I made these this week and they would be great for an Easter dinner. They’re sort of like a bird’s nest cookie, except inside out. I filled them with homemade lemon curd, topped with a cream cheese buttercream and sprinkled with toasted coconut.
We’re away with some of my family at Osoyoos lake for the weekend – it was 18 degrees today. Definitely felt like summer. We walked into town for a couple hours and had lunch at a cafe, and walked back. We were out in the sun long enough to get a little bit red.
I’m really loving this warm and sunny Easter.
Hope everyone has a lovely Easter weekend with family and friends. I’ll definitely be enjoying it before school begins again on Tuesday. I am also lucky enough to be going to the Rihanna concert Monday night – should be interesting.
You will need:
24 of your favourite Vanilla Cupcakes – baked and cooled.
To toast coconut place pan on medium heat, add ½ cup medium unsweetened coconut to the pan and allow to heat. Once fragrant, sift around coconut continually for 5 minutes until lightly browned and toasted.
Remove from heat and place in dish to cool.
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Grated zest of 1 (one) lemon
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces (3/4 stick)
- Whisk together eggs, sugar and lemon zest in medium saucepan until light in colour.
- Add lemon juice and butter
- Cook, whisking over medium heat until the butter is melted. Then whisk constantly until the mixture is thickened and simmers gently for a few seconds.
- Place a medium mesh-sieve over a bowl and scrape the filling using a spatula into it. Strain the filling into the bowl.
- Let cool, cover with plastic wrap and push against the curd, so you do not have a film, and refrigerate to thicken.
To assemble cupcakes:
Using a small knife, cut a circle at a diagonal into the top center of the cooled cupcake. Make sure not to cut too far down, you still want a bottom to your cupcake. Take out the ‘core’ and cut off the excess and reserve the ‘cork’ to replace on to the cupcake.
Using a small spoon, fill the center of the cupcake and replace top ‘cork’ to cover.
- 3 sticks of unsalted butter (1 ½ cups), room temperature
- ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups sifted icing sugar
1. Cream butter in stand mixer with whisk attachment for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides.
2. Add sifted icing sugar ½ cup at a time and whip well. Scrape down sides as needed between adding more.
3. Once all icing sugar is incorporated, add in the ¼ up of cream cheese. Whip again until well incorporated.
4. Pipe onto cupcakes and then sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Wow! November has been a super crazy month – and it’s not over yet. School has been busy, lots of prepping and work for my practicum in a grade 2 class. It’s been lots of fun too, I taught my class a dance and song for an assembly last week, and this week they are “exploring the world,” learning about different cultures in Canada, including things like what holidays they celebrate, and food they eat. Two things I am familiar with. As an Italian, my culture has a deep, and serious relationship with food.
Even though Canada has already had our Thanksgiving, this week is the American Thanksgiving, or shall I say another excuse for a crazy shopping, consumer-driven holiday. It’s become a little ridiculous, that American Thanksgiving. All I see in my inbox from Amazon is Black Friday Deals, which has now become an entire week of Black Friday deals?? I like that our Thanksgiving is so early, leaving a nice big gap between it and Christmas. However, I do like a good Pumpkin Pie.
I also like a good turkey dinner. I think I’ve convinced Adam’s mom to make a turkey dinner this Thursday to honour the American holiday. Plus, Adam and I get our house in TWO WEEKS!!!!! So it would be nice to have a big family dinner before we move.
I made this Pumpkin Pie, or tart, for our Thanksgiving and though I would share it for a couple of reasons. One, it’s a Paleo Pumpkin Pie. And two, It’s super ridiculously delicious and easy. No pie dough required.
Adam was on a Paleo diet for a while, he wanted to try it out and see how he felt while eliminating beans, wheat and dairy etc. from his diet. He was having two sandwiches a day for lunch, along with cheese, crackers, cereal, milk etc. A lot of dairy and wheat made up the bulk of his diet. He was always good at eating his vegetables too, but thought he would try the Paleo way of eating after talking to a cousin of his, who is also a personal trainer, and a friend who is an avid cross-fit instructor and Paleo enthusiast.
What is Paleo?
“The Paleolithic style of eating is based on the foods that our ancestors used to ingest before the introduction of agriculture (10,000 years ago). The idea is that humans are intended to eat certain foods, and evolution hasn’t caught up to digest or utilize the highly processed foods we see today. The Paleo diet was first suggested by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin, who claimed that a carnivorous diet, high in fats and proteins and low in carbs, would improve health and prevent digestive problems. Since then, many doctors and nutritionists have jumped on the Paleo bandwagon and offer alternatives to the original plan which can include dairy and starches.” – The Fitnessista
Adam said it was pretty tough, and the first week sucked. He said he had a headache for a bit, from not eating those foods. But, he feels much better now that he tries to avoid those foods. He’s traded honey nut cheerios and milk in the morning for scrambled eggs with veggies and the occasional bacon, and he said it fills him up, and keeps him full longer. Which is a good thing when you work in a trade, and wake up at 5:30 am. I think eggs and veggies is a better alternative to processed cereals and milk for sure.
