Category: Dessert

Strawberry, Blueberry, and Beet Applesauce

I love making applesauce! I feel like such a queen when I do. It always comes out so beautifully and I can’t seem to mess it up. I usually make it during the Fall-time, and it perfumes the house with a warmth of cinnamon, and apples; tart and sweet. But, because it’s now Spring and I want to get more veg down my kids’ gullets, I came up with this recipe.

I happen to love beets. I always have. I was the weird kid (#weirdkidsrock) that would eat beets straight out of the can. And alfalfa sprouts with ranch as my after school snack. I meannnnn…  But beets are really quite good for you, earthy  and dirt-tasting as they are! They are great for heart and liver health and full of fiber.

Bonus: you let the crock pot do the dirty work (unless you consider coring and cutting apples dirty work. and then, I can’t help you. *I leave the skins on the apples for extra fiber.).

Once everything goes into the pot, the beets lend their beautiful, jewel-toned ruby-red color to the apples. Then, the entire thing becomes that same gorgeous color when blended together!

I hope you enjoy!

-Kristin

Print Recipe
Strawberry, Blueberry, and Beet Applesauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. After fruit is thoroughly washed, core and cut the apples, cut the beets into quarters, and hull the strawberries. Place them, along with the blueberries (you can add in the beet juice, if you'd like) in the Crock Pot. Add the water, lemon juice, honey, and salt. Turn on to high heat for 4 hours. Once the apples are tender, turn off the Crock Pot. Use a wooden spoon to mash to the desired consistency. You may also use a hand mixer. Enjoy hot or cold!
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Date Paste

I have struggled with sugar addiction for a long time. Perhaps, forever. I like to call it a sweet tooth, because that’s cuter. But, it can get out of hand, rather quickly. I’m on a mission, now, to eat less sugar and find plant based alternatives. I don’t believe in withholding things that make me happy (as long as it isn’t destructive), but I’m so glad there are so many other delicious ways to indulge!

I find myself using more maple syrup and local honey as sugar alternatives, where I can. I’ve also starting using date paste. And I found a way to make it myself. It’s another easy recipe that is full of health benefits. Dates are rich in protein, many vitamins (magnesium being one of them, which helps with migraines!), and aid in digestion (they are full of fiber).

This is good ANYWHERE…spread on toast, mixed into batters where sugar would normally be, stirred into oatmeal, blended into smoothies, baked into Sweet Potato Casserole (recipe coming soon!). It’s so good. And easy!

Enjoy!

-Kristin

Print Recipe
Date Paste
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes (plus, if needed)
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
1/4 C
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes (plus, if needed)
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
1/4 C
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pit the dates. Soak them in the water overnight (warm up the water first). Then put all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. It will take a while, but it's worth the wait. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, up to 3 months...if it lasts that long!
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Golden Milk

Turmeric. The beautiful golden and aromatic spice that comes from grinding up the root of its mother plant. It’s SO warming. It’s so incredibly beautiful. And, its benefits are many. It can reduce depression (YESSS!!), inflammation, Alzheimer’s effects, it fights cancer, and makes your skin glow. The bottom line is, it’s incredible for your health. I take turmeric capsules every day and make this beautiful Golden Milk quite often. It’s easy to put together and packs a huge health punch. It’s also delicious! Win! This beauty also has cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, cayenne pepper, and local honey in it, all of which add to the health benefits.

Cinnamon is another ridiculously healthy spice. It’s high in antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also is antimicrobial (germaphobe here!), and is great for heart health. The black pepper is necessary because it activates the turmeric. Cayenne pepper adds a nice kick, while stimulating circulation, and helps with digestion and upset stomach. Local honey is great for allergies.

Side note: you can buy turmeric with black pepper already in it!

I have several recipes in which I use Golden Milk, oatmeal being one of them. I’ll post a recipe soon!

Try this beautiful drink and you will feel more healthful!

