretty awesome! Strawberry farmers are also very progressive and really care about our environment, they are leaders in research on ways to conserve water, protect soil and reduce fertilizer & pesticide use. More than any other commodity group in the world, they continue to invest millions of dollars in non-chemical farming methods, go strawberries!

ca strawberries get real in ca organic strawberryAfter breakfast and a little strawberry 101 we headed out for an unforgettable tour around one of their strawberry farms. As you can see in the picture below, we got up close and personal on the farm. I have dirt on my knees from picking handfuls of berries right off the plants & photographing the beauty from the ground up! It was also so fun to have Michelle from The Whole Smith’s & Kristen from Living Loving Paleo on the trip, as well as many new blogger friends!

MONTEREY, Calif., June 7, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the second day of the event visit a strawberry farm in Monterey, Calif., June 7, 2016. Later they ate lunch in Pacific Grove, Calif., from a food truck from Los Angeles Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

The tour took place at one their inspiring grower’s farm, Jesus Alvarado. Jesus’s story is one that will stick with you and warm your heart. He has worked with strawberries in some form since the age of 8,  starting out in Mexico. Eventually he left his family to come to the U.S. were he worked for many years as a picker. He learned English along the way, and is now the owner of an 80 acre strawberry farm, Fresalva Berry in Salinas California. Jesus is an incredibly determined and successful man, yet very humble with a smile & laugh you won’t soon forget! Plus he still has mad picking skills, check him out in the video below. If someone thinks that picking strawberries isn’t a skill, I beg to differ!  He reminds me a lot of my grandfather who has been a California farmer for most of his life. Both coming from humble beginnings and acquiring success from passion and hard work, men who respect the land and treat their employees like family.  Jesus produces conventional as well as organic strawberries. His biggest client being one I’m sure you’re familiar with, Driscoll’s.

MONTEREY, Calif., June 7, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the second day of the event visit a strawberry farm in Monterey, Calif., June 7, 2016. Later they ate lunch in Pacific Grove, Calif., from a food truck from Los Angeles Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

After the tour we were invited to a strawberry inspired lunch in Pacific Grove. Chef Jasmine Wolf drove her famous food truck all the way up from Los Angeles. I love that Jasmine tries to buy organic, local, and humanely-treated produce as much as possible. “Comfort food with a conscience” and that it was. We ate ribs with a strawberry bbq sauce (must recreate) which were to die for!

ca strawberries get real in ca the lobos truck lunch

More ceviche and strawberries but this time with shrimp and served in these cute avocado boats! Almost too pretty to eat!

california strawberries get real in ca recap lunch monterey

And these tempting stuffed strawberries with a balsamic reduction and bacon dust, BACON DUST my friends, Uh-May-Zing!ca strawberries get real in ca monterey

As if you needed more reasons to eat strawberries, here are some cool ones you may not know. Like did you know that one serving (about 8 strawberries) have more vitamin C than an orange? Put down that orange and grab your 8 a day! Also, one serving contains only 7 grams of sugar & 45 calories per cup! Strawberries tend to be thought of more as a dessert, but this yummy berry is perfect in many savory dishes as well. Not to mention, they’re a nutritional powerhouse packed with essential vitamins, dietary fiber, potassium and phytochemials.

MONTEREY, Calif., June 7, 2016 Participants in the annual California Strawberry Commission's Influencer Farm Tour during the second day of the event visit a strawberry farm in Monterey, Calif., June 7, 2016. Later they ate lunch in Pacific Grove, Calif., from a food truck from Los Angeles Photo by Robert Durell
Photo by Robert Durell

Strawberries are so fun for a paparazzi to stalk :) This is what I looked like 98.9% of the time during the trip, thank you Robert Durell for capturing so many memorable moments, and a big thank you to my wonderful friends at California Strawberries and Modern PR for making this happen!

 

Check out this awesome video to see some fun moments from the retreat!

And of course I couldn’t leave you without a recipe including strawberries. With so many dishes on the trip including strawberries and balsamic vinegar I thought I’d create an easy recipe with a fun little twist.  Strawberry balsamic coconut cream popsicles. Don’t let the balsamic vinegar scare you though, you won’t exactly taste it, but it undeniably brings out the sweetness in the berries. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do in our house!

