Spanish Coffee – Oh my!

This is hands down one of the most delicious hot boozy drinks I’ve ever had. (And this is obviously not for the kids.)

So, if you’re making it properly it’s 1 ounce each of Triple Sec, Kahlua and Brandy in a beautiful mug, but you can do half an ounce of each depending on the size of your mug (warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds.) Pour in coffee (and I always use decaf if it’s in the evening, I have enough trouble sleeping at night without any added caffeine.) STIR – this is very important otherwise you end up with all the booze at the bottom. Add whipped cream and drizzle with Kahlua.

If you want it to be extra fancy you can dip the rim of your mug in lemon juice or a little Brandy and then dip in sugar first, before adding any booze or coffee – oh so pretty, but not necessary.

Enjoy and share with friends and family!

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Birthday Cupcakes

Gigi recently turned 3 years old. I’m always on the lookout for new, healthy recipes for the cubs. This one from Hemsley & Hemsley totally delivers and they’re delicious too! No gluten or refined sugar. And I used coconut oil in place of butter to make them dairy free. I also used a pinch of salt in place of Tamari. Trust me – no one even knows they are eating beets. They’re just moist, chocolatey and approved by my fussy children (and that’s saying a lot.) I made a double batch and froze the extras. Then I can just pull them out for a treat, or if we are going to a party and need to take something safe for the kids to eat.

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Here is the recipe for ChocBeet Fudge Cakes. Be sure to check out the rest of the Hemsley & Hemsley website – their recipes are gorgeous, healthy and yummy! Above is a picture of how ours turned out. They are perfect on their own but we made them even more special by adding whipped cream/coconut cream and raspberries… (apparently we love the combination of chocolate, raspberries and cream at our house.) Any berries would be great.

Plates were licked clean, Gigi even ate the crumbs that had dropped on her dress, and Panda asked for more! Success! Happy Birthday sweet baby girl. xo

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Cooking for the cubs

We have been on our food journey for three and a half years now. And, it is hands down, the thing I get asked most about from friends. So, this section will be where I post the recipes we cook for our kids. I am very grateful to those people who have gone down this road before us and created wonderful recipes. We make our own little changes along the way, but these are the recipes we use time and time again in our kitchen. They are fussy Panda approved… mostly. He often throws me a curve ball and suddenly decides he doesn’t like his favourite foods. So I just keep trying new things.

Our son’s diet has changed and evolved many times over the years as we’ve become aware of foods that cause issues. We currently eat a mostly Paleo, sometimes AutoImmune Paleo diet, but always free of gluten, dairy, colours, preservatives, additives, and refined sugar.

It can be challenging getting used to a restricted diet that’s not full of refined sugar and flavour enhancers. But honestly, compared to the Failsafe Diet (a piece of our puzzle, I’ll talk about in more detail,) the Paleo diet is like heaven. Even compared to gluten free stuff, Paleo food tastes so much better. In fact it tastes better than the traditional North American diet we had in the past. I used to have a BIG sweet tooth. I craved sweets and desserts. Now that I’m used to not having refined sugar, having replaced it with the more subtle sweetness of honey and maple syrup, and using far less in recipes, I don’t crave sweets anymore. Desserts laden with refined sugar actually taste too sweet for me now. You’re taste buds adapt, so give it time and give your kids time to get used to it too.

This section is a work in progress while I get my site up and going, but please check back, I’m looking forward to sharing delicious healthy recipes with you.

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

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This dessert should probably be filed under a section called “Recipes for adults – who like to cheat sometimes” (on diet, of course.) It is not strictly Paleo. It remains, however, one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted, my guilty pleasure. It’s my go-to recipe whenever I need to make a dessert to take anywhere. It’s great for Birthdays instead of a cake, perfect for sharing, or even just for yourself – if you are feeling particularly self-indulgent. I make this no matter what season it is, but it is loveliest in summer with super fresh red raspberries.

I tried, I really did, to make this totally Paleo. I found a couple of other recipes that removed the sugar and replaced it with Stevia or honey. I was so excited to make my favourite dessert completely healthy. I don’t know what happened but both attempts were disasters. I don’t know if it was the pressure, because it was for my son’s birthday, but something happened and it was not good. They didn’t taste very good and the texture was all wrong.

We ended up eating the failures anyway and someday I will attempt to make a sugar-free version again, but when it came time for his birthday party, I made this recipe I’ve been making for years and years by Nigella Lawson. I changed some things: I cut the sugar down to 1 cup, and could probably even try cutting it down a little more. My kids aren’t supposed to be having refined sugar, and the majority of the time they don’t, (heck, refined sugar isn’t good for anyone.) I figured I’d at least cut it down for this special treat that we only have once in a blue moon. Also, since my kids can’t have dairy I used coconut cream instead of whipping cream for on top. To make coconut whipped “cream” put 2 cans of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Scoop all the thick cream off the top and whip until thick. You can add a splash of vanilla before whipping. Then layer on top of the pavlova as the recipe says (I’ve done half with coconut cream and half with regular whipping cream,) scatter with raspberries and grate dark chocolate on top. Eat with joy in your heart!

I remember making this for a group of friends years ago and one friend who had already had it before told everyone else that it’s sooo good, she wanted to put her face in it so nobody else would want any. One of the other girls said she would eat it even if she had put her face in it because it looked so amazing. So there you have it – this is a “so delicious you want to put your face in it kinda dessert!” It’s a winner! Now you have to make it to see if it’s true, and you’ll be so glad you did!

 

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Easy, Healthy Chocolate Popsicles

My cubs love these Chocolate popsicles! They taste like Fudgesicles, take minutes to make and have no nasty additives.

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Ingredients:

1 Can of Full-fat Coconut Milk

2 TBSP Honey or Pure Maple Syrup

2 TBSP Cocoa

1 tsp Vanilla

Put all ingredients in a big glass jug and whisk together until everything is combined. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until hard.

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