-Kristin

Print Recipe
Golden Milk
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place all of your ingredients in a saucepan. Turn burner on to medium heat. Whisk together and heat for about 5 minutes (don't let it scorch). Pour into a mug and enjoy!
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Easter Redemption

A beautiful sunset from my backyard, and a message God has put on my heart.

You may have noticed (or not, and that’s okay) that I have been gone for awhile. Almost a year and a half, now.

Peter Cottontail Cloud

It wasn’t planned, but it was filled with purpose, intentional change, health issues, ups and downs, and a big adjustment to life. With my chronic illness (migraines) and corresponding anxiety and depression, it’s been a rough year, health wise. I’ve felt defeated. I’ve felt a deep darkness and sadness, a mourning for a life without pain. A mourning for the Mom and Wife, Daughter, and Friend I should be.  While I’ve suffered from all of these things for many many years, it had reached a peak. A really awful peak. Sure, it ebbs and flows (not so much the chronic pain, which is most always present), but, I am starting to see the up. Praying it so.  I’ve seen some real darkness in my life. A place where I am not even sure how I got there. Or how I’d climb and claw my way out. I’ve questioned God’s presence in my life, because how can I suffer so much and have Him still love me and have this as His plan for me? I’ve questioned my own existence. How can I be made for this Earth, this life, with such heavy burdens, both physical and mental. It’s taken its tolls on all aspects of my life. Anxiety and depression (along with my ever-present body pain) are monsters, but ones I’m both familiar and comfortable with, as they are my constant companions. I both hate them and respect them, as they are a part of me. Will we be lifelong friends? Maybe. Probably. But I am changing things. This is my year. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a good first three months, but we’ve still got time. Getting control of my “things” and my many hangups is priority. Changing up medications, expectations, and healthy living have been monumental these last few months. I’ve started yoga, daily workouts (save for those awful migraine-filled mornings), gluten free diet, less dairy, no cheese (it’s a trigger, among many others), and a more positive outlook, and it’s been so helpful. Do I allow myself to feel when I’m sad or upset? YES. Shoving down my hurt only hurts me more. And more deeply. Some days, I may not be ready to tap into my hurt, but when I am, I am here for myself. SELF CARE. Caring for myself. Not in a selfish way, but in a necessary way. I want to be the best me I can be for my boys, family, friends, students, co-workers, and this Earth. Because I AM FOR THIS EARTH, temporarily at least. Despite my questioning of my God, He’s never left my side. He’s been faithful, although I haven’t. He’s there. He’s here. I am His, and He is mine. This is especially poignant to me this Easter weekend. The greatest love story ever told. I am redeemed in Him. I will rise. I will rise. As Christ was raised to life. Now in Him, I live. I might not rise today, or tomorrow, but I’m getting there.

And I’m quite thankful for those who have supported me on this sometimes ugly journey. It has not been pretty or packaged up in a cute little box, as I’d have preferred, but in really messy, torn open, pieces missing, package kind-of-way.

But this is who I am. Perfectly created imperfectly in His image.

Talk about what hurts. That’s been ringing in my ears for some time. I’m ready.

So in all of that, my vision for my blog has changed drastically. I have adopted a more raw, vulnerable way of writing. I have also changed the way I eat, so my recipes will reflect that. More organic, more natural, like I aspire to be in my everyday life. You’ll also see a lot more dairy free (sometimes) and gluten free recipes.

Please keep me company on this new, refreshed, redeemed journey? I’d love to have you along.

I am segueing into food now. Because this is a food blog, afterall. No clever segue, however.

I know that Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday (yesterday). According to some random website on The Interwebs, “The buns mark the end of Lent and different parts of the hot cross bun have a certain meaning, including the cross representing the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices inside signifying the spices used to embalm him at his burial.” In my typical blogging fashion, I made something Hot Cross Bun-ish a day after Good Friday. Side note, Good Friday is called such because, in my humble opinion, what Jesus did was GOOD. It was a horribly, hard time, but how he died for ME, for YOU, for US, was good. How do I deserve such great love? I don’t. And He loves me still.

So, I made Hot Cross Bun Muffins and Hot Cross Bun Donut Holes. An updated version of the amazing and delicious Hot Cross Bun. Gluten and almost dairy free.

