Maple Pecan Pie


I’m a huge fan of the website Nourished Kitchen.  I find their site is really good at creating a sense of nourishment not only for the body but beyond that.  Almost anybody can put together a bunch of sugary ingredients for a pecan pie and have it taste pretty darn good but what about how it makes you feel about how it could be impacting your health?  It takes added skill to not only come up with a recipe that is delicious but one that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve done something terrible to your body.  They are just really good at creating recipes that tastes great and you can feel good about.   That’s why several months ago I signed up for their newsletter.  Today I received this amazing recipe for Maple Pecan Pie in my inbox and had to share it with all of you.  Here are the ingredients.  If you’d like to actually make it take a look at Nourished Kitchen for the instructions.  I’m definitely going to give it a try during the holidays.


1 1/2 cups sifted sprouted spelt flour

1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt3/4 cup cold lard chopped into 1/4-inch cubes

1/2 cup very cold water

4 eggs

1/2 cup whole, unrefined cane sugar

1 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter melted

1 tablespoon vanilla bean powder

1 1/2 cups pecan halves preferable soaked overnight and dehydrated

via Maple Pecan Pie.

Pecan Cream Cheese Bites Recipe

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

I’ve been searching for great appetizer recipe and when I came across this recipe on MyRecipes I just knew I had to try it.  It originated in the 2009 Southern Living Cookbook.  The only issue I have with it is that I would have to refrain from eating the whole plate!  I had a reader suggest to omit the olives, chives and pepper and instead add chopped dried cranberries.  I think I like her version even better!

By the way, if you are wondering about the photographer of the amazing pecan appetizer photo go check her website out. Jennifer Davick Photography She has some amazing images.  I love great food photos and if I ever get around to writing that cookbook I have dreams of writing then I know who I would like to do the photography!

  • “Cream Cheese-and-Olive Pecan Bites Recipe”

    “3 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 80 large toasted pecan halves


  1. Stir together cream cheese, olives, chives, and pepper. Spread onto 40 large toasted pecan halves; top with 40 large toasted pecan halves, forming sandwiches.

Cream Cheese-and-Olive Pecan Bites Recipe |

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

No-knead Dutch Oven Bread Recipe

photo by Roger Dorian

I’m a huge fan of Mother Earth News.  They always have the greatest articles and this No-knead bread recipe by Roger Dorian is a great example of just that.  We’re eating gluten free now but I may have to try to convert this recipe and see how it turns out.

“1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.  You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.

1 1/2 tsp salt

Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

  2. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

  3. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

  4. At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.

  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.”

Easy, No-knead Crusty Bread.

Gluten Free Navajo Fry Bread 

When I was in 2nd grade I went to a little school in Oklahoma.  One of my fondest memories was the school having a Thanksgiving “feast” where I  had my first Navajo Fry Bread as one of the Native American foods.  Every fall I try to make fry bread but since we are gluten free now I thought we’d miss out this year until… I found this recipe on Better Batter!  I hope all of you enjoy it as well.

“Because of the nature of gf flours, you’ll want to make several small batches of this, if you need more than 4 fry breads, rather than trying to make one large batch.


1 cup Better Batter Gluten Free Flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. powdered milk

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup water

Vegetable oil for frying


Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil to about 350 degrees in a skillet or cast iron pan before you begin.

Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump. This will be extremely sticky!

Flour your hands. Separate the dough into 4 pieces and roll in more flour. The inside of the dough ball should still be extremely sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.

Using your floured hands on a floured surface pat, roll or and form each piece into a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter.

Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take about 3 to 4 minutes.

You may keep this warm in a 200 degree oven for up to an hour, if making several batches.”

via Navajo Fry Bread |  Better Batter Gluten Free Flour.

Pumpkin Bread with Almond Streusel

I just love pumpkin bread.  But pumpkin bread with almond streusel may have just sent me over the top in eating bliss.  Since we are eating gluten free to improve our health, I’ll substitute Gluten Free all-purpose flour, and baking powder. To make this delicious bread check out Broma Bakery.  Not only do they have some amazing recipes but the photography of the food is just beautiful as well.

“For the bread:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the streusel:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

1 cup chopped, lightly toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a medium-sized loaf pan.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add in the pieces of butter, and using a pastry cutter, or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs have formed. Mix in the toasted almonds.

Then, in a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, powder, salt, sugar, and spices. In a seperate bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed. Then add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Fold in the pumpkin puree. Gradually fold in the flour mixture in three additions, stirring between each. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan, then top with about 1/3 of the streusel. Pour in the rest of the batter, then top with the remaining 2/3 of the streusel.

Bake for 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and serve!”

via broma bakery: Pumpkin bread with almond streusel.

Acorn Squash Polenta Stacks

Doesn’t this look delicious?

Trader Joe’s Acorn Squash Polenta Stacks 

“2 small TJ’s Acorn Squash, sliced lengthwise and cleaned of seeds and string

TJ’s Olive Oil Cooking Spray

TJ’s Sea Salt and TJ’s Black Pepper, to taste

1 cup TJ’s Traditional Ricotta Cheese

1 cup TJ’s Frozen Kale, defrosted and squeezed of water

1 clove TJ’s Garlic, chopped fine

1 jar TJ’s Arrabiata Sauce

2 packages TJ’s Polenta, sliced into 24 1” rounds

1 1/4 cups TJ’s Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 cup TJ’s Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice squash halves into 1/2″ half-moon-shaped slices. Spray a large baking sheet with a light dusting of oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper. Place the slices on the sheet in a single layer. Lightly spray the tops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the slices are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool; lower oven temperature to 350°F. Place ricotta, kale, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl and combine. Set aside. Assemble the stacks: Coat the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with a light layer of sauce. Lay 12 Polenta rounds side by side and season with a little salt and pepper; cover with sauce. Next, top each round with squash slices facing each other, trim to fit neatly. Top each set of squash with the ricotta-kale mixture and smooth out. Top with more sauce, followed by a layer of polenta and the last layer of squash. Pour over the remainder of sauce and top each stack with Mozzarella cheese, followed by Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Uncover for the last 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and rest 15 minutes before serving. Serves: 6 – 12

Cooking Time: 2 Hours”

via Trader Joe’s.

