Browsing Category

Special Diets

Desserts, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Snacks, Special Diets, Vegetarian

Popsicle Week 2017! Olive Oil Custard Pudding Pops

Happy Summer, hungry humans! Spring has passed by in such a whirr. I saw my first lightning bugs (and even had to shoo some of those little blinkers out of the bedroom!), watched my asparagus roots shoot up and fern out, and staked tomato plants that are almost as tall as I am now.

A Chicago-dwelling friend called our life “a little slice of heaven.” I’m occasionally envious of his city life (I blame Lou Malnati’s scandalously good deep-dish pizza), but he’s not wrong – I do revel in the simplicity. 

As Spring turns to Summer, I’ve been increasingly jonesing for cold treats. It’s my first time participating in Popsicle Week – the brainchild of Wit & Vinegar‘s ever clever Billy Green – and from the get-go I knew I wanted my popsicles to reach a critical mass of creaminess. No ice crystals, no milkiness – just straight-up velvety smoothness. 

I may or may not have been inspired by my (and apparently Oprah’s) favorite Salt & Straw ice cream flavor, Arbequina Olive Oil

For the EVOO, I used O-Live & Co. Gold Medal Blend, which is a light and fruity oil sourced from Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki olives. 

I love O-Live & Co. not only because their oils are buttery fresh magic in a bottle, but also because they implement sustainable practices like solar power, converting their unused olives into fertilizer, and even selling olive pits to be converted into biofuel. How cool is that? 

Densely luscious, sweet-but-not-cloyingly-so, with an herbaceous finish, these popsicles will be a part of my rotation until the poets run out of rhyme. I’m psyched for you to try them. 

I’m also excited to announce that we’re buying our first home: an azure blue 1920 fixer-upper duplex two blocks away from an 194 acre park boasting its own spring, the water of which folks from states away come to collect.

I’m a renovation nerd, but I’ve never tackled a project this big; I’ve got hardwood floors to sand, sheets of latex paint peeling off like a healing sunburn, and carpet to uproot and cast into the fiery pits of hell. Big girl panties: equipped.

I think I’ll stay cool in the process by savoring my Olive Oil Custard Pudding Pops and well as devouring some of these bloggers’ nom-worthy Popsicle Week 2017 submissions

Olive Oil Custard Pudding Pops
  1. 1 medium egg
  2. 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
  3. 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (stabilizer)
  4. 4 tbsp raw granulated sugar
  5. 3 tbsp brown sugar
  6. 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  7. 1/2 cup whipping cream
  8. 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  9. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl, add to pot and stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens (gentle bubbling).
  2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
  3. To un-mold, place popsicle mold in a bath of warm water for 10-20 seconds until popsicles release. Enjoy!

Support your neighborhood food bloggers! Clicking on my affiliate links helps me keep the recipes coming!

If you’ve been clicking affiliate links elsewhere, clearing your cookies will guarantee my links work.

Desserts, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Special Diets

Flourless Chocolate Bacon Grease Cake

The boyfriend and I took a little day trip to Dayton, Ohio, and stopped in at Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery. I ordered a piece of their bacon chocolate cake. I wasn’t crazy about the pieces of bacon on top of the cake, but I loved the way that the bacon grease melted into the chocolate frosting for a decadent marriage of savory and sweet. So I came home and whipped up this flourless chocolate bacon grease cake with that taste still lingering in my memory.

 It’s a simple flourless chocolate cake, but instead of using butter alone, I used half butter and half bacon grease. I had recently unlocked the homesteader’s achievement of collecting a full Ball jar of bacon grease, so I was excited to whip up some new recipes. If you’re wondering what you should do with all that leftover bacon grease…do this! 

Flourless Chocolate Bacon Grease Cake
  1. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  2. 4 tablespoons salted butter
  3. 4 tablespoons bacon grease
  4. 3/4 cup raw granulated sugar
  5. 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. 1.) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease an 8" round cake pan; cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit and lay it in the bottom of the pan.
  2. 2.) Put the chocolate chips, butter, and bacon grease in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until melted, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. You can also melt them on the stovetop on low.
  3. 3.) Pour the melted ingredients into a mixing bowl with the sugar and vanilla and mix together. Add the eggs, and beat the mixture until combined. Sift the cocoa powder into the bowl while mixing and mix until smooth.
  4. 4.) Pour the mix into your cake pan.
  5. 5.) Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 5 minutes.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Flourless Chocolate Cake

Support your neighborhood food bloggers! Clicking on my affiliate links helps me keep the recipes coming!

If you’ve been clicking affiliate links elsewhere, clearing your cookies will guarantee my links work.

Allergy-Friendly, Desserts, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Special Diets, Vegetarian

Brown Sugar Hominy Ice Cream with Cajeta Swirls

I’m recovering from oral surgery, which is one of the least fun things I’ve done in a while, but it does give me an excuse to snooze and eat lots of ice cream! 

Notes of delicate, sweet hominy swirled with heavenly, complex cajeta (a Mexican confection similar to dulce de leche but made from goat’s milk) make this recipe especially comforting for this convalescent. The boyfriend thought it equally magical. 

If you’re not familiar with hominy, it’s corn that has been steeped in an alkaline solution in an ancient process called nixtamalization, which loosens the hulls from the kernels makes them puffy and chewy. It also makes the nutrient niacin in corn more available to our digestive tracts.

