Carrot Curry Soup with Agave Cream

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped ( I used red sweet Italian but any sweet onion will work)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar

In a large  pan, over medium high heat, add butter and onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are limp and golden.

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Peel carrots

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Grate frozen ginger it’s far easier to grate if it’s frozen.

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Add broth, carrots, and ginger.

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Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced.

Remove from heat and use your immersion blender to blend your carrots and broth.  If you don’t have a immersion blender you can use a kitchen blender.  I personally make a ton of soups so my emersion blender is a wonderful tool to have in the kitchen.  Here’s a link to one on amazon    http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CSB-75BC-2-Speed-Immersion-Blender/dp/B00ARQVM5O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398879587&sr=8-1&keywords=immersion+blender

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Now you will add cream, stir over high heat until hot. For a smoother flavor bring soup to a boil, add salt and pepper, to taste.

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Ladle into bowls and garnish with Agave cream and pine nuts.

  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Agave Syrup
  • Toasted Pine Nuts

Hand wisk your sour cream and agave together and place a spoonful on top of your soup with some toasted pine nuts.

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Toast your pine nuts for 7 minutes at 350 give or take.

If you aren’t a fan of heat add less red pepper and curry.  I won’t tell! If you want to reduce the cream with fat free half and half go right ahead.  Isn’t it nice to eat something that you can pronounce all of the ingredients?

 

 

 

Hawaiian Macadamia Turtle Cake

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Who doesn’t love Hawaii.  This cake blends all of the flavors that make you long to place your toes in the sand and soak up the sun.

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/8 cups raw sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

Preheat oven to 275°. This is a low and slow cooking cake

Grease and flour your pans.

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In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

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In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.

Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the coconut milk.

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Stir in banana mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.

Pineapple Curd filling:

  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 TSP Cornstarch

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This curd is very simple.  Measure out your ingredients and wisk well  until there are no pieces of cornstarch visible.  Boil for 3 to 5 minutes and cool.  I placed mine in a squeezable bottle but this is not necessary.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Buttercream:

  • 3/4 unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Take your roasted macadamia nuts and place them in a blender  blend until it breakdown into a grainy butter then add the rest of your room temperature butter.  From here you will place your butter in your mixer and beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy. If you butter starts to melt from the chocolate being to warm just wait and come back after it has a chance to cool.  It will recover.

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Crumb coat your cake.  This doesn’t have to be pretty it just ensures that you cake will hold your pretty layer of frosting.

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Now place some of your frosting in a ziploc bag and cut the corner off.  You will place four dots about the size of quarters down the side of the cake and take the back of tablespoon and drag it to make this wave like design.  I believe there is a better example of this on Lucy’s cake that made on this blog last month.  Just search under my cakes and you will find the step by step process.

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Now you will fill the center with your pineapple curd and place macadamia nuts around the edge of the cake.  This is simple and helps hide your flaws.

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I used a turtle cookie cutter to create the turtle center but this isn’t necessary.  You could just sprinkle the nuts on top of top it off with fresh pineapple or cherries.

FYI this buttercream will not be as soft and silky as s standard buttercream due to the macadamia nuts being mixed in however you will forgive them.

 

Growing and Making Smoothies with Wheatgrass

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Have I mentioned that I have the best neighbors!  One of our neighbors grew some wheatgrass for us in Celebration of Easter.  It’s fairly simple to do and the health benefits are out of this world.

Two ounces of fresh wheat-grass juice is equivalent to the nutritional value of roughly 4 pounds of organic green vegetables in vitamin and mineral content. On an empty stomach it is assimilated into the blood in about 20 minutes. The vitality lasts throughout the day. How’s that for eating your veggies!

It should also come with a disclaimer it is BITTER..  I choose to add mine to smoothies.  This smoothie is not a sweet one but it’s packed with nutrition and it is refreshing.

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Purple Wheatgrass Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of frozen grapes
  • 1 handful of frozen cranberries
  • 10 almonds
  • 1 handful of wheatgrass clippings

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This is your end result!

Here are a couple of links to growing your own wheatgrass   http://www.wheatgrassgreenhouse.com/growgrass.html www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS8Xch0G0jM

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Minnesota Girl Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pistachios, shells removed
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling on cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

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Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

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With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients.

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Stir in the pistachios and chocolate chunks.

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Mix until just incorporated.

 

Use  a spoon or cookie scoop, form tablespoons size balls of cookie dough. Place balls on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

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Sprinkle cookie dough balls with sea salt. Bake cookies for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

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Store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. If you like salty-sweet these cookies are for you.  This was my first time making them and I think I would change up the recipe using coconut oil vs butter to make them a bit more chewy and soft.

Ranch Chicken Kabobs

These are our standard go to kabobs for pool gatherings.  You can use Steak or Pork as well.

Ingredients

  • cup olive oil
  • ½ cup light ranch salad dressing
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I omit the salt!)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch cubes

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Measure out your ingredients.

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In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar.

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This is what it should look like.

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Place chicken in the bowl or ziploc bag, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade. This time we just did sweet onions feel free to use what ever veggies you would like.  We often place onions, mushrooms, pineapple and bell peppers on the skewers.

Here is your end results.

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Easter Egg’s using whats on hand

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I don’t know what happen this year, but the decorating of the eggs ran away from my list.  We ended up using what we had on hand and as always it worked out fine.  As parents we place so much pressure on ourselves.

We used gel color which is what I use for cookies and other baking treats.

  • Gel Color (drops to your desired color)
  • 1/4 cup  Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup Hot Water

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In order to have evenly colored eggs I just took some sewing pins and placed them in a cardboard box which holds the eggs up to drip.  It’s super easy and makes a much better looking egg.

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Here was our end result.  Yes we only had nine eggs:-)

Garrett didn’t even notice.

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Keeping Celery Crisp

 

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My celery keeps for over two weeks and remains crisp.  It’s great to have a healthy snack ready to go for the entire family.

Just cut your celery into the length you desire, wrap in paper towels.  I usually cut my paper towels in half.  Then simply wrap washed celery in paper towels and store in baggies in your crisper.  It’s that simple.

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free Easter printable props

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Yes I’m sure by now you are about to inform me that I have my holidays mixed up.  HOLD ON!  These are some shots of our dear neighbors the Albert’s whom we shared Thanksgiving with a couple of years back.  Kurtain is from St. Lucia and is not in favor of guests bringing things.  This is a hard thing for me to do…. So I opted for bringing some free props and taking photos.

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As you can tell from the photos our children hate each other.

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This family is blessed with beauty on the inside and out!

Here is a link to a blog that has some cute Easter Bunny props for your family.

http://www.mygrafico.com/freebies/free-easter-bunny-printable-templates/prod_10377.html

 

 

 

DIY Fabric Softener

Ingredients

  • 6 cups hot water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups suave refreshing waterfall conditioner

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Directions

1. Mix conditioner & hot water well, until conditioner is dissolved.

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2. Add the vinegar, and mix well.

3. Pour into washed out fabric softener bottle. This recipe yields you 88 ounces of fabric softener.

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4.  use approx. 2 tbsp. in the fabric softener spot in your laundry machine.

It will smell like vinegar after it sits.  Just shake it up before pouring the smell washes out.

If you are trying to avoid chemicals I’ve read that you can use essential oils vs. conditioner.