Friday, December 26, 2014

Baked Honey Cardamom Salmon in Foil - AMAZING

Hope everyone's Christmas Eve and Christmas were delightful.  Our Holiday's were nice and quite which is really what I had in mind.  I did plenty of cooking and actually played around with different recipes before starting another house project.  This year my son requested a honey baked ham from the Honey Baked Ham store.  I'm not a huge fan of ham so I decided I wanted salmon and thought a honey baked version sounded delightful.  So off I started and played around with three different ones.  The one here was so amazing that I'm planning on making it on New Years Eve as well. Here's the recipe and I know you are shocked that I added cardamom for a little Swedish twist.
1 1/2 - 2 lbs Salmon
1/4 cup organic honey
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine (NOTE: only cook with something you would drink)
1 tablespoon ground Cardamom
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Freshly ground sea salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Organic Maple Sugar (I buy mine from Coombs Family Farms online, this is a traditional sweetener I learned about while living in Canada for a few years)

Method:

  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Take a big piece of foil and line it with a piece of parchment paper.  fold up the edges so the liquid does not run out and begin preparing the marinade.
  In a small bowl, whisk together honey, white wine, cardamom, white vinegar and salt and pepper.
Place Salmon on parchment lined foil with edges bent up and pour mixture above on top.  Be sure to re-season the fish with salt and pepper and then fold sides of the foil over the salmon completely and sealing the packed closed.  Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before placing in the oven.
  Place fish in the oven for 12 minutes.  Pull fish out of the oven, open up the foil and sprinkle the Maple Sugar evenly over top the fish.  Put back into the oven for another 4-6 minutes until fish is  completely cooked and sugar has lightly browned.  Serve immediately.

Some of the Ingredients I used

Salmon Marinating

Ready for the oven
 


 


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pepparkakor (Gingersnaps)

Traditionally speaking Swedes have gingersnaps (Pepparkakor) all year long (usually I just buy them), but at Christmas time it's kinda fun to make them.  I always make them in the shape of little gingerbread men and women but they can also be made in the shape of hearts or pigs.  I think I'll stick with the gingerbread men just for my traditional needs.

 Ingredients 

7 oz. brown sugar
7 oz. white sugar
7 oz. dark corn syrup
3/4 cup water
10 oz butter
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons ground cloves
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 lbs flour (You can use rice flour if you prefer not to have wheat)

Method

Heat the brown and white sugar along with the corn syrup and water in a pot. Add the butter and let it melt.  Stir in spices and baking soda.  Then mix in the flour until you reach a smooth consistency.  Place dough in the refrigerator to cool for at least 3 hours, over night is best.  Then take the dough and knead it on a large cutting board, adding flour (or rice flour) if it gets sticky.  Roll it out and cut into your desired shapes and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Cool on a rack and decorate to your liking. 
I purchased these cool edible pen pictured below.  They are great to have around!
Cute Gingerbread men.
These are great to have around and make decorating easy!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Simple Adzuki Dinner...Highly Beneficial for O Blood Type Diet

Some of you are reading this and thinking...WHAT is that?  Well, Adzuki (or Aduki) beans are most likely one of my favorites because of the health benefits they provide.  They are on the Highly beneficial list for the O Blood type diet (I should say lifestyle) and also a staple if you eat a Macrobiotic diet.  These little small red beans are a protein packed staple in my house and are known in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support healing properties for the kidney, bladder and reproductive function.  These beans are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese and B vitamins.  They could also be considered the "weight loss bean" since they are so low in calories and fat, yet very high in nutrition content.  Did I mention these beans really don't give you "gas" either??? Well, see now I've given you a ton of reasons to eat these little guys.  This recipe I have here I came up with because I'm trying to only eat highly beneficial for my blood type.  I did place some sliced Avocado around the egg because I thought they added color.  I know...I know Avocado is on my "Avoid" list for the O blood type list.  But, all the other ingredients are on my "Highly Beneficial" list and make my metabolism run at maximum speed.
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet onion diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1/2 can Aduki beans, drained
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tomato diced
1 egg, over easy
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Few slices of Avocado for decoration if wanted and your diet allows

Method:

In a small sauce pan saute onions, garlic and red pepper in olive oil.  When onions begin to turn opaque add beans and saute another 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and parsley and saute on low while making egg in a separate pan.  When egg is done, transfer beans to a plate and place egg on top and add avocado slices if you wish.  Enjoy!  This is crazy healthy and is quick and easy to make.

The beans

Sauteing!

Oops...I ate it all!
  

 
 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Chocolate Bark with Benefits

This is the easiest thing in the world to make...CRAZY EASY!  Yet, it's one of my favorites because I can get so creative with the toppings I put on the Chocolate bark.  In the picture here I actually made two separate kinds of chocolate bark.  I made some where I broke it into pieces once it was hardened and the other I placed in small circles before drying.  This made it easier to tell the different kinds apart,  and the kids knew which one they liked better.  Easy Breezy!

