Any Kitchen Will Do

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Archive for the category “coconut flour”

Pizza Reboot

pizzarebootThe other day it was warm and rainy. We were hungry and had previously talked about creating a new to us pizza crust. Since we had time and wanted to stay dry, we made an absolute mess of the kitchen and had wonderfully successful results from our experiment.

It was a great day. Our schedules have been almost opposite lately, with each of us pursuing our multiple streams of income, while juggling the fun and awe we experience watching our Little B grow and explore. It was nice to be at the same place at the same time, in the kitchen, with our daughter supervising from the nearby barstool. Throughout our dozen years of marriage, the kitchen has been a foundation where we reconnect and learn new things together. It was so nice to be back in it after running around with our heads cut off lately!

This pizza crust is the closest to a traditional, grain-based crust we have created, with the ability to pick up a piece and take a bite while still hot. Our other recipes result in slices, but to handle them with other than a fork or knife (blasphemy!!!) they have to cool significantly. With our pizza reboot here, Big D especially enjoyed the ability to almost burn his fingers and run a string of hot cheese connecting slice to mouth.

Although not pictured, we made a second pizza for Little B, testing our crust recipe against one of pizza’s greatest critics – a seven year old. She loved her go-to combination of tomato-based sauce, pepperoni and black olives. I think the fact she ate four pieces between lunch and dinner tells you something!

In the past we have made some good crust with an almond flour base, with a neutral flavor that allows the topping and sauce to shine. Prior to that, we made a hearty cheesy crust that was our staple for years. Other variations on the pizza theme, absent actual crusts, included a squash based pizza casserole, portabello mushroom pizzas and little, two-bite pizza pucks! Whether you have two hours or twenty minutes, grain free pizza can be yours!

As always, there is no limit to the sauce and topping combinations you can use. I list below what we did for a sweet and spicy result. Have fun with it, whether it is raining outside or not!

Pizza Reboot

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 large eggs (about 2 1/4 cups), whisked
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup golden flaxseed meal
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon garlic powder (we are garlic fiends, so if you are less so reduce the amount)
1 cup finely grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses

Suggested Toppings

1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage, cooked
3/4 cup caramelized onions or 1/2 cup onion paste *
1 cup sautéed mushroom slices*
Crystal hot sauce
1 cup finely grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Additional dried herbs to taste (parsley, basil, oregano, garlic…)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your pizza baking surface – preheat pizza stone as directed for stone, or line two shallow baking sheets with parchment paper.

NOTE: The pizza stone crusts will be smaller and thicker, while the 2 baking sheet version will result in a thinner, crispier crust.

ANOTHER NOTE: As an extra precaution we use parchment paper on our pizza stone (as you can see in the picture), but it may not be necessary. Since we have one pizza stone and make two pizzas, the paper makes it easier to remove the first pizza immediately and move on to the second.

In a mixing bowl combine oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar and water.

In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients of coconut flour, flaxseed meal, salt, basil, oregano and garlic powder.

With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients to the wet. Increase mixer speed to medium until ingredients are well combined. Add cheese and stir until well distributed. Divide batter in half.

Pour half the batter on the preheated pizza stone or on a prepared baking sheet. Spread batter to desired thickness. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until top sets and edges begin to brown. The browning on top is a signal that the center of the bottom is cooked sufficiently to hold together when the pizza is done.

Remove crust from oven and add desired sauce and toppings. For the toppings I list above we did ranch dressing, Crystal, mushrooms and onions, herbs, Crystal, grated cheese, sausage, herbs, Crystal, cheese. We like Crystal and a little spicy bite to our pizza. Can you tell?

Bake pizza for 15 – 20 minutes, until crust edges brown and cheese in center is melted and starting to brown. After 15 minutes watch pizza closely until it is browned to your preference.

Remove from oven, let cool five minutes, then slice and serve!

*an alternative to separately prepared onions and mushrooms is a quick mushroom onion sauté



Over the holidays I had a slew of opportunities to feed grain eaters and prove to them that grains are not necessary to enjoy celebratory meals. A couple of guest left after their visit, happy with the discovery that they not only enjoyed their eating experiences, but they in fact lost instead of gained weight during their visit. Win!

