Chocolate Dairy-free Pudding!

Very recently, we discovered our precious little Lucy Lu has joined her brother’s ranks in  being anti-cow’s-milk. He has been allergic to cow’s milk in every way, shape and form since he was born, and so I became quite resourceful in covering my recipes into dairy-free treats. So with new development in my daughter’s digestive journey, going dairy free is easy as pie…or pudding, in this case.

Here’s what I did…

Ingredients...almond milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cocoa

Ingredients…almond milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cocoa

in the stove pot, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa

in the stove pot, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa

to the milk add vanilla. add milk to stove pot of ingredients to make a chocolate milk mixture.

to the milk add vanilla. add milk to stove pot of ingredients to make a chocolate milk mixture.

add egg yolks, 1 at a time, combining thoroughly

add egg yolks, 1 at a time, combining thoroughly

keep stirring over low heat until pudding becomes thick

keep stirring over low heat until pudding becomes thick

thick and smooth

thick and smooth

set in the fridge for 4 hours or longer

set in the fridge for 4 hours or longer

the face of approval

the face of approval

Here’s what you’ll need…

Chocolate Dairy-Free Pudding

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/3 cup cocoa

1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar

2 cups Almond Milk

7 egg yolks

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1) combine dry ingredients

2) add milk and stir until smooth

3) turn heat on Med. Low

4) add yolks, 1 at a time, stirring constantly to avoid lumps

once thickened, remove from heat and transfer to ramekins to chill, covering the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap so a skin doesn’t form.

5) chill in fridge for at least 4 hours

6) serve with whipped cream, berries or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Enjoy!

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A Dessert To Honor A Ballerina: The Pavlova

While walking frantically through the grocery store, after work yesterday, searching for a delicious dessert inspiration to hit me, (We were having some friends over in a few hours (freaking out!) and they were bring the entree and I was doing salad and dessert) I came across the berry section of the produce aisle and what do you know, all the berries were on sale. Hallelujah! Berries…something with berries. Boom! It hit me. Pavlovas!

I stumbled upon this gem of a dessert a few years ago, when it struck me as unique and genius. I love meringue, right, and a pavlova is like a meringue crossed with a….a marshmallow…and I love marshmallows too, so naturally when I discovered how the two could become one, I was doomed. It gets better. The top of this miraculous ballerina cake is loaded with whipped cream and fruit. Berries by the quart. It’s so light and fresh, you can literally eat a whole half of the cake and feel justifiable.

Pavlovas are named after the Ballerina Anna Pavlovna Pavlova, supposedly created in New Zealand, or Australia by argument, in honor of the beautiful Anna.

Anna Pavlvoa. The inspiration...delicate and airy

Anna Pavlvoa. The inspiration…delicate and airy

It’s a very fitting tribute. The crisp flaky outer shell of the “cake” is delicate and ruffled like a tutu, and the center is moist and fluffy like a cloud. One bite and I feel like I could pirouette through the kitchen…stop me now.

Here’s what I did

ingredients.

ingredients.

6 egg whites ready to whip...see those beautiful yolks? don't chuck em! save them for something else!

6 egg whites ready to whip…see those beautiful yolks? don’t chuck em! save them for something else!

whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar

whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar

add the salt and the cream of tarter, then add the sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time on Med. High

add the salt and the cream of tarter, then add the sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time on Med. High

My mixer is a ballerina...look at her spin

My mixer is a ballerina…look at her spin

almost there

almost there, just added in vanilla and vinegar

the rub test

the rub test

feels a little gritty, needs to whip a few more minutes

feels a little gritty, needs to whip a few more minutes

stiff peaks

stiff peaks

no more grit

no more grit

trace an 8" circle on parchment...boy was that fun measuring all the circular items in my kitchen

trace an 8″ circle on parchment…boy was that fun measuring all the circular items in my kitchen

flipped my circle over so the pencil graphite isn't touching my cake

flipped my circle over so the pencil graphite isn’t touching my cake

plop it out into the circle

plop it out into the circle

push it out to the circle edge, flatten the top and sweep up the sides to create a stubby little volcano shape

push it out to the circle edge, flatten the top and sweep up the sides to create a stubby little volcano shape

