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Archive for December, 2011

So – I successfully made the switch from a WordPress hosted blog to my blog being self hosted! Yay  – for Tasty Yummies growing up! You can see the newly updated site here: Tasty-Yummies.com. Everything is the same as always, many of you won’t experience any changes, except the newer look – but if you happen to come to this old WordPress specific link (which rarely was used, as I had the Tasty-Yummies.com address over-ridding it) – it will no longer be updated. Please make sure that if for some reason you had the WordPress link stored as your bookmark, that you change it to Tasty-Yummies.com. Most of you should already have that as your bookmark, as that was the main URL of the site all along.

Additionally, if you previously signed up to receive emails or to follow the blog through your WordPress dashboard – you will have to resign up to receive emails on the newly updated site Tasty-Yummies.com, you can also grab the RSS feed from there as well.

If you are having any problems or issues with the new site, please let me know. I hope to be updating and changing more and more things as the weeks go on, so look for the site to be a bit more user-friendly, easier to search, better organized, etc. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog, it truly means the world to me to know that people are not only reading this blog, cooking from it and even coming back for more! It puts a smile on many face daily! Thank you!

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Maybe Some Down Time…

Just wanted to let you know there may be a bit of an interruption on my blog as I am attempting to migrate to my own server finally. It is proving to be a bit more difficult than I had expected, so in the mean time just use this link directly https://tastyyummies.wordpress.com instead of www.tasty-yummies.com. Hopefully very soon tasty-yummies.com will be on it’s own server and prettier than ever and easier to navigate and all that good stuff.

So just bear with me in the meantime, in case the site goes down. Thanks.

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No Bake Pecan Pie Bars - Gluten-free, Raw and Vegan

I have become obsessed with Medjool dates and I am still just as amazed now as I was the first time I baked with them. It is incredible how sweet they are. I have made quite a few simple raw “cookie” balls in the processor with just oats and/or nuts, some dates and other goodies like chocolate chips or peanut butter. They are so simple and a totally healthy way to get your sweets-fix. I need to start taking photos of those and sharing them with you. You will love them.

A few months back while shopping at the Lexington CoOp here in Buffalo, I ran across something called a “Raw Pecan Pie Bar” (I forget the name of the company that made it) – it was raw and sweetened only with dates and also had sprouted pecans and sprouted something else (can’t remember, again). It immediately peaked my interest, so I picked one up. It was quite tasty, but I couldn’t help but think I could make it even better. Plus, at $3.50 for a single small bar, I knew I could make it cheaper.

I had been looking at different recipes online for date bars as a base for my recipe and ultimately settled on Oh She Glow’s blog, once again. I liked how simple her recipe was and that it included everything that I love! I made a few additions and changed it up a bit to make it similar to a pecan pie. I am so excited about how these turned out. Oh and one quick thing to mention about these bars, because they aren’t loaded with sugar, you could even have this as a breakfast bar. I cannot believe it is sugar-free, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and it’s even raw! If someone rattled off all of those things to me, with the words “pecan pie” – I would likely laugh in their face. You have to trust me though, these are so amazing. Even my southern-boy pecan pie loving hubby liked him, though he took one bite and said “man, these are good, a big ‘ol scoop of vanilla ice cream over top would really make this.” haha some things will never ever change.

I tend to actually have cravings for sweets around this time of year, which is crazy since I really don’t crave sweets that often. I think it could be the fact that everywhere you look there are holiday cookies and sweets just laying out, begging to be eaten. I am trying really hard to stick with my usual way of eating through the holidays this year, so I don’t step on the scale after the holidays to find I put on 5-lbs. I am planning to make a handful of alternative holiday sweets over the next couple of weeks, so I can still partake in the festive eating, but in a healthy way. I am also making sure when and if I do partake in some not-so healthy holiday eating – that I remember that everything in moderation is OK, a taste here won’t kill me and I would much rather have a little and know when to stop then to feel like I am missing out on something I really want.

Do you try to eat healthy during the holidays or do you just forego all healthy eating rules during the holidays?