One way we were able to accomplish such a feat was adapting some of our recipes to meet celebratory needs. One need was to have a flatbread that easily soaked up sauces and juices, allowing guests to enjoy the tradition of dipping and revelling in soupy leftovers.

FoccaciawholeThis foccacia was an easy transition from our traditional Power Bread and fun to make! Instead of ensuring the dough was properly packed in a loaf pan I was able to mold it without edges and create exactly what we needed for our celebration. I am still enjoying the new memories made over the holidays and hope you can make some of your own with some of our grain free creations.


1 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup golden flaxseed meal
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
9 eggs, room temperature
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup melted lard, butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped oregano
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare shallow baking pan by lining with aluminum foil.

In a large mixing bowl combine coconut flour, golden flaxseed meal, salt, baking soda, garlic, parsley, basil and oregano, then stir until well blended.

In a separate bowl combine eggs and apple cider vinegar. Whisk together until egg whites and yolks are well combined. Add lard/butter to eggs and continue whisking. Add immediately to bowl of dry ingredients.

Place dough in the middle of prepared baking pan. Gently spread dough towards the edges of the pan, making a rectangular shape that is 1/2 inch or less in thickness. Press edges towards the middle, ensuring that they are firmly shaped.

Using your hands gently spread the olive oil over the top and edges of the shaped dough. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. Place in preheated oven on the middle shelf. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until middle is cooked and top of bread is evenly brown.

Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Slice bread into approximately 12-15 squares. Serve immediately or reheat before serving later. Store chilled in airtight container.

Power Bread

powerbunsFor the past year or so we have experimented with creating a simple, healthy substitute for loaf bread and buns. Some of our experiments were successful, but not quite “it.” We first discovered Bred Bread, which is delicious, but quite pricy considering the four cups of almond needed needed to make it. We also came up with some flatbread, but it is a bit fickle and not the best substitute for a bun. Our quick minute muffins do a good job, but just don’t completely do it for us when we want sliced bread.

This. This is it! We call it power bread because of how much protein and fiber you get from a slice or two. Little B has a slice with peanut butter and forgets about food for hours. This is significant because she is a six year old eating machine these days. The bread works like a sponge, filling up your stomach quickly after eating. It is also convenient to have a loaf ready in the fridge, and much less expensive to make without almond meal.

The loaf and bun versions are very popular with the customers of Grain Free Haven, with people stocking up each week at farmers markets and fairs in the Dallas area. I have been told by customers that Stevia is not the purest of ingredients for people following a Paleo diet, but the ingredient can be excluded without a significant impact. We think it works well balancing the coconut flour and flaxseed meal flavors, but it is a subtle effect and the bread is delicious either way.

I hope you make and enjoy our masterpiece! Be careful though, because one serving will fill you and a second may stuff you!

Power Bread

1 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup golden flaxseed meal
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp Stevita (granulated sweetener)
9 eggs, room temperature
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup melted lard, butter or extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine coconut flour, golden flaxseed meal, salt, baking soda and Stevita, then stir until well blended.

In a separate bowl combine eggs and apple cider vinegar. Whisk together until egg whites and yolks are well combined. Add lard/butter/oil to eggs and continue whisking. Add immediately to bowl of dry ingredients.

For one loaf: pour dough into well greased 8 x 4 loaf pan.* This is a smaller loaf, which allows for a square loaf. A larger pan can be used, but you will have more of a rectangular end result. Wet your hands and even out the top of the loaf, making sure it is level and damp. With a dinner fork lightly poke the top of the dough every inch or so. Bake a single loaf, on the center shelf (third shelf from the top) on a shallow baking sheet, for 50-55 minutes.

