Food

Chocolate Candy Cane Gooey Butter Cookies

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Posted on Dec 4, 2014 in Food

Chocolate Candy Cane Gooey Butter Cookies
Chocolate Candy Cane Gooey Butter Cookies

Gooey Chocolate Candy Cane Butter Cookies

Today is the start of something epic, my friends. And I don’t use that word with wild abandon like the rest of the internet does. When I say epic, I mean it.

Today I’m sharing with you the first of twelve (count ‘em, 12!) Christmas cookie recipes I have for you. That’s right, over the next 12 days, I’m going to be sharing with you a new Christmas cookie recipe each day. I’ve been working so hard developing and testing cookie recipes over the past few months, and I am so excited to show them all to you. It is a really incredible bunch of treats! I am really proud of this group of recipes. I know it strays a little bit from my typical schtick of healthy balance to bombard you with a dozen cookie recipes in a row, but I’m too excited about all of these delicious, sugary treats to hold back. And I promise I’ll share a salad recipe or two in January.

Gooey Chocolate Candy Cane Butter Cookies

Why am I overloading you with Christmas cookies? Well, it’s simple really. Holiday baking is such a special thing for me. Every year, I work hard to create nice tins and baskets of holiday goodies for my friends and family. We don’t have the kind of cash it takes to hand out hefty gift cards or expensive booze to our mail carrier or dog sitter, but what I can do is give them some tasty holiday treats to thank them for all they do for us throughout the year!

I know it’s nothing novel to pack together tins of Christmas cookies for your loved ones, but I still think it’s a nice sentiment.

Gooey Chocolate Candy Cane Butter Cookies

I’m kicking off this cookie parade with one heck of a bang. If you’ve never made gooey butter cookies before, they’re exactly what they sound like, ooey, gooey, rich, and buttery. They’re kinda like a cross between a chewy cookie and fudge. Or imagine your favorite flourless chocolate cake in cookie form. These are definitely not cookies for people who like crunchy, crispy cookies (do those people exist?). I think the original version of this recipe comes from butter-queen Paula Deen, and has been adapted about a million different ways. But almost all of those adaptations use boxed cake mix.

Even though I’m overwhelming you with desserts for the next two weeks, I still have to stay true to my homemade roots, so I decided to make up my own version of butter cookies without the cake mix. It isn’t quite as quick as dumping a cake mix in the mixer, but it is just as ooey and gooey as the original. And chances are, you have all the ingredients you need in your pantry to make these right now.

Gooey Chocolate Candy Cane Butter Cookies

If you’re looking to keep these cookies free of artificial colors and flavorings, I recommend looking for organic candy canes at your local supermarket. I was able to find some last year at my regular grocery store, and I know they carry them at both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in our area. Unfortunately, since they don’t use synthetic red dye for the stripes, they aren’t quite as bright and vibrant as your regular candy canes, but they are still delicious and very cute!

Make sure to come back tomorrow for the next cookie in the series. Two words. Chewy. Gingerbread.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Candy Cane Gooey Butter Cookies

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 24 cookies

Chocolate Candy Cane Gooey Butter Cookies

Part cookie, part fudge, Chocolate Candy Cane Gooey Butter Cookies are a rich and decadent way to celebrate the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 6 candy canes, crushed, divided
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter, scraping the sides as necessary. Add in the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and peppermint extract.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, making sure to mix thoroughly after each addition. Fold in 1/2 cup of the crushed candy canes. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Once dough is chilled form into one-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, about two-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, or until the cookies just begin to crack and crinkle on top. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet, then press 1/4 teaspoon of crushed candy canes on the top of each warm cookie. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
http://backtoherroots.com/2014/12/04/chocolate-candy-cane-gooey-butter-cookies/

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

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Posted on Dec 2, 2014 in Food

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie FillingBourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

I think handmade gifts are just the absolute best part of the holidays. Sure, I love a new gadget or book or thingamajig as much as the next girl, but I think there is just something so incredibly special about gifts that someone put time into handcrafting for you. And of all those handmade gifts, I love consumable gifts the most.

