Chocolate Nut Butter Fudge

fudgeby Karen Frazier

I bought a few cans of coconut milk the other day and found, as often happens, the coconut milk had separated into cream at the top of the can with the water condensing in the bottom. This separation of the solids and liquids, I realized, is the perfect way to add a creamy element to a lot of different foods.

My first thought was using these coconut milk solids (the coconut cream) to make icing, since they had a texture similar to chilled butter, albeit a bit creamier and less dense. However, I didn’t feel like messing with paleo flours to bake a cake or brownies, but I still wanted to mess around with the cream a bit.

Then it hit me. If I mixed the coconut cream with a nut butter and some melted chocolate, it would develop a fudge-like consistency. Or that was my hope. So I gave it a try, and it worked. The result was a creamy, low-carb, vegan, paleo, tasty fudge with the perfect texture and the exact right level of sweetness.

You’ll need to use canned coconut milk here – the full-fat kind, not lite coconut milk. Usually you can tell if the solids and liquids have separated by giving the can a shake and listening. There won’t be a liquid sloshing sound. If, for some reason, it hasn’t separated, then you can refrigerate the unopened can overnight, which should do the trick.

The cans of coconut milk where this is most likely to happen are those without any additives or emulsifiers – so check the ingredients and make sure it only lists coconut cream and water. This is the type that is most likely to separate.

When you open the can, pour away the water and use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the solid coconut cream out. Some stores also sell coconut cream, and you can use that, as well.

Choose a nut butter that works with your diet. If you’re paleo, sugar-free, organic almond butter works well here. If you’re not paleo, then use organic, sugar-free peanut butter instead. I don’t specify an amount of liquid stevia (for paleo), or liquid sucralose (for non-paleo, low-carb) because sweetness preferences vary. I tend to like my dessert not very sweet, so I don’t add a lot of sweetener. To get the right amount of sweetness, add a bit of the liquid sweetener (5-10 drops), taste, add more, taste – and continue until you reach the desired sweetness level.

Chocolate Nut Butter Fudge

  • 2 ounces unsweetened dark, vegan chocolate
  • 1/3 cup nut butter
  • 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, drained or 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Liquid stevia or liquid sucralose to taste
  1. Line an eight-inch square pan with parchment.
  2. In your microwave or on the stove, melt the nut butter and chocolate. If melting on the stovetop, do it on low heat and stir frequently. In the microwave, cook on high for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until smooth.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl or stand mixer, beat the melted chocolate and nut butter, coconut cream, vanilla, and sweetener until smooth. Taste and add more sweetener as desired.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan using a rubber spatula to spread it in an even layer. Freeze for one hour. Cut into squares, and store the fudge in a zipper bag in the fridge or freezer.

photo credit: Coffee Fudge via photopin (license)

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Orange-Almond Spice Cookie Bars

IMG_0908by Karen Frazier

I have always been a baker. Puttering around in the kitchen baking stuff is one of my favorite ways to while away an autumn weekend afternoon while Jim watches football. With the celiac disease and my low-carb, paleo diet, however, I stopped engaging in that love. It’s only been recently that I’ve started tinkering with baking once again.

This recipe came to me in a flash of inspiration a few days ago, and I decided last night to give it a try. I was worried about lots of things – tweaking ratios, etc., but the cookies came out really well on the first try. Feel free to mess around with the flavor profiles. I love the way the orange, spice, almond, and chocolate blend in this tasty recipe.

The cookies are paleo-ish – the erythritol in the sweetener renders them not quite paleo; however, if you aren’t baking low-carb, you can replace the sweetener with coconut sugar. It will raise the carb count, but keep the cookies paleo. So it’s a matter of blood sugar vs. staying totally paleo.

Orange-Almond Spice Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup Swerve Sweetener or Truvia (for low-carb) or coconut sugar (for paleo)
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
  • Liquid stevia, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, mix one cup of the coconut oil with the Swerve or Truvia, almond extract, orange zest, and Chinese Five Spice powder until well blended.
  3. Stir in the eggs, beating until well-combined.
  4. Stir in the almond flour and the sea salt, mixing until well combined.
  5. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies brown slightly around the edges (the top won’t brown), and the dough doesn’t have much give on the top, about 30 minutes. Cool for ten minutes.
  6. Lift the cookies out of the pan by lifting the parchment. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining two tablespoons of coconut oil and the chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly, on low heat until the chocolate melts. Stir in the stevia a few drops at a time until you achieve the desired sweetness. The cookies are quite sweet, so I made my chocolate only lightly sweet to serve as a slightly bitter counterpoint to the sweetness of the cookies.
  8. Spread the chocolate in a very thin layer (or drizzle it artistically) on the cookies. Allow the chocolate to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to harden the chocolate slightly. Then, cut the cookies into small bars and transfer them to plates. Refrigerate to completely harden the chocolate.