Strawberry Balsamic Coconut Cream Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk (13.5 oz.)
  • 7 teaspoons maple syrup (divided)
  • 3 tsp balsamic vinegar (I used Kasandrinos)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pinches of salt

Instructions

  1. Add strawberries, 2.5 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. maple syrup & a pinch of salt to a blender or food processor.
  2. Puree strawberry mixture & set aside.
  3. In another bowl add coconut milk, remaining 6 tsp maple syrup, pinch of salt & vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Fill popsicle molds by alternating with the 2 mixtures until molds are full. This will give you a fun layered look.
  5. Place molds in the freezer for about 5 hours, or until completely frozen.
http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2016/07/strawberry-balsamic-coconut-cream-popsicles-california-strawberries-get-real-ca-recap/

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, thank you for supporting the brands that make Paleo Paparazzi possible! As always, all thoughts are 100% my own.

Whole30 4th of July

I was excited when the Whole30 team asked me to create 3 tasty dishes for your 4th of July BBQ’s/ Potlucks. I know how hard it can be to feel like your missing out on all the fun foods when a holiday pops up. That’s why I created an appetizer, a salad & a meat dish to make celebrating this holiday a little easier. Plus they are your typical 4th of July recipes, so if you don’t mention that they are whole30 friendly, no one will be the wiser! I’ve got you covered so don’t worry! You will not feel deprived at all, promise! Head over to the Whole30 website to get all 3 recipes! So off you go now…go get your BBQ on!

Red White & blue strawberries
Whole30 Red white & Blue Strawberries

Patriotic ColeslawWhole30 Patriotic Coleslaw

Firecracker BBQ Ribs

Whole30 Firecracker BBQ Ribs

Paleo Chocolate Hearts With Strawberries (Raw)

chocolate hearts with strawberries

You can’t go wrong with chocolate for Valentine’s day, and if you make said chocolate from scratch, your valentine will be super impressed and all that mushy stuff, wink, wink! This Paleo chocolate hearts recipe is really easy to whip up and requires only 5 ingredients, plus a pinch of salt. If your looking to make something that isn’t complicated and looks like it was purchased from a fancy chocolate shop, I got you covered! Impressing people with simple homemade treats is right up my alley!

chocolate hearts with strawberries stacked

Before we go any further, I feel I must confess. I was that girl. The one who used to eat my weight in store bought waxy chocolate. Man am I glad those days are over, what was I thinking? I was eating fake chocolate and I didn’t even know it, GROSS! How come someone didn’t warn me sooner, shove a piece of REAL chocolate in my mouth and say, “you’re welcome!” ?? Well if they had, I’m sure I would have started singing “A whole new world” from Aladdin, lol! It only took 30+ years, but I’m never going back! Raw chocolate is where it’s at!

chocolate hearts with strawberries bite sized

These raw chocolate hearts are the healthi-fied (is that even a word?) version of the chocolate hearts you find in the stores but you won’t even notice because they taste so naughty. They’re made from raw, pure ingredients so you reap all the “love” and goodness from that! Coconut oil is packed full of healthy fats and raw cacao contains of magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and so much more! You can thank me later ;) Happy Valentine’s day!!

*These are made with freeze dried strawberries, so you can make them any time of the year! Feel free to switch up the ingredients. There are too many yummy combinations you could use such as coconut, raspberries, banana, nuts, mint, etc.

Chocolate Hearts With Strawberries (Raw)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 20 bite sized chocolates

Chocolate Hearts With Strawberries (Raw)

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup freeze dried strawberries, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup and cacao powder together.
  2. Grease a bite sized heart mold.
  3. Add a few bits of crushed freeze dried strawberries & cacao nibs to the bottom of greased mold.
  4. Pour mixture into greased mini heart mold, add remaining strawberries & nibs on top & cover.
  5. Place mold in the freezer to harden, takes about 20 minutes.
  6. Pop hearts out of the mold and enjoy!

