Paleo & Primal Food, Wine, Travel & Living

Posts tagged “party

Recipes from the 1st Annual Ladies Holiday Party and Gluten Free Cookie Exchange Sponsored by Challenge Butter and Bob’s Red Mill

cookie plate copy
Special thanks to the suppliers of our ingredients for the First Annual Ladies Holiday Party and Gluten Free Cookie Exchange: Challenge Butter and Bob’s Red Mill.  As you can see above, our ladies put together quite a spread with your line of products.

Challenge Butter sent all baking attendees coupons for their butter and new cream cheese products. Bob’s Red Mill sent 4 packages of coconut, almond and hazelnut flours our way as well. We used these products to make and share the following cookie recipes (I’ll also be sharing other treat and savory recipes using Challenge and Bob’s Red Mill products throughout 2015 as well!):

Grain Free “Oatmeal” Chocolate Chip Cookies

shiloh
Ingredients
1/4 cup Challenge Butter
1 large egg at room temperature
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill almond flour
2 Tbs Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp finely ground flax seeds
3/4 cup finely shredded coconut
1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Procedure
Preheat oven to 350°F
Place the Challenge Butter and the egg in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream for 1 minute on high. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can use an electric hand mixer.
Add the honey and vanilla and mix for another minute.
Place the cinnamon, nutmeg, Bob’s Red Mill flours, baking soda, salt, and flax seeds in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Slowly add the dry ingredients


Gluten-Free Orange-Cinnamon Lace Cookies

susan

Ingredients
1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill almond flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoons grated orange rind (zest)
5 tablespoons unsalted Challenge Butter
1/3 cup Pyure Organic Stevia
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon orange extract, optional
melted dark chocolate for drizzling, optional

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

In a small bowl mix together the flours, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest until well blended.

Combine the Challenge Butter, Pyure Organic Stevia, and honey in a medium saucepan set over low heat. Stir until the butter melts and the stevia dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and bring just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in the dry ingredients into the pan, followed by the orange extract.

Drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet by teaspoonfuls, spacing the spoonfuls 4″ apart from one another. Bake no more than six cookies on a pan.

Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, until they’re an even golden brown. Transfer the cookies, on their parchment or foil, to a rack, and let them rest until they’re completely cool and crisp.

Bake succeeding batches while the first batch is cooling.

Once the cookies are completely cool, drizzle them with melted dark chocolate, if desired.


Caramel Date Thumbprints

kristy

cookies
Cookie Base
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups pecan halves
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill almond flour
1 1/3 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped plump Medjool dates
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted Challenge butter, softened
¾ cup Pyure Organic Stevia
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Procedure
Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor. Remove dough from food processor and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour to firm up the dough. You can also place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to speed up the process.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Shape cookies into little balls and press your thumb into them to make a deep impression. Bake at 350°F until they are golden brown. Take out the cookies and carefully (as the cookies are still hot) press them back down in the center to make sure the impressions are deep enough to hold the caramel date filling.

Caramel Date Filling
Ingredients
20 medjool dates soaked in hot water and drained
2 Tbs Challenge Butter
sea salt to taste
2 tsp vanilla extract
Procedure
Pulse in a food processor until the filling becomes a caramel texture.
When cookies have cooled, use a pastry bag to fill them with the caramel.

Chocolate Drizzle
Ingredients
2 cups chocolate (chips or semisweet)
2 Tbs coconut oil
Procedure
Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil in the microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring in between. When chocolate is melted, drizzle it over the finished cookies and set aside to dry.


Thanks again to Challenge Butter and Bob’s Red Mill for their awesome product supplies. You can find them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here. You can find Bob’s Red Mill on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here.

If you would like to sponsor the 2015 Ladies Holiday Party and Gluten Free Cookie Exchange, you can contact me here. I am looking for wine sponsors, gluten free cookie ingredients, catered items for guests, and goodie bag items for attendees.

