Real Cocktails: Mimosa

Real Cocktails: Mimosa | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Mimosa is the hallmark of fancy brunch drinks.  Who doesn’t want an excuse to sip on champagne in the late morning?  And it doesn’t hurt anything that it’s so delectable.  Sweet, slightly effervescent, and refreshing. [Read more…]

Traditional Irish Soda Bread with Orange Zest and Bourbon-Soaked Black Currants

Slightly sweetened with rich whole cane sugar and orange zest, this Irish soda bread is my favorite combination of flavors I have tried during these St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  I cannot imagine a better Irish treat than a piece of soda bread fresh out of the oven, studded with plump raisins and slathered with bright yellow butter.

I love Irish soda bread.  I know that the soda breads we enjoy here in the States aren’t very traditional, but as long as I use real food ingredients I’m okay with not being authentic.  At least I am eating some tasty foods that are festive for the occasion! [Read more…]

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a staple every fall at my house.  There are a million recipes for them, and none are all that different from each other, really.  But to make mine a little extra special, I like to use my homemade pumpkin pie spice.  I add cardamom and cloves to mine, and I really like the complex flavor it brings to recipes like these.

But pumpkin pie spice is small potatoes, compared to what my sister discovered about making these cookies really something special.  For some reason, they taste quite different when baked with mini chocolate chips and in smaller-sized cookies.  The flavors come together better, and the cookies bake more evenly.

Then couple that with my need to real foodify everything, and you have yourself THE perfect mini pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.  I can die happy now, because I have reached the pinnacle of pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipes!

Equipment Needed:

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains

2 cups freshly ground whole grain flour (find whole grains here, how to make sprouted flour here)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (find aluminum free baking soda here)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (find aluminum free baking powder here)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (how to make homemade pumpkin pie spice with cardamom here)
1/4 teaspoon salt (find unrefined sea salt here)
1/2 cup butter, softened (find grass-fed butter here)
1 cup whole cane sugar (find whole cane sugar here)
1 egg
2 cups (or 1 15-oz. can) pumpkin puree (find organic canned pumpkin here)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (get chocolate chips here, make your own here)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line the cookie sheets with parchment and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.  Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, blend the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the egg, mixing to combine.
  6. Add half the dry mixture, then all the pumpkin puree, and then the rest of the dry mixture, waiting until each is mostly incorporated before moving to the next step.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and stir until just combined.  Don’t overmix!
  8. Scoop onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them apart by only 2 inches or so (they don’t spread much).
  9. Bake two cookie sheets at a time on racks set in the upper and lower third of the oven, for 12-14 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time to get an even browning.  Bake until slightly browned and set in the center.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Anti-Diet Challenge 2013

antidiet

If you don’t live under a rock, you have probably heard the obligatory whinging on Facebook and amongst your friends and family that while the holidays were wonderful, it’s time to “detox”, “lose holiday pounds”, and curb all those “indulgences” from Christmas cookies to holiday cocktails.

It’s time for a reality check: this kind of approach to food and bodies is damaging.

So starting this coming Monday, January 4, 2013, we are going to embark on an anti-diet together.  There will be pie.  There will be sugars and starches.  There will be naps.  There will be weight-lifting, hiking, dancing, spazzercising, and playing because you have energy and want to move.  

I will announce the parameters of our challenge this Monday, so in the meantime I suggest you either brush up on your homework, or grab a copy if you haven’t already.

It’s essential to have at least one of the following: Diet Recovery or Eat for Heat, but preferably both.  And if you are an overachiever, I recommend getting the most bang for your buck with the Platinum Collection which includes Diet Recovery and Eat For Heat plus several other ebooks and videos with lifetime access. [Read more…]