Notes

Try to use a flexible mold, makes it easier to remove. Also, hearts will melt at room temp. so don't leave out. Store in fridge/freezer until ready to serve.

http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2016/02/chocolate-hearts-strawberries-raw/

Gingerbread Marshmallows

aaa-gingerbread marshmallows

Ok, so I feel as though I need to make a confession…I may have a little problem you guys! I can’t stop making marshmallows!! I want to make them in every flavor and cover the earth with them, Lol! I recently created some pumpkin pie marshmallows for fall and knew that if I tweaked the recipe a wee bit, I could easily make them into gingerbread marshmallows. I have been putting them on literally everything and I don’t know if I will be stopping any time soon. My husband and I have been having some interesting conversations over marshmallows, like “did you have 2 more than me?” and “are you SURE that you divided those up evenly??” We have serious conversations about food in this house, hahaha!

aaa-gingerbread marshmallows bowl 2

Marshmallows are really not that hard to make, I think that’s why I can’t stop making them, plus they’re fun to eat and when supplies are low, the morale in this household just isn’t quite the same, wink wink! I use a good quality pasture-raised gelatin to make them, I love this brand because I find it it dissolves easier than most. And even though this is considered a treat because of the sugar, I still have a good feeling knowing that I’m getting my gelatin in for the day!

aaa-gingerbread chocolate covered marshmallows

This particular flavor is amazing for the holidays, I almost named them holiday marshmallows, because they have all those yummy warm spices that evoke memories of Christmas lights, opening presents around the tree and being with the ones you love. And if you put them in a mug filled with hot chocolate, it feels like a hug in a cup, no joke ;) You can even dip them in melted chocolate to make them even more special! But if you REALLY want to take it to the next level, you can make a batch of my Gingersnap Cookies and make some delicious holiday s’mores. I’ve been having way too much fun making these s’mores with my kitchen torch (early Christmas present from my husband) I have directions for both the chocolate dipped marshmallows and the s’mores below, I got your back! If you try either of these, get ready to have your mind blown! Consider this my Christmas present to you! Merry Christmas! ;)

aaa-iced gingersnap smore hand

Gingerbread Marshmallows

Ingredients

    Marshmallows:
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons Grass-fed/Pasture-raised Gelatin
  • 3/4 teaspoon Gingerbread Spice Mix (see below to make your own)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (can sub vanilla extract)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder for dusting before cutting
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot power mixed with 1/2 teaspoon Gingerbread spice for dusting after cutting
    Gingerbread Spice Mix:
  • 3 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • (place in a jar with a lid and shake to mix)

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment. Grease pan and lightly dust with arrowroot powder. Set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer, add 3/4 cup of filtered water (reserve the remaining 1/4 cup for later) and 3 Tbsp of Vital Proteins gelatin. Mix together and set aside to set up while you prepare the other ingredients on the stove top.
  3. In a pot combine remaining 1/4 cup filtered water, maple syrup, honey, gingerbread spice, vanilla powder, lemon juice and sea salt. Bring mixture to a boil over med-high heat. Keep an eye on it as it will get foamy and can boil over easily. Boil for about 10-15 mins. You can use a candy thermometer to be more precise. Boil until it reaches 240 degrees (soft ball)
  4. Using your stand mixer and whisk attachment (A hand mixer is fine, just takes a bit longer) turn mixer on medium-low speed. Slowly pour the boiled mixture into the gelatin mixture on the side of the bowl. When done incorporating, Turn mixer up to the highest speed and mix for approximately five minutes. After five minutes stop the mixer and check the consistency. If the mixture is cool to the touch, light and fluffy and falls off the whisk slowly, it's ready.
  5. Quickly pour mixture into your lined pan and smooth with a spatula. Lightly dust top of marshmallow mixture with arrowroot powder.
  6. Cover dish and let marshmallows firm up in the fridge or on your counter. Takes about 3-4 hours.
  7. When marshmallows are firm, use a knife and slice into small squares. Take your arrowroot & Gingerbread spice mixture and lightly toss marshmallow squares in a large bowl. Make sure to coat all sides. Shake off any excess and enjoy right away, or store in an air tight container for a day or freeze for later use.

Notes

-For Chocolate Covered Marshmallows: In a shallow bowl, melt a large chocolate bar (we like Coconut Secret's Peruvian Crunch) or use my recipe for homemade chocolate Here (minus the strawberries). Dip marshmallows in melted chocolate and place in the fridge to harden up.

