Cinnamon Scented Salt Dough Ornaments

Cinnamon Scented Salt Dough Ornaments

Cinnamon Scented Salt Dough Ornaments

I have special memories of making salt dough Christmas ornaments with my mom as a child. She would scent the dough with cinnamon and we would give them as gifts to grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. I especially loved when we would bring our ornaments out of storage in the following years and they would still smell spicy and sweet – even years later. I began the tradition with my son last year, I made potato stamps that he helped press into the dough. This year he was old enough to use cookie cutters on his own and I know I will treasure them! Here is our recipe.

Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup plain ole salt
1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon or pie spice mix
up to 1 cup water

Mix together dry ingredients and add water, mixing as you go, until you have a soft workable dough. If you add too much water alternate adding a little salt with a little flour until it is smooth and pliable. Roll your dough on parchment paper to avoid sticking. Use cookie cutters, stamps or work freehand to create special ornaments to adorn your Christmas tree. To dry, make a hole near the top of your ornament with a toothpick. Be sure to make it large enough, as it will shrink while drying. These will air dry over a few days, but I prefer to bake them for a few hours in a 170 to 200 degree oven flipping them often and then air dry them for another day.

Salt dough ornaments

Salt dough ornaments

Top: dusted with shimmery mineral eyeshadow after drying (left thumbprinted)
Bottom Left: Salt Crusted before baking to add texture
Bottom Right: mulitiple passes with the cookie cutter by a sweet toddler

***If you have extra dough, knead a small amount of olive oil into it and store it in the fridge to use as playdough.

you might also like this follow up idea for decorating your ornaments!

Raw-ther Good Chocolate Macaroons

I have a favorite raw macaroon.  It is delicious and chocolatey and made with wonderful ingredients, and is also expensive.  I first bought some on sale which was really my pitfall, and once discovered, they have found their way into my cart on more than one occasion. I knew that without a dehydrator, I wouldn’t be able to create an exact copycat, but I thought I could come close. I was right! These are chocolatey, a little sweet and have a yummy dose of healthy fat. Raw, gluten free, and containing no refined sugars, these are a treat for everyone!

Ingredients
1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
pinch of sea salt (really brings out the flavor!)
1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)

I mixed these the old fashioned way and just dumped all the ingredients in a bowl and used the back of a spoon to combine everything really well, but a food processor would probably be a perfect tool for this! Once combined they are ready to eat. (With a spoon if that is your style ;)). I chose to roll them in a log and slice them after refrigerating overnight, but a prettier presentation would be rolled in balls and then cocoa powder like a truffle. Either way, it’s a win!

***A few notes: Sweetened coconut would work, the macaroons would just be sweeter. These aren’t super sweet, so sweet tooths can up the maple syrup by a teaspoon.

Soft Sprouted Spelt Dinner Rolls

It was a different type of Thanksgiving for us this year as some unforeseen events led to our local family leaving town for an emergency leaving us unable to travel because it was too close to the date to take leave from work. We had a special day nonetheless and for the first time ever, I was responsible for 100% of the cooking. This was both terrifying and freeing. When, while shopping, my husband held up a package of those soft pull apart dinner rolls, I immediately thought of the sprouted spelt flour I had in the pantry and said “I’ll make some”.

I assumed it would be easy to find a recipe, but my searching came to naught amd I was ready to give up when I remembered this recipe from Jenny at Nourished Kitchen. (Jenny’s blog is an amazing resource with lovely photos!) I had made it two years ago and had forgotten about it since. I wasn’t sure that it would translate well into a roll recipe and I prefer spelt to wheat, so I made some ingredient changes and voila! My husband said they were the best I’ve ever made.

Ingredients
3 cups sprouted spelt flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon melted butter

Warm milk slightly, whisk in honey and yeast and set aside until frothy, to indicate that the yeast is working.

Combine the flour and sea salt in a large bowl, reserving a tablespoon or two for kneading. When milk mixture is ready, add to the flour and mix until combined and then let it rest for 10 minutes before kneading.

Sprinkle the remaining flour over the dough and knead for seven or eight minutes until the dough develops some spring. (This is a sticky dough, but don’t add too much flour.) Allow the dough to rest another 10 minutes.

Knead another seven or eight minutes; the dough will feel much smoother now. Cover with a slightly damp cotton cloth and allow to rise about 2 hours.

when dough has doubled, punch down and divide into eight rolls by creating a circle with your thumb and pointer finger and forcing dough through so that it forms a ball. I arranged my rolls on a circular stoneware baking dish. Cover again and allow to rise to double (it will be much quicker this time).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, melt butter and whisk with cream. Brush gently over the tops of the rolls before baking. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and an instant read thermometer reads at least 190 degrees.