I’ve been on a kick lately to really simplify my life, and gifts that don’t end up taking up space in a closet or on a shelf are high up on my wish list for this year. I’m not sure what sparked my need for minimalism (maybe having a kid and having my home very quickly fill up with baby toys and gear), but I’ve been purging something fierce lately. I’ve lost count of how many trips to Goodwill we’ve made! It’s crazy how much stuff you collect over the years.

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

I think most people appreciate food gifts as much as I do. There is just so much stuff related to the holidays, that it’s really nice to get something incredibly thoughtful from a loved one, get to enjoy it, and then it’s gone. No guilt about selling it at a yard sale years down the line or shoving it in the back of the closet because it’s no longer your style or size. Food gifts are the gifts that don’t keep on giving (unless it’s a jelly-of-the-month club subscription). And for exactly that reason, I feel like they are the most special.

Canned foods are particularly awesome for the holidays because they are so beautiful on their own that they really don’t need much wrapping. Just tie a pretty ribbon around it, and, if you’re feeling particularly festive, wrap the lid in some fun fabric. And it’s done! Beautiful jars don’t need wrapping paper!

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

People who can and preserve foods are a secret society of sorts. We have rules. We share our beautiful canned goods with one another. We pass around tried-and-true recipes without hesitation. We return jars to the original gifter (especially if it’s a wide-mouth jar—those are precious!). And we have the deepest appreciation for how much work goes into crafting each jar of canned food.

When you give a jar of something canned to a non-canner, they are always appreciative, but they don’t have quite have the amount of overwhelming gratitude that’d you’d get from another canner. Canners know about the long, hot, sweaty hours spent over a stove in the middle of August. They know how your kitchen was a disaster area of apple peels and sticky utensils for days straight. They know that every single jar is something made entirely out of love. And for you to be getting one of those precious jars—that must mean you’re just really swell.

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

Of course, not all canning has to be as involved as some of us like to make it (I have a fantasy of trying to put up 1000 jars next summer—yeah, I’m crazy). In fact, small batch canning has been taking off in recent years, and it’s incredibly easy to tackle! It doesn’t require much special equipment, you don’t need crates and crates of jars, and it doesn’t take much more than an hour or two to produce beautiful handmade canned gifts like this apple pie filling—less time than you’d spend driving to the store and shopping for a gift. It’s the perfect place to start for the hesitant newbie canner! You really can’t mess this up, I promise. And if you do happen to find a way to mess it up, you only have to dump out a few jars worth of food.

I know a lot of folks worry about food safety with canning, and that’s totally a valid concern, but a sugar-y recipe like this pie filling is a great place to start. Sugar is highly effective natural preservative, meaning that you have a nice safety net built into this recipe if you are concerned about your canning techniques (which you shouldn’t be, because it’s a breeze!). You pretty much have to be trying to get people sick to make jams, jellies, and pie fillings that are dangerous. Just as long as you follow the directions, keep your utensils clean, and process for enough time, you’ll be in great shape!

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

These quart-sized jars of pie filling are the perfect size to fill-up a standard 9-inch pie crust. It really makes baking a pie as simple as can be. Just pour the jar into your pie crust, cover with another crust (or a streusel topping—which is what I prefer) and then bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly and delicious! I made an apple pie from my canned filing for Thanksgiving, and it was a hit. In fact, my husband said it was the best apple pie he’d ever had!

Of course, this filling is good for so much for than just sticking in a pie. We’ve been eating it as a topping for pancakes or waffles. A spoonful of this on top of oatmeal is incredible! And, if you’re so inclined, you can heat up some of it and pour it on top of vanilla ice cream. Then invite me over. Because, yum.

Enjoy!

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 3 quarts (enough for three pies)

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

Give the gift of pie with this canned bourbon-vanilla bean apple pie filling! Each quart makes one pie, or you can use it as topping on waffles or ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, lemon juice
  • 12 cups peeled, cored, and slice apples—packed down tightly
  • 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup ClearJel
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/3 cup Bourbon

Instructions

  1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup lemon juice and four cups of water. Add in the apple slices, and stir to submerge. Drain.
  3. In a large stock pot, combine the apple slices, sugar, ClearJel, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and water. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape out the insides into the pot.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add remaining lemon juice and bourbon, return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Ladle hot apple pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  6. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
http://backtoherroots.com/2014/12/02/bourbon-vanilla-bean-apple-pie-filling/

25 Days of Making and Giving

Win Canning Supplies during Ball Canning’s 25 Days of Making and Giving

This recipe is part of Ball Canning’s 25 Days of Making and Giving—each day throughout December, Ball will be sharing one unique canning recipe that is absolutely perfect for your holiday gifting! Make sure to check back each day throughout the month for a new, fun way to handcraft your holiday gifts. You can also follow Ball Canning on Facebook or Pinterest to keep up with all the new creations!