Homemade Organic Hemp Milk

We’ve been drinking almond milk and trying a variety of other nut milks for the past several years after our oldest daughter was diagnosed with a severe milk allergy.  My biggest complaint about almost all of the commercial nut milks is that they contain carrageenan.  Dr. Andrew Weil suggests to eliminate it from our diets stating:

“Findings from animal studies and a review of the scientific literature showed that degraded forms of carrageenan can cause ulcerations and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.”

When I started looking at ingredients on product labels for it I was shocked at just how many foods contain it.  Did you know that most supermarket rotisserie chickens have carrageenan listed as one of their ingredients?  It’s primarily used as a thickening agent or emulsifier and is made from a substance extracted from red and purple seaweeds, consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides.  So basically any processed food with a creamy texture I now question.  I wonder why they don’t use something like chia seeds instead?  

So on my path to find healthy alternatives I came across this recipe for homemade hemp milk from Nourishing Meals.  I’ve read that hemp seeds are the only edible seeds that contain the amino acid, GLA. Hemp milk is rich in protein and contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins A, E, B-12 and folic acid.  It is also rich in magnesium, potassium, iron and magnesium.  Another essential benefit is that it has anti-inflammatory agents and improves circulation.  So why not give hemp milk a try?

Homemade Organic Hemp Milk Recipe:

“1/2 cup shelled organic hemp seeds

3 cups filtered water

1 tablespoon organic maple syrup

pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend for 60 to 90 seconds or until ultra smooth. Place a nut milk bag into a large jar or pitcher and pour hemp milk through the bag, squeezing out the milk, and leaving the pulp behind. I compost the leftover pulp. Store your hemp milk in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Use it in recipes wherever milk is called for. Source:”


via The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen: Homemade Hemp Milk.



Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins with Nutella Filling Recipe

Doesn’t this look delicious?  I found this recipe on Reclaiming Provincial.  It’s a beautiful site with so many wonderful recipes and the photography is just amazing!

“Nutella-Filled Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

(inspired by US Masala; adapted from Martha Stewart)


10 tbsps (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (plus more for pan)

3 cups of all-purpose flour (plus more for pan)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/3 cup of buttermilk

1 1/4 cups of pure pumpkin purée

3/4 cup of light brown sugar

2 large eggs

nutella (store-bought, or make your own!), as needed (approximately 1/4 of a cup)

Sugar Coating:

3/4 cup of granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 stick of butter, melted

Preheat over to 350°. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin purée. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat eggs into butter/sugar mixture one at a time. On low speed, alternately add in flour mixture and pumpkin/butter milk mixture until everything is just combined.

Add 2 tbsp of batter to each muffin cup. Add 1 tsp of nutella to the center of the batter in each cup, then evenly distribute the remaining batter over top, until cups are just a little over 3/4 full. (You will likely have some batter leftover. I didn’t dare go higher than 3/4 because I didn’t know how the batter would behave, but you might be able to push it a bit more if you want.)

Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until muffins just begin to turn golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

While muffins are cooling, melt butter for topping and whisk together sugar and spices in separate bowl. After muffins have cooled for 10 minutes, brush with butter and roll in sugar mixture.

These muffins are best eaten immediately, or within a day or two of having been made. Keep some extra nutella handy to enjoy with them!”

via Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins, Filled with Nutella | Reclaiming Provincial.

Freezing Apples

I’ve canned a lot of apples in my life.  Apple butter, apple jelly, apple pie mix etc. but I’ve NEVER thought of just freezing them before.  So incredibly easy!  This fall I will definitely be preserving my apples this way too!  Check out Traditional Foods for more information.

“Frozen apples are great to have on hand for pies, cakes, and other treats throughout the winter. The process is simple: peel and slice your apples, freeze them on a cookie sheet, and then put them in a plastic freezer bag for longer-term storage.”

via Freezing Apples (How to Freeze Apples).

Meatless Monday: Organic Cheese Enchiladas Recipe

Are you participating in “Meatless Mondays”?  If you are here is a yummy recipe from Taste of Home . I’ve modified it a bit as to make it organic and gluten free.  Since we don’t eat gluten we use corn tortillas instead of the flour.


2 cans (15 ounces each) organic tomato sauce

1-1/3 cups water

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

16  organic flour or corn tortillas (8 inches), warmed

4 cups (16 ounces) shredded organic Monterey Jack cheese

2-1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded organic cheddar cheese, divided

2 medium organic onions, finely chopped

1 cup (8 ounces) organic sour cream

1/4 cup minced fresh organic parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Shredded lettuce, sliced ripe olives and additional sour cream, optional


In a large saucepan, combine the first six ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce over each tortilla.

In a large bowl, combine the Monterey Jack, 2 cups cheddar cheese, onions, sour cream, parsley, salt and pepper. Place about 1/3 cup down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Pour remaining sauce over top.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 4-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Garnish with lettuce, olives and sour cream if desired. Yield: 16 enchiladas.”

via Cheese Enchiladas Recipe | Taste of Home Recipes.