This past week was hoppin’ here at the RH household! I thought I’d share a few highlights:
[Win my giveaway and get a gift pack so you can make this at home!]
Cranberries Galore–and you can make them yourself!
If you’re like me (hmm, sorry to hear that), then you don’t eat sugar at the moment, in any of its myriad forms. That means no unrefined evaporated cane juice, no maple syrup, no brown rice syrup, no Sucanat, no dextrose, maltose, sucrose, glucose or any other -ose. . . basically, the only permitted sweeteners are stevia, yacon syrup and the (very) occasional grain of palm sugar or drop of agave nectar. Well, around holiday time, I like to bake things with dried fruits, but the ACD doesn’t allow dried fruits. I am, however, permitted fresh berries. So. . . I decided to dry my own.
This recipe for oven-dried cranberries seemed to stike a chord with many of you, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve used them in biscuits and muffins so far. . . and must admit, I just ate the rest as-is, by the handful.
[Moi, with the lovely Natali who interviewed me today. See the special foil-covered light above her head? How cool is that?]
Cameras Galore–and you can peek into a TV shoot at my house!
This afternoon, the lovely folks from York Region Living dropped in to interview me and tape me making up some Coconut Macaroons. I’ve shared the recipe before, but here it is again (below) for those of you who don’t want to skip over there.
The two hours they were in the house flew by, and before I knew it, the interview was over and the crew was busy filming the props (ie baked goods). Here’s Jeff, the cameraman, taking a shot of the table after the interview was done:
Yes, I am a total nerd: the entire experience was incredibly fun and exciting. I really enjoyed setting up the kitchen space and chatting about healthy baking, food intolerances and the ACD. Thanks so much to everyone on the show for a great afternoon!
And here’s the recipe Natali and I baked up during the segment:
Grain Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Sugar Free Coconut Macaroons
These were one of the most popular cookies from my bakery, Bake it Healthy. The HH still requests them on a regular basis. Nicely browned and crisp on the edges with a soft, chewy interior, these are bona fide macaroons. The tahini adds a good source of calcium, yet the flavor isn’t prominent in the cookies.
3/4 cup (135 g) raw, natural almonds, with skin
2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely ground flax seeds
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
2 cups (160 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) light agave nectar
1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini (sesame paste)
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) coconut extract, optional
2 Tbsp (60 ml) cacao nibs or chocolate chips, optional
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
In the bowl of a food processor, whir the almonds, flax and salt together until they resemble a coarse meal, about the texture of cornmeal. The mixture should be very finely ground, without any identifiable pieces of almond visible. Add the coconut and pulse once or twice to combine.
Pour the maple syrup, agave nectar, tahini, vanilla and coconut extract over the dry ingredients. Process again until everything is incorporated and the mixture forms a sticky ball (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl once or twice). Stop as soon as the mixture holds together to avoid grinding the coconut too fine. Stir in the cacao nibs or chocolate chips by hand; do not process again.
Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon (15 ml), drop small mounds of the mixture onto the cookie sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Wet your palms (or use a silicon spatula) and flatten the cookies slightly.
Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets about halfway through, until the cookies are deep golden brown on top. Cool completely before removing to a cooling rack (the cookies will firm up as they cool). Makes 14-16 cookies. May be frozen.
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Last Year at this Time: Lucky Comestible 6(3): Apple and Red Wine Soup (with Anti-Candida Variation)
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Pecan Pie (ACD maintenance only)
Three Years Ago: Sweet Potato and Carrot Casserole
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Oh Ricki, I feel your pain. I’m tired, too, and I haven’t exerted myself nearly as much as you have — especially today! Your post is a spectacular exclamation point to the halfway mark. And you can go the distance, I know you can. Me? Not so sure. But we’ll keep trying, won’t we? Thanks for the link. 😀
Ha ha! Yes, today was a long day–but so much fun. I love thinking of this as an “exclamation point”–long, for sure! And I’ll go the distance if you will 😉
JL goes Vegan says
That recipe looks delicious! How fun to have a TV shoot at home!
I think some of us may be stretching our blogging muscles more than others during Vegan MoFo. I’m posting daily but I can’t claim depth; however, I can claim yummy food (recipes or links) or photos for vegan meal inspiration! 🙂 Working full-time as a higher ed administrator, working 1/4 time as an instructor and also taking a grad course this term leaves very little for much else. BUT, you can tell the same story, and more, and you blow me away with your posts. I bow down to you! 🙂
I do feel as if my posts aren’t as in-depth as usual. . . normally I like to let them “simmer” and grow over a day or two, but no time for that now! Sounds as if you are plenty busy yourself–we can bow to each other. 😉
Ricki!!! You look so good – have you lost more weight? I think it’s so exciting to be interviewed and bake with Natali!