During  the 25 Days of Making and Giving, Ball is giving away an amazing daily prize to those who enter on the contest website. You can enter every day for a chance to win the daily prize (today’s is a Fresh Preserving Kit). And each daily entry is included in the grand prize drawing for a FreshTech Automatic Canning System (a $299 value!).

Butterscotch Bourbon Eggnog

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Posted on Dec 1, 2014 in Food

Butterscotch Bourbon Eggnog

Bourbon Butterscotch Eggnog

My husband turned to me the other day while we sitting by the fire after baby girl had gone to bed and said to me, “You seem really happy. And you weren’t that way for a long time.”

It’s true. Both parts.

Sure, we could have a bit more money. My house could be a bit cleaner. And I wish I could fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, but when it comes to the big picture, I am remarkably content with my life. I can safely say that for the first time in my life, I feel full. And I’m not just talking about my tummy being full of good food. I’m full in the, I really can’t think of anything that is missing in my life, kinda way. Like if someone asked me what one thing I want more than anything right now, my answer would probably be something stupid like, “Um, a self-cleaning kitchen would be nice?”

Seriously, someone get on that.

Bourbon Butterscotch Eggnog

One of the biggest reasons I feel so content right now is my friends. That might sound like an obvious statement—I mean, duh, friends make people happy—but I have to be honest, for the longest time after I graduated college, I really struggled to connect with people.

I think a lot of people struggle with making and keeping friends in their late twenties and early thirties. In college, it was easy, you bonded over some drinks, and you were thick as thieves. But college ends, and people take jobs across the country and get married to out-of-towners and go to grad school three states over, and suddenly your über close group of friends is scattered and, while you’ll always be in each other’s lives, it just isn’t the same as being in the same city.

Bourbon Butterscotch Eggnog

So now, you have to start all over again to find friends nearby. Except, this time, it seems just so much harder to find people you want to spend time with. You’re older and perhaps a bit more cautious about whom you want to dedicate time to, and that caution makes it incredibly hard to open up to new people.

Or at least, it sure does for me.

Bourbon Butterscotch Eggnog

But as long as it’s taken me to build up a good group of local friends, man, is it ever a good group. I am so thankful for the people who the universe has put in my life. I don’t have a ton of friends, but the ones I have are some of the sweetest, kindest and most generous people on the planet. They make me want to be a better person—and that’s exactly what I think a good friend should do.

My husband and I are one of those totally co-dependent couples, and I 100% consider him my best friend, and I thought that was enough to sustain me for the longest time, but it turns out, having meaningful adult friendships is something that is important for my soul too. I am so thankful for my friends.

Bourbon Butterscotch Eggnog

With these people in my life that I love like family, it felt wrong not to see them during the holiday season, so last year, we opened our home up for the inaugural FRIENDMAS. We invited one of our closest couple friends out to the country for some old-fashioned Christmas fun. We ate lots of sugary Christmas cookies and listened to old Bing Crosby records by the fireplace. We decorated gingerbread houses while drinking wassail and eggnog.

We all had our families to go celebrate with a few days later, but this friends-only Christmas celebration was an absolutely spectacular way to let loose and have our own kind of fun. Pretty instantly, a tradition was born. And this year, we’re opening up our home to even more friends. Craig and I are both so excited to get to host our incredible friends at Christmas. It is quickly becoming the event I look forward to the most at the holidays. It’s our little way of showing how thankful we are for the good people in our life. I’m terrible at writing thank you notes. I hate the telephone. And I don’t do a lot of entertaining, but this is the least I can do to celebrate the good people I love.

