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For me, Thanksgiving is THE feasting holiday, more so than Christmas, because all the attention is focused on the food.  I am really looking forward to having some turkey come Thursday.  Lots and lots of turkey.  And let’s not forget all the side dishes, most of which are pretty carby.  So my compromise is this herb dinner roll.  I used my coconut flax bread recipe as the base and added some fresh herbs.  These rolls are made in muffin tins and smell like Thanksgiving when they are baking.  I will also be making croutons for stuffing using these rolls.  The original bread recipe is so versatile – throw in some cheese, add bacon bits, mix in fruit and nuts – it will all come out tasty.   

Herb Dinner Rolls

Makes 8 rolls

1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1 /2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

5 eggs

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Combine all the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and herbs to the wet and beat well. 
  5. Pour into muffin tins and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Serve warm with lots of butter.

The rolls freeze really well so you can make a big batch, store them in the freezer and take out as many as you need for a meal.  Reheat in the oven at 200 degrees F.  I don’t use the microwave but if you do, you can defrost them in there, too.

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I am so happy to be back in my kitchen again!  I missed cooking and making my husband wash all my dirty dishes that I am making up for lost time.  And there is no time to waste as I have a ton of Thanksgiving dishes to crank out.  First up is this super easy, no-cook cranberry relish that tastes A-mazing!  I got the recipe from Simply Recipes and tweaked it just a little.  For the cranberry sauce lovers, this is a fresh (literally) take on the condiment and it really is tasty.  If I had smell-o-vision, I’d be able to convey just how great a scent the mixture is when you take the top off the food processor.  But I don’t.  So you’ll just have to make it yourself.

The original recipe calls for churing the ingredients through a meat grinder.  I didn’t want to risk serving up a side of E. coli, though, with my relish so I opted for the food processor and it worked perfectly.  If you have an old school grinder that you dedicate for non-meat items, then by all means, go for it.

Cranberry Relish

Makes 4 to 5 cups

3 cups fresh cranberries (1 12-ounce package)

2 apples, peeled and cored

1 whole navel orange, quartered

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Zsweet

1 to 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)

  1. Place cranberries, apples and orange in food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped but not pureed.
  2. Transfer to mixing bowl and add honey, Zsweet and Grand Marnier.
  3. Let relish sit for at least one hour before serving.
  4. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.

The relish tastes great right out of the bowl but gets better the longer it sits.  I made this to go with Thanksgiving turkey and the sandwiches that will come the day after but I cannot help taking spoonfuls of it now.  Good thing it can be whipped up in minutes.

I can scarcely believe that two weeks has gone by since my last post.  I’m writing this in my hotel room in Portland, OR, with the howling wind and the steady rain outside.  It may seem like the blog has just been sitting idle in that time but it’s hardly been far from my mind.  I’ve been busy with work and business travel and keeping up with home life when I am actually at home that it has kept me from posting new content but my mind is constantly running through various food ideas.  I applaud all of you bloggers, especially the mommy ones, who keep up with fresh and exciting posts.

Being in the Pacific Northwest is really getting me ready for the holidays.  And by being ready I mean, of course, being ready for all the treats of the season.  The weather here is cold (brrrrrr) and it’s driving me to turn into one of the many corner cafes in search of something hot to drink.  Oh, and I have to have something to nibble on as well.  Which brings me to sharing this recipe for a chocolate biscotti inspired by Elana’s Pantry (also featured in her cookbook).  This crunchy cookie, paired with a steaming hot cup of tea, makes a great afternoon reprieve from work, travel, or holiday preparations.

Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Biscotti

Makes 24 cookies

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup Zsweet (or 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients.
  3. Mix wet ingredients together.
  4. Combine with dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold in the chopped dark chocolate and hazelnuts.
  6. Divide dough into 2 portions and form flattened logs on lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes then let cool for about 30 minutes.
  8. Cut the biscotti into 1/2 inch slices and lay each cookie on its side on the baking sheets.
  9. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Flip the cookies over and bake for another 15 minutes or until they are dry and no longer soft in the middle.

These are crunchiest when they have cooled but when they are slightly warm, the chocolate is still gooey and melty and crazy good.

So far, I am really enjoying my stay in Portland.  It’s really easy to navigate on foot or with its convenient light rail system.  There are some fantastic restaurants in the downtown area and it’s been fun exploring the Pearl District.  I hope to see some of the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls, if the rain lets up.  But I will be very happy to go home at the end of the week and get finally back into the kitchen.

There’s something about blueberry muffins that feels so homey and comforting.  When I was eating wheat, I had a favorite blueberry streusel muffin recipe that I made frequently.  It was simple to put together and the crunchy, sweet topping made eating the muffin feel very indulgent.  Now I’ve adapted the recipe using coconut flour and I got to keep the topping with some changes.

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Makes 9 muffins

6 eggs

6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)

1/4 teaspoon stevia

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup frozen blueberries

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease or line muffin cups.
  2. Prepare crumb topping by placing walnuts, coconut sugar and cinnamon in food processor and pulse until walnuts are chopped.
  3. Add butter and pulse until mixture is roughly combined.  Set aside.
  4. Mix wet ingredients together.  Mix dry ingredients separately.
  5. Combine wet and dry and mix thoroughly then fold in blueberries.
  6. Fill muffin cups and top with crumb topping.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.