Easy Paleo Pecan Bars (gluten and grain free)

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup softened butter, salted

For the topping:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp date syrup, maple syrup, or molasses
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl combine flours and softened butter. Mash together until well incorporated.
  3. Using 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll the “dough” out flat. Transfer the bottom piece of parchment paper into a square baking tray.
  4. In a larger bowl mix eggs, honey, syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk together.
  5. Add pecans to the bowl and mix until pecans are well coated.
  6. Pour pecan mixture over the crust.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes or until set.

Easy Hot Chocolate in the Crockpot for Cold Winter Days

Some nights I just want to throw stuff into my small 2 quart crockpot and have a warm drink for the kids when we wake up. This recipe is a great, low effort take on a classic winter comfort drink, and so easy!

hug in a mug

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • cream, milk, or nut milk
  • water
  • (optional) 1 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or date syrup for depth of flavor
  • (optional) 1/4 tsp beetroot powder–my kids like to have pink cocoa 🙂

Directions:

  1. Combine cocoa powder, salt, sweetener, beet powder, and syrup/honey in crockpot.
  2. Fill crockpot to the top with water. Whisk as well as you can (it won’t incorporate perfectly) and set crockpot on low overnight.
  3. In the morning add vanilla extract. Blend in a bullet or use immersion blender for frothiness.
  4. Spoon into mugs and serve with cream, milk, or nut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Easy Yarn Wrapped Christmas Tree Decoration

This little joyful thing is so easy that nearly anyone can do it and it utilizes the most basic of crafting supplies. It makes a cute table centerpiece, adorable window decoration, or fun pop of color among Christmas p resents. You can even give them away as gifts!

Supplies:

  • Tape
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Beads (or other trinkets for decorating)
  • Hot glue gun + extra glue

Steps:

  1. Form your cardstock into a cone shape. Tape in place and cut the bottom excess paper off so that it sits flat.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, good enough is fine.

Slowly wind your way around the cone, gluing as you wind. I like to do a small line of glue and then wind around, sinking the yarn into the same stripe of glue a few times as I go.

If you’re using a regular yarn don’t worry about gaps in between, since you’ll be winding back down to fill it in. If you’re using a textured or fuzzy yarn it can be a little harder to glue down, but it should look great without a second layer. Keep going!

2. Begin the yarn winding process by securing the tip of the yarn inside the cone with a bit of hot glue and pressing it in.

Around the outside on the base, glue down the yarn all the way around. This is to create a stable base.

Slowly wind your way around the cone, gluing as you wind. I like to do a small line of glue and then wind around, sinking the yarn into the same stripe of glue a few times as I go.

If you’re using a regular yarn don’t worry about gaps in between, since you’ll be winding back down to fill it in. If you’re using a textured or fuzzy yarn it can be a little harder to glue down, but it should look great without a second layer. Keep going!

3. When you get towards the top begin securing it with glue a little more often again. At the tip, glue it all the way around.

If you are satisfied with how your tree looks at this point without going back down then skip ahead to the next step. As you can see from my picture, I had some glaringly obvious blue gaps and hot glue, which I wasn’t happy with.

Wind back down the tree, filling in gaps, hiding glue, and fluffing out the tree. Be careful with how you glue now so you don’t need to worry about seeing it later! Secure around the base similarly to before, gluing around so it stays nicely.

Cut the yarn, wrap the tip around the base cone, and secure inside with a dab of hot glue.

4. It’s time to decorate your brand new Christmas tree! Whatever you have on hand as decoration is fair game. Beads, pom poms, bows, ribbons, buttons–whatever it is, have fun! I like to use broken jewelry pieces, too.

Hot glue decorative elements all over your tree to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to select a tree topper! We had these large star beads, so I glued 2 together for my tree topper. I’ve also used broken brooches and ribbon bows as toppers.

5. Decide where you want to display your new mini tree for maximum cheer!

Fuzzy Table Centerpiece

https://www.instructables.com/Yarn-Christmas-Tree/

Thanksgiving Carrot Apple Pecan “Pie” (gluten and grain free)

This is a wonderful blend of nostalgic fall flavors mixed into one nutty, sweet slice. Everything easy, leftover, and extra, not already used in a recipe or set aside for something to be cooked later, thrown into one pan of magic. We made this for Thanksgiving breakfast. It can be dessert. It pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee, although the kids preferred milk.

There is no crust. There is no fuss. Simply mix it all together, pour it in a pan, and bake!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar/swerve
  • 2-3 carrots shredded
  • 1-2 large apple, shredded
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 3 tbsp oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp molasses, 1 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1/8 cup coconut or almond flour (to thicken)
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Shred apple and carrot with a food processor or cheese grater.
  3. In a large bowl mix carrot, apple, pecans, sweeteners, flour, flaxseed, spices, and coffee. Taste (make sure you like it!) Adjust to taste.
  4. Add oil and eggs. Mix well.
  5. Spread into greased pan or baking tin. Bake 40-45 minutes or until visibly set.
  6. Allow to cool and serve.

Stuffing with Sausage (gluten and grain free)

Thanksgiving is here, and this year some of us have extra time to play around with new recipes. Why not experiment with a fun, nutritious twist on a classic side? I have taken this to family gatherings and there is never leftovers! It’s now a family go-to for holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds pork sausage–I like to blend 2 hot, 1 sage, and 1 country mild
  • 1 cup sweet peas, frozen
  • 2-4 large onions, diced
  • A few cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms–others are fine, I just like these
  • 2-5 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 pound riced cauliflower (optional, I’ve been omitting it in recent years)
  • Oregano, paprika, rosemary black pepper, salt to taste
  • Cooking fat, such as avocado, olive, coconut oil, or tallow

Directions:

  1. Dice onions. In a large skillet, cook 1-2 lbs sausage and onions over medium high heat until meat is cooked thoroughly and onions have released their water and browned.
  2. Dice mushrooms and sweet potatoes.
  3. Transfer cooked sausage into large bowl or container. I like to use a huge sheetpan for the oven to mix everything evenly.
  4. Fry next 2 pounds of sausage over medium high heat. Add to pan.
  5. Add fat to pan and fill with vegetables. Fry over medium high heat until cooked through and starting to caramelize. Add desired spices. Add to larger pan.
  6. Repeat step 5 until all ingredients are cooked. Combine in large dish, mix together, and enjoy!

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!

Easy 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.

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.

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

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

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.