Bourbon Butterscotch Eggnog

So what’s all that have to do with boozy eggnog? The drink of choice during last year’s FRIENDMAS was this bourbon eggnog cocktail that Craig mixed up. Since I was pregnant during last year’s celebration, I never got to try it, but the raves were so loud, I knew it would have to come back in 2014. So as soon as the holiday season came around, I asked my mixmaster of a husband to whip me up one to try—and it was totally worth the wait. It’s sweet and so warm and oh, so comforting. Which is pretty much exactly the way I describe having my friends in my home at Christmas. The is the drink I choose to celebrate my chosen family.

Cheers.

Butterscotch Bourbon Eggnog

Total Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1 cocktail

Butterscotch Bourbon Eggnog

Butterscotch Bourbon Eggnog is a fun twist on the traditional holiday eggnog cocktail. Mix up a big batch for parties!

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 1 ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 1/2 ounce amaretto
  • 4 ounces eggnog
  • Ground nutmeg, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In lowball glass, combine the bourbon, butterscotch schnapps, and amaretto. Pour in the eggnog, stir, and then top with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Serve immediately
http://backtoherroots.com/2014/12/01/butterscotch-bourbon-eggnog/

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

Eggnog Steel Cut Oats

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Posted on Nov 30, 2014 in Food

Eggnog Steel Cut Oats

Eggnog Steel Cut Oats

I am just in the best, cheeriest, most holiday-tastic mood today, guys! I’ve worked really hard to try to get a big chunk of my holiday to-do list done before December started, and let me tell you, it feels awesome to know that I have so much done already.

Our holiday cards are already in the mail (dropped them in the mailbox on our drive up to Thanksgiving dinner). All of our Christmas shopping is done (wrapping still has to happen—but I love wrapping gifts!). I’ve already made and frozen a whole bunch of cookie dough for holiday baking. I have a ton of fun holiday recipes already developed and ready to show off to you guys. Our guest rooms are all organized and ready to accept holiday visits from loved ones. We went and nabbed our Christmas tree (a beautiful 10 foot blue spruce) on Black Friday, and we’re slowly, but surely, decking the halls. And I have so many fun events and happenings going on in the month of December. Bring it on, St. Nick!

Eggnog Steel Cut Oats

I know I talked earlier in the week about how I’m a little bit bummed about missing out on some of my favorite holiday foods, but my mood has done a total 180. Yeah, it sucks that I have to skip some of the yumminess this year (and kinda hilarious that I’m taking all my own food to holiday gatherings this year), but, in all likelihood, next year, I’ll be right back in the mix, and it gives me a chance to try out new tastes this year. I’m absolutely loving my coconut milk eggnog (so much so, it might become my “go to” eggnog even when I’m back on dairy), and I’ve been putting in just about everything. The best of these eggnogg-y creations? Eggnog steel cut oats.

Eggnog Steel Cut Oats

I have a serious love-hate relationship with oats. I think they are healthy and an incredibly delicious, cozy breakfast for a chilly late-November morning. But no matter how full I am after eating a bowl of oats (and how much protein-packed and healthy fat-laden add-ins I toss in the bowl), I’m always hungry an hour later. You can pretty much set your watch by it. My tummy is just a super speedy oatmeal processing factory. Thankfully, steel cut oats seem to keep me feeling full a lot longer than the regular rolled oats. So I’m all about these, chewy, yummy whole oats right now.

Eggnog Steel Cut Oats

If you’ve never cooked steel cut oats, you should know that they take quite a bit longer than standard rolled oats. On the stovetop, you’re looking at 30 minutes or so until they’re ready to eat. Which is why one of my favorite ways to make steel cut oats is to use my rice cooker. It takes less than a minute to put everything in the rice cooker, and then I press a button and wham-bam, breakfast is ready an hour later. If you don’t have a rice cooker (I highly recommend getting one), you can also cook the oats overnight in a slow cooker, so they are ready as soon as you lift your head from the pillow. I’ve included directions for all three cooking methods below.

Enjoy!

