Chocolate Mint Fudge

This fudge is similar in concept to my Blender Fudge, but I didn’t make it in a blender and it had two parts. I honestly think this one came out better.

Ingredients:
one stick salted sweet cream butter
1/4 cup unfiltered honey
unsweetened, unprocessed cocoa to taste
——-
2-3 tablespoons virgin expeller pressed coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
few drops mint extract

Method:
1. Place butter in a large glass mixing bowl. Cut into several slices. Add 1/4 cup honey.
2. Let sit until butter is softened to room temperature.
3. Mix by hand with a fork until the honey creams the butter.
4. Add cocoa powder. Mix by hand with fork again, until completely mixed. This will take a few minutes. Set aside.
5. In a smaller bowl, add the coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey, and the mint extract. Mix, then pour into fudge mixture.
6. Mix well, until all fudge looks the same – no shiny, wet looking parts remain.
7. Line a loaf pain with plastic wrap, leaving enough extra to fold over the fudge.
8. Dump the fudge into the pan. Fold the plastic over the fudge loosely and gently press down until you reach the desired shape and thickness.
9. Gently secure plastic wrap and pop the loaf pan into the freezer for about 20 minutes. Remove from freezer, and take the plastic wrapped fudge and store in the fridge.

This fudge is far less runny than the blender fudge, which I like. It was more ‘whipped’ in the bowl, and definitely has a nice texture to it when hardened. Enjoy!

Blender Fudge – Semi-Paleo-Wannabe

Another semi-paleo-wannabe dessert. Because, let’s be honest. Even if a dessert completely follows the strict paleo/primal guidelines, it’s still semi-paleo-wannabe goodness. Cavemen didn’t eat desserts. At least, not that we know of.

Ingredients:
natural unsweetened unprocessed cocoa
one stick melted butter
sugar (or honey, for a paleo option)
1 teaspoon virgin expeller pressed coconut oil
dash salt

Additional, Optional Ingredients:
peanut butter (NOT paleo, but who doesn’t LOVE peanut butter fudge??)
cinnamon
nutmeg
pumpkin pie spice
mint
orange oil

Additionally, you can replace 1/2 stick of butter with coconut oil.

Method:
1. Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend.
2. Place saran wrap in a loaf pan, being sure to have plenty of extra.
3. Pour fudge mix into the pan.
4. Lightly fold the saran wrap over top of the mix and gently press down until the mix is however thick you want your final product to be. Obviously thicker fudge makes less pieces. I always go for about 1/2 inch thick.
5. Finish wrapping the mix, and put it, pan and all, into the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the freezer and either eat the fudge, or put it in the fridge. Without the pan.

I actually managed to ruin a loaf pan by leaving it in the fridge for a few days. No idea what happened. Probably because I buy the cheapest pans I can find at Walmart, which is an assorted five pan set for five dollars. Yeah, I’m cheap. Whatever.

Buttery Balsamic And Red Wine Reduction Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Alex! I told him I have a blog now. He made fun of me for five seconds, then his true feelings came out. I made a roast tonight, and he made this sauce to go with it. As we were eating, he may or may not have casually suggested I write his recipe down to put on the blog*. So here it is!

Ingredients:
1 cup dry red wine
1 tsp plus 1 dash balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp white vinegar
few dashes pepper

Method:
1. Put the wine, 2 tbsp of the butter, 1 tsp of the balsamic, and 1 dash of pepper in a small skillet. Reduce at about 6 for ten minutes, stirringĀ  constantly.
2. Add the dash of the balsamic and the teaspoon of white vinegar. Continue reducing about two minutes.
3. To finish, add the remaining tablespoons of butter and two dashes of pepper, mix well. Mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Reducing is basically taking the water out of what you’re cooking. Alex says that something you could do differently if you want to play around with it, is put half a teaspoon of the white vinegar, all of the balsamic, and all of the pepper to start with, rather than adding in increments. However, do not add all the butter at once. You want the remaining two tablespoons to thicken up the sauce.

Alex also says that he never knew what “thick enough to coat the back of a spoon” meant until recently, when he read it somewhere. It basically means that you can coat the back of a spoon with it, take your finger and draw a line in the sauce, hold the spoon facing downward, and the liquid will not immediately move to fill in the line your finger left. Yeah, I never knew that either.

Also, Alex’s measurements are just guidelines.

*He did not suggest this. I did. He laughed at me and then agreed.

Ghee, or Clarified Butter

Ghee, or clarified butter, has a higher smoke point than regular butter. This means that it can be cooked at higher temperatures without burning. It also has a slightly nuttier flavor than butter.

Ingredients:
butter

Method:
1. In a small saucepan or frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it is completely melted and solids rise and sink.
2. With a small metal wire mesh strainer, strain the butter by pouring it through into a glass container. You can repeat this step if you don’t catch all the solids the first time

That’s it! Throw the solids away, and that nice golden yellow liquid your left with is your ghee!

Baked Apples

I’m sure it’s obvious I love my apples. My absolute favorite way to eat them is sliced with peanut butter. The peanut butter I use is Smucker’s Natural Chunky. It is $2.98/lb at Walmart. The only two ingredients are peanuts and less than one percent salt. I like that.

I kind of have a thing about ingredient lists. If I can’t pronounce it, I won’t eat it. I am very good at pronouncing things. but when I see something that looks like this: “skdjfhdkjvnerkgsusajekgjbekfj serkidfkjfskjf 30 dkjhkjsf”, no thanks. And pretty much, even if I can pronounce it, I probably won’t eat it. Meat, eggs, butter, whole cream, coconut milk, nut milk, vegetables, fruits… that’s all we eat. No legumes. So no green beans. And really, I’m not supposed to eat peanut butter, because peanuts are a legume. But… but I love peanut butter šŸ˜¦

Anyhow, Alex likes baked apples. We can’t eat regular pie, and I haven’t yet been brave enough to try making a walnut crust. I have made walnut meal brownies that were simple divine, though, so maybe I should try the crust. So I make pie filling, aka baked apples.

Most pie fillings/baked apples call for 20 kinds of sugar and ten million spices and all kinds of cornstarch and thickeners. Ew. Mine is simple.

Ingredients:
One whole stick salted sweet cream butter. Real butter.
apples
however much apple pie spice you like

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 350. Using an apple corer, cut your apples. This is the only time I use my corer, because it’s annoying and I have absolutely no upper body strength. But you want to use the corer for this one so you have pretty uniform wedges. Peel the wedges.
2. In a small skillet, melt half the stick of butter. Keep the heat on about 3-4. Any higher and your butter will burn.
3. Line a 2″ deep square baking dish with foil. Put the apples in the dish, and our the melted butter on top.
4. Add apple pie spice and mix it all up, evenly coating the apples. Be careful not to tear the foil. I always manage to tear mine in the square dishes. Never fails. No idea why.
5. If it looks like your spice is a little lacking, go ahead and add more. Just put however much you like. Spices are good for you.
6. Once you’re satisfied with how much spice is in there, make sure it’s all mixed and nice, then start thinly slicing the remaining half stick of butter and placing the slices on top of the apples.
7. Cover the dish with foil, doming it so that the foil is not touching the apples. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Stir the apples up, and bake for another 25 minutes. After this second time, check for softness. If you like them a little crunchier, take them out. If you like them super soft, leave them in there until they are.
9. Eat them while they’re hot. And don’t you dare throw out that nice spiced butter sauce. Eat that too. It’s yum-delicious and good for you.

I do love my apples.