Category: Holidays

Quick and Simple Strudel Topping

Quick and Simple Strudel Topping

This quick, easy to do strudel topping is a magical accompaniment to many classics: cheesecake desserts, muffins, pumpkin pie custard, yogurt, whipped cream and berries…the possibilities are limited only to your imagination!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown swerve/sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Combine in food processor and pulse until smooth. Sprinkle on desired dessert and enjoy!

Crockpot Pumpkin Custard for Thanksgiving

Crockpot Pumpkin Custard for Thanksgiving

I loooooooove pumpkin pie. Seriously. It evokes fond memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases from years past, always at my grandma’s house.

Honestly, though, sometimes I don’t feel like baking a pie. It’s easier to put it all in a crockpot, add some toppings, and be done with it. Plus, with the addition of an easy strudel and whipped cream or yogurt, I don’t even miss out on the pie! I won’t lie and say that it’s as good as pie, because let’s be honest, nothing is as good as pie, but it’s very close.  

It’s also nice to have the oven free to prepare other dishes. I don’t know about you, but my family always has a ton of dishes waiting in line to go in the oven.

I use a small crockpot for this. If you want to serve this for a large gathering, simply double the recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 6 eggs
  • 8 tbsp avocado oil, or melted coconut oil, butter, ghee, other cooking fat of choice
  • 1 cup granulated sweetener (stevia, erythritol, monkfruit) 
  • 4 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 tbsp molasses 
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla or maple extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or 1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/8 tsp allspice + 1/8 tsp nutmeg 

Directions:

  1. Grease crockpot.
  2. Whisk or blend eggs until thick and foamy.
  3. Beat in sweetener.
  4. Add vanilla/maple extract and pumpkin puree and beat. 
  5. Add coconut flour, spices, salt, and oil. Beat until well mixed.
  6. Optional: At this stage my kids are starting to get mad and impatient that they can’t eat it for hours. Scoop a small amount into a microwave safe container (such as these silicon ramekins) and microwave for 1 minute and serve to the impatient ones. 
  7. Pour mixture into crockpot and wiggle a little to distribute evenly. Insert a paper towel underneath the lid to collect condensation. Set crockpot on low.
  8. Cook 2:30-3:00 hours. Mine usually takes 3xaround 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  9. Serve with this strudel, this whipped cream, a dollop of vanilla ice cream, yogurt, or kefir. 

I know my spice blend isn’t technically pumpkin spice, but I prefer it in some ways. I like the cinnamon to be prominent and here’s some heresy for you: I don’t really like the overpowering notes of ginger or clove in some traditional pumpkin spice mixes.

Remember to Love

Remember to Love

Valentine’s day is fast approaching, and a lot of us have LOVE on our minds because of it. Many of us have a spouse, partner, child, parent, friend, classmate or coworker in mind to share the spirit of the holiday with–which is wonderful(obviously). Love is wonderful.

Don’t forget, though, to show love to everyone else that you meet. We’re all brothers and sisters, after all–we’re all here, in this same brief moment in time on this same planet earth together. And we all get this one chance. One chance to smile at the stranger as you walk by. One chance to say hi. One day, one time, one life to see the beauty of every single moment and every single person and live in it.

What is life without light, without sharing love and hope?

In the words of the Beatles, “All you need is love.” Or the Youngbloods:

“Come on, people now,

Smile on your brother

Everybody get together

Try to love one another right now.”

Seriously, take a step back outside of yourself and look at the big picture here. What the heck are we doing here on this big, beautiful planet besides destroying itself and each other? Why have we chosen destruction of ourselves and one another? And, perhaps most importantly, what is it all going to lead to–what’s going to happen to everything and everyone around us continuing down this path?

That’s just insanity. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Electing a president isn’t the answer. Drawing illusory lines, putting up walls, running away, not the answer. Only One thing will rectify the chaos.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

This year, 2020, year of clarity, perfect vision, dig deep inside and find your light. Find your fountain of neverending love. We all have it. Love yourself, love your family, love thy enemy. Love thy neighbor as thyself–there’s no difference except for the flesh and blood that you perceive.

Follow the light within, it will not lead you astray.

Pumpkin and Nut Porridge for Fall

Pumpkin and Nut Porridge for Fall

Some mornings I feel like making something a little different for the kids. They will only eat eggs for so many days in a row, and I like experimenting on them. 🙂 This porridge is quick and easy, with only a minimal amount of work required.

If you have leftover pumpkin, it’s so great to freeze in small containers or an ice cube tray for later. I’ve been keeping it around in cubes for fall.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped or ground
  • 1/4 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup almond (or other) milk
  • 7-10 stevia drops
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or alternative (I use Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup)

Directions:

1. In a small pot combine almond flour, pumpkin, pecans, and almond milk and simmer.

2. Add stevia drops, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir and allow to simmer for another minute.

3. Stir in maple syrup. Remove from heat.

Serve with whipped cream or a drizzle of kefir for a hearty, fall inspired breakfast or satisfying dessert.

4th of July Fork Painting

4th of July Fork Painting

This is really simple, but with my younger girls I often find that simple is best.

Supplies:

Tempera paint–white, red, and blue

Red or blue construction paper

A fork

Directions:

1. Hand out paint, paper, and forks.

2. Let the kids draw by dipping the fork in paint and using it on paper. I had hoped that the forks would help make firework and stripe patterns, but it turns out that they are 1 and 2 and mommy’s complex art ideas can be a bit silly to them.

Quick and Easy Whipped Cream

Quick and Easy Whipped Cream

Sometimes you need a quick and easy whipped cream recipe–whether it’s for a quick fatty snack, perfect pumpkin pie, or to top off a delicious keto frappuccino.