For 6 buns: well grease six 1-cup ramekins. Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom of each, making sure the paper does not run up the sides. Using a large ice cream scoop place two level scoops into each ramekin. Wet your hands even out the top of each bun, making sure each is level and damp. With a dinner fork lightly poke the top of the dough every inch or so. Place all six ramekins on a shallow baking dish as far apart from each other as possible. Bake buns on the center shelf (third shelf from the top) for 28-32 minutes.

*This is a smaller loaf pan than typically used with wheat-based breads. The size allows for a square loaf. A larger pan can be used, but you will have more of a rectangular end result.

Fluffy Pancakes

2015-10-14 10.30.27A few years ago we were living temporarily in a hotel while moving, and had to wrestle with a little kitchenette. Craving pancakes, we concocted a lovely recipe that we have used consistently ever since. I recently decided I wanted to make some fluffier, less coconut-y pancakes and tweaked the recipe. I also considered our interest in having plenty of leftovers, so figured out a quadrupled batch. This version makes about 18 pancakes, so at two pancakes per serving it makes for nine meals (and without the syrup, also a filling snack on the go for Little B).

I caution you about eating more than two at a time without at least ten minutes in between servings. These suckers seem to expand like sponges in the stomach. I at two at 10am this morning and have yet to be hungry now at 8pm. Better than any super food I ever before experienced!

Fluffy Pancakes

1 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp Stevita
1/2 tsp sea salt
11 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, Stevita and salt. In a separate mixer bowl place the eggs, coconut oil and cream. Mix the wet ingredients on medium until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture and mix on high until well combined and any solid pieces of coconut oil are broken up and incorporated.

Heat a large skillet to medium high. Add a drop fat (about a teaspoon of butter, coconut oil or lard) to the pan and let it heat up. Add 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the batter and gently spread it out into a pancake with approximate diameter of 3″ – 4″. Cook for about two minutes until the bottom of the pancake sets, then flip it over with a large spatula. Cook for about two more minutes until both sides are consistently browned.

An alternative is using a waffle iron – our iron has a flat reverse side, so we can use the flat side, drop two dollops of batter, close the top and cook two pancakes until browned (relying on instructions for your particular waffle iron, if it does such wondrous things).

Repeat with remaining batter until it is gone.

Serve immediately or store in fridge/freezer in air tight container.

King Cheesecake

king cheesecakeIn past years I have created a myriad of different King Cake-themed treats. This year I almost passed up creating a new treat, but then Big D opened his mouth. I do admit that most times when he does that the result is positive. Other times, not so much. This time when he got a look on his face and was about to talk I held my breath. Really? We don’t have enough possibilties to choose from? Really?! Well, after he finished sharing his idea (aka closed his mouth) I was sold. Really, we don’t have enough. More more more! This here treat is a wonderful combination of past creations – the limey cheesecake, the Unholy King Cake and King Cakelettes.  I officially say, Big D, here and now, you were right…this time. The cheesecake is, as always, extremely creamy and satisfying. The crumbly, nutty topping reminds me of the spicy middle of a traditional King Cake, and the colored frosting provides for the traditional colors of Mardi Gras – green, gold and purple. I do wish the colored frosting was more vibrant in the picture, for I had to make a choice while waging a gentle battle. Today, being a gymnastics workshop day, Little B ran and flipped and tumbled pretty much nonstop for four hours. This means that her temperament, and mine, were at a bare minimum. After promising her for days she could help with this treat I could not refuse her here at the end. There was no margin for adjusting color or hue when mixing the three little bowls, so what you see is our wondrous treat with a pastel version of our dream. The good thing is she helped and looks forward to ending our feast tomorrow with a big slice. The bad thing is the decor is about four shades darker than planned. A small price to pay for some fun time with my little chef! Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!!! I hope you all have a wonder Fat Tuesday celebration tomorrow and are properly somber (whether from absinthe or faith or both) on Wednesday!

