Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cheeky Kitty Test Kitchen's Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies aka Antioxidant Rich, Super Food Protein Bars. Shut up.

I needed something sweet, but didn't want it to be TOO terrible for me. These are pretty amazing. Though they are certainly high in sugar they have a lot of good things going for them. I will make them Vegan next time and add Goji Berries and Macadamia Nuts or maybe Mexican Chocolate Brownies instead. Oh, yeah... That's happening.

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, plus tbsp for baking dish
4 oz Unsweetened Chocolate, roughly chopped
2 Large Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 cup Quinoa Flour
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chunks
1/2 cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes

Over low heat, melt the chocolate and the coconut oil. Stir slowly til mixture is smooth. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl beat eggs and sugar with a hand held mixed until it's frothy and light in color. Add vanilla, sea salt, and chocolate mixture. Beat til smooth. Slowly stir in quinoa flour. Add dark chocolate chunks and coconut flakes and stir one more time. Coat an 8x8 baking dish in coconut oil and add brownie mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

These are so decadent and can easily be made Vegan by using Flax Seed or Chia Seed "Eggs" and Agave Nectar or Organic Sugar instead of white sugar.

Cheeky Kitty Test Kitchen's Purrfect Mac & Cheese. V, GF

Having terrible allergies and living Georgia is not a great combination. The pollen count is forever in the thousands. It's unbearable. I decided to try an allergen reducing diet several months ago. Mainly vegan and gluten-free. I do eat seafood 2 or 3 times a month.

I haven't been the best at staying on this diet. There are a lot of great replacements for food I used to eat, but let's face it. There is no fake pizza. I refuse to live in a world without pizza. Don't try to tell me about this great gluten-free crust. I've tried. Yeah the cauliflower one, too. It's not pizza. Stop.

Anyway, I LOVE Detoxinista. Her blog has given me so much information and inspiration. This recipe is adapted from her BEST Vegan Mac n' Cheese recipe. Do yourself a favor and visit her blog. So many wonderful recipes to try! It's so flavorful and filling. The greens add just the right amount of garlicky, pepperiness. This is definitely a recipe that can be altered and prepared with all kinds of different vegetable add-ins, like broccoli or mushrooms. I have also made this with roasted cauliflower instead of pasta. It's excellent.

1 1/2 cups Raw Cashews (soaked in water for 6 hours)
3 tbsp Lemon Juice (fresh would be ideal)
3/4 cup Vegetable Broth
1 1/2 tsp French Picnic Salt by Beautiful Briny Sea
1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 Garlic Clove, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 box Ancient Harvest Quinoa Elbows (8oz)
1 cup Go Veggie! Cheddar Flavor Shreds
Sauteed Turnip Greens (recipe follows)

Drain the cashews and combine with the next 9 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. This will be the creamy "cheese" base. Preheat oven to 350. Cook Quinoa Pasta as directed on the box. Drain and return to pot. Add greens, cashew "cheese", and the shreds. Mix well and pour into a 9x12 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered. EAT!!

Sauteed Turnip Greens:
1 lb Turnip Greens
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tbsp  Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
Bragg Liquid Aminos to taste (I used less than a tsp)

Heat oil and sauté all ingredients together until the greens have cooked down. About 5 minutes. Set aside.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Juicing Life: Day One

Although, it may not seem like it (since my posts have been few and far between) I HAVE been holding to my New Year's Resolution to try a new Pinterest Pin every week... I have simply failed to write about it.  I am the Queen of my own distraction.  Sigh.

Anyway, I've decided to try a DIY Ritual Cleanse.  I've read so many great reviews of the Ritual Cleanse juices.  I just can't spend $80 a day on juice ($100 with shipping).  I have purchased a fancy new juicer, but I wanted to start RIGHT NOW.  I have no patience.  I also have a baton twirling gig coming up on Monday and my partner in crime is the cutest, skinniest little thing you ever did see.  I won't be anywhere near her size ever, but I do have my vanity.  In all reality I'm looking for something that will give me energy to get everything done AND the motivation to exercise more.  I don't have a lot of down time, but I do spend it sitting down.  Glowing skin wouldn't hurt me any either.  I'm just sayin'.