Eggnog Steel Cut Oats

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Eggnog Steel Cut Oats

These festive eggnog steel cut oats are the perfect healthy breakfast for the holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup eggnog (try my Coconut Milk Eggnog)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • Additional toppings (butter, nuts, maple syrup, brown sugar, fresh nutmeg)

Instructions

    Stove Top Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the oats are tender, but chewy. Top with desired toppings and serve.
  2. Rice Cooker Instructions
  3. Combine all ingredients in the basin of a rice cooker. Cook on the brown rice or porridge setting. Top with desired toppings and serve.
  4. Slow Cooker Instructions
  5. Combine all ingredients in the basin of a slow cooker (depending on the size of your slow cooker, you might need to double the recipe to avoid burning). Cook the oats on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4-6. Top with desired toppings and serve.
http://backtoherroots.com/2014/11/30/eggnog-steel-cut-oats/

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots

4

Posted on Nov 29, 2014 in Food

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots

Did you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I hope you had just the most cozy, delicious, thankful day! We drove up to my sister’s house to have dinner with a whole gaggle of friends and family. JuneBug and I had to duck out of the festivities a few times because all the holiday cheer was a bit too much for a five-month old’s sensory processing, but it was still a very successful first turkey day for the little nugget.

My sister has been hosting Thanksgiving for years now, and has it down to a science. She does almost all of her cooking ahead of time, and delegates a lot of the dishes (including delegating the turkey cooking to my brother-in-law, who did two turkeys this year—one grilled and one smoked). They’ve done such a great job of making Thanksgiving Day low-stress for themselves and their guests. That’s definitely not a skill I’ve learned when cooking a big family meal. By the time I finally sit down to eat, I feel like I need a nap!

Thanksgiving Table Plate

My sister is so carefree about it, she has an annual tradition of running in the local Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving morning! How incredible is that? Runs 4+ miles in the morning and has a delicious turkey dinner on the table for 17 people by 2pm. She’s pretty much super woman. I’ve got a lot to learn from my big sister!

(Although, she did say, she had an issue with the chicken and dumplings this year and was wrestling with them still in her running gear—including her race bib—a half hour before all her guests arrived.)

Thanksgiving Table

For this year’s dinner, I was assigned two dishes—our family’s world-famous sweet potato casserole (which, I will, eventually share with you, but for now, let me just tell you that it has four sticks of butter and three cups of sugar—it’s delicious) and a veggie side dish. Balance, eh?

I knew I wanted to bring Brussels sprouts, because I’m not sure there is a more Thanksgiving-y veggie than those tiny little cabbages. And, then, a few days before Turkey Day, my Dad handed me four big, beautiful parsnips they grew in their garden this summer, and I knew I wanted to make a beautiful pan of roasted veggies for the table.

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots

Roasted veggies like this are so incredibly easy and so incredibly delicious. It’s really a perfect side dish to keep with the low-stress Thanksgiving dinner theme. It does take some time chopping, but I honestly find the rhythmic chopping nice and relaxing during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. And once the chopping is done, you just toss the veggies with some seasonings and oil, and pop them in a hot oven until they are tender, caramelized and absolutely delicious.

I actually did all my chopping the day before, and par-boiled the parsnips and carrots (just until they were a touch tender), and tossed all the veggies together with the olive oil and seasonings, and then put them all in a big ole zip-top bag in the fridge. Then, when I got to my sister’s on Thanksgiving Day, I just dumped the bag out onto a cookie sheet, threw them in the oven, and went and got a glass of wine. Easy. Peasy.

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots

I have to warn you, I went a little bit crazy with the decadent, delicious Christmas treats this year, and I’ve got a ton of really great (but not so healthy) recipes to share with you over the next few weeks. So this will probably be the last glimpse of veggies you see for a while. Probably until around December 21st—which is right about when I normally get so sick of sugar that I throw all the cookies and fudge in the trash and run out and buy 20 pounds of spinach. I hope you’re ready to take a very merry, sugary journey with me!

Happy Holidays!

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 servings

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots

Rosemary roasted Brussels sprouts, parnsips, and carrots are a super easy and simple healthy side dish for your holiday dinners!