King Cheesecake

2 cups finely ground almond flour
2 Tbsp coconut flour
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp Stevita granulated sweetener
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 ground ginger
1 egg white, whisked (save yolk for filling)

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk, room temperature
3 Tbsp butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream, room temperature
1/3 cup Stevita, granular sweetener
2 large limes, zested and juice separated from meat (use less for milder lime tang)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp Stevita granulated sweetener
1/4 cup butter, melted
Dash sea salt

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 ounces butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp Stevita
Food coloring (green, yellow, purple – made with one part blue and three parts red)

Make the Topping. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread raw walnuts and pecans in one layer on a shallow, metal baking sheet. Place in oven for about five to eight minutes, until they begin to darken. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool. In a microwavable bowl add the butter. Melt on medium power, checking every 30 seconds, until completely melted. In food processor grind toasted nuts until they are a consistency of a rough meal. Add to the butter the ground nuts, cinnamon, Stevita and salt. Stir until well combined. Set aside.

Make the Cake. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In 9″ pie dish cut a round of parchment paper that fits the bottom of the dish. In medium bowl stir together all dry crust ingredients. Add the butter and stir until the ingredients clump. Add the egg white mix until well combined. Crust will still be crumbly. Press crust into dish until bottom and sides are covered.For the filling add to a large bowl the cream cheese and sour cream. Whisk together until completely smooth. Add butter and stir again until smooth. Add eggs and yolk, stirring to incorporate and until smooth. Add sweetener, lime zest, lime juice and vanilla. Beat until well combined and smooth (see a pattern?). Pour filling into crust and gently smooth surface. Place cheesecake in oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until filling sets. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle topping on top – either evenly over the the entire top of the cheesecake, or Just along the edges, leaving a 2″ diameter space the middle uncovered, like the hole in the middle of a traditional King Cake. Return cake to oven for 10 more minutes. Turn off heat without opening oven door. Leave cake in the oven until mostly cooled, about two hours.

Make Frosting and Decorate. Whisk together cream cheese, butter and sweetener until well combined and smooth. Divide mixture into three separate bowls. Using green, yellow and purple food coloring, color the mixture in the different bowls until the desired tint is achieved. Using a spoon for each color drizzle the frosting over the top of the cheesecake – if you left the middle of the cheesecake clear of topping, I suggest you continue the theme of leaving the middle plain and drizzle the frosting over the portions with the topping. If the frosting is too firm to spread randomly you have two choices: 1) scoop frosting onto the bottom of a spoon and run it over the top of the cake, allowing it to catch on the pieces of topping, or 2) heat the frosting in the microwave at half power for 15-30 seconds until it is runny, then drizzle it over the top of the cake. If the topping was spread over the top of the entire cheesecake, then use any pattern you choose to apply the frosting.

Chill finished cheesecake at least one hour before serving.


Banana Bread

banana bread_edited-1

Little B has been requesting banana bread for over a month. We don’t usually buy bananas because Little B is the only one who eats them, and often loses interest before the bunch is gone. The same was true this week. Two bananas were left to get dark brown and look pathetic. I remembered all the breads we have made over the past year and did a crap shoot. The ratio between almond and coconut flour definitely needs to be considered to ensure a moist result, but not overly so. The bananas would provide a natural sweetness, but no need to do much sweetening otherwise. Cinnamon always tastes yummy when sprinkled on a banana, so why not drop in a bit? The bread did not rise very much, but it was still light and fluffy. Little Be loved it, but picked out the walnuts, so the next batch we will do without. A lot of buts that turned into a lovely bread. And the darned bananas are finally gone.

Banana Bread

1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp Stevita (can be excluded, if you find the mild sweetness of banana sufficient)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
4 Tbsp butter, melted
3 eggs
1 cup finely chopped raw walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line rectangular bread pan with parchment paper or grease muffin pan. In a large bowl combine the almond and coconut flours, baking soda, sea salt, sweetener and cinnamon. In a separate bowl place the bananas. Puree the bananas with a stick blender (or mush with hands like Little B prefers) until smooth. Add butter and eggs, whisking together until smooth. Pour liquid mixture, and nuts (optional) to dry mixture. Whisk together until combined. Batter will be thick. Pour batter in bread pan, or divide batter equally among muffin pan divets. Bake in oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Muffins take about 20 minutes, loaf about 30. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about ten minutes. Serve or store in refrigerator.