This morning I woke up feeling lethargic.  I decided to get dressed and grab some freshly bottled juice from Arden's Garden.  I bought a liter each of Green Machine & Complete Recovery.  It's almost 7pm and I have finished off the Green Machine (I did share with my visiting mother) and moved on to my second glass of Complete Recovery.  Green Machine is definitely my favorite.  I look forward to replicating it a tad less sweet.  I haven't been too hungry or tempted all day.  I'm about to head to the grocery store, so we'll see how long that lasts.  Most of the day I was energetic and managed to get quite a bit accomplished.  I should say I became SUPER tired earlier today and napped for 2 hours.  I never do that.  I don't know whether it's the change in my diet or my body seeking refuge from the 9,000+ pollen count Atlanta is currently experiencing.  I'll keep you posted.  Wish my luck on my trip to Publix!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Need something special for your someone special? Widdi Turner is here to save the day! It's really No Big Whoop.

Widdi Turner is one of the most talented and busiest gals in the ATL.  She’s an actor, producer, crafter, a baton twirling-go-go dancing-performer, and an adventurous baker.  She’s a one woman whirlwind taking Atlanta by storm.  This month celebrates the one year Anniversary of No Big Whoop Bakery and Widdi is taking it to new heights.  Her delectable treats are the perfect gift this Valentine's Day.
JB: Tell me a little about yourself.
WT: Well, I do a little this, I do a little that!  I've worn a lot of hats in my life, which is probably why I first became an actor - I figured then I could be anything.  In addition to acting (my biggest claim to fame would be appearances on "Good Eats" with Alton Brown), I also produce commercials, have my own crafts business - widdiwoo, twirl with Turnin' TriXXX (Little 5 Points' premier baton twirling troupe!), but mostly these days, I make whoopie pies - lots and lots of whoopie pies.
Want to read more?  Click here ----->ATLRetro

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shop Around:  An Interview with Jaime Ladet of Hustle n Bustle.

With the playful charms of Charlie Chaplin and the seductive eyes of Theda BaraJaime Ladet is a modern gamine plucked out of a Western/science fiction/fantasy movie.  An artist and crafter, photographer, musician and beekeeper.  A fire performer with one foot planted firmly in Vaudeville, the other in a neotribal circus.  She is a gypsy weaving between eras. She thrives in this one, but there’s no question her heart lies in days gone by.  This blend of styles and eccentric personality is what sets her accessory line, Hustle n Bustle, apart from the rest.  I was lucky enough to steal a bit of her time this week to share with you.

Want to read more? Click here ------> ATLRetro

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Partially Paleo: McFail

So, I'm on day five of my partially paleo diet.  I say partially because I'm not giving up alcohol and I am still eating some dairy.  I'm also not going to worry about whether a cashew is the seed or the fruit of the nut.  I'm just going to eat it and love it!  I'm more concerned with ridding my diet of unnecessary sugars and grains.  Those of you who are frothing at the mouth to say, "Alcohol has the most unnecessary sugar, blah, blah..." can save it for someone who cares.  I'm talking about fake sweeteners and breaking my addiction to sugar and wheat.

It has been surprisingly easy.  The first meal was only a half failure and still managed to be tasty and SUPER filling.  The rest have been really lovely experiences.  I had forgotten how much I love spending time in the kitchen.  I even lost three pounds.  Not bad.  The worst part has been giving up whiskey.  I am a Jameson gal through and through.  Unfortunately, whiskey is high in sugar.  The alternatives, according to most blogs I've read, are tequila and vodka.  Trying to drink tequila was a waste of time.  I'm acclimating to vodka.  It's not my favorite, but it will do for now.  I love water.  I drink a lot of it, but sometimes I want something with a little oomph.  Sparkling water?  Okay.  I'll try it.  I hate it!  Who knew water could taste so terrible?!  I can't understand why.  Still, I'm trying.  The coconut and the grapefruit LaCroix seem to be the most tolerable for me.

Like many, I have been eating far too many processed foods high in sodium and other nasties.  I need more organic fruits, vegetables, and meats.  Off to the kitchen I go!  I'm a good cook, but baking has never been my forte.  Still, I cannot resist it's call.  My first attempt was a McSOG breakfast sandwich from the Son of Grok blog.  Another great find thanks to Pinterest and it's many pinners.