No Bake Pecan Pie Bars - Gluten-free, Raw and Vegan

No Bake Pecan Pie Bars – Gluten-free, Raw and Vegan

Adapted from Oh She Glows
Makes 9 large squares or more if cut smaller

Crust:

1 1/2 cups whole raw almonds (you could also do 3/4 cup almonds and 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut)
1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (if you aren’t gluten-free just use regular rolled oats)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
10 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Date and Pecan Topping:

25 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup roughly chopped raw pecans

Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with two pieces of parchment paper going opposite ways. In a food processor, process the almonds, salt, and oats until a fine crumble forms. Add in the chopped dates and process until crumbly again. It your coconut oil is solid, melt it quick and add to the mixture with vanilla and process until sticky and a bit doughy. If your dough seems a bit dry, you can add a bit more oil, mind was fine as is. Remove from processor and press the dough very firmly and evenly into the pan to form your crust.

Clean the food processor real quick and process the dates with water and vanilla until a thick paste forms, it should be mostly smooth and creamy. You will have to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl often. You can add a tiny bit more water if needed, but you want the paste quite thick. Scoop out the date mixture onto the crust and gently spread with the back of a wet spatula until even.

Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly across of it and gently press down with fingers. Refrigerate in the fridge until firm for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Cut into squares and serve. Store in the fridge or freezer.

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Gingerbread Granola

Gingerbread Granola

We are back from our very short trip to Chicago, we got back late Monday night. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but it was super fun and totally successful on the business front. The holiday market was jammed packed with people and everyone was in such a festive holiday mood. I love that about this time of year.

When we are in Chicago we stay with good friends and it is so enjoyable and relaxing. We are so lucky to have so many amazing friends across the country that open their homes to us. It makes it feel like we took a trip to see and stay with family instead of the alternative of it feeling like the (somewhat) stressful work filled trip that it actually is. I really wish I had more time before we left for this trip to make cute little homemade gifts like this granola for our friends that we stayed with as a “thank you”. This granola would make a wonderful holiday gift for the cereal lover on your list and it would also be the perfect gift for the host or hostess that invites you by for a holiday party. This granola in a simple canning jar wrapped up with some sweet ribbon or twine with a little tag, it really doesn’t get any better. I wish I could also capture and bottle up the smell in the house after baking this and wrap that in a bow and give it to everyone I know. It was that good.

The only bad thing about coming home after traveling, is that the fridge is usually so empty when we return. I try to be smart and plan ahead so we don’t leave town with a ton of fresh produce or leftovers in the fridge, etc. But that also means that when we come home there is very little fresh food to eat and I need to find the time to get to the market. We are pretty busy with work right now, so I haven’t had the extra time to get groceries just yet, so we have been just making do with what we have on hand right now. I have been craving some holiday-inspired goodies, like crazy, so, I decided a fun and healthy way to get some holiday flavor in my life, is to make this gingerbread granola. It made the house smell amazing and it is a great breakfast and snack option. It would also be good sprinkled on top of greek yogurt or ice cream. I’ve been enjoying this granola for breakfast with a few glugs of almond milk or coconut milk (not the canned kind, the beverage kind from So Delicious).

I had blackstrap molasses on hand, so I used that, but feel free to use regular light or dark molasses if that is what you have. Since blackstrap molasses can have a bit of a bittersweet taste, I also added an additional 1/4 cup of coconut sugar. You could leave this off or substitute brown sugar or honey here if you are looking for a bit more sweetness, like I was. Blackstrap molasses is not only a healthier choice for a sweetener, it actually has some health benefits, which is a lot more than more sweeteners can say for themselves. Blackstrap molasses is high in iron and a variety of other minerals.

Is it bad that I want to wrap this granola up and give it to everyone on my list? It’s that good.

Do you plan to make homemade gifts food or otherwise for anyone on your list?