So here it is! This recipe is 4 ingredients and whips together in a magic bullet or similar blender so fast it’s unbelievable.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • A sprinkle of cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 15-20 drops of stevia

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in magic bullet or other blender and blend. With the bullet it takes about a minute (this can vary). Watch it, though. It will thicken to a nice, creamy consistency–you can sometimes hear it change when whipping, but you don’t want to blend it for so long that it separates.
  2. Enjoy your whipped cream!

An incredibly delicious variation of this, worthy of dessert status on its own, is to put a scoop or two of peanut butter in this before whipping.

Paper Tulip Bouquet

Paper Tulip Bouquet

Happy Mother’s Day, moms!

Last night I wrote up my first instructable for a gift I’m giving my mom tomorrow, and this morning it’s featured on the front page, so that’s awesome. If you don’t have something for mom yet you can find it here:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Tulip-Bouquet/

My other projects are on here but for this one I suggest looking at the link on Instructables, because you really need the pictures laid out with it and I love how their site handles it.

And A Happy New Year

And A Happy New Year

It’s officially 2018, hurrah! I think everyone loves new beginnings. It’s exciting to anticipate change and rejuvenation, and the new year always does that for me.

So talk of a new beginning always leads to a predictable topic: resolutions. I suppose I’m going to lay mine out there for the sake of accountability.

Most people give up on their new year’s resolutions pretty fast. Oh well. That’s why I’m not calling these resolutions–it’s more like refocusing my efforts in specific areas: health, the kids, and the family.

In terms of health I am beginning a Hashimoto’s thyroiditis healing protocol this month, starting with a 2 week liver detoxification, followed by adrenal support and then gut repair. It will certainly be interesting! I want to regain some more energy (although the synthroid is already helping tons) and try to repair my body. I know that healing hypothyroidism isn’t common, and remission is a lofty goal, but I’m a lofty-minded girl. I’m comfortable shooting for the stars. I’d like to lose some more weight, and I’ve been doing well so far, but losing weight isn’t the priority–health is.

With the girls I want to be more hands-on than I am. It’s difficult for me to focus on being an interactive mom when other people besides the kids are in the house, and too easy for me to turn the TV on and let them listen to nursery rhyme songs repeatedly (and they love it). It’s not bad in moderation, but imaginative play is important. Reading is important. Running around outside and getting dirty, and falling and getting scratched up and all of that stuff is really important, too. Arts, crafts, and music are important. I want to really find my groove with them. Part of me thinks that this isn’t going to happen until we move and that’s okay.

And with the family as a whole, and just in general, I want to improve. Such a broad statement, but it’s true. We want to relocate. I can wash dishes and sweep floors and mop more frequently. I can vacuum and pick up toys more. I can get kids to help me with clean up! I want to focus on writing and my online stores a lot more than I have. A lot of this stuff is energy based, and I’ve gained a lot of energy and motivation back since starting my thyroid medication so it’s all good.

After Christmas I bought myself a small gift. Well, three, actually–three small notebooks labeled goals, fitness, and projects. Fitness is primarily for meal planning, because if I don’t have a dedicated place to write down my meal prep I won’t do it (and I desperately need to do it). Projects is intended for organizing my plans with the kids–small “lessons,” crafts and activities, anything kid related is going in there. Goals was intended to be just a generic planner where I could write out what needs to get done when, but I think it’s going to be more than that–something greater! There are pages dedicated to goal setting and executing them, and I’m going to use them.

What are your plans for the new year? I’d love to hear!

Powdered Chocolate Cookies (gluten, grain, dairy, and egg free)

Powdered Chocolate Cookies (gluten, grain, dairy, and egg free)

Ho ho ho. I found out that I have Hashimoto’s recently, which explains a lot, and because of this I’m on another unforgiving diet (aren’t I always?) It’s AIP except with nuts and cocoa. No nightshades, eggs, dairy, grain, or soy.

I started making these cookies because of how easy they are. All you need is a few ingredients laying around and bam–you’ve got chocolate cookies! I like them with powdered swerve sprinkled on top, they remind me of crinkle cookies like this. My measurements are always guesses, since I usually don’t measure when I bake. I am sending these to work with my husband and making a huge batch to take to my in-laws on Christmas day, too.

Powdered Chocolate Cookies (gluten, grain, dairy, egg free)

Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 Dozen
Author Kristy

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Almond flour I've used coconut flour too. Alternatives are fine, I love almond flour
  • 1/4 Cup Tapioca starch
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Cocoa powder
  • Pimch Sea salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Swerve sweetener I used confectioners powdered. You will want a little extra for dusting.
  • 1/2 Cup Almond milk
  • Dash Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well with a fork.

  2. Add almond milk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Mixture should be a good consistency--not too doughy or liquidy. To correct too much liquid simply add more tapioca starch, and more almond milk if too thick.

  3. Spoon onto parchment paper on cookie sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove when still soft, they will firm up as they cool. Dust with powdered swerve and serve. 

Glitter Pinecone Ornament

Glitter Pinecone Ornament

Trying to get two small children immersed in the spirit of the season can be tough. It involves lots of music, lights, walking, crayons, wrapping paper and bows. When you add crafting components it can get loud and messy. That’s alright though–we had a ton of fun! Karissa kept saying, “It’s pretty, mommy,” as she poured it through her fingers over the pinecone. Fun fact: everyone was 85 percent less frustrated than usual. That’s a win for me! Heads up, my one year old did nothing except eat glue and chew on the brush, so that could be in your future.

Supplies:

Elmer’s glue

Pinecones (we used three)

Paintbrushes or sponges

Festive colored glitter (we mixed green and silver, and red and gold)

Ribbon

Steps:

1. Brush glue over the outside of the pinecone.

 

2. Pour glitter over the pinecone.

3. Set aside and allow to dry.

4. Tie a ribbon to hang.