Since I don’t eat a lot of sweet stuff, I’m keeping these cookies in the freezer, at the ready for when I need a sweet treat, or when I just want a taste of something completely different.

Low-Carb Paleo Stuffing/Dressing

stuffingby Karen Frazier

Yes – I know it’s after Thanksgiving, but some people turn around and make stuffing again at Christmas. Plus, I didn’t want to offer you a stuffing/dressing recipe until I’d tried it out on my own. That way, if it was terrible, we all would have all had disastrous stuffing on Thanksgiving. It wasn’t – it was tasty.

  • 8 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 16 ounces bulk sage sausage
  • 2 tablespoons paleo-friendly fat (coconut oil, duck fat, etc.)
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 6 rosemary sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6 sage sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6-8 thyme sprigs, stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large pot on medium-high heat, cook the pancetta and sausage,stirring occasionally, until browned, about five minutes. Remove the pork from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. In the pot with the fat from the pork, add the paleo-friendly fat and cook until it melts.
  4. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes. Remove from the vegetables from the fat with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the pork.
  5. In the same pot, add the celery and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes more.
  6. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the entire contents of the pot (including the fat) to the bowl with the other vegetables and the pork.
  8. Add the almond meal, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well.
  9. Spread the mixture in a large casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour.

Tips:

  1. Try replacing the apples with about a pound of chopped mushrooms.
  2. To quickly chop the herbs, put them all in a food processor and pulse for about 10 one-second pulses, or until well chopped.

photo credit: Stuffing at the ready via photopin (license)

Low-Carb Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake Bars with Chinese Five-Spice

by Karen FrazierPumpkin cheesecake bars

I used to bake all the time. Since we’ve been on the whole paleo/low-carb diet, however, baking has gone by the wayside. Not because there aren’t good paleo and low-carb baking recipes out there, but just because I don’t really see the need to have a lot of tempting desserts around the house. If they’re there, I’ll eat them.

However, today is Jim’s birthday. He used to love my Pumpkin and Caramel Whiskey Cheesecake with Chinese Five-Spice. He has been expressing sadness that he can never, ever have that again. So I decided to do a little adaptation. While I couldn’t find a way to make it paleo, I did find a way to make it low-carb. So here is the recipe with a low-carb makeover.

For the crust

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

For the topping

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

For the pecans

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saute pan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. When the butter begins to brown and smells slightly toasty, remove from heat and cool.
  4. Combine remaining crust ingredients in a food processor, pulsing for 10 one second pulses until fine crumbs form.
  5. Add butter to crust and pulse for five one second pulses.
  6. Press crust into bottom of prepared pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.
  7. Combine all filling ingredients in a large food processor. Process until well combined, scraping sides down occasionally.
  8. Pour filling over crust, using a rubber spatula to spread it evenly.
  9. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes, until the center sets.
  10. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes. Leave the oven on.
  11. Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients, whisking to combine.
  12. Spread over the bars and return to oven. Bake an additional five minutes.
  13. Cool for two hours on a wire rack and then refrigerate for three hours. Top with spiced pecans (below).
  14. For pecans, melt butter over medium heat in a saute pan.
  15. Add pecans and cook, stirring, until they smell toasty, about five minutes.
  16. In a small bowl, combine sweetener, cinnamon, and five spice powder.
  17. Toss hot pecans in sweetener mixture.
  18. Use the pecans to garnish top of the bars.

photo credit: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bite via photopin (license)

Bacon-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Duxelle, Red Wine Sauce & Crispy Shoestring Sweet Potatoes

tenderloinby Karen Frazier

I’m excited to share this one with you. It makes a great special occasion meal. We had it for New Year’s Eve, but you can make it any time. I wanted to wait to post the recipe until I’d fully developed it – wouldn’t want to steer you wrong, but with this combination of flavors it was pretty hard to go wrong.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, and paleo.

Tips:

  • I made the duxelle a day ahead of time and refrigerated it so it was completely cool before I put it in the beef tenderloin.
  • Marinate the tenderloin overnight.
  • Put the tenderloin on on the counter for an hour before cooking it to bring it to room temperature.
  • Save the marinade to combine with a few extra ingredients to make the sauce. Boil the marinade for five minutes to  cook out any bacteria.
  • To butterfly the tenderloin, slice it lengthwise about halfway through the meat, and then slice horizontally into each side of the cut. Fold the meat outward to make a flat fillet.
  • I use a spiralizer for the shoestring potatoes. However, you can also use a mandolin on the thinnest setting, or even grate the sweet potatoes.
  • For super low-carb, eliminate the sweet potatoes.
  • If you’re not comfortable cooking with wine for paleo meals, then eliminate the sauce, skip the marinade, and replace the wine in the duxelle with homemade beef broth.
  • While you can roast the beef in the oven, if you’ve got a smoker, I highly recommend using it.