300º preheated oven

300º preheated oven

just finished baking...now it's time to dry out

just finished baking…now it’s time to dry out

Blueberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Berries!!!!! Rinsed and Drained, gently patted dry

Blueberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Berries!!!!! Rinsed and Drained, gently patted dry

step 1: place dried pavlova on serving plate

step 1: place dried pavlova on serving plate

load with Fresh Whipped Cream... or Cool Whip...whatever you got time for

load with Fresh Whipped Cream… or Cool Whip…whatever you got time for

step 3: add the berries and sprinkle with powdered sugar

step 3: add the berries and sprinkle with powdered sugar…P.S. if you don’t want yours to be broken, don’t let your 5 year old “help” you get it ready. “Help” = pick apart and eat 

cue harps...ahhhh....

cue harps…ahhhh….

flaky shell with marshmallowy interior...we almost finished off the whole thing before I remembered to capture this image...close one.

flaky shell with marshmallowy interior…we almost finished off the whole thing before I remembered to capture this image…close one.

Dinner, thanks to the very talented Lorraine, was a-ma-zing and dessert, thanks to Anna Pavlova, was just as satisfying

Here’s what you’ll need…

Pavlova

1 1/4 C sugar

6 egg whites

2 Tbsp Corn Starch

1/4 tsp. cream of Tarter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp vinegar

Whipped Cream or Cool Whip

2 pints Bluebberies

1 pint Raspberrries

1 pint Blackberries

handful of Strawberries cut up

powdered sugar for dusting

Whip egg whites until frothy then add in tarter and salt. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch. add by the Tablespoon into egg whites on medium high speed. Once stiffer, add vanilla and vinegar. Whip to stiff peaks and make sure its not gritty, by rubbing a small amount between finger and thumb.

Trace an 8″ circle onto parchment and form meringue into a flattened volcano like shape within the circle. Bake at 300ºF for 1 hour and let it rest in the oven for 2 hrs or overnight. It may crack and fall as it cools…its ok.

Fill with whipped cream and top with berries.

Sriracha Coleslaw

It just so happened, my local grocery store had a sale on beef brisket, that I could not refuse. I love brisket and my husband loves it even more, and sadly, when shopping on a budget, it’s not a regular item on our shopping list. However, on those rare occasions when it’s on sale, I snatch it up. Fast.

Sorry to tell you, I did not post a recipe and how-to on smoking beef brisket. Another time, I promise. It was so last minute, that I had to prep the meat, literally 10 minutes before picking my kids up from school. Only to spend the rest of my afternoon, babysitting The Big Green Egg turned smoker on my back patio, making sure my fire was hovering at 250º. Distraction would have equaled disaster. So again, maybe next time.

Fortunately, I did remember to make a recipe for the sriracha coleslaw that was a welcome accompaniment to the lush shredded smoked meat. It’s got enough tang and heat to cut through the smoky beef intensity and just enough sweetness to balance all the savory.

Here’s what I did…

chopped my cabbage

chopped my cabbage

chopped carrots, finely

chopped carrots, finely

chopped celery

chopped celery

chopped red onion

chopped red onion

added salt

and some sugar

and some sugar

fresh cracked pepper

fresh cracked pepper

a few splashes of apple cider vinegar

a few splashes of apple cider vinegar

sriracha mustard...shazam!

sriracha mustard…shazam!

add the mayo

add the mayo

after tasting I added a bit more sugar and a smidgen more mayo

after tasting I added a bit more sugar and a smidgen more mayo

so pretty

so pretty

Now, while this little bowl of goodness took a break in the fridge, I got busy prepping my smoked brisket for sandwiches!!

Here’s what I did to put it all together…

on a toasted onion roll, on went some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce

on a toasted onion roll, on went some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce

Next, a hefty helping of shredded Smoked Beef Brisket

Next, a hefty helping of shredded Smoked Beef Brisket…forgive the messy plate juices

On top of the beef,  a generous portion of coleslaw

On top of the beef, a generous portion of coleslaw…

To slathered the top bun with horseradish sour cream

 slathered the top bun with horseradish sour cream and snuck in some lettuce on top of everything

topped and ready to eat

topped and ready to eat

yes, my heart is complete! Beef Brisket sandwich showin me some love.

yes, my heart is complete! Beef Brisket sandwich showin me some love.