Jalapeno Cheddar Muffins

jalapeno bread

Holy guacamole these things are good! They also go well with guacamole. Or just butter. Or split and used for a sandwich. Or sliced thinly and toasted and used for tea sandwiches…. You probably get that they are very versatile. They are also savory and flavorful. They remind us a lot of the garlic cheddar biscuits a soon-to-be-defunct restaurant chain serves. I don’t actually like their seafood, but love their salads and (used to) adore eating the biscuits. When reheating them just brush on some melted garlic butter and you will see what I mean.

Jalapeno Cheddar Muffins

2/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup butter
8 large eggs
1/2 – 3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
3 Tbsp fresh jalapeno, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the coconut flour, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the melted butter. Add the coconut flour mixture to the egg/butter mixture and stir to combine until it forms a wet dough mixture. Add jalapenos and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is well distributed. Divide the batter among 12 greased muffin tins or eight mini loaf tins. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the muffins/loaves. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until cheese turns golden brown. Let cool slightly before removing from pan.

Bred Bread


What an adventurous effort this bread recipe has been! It is officially named Bred, just because, and as a homage to Big D’s tendency to play with words. Actually, the recipe has mostly been a result of Big D’s efforts, but Little B and I supervised, mixed, provided input (solicited and not) and were overall cheerleaders. We certainly ate a lot of the results. It all began with cravings. As we continue on our low carb journey we longed more and more for sandwiches and bread. We thought there must be a way to make a nutritious, low carb bread-like thing to sate our desires. Some gluten free breads on the market are okay, but have more carbs that we want to deal with, and include non-wheat grains that we prefer to avoid. They also tend to be a bit rubbery and tasteless, without the help of other flavors slathered all over. After my experimenting with various baked goods, we were already familiar with the impact of flaxseed meals, coconut flour, and almond meal – in muffins, pies, rolls, etc. Not only their impact on the end product, but on our personal weight management, which was not negatively.

Big D searched the interwebs and found this recipe from the wonderful Miss Elana. Our first batch using the recipe was okay, but did not have the texture and flavor we craved. We also did not have the dainty bread pan she recommended, so the first attempt was not as loafy as we wanted. It was a good launching pad for what you find below. This bread is substantial enough for deli sandwiches, garlic bread, and especially grilled cheese sandwiches. After mastering the basic Bred recipe we found that some slight variations make for different, yet still satisfying results. The ‘rye’ version has the tang of traditional rye bread, making for wonderful reuben sandwiches. The version using non-golden flaxseed meal gives the bread a much lighter, almost poppy seed flavor that lends itself to more delicate tea and fish sandwiches. If you miss the very obvious point here, we are so very excited to have bread back in our diet! It adds variety and convenience and helps in stretching out leftovers, which are always hanging out in our fridge.

A related and concurrent discovery was a source of Kerrygold Butter here in town! There is such a superior flavor and texture difference with Kerrygold when compared to other butters – a difference we fell in love with many years ago. We have been searching for it locally for many months now and dreaded the expense of getting it shipped directly. Of course we bought out the supply when we found it, but we don’t feel bad. I am pretty sure others did the same before us. Maybe since it sold out they will restock? We hope so, but that is not always how the bread crumbles…give our Bred recipe a try, and do so with Kerrygold. Yum!

Bred Bread

4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
½ cup golden flaxseed meal
1 ½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp stevita/erythritol powder
10 eggs
2 Tbsp coconut oil or lard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Rye Version
When combining first six ingredients also add:
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground mustard
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Lighter Version
Use regular instead of golden flaxseed meal

Place almond four, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, salt, baking soda and erythritol in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Add eggs and oil and stir until well combined, using your hands if necessary as the dough thickens. Add vinegar and stir until well combined. Place dough into a greased 9″x5″ bread pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 50  minutes – knife should come out clean from tallest point of the loaf. Bake for ten more minutes if knife is damp. Remove from pan immediately. Serve.