Serve warm with good butter!

*I made eight medium sized rolls, but it would easily make a dozen smaller rolls

Pumpkin Raisin Pudding Bread

I shared a picture of this super delicious Pumpkin Raisin Pudding Bread in my previous post, but not the recipe, so I am sharing it here! This is really good – spicy, a little sweet, pumpkin-y and perfect alone pr to complement a savory stew or soup

For a gluten-free version use gluten free oat flour and for a nourished version, use sprouted spelt flour. I have found them to behave very similarly in muffins and quick breads!

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups oat flour or sprouted spelt flour
1 cup organic roasted pumpkin puree
1/4 maple syrup
1/4 cup turbinado or other raw sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/3 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup thompson raisins

Mix together wet ingredients and add raisins to the mixture to soak (5-10 minutes) while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees and mix the dry ingredients. Mix the ingredients together until combined and pour into a buttered loaf pan (I used glass) and bake for 45 minutes to one hour until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

Sweet Potato Lentils with Bacon and Tarragon

One of my all time favorite Fall meals is Lentil Stew. I have two go to recipes with very different flavor profiles. This one with bacon, sweet potatoes and tarragon is my favorite. I love these flavors together and it doesn’t hurt that my two year will eat three bowls full without picking out a single veggie.

This pudding bread is so moist that my son called is squish bread. Sweet and spicy with a whole cup of roasted pureed pumpkin, this is healthy and delicious! Great alongside a savory stew or with a mug of tea for breakfast! I will share the recipe in the next post.

Lentils Ingredients
1 1/2 cups green lentils
1 medium sweet potato
1 small sweet onion
3 small carrots (2 large is fine, but I like the flavor of smaller carrots)
2 inner stalks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 thick slices uncured bacon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

4 hours before you begin cooking, rinse your lentils and place in a large dish. Cover with water by 1 inch and add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Soak.

Begin by chopping your bacon, onion, carrot and celery in a small uniform dice. Add the bacon to a medium sized stock pot and begin cooking over medium high heat. When the bacon starts to become crispy and the fat has rendered, add the onion, carrot and celery and reduce heat to medium low. Stir the vegetables and season with a 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (if necessary add olive oil or butter to keep veg from sticking) before covering and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, crush the garlic and add it to the pot, cook for 1 minute and then add the tomato paste stirring it while it cooks for another 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Next, add the lentils in their soaking water along with another 2 1/2 cups of water. Peel and dice your sweet potato and add that to the pot and cover allowing everything to cook for about 15 minutes. Uncover the pot and stir in the tarragon and then allow the lentils to cook uncovered for another 15 minutes until everything is cooked through and much of the liquid has been absorbed. Serve in large bowls for a cozy and delicious meal!

Hard Cider Pulled Pork

We didn’t eat pork in my home when I was growing up, but I have special memories of my Nan making roast pork when we would visit and I have developed a soft spot for it.  I created this recipe because I love the tenderness of pulled pork, but didn’t want barbeque.  It is a new Autumnal spin on my favorite grilled tenderloin recipe that I make in Summer.

Image

 

Ingredients

2 lbs pork loin or tenderloin

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bottle hard cider (I used Woodchuck)

Add all ingredients (except pork) to a crock pot and mix well.  Add pork and coat in the mixture.  Cook on low for 8 to 12 hours, shred and enjoy!

P.S.  I made white rice because of concerns about arsenic levels being highest in brown rice.  Has anyone else heard this?  Even the organic varieties are at risk!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

These delicious chocolate cupcakes are made with gluten free coconut flour, but unlike many recipes that use coconut flour, the taste is not prominent. While I love coconut and appreciate the many benefits of coconut flour, it can be discouraging to have the tropical taste come through in a spice bread.

Maple syrup adds sweetness and depth of flavor and the olive oil adds richness, there is a slight kick from the cayenne pepper and chili powder and the warming backdrop of cinnamon and cocoa. Everything about these cupcakes shouts “eat me” and the good news is, you can!

Ingredients
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (a generous 1/8)
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup maple syrup (grade b)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs
2 tablespoons brewed coffee (organic, fair trade, decaf)*
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (soy free)*
*optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry and wet ingredients seperately, being sure to beat eggs well and then combine. Mix thoroughly! Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into 8 paper lined cupcake tins. Bake for 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Delicious slightly warm!

Adapted from The Healthy Chef here!