Sriracha Coleslaw

2 1/3 C cabbage

1/3 C carrots chopped

1/2 stick celery diced

1/3 onion, sliced thin, then roughly chopped

1/3 C mayo

2 tsp. sriracha mustard

1/4 C. sugar

2 tsp. vinegar

1 tsp. salt

pepper to taste

ENJOY!

Blueberry Lemon Macarons

In honor of my sister-in-law heading to Spain and Paris for a month (so jealous), I made macarons for her bon voyage party, like she won’t get her fill of them in Paris. Let’s just take a moment of silence as we approach the holy grail of patisseries…

…the macaron.

Soak it in. Mmmmmmmm. Ok, that’s good. Now let’s dig into this recipe.

Here’s what I did…

the ingredients. Egg whites, sugar, almond flour, confectioners sugar, dye, candy thermometer, spatula, water,

the ingredients. Egg whites, sugar, almond flour, confectioners sugar, dye, candy thermometer, spatula, water,

trace circles on parchment that can be slid out from under the macarons parchment

trace circles on parchment that can be slid out from under the macarons parchment

almond flour and confectioners sugar

almond flour and confectioners sugar

combined with whisk, making a well for the egg whites

combined with whisk, making a well for the egg whites

2 eggs white and food dye added to make this colorful thick paste

2 eggs white and food dye added to make this colorful thick paste

cover the almond paste to prevent drying

cover the almond paste to prevent drying

place sugar and water to saucepan

place sugar and water to saucepan

beat egg whites until soft peaks form, adding 35g of sugar at this point

beat egg whites until soft peaks form, adding 35g of sugar at this point

heat the sugar until 240º

heat the sugar until 240º

drizzle in the molten sugar syrup slowly while mixing

drizzle in the molten sugar syrup slowly while mixing

meringue holds a firm string of whites when pulled

meringue holds a firm string of whites when pulled

add 1/3 of the meringue to the almond paste

add 1/3 of the meringue to the almond paste

I added a bit more food dye  after the first round of meringue was added

I added a bit more food dye after the first round of meringue was added

add the rest of the meringue to the almond base

add the rest of the meringue to the almond base

fold together and press against the bowl  to combine

fold together and press against the bowl to combine

piping out little mounds just shy of 2", using my template as a guide

piping out little mounds just shy of 2″, using my template as a guide

drying out for about  45 minutes

drying out for about 45 minutes

notice the dull surface, these are dry to touch

notice the dull surface, these are dry to touch

check out those feet

check out those feet

shells matched by size and shape

shells matched by size and shape

shells filled with lemon curd and blueberry buttercream

shells filled with lemon curd and blueberry buttercream

hmmmm...who ate one?!

hmmmm…who ate one?!

handpicked flowers by little guys, macarons and coffee...perfection

handpicked flowers by little guys, macarons and coffee…perfection

showing us some macaron excitement

showing us some macaron excitement

thick, structured and just enough filling

thick, structured and just enough filling

Here’s what you need…

Blueberry Lemon Macarons

Almond Paste: 

150g almond meal

150g powdered sugar

50g egg whites (2 whites)

food dye

dash of salt

Meringue:

55g egg whites (+2 egg whites)

35g granulated sugar

120g granulated sugar

40g water

Measure precisely! Sift flour and sugar together and process in food processor if necessary to make VERY fine. Combine all ingredients in the paste until it is uniform and cover.

Whip egg whites for meringue until frothy, then add 35g sugar slowly until soft peaks form. While on stove heat 120g sugar and water until 240º (just under) then drizzle into whisking egg white on Med. High.

Add 1/4-1/3 meringue into paste and blend together. Add rest of meringue and combine until just dripping of spoon. Texture should smooth out into a smooth circle if piped. (This may take some practice to figure out the right consistency here. I’m not gonna lie, it may take a few batches to nail this aspect…don’t give up!)

Bake at 300º for 15-20 mins. remove from parchment when cool. Once you fill and sandwich together the macarons, wrap them in plastic wrap and let them sit overnight in the fridge to reconstitute the cookie and reach the right texture. They can be frozen too, only let them thaw in their wrapping before serving.