-For Holiday Gingerbread S'mores: Make a batch of my Iced Gingersnap cookies Melt a large chocolate bar (we like Coconut Secret's Peruvian Crunch) place in a shallow bowl, dip bottoms of cookies in melted chocolate, lay them chocolate side up on a plate or baking sheet and place in the fridge to cool. Roast marshmallows (I use a kitchen torch) and place them between 2 cookies. Enjoy!

http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2015/12/gingerbread-marshmallows/

aaa-gingerbread marshmallows in hot chocolate

Iced Gingersnap Cookies

aaa-Gingersnap cookie stack-2

You guys, you guyyyyssss!!  This is seriously one of my favorite cookie recipes of all time. It’s so perfect for “THE most wonderful time of the year”. It has all the yummy nummy warming spices and it tastes amazing with a hot cup o’ cider or cocoa. I created this recipe last year around the same time and posted the recipe to Instagram but not to my blog. It was rather frustrating because every time i wanted to make the recipe, I had to scroll through my feed to find it. I like having it here living on my blog so that I can easily refer to it whenever I want ;)

aaa-Gingersnap cookie stack-1

This recipe really reminds me of my grandfather. For those of you that don’t know, my grandfather and father owned bakeries up and down the California coast. Baking runs in my blood, but even though I don’t bake exactly like I used to or eat cookies all the time (like I used to) it’s nice to know I can have an occasional treat that brings back many fond memories. Homemade cookies always bring back memories, it was one of the things he always had in surplus inside cookie jars strewn throughout the kitchen. Especially this time of year, we ALWAYS had a cookie (or 3) in our hand!

aaa-iced gingersnap topview

My grandfather passed away 7 years ago on the same day my husband suffered a stroke, a story I will leave for another time. But, shortly after he passed we moved into his home, and we haven’t left. I still feel him here, watching over us, it’s a comforting feeling. I feel like he’s still teaching me. Whenever I have an ah ha moment with paleo baking, I feel like he has something to do with it ;) I used to bake in the same kitchen along side my grandfather and I have many many good food memories in this kitchen. Every time I make these cookies I feel as if he is standing behind me, proud to know that in some way I am carrying on the family tradition of baking and sharing recipes. He was always sharing recipes with others.

aaa-Gingersnap cookie stack-4

These cookies really taste like the real deal, you almost forget that they are paleo friendly.  So i’m sharing this recipe with you, in hopes that it brings back some fond memories for you too. Memories of when life was a little more carefree. When you could have a cookie and just celebrate without worrying about what’s in it. Happy holidays to you and yours!

aaa-Gingersnap cookie stack-3

 

Iced Gingersnap Cookies

Ingredients

    For the Cookie:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup cashew flour
  • 6 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
    For the Icing:
  • 4 tablespoons coconut butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

    For the Cookie:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl mix together almond flour, cashew flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, spices, zest, salt and baking soda until combined.
  4. In a small bowl mix together melted coconut butter and oil (cooled), egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice, honey and whisk together.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  6. Toss into a food processor and continue to mix until combined well and a nice ball of dough forms. (you can mix with your hands if you don't have one, it will just take longer)
  7. Roll dough into equal sizes (about 1 inch in diameter) with your hands and place onto lined cookie sheet.
  8. Flatten each cookie to about ¼ inch thickness (if you like your cookie crispy flatten to 1/8 inch) with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a flat cup (greased).
  9. Place in the oven for 10-15 mins. or until the center of the cookies are no longer completely soft. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Let cool on a wire rack before icing.
  10. When cookies have cooled, slather with icing.
  11. If icing is still too wet, place iced cookies into fridge until the icing hardens.
  12. Sprinkle the top of iced cookies with cinnamon, if desired, and enjoy!
    For the Icing:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Place bowl in the fridge for a few mins. to harden up into a spreadable icing consistency.