One of the first ingredients in a McSOG is ground unsweetened coconut flakes.  Toss a half cup of this in a food processor and it becomes the flour for the griddle cakes.  As I said in previous posts my kitchen is very sad right now.  All of my appliances and handy tools are packed away in storage.  Knowing I'll be without them for awhile I went ahead and ordered almond and coconut flour from  Well, of course the measurement was for coconut flakes and not flour, so I tried to figure it out on my own.  Not the best attempt.  The griddle cake was extremely dry.  It barely held together when "wet".  When I flipped them they pretty much crumbled in the pan.  Fail.  I got two of them to hold together with a touch of sour cream.  They came out much like my pancakes do: half cooked and somewhat burned.  Yay.  Moving on...

I had precooked my bacon in the oven that morning and microwaved an egg while my griddle cakes, um... cooked.  I assembled my sandwich and dug in.  It was good... kind of.  The griddle cakes were weird, but that was my fault.  I think the sour cream thought it was the star of that show.  The bacon and egg certainly helped hide the odd flavor.  The cakes were so dense that I could only eat half of one.  That turned out to be just fine and I was quite full for most of the day.

If you'd like to try the recipe simply click the highlighted McSOG link above.  I'd love to hear your experiences.  I doubt I'll be trying this one again due to my flour faux pas.  It literally left a sour taste in my mouth.  If I want a breakfast sandwich again I will try the grain-free biscuit from Food Renegade.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

From Pining To "Pin"-Up

I am completely and totally addicted to Pinterest.  I spend hours collecting recipes, DIY ideas for my health and home, staring at other people's manicures, pictures from other people's holiday in the Greek Isles, and reading other people's blogs.  I've spent too much time pinning and pining rather than actually making any of it a reality!  Ridiculous.  So here it is:

Each week I will take one of my "pins", make it happen, and blog about it.  Forget New Year's resolutions.  I'm starting now.  Well, I started on Christmas Day, but whatever.  I will tackle all of my new and wonderful finds and share the outcomes with you.  Right now they will likely be craft oriented, but I'm switching to a Paleo lifestyle soon.  I'll be sharing recipe results: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest and see my boards I'm Lady Libertine.

My boyfriend is not a huge fan of sweets, but he LOVES cheesecake.  So, for Christmas, I started there.  We plan to move across the country soon and have recently downsized from a house to a loft.  Many of our things are packed away in storage.  I needed something simple I could make without anything more than a bowl, a spoon, and a baking dish.  Meet the "Sopapilla Cheesecake" posted by Alina for My Mellow Umbrella blogspot.  The recipe is extremely simple.  It's not really a sopapilla, but it's extremely tasty.  After reading other people's experience with it I made a few changes.

*2 cans crescent rolls
*2 8oz packages Neufchatel cheese (room temperature)
*1 cup sugar
*1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
*1/4 cup salted butter (melted)
*Cinnamon & sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Pop the can open and press crescent rolls in one long, layer into a 9x13, ungreased, baking dish. While the oven is heating up mix the Neufchatel cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until it's creamy and smooth.  Pour mixture over the layer of crescent rolls.  Open the second can of crescent rolls and cover the cheese mixture.  You may end up with a few extra sections of crescent rolls, as I did.  If so, you can always make some other yummy creations with them.
If I had had my utencils I would have brushed the butter over the top and saved us a lot of calories.  Instead, I poured as little as possible on and tried to maneuver it around with a spatula.  Not super easy, so I poured it on and watched it pool around the sides.  It made my heart sink a little when I saw that.  I thought, for sure, I had ruined it.  I tried to soak some of it up with paper towels, fretted, and then gave in to it.  I sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on top with great gusto and slid it in the oven.
I let the cheesecake bake for 23 minutes, then shut the oven off, and let it sit in the cooling oven til we had finished lunch.  Alina's recipe says to let it bake for 20-30 minutes, so I suppose it's up to you.  It came out quite lovely.  Perfectly cooked and golden brown.  Jet said it was the best cheesecake he'd ever had.  I'm sure he was just saying that, but it was pretty good.  Next time I will definitely try less butter and a layer of a sweet-tart fruit filling.  Maybe guava paste.  If I use the store bought crescent rolls again I think I will press them and get rid of the scoring before using them as a crust.

Ahhhh.  I feel better already.  If you can "Pin It" you can DO it.  No more pining, my "Pin"-Up lovelies.  Wanna join me?  Post your trials and errors, too.  I'd love to hear from you and follow you (on Pinterest, that is)!