Ingredients

  • 8 carrots, peeled, and cut into diagonal slices
  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 6 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine the carrots and parnsips in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer until the veggies are just tender (but still crunchy). Drain. Alternatively, you can place the carrots and parsnips in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 water and microwave for 7-8 minutes until the veggies are tender.
  3. Combine the carrots, parnsips, and Brussels sprouts in a large bowl, add in the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread veggies in one layer on a large baking sheet (you might need two, you don't want to crowd them or they'll steam instead of roast). Roast in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring a few times, until the veggies are tender and brown. Taste, and add more salt if necessary before serving.
http://backtoherroots.com/2014/11/29/roasted-brussels-sprouts-parsnips-carrots/

Coconut Milk Eggnog

10

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 in Food

Coconut Milk Eggnog

Coconut Milk Egg Nog

So, I’m struggling a bit with one portion of this whole holiday cheer thing.

It may seem petty and silly, but the reason I’m struggling is because I won’t be able to enjoy some of my favorite foods this year. I have a lot of things to be thankful (oh gosh, so many things), but all those blessings don’t negate the fact that I’m bummed that I can’t eat my Mama’s world-famous chocolate chip cookies.

Why are the cookies on the blacklist? Well, I’ve talked about it a little bit, but I’ve had to cut all dairy and soy out of my diet due to an intolerance that JuneBug has (called Milk and Soy Protein Intolerance, or MSPI). When the doctor first mentioned it, I honestly thought the hardest part would be giving up my weekly heavy-on-the-cheese pizzas, but the worst part has been dealing with all the hidden ways soy and dairy sneak into my everyday foods. It’s not just that I can’t have milk or yogurt or tofu or ice cream or edamame, it’s that I have to be a super vigilant label-reader of every single product in the kitchen.

I actually thought I was doing okay with it, but JuneBug’s symptoms kept getting worse, so I took an even harder look at all the items in my kitchen, and I was shocked at how many items I was using that didn’t make the cut (cooking spray, canned tuna, pretzels, crackers, bread). Once I finally realized how many soy and dairy products I was eating and slashed them away, JuneBug started getting better. Which is awesome. And I am so grateful that the key to making my baby girl feel better was a simple switch in my diet, but I’m still sad that I have to skip most of the deliciousness of the holidays.

Coconut Milk Egg Nog

I think for a lot of families, ours included, holiday celebrations center around food. I know there is a whole push to not tie your emotions to food and to view food as only fuel, but I personally feel like that’s a load of baloney. I think ignoring the emotional component of food is just as dangerous as downing three boxes of Twinkies after a bad day at work. Food is inherently emotional. And ignoring that is just setting yourself up for an unhealthy relationship with food. So, yes, I’m sad I’m going to be missing some of my favorite foods this holiday season. And that’s a perfectly healthy emotion.

Coconut Milk Egg Nog

Thankfully, there are a few ways I can tweak and adjust some of my holiday favorites and still get to eat them. My Mama made me a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving made with coconut oil and coconut milk. And I’ve already whipped up my first batch of coconut milk eggnog. And dude, it is amazing!

There are two methods for making homemade eggnog—the cooked way and the raw way. The raw way is super easy, quick, and traditional, but it also means you are straight up drinking raw egg yolks. It doesn’t bother me (and never has, I have a very clear memory of my Dad shaking up an entire gallon of raw eggnog in the kitchen at Christmas), but if it does irk you, there are lots of recipes out there for cooked eggnog—mostly they just involved slowly heating the mixture until it’s just warm enough to pasteurize the eggs, but not so much that you get scrambled eggs.

Coconut Milk Egg Nog

I have a half-gallon-sized Mason jar of this stuff just hanging out in my fridge for whenever I get a hankering for eggnog (or want to use eggnog in a holiday recipe, which happens all the time). I’ll probably still pick up some “regular” nog for my holiday guests, because while this stuff is incredibly delicious, it still tastes like coconut. That’s not a problem for a coconut-lover like me, but it’s not exactly traditional.

Enjoy!

Coconut Milk Eggnog

Yield: 8 servings

Coconut Milk Eggnog

This dairy-free version of the classic Christmas drink uses creamy, thick, and rice coconut milk.

Ingredients

  • 1-14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups light coconut milk (either from the can or a carton)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Extra nutmeg for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in the basin of a blender. Blend on high until well-combined and frothy. Chill until cold, then serve topped with nutmeg (and maybe with a splash of rum or bourbon for the adults).
http://backtoherroots.com/2014/11/25/coconut-milk-eggnog/