Blueberry Buttercream

butter, blueberry syrup and 10xsugar

(sorry I kinda winged it with this one, basically a buttercream overloaded with syrupy cooked blueberries)

Lemon Curd

Recipe coming soon!

Gluten-Free Turkey Meatloaf

I’m a big fan of classic home cooked meals. And, somewhere in the middle of my comfort food heart, sits a little plate (or big one) set aside for meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Mr. Meatloaf was tugging at my heartstrings yesterday morning, (because crazy person that I am, as soon as breakfast is finished, I’m thinking up dinner) so guess what was for dinner….meatloaf and potatoes. Well, turkey meatloaf because we were out of beef, and pierogis because we were out of potatoes. So, turkey meatloaf and pierogis….well, wheat/gluten free meatloaf because I’m following my “limited bread” diet…kinda, and dairy-free because my oldest son has a milk allergy. Whatever kind of dinner I ended up with, it was home cooked, comfort-licious!

Here’s what I did….

meat, eggs, almond milk, oats, onions, savory, parsley, salt and pepper  (pay no attention to the oil and garlic salt...they snuck in without asking)

meat, eggs, almond milk, oats, onions, savory, parsley, salt and pepper
(pay no attention to the oil and garlic salt…they snuck in without asking)

stir the eggs

stir the eggs

add 3/4 cup milk

add 3/4 cup milk

add 3/4 cups oats

add 3/4 cups oats

add some salt

add some salt

add 1/2 teaspoon savory

add 1/2 teaspoon savory

a good bit of parsley, fresh is SO good in this recipe but if all you have is dried, thats ok

a good bit of parsley, fresh is SO good in this recipe but if all you have is dried, thats ok

I had some leftover onions from our cheeseburger dinner...

I had some leftover onions from our cheeseburger dinner…

chopped em up and tossed them in

chopped em up and tossed them in

once all the other ingredients were mixed in, I added the ground turkey

once all the other ingredients were mixed in, I added the ground turkey

plop

plop

so that's what it looks like...kinda...eeew

so that’s what it looks like…kinda…eeew

didn't want to wash another dish so this one's getting some foil

didn’t want to wash another dish so this one’s getting some foil

small loaf pan covered in foil and trimmed up nice

small loaf pan covered in foil and trimmed up nice

sprayed with oil to prevent sticking

sprayed with oil to prevent sticking

rub that baby down

rub that baby down

preheat the oven to 350ºF and let it cook for 50 mins.

preheat the oven to 350ºF and let it cook for 50 mins.

add a spoonful of the meatloaf mixture to pan with 4 tablespoons of butter....the gravy is not dairy free

add a spoonful of the meatloaf mixture to pan with 4 tablespoons of butter….the gravy is not dairy free

add 4 Tablespoons of flour......and it's not gluten free either

add 4 Tablespoons of flour……and it’s not gluten free either

Cook, while stirring, until bubbling

Cook, while stirring, until bubbling

add some Heavy Cream...definitely not dairy free

add some Heavy Cream…definitely not dairy free

add beef stock or beef bullion and water

add beef stock or beef bullion and water

slice the meatloaf when cool enough to handle

slice the meatloaf when cool enough to handle

quickly grill the slices on a hot griddle, coated in Olive Oil, to bring out flavor and color

quickly grill the slices on a hot griddle, coated in Olive Oil, to bring out flavor and color

the grand finale.....Delicious Gluten-free, Dairy-free meatloaf with gravy.

the grand finale…..Delicious Gluten-free, Dairy-free meatloaf with gravy, which is loaded with dairy and gluten. Options people, Options.

Here’s what you’ll need…

Grain-free, Dairy-freeTurkey Meatloaf Recipe

(Adapted from my good friend Kathleen’s recipe)

1 lb ground turkey

2 eggs

3/4 cup almond milk

3/4 cup oats

1/2 teaspoon savory

1 teaspoon dried parsley (use double if using fresh parsley)

1/2 cup onions chopped

1/2 Tablespoon salt

 a few cracks of Black pepper

Gravy Recipe

1 Tablespoon meatloaf mix

4 Tablespoons butter

4 Tablespoons flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup of beef stock OR 1 cup water and bullion