Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate Chip Bread with Coconut Flour

Maybe this would've been a better post in October, as #PSL flooded the Twitter/Facebook world. But, if you have a can of pumpkin and a handful or two of chocolate chips leftover from holiday baking, you can enjoy this recipe! Super moist and tasty, we devour the loaf in under a week. And, it's gluten free!

Notes: I'm a huge fan of spices, so if mine seem excessive...feel free to scale back. Also, I don't add much sweetener because the chocolate chips have sugar (and, hello, CHOCOLATE) to compensate. Add more if you hate chocolate (and puppies).

Special Note: I'm baking in Utah at 4,500 feet- if you don't live in the mountains, reduce the flour by about 1 Tablespoon and modify the baking time...unless you like dry bread (just like using regular recipes up here gets me half-baked-gooey-gummy bread). Just sayin'.

6 Tablespoons butter, softened (unsalted)
3-4 Tablespoons honey
5 Medium or 4 large/xl eggs
~2 cups pumpkin puree

1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon tapioca starch (optional, but can help the loaf stay together)
1 teaspoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2- 1 cup chocolate chips

To do:

1) Beat butter in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add honey, cream more. Add eggs, beat it all up. Add pumpkin puree, beat more. At this point you should have an orange soup of sorts.

2) Combine dry ingredients (coconut flour through baking soda), add to the wet, mix until well blended.

3) Add lemon juice, mix again.

4) Add chocolate chips, fold/mix to combine (Do as I say, not as I did tip: The chips sank in try to distribute the chips evenly). The texture should be pourable - not too thick, not too thin.

Kinda like this. 

5) Pour mixture into a greased/parchment paper lined loaf pan - I used an 8.5" x 4.5" x 2.5"

Smooth the top for even baking
6) Bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for around 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

After some cooling. The top was initially a bit domed
7) Let cool for about 30 minutes before removing (if it is removed too early, it tends to fall apart).
Still pretty warm
8) Slice and serve! The chocolate chips were still melty and a bit gooey. Mmm melty chocolate.

First (blurry) slice!
Chips are on the bottom.

Om. nom. nom.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Roasted Veggie Soup

Greetings! Today, I made use of my favorite kitchen gadget - the immersion blender. Husband gave me one for Christmas a couple of years ago (yes, a blender for Christmas, and I was thrilled!), and it has transformed my view of purees and soups. No longer must I transfer boiling hot soup from pot, to blender, to new pot, to blender, to pot...big mess and multiple opportunities to spill a ladle of hot soup all over the kitchen. Now, I stick the blender in...*buzz buzz buzz*...and bam! Soup.

A bundle of carrots and peppers sat in my fridge, and I was tired of just roasting/stir frying. Here's what I used for a little pot (3-4 servings):

2-3 cups chicken broth/stock
Chunk of salt pork, chopped (can sub a couple slices of bacon)
1 red pepper, sliced
3 carrots, chunked
1/4 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons tumeric
1 teaspoon paprika
~1 Tablespoon white vinegar

1) Chicken broth goes into a small pot/saucepan, heat to a simmer.
2) Throw salt pork into a skillet over medium-medium low heat. Render fat. Put remaining pork into broth, leave fat in the pan.
3) Turn heat on skillet up to medium-medium high. In batches (to avoid overcrowding), throw the carrots, red peppers, and onion into the skillet until just blackened. This would be easier if I had kept the veggies separate...but I didn't. Once blackened, add veggies to the broth.

Carrots and onions, hanging out in the pan.

4) Add a little bit of oil/fat if you're out, turn the heat down to medium low, and throw tumeric and paprika into the skillet. Push around for about 30-60 seconds. Don't burn it. Add to broth and veggies
5) Add the vinegar.
6) Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until carrots are soft. Turn off burner, remove from heat.

Give your veggies a little black crust...don't be afraid!

7) Use immersion blender to blend the whole thing up.

Serve. Yum yum. If it's too thick for your liking, add some more water or broth.

Finished. Now if you're excuse me...lunch calls.