For the duxelle:

  • 2 tablespoons duck fat (or some other paleo-friendly fat)
  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine

For the marinade:

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the tenderloin:

  • 1 5-pound beef tenderloin, butterflied
  • 1 pound thick-sliced pepper bacon

For the sauce:

  • Leftover marinade
  • 1 cup homemade beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

For the sweet potato strips:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, sliced, and cut into very thin shoestrings
  • 2 tablespoons duck fat (or other paleo-friendly fat)
  • Sea salt

For the duxelle:

  1. In a large saute pan, heat the duck fat until it melts and shimmers.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juice from the mushrooms has evaporated, five to seven minutes.
  3. Add the shallots, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for another five minutes, until shallots are soft and mixture is dry.
  4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates.
  6. Refrigerate the duxelle and allow it to completely cool before using in the roast.

For the marinade and roast:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well combined.
  2. Place the butterflied roast in a flat dish and pour the marinade over the top, covering the beef.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.
  4. Heat the oven to 375 (or, we used a smoker – heat that to 375).
  5. Remove the roast from the marinade and pat it dry. Reserve the marinade for the sauce.
  6. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap, and lay the strips of bacon in it in a row, slightly overlapping.
  7. Place the roast on top of the bacon strips. Spread the roast with the chilled duxelle. Use the plastic wrap to roll the bacon completely around the roast. Tie the roast with butcher’s twine to keep the bacon in place.
  8. Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the roast and cook, searing the bacon on each side until it begins to brown, three to five minutes per side.
  9. Move the sauté pan to the preheated oven and cook until a thermometer reads 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit, about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the roast from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

For the sauce:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the reserved marinade over medium-high heat until it boils. Boil, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper). Simmer until the liquid thickens and reduces, about 20 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the sweet potatoes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, toss together the sweet potato strips, melted duck fat, and sea salt.
  3. Pour the potatoes onto the parchment-lined pan in a single layer.
  4. Bake until the potatoes are crispy, 20 to 25 minutes.

To serve: After resting the roast for 20 minutes, slice it and carefully remove the twine. Spoon the sauce over each piece of beef and top with the crispy sweet potatoes. For sides, we served garlic sautéed green beans and a green salad.

photo credit: CraftyGoat via photopin cc

Rosemary and Chive Roasted Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoesby Karen Frazier

For years, I thought I hated sweet potatoes. Of course, my only experience with them was the syrupy sweet candied Thanksgiving type, dripping in sugar, sweetness, and sometimes even marshmallows. Frequently, the sweet potatoes that wound up on the Thanksgiving dinner tables I frequented even came from a can. Blech.

As a result, I avoided them like the plague.

Then, a few years ago, I decided to try them again. I purchased fresh organic sweet potatoes at the local farmers market and decided to roast them. I was trepidatious, but I was ready to give them the old college try. They were delicious! I made them a few times for the family, and then promptly forgot about them.

Last night we had guests over for dinner. Jim and I eat very differently these days, usually consuming veggies and protein with a little fruit tossed in here and there, but with guests coming, I decided I wanted to add a starch so my guests didn’t leave feeling hungry and dissatisfied.

We mostly eschew starches around here, saving them as an occasional treat instead of standard fare. As a result, I no longer cook white potatoes, rice, quinoa, or any other grains that I would traditionally offer as a side dish. I toyed for a moment with offering our guests mashed cauliflower, but in the end, while I love that stuff, I couldn’t do that to my guests. They might find it weird.

Then I remembered sweet potatoes. While a bit starchy, sweet potatoes have a lot of fiber and nutrition in them, including vitamins A and C. Likewise, unlike white potatoes, sweet potatoes don’t contain saponins, which are anti-nutrients that may disrupt cell membranes in the body. Plus, they’re pretty darn tasty.

So, I roasted some organic sweet potatoes, cooked a lovely rib roast, sautéed some chanterelles, and made a nice salad. Dinner was delicious, and I especially enjoyed the sweet potatoes. Here’s the recipe.

Rosemary and Chive Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (skin still on)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, stems removed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons duck fat, melted (or grass-fed butter or any other fat you choose to use)
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, rosemary, chives, garlic, duck fat, salt, and pepper until the potatoes are well-coated.
  3. Put the potatoes in a pan, forming a single layer along the bottom. I use a 9×13″ casserole dish.
  4. Roast the potatoes for about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir the potatoes and turn them over. Continue roasting until the potatoes are browned, about 25 to 30 minutes more.

photo credit: SaucyGlo via photopin cc

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Whiskey and Chinese Five Spice Pecans

pumpkin cheesecake with sour cream topping Jim’s favorite dessert in the entire world is cheesecake. Several years ago, I baked Gourmet Magazine’s Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake, and it instantly became his new favorite. Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe little by little until it has taken its present (delicious) form.