Notes

http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2015/12/iced-gingersnap-cookies/

aaa-iced gingersnap cookie hand

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallows

 I have been craving pumpkin marshmallows for sometime now. I know, weird right?! Not pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread like normal people do…but pumpkin marshmallows, haha! Such a random craving but one that needed to be satisfied!  So I dreamed up this delicious clean version because while Kraft’s pumpkin shaped marshmallows are cute, that franken food just won’t cut it!
aaa-pumpkin pie marshmallow 3 copyEnter, delicious real food marshmallows with ingredients you can pronounce, what the heck is tetrasodium-pyrophosphate anyways?!? Anyone? Anyone?? Kinda creepy! It takes a little extra time to whip these babies up, but they are definitely WORTH IT!! Even though these are a fall recipe, I think I will be making them all year round. I just love all of the yummy warm spices mixed in, they make these marshmallows super special! They’re even made with Vital Protein gelatin which is my absolute favorite! It dissolves so easily and is made from pasture raised beef to boot!

aaa-punkin pie marshmallows

aaa-pumpkin pie marshmallow 4 I have been creating multiple desserts in my head specifically around these pumpkin marshmallows, which I will be sharing with you soon!  I’ve also been hiding them from my husband (shhh!) To say I’ve become obsessed would be a major understatement!! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!aaa-pumpkin pie marshmallow 2

 

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallows

Pumpkin Pie Marshmallows

Ingredients

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons Vital Proteins Gelatin
  • 5 tablespoons of pumpkin purée
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix (see notes below to make your own)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (can sub vanilla extract)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Arrowroot powder for dusting

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment. Grease pan and lightly dust with arrowroot powder. Set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer, add 3/4 cup (reserve the remaining 1/4 cup for later) of water and 3 Tbsp of Vital Proteins gelatin. Mix together and set aside to set up while you prepare the other ingredients on the stovetop.
  3. In a pot combine remaining filtered water, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, honey, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla powder, and sea salt. Bring mixture to a boil over med-high heat. Keep an eye on it as it will get foamy and can boil over easily. Boil for about 10-15 mins.
  4. Using your stand mixer and whisk attachment (A handmixer is fine, just takes a bit longer) turn mixer on medium-low speed. Slowly pour the boiled mixture into the gelatin mixture on the side of the bowl. When done incorporating, Turn mixer up to the highest speed and mix for approximately five minutes. After five minutes stop the mixer and check the consistency. If the mixture is cool to the touch, light and fluffy and falls off the whisk slowly, it's ready.
  5. Quickly pour mixture into your lined pan and smooth with a spatula. Lightly dust top of marshmallow mixture with arrowroot powder.
  6. Cover dish and let marshmallows firm up in the fridge or on your counter. Takes about 3-4 hours.
  7. When marshmallows are firm, use a knife and slice into small squares. Mix a bit of arrowroot and pumpkin spice mix and lightly toss marshmallow squares to coat all sides. Shake off any excess and enjoy right away, or store in an air tight container for a day or freeze for later use.

Notes

To make Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix:

In a small bowl, mix, 3 tablespoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves.Transfer to an air tight container.

http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2015/11/580/

Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream Sandwiches

The days have been getting hotter and hotter as summer time settles in the California valley, and sometimes those nostalgic summer treats I used to enjoy as a kid are just calling my name and begging to be recreated, you feel me?

My nieces came over yesterday to hang out and both of them follow a modified paleo diet, so I though it would be perfect to have them help me make some ice cream sandwiches. They helped me make the ice cream, which is made mainly from frozen bananas. I tried to make the ice cream easy enough for them to help me with and they did great! If you are following me on the cool new app Periscope you likely saw us make these together live! If you’re not on Periscope yet, download that baby and hop on there! It’s super fun to watch your fave people on social media broadcast live and chat with them!

For the cookie portion, I modified the recipe for my cinnamon raisin cookies I created a few years back and turned them into a chocolate chunk cookie. They turned out SO GOOD!! I need to keep some dough in the freezer on the regular because the cookies alone are AMAZING and I can’t get enough of them! I also made the chocolate chunks from scratch since I don’t really like my store bought options, but to speed up this recipe use something like Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks/Chips (if you tolerate them) or your fave clean chocolate bar and cut up into chunks. Since my chocolate chunks are homemade and more melty, I try to add them a few minuets before taking the cookies out of the oven. If you would like the recipe for my chocolate chunks, leave me a comment below and I’ll add the recipe on here!