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First Annual Ladies Gluten Free Cookie Exchange Catered by Whole Foods Market Roseville

 

whole foods spread
On December 20th, 2014, I invited a group of ladies over to our home for a holiday gathering and gluten free cookie exchange. I didn’t want to serve only cookies, but rather have a small dinner spread for my guests. Since I wanted to focus on my guests and arranging a few games during the party, I definitely did not want to worry about making/preparing the food. I spoke to some of my Northern California contacts at Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market in Roseville gladly agreed to provide the food for the event. (You can see the full spread above).

The planning was simple. All I had to do was go online (I had a budget of $150 to feed 8-10 people) and choose the items I wanted and figure out how much for the number of guests I would have. I was also able to keep the menu gluten free, which was super important to me since it was a gluten free cookie exchange and considering the theme of this website. 🙂 To view some catering options available at the Roseville, California store, you can click here. After I decided on the items I wanted to order, I wrote them down and brought in my order to the catering department. (I recommend doing this at least a week before your party if the number of guests is similar to mine—8 to 10.)

For the Ladies Gluten Free Cookie Exchange of 2014, here’s what Whole Foods Market Roseville put together for me:

Main course, a sous vide pork loin. All I had to do was unwrap it and throw in in the oven for 15-20 minutes while I was waiting for my guests to arrive.
pork loin

I also ordered a tray of chicken satay. Because people love food on a stick. Fun! 😉

chicken satay
Because the nickname of my holiday gathering was “the wine party disguised as a cookie exchange” I ordered a fruit tray AND a cheese tray, because nothing goes with wine more than fruit and cheese! Especially cheese 🙂

fruit tray

The cheese platter had cheddar, provolone, smoked mozzarella, swiss, and brie cheeses (I asked that they leave off the baguette slices it typically comes with) and was garnished with fresh fruit.

traditional cheese platter

The last item on the spread was this impressive antipasto platter featuring nitrate/nitrite-free prosciutto, salami, fresh mozzarella, marinated olives, marinated artichokes, roasted red pepper, marinated mushrooms and roasted tomatoes.

antipasti platter

Scribner Bend Vineyards and Domaine Chandon kicked in some super food friendly wine. Scribner Bend sent me a bottle of their 2011 Cabernet Franc and a bottle of their 2010 Black Hat Tempranillo. The Black Hat Tempranillo has been a long time favorite of mine, and it was also a big hit at the party. The Cabernet Franc also didn’t last very long. A guest of mine brought an amazing dairy free lamb moussaka that serendipitously paired up with the Cabernet Franc. Thanks so much, Scribner Bend and thank you Wendy for the moussaka. 🙂

scribner wines
Domaine Chandon also sent a bottle of their Limited Edition Blanc de Noirs to kick off the party in style. You can visit their online store here. Many cheers and happy 2015 to Domaine Chandon. 🙂

chandon
Challenge Butter and Bob’s Red Mill were also major sponsors and I will be writing about their contributions in separate blog posts (with recipes!!) to follow this one.

You can find Whole Foods Roseville on Facebook here and follow Whole Foods Market Northern California on twitter here. Thanks again to them for their sponsorship of the 2014 Gluten Free Cookie Exchange.

If you would like to sponsor the 2015 Ladies Holiday Party and Gluten Free Cookie Exchange, you can contact me here. I am looking for wine sponsors, gluten free cookie ingredients, catered items for guests, and goodie bag items for attendees.


12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover: Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon Duo

josh duo
It’s day ten of my 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover and today’s pick comes from Josh Cellars. It’s their duo of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

These are inexpensive to mid-priced wines, and a great gift for your boss, co-worker or neighbor. They are also wise choices to bring to Christmas dinner to share with the family.

The Sauvignon Blanc is a drink now and pairs well with a starter salad, cheeses and seafood, and the Cabernet Sauvignon you can enjoy now with a main course like this Salt and Pepper Crusted Prime Rib with Sage Jus! There are also definite aging capabilities on the Cabernet if you have the patience to wait. 😉

The Sauvignon Blanc costs around $17 and the Cabernet Sauvignon around $16. Both can be found at Total Wine and More.

For every bottle you purchase until Dec 31st, they will donate $1 to Operation Homefront and their special Holiday Meals for Military program.

Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals for Military ensures troops and their families have what they need for a healthy and plentiful holiday meal. In 2014, they will be distributing 8,000 meals in 21 locations across the country.