8 Homemade Holiday Gifts and Recipes

homemadegiftsThe holidays are here, so it’s time to start making some gifts that are easy on the budget and promote healthy real food to boot.  I have several ideas here that can be whipped up in a few minutes, and are ready to be gifted to friends, neighbors, and family. I love the idea of finding little boxes or tins and filling them with homemade goodies.  Or a charming jar filled with a homemade infusion or drink.  Gifts mean so much more when they are made with love and attention and a little bit of time.  I know that even when I eat certain foods, I tend to savor the ones that I know are made the traditional way, with care. It’s one thing to buy a bottle of Irish cream and put a bow on it, and quite another to make it yourself, pour it into a carefully chosen vessel, and label it to take to someone.  It isn’t particularly hard, but it certainly is more delicious and appreciated when you take a few minutes to make a tastier, more personal version of something everyone loves. [Read more…]

REAL FOOD 101: How to Roast a Pastured Chicken

how to roast a pastured chicken

This post is part of a series.  To buy Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials, click here: REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared.

Classic roast chicken is something that almost everyone has made.  But the question is not whether or not you have made it, but if you have made it well.

Roast chicken is simple, but it can also be done wrong.  Very wrong!  If you want to know how to make a perfectly cooked, crispy-skinned, beautifully browned, juicy roast chicken, then you need only follow a few basic guidelines.

[Read more…]

Roast Duck with Orange Glaze and Pan Gravy

roast duck with orange glaze and pan gravy reduction

Every once in a while I cave and buy a duck from my local health food store.  It’s usually this time of year when the air is a little crisper, and I start to crave warming, hearty meals.

The reason I say that I “cave” is because what I really wish is to either go hunting, or to benefit from my used-to-go-hunting relatives by encouraging them to start anew.  If I got my way, they would bring me ducks and pheasants.  Or better yet: take me with them and teach me how!

But if I can’t get out to hunt my own duck, a storebought pastured wild duck is the way to go.  It crisps up beautifully, and the duck fat from the pan dripping is perfect for sauteing potatoes, making gravy, or making this amazing pan sauce to spoon over the duck slices.  I went to savory heaven again today.

[Read more…]

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

green bean casserole

If you go through the trouble of opening a can of condensed soup, you save about 20 minutes of work for yourself.  But you gain a healthy dose of yeast extract, MSG, and other questionable ingredients.  Plus you miss a golden opportunity.

One the greatest losses that we have in our home kitchens nowadays is an understanding of simple sauces and gravies.  They aren’t even hard to make; we just haven’t learned how.

I know that green bean casserole is traditionally a Thanksgiving recipe, but every year when I make it from scratch, I vow that I will make it more often than once a year.  It is so worth it.  And green bean casserole just happens to be an excellent example of how to use basic sauce knowhow to make a spectacular dish.  (Especially when so many people rely on those cans of soup!) [Read more…]

Grain-Free Pecan Pie (GAPS-friendly)

grain free pecan pieIt’s Pie Week!  This buttery, rich grain-free pecan pie is made with maple syrup instead of corn syrup, and has a mildly sweet coconut flour crust that crumbles in your mouth. Pecan pie is always a little bit about indulgence, but I prefer to call it an opportunity to really savor your food.  And in this case, you can do that without any grains in the mix.  If you aren’t on GAPS or don’t have a grain or wheat allergy, use my sprouted flour pie crust recipe.

The secret weapon in this recipe?  Well, there are three actually: toasting the pecans yourself, using maple syrup instead of that dreaded corn syrup, and adding a little bourbon to the filling.  All these flavors combine to really bring out the complex flavor of the pecans and deep notes of vanilla, caramel, and molasses. 

Other Pie Week recipes: Homemade Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie, Jumbleberry Pie.

Other pie recipes: French Silk Pie, Heart Tarts. [Read more…]

Homemade Apple Pie

homemade apple pie

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It’s the first pie of my proclaimed Pie Week, and I had to start with a classic.  Apple pie is all American, a Thanksgiving tradition, and a perfect blend of harvest, autumn flavors.  Apple pie is warming, full of earthy spices, and perfect still warm from the oven or cooled and topped with sweetened cream.

Other Pie Week recipes: Key Lime Pie, Grain-Free Pecan Pie (GAPS-friendly), Jumbleberry Pie.

Other pie recipes: French Silk Pie, Heart Tarts. [Read more…]