6 Ingredient Pumpkin Bread

I know pumpkin tends to be a flavor typically attributed as being autumnal and/or of the Thanksgiving nature.  However, as someone who is passionate for pumpkin and eats it any chance I am able, I believe firmly that surely we can stretch the ingredient as being applicable and apt for baking well into the winter months as well.  Pumpkin is homey, comforting, healthy, and its great in both baked goods and savory dishes alike.

With the colder months making it far easier towards packing on a few extra pounds, I thought something desserty, comforting, but healthy and low in calories would be the perfect thing.  This pumpkin bread is gluten free, dairy free and without refined sugar.

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Pepper and Pancetta Piperrada

Hi all!

Get excited for this special feature guest post, written by Maxx, my partner and equally creative force behind the new weekly column: Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts.  As an aside, to sample our mouthwatering, fudgy, decadent, showstopper of a chocolate cake, check out the link here.

Without further ado though, his enticing entrée and posting:

Fresh bell peppers shine in this recipe, a Spanish-influenced dish fitting for any meal.  I fixed this for Sunday brunch; the savory flavors working nicely in pairing with the velvety eggs.  If your knife skills are sharp, you can whip this up in 30 minutes, an easy preparation for sure.  The recipe is derived using this original for inspiration.

I had been seeking the opportunity to put Brooke to the test after I learned that she is somewhat picky about her Bell peppers.  I myself had never appreciated the subtleties in their flavor over the range of colors in which they are available.  A fortuitous family pack of peppers at the grocery store afforded me the opportunity to buy a quartet of them; green, red, yellow, and orange.  When preparing the dish, I reserved samples of each and administered a blind taste test.  Brooke correctly differentiated her least favorite, the green pepper, at first, before being swayed by the flavors of the orange.

Ultimately, she identified the similar tasting peppers: orange and green, and yellow and red, only she reversed her selections within those two pairs.  I was impressed overall after being skeptical in her ability to distinguish the peppers by color.

So, onward with what you’ll need to make this breakfast dish:

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Foragingly Festive Mushroom Cheese Bake

Hi all!  Happy winter, eh? 😀

In the taking advantage of a recent grocery shopping mishap on my end (accidently getting maitake mushrooms instead of cremini- I know, I know, how does one make such a mistake?), I decided on whipping up something healthy, loaded with veggies, but with a touch of comfort foodie goodness to it.  With the weather having made a nosedive up here in New Hampshire, in terms of the brisk factor, it seemed a fitting entrée for the frigid air outside.

This one is gluten/grain free and sugar free, though it does have some dairy with the addition of the cheese.  If you wish, use dairy free cheese instead and you’ll have a delectable, healthy vegan side dish.

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Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Frosting

The perfect wintery dessert.  Lightly spiced and sweet, but without all the sugar, flour and dairy that a typical treat has.  I attempted another version of this months prior, which came out awesome.  I actually prefer the frosting on my first version (maple mascarpone, certainly not dairy free)…but this one was yummy as well.

This sheet cake of sorts takes mere minutes to make.  Just some chopping and grating.  The only long part is soaking the cashews overnight, but then you just pop them in the food processor the next morning and you’re good.

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Grain Honey Mustard Marinated Salmon

Happy Monday, all!

For recipe #2 on Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts, we decided on a honey mustard marinated salmon accompanied with a side of sweet potato fries.  Our attempt at going semi healthy and lightening things up after the swan dive taken into wholehearted consumption of the sweet stuff over the last few weeks 😉

This recipe may be really good for you but it tastes awesome.  In Maxxs words, “fun to eat” with the tiny, almost bead-like texture of the grains atop tenderly cooked salmon.  The zest of the mustard playing well with the subtle sweetness from the honey added to it.  Sweet potato fries, the perfect of sides for this simple but comfort foody, totally satisfying plate.

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Spaghetti Squash with Kale & Sundried Tomatoes

Hi all,

With autumn well under way, and really, winter just on its heels, something in the squash family seemed fitting for an entrée choice.  This is also a great one because its easy to make, and its ultra healthy.  Finding foods that fit under the comfort food umbrella while not wrecking havoc on your waistline can be a challenge feat during the colder months.  This dish is just the ticket for that elusive eating experience.

Recipe #1 for a reoccurring weekly post titled: “Brooke and Maxx: Culinary Crafts.”  What is this exactly?  The joining of two culinary forces, a meeting of the minds (as well as hands and creativity) in the kitchen.  Both bananas about food, recipe experimentation, the sampling of new dishes, discovering interesting restaurants, and perfecting personal favorites, as well as eating all things sweet in (too much) abundance.  It seemed a fusion of these two personalities and passions was a no brainer.

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Special Feature: The BEST Chocolate Cake You’ve Never Had.

Hi Everybody,

In light of the weekend which just wrapped, thought Id gift you with a pretty sumptuous sweet treat.  Get excited for this one.  Super psyched.  It might just be one of the best chocolate cakes you ever sample.  The full name, which was too much of a mouthful for the title line, is: “Maxxs Mouthwateringly Fudgy & Brookes Bombastically Moist, Nearly Death by Chocolate Cake.”  A dangerous one for sure, on more than one level 😉 which only my sidekick will understand in full.  All joking aside though, get ready to have your socks knocked off upon tasting.  Might not even bother wearing any when sampling this baby.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

Hi all,

Long time, no post, I know.  With the ushering in of autumn and the beginning of October, I thought something with sweet potato would make for the perfect autumnal entrée.  This dish can wear many hats, from sweet snack, to breakfast for dinner or dessert, to one of many platters scattered across the table in a weekend brunching extravaganza.

Super easy to make, filling, lightly sweet, grain free/dairy free and healthier than your typical pancakes.  However, still just as scrumptious.

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Paleo Sunflower Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

To all lovers of old school chocolate chip and/or peanut butter cookies (or, for the truly daring, lets take the two and combine 😉 because really, what’s better than chocolate and peanut butter fused?  Nothing, that’s what.  Besides possibly pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, but that’s another debate for a different day).

The coolest thing about these cookies though?  They deliver all the taste of a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie but are grain free, dairy free, Paleo and free of refined sugar.  The texture is cakey and moist.  They taste lightly sweet and peanut buttery, except these guys are made with sunflower butter.  The supposedly healthier cousin to PB, as its not a legume/nut.

Get excited for these guys.  Easy to make and totally delicious.

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Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes

Man oh man, do I love chocolate, frosting and cupcakes.  The moist, cakey texture.  The rich, sugary taste of frosting.  The charming and oh so perfect small size making it nearly impossible to eat just one.  Queue mouth watering.  However, damn what a bummer how unhealthy they are.  Loaded with sugar, dairy and grains.

On Pinterest one day, I stumbled across several Paleo cupcake recipes, which I automatically assumed were likely to taste terrible.  However I decided to experiment with making a batch last night.  WHOA.  Like the astoundingly awesome, flavorful cauliflower pizza I made a couple weeks ago, these blew my mind.

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