Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Flourless Avocado Brownies

Growing up in California I was a natural born avocado lover. I eat them plain, on eggs, as guacamole, on tacos or a sandwich. The old saying that opposites attract could not have been more true for my love of avocados because my husband hates them. I came across this recipe via the DIY Natural Facebook page and as soon as I saw it I went to my kitchen to make sure I had all of the ingredients.
Dinner was in the oven and I set out all of my ingredients for the brownies. My husband walks into the kitchen as I am mashing the avocado and makes a funny face at the bowl of green mush and then says," I see sugar, you must be making dessert!" I chuckled inside and said yes. He had no idea the bowl of green mush was about to be his dessert.
After we finished dinner he asked about the brownies that were cooling. My husband is serious about dessert. To be on the safe side I told him they were a little different and to eat them with an open mind. I had no idea how avocado tasting they were going to be. His comment was, "these are not some lame Paleo experiment are they?" I know that sounds horrible but we have had a handful of epic fails in the Paleo department. However we have had more positive Paleo experiences that negative. Long story short, we both loved the brownies and you could not taste the slightest hint of avocado. They were warm, moist, fudgy and everything a chocolate brownie should be. Now I just need a recipe to disguise broccoli which I happen to love and he happens to hate.

 Here is a picture of one of the epic fails, but I choose not to share those recipes:) They were suppose to be coconut/almond flour cookies and they completely went flat and were hard as a rock. That cookie sheet was super fun to clean......not!
1 avocado 
1/4 cup melted butter (I always bake with salted butter)
1/4 cup creamy nut butter (I used peanut)
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x11 pan with all natural cooking spray
Mash your avocado until it is a cream consistency
Add your nut butter, melted butter, egg, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla. Stir.
Add your cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Stir until all ingredients are mixed.
Pour into pan, bake
Cook for 30-35 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. We stored them in the refrigerator because I was not sure if the avocado would start to make the brownies taste bad from sitting out even though they were cooked.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Margherita Pizza-Zucchini Style

Two weeks ago I was so very blessed to receive two bags full of beautiful veggies from a friends garden. She gave me an assortment of peppers, zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes. As soon as I got home I washed everything up and started to brainstorm what I was going to make. The first thing that came to mind was an appetizer I had seen on none other than Pinterest for zucchini pizza bites. I am not a pork or beef eater so I modified the toppings and made my very own margherita pizzas.

I used a half of one zucchini, two tomatoes, fresh basil from my garden, pasta sauce of your choice and mozzarella cheese. You can add or remove any toppings to make it suit your taste buds.

Slice the zucchini about 1/4-1/2 thick depending on how think you like your veggies. Add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta sauce and top with 1 tablespoon of cheese per slice.

Add fresh basil and tomatoes followed by a tiny bit more cheese :)

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes

These were a delicious low calorie treat that took my mind off of the Mellow Mushroom pizza that I had been craving all week. Great as a meal, mid day snack or a party appetizer if served fresh.

Leave a comment if you have any questions. Happy Eating!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Paleo Friendly Fruit and Nut Bites

Before my husband and I started our journey towards the Paleo diet he would eat some sort of packaged cookie or snack with a glass of milk after dinner almost every night. He has done as awesome job at cutting out dairy and cookies but I know there are always healthy substitutes out there. After doing lots of research on non-processes snacks and desserts I realized that several of them were fruit and nut based and super easy to make with the right ingredients.
I found this recipe for a starter and kind of made my own creation from there.

What you will need:
1 Lb of dates
2 Tbs nut butter of choice
1/2 cup crushed almonds
1/2 cup finely chopped dried coconut

First things first, my local grocery store only sells pitted dates. Bend the date in half and the pit will be exposed. Just pick them out and throw them in your compost pile.

Toss the dates and the nut butter in the food processor and start pulsing. You will probably have to use a spoon to move things around a few times.

If your dates start to look like a "hot mess" then you are doing it right.

Once they look like mush with small chunks then dump it onto a piece of wax paper.

Start to roll into small 1" size balls and then roll between the almond and coconut mixture. They are ready to eat now but I like to place in the fridge for about 3 hours so they can firm up a bit.

Tada! You have a healthy snack that is great for on the go people or for a late night sweet tooth.

My next yummy recipe that I will be trying are these black bean truffle balls.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Infusing Your Own Vodka

With Summer in full swing sometimes it is nice to unwind with a nice adult beverage (if you are of age, of course) at the end of the day. If you like fruity classics like Tommy Bahama's Grapefruit Basil martini or Bonefish Grill's Lemondrop martini then you are in luck. Infusing your own vodka to any fruity flavor is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Start out my selecting your favorite non flavored vodka as well as a fruit of choice. You will want to use about 1 cup of fruit and make sure you remove any pits, stems or white fleshy residue like on citrus.
I chose to use grapefruit and lemons. You can cut or peel your fruit into one inch sections or if you are using a small fruit like a blueberry then cut the berries in half for full flavor infusing.

 Seal it up in a mason jar or container of your choice and let it sit for at least 24-48 hours.

You can strain your vodka and toss the fruit or your can do what I did and use it as a floating garnish in your drink.....or just eat them plain (prepare for instant buzz!)

Other great flavors are peach, mango and pineapple.

Leave a comment if you have any questions or fun flavor creations. Please drink responsibly. Firefly stitches and its owner are not responsible for anything you may or may not do while drinking alcoholic beverages.


Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm Back!

I can't believe that I have not written a post since last April. I finished the Spring semester and had to take Anatomy 2 in a Summer crash course which consumed all of my time in addition to my then 11 month old. Not to mention my husband was in California for the Summer and I was working 3 12-hour night shifts per week. Whew!
After that long summer I was accepted into the Surgical Technology program and finished the Fall semester with straight A's. Meanwhile our family has been blessed with a little girl whom we named Willow on January 3rd. Due to Ms. Willow being almost 2 weeks late I was not able to resume Spring semester but will be starting back January 2014. In the mean time I am officially a stay at home mom so I will be blogging, sewing lots of fun things, starting a long awaited cloth diaper experience and hopefully enjoying every moment home with my 18 month old and 3 week old.
Stay tuned to lots of great recipes, tips and updates about my life and my sweet family!