Strawberry Banana Sorbet

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Sometimes in the summer heat you just want a cold sweet treat.

And I love ice cream, I enjoy making it, but sometimes it is more work than I’m wanting to do.

I really am a pretty simple girl. And sometimes ice cream is too sweet for me. In my everyday life, I don’t eat baked goods. Weird, I know, since I’m a baker. But typically the only time I eat baked goods is when I have to sample the ones I make, to make sure they’re up to par. And sometimes I don’t do that, I have a gorgeous, super-honest husband be my taste-tester because he will let me know what’s up.

So one day, I make to make a little treat for the two of us. I see some strawberries left in the fridge, that someone from the market had given us. And I know what I want. When I go to the store I grab a view bananas.

All I did was blend them. But to a surprising delight, that was all I needed to do. Fruit is sweet to me and I didn’t even sweeten this. It was perfect. It had a next texture. It wasn’t rich. It was light and refreshing.

Plus it was so easy. Something I can respect.

The great thing too, is that you can try it with other fruit. But if you have the perfect strawberry and ripe bananas, you are really set!

Strawberry & Banana Sorbet

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Let’s Make it Happen: Continue reading “Strawberry Banana Sorbet”

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Kettlebell Series 3: The Importance of Breathing

Breathing is kind of an important thing. No? I mean we do need it to live obviously.

It’s an unconscious thing we do, but what if we became more aware of it?

What if we harnessed the power in a breathe?

With years of training people, I have seen it overlooked many times. It kind of drives me nuts to see someone chewing gum and exercising. That should not be happening.

When you go to a yoga class, there is a certain type of breathing taught.

Same with kettlebells and weight training. There is a pattern. Pay attention to breathing.

Pay attention to it when you work out. Throughout your day. A decade ago my cousin Jacki recommended the book, Three Deep Breaths to me.

Focusing is not only good for us physically, but it is spiritually soothing as well.

Thank you to my beautiful momma for partaking in this little video with me. Next week I hope to share another on the Importance of Tension, so stayed tuned. Working out is more than just lifting weights.  Continue reading “Kettlebell Series 3: The Importance of Breathing”

Gluten-Free Tomato Tart

20170713_191311 (1).jpgI would like to think that I have come a long way in the realm of food. I used to be a SUPER picky eater. I think it was inherited. My mother was a picky eater, and I was merely emulating her style.

I despised all kinds of foods I had never tried. I was stubborn. I was dead set on hating things.

But gradually I grew out of it, funny how that happens in life.

I changed my perspective on food. Instead of approaching things with a shut off mind, I began to look at new foods with genuine curiosity. I replaced my fierce desire to not like it, to a fierce determination to find a way in which I liked it (liver was probably my biggest test on this, I was set to find a way to enjoy it).

I have come so far. Never in my life would I think that I would eat sashimi. Or onions.

I recall my grandmother making chili growing up, she had to give me an extra bowl to pick out all the stuff I wouldn’t eat (note my mother was the same).

At this point in my life I will try about anything. And I use WAY more vegetables than I ever would have dreamed. But I do have some things that trip me up. For instance, I do like avocados, and I appreciate their nutritional value. But they make me nauseous. I’ve tried.

And tomatoes. I do enjoy tomato-based products, but raw tomatoes are a struggle for me. I think it’s the texture. But I am determined not to give up on them.

So when someone at the market, gave us some tomatoes at the end of the day, I was determined to make something I would like. To continue to be curious and step out of my comfort box.

Pies and tarts are kind of my thing (my business is P3 Polifroni PIES and Pizzas after-all). I’ve been wanting to make a savory tart and I felt like this was perfect opportunity. I still had some goat cheese left from making the ravioli. There was major potential here.

Gluten-Free tomato Tart Continue reading “Gluten-Free Tomato Tart”

Paleo Egg Roll Wrappers

20046529_10101879277759573_3981336752721843949_nThere are certain dishes you remember from your childhood.

We ate dinner together frequently. My father has always enjoyed cooking and my grandmother still suggests he should have been a chef.

There are some dishes from my upbringing that really stand out. Creamed Eggs (think biscuits and gravy, but with toast and hard boiled eggs). There was fruit compote. Donuts. And sometimes we made egg rolls at home. Yum.

Lately my parents have been bringing back the egg roll. Or in the case of my father, a deconstructed one.

I wanted one.

Hmm…

19894613_10101879277879333_7111738673402345932_nI was pretty determined and set since then to make them (I actually tried them three times, before I got one that worked!)

The great thing is. These can freeze. You can make up a larger batch and make some whenever you want.

You can stuff them however you like. Breakfast. Try different vegetables. Different meats. You can even try some sweet ones. Apple or pecan filling maybe. Or a berry and goat cheese.

Skies the limit, experiment and take creative license. Continue reading “Paleo Egg Roll Wrappers”

Gluten-Free Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches

20170714_133253Happy Wednesday All! Monday I posted a recipe for dairy-free chocolate ice cream. Now I am sharing the rest of the stuff. I chose to sandwich the ice cream between two mini pies. Something that has been on my list for about 2 years now. I had to find the right time. Really I think I had to wait for the opportunity to use an actual ice cream maker.