Ingredients:

4 Ghirardelli Chocolate Bars (2 Semi-sweet & 2 100% Cacao Unsweetened chocolate baking bars)
1 bag of Crystalized Ginger
1/4 cup Raw slivered almonds
1/4 cup Raw Pistachios
Pink Himalayan sea salt
Spectrum's Warrior Vitality Blend (My new favorite addition to things)

Method:

Place 1 semi-sweet and 1 100% Cacao chocolate bar in a microwavable container (something that has a pourable spout). Microwave until melted but, not bubbly, usually 3 1/2 minutes. Then pour chocolate onto a parchment lined cookie sheet with sides.  Sprinkle any or all the above listed toppings on top and set in cool place to harden (Refrigerator would be fine as well). I used the Almond's on one batch and the Pistachio's on another.  I also sprinkled the Spectrum Warrior Blend on the batch with the Pistachio's because I thought it looked a little more festive together.  In years past I've purchased lemon and orange rind to make the chocolates even more colorful.  Get Creative...I've even purchased spicy nuts from Whole Foods and placed those on top to give the Chocolate a little kick!  Happy Holiday's!

A new favorite to get Creative with!
A Closeup picture:)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Butterballs with Benefits

Yes, you're reading this right!  My butterballs have benefits!  I've taken my girlfriends Mother's recipe and decided to change it up a bit.  I mean it's the holiday season and I know I'm going to eat things I usually don't eat.  So, I decided why not make the cookies a little more healthy and add some much needed protein while I'm at it!  This was actually much easier to do than I thought and it really didn't take long to get the amounts perfected like I thought it was going to take.  So...here you go!  They are Yummy!
Tiffany's Holiday Butterballs with Benefits
 Ingredients:

2 cups Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
1/4 cup Organic Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt (I used Iodized Salt...it's important)
1 1/4 cups Organic Nutiva Buttery Spread (Melted in microwave...don't allow to bubble)
3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Sun Warrior Blend Protein Powder (I used Vanilla flavored)
 2 cups chopped/crush Walnuts
 
 Topping:
1 cup Powdered Sugar
Mix in a colored decorative sugar if you would like (I used silver & gold pictured below)

Method:
Preheat oven to 375.  Mix the first six ingredients together with a hand held mixer, then stir in the walnuts.  The consistency of the dough should be crumbly (don't be alarmed)!  Take a quarter size(or slightly larger)  amount of the dough and press together until the dough sticks together, then place on a top of of a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper (you could a heavily buttered pan, but this way is not only cleaner but adds no more calories).  Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven place in a bowl that holds your powdered sugar mixture (you can just use the powdered sugar if you would like...I just wanted to add color), then remove from your powdered sugar and place cookies in a container suitable for either the freezer or refrigerator.  They keep well in the freezer and I actually like them cold.  Enjoy...These are SOOOO YUMMY!
The flour and butter used
The Consistency of the dough

Here they are before going into the oven
The colored sugars I mixed into the powdered sugar to add a bit of color
And Yes, I was wearing my St. Lucia Wreath while doing this and making dinner! Just getting into the spirit:)
Completed and ready to eat.....
I'll guess I'll go back to the store for more ingredients....These are dangerous!!!

ENJOY!



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Coffee NO MORE... A Superdrink Alternitive called "Tiffany's Winter Warrior Drink"

As winter settles in I enjoy warm drinks.   I will go for a coffee made with almond milk but know that I could have something with a little more health benefit.  So, the other day while walking around Whole Foods I was in the vitamin section and came across this new product by Spectrum Essentials called "Warrior Vitality Blend".  It's a blend of Chia, Maca and Cacao nibs with a natural Caramel Vanilla Flavor...what's not to like?  RIGHT???  The bag suggests putting this on yogurts, smoothies and in baked goods so I thought what the heck I love coming up with recipes.  Well, here it is all perfected for you all.  I of course put a little Swedish spin on this with the addition of Cardamom and think it's wonderful.  This blend contains 4g of Fiber, 37mg Magnesium, and 80mg of Potassium, It also contains 2.2g of Omega-3 (ALA) Fatty Acids.

"Tiffany's Warrior Drink"

* 3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
* 1 tablespoon raw chocolate shavings
* 1 tablespoon of Spectrum Essentials "Warrior Vitality Blend"
* 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom
*  1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1teaspoon Organic Raw honey

Method: Warm Almond Milk in Microwave with added Chocolate Shavings, once it's at desired temperature add the remaining ingredients, stir until dissolved and serve.  Makes one small coffee mug full, 

Yummy!


Here is the "Warrior Vitality Blend" and Raw Honey


In the process!



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sick Boy Turkey Soup

  One of my boys came home not feeling well from school yesterday.  So I whipped up a batch of Turkey soup from the Turkey bone broth I made after eating our turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.  This actually is a recipe from my deceased mother-in-law who was from Italy and always seemed to have a recipe for everything.   Now, translating it to English from Italian is always a challenge, but I'm always pleased once I do the work.  Here is her recipe, I'm sure she didn't go to the lengths of making actual bone broth but because I had already done that I just used the broth I had made.       


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups homemade or purchased Organic Turkey broth
1 1/2 cups carrots sliced and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Turkey meat, either leftover or just bake a thigh or leg then De-bone and add to the soup
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley added to each bowl when served

Saute chopped onions, carrots, and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add the broth, and the rest of the ingredients except for the parsley and allow to meld for at least 20 minutes on low.  Before serving add fresh parsley to every bowl and serve.  Godere! 

      

Clean up the kitchen with...Bar Keeper's Friend...click below!