About Operation Homefront:
A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 93 percent of total donations to Operation Homefront go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.

About Josh Cellars:
California vintner Joseph Carr’s line of Josh Cellars wine is named in honor of his father – a passionate stock car racer and war veteran who was as unassuming and approachable as the wines that bear his name. Josh Cellars offers bold, complex and approachable wines handcrafted for drinking with family and friends. Sourced from vineyards across the Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Mendocino County, and even the Central Coast of California, Josh Cellars offers six California varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and a new red blend, “Legacy.”

You can find Josh Cellars on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here.

Tune in tomorrow for day eleven of my 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover! Cheers 🙂


12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover: Domaine Chandon’s Limited Edition Blanc de Noirs, Holiday 2014

The countdown rolls on with day four of 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover! For day four, I’ve selected Domaine Chandon’s Limited Edition Blanc de Noirs, Holiday 2014.

chandon

Wrapped in chic winter-white and emblazoned with the golden phrases “The Party Starts Here,” “Pour on the Fun” and “I Am the After Party,” these Limited Edition bottles are as fun to give as they are to pour.

I’ll be serving this sparkling wine at my Gluten Free Cookie Exchange holiday party sponsored by Challenge Butter, Bob’s Red Mill and Whole Foods Market (Roseville) this weekend.

The wine retails for $24.00 per bottle (standard 750mL) and $19.20 per bottle for wine club members.

Head over to Domaine Chandon’s Estore to purchase. They’ve got a special offer on ground shipping with the purchase of a case and if you use ground shipping (enter code BUBBLES12), you can still get the wine in time for New Year’s Eve if you order by 12/18.

Also, check out Domaine Chandon’s entertaining and hosting tips over on their site!

I hope you’ll check back tomorrow for day five of my 12 Days of Christmas Picks for the Food and Wine Lover! Cheers!

You can find Domaine Chandon on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here.

 


Roasted Carrots with Curry and Pecans

carrots
Every year Andy and I get together with another family for a nice dinner party on the back deck at our house in Incline Village. We collaborate on a menu for our guests and make a fuss over the food and wine. The first year, we tricked everyone into eating a fully Paleo meal. Since then, all the guests know it’s a Paleo meal, and no one seems to mind. 🙂 No one misses the bread or the sugar!

Typically, I am in charge of two side dishes, and Andy grills the meat (main course), makes a big salad, and makes his classic Bacon Wrapped Dates.

I have to say, Summer Solstice Party Number Three was a success and for one of my sides, I made and served these carrots.

I used a stevia sweetener called Pyure Sweet in the recipe. Many thanks to the manufacturer for sending me the samples.

Ingredients:
(feeds about 8-10 as a side dish)
1 cup pecans
5 pounds carrots
8 Tbs coconut oil (or butter)
1/4 cup Pyure Sweet
1 Tbs molasses
1 Tbs curry powder
1/2 cup lemon juice
Sea Salt to taste
Cracked black pepper

First, you’ll need to toast the pecans. You can do this in the oven or in a skillet on low heat. Whatever works for you. Just be careful not to burn them. Let them cool once toasted, and give them a rough chop. Set aside.

So, I personally choose the oven to toast my pecans, because it heats up the oven for my carrots that go in next. I have the temp at about 375°F for toasting the pecans. I heat it up to about 400°F when it is carrot roasting time.

Before the carrots go in, you’ll need to clean them up by peeling and cutting them into “french fry” shapes. It’s up to you what size you cut them down, but make sure they are uniform so they will cook evenly. Then, put them on a sheet tray (or two) that’s well oiled/greased (coconut oil or olive oil works best), salt liberally with sea salt, and roast until browned. I would tell you how long to leave them in the oven, but it all depends on how thick you have cut them, so I am leaving that up to you.

While the carrots are roasting away, you can make the curry sauce. Melt 8 Tbs of coconut oil (or butter) together over low heat in a saucepan with 1 Tbs molasses, 1/4 cup of Pyure Sweet stevia blend, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and 1 Tbs curry powder. Make sure all ingredients have combined over the heat (without boiling) and set aside.