Hominy is a staple of Mexican cuisine and can be found in cans in most U.S. grocery stores. It’s also used in sweet drinks like champurrado, which is basically the delicious lovechild of hot chocolate and cornmeal porridge. So it only made sense to put hominy in ice cream. 

If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, you can even make the cajeta from scratch

Brown Sugar Hominy Ice Cream with Cajeta Swirls
  1. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  2. 2/3 cup hominy
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  5. cajeta for swirling
Ice cream base
  1. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  3. 1/2 cup white cane sugar
  4. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  5. 1/4 cup corn syrup or tapioca syrup
  6. 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Soak hominy in brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and water for at least 2 hours, strain with cheesecloth, and blend until it becomes a fine paste.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum together in a bowl. Pour cold milk into a pot, and whisk sugar, brown sugar, xanthan gum, and salt into milk. Add corn syrup. Heat the milk on low until warm, stirring until all ingredients are completely dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  3. Add hominy paste to ice cream base, churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  4. Pour one layer of ice cream into pan, cover with swirls of cajeta. Add another layer, cover with swirls of cajeta. Add last layer, and top with swirls of cajeta. Freeze in freezer overnight.

Support your neighborhood food bloggers! Clicking on my affiliate links helps me keep the recipes coming!

If you’ve been clicking affiliate links elsewhere, clearing your cookies will guarantee my links work.

Drinks, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Non-Alcoholic Drinks, Paleo, Special Diets, Vegan, Vegetarian

Natural Pedialyte/Gatorade Electrolyte Drink Alternative

The other night I woke up in a haze, tongue shriveled up, stumbling in the dark with only one thought: I’m thirsty! You know the feeling: when you’re parched from the effects of a stomach flu, a high-intensity workout, or too much alcohol (hello New Year’s Eve!) wishing you had an electrolyte-replenishing drink like Pedialyte or Gatorade without all the artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives.

I created this comforting refreshment for those days when I’m needing extra hydration to bring me back to life; it’s also kid-friendly with its low sugar content and tropical tastiness. 

The base is coconut water (make sure that you grab a variety with no added sugar), which contains over twice as much potassium as the average energy drink, and is packed with antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. 

The second ingredient is Himalayan pink salt, which replenishes the same 84 trace minerals found in the human body that are lost when we sweat. A study in the Southeast Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public health showed that drinking sodium-enhanced coconut water was as effective at rehydrating as a commercial sports drink; in addition, it caused less nausea and stomach upset. So, in other words, it puts those flashy blue and red concoctions to shame. 

The third and last ingredient is acerola cherry powder. This one is optional, but I love the extra immune-boosting, whole food-derived vitamin C, subtle tanginess, and pale pink color it imparts to the drink. 

Natural Pedialyte/Gatorade Electrolyte Drink Alternative
  1. 2 cups coconut water
  2. 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt
  3. 1/2 tsp acerola cherry powder
  1. Pour two cups of coconut water into large jar or blender, add 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp acerola cherry powder. Close jar and shake vigorously or blend until ingredients are well combined. Serve.

Support your neighborhood food bloggers! Clicking on my affiliate links helps me keep the recipes coming!

If you’ve been clicking affiliate links elsewhere, clearing your cookies will guarantee my links work.

Desserts, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Special Diets, Vegetarian

Salted Brown Butter Barfi

When I was a teenager, I was invited to attend the Indian-American wedding of an acquaintance’s daughter. It was a lovely affair, but I didn’t know the bride or the groom. For me, the most memorable part was the parting gift. 

Inside a small box decorated with brightly-colored flourishes sat a little unfamiliar square of food with a note attached. It was a dessert common in India called ‘barfi.’

The name is a derivative of the Persian word barf, which means snow. While barf might not exactly sound appetizing to some, you’ve gotta trust me on this one: it was the most buttery, milky, fudgy splendor-morsel to ever touch my tastebuds. All those years passed and I have never stopped yearning for barfi. 

Well, now it’s mine, all mine! It turns out you can actually make food. Revolutionary, right? Wanting to mix it up and add an updated touch, I decided to make them with salted brown butter. ERMAHGERD. They are so good I made several batches of them and sent them away to loved ones in lieu of Christmas cookies. 

Salted Brown Butter Barfi
  1. 2 cup milk powder
  2. 1 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1/2 cup whole milk
  4. 1/2 cup butter
  5. 3/4 tsp himalayan salt
  6. Optional garnishes: saffron, pistachios, dried fruit, toasted flaked almonds, or coconut flakes
  1. Butter a small pan and set aside.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a pan with a light-colored bottom (to observe the color), swirling occasionally. The butter will begin to foam.
  3. When the butter reaches a soft caramel color and nutty smell (be careful not to burn the butter!), turn the heat down to low. Whisk in milk powder, salt, and liquid milk and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add powdered sugar, whisking continuously.
  5. Stir continuously until mixture becomes a thick lump in the middle.
  6. Pour mix into buttered pan and smooth out the top with a spatula or spoon.
  7. Let cool and set, cut into shapes, and garnish if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Fa's Kitchen
Adapted from Fa's Kitchen

Support your neighborhood food bloggers! Clicking on my affiliate links helps me keep the recipes coming!

If you’ve been clicking affiliate links elsewhere, clearing your cookies will guarantee my links work.