Gingerbread Granola


Gingerbread Granola

Gingerbread Granola

This made enough to fill two 1-quart canning jars

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (if you are gluten intolerant, be sure these are certified gluten-free oats. I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup chia seeds (flax seeds would also be nice)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (or pecans, almonds, etc)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses (light or dark molasses will also work)
1/4 cup coconut sugar (optional, you can also use brown sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 325ºF.
 Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also use a roasting pan, which is nice since you can just mix all of the ingredients right in it, without losing things over the edge.
Combine all of your dry ingredients, oats, seeds, nuts, dried fruit etc., in a large bowl (or in your roasting pan). Add in your spices and salt. Mix well.
Pour the molasses and vanilla over the dry ingredients and stir until well coated. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Give the mixture a little taste and add the coconut sugar (or brown sugar) if it’s too bitter for you.

If you aren’t using a roasting pan, spread the granola on the baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes. Toss every 10 minutes or so to provide even toasting.

Let cool completely – it will get crispier as it cools. Keep in airtight container.

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It's The Most Wonderful Time...

It's The Most Wonderful Time...


Happy December everyone! I guess that title should really say – “It’s The Most Busy Time….”

Well as you may have guessed, the shortage of posts on here this week is due to the craziness of my life right now, once again. We are getting all geared up for the holidays both at home and with the business. I am a total holiday junkie, I love it all! I get insanely excited about the music and listen to it as much as possible, I wake up to it, I drive to and from yoga with it on the radio and I listen to it sporadically throughout my work day, at my desk! I cannot wait to really get into the thick of my gift shopping and we got the tree up this past Saturday after driving out to the country to cut it down. Last night I even took a break from all the work and I sewed some colorful felt bunting for our tree.

Honestly, if I had my choice, I would take the entire month of December off, not because I don’t enjoy my work, but more so I can just take it all in and savor every moment of the holiday magic. If I could, I would just go to yoga every morning and make Christmas gifts for everyone all afternoon listening to music and watching old Christmas movies and in the evening I would sit around in the dark with just the lights from the tree sparkling, drinking some delicious nog probably with a little rum in it, if I am being honest!

It's The Most Wonderful Time...
Speaking of nog, is anyone else as obsessed with So Delicious’ Coconut Milk Nog as I am? I cannot get over how amazing it is and I rarely get excited about things like this. Seriously, if you can find it, buy it and try it. It is only 90 calories per 1/2 cup and it is just as thick and delicious as the dairy version. I swear no one paid me to say this, I am just honestly obsessed with it. I wonder if I can make my own?

It's The Most Wonderful Time...

Anyhow, unfortunately for me, the month of December cannot all be Christmas songs, nog and crafting – our month is full of events, travel, lots of end of the year client work and tons and tons of shipping. SHIPPING!!! We just shipped off a huge order of our posters that we had with Urban Outfitters that was taking up every inch of our lives (yay – those will be in stores soon), plus 100 posters to Andrew Bird for his show in Minneapolis and we are shipping web orders from our site and etsy daily! I am certainly not complaining, I love it all and I am insanely grateful, but I am having to stay up late each night just so I can take in as much of the holiday spirit as I can, before it’s gone.

We are leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for Chicago for the Renegade Craft Holiday Sale, it runs Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 6pm. If you are in the Chicago area, you should come check it out, it’s an amazing event filled with hundred of vendors, all selling their handmade goods. It’s a wonderful way to support small independent businesses while buying unique holiday gifts. I get a ton of my own Christmas shopping done there with the other vendors, there is so much amazing stuff. The Hero booth is #65 on the first floor in gym #2. We will have a ton of posters and prints, greeting cards, pillows and more. Come see us!

Hopefully after we get home on Monday from Chicago, I will have a bit more time for cooking and baking. This week we were living off of our Thanksgiving turkey, I made an incredible gluten-free turkey pot pie and a creamy turkey, brown rice and sage soup. Sadly I will not be posting about either of these, as I did very little measuring so I have no clue how I would even write up the recipe and I made no time for photos. I guess I will just have to make them both again so I can share with you. Honestly though, the pot pie was so amazing I am definitely going to be making a vegetarian version with lots of yummy vegetables very soon, so keep an eye out for that. And also be on the lookout for some holiday cookie recipes when I get home and hopefully some other stuff, too. Hope everyone is enjoying the start of the holiday season and happy December to you all! See ya next week 🙂

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