Loaded Sweet Potato Soup

9871_10101156440765703_7521523034287789987_nI love some Fall. I love some hiking. I NEED some nature time. I love camping. I love climbing mountains. I love traveling. I love the cooler temperatures. The changing colors. I love wearing hoodies. I love cozying up with a hot coffee on a crisp morning. I love fall flavors. I love baking with apples and butternut and pumpkin and pears. And making caramel to go with it all. And lately I have been loving some soup. This is new. I am not typically a soup kind of girl. I think, like most things, this comes from my up-bringing. We were always eating a family meal, but chili was about it on the soup front.

So I have been sweetly surprised by this soup craving. I come home from work or post walk and want soup. It’s a fun new avenue for me to explore. My mind lights up with potential flavors I can use. Butternut…definitely going to have to use that. My own version of chili, definitely. Some kind of vegetable. Some kind of chicken and ‘noodle’? Probably going to go there last.

The first thing that popped into my head was a loaded potato soup. Growing up my mother was a big potato fan. We had baked potatoes all the time. And one year she made some awesome loaded baked potato soup. Loaded sweet potato soup. I was determined last week to make this.

This was SO good. Plus I had leftovers to last me the week! It was hearty and filling. But most importantly, it was freaking delicious. The perfect amount of sweet potato chunks left out. The bacon. it was on point to say the least, and something I will definitely make again in the future.

14708308_567101893500439_3755015514471928377_n Continue reading “Loaded Sweet Potato Soup”

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French Silk Pie

14666071_10101462467650373_3730586706093272640_nPies are my thing. I love to make them. I worked at a pie company. I have changed my company to focus mostly on gluten-free pies and tarts. I have not made a French silk. I have made loads (hundreds) of chocolate cream pies, but not a French Silk.

Someone commented on one of my market pie photos that they needed a gluten-free French Silk recipes, finally I have had an opening in my schedule to do some work on my own stuff and to give this a shot.

Needless to say, I am always grateful for suggestions, especially when it is something I’ve never done and it can help someone else!

French Silk Pie
Crusts (Your Favorite Recipe, sorry no post on mine since I use and sell it)

Filling:

  • 2 oz. melted Enjoy Life Chocolate
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup ghee, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 local, pasture-raised eggs

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Roll out crust with a rolling pin. Cut out with a flower cookie cutter. Press into a greased mini muffin pan. Bake for 7 minutes. If they begin to puff, stick a fork in them. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

For the filling melt the chocolate. Allow to cool. Pulse coconut sugar in a processor until it is super, duper fine. Cream this with the butter in a stand-up mixer. Pour in the cooled chocolate. Scrape the sides. Add vanilla and mix on low. Add in one of the eggs. Mix on high for 5 minutes. Do the same with the second egg. Spoon into crusts and allow at least 2 hours to set-up.

Whip the coconut cream on high. Once it has begun to thicken add the vanilla and honey (or maple). Keep whipping until stiff peaks form. Pipe this onto the mini pies. Garnish with chopped chocolate.img_20161021_172115

 

 

 

Be Still & Finding Joy

fb90de51187517cbf6db207d8249751d-1Be Still.

This message keeps popping up in my life. And when something shows up more than once, pay attention.

The first time my mother called me. “What are you doing?” Oh you know, getting wedding band tattoos. And she says, “Your dad wants to see D’wan to get a tattoo.” Firstly, this shocked me a bit, I thought my Dad would never get a tattoo. Secondly, I was curious as to what he wanted……..be still.

Next instance, I was sitting in worship at church. I have been prone on occasion lately to be super emotional due to all the changes and uncertainty going on in my life and just scatteredness. As I sat there the message came so clearly: BE STILL. Very much along the lines of this photo. Be still and know I am God. When we finally stop. When are still and open enough, we will receive guidance and direction.

Thursday I had this crabby, sadness going on. Hike. I need to hike. It is missing from my life. I have built in habits that help me in life. Hiking and baking are my big two. When I am facing uncertainty. When I need clarity. When I need a moment to get back to myself and God and my path, I hit a trail. Or I get in the kitchen and bake. I let my creativity flow. I let go. I let go of all the thoughts (especially negative self-talk) and bullshit. It brings me back to peace. To calm. They are my outlets. They remind me that it is all good. Life is good. I am good. I am blessed. And it fills me with those positive vibes that everyone expects from me. Being in the woods is humbling. It cuts out the bullshit of everyday life. Maybe this is why I love traveling and mountains too. In their perfect creation and grandeur and beauty, they morph me and my problems. How small I am, how unimportant the things worrying me are. I can see resolution rather than focusing on what doesn’t seem to be going ‘right’. It allows me to step back and see the bigger picture. What is going oh-so-right in my life. All those beauty and gifts. Continue reading “Be Still & Finding Joy”

Naked Banana Nut Caramel Cake

imag0883Earlier this week I made brownies with bananas, but I have really, really been wanting to make a naked cake. I kind of attempted last month with a cake for my friend Kelly, which tasted amazing, but it did not live up to my vision. And so I have been picturing more cakes in my mind (plus we make cakes daily at work and I observe a lot).