The biggest challenge, actually, was deciding what flavor to make, because I had soooooooooooooo many ideas:

  • Raspberry pies with Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Blueberry with a Lemon Curd Swirl Ice Cream
  • Rhubarb with Strawberry Ice Cream
  • Strawberry with White Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Strawberry with Banana Ice Cream
  • Almond Butter/Chocolate with Banana Ice Cream, rolled in Candied Bacon
  • Cinnamon Chocolate with Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Matcha with Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Peach with Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Cherry pies with Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Key Lime with Vanilla Ice Cream, Rolled in Graham Cracker Crumbles
  • Lemon with Vanilla Ice Cream & a Toasted Meringue siding
  • Jelly Filled with Almond Butter (or Cashew Butter) Ice Cream
  • German Chocolate Pies with Caramel +Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Espresso pies with Salted Caramel Ice Cream
  • Pineapple pies with Mango Ice Cream, rolled in Toasted Coconut
  • Apple with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

……………………….and I could keep going.

See how my brain works? Sometimes I suffer with too much creativity and too many ideas. Which is not a bad thing. I am very thankful and blessed to have so much creativity.

When I have to make a choice of what to make it can be a tiny bit overwhelming picking which idea to run with.

So I went into the store not anticipating that I was even going to attempt this recipe. Blackberry were on sale. WINNER. I selected them and ran with it as the pie inspiration. Chocolate seemed to be the natural pairing to me. Granted I did contemplate a Honey Lavender Ice Cream (maybe later). Continue reading “Gluten-Free Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches”

Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream

20170714_133324.jpgYesterday was National Ice Cream Day. Did you miss it?

So did I.

However……………

On Thursday I was a baking, kitchen experimenting fool. On that day I borrowed my mother-in-laws ice cream maker, and finally made some Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches! I’ve wanted to make them since the last restaurant I worked at (2+ years). Lavender Blackberry Handpies sounded divine. And chocolate seemed to be its natural mate, at least to me.

I’ve made quite a bit of ice cream this year: Banana Split, Sweet Potato, Banana Cookies & Cream. My go-to technique has been to freeze the ice cream in a glass bowl, then run it through my food processor to make it creamy.  I have really been wanting to try it with an ice cream maker. Since my mother in-law recently got one, I just had to make the time to make it happen.

As you’ll remember my husband’s stomach is not as fond of dairy as he is. You’ll find him eating cheese and stuff sometimes, but I really try to make him dairy-free treats when I get the chance. And he really loves ice cream. And so do I. Occasionally. Like on Sunday.

This was VERY good. I did put some between pies (recipe tomorrow), but there was quite a bit let just to scoop and eat. It reminds me of a fudgsicle. You know what I’m talking about? Makes me think of my granny, who I grew up next door to. She used to get them in the summer time. My brother and I loved them.

This may be a plain recipe for just chocolate ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring when you eat. I said, I squeezed it between two pies. Maybe you want to make them into Popsicles. Maybe dip the Popsicle in chocolate. Dipped in crushed nuts. Get creative. This is the foundation. Build the rest of the house.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream Continue reading “Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream”

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Macarons

IMG_20170704_130933_124.jpgMonday I wrote about making cupcakes for my cousin’s wedding this upcoming weekend. Last week I made some samples for the 4th. I was a little bit nervous and super excited. Nervous because I’ve never made a cake or cupcakes for a wedding (actually the only things I’ve made for a wedding, were the 9 cheesecakes I made for our wedding reception). Excited to make something for a wedding. nervous because I kept repeating to myself to be delicate and patient while making them. Delicate, graceful. These are not often words I associate with myself. In the kitchen I would describe myself as a beast. I work quickly and efficiently, usually because I have to crank out a bunch of work in not a lot of time. I flow from one thing to the next. So I kept the word delicate in mind. And tomorrow when I make these again I will repeatedly keep telling myself to slow down and take my time.

I wasn’t sure what kind of cupcakes I wanted to make for the wedding. Chocolate was a guarantee, they’re my grandpa’s favorite and they are serving regular chocolate cupcakes at the reception. They’re also serving vanilla and red velvet. My initial idea was to do vanilla but a cupcake with a twist. I just don’t understand the rave for red velvet, it’s chocolate cake with a bunch of food coloring, or at least that’s my perception. And to make one’s that I was satisfied I would have to use beet juice, since I don’t use food coloring, so I vetoed the gluten-free red velvet (sorry).

I searched and searched my Pinterest for some flavor inspiration. I finally settled on salted caramel. I personally love caramel. I love it in my ice cream. I enjoy putting it on or in my pies. I like it in cookies. The list of what I’ll do with caramel is lengthy.

Initially it was a no-brainer to fill the cupcakes with caramel and drizzle some over the icing. It then popped into my mind to make little caramel filled macaron’s for the top. It wasn’t special enough, so I gave myself a big task. Macaron’s are pretty tricky and technical to make. I made them at a bake house I worked at in Champaign. And I was going to make them at home with out molds for them, just free piping them on parchment. They turned out delicious and the groom told me they were the best thing. I mean all the flavor and texture were there, but I felt I maybe over-beat the meringue, as I did not obtain the desired feet. I took note on this and will change it tomorrow.  I am determined to make beautiful little macaron’s.

Again these aren’t Paleo because I am feeding a larger more general audience, I used organic powdered sugar for the macaron’s and the frosting, fill free to change the frosting. I have yet to make a French macaron without the powdered sugar  that I was completely happy with (I’ll put it on my list, I’ve tried with maple sugar and they were ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS, just not technically sound).

These were all gone first and relatively fast once I showed up, so I actually cut the vanilla cupcakes and decided to focus on the Salted Caramel and chocolate. The base is just a vanilla cake though, so you can just forget the caramel and cookies and make plain vanilla cupcakes. Or try another flavored frosting. I really wanted to do a vanilla cupcake filled with lemon curd, topped with blueberry frosting. I didn’t think this would fit everyone’s taste buds, and the other options would be more of a crowd pleaser.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel Macarons Continue reading “Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Macarons”