So, please tuck this recipe away for next year. Or when you need a reminder of God’s overwhelming, incredible love, or of how far you’ve come in your journey, all while eating a treat. 😀

Big love and blessings,

Kristin

www.twloha.com

 

Print Recipe
Gluten Free Hot Cross Bun Muffins and Donut Holes
These muffins and donut holes are gluten free and mimic the flavors of a traditional Hot Cross Bun. These can be made dairy free with DF butter.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18+ minutes
Servings
12 muffins, 12 donut holes
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18+ minutes
Servings
12 muffins, 12 donut holes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease the bottoms and tops of your silicone donut hole baking pan and put cupcake liners in your muffin tin. Cream butter, oil, and sugars in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and continue beating. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, raisins, and chocolate chips and mix well. Add the flour and milk, alternating, and end with the flour. Spoon into silicone mold, filling only the bottoms. Fill the muffin tins. Bake for 17 minutes. Remove the donut holes. Bake the muffins for an additional 7 minutes. To add the "cross", I mixed together powdered sugar, LorAnn Oils Butter Vanilla Bakery Emulsion, vanilla, and coconut milk, until I reached the desired consistency. You can use orange juice and powdered sugar. Or just vanilla. Get creative! I then spooned it into a ziploc bag and piped the cross on the "buns". Enjoy!
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Cranberry Jello Salad

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I love old recipes. They are not only a window to the past, but a way to stay connected to the people you love. And for me? It’s the most important way of communicating. It’s my love language. My maternal Grandmother used to make a recipe similar to this one at Thanksgiving each year. She’s still with us, but it’s getting harder and harder to cook each year. I think she’d be happy that this recipe is being preserved, even if I’ve tweaked it a bit! 🙂

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First of all, can we talk about how it’s called a “salad”? That cracks me up! I think they were called such because a lot of gelatins from years past had savory foods stuck in them. But this one? This one is glorious. It’s sweet. But, not overly so. It’s ruby red color shines like a gem, like shiny red balls on the tree, like Rudolph’s nose in the night. It’s covered in a delicious creamy topping, like a snowy cap. I meannnnn. It’s so good. It’s got cranberries, raspberry, pineapple, nuts, cream cheese.

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It’s a breeze to make. There’s more downtime than active time. This pairs well with both a holiday turkey and ham, and you can take my actual word with that! This also makes a fine dessert. And breakfast. Or snack.

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Blessings!

Kristin

Print Recipe
Cranberry Jello Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Lightly spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. In a medium glass bowl, mix the Jello and 1 cup boiling water together. Stir for about 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in the cold cranberry juice, pineapple and cranberry sauce. Add the pecans. Mix well and pour into the pan. (I actually added the pecans next, and only to half the pan, because my boys do not like nuts) Cover with plastic. Refrigerate until firm. Cream together cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth. When the Jello mixture is firm, spread the cream cheese mix on top. Sprinkle a few pecans on top.
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Halloween Party Kid Food – BONE Appetit!

Are YOU having a Halloween party? Do you still need some food ideas? Boo, do I have some for you! Read below…if you dare…..mwahahahaha!

About a month ago, I received a call from a sweet friend of my boys (who also pretty much has me done in for, precious as she is!). She told me she was throwing a Halloween party and wanted me to be her “Chef”. How amazing is that!? She poured her heart into this party, planning every last detail – the decorations, the games, etc. She even had my husband, who is a DJ, provide the music. This was a party for the ages!

So, as the Chef, I pulled together some menu ideas with her wonderful Mama, and our planner approved them ( 😛 ). Each of the other invitees offered to make the items on our list.  And here they are, in all their Halloweeny glory!

 

Horrors d’oeuvres Time:

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To make this, you simply carve a pie pumpkin to look as if it’s barfed/vommied/puked…the nastier, the better! Put your dip (guacamole worked best for us because…guacamole) in front of it’s gaping barfy mouth.

 

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These are Bugles! And how cute is this sign? A lot of thought was put into that sign.