Yowza Anniversary Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls

Year three of my blog is starting. Tomorrow. Wow. Yowza. It amazes me that I have been able to continue with it. Not because it is hard, for I love exploring new recipes and sharing old ones, but because making it a priority has given me so many opportunities to focus on myself. This may mean more to people that know me well, but can also make sense to those who don’t. I very often get caught up in helping and supporting people around me – family, friends, co-workers. I discover too late that I do not do ‘me’ stuff frequently enough, so my energy stores and momentum fade away. Knowing that I promised myself to continue the blog has given me a way to keep my personal enthusiasm up. With all the changes and moves and adjustments our family has gone through during the past year I am proud of myself for continuing the blog. Picking up and moving cross country (contiguous) and beyond takes a lot of energy, to embrace the experience and joy of every day. I love we had the experience and expect to do it again and again in our lifetimes. As I look back on the past two years I also see how our eating habits have changed. Moving from eating everything imaginable to excluding wheat to also excluding most starchy carbs and sugar, I see how our journey has evolved. We are not perfect, as with all human being, but we try. Some exclusions have driven us to challenge ourselves to continue our traditions without the ‘evil to us’ ingredients. Things like tamales and king cakes and cookies and muffins are part of the plethora of recipes we rely on to add variety to our diet without deviating. As I work through the various recipes that we love in nostalgia, and discovering new ones, I am so excited to share them with our daughter. It is a constant effort to balance our memories while developing new, healthier versions for her. Miss Marie has recently shared a recipe for cinnamon rolls. I made some changes, of course, and the result made for some amazing treats to celebrate my second anniversary. Between Big D’s love for such rolls and my extensive time spent in airports sniffling the wafting aromas from the cinnamon roll denizens who live there, the treats are cherished and longed for. I am ecstatic about finally making some and feeling indulgent in celebration. What better way to celebrate an anniversary than to make such succulent yummies. Little B loved helping spread the filling and, as always, frosting, just like the cupcakes we made a while back. Thank you to those who have followed my journey the past two year and welcome to those who joined me recently! Slainte!

Yowza Anniversary Cinnamon Rolls

3 eggs
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
3 Tbsp erythritol/stevia blend
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 TBS Coconut oil or Butter, softened
2 TBS Cinnamon
3 TBS erythritol/stevia blend
1/4 tsp stevia glycerite

6 TBS cream cheese, softened (or coconut cream if dairy allergy)
3 TBS butter, softened
2 TBS spoonable erythritol/stevia blend
A little heavy cream (to thin it out, if desired)

Pastry: In a medium bowl, cream the butter and the sweetener until very smooth. Add in the eggs. In another bowl mix together the coconut flour, almond four/meal, salt and baking powder. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the wet, then add in the vanilla. Stir until a thick dough forms. Cover and place in fridge to chill the dough for 1 hour or overnight.

Frosting: Place all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and combine until smooth. Store in fridge overnight. When you start the Pastry Again section below remove Frosting from the fridge.

Filling: Mix all ingredients together.

Pastry Again: Place a sheet of parchment on counter, then spray with coconut oil spray. Place dough on greased parchment, push the dough down a bit, and spray with another layer of coconut oil. Top with another sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until a long rectangle shape, about one foot long. Remove the top layer of parchment.

Spread filling evenly over the dough. Roll up dough, with the longer side becoming the roll, using the edge of the plastic to make a tight log. Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Place the rolls into a greased muffin tin or onto a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until baked through. Insert a toothpick to check doneness…the toothpick should come out clean.

Spread the frosting on the rolls. Serve immediately to family members who were drooling over the smell of the baking rolls. Store extras in airtight container for up to one week at room temperature, or freeze.