(UPDATE: If you would like the recipe for the homemade chocolate chunks, head to my Chocolate Hearts Recipe. This is the same recipe I use to make the chocolate chunks, minus the strawberries and cacao nibs. Just spread out the chocolate mixture in a shallow pan, put in freezer to harden and chop into chunks!)

So on to what you have been waiting for, the recipe!!

Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients

    FOR CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
  • 2 cups almond flour (I used Honeyville)
  • 6 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus a few pinches more if you like a saltier cookie
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of Enjoy life chocolate chunks (or a clean chocolate bar chopped up)
    FOR CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp coconut or almond milk, or a little more if needed
  • 4 tbsp Cacao powder, use less or more depending on how chocolatey you want it
    FOR VANILLA ICE CREAM
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp coconut or almond milk, or a little more if needed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract/seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean

Instructions

    FOR CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA ICE CREAM
  1. Make the ice cream first so it has time to harden (you can make this a day ahead to speed things up).
  2. Cut up 3 ripe bananas and freeze them.
  3. Place frozen bananas in a food processor and blend for a few mins., scraping down sides as needed.
  4. Add coconut/almond milk and blend until it starts to get smooth.
  5. FOR CHOCOLATE- Add your cacao powder and blend until really smooth and no chunks remain.
  6. FOR VANILLA- Add your vanilla extract/vanilla bean seeds and blend until really smooth and no chunks remain
  7. Scoop into a freezer safe bowl, cover and freeze for about an hour or until it hardens up and is thick enough to scoop.
    FOR CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
  1. While you're waiting for your ice cream to set up, make the cookies.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. In a medium bowl add almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
  5. In a small bowl add egg, coconut oil, honey, maple syrup and vanilla and whisk together.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until thoroughly incorporated and combined.
  7. Add chocolate pieces and gently mix into dough, reserve a few to decorate with later.
  8. Roll dough into equal sized balls, about an inch in diameter and flatten them to about 1/2 inch thickness and place on the baking sheet.
  9. place in the oven for aprox.12-15 mins. or until the center of cookies are no longer completley soft and have browned on top.
  10. Place on a wire rack until cool enough to handle and transfer to the freezer and let harden for about 15-20 mins.
  11. Take cookies and ice cream out of the freezer.
  12. Scoop a good amount of ice cream on to a cookie and top with another cookie. I use my fingers to clean up the edges and smooth them out.
  13. Next you can add extra chocolate chunks around the sides if you like a lot of chocolate.
  14. You can enjoy them as is, or place them back in the freezer til they harden up and ENJOY!
http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2015/06/chocolate-chunk-ice-cream-sandwiches-chocolate-dairy-free-ice-cream/

Apple Nachos

I have a serious affinity for apple nachos. They are not only really simple and fun to make, they are a perfect fall treat! I always get really excited to make them when apples are coming in to season, but really you can make them any old time as apples are almost always available. I will add that they do taste even better with fresh in season apples though, just sayin! We love heading up to Apple Hill this time of the year to our favorite organic apple growers farm to stock up, picking apples in the fall just gives me all the feels!

Apple Nachos

Ingredients

  • 1-2 apples, sliced (preferably organic)
  • 2 tbsp nut/seed butter (used almond)
  • 1-2 tbsp cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp chocolate sauce, I used THIS recipe minus the strawberries & nibs
  • 1 lemon, juiced (optional)
  • a handful of your favorite nuts/seeds (I used pecans)
  • a handful of grain free granola (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice apples with an apple slicer and toss with enough lemon juice to coat each slice in a large bowl.
  2. Place apples on a plate and arrange how you would like them.
  3. Drizzle apples with desired amount of almond butter or any nut/seed butter of choice. I place mine in a Zip-loc bag with one corner snipped off to drizzle it.
  4. Drizzle apples with chocolate sauce.
  5. Sprinkle with cacao nibs or desired chocolate and nuts/seeds and grain free granola.
  6. You can also add other toppings like raisins or unsweetened coconut shreds, the possibilities are endless!
http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2014/10/apple-nachos-4/