For the crust

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about five graham crackers – use S’moreables gluten-free graham style crackers for GF)
  • 1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 ounces),  finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon caramel whiskey (Black Velvet or other)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

For the topping

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Black Velvet caramel whiskey

For the pecans

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9″ spring form pan.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saute pan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. When the butter begins to brown and smells slightly toasty, remove from heat and cool.
  4. Combine remaining crust ingredients in a food processor, pulsing for 10 one second pulses until fine crumbs form.
  5. Add butter to crust and pulse for five one second pulses.
  6. Press crust into bottom of prepared pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.
  7. Combine all filling ingredients in a large food processor. Process until well combined, scraping sides down occasionally.
  8. Pour filling over crust. Tap pan lightly against counter to remove air pockets.
  9. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaks. Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes, until sides are set but middle still slightly jiggles.
  10. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for five minutes. Leave oven on.
  11. Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients, whisking to combine.
  12. Spread over cheesecake and return to oven. Bake an additional five minutes.
  13. Cool for two hours on a wire rack and then refrigerate for three hours before umolding. Top with spiced pecans (below).
  14. For pecans, melt butter over medium heat in a saute pan.
  15. Add pecans and cook, stirring, until they smell toasty, about five minutes.
  16. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and five spice powder.
  17. Toss hot pecans in sugar mixture.
  18. Use pecans to garnish top of the cheesecake.

Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamonrollsThese are incredibly moist and freeze well in an airtight container. The rolls are giant, and the batch is large, so sharing is always a great option.

Rolls

  • 1 cup hot mashed white potatoes
  • 2 cups milk
  • 7 cups (or more) flour
  • 1-2 packages quick rise yeast
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs

Filling

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • Cinnamon to taste

Icing

  • 1 package softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk (0r more to achieve desired consistency)
  1. Combined potatoes, milk, and one cup of flour in a large glass bowl.
  2. Beat until well combined.
  3. Cool to lukewarm (about 110 degrees) and stir in yeast.
  4. Cover and let rise until light, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and then turn off.
  6. Stir down mixture with a wooden spoon.
  7. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  8. Add salt and eggs and beat until blended.
  9. Stir butter, sugar, salt, eggs mixture into yeast mixture.
  10. Add remaining flour to make a firm dough.
  11. Knead until elastic, about 10-15 minutes.
  12. Grease an ovenproof bowl with butter.
  13. Put dough in bowl.
  14. Cover with a warm damp cloth and place in warmed oven (make sure it has been turned off) to rise – about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  15. Punch down dough.
  16. Turn onto a floured surface.
  17. Spread softened butter onto dough and top with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  18. Roll dough into a large log and cut into cinnamon rolls.
  19. Place in a greased pan.
  20. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  21. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  22. Bake risen rolls for 30 minutes.
  23. Allow rolls to cool.
  24. Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  25. Add milk and vanilla to desired consistency.
  26. Use to ice rolls.

Pancetta Sage Stuffing

mirepoixThis can be baked in the oven, inside a bird, or even cooked in a crock pot to save oven space.

  • 2-4 loaves french and dark bread, cubed and dried on counter for 1 day.
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, chopped and sauteed (reserve fat)
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons each chopped fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme
  • 1 tablespoon each dried sage, rosemary, and thyme
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste.
  1. Place bread cubes in a large bowl.
  2. Brown pancetta. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and add pancetta to bread cubes.
  3. Saute onion, celery, and carrot in pancetta fat until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add to bread cubes.
  5. Add fresh and dried herbs, butter, stock, salt and pepper and mix well. Add more moisture if necessary.
  6. Use to stuff a bird, cook for several hours in a low crock pot, stirring occasionally, or bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15.

Orange Vanilla Sweet Potatoes

  • sweettater4 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (coconut oil for dairy-free and vegetarian)
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lenthwise
  • Zest from one orange
  • Juice from two oranges
  • Fresh grated nutmeg, salt, and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans into melted butter and add seed pods.
  3. Toss butter/vanilla with potatoes.
  4. Roast until potatoes are soft – about 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Remove potatoes from butter and set aside, tented with foil.
  6. Carefully pour butter from pan into a small saucepan with orange juice and zest.
  7. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by half and syruppy.
  8. Toss with potatoes.
  9. Season with fresh grated nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.