I don’t know what it is, but I like the raw, rustic appeal of the naked cakes, decorated with fruit or flowers. They seem more natural. Less high maintenance. The frosting doesn’t have to be perfect. The caramel can just drip down the sides. I think maybe I like them because it relates to me and my personality. Food I’ve learned can do this. Even the way we season things, says a lot about our personality. I think these cakes draw me in because I see myself as a low maintenance and slightly untamed kind of girl. A nature seeking, raw beauty kind of girl. I prefer my hair a curly wild mane and to be outdoors. I am not a very conventional girl. Straight lines and super structure are not my style. My flow is softer and easy-going and free and artsy and organic. Not fondant and perfectly smoothed buttercream and pearls and glitz. Continue reading “Naked Banana Nut Caramel Cake”

Banana Brownies

img_20161020_184851My husband loves some bananas. I made him a banana cream pie last year at this time, before we were even dating. Naturally, when a recipe pops up on my Pinterest with bananas, I pause, and usually pin.

A month ago I saw a recipe for banana brownies. Clearly a no-brainer, they were also undeniably pretty, which further had me yearning to tweak the recipe. Finally, a month later I have made them! This living between two cities, and five days in a frat house has been challenging for me to experiment in the kitchen. I have equipment and baking materials scattered between the two cities. And the fact that it is not like baking at home. That is my happy place. An idea will pop into my head or work or Pinterest will inspire me or a walk will fill my head with deliciousness, and I will just go in the kitchen and make it. Not as easy lately, plus planning a reception and writing thank you cards. Life has had my attention and my business has not been on the forefront of my thoughts.

But wedding things our done. We have guidance and direction. We are going to be moving into a new apartment in November. Our dogs will be here. I can bake whenever I want. I can shower without Zach standing guard. Our stuff won’t be in boxes and will be in one place. And I will be able to focus here, on my baby, my P3. It is my creative outlet and I miss it. I miss writing. I miss creating. Not to mention being able to make a little space feel like ours. To fill it with good vibes and positivity and love. I look forward to the privacy and freedom again of having something of our own.

Since I finished thank-you cards on Sunday, I promised myself this week, no matter what I would post something. That I will make new recipes. And that I will share them here. So I hope you enjoy, and keep checking this week for more recipes and thoughts to come! These were fudgey perfection! I made the mistake of baking them in little bite-size portions too, which made them a little too easy to pop.

Banana Brownies

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 pasture-raised, local egg
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla or banana extract
  • 4 oz. white chocolate (check out the Civilized Cavemans recipe for this)
  • ¼ cup ghee

Continue reading “Banana Brownies”

Grand Adventure

And sometimes the grandest adventure is not where you go, but who you are with.

This past summer, my husband and I went on what we called Grand Adventure #1. This took us across 9 states, to 10 National Parks and over 4500 miles. We saw bears and wildlife. We grabbed the chains at Angels Landing to make it all the way to the top for 360 degree views. We waded in the waters at the base of the Grand Tetons. We stood in complete awe at the Grand Prismatic Spring (which we nicknamed the GPS). We drove around twisting mountains, reaching high peaks, and overlooking long drop-offs. We climbed mountains. We saw the sun rise over the Badlands. Ziplined across Moab’s rocks and once again had stunning 360 views. We slept in beautiful campsite, after beautiful campsite. We stopped and waited on buffalo to cross the street. We had a fox dance around us. We saw breathtaking view, after breathtaking view. We spent hours upon hours in the car together. We slept on top of the car under the stars just outside of Zions. We watched the sunset over Arches and laid on a blanket to watch the sky become lit up by billions of star, and he looked over to ask me to marry him.

And we have a Grand Adventure #2 planned, which goes further north and further west and doubles the amount of National Parks we have visited together. And next weekend we are going camping at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. In November we plan to head to the Great Smokey Mountains. And next Fall we are going to visit his brother in Portland, Maine, and scope out Acadia National Park.

But what if this is not the main adventure?

14485063_10101428617181983_3677499559873771965_n Continue reading “Grand Adventure”