Cornless Tamales…What?!

tamales loaded

Growing up in south Texas we adopted a Christmas Eve tradition of a tamale feast. This year was no exception. We made enough for Christmas Eve, Christmas Morning as well as New Years Eve! Our tradition used to include purchasing tamales, then piling them with queso, guacamole, meaty chili and chimichurri. A few years ago, when we no longer spent Christmas in San Antonio, there was difficulty finding good tamales. Tamales were available, but they were just off in size and flavor. We had no choice but to start making our own. At the time we made the masa with corn meal, and perfected the flavor of it to wonderfully compliment the pork filling. Now that we are watching our carbohydrate intake, the reliance on corn products is nil, which we wanted to carry over into our holiday tradition. If you have ever had tamales, you know there is a specific texture to masa in a tamale, and there is supposed to be a hint of smoky spiciness to the middle meat filling. Some people may be on the verge of offended when I talk about masa without corn, for the word typically represents a corn-based dough used for all kinds of dishes, including pupusas, tortillas and of course tamales. For our version we used flaxseed meal and coconut flour to achieve the required texture. We also used what may seem like a lot of salt, but with the flaxseed and coconut products it is needed, to give a little help to the pork for it all to work together and carry the spice flavors through to the final dish. The tamales turned out flavorful and robust, able to compete (in a good way) with the toppings, and with a texture almost exactly like corn masa. Big D appeased me by measuring the ingredients this time around so we could record an actual recipe it for posterity. He is usually an eye it, taste it, add more, dash here, sprinkle there kind of cook, so it was a bit of a stretch, but he survived. With my mom visiting for the holidays we had loads of fun showing her the process and had three generations of family in the tamale-making production line, just like things should be. I hope you enjoyed your holidays and consider our scrumptious medley in your future celebrations. We will never forget it and hope to repeat it in the years to come!

Cornless Tamales….What?!

2 cups coconut flour
2 cups golden flaxseed meal
¼ pound lard, melted
2 eggs
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
3 Tbsp sea salt
5 – 6 cups liquid retained from meat filling

24 – 36 corn husks, soaked in water for at least one hour

Meat Filling
2 pound pork roast
1 small onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 jalapenos, diced
1 cup roasted green chiles (canned or fresh), diced
2 chipotle peppers with adobo sauce from can (use about 1 Tbsp of sauce)
1 cup water
2 Tbsp sea salt

1 Batch fresh or canned beef chili
1 Batch Guacamole
1 Batch Chimichurri
Queso (1 pound processed cheese loaf melted with 1 can Rotel tomatoes and chiles)
Sour Cream

Sear sides of the pork roast in a large skillet, then place roast in a crock pot. In the same skillet add bacon grease and melt over medium-high heat. When melted add onion, garlic, cumin seeds, jalapeno and chiles. Cook until seared. Add chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to mixture and continue cooking until combined and heated through. Transfer seared mixture to crock pot over the roast. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and water, then cook roast on low for 8 – 10 hours. Turn crock pot off and let cool for a few hours. Drain liquid and shred meat with a fork, retaining the liquid for masa.

While meat cools make the masa. Combine flaxseed meal, coconut flour, cumin, salt and garlic powder in a bowl. Add lard to mixture and combine into a dough. Add liquid from the meat one cup at a time until it is the consistency of soft peanut butter – you will need anywhere from four to six cups.

To build the tamales pat dry one corn husk, then lay it flat on your work surface. Spread masa evenly in the middle of the husk, leaving 1 – 2 inches clear at the top and bottom, and along one side. Drop a row of pork along the middle of the masa, to the very edges of where it is spread. Gently roll the tamale, making sure the masa completely envelopes the pork in the middle. Overlap the sides of the husk and fold the small end up. A small strip of husk can be used to tie around the tamale to keep it closed, or just lay completed tamales face down so seams to not come apart. Repeat process until you run out of supplies.

In a deep stock pot with pasta/steamer insert, fill bottom of pot with water, but no higher than the bottom of the steamer insert – tamales should not be sitting in water at all. Fill the insert with tamales by lining them up vertically, with folded end down. Place cover on pot and heat to boiling, then turn heat down to simmer, making sure steam continues to rise. Steam tamales for about one hour, until the masa is firm and they are heated through. Remove tamales from pan and lay out in a single or double layer, allowing them to dry out a bit. When ready to eat, unroll the tamales from the husk and eat plain or smother with your toppings of choice.


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