He did pretty good for a while, but he’s slipped the past month or so. I’ve been bad lately too with my wheat allergy, eating things containing wheat and then paying for it later. So does Adam. He said he can also feel it when he cheats, so we’re both trying to get back to that clean-eating lifestyle. I’ve made so many wheat-free main dishes for dinner, I’ll have to post them soon, because they were all delicious as well. We both are looking forward to the new house, getting into old routines and I’m most looking forward to my brand-spanking new giant kitchen.
I think I’ll need to maybe make this tart again for Thursday. I just baked and pureed my sugar pumpkins on the weekend, so I have lots of homemade Pumpkin Puree hanging around, even after making Butternut Squash and Pumpkin/Carrot soup last night for dinner. Also delicious.
I have always been a Pumpkin Pie lover, but I gotta say I liked the firmness of the pumpkin filing, and I prefer a nut crust over pastry!
This Paleo pumpkin pie is really easy, it’s Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free, and Gluten-Free. A perfect addition to your holiday table, to please all of your special diet-eaters.
Original recipe from here
Paleo Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 cup nuts (pecan or walnut, or a mix of both)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups 100% pumpkin (homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat)
1/4 cup raw honey
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, or All spice, Ginger, Nutmeg and cinnamonDirections
Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.
Melt the coconut oil or butter and mix into the chopped pecans. Press this mixture into a pie dish/tart dish for the crust.
Place dish on top of cookie sheet, and partially bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool
Place pumpkin puree, coconut milk, honey and eggs into food processor. Pulse until combined, and then puree until filling is silky and smooth. Pour into partially baked tart crust, and bake for one hour, or until firm. Middle should be slightly wiggly if you tap it. Set aside to cool, can store at room temperature or in fridge.
Serve with Paleo Whipped Cream
To make dairy-free whipped cream, place a full fat can of Coconut Milk in the fridge 24 hours, overnight. Open can carefully, and scoop out top half of solid coconut milk. Discard the coconut water, or keep for later use. Using a beater, whip hardened coconut milk until fluffy, you can add some vanilla in if you like. Serve with Paleo Pumpkin Tart! Store extra in fridge.
Just a quick recipe this morning! It’s been a really muggy few days in Vancouver. It has been warm, but not hot, cloudy, but not sunny. I hate this type of weather, if it’s going to be warm it should at least be sunny. But it looks like this really is going to be the coldest June on record.
That being said, I have officially begun my one month countdown until Europe! I leave near the end of July, and hopefully I will find warmer weather in the Mediterranean.
I woke up this morning craving pancakes, but knew I probably shouldn’t make a batch because A. I’m home alone still, Adam gets home this afternoon, and I would probably eat an entire plate of pancakes, and B. I’m continuing my ‘clean-eating’ in preparation for my trip! I’ve been going to the gym for four days on, one day off for the last few weeks as opposed to about 3-4 times a week, to stay on track. I’ve been incorporating interval training to my treadmill workouts. I was getting a little bored of my usual warm up cardio, 30 min treadmill walk/run before doing weights. So, I warm up for about 5 minutes walking at 3.5 – 4 speed, and then rev up to about 7 speed, and 3-4 incline, and do intervals. 20 seconds as hard/fast as you can, and then 10 seconds off / resting (the Fitnessista just posted her Tabata Thursday’s post so you can read about it here!) It’s super sweaty, and feels great.
So, instead of making some Bob’s red mill pancakes this morning, I decided to make some breakfast quinoa. Since finding out I have a wheat allergy, I have avoided my beloved oatmeal. I had to give up peanut butter and oatmeal, what gives?? Two of my favourites. With quinoa you get the same warm, comforting food feeling as oatmeal and pancakes, only much healthier and loaded with protein (quinoa, almonds, almond milk)
I had lots of Quinoa leftover from Wednesday’s Marinated Quinoa Salad. With already made quinoa it’s a really quick breakfast to prepare.
Hopefully we will see some sun this weekend. Not sure what Adam and I are going to get up to tonight after he gets back, tomorrow we’re planning on going to our townhouse showroom to pick out our options and upgrades. We drove by last week and they have already framed our building, and are starting on the roof! Very exciting. And tomorrow night we’re planning on visiting a friends restaurant for the first time in North Van. Let’s hope if the sun doesn’t make an appearance, it stays warm and muggy with no rain!
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- Shredded coconut
In a small saucepan on medium heat, place a handful of almonds and a handful of coconut. Toast for a few minutes until coconut becomes fragrant and begins to brown. Place aside in a bowl, and return saucepan to heat.
Place pre-cooked quinoa in saucepan, and add about 1/4 of almond milk. Continue to heat until almond milk evaporates/is soaked up in the quinoa. It shouldn’t be soupy – it should be absorbed into the quinoa.
Once the quinoa is heated and the almond milk is absorbed, turn off burner and place quinoa in a bowl.
Now you have a base for your breakfast quinoa, you can add whatever you like. I sprinkled some of the coconut and almonds on top, along with some blueberries and cinnamon. You can add strawberries, any kind of berries frozen or fresh, and any nuts/raisins etc. You can also make a large batch and keep it in the fridge, then just microwave the quinoa and add some toppings for an even quicker breakfast that is loaded with protein.