Remove the carrots from the oven when they are close to being done. Drizzle the curry sauce over the pan/pans of carrots. Return to the oven and roast an additional 5-10 minutes.
Then the sauce has saturated and cooked into the carrots, remove them from the oven, and sprinkled the toasted pecans over them.

Serve the carrots warm or room temperature. A perfect party side dish and a true crowd-pleaser! 🙂


Scary Good Pesto and Blue Cheese Potatoes (sponsored by Whole Foods Market)

 

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Last Saturday, Andy and I went to a Halloween party and I took these potatoes. They were inspired by a dip that Andy buys for us (occasionally as a treat) at Taylor’s Market. The dip/spread is called Walnut Basil and Blue Cheese Spread, and it’s rather addictive. I thought I would take the same flavor components and make them into bite-size little party treats. It was a big deal that I make a good culinary impression at this party, and I knew these would be well received. PS: They were all gone within a half an hour! 🙂

Ingredients:
2 pounds red, blue, & yellow mini potatoes–if you can’t find these, red ones will do.
1 jar 365 (Whole Foods private label) Pesto Sauce
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk (or sour cream)
1/2 cup Crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
salt/cracked pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F and slice the potatoes into bite sized pieces. Generously oil a baking sheet and place the chopped potatoes it. Drizzle some oil over the potatoes (how much you use is up to you). Bake the potatoes until they are golden and crispy. Set aside while you prepare the pesto and blue cheese mixture.

For the blue cheese/pesto mixture, combine the pesto and the blue cheese in a bowl large enough to eventually hold the potatoes, too) and mix together with the back of a spoon, add the coconut milk (you can also use sour cream) to thin the mixture so that you can easily spread it on the potatoes.

Then add the potatoes in the bowl with the pesto/blue cheese mixture, and fold them in until the potatoes are well covered. Then place the potatoes back on to their original baking sheet and turn the oven on to the broil setting.

Broil the potatoes until the pesto and blue cheese mixture forms a crust and they look browned/crispy.

Go forth and be the hit of your party!! 🙂

Thanks to Whole Foods Market for sponsoring the food used in this recipe!! 🙂 You can find Whole Foods on Facebook here and on twitter here. My local store is in Roseville on Facebook here.


Happy Thanksgiving to All!

 

Hey! I am headed out on vacation–sorry no blogs for at least a week or so, but I wanted to throw a wine pick your way before I go. We made cabbage rolls and stuffed delicate squash with some ground Diestel turkey chorizo and had some spinach bread on the side, so that we could try out this Merlot/Pinot Noir blend in a PURSE! LOL… It’s made by Cantina di Soave and the label is called Volére. Show up with it at your next holiday gathering, and you’ll be the hit of the party! 🙂 Each $15 Volére cardboard purse (with a bag-in-box setup inside) holds about 2 bottles of wine.

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving to all! 🙂


German Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream for the Caveman…

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This weekend is mah caveman’s special day. His birthday is August 5th, and we are throwing a party for him on August 4th (don’t worry, it’s not a surprise!!). Well, he just loves ice cream. But, ice cream is decidedly NOT Paleo, as it is made with dairy and loads of sugar.

Well, OK then. An ice cream-like substance ye shall have.

I modified this recipe from all recipes.com to make it Paleo friendly. Of course I used a totally Paleolithic blender, food processor, and ice cream maker to make the ice cream happen. Well, ya know. At least it’s all natural. 😉

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups So Delicious (unsweetened) coconut milk
1 cup coconut cream (skim the cream off the top when you open the can of coconut milk, and purchase the full-fat, not “light” variety)
1/3 cup xylitol
2 (1/2 pound) avocados, peeled and pitted
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1 cup toasted and chopped pecans
3/4 cup dark chocolate discs
1/4 cup coconut oil

Directions:
Puree milk, coconut cream, xylitol, avocados, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Pour into a cold metal bowl, cover, and chill for about an hour. Then pour the mixture into an electric ice cream freezer and process according to the directions on your machine. Once the mixture has thickened, place back into the freezer and allow to harden slightly (keep in mind that you will will want it stirring consistency).