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This “Pumpkin Poo” went over well with the kids! Also, how can you go wrong with cheese balls? Every party needs cheese balls.

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This sweet and fruity Jack O’Lantern was gobbled down in no time! It’s made with orange segments and grapes. You can use blueberries in place of the grapes or do a mixture of the two.

Dinner Time:

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These Mummy Dogs are so easy to make, and leave quite a spooky impression! All you need is hot dogs and crescent rolls. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Dry hot dogs with paper towels. Cut or rip the crescent rolls into strips. Wrap the strips around the hot dogs in a random pattern. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake until the crescent rolls have become golden brown (as per the package).

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For these cutie Jack O’Lanterns, you’ll need clear plastic cups, a Sharpie, macaroni and cheese, and some celery. Draw the faces on the cups before filling with the macaroni. Once you have added the macaroni, place a small piece of celery in, as the pumpkin stalk.

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These Bat Nuggets are sure to scare! Bake your chicken nuggets, add tortilla chip wings, ketchup eyes, and make sure you eat them before they fly away! Bats fly quickly and erratically, you know.

Dessert Time:

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Nothing will gross you out and make your kids laugh more than these graham cracker bandaids!! All that you’ll need are graham crackers, icing, and red gel. **Yeesh!**

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Our ghostess with the mostess put these donut monsters together, right down to the eyes and teeth! Super scary!

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These were my contribution – Trick or Treat Brownies and Meringue “Ghosties”. For the brownies, you’ll need one box of brownie mix, a bunch of candy (I used Kit Kats, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and M&M’s), and candy eyeballs. Prepare the brownie mix and pour into a 13×9 prepared pan. Chop up the candy (not the M&M’s) and sprinkle randomly. Bake as directed. I found that my candy sank a bit as the brownies baked, so I chopped up some more and squished it into the freshly baked brownies. Do the same with more M&M’s and the eyeballs. Let cool and cut into squares.

For the Meringue Ghosties, I used the following recipe.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/meringue-ghosts

I used a food-safe paintbrush and hand painted the eyes and mouths, using black gel coloring.

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This party was so much fun, thanks to the wonderful party planning and effort put forth by our cutie gHost! I hope your Halloween parties are as much fun and that you can use some of these ideas!

Happy Halloween!

Kristin

Shark Week Cookie Cake

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{I’m still here! I know it’s been 70 days since I last posted (who’s counting?!), but I’m still here. And my little, loyal blog was here, waiting for me, all along. And I hope you were, too. I hope to get back into feeling good, and feeling inspired, and delivering better-than-subpar blog posts and recipes.}

Do YOU know what week it is? SHARK WEEK! We just love Shark Week in our house! My boys just love sharks and we get a kick out of having a whole week devoted to them. I always like to make a fun treat. This year, I made a cookie cake!

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It is an enormous chocolate chip cookie, “choc” full of chips.

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It is covered in creamy, vanilla frosting ocean water, its frothy waves lapping up to shore, meeting the gold, glittery beach.

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Let’s hope that the owner of the surfboard went for a walk! Yikes! Those waters are super shark infested!

Shark Week Cookie Cake

Serves:  A lot of hungry dudes and dudettes

Recipe adapted from: Doughmestic Housewife

1 C softened butter

1 C sugar

1 C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 t baking soda

3 C flour

2 C chocolate chips

Mix the first 5  ingredients. Then add the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips. Press into a greased cookie/pizza pan. Bake 18 – 25m at 350F.

Frosting:

4 C powdered sugar

1 C shortening

4 T milk (plus more, if you need to thin it out)

1 t vanilla extract

Food coloring

Mix together until you have the right consistency (spreadable, not too runny). Split the frosting into two parts. Color half of it blue (I used both green and blue to make a turquoise-y color).

Extra materials:

Graham cracker crumbs

Gold and blue sugar sprinkles

Fish and dolphin sprinkles

gummy sharks

Plastic palm trees, surf board, umbrella

After the cookie caked has been baked and cooled, frost half of it with the white frosting. Cover most of it with the graham cracker crumbs and gold sprinkles. Leave a little bit of white frosting showing, for the waves. Next, add the blue water. Then add the sharks and sea animal sprinkles, blue sugar sprinkles, palm trees, surf board, and umbrella.

And there you go, little surfers!

Hang then! Don’t let the sharks bite you!

Kristin

Christmas Wreath Cookies

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Okay, Friends! If you don’t have any cookies baked yet, you’re either not going to or you don’t have any quick, easy ideas. I can’t help you with the former, but here is a great recipe for the latter. My boys and I whipped these up today (for Santa and Mrs. Claus).

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They are rich with butter, crumbly in the best kind of way, and packed with vanilla and almond flavors.  I can almost guarantee that you have all the ingredients already (don’t quote me on that).

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Wreath Cookies

1 C butter, softened

1/2 C sugar

2 1/4 C APF

1/4 t salt

1 egg

1/4 t almond extract

1/4 t vanilla bean paste (or extract)

5-7 drops of green food coloring

sprinkles

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour, salt, egg, almond extract, vanilla bean paste (or extract), and food coloring. Roll the dough into little balls and form a hole in the center (I used an icing tip). Put on the sprinkles.  and place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or just before the cookies turn brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. 

My boys also made these little masterpieces:

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I let them go nuts with M&Ms, sprinkles, marshmallows, and icing. I think Santa will both enjoy them and go into a cookie coma!

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Memories were made and that’s all that matters. <3

The Merriest of Christmases to you and your families! May you feel God’s love and know the real reason behind this special season.

God bless!

Kristin

Easy Pie Crust

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I have never been one to make pies. I love eating them, but making them scared me. Getting the dough ratio just right, rolling it out, and transferring it to the pie tin seemed very daunting to me. That is…until my Mom shared her foolproof pie crust recipe with me. She’s been using it since 1970, where she got it from a gal who also lived in her dormitory. She’s also submitted it to several church cookbooks over the years; it’s ease and popularity always proven. Because cold fat (butter) and ice water are not part of this recipe, it’s easier to make and use. At least for scaredy cats like me! It yields a nice, flaky crust and comes out perfect every time.

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Okaaaay, so I have a lot to learn about transferring the dough [evenly] and making it pretty!

Easy Pie Crust

Makes enough for one bottom crust

1 1/4 C flour

1/2 C shortening

1/2 C boiling water

1/4 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

Combine all the ingredients. Stir well, until completely mixed. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll out, as desired. Add your filling and bake in a 350F oven (time depends on filling). You can place tin foil on the crust if it starts getting too brown.

THAT’S IT! How easy is that?

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I hope you enjoy this family recipe! (I used the Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe right off the back of the can)

Peace ‘n’ Blessins’!

Kristin

First Day of Fall Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

Tomorrow is…wait for it…okay don’t…THE FIRST DAY OF FALL! For us, living in sunny and hot Florida, this means nothing more than not looking like a wackadoodle for putting out pumpkin decorations (I proudly fall into the wackadoodle category, as my fall decor has been out for weeks!). Sometimes, we Florida girls will also wear boots, quite unnecessarily (I also do this), order our weight in (sometimes skinny and alternative milk) PSLs (look it up if you don’t already know), and marvel at how crisp our mornings have been, in the mid 70’s. Ahhhh, Fall! Would I love to see some orange leaves? Yes. Would I love the weather to require boots or snuggly sweatshirts? Heck yes. But for now, I shall celebrate with pumpkin shaped sandwiches in my kids’ lunchboxes. I do what I can with what I have.

****slurrrrrps on my PSL****

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For my babes, I made a honey maple turkey, colby jack, and mayo sandwiches shaped like pumpkins. I used Food Writers to add a few details. I also packed cheddar sandwich crackers, peaches, grapes (for Bigs), broccoli (for Smalls), applesauce squeezey (for Bigs), an Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie, and a few candy corn (or “candy pa-corn” as my Smalls calls it).

It’s Fall Y’all!

Kristin