Toast the coconut and pecans at 350 until they are browned. Be careful not to burn either, as they brown quickly. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

For the chocolate chunks, place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the coconut oil over the chocolate and microwave in 10 second pulses to allow the chocolate to melt. Then spread over a piece of wax paper in a thin layer and allow to firm up in the refrigerator. Drag a knife or spoon over the hardened chocolate and break into pieces.

Take the bowl of ice cream out of the freezer and stir in the pecans, chocolate pieces, and the coconut. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. I am not sure how long it will last there, since the ice cream is so good it is typically gone within a few days!

Happy Birthday, Andy! 🙂


Tahoe Dinner Party and Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing Recipe

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Last weekend, RB and I traveled to his house in Incline Village and hosted a small dinner party. This time, we served up a boneless leg of lamb from Superior Farms, as well as some of our favorite Paleo dishes. You can click here to find the recipe for the marinade we used on the lamb as well as on the chicken.

We also put my parsnip chips (recipe here), sautéed vegetables with dukkah (recipe here) a huge salad, a fruit salad with strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew, and bacon wrapped dates on the menu. Maybe I’ll get RB to let me film a video demo for the bacon wrapped dates someday, and I will feature it here. 🙂

But in this post, I will give you a simple recipe for our favorite salad dressing so with all the pictures of dishes you might have seen on this site before, at least you’ll have something new to make. The dressing is also a great dipping sauce for grilled chicken or ahi tuna.

PS: The wine we served was a magnum of Scribner Bend’s Black Hat Tempranillo Lot 56 Reserve. Cheers!

And now the recipe… 🙂

Lemon & Garlic Dressing

Ingredients:
2 Tbs crushed garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1.5 to 2 Tbs olive oil
dash of salt (to taste)
cracked pepper (optional)

Directions:
Combine the ingredients in order, in a small bowl. I know it seems like a lot of garlic,
but it makes the dressing thick, and that is a very desirable thing! 🙂 After you have all
the ingredients together, you’re done, but make sure you give the dressing another stir
or two before you top your salad.

Tips:
1. Use the crushed garlic that comes in a jar, or make your own with a
food processor. You want the garlic to be pulverized for the best results.
2. Use the best olive oil you can find! Preferably Kotinos.


Blueberry Pork Meatballs with Blueberry Sauce

Hey! In case you didn’t see it, I am in the Sacramento Bee today, as part of a round-up of blueberry recipes.

I am posting it again here because I wanted to explain my inspiration for my recipe. I wanted to contribute a dish to the Bee that wasn’t a dessert, or a breakfast item. Something original that used blueberries (which in their original state are very good for you), and didn’t candy them up. Most of all, I wanted to make a Paleo recipe! 🙂

So, if you’re invited to a potluck, or you are throwing a little party this season, this is the perfect dish to share. It might sound a little strange at first, but think of the classic turkey and cranberry combination, and you might see where I am coming from! 🙂

INGREDIENTS
4 dried figs
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon rosemary (grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Blueberry sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup water
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup lemon juice plus 1 tablespoon zest
4 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter
Dash salt
2 tablespoons honey

INSTRUCTIONS
Pulse the figs, blueberries and cinnamon together in a food processor; set aside.

Mix the ground pork, ground beef, minced onion, garlic, parsley, egg, ground rosemary, salt and olive oil together until well combined.

Then add the fig and blueberry mixture to the meat mixture. Mix well, leaving small chunks of the fruit intact. (Think chocolate-chip cookie dough.) Form the meat and fruit mixture into ping pong-size balls. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while you prepare the sauce.

For sauce: Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat.

Sauté the shallots until they are translucent. Add the wine, followed by the water, and reduce for about 3-5 minutes. Add the blueberries. As the skins burst open, add the lemon juice and zest. Let the sauce continue to boil and thicken (5 minutes).

Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in butter until it is completely melted. Salt to season.

Cool the sauce slightly, and add the honey to sweeten and help thicken the sauce a little more.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bake them at 350 degrees until the meatballs are slightly browned and before meat is cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest. (The meatballs will be cooked through with the residual heat.)