It’s not easy to comment on my favourite MoFo blogs, and keeping up is a bit marathon-esque, but hey, it’s almost over, right? Ok, no, but that’s ok!
Thanks so much, Shellyfish! And no, no more weight loss.
I agree about the marathon-esque commenting. . .hey, wait, that’s more exercise! Maybe then I really *would* lose more weight! 😉
Wow, you have been busy Ricki. Have you had any sleep at all? So you dry the cranberries and they are ok? Is it the method that is used in bought dried fruits or the preservatives that is not good for you?
Apparently dried fruits have concentrated sugars and can harbor molds. So sundried tomatoes are also a no-no, for instance. For the homemade ones, I use them immediately or else (haven’t tried this yet) would freeze them for later use, which stalls the mold.
Deb Schiff says
Hey, it’s only a matter of time before you have a food network show, I’m sure. 🙂
You are too kind, Deb. 😉 Not likely, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed!
Ricki you are incredible. You’re so busy but you still take the time to highlight and support other people. Thanks so much for linking to my adoption post 🙂 Hope life settles down a little for you. How did the girls like the TV crew?
That’s part of the fun! I love learning about other bloggers from blogs I read so want to return the favor. 🙂 Thanks for the good wishes. . . it *will* settle down after Christmas, as that’s when I’m on holiday! And the Girls were. . . okay. They’re great with the women on crew (who even commented on how well behaved they were), but poor little Chaser is far too intimidated by tall men and kept barking at one guy. I don’t think we convinced him to get a dog any time soon. 😉
Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free says
So cool, Ricki!! I can’t wait to see the clip. You’re becoming a regular star. And, you looked fabulous! Congrats!!
Thanks, Amy. I really had fun with it. 😀
Ellen @ I Am Gluten Free says
You are a blogging rock star in my world. For today’s post and so much more! Just this morning, I made Gluten Free Cranberry Ginger scones and remembered that I’d just seen a recipe somewhere in the blogsphere for homemade dried cranberries, but I couldn’t remember where until I read today’s post. Ok, now I have to make the scones all over again, this time with homemade dried cranberries!!!
Ha ha! Thanks, Ellen. But can I be a groupie instead? Like Kate Hudson in Almost Famous?? I’ve always wanted to have her long, lean look (and her posture!). 😉 And now I think I must make your scones yet again, but with dried cranberries!
Alisa Cooks says
That is so awesome! Congratulations Ricki! Will they have the interview on the internet later?
I know it must be SO much work to blog every day…I cannot even imagine. But I am soooooooooo glad you are participating in MoFo. I love each and every one of your posts and I always look forward to them. So thank you! It is very much appreciated 🙂
hiya, Ricki! i hear you, my friend – i’m pooped! it’s crazy tough posting every day, trying to keep up with everyone’s posts, and comment on them, too. whew!
i am a nerd as well, and would have been totally geeking out during the entire film process – the whole production is so neat! love all the behind the scene things. i can’t wait to see the clip, and i love the picture of you and Natali. made me smile!
thanks again for another wonderful shout-out. i really enjoyed Shellyfish & Mihl’s posts about the vegan blogging community. i’ve met so many new friends through it all – it’s amazing and inspiring, and awesome to be a part of everything that goes on and spreading the vegan love. 🙂
i think i’m gonna cook up some dinner and relax for a bit. my google reader is overflowing like crazy, but sometimes you’ve just gotta sit back and relax – i hope you get some down time, too.
enjoy your weekend and all the yumminesses & fun it brings!
Jessy, yes, it was so much fun! 😀 I will let y’all know the second they air the show. . . in January! And I couldn’t agree more about the blogging community: totally awesome. Hope your weekend is great, too! 🙂
Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day says
Ricki, that was the most awesome video I’ve seen in a while! You had me laughing out loud several times…. and your girls are adorable!
How cool you are going to be on TV!
Aw, thanks, Melanie (and the Girls thank you, too)! I never lose the feeling of being thrilled to be on TV! The only thing that could be more exciting would be. . . to be on The Ellen Show!! 😉
I don’t think I could post daily at the moment – but there have been times I felt I could (and even then I might have struggled) so kudos to you for finding your mofo mojo. The tv studio in your kitchen sounds v exciting and I loved the macaroons from sweet freedom so am sure your modified ones are great.
These macaroons ARE the ones from Sweet Freedom! I just added the nibs to these ones. 😉 And I don’t actually think I’ll be able to post daily, either. . . running out of steam pretty darned quickly! 😉
River (Wing-It Vegan) says
That is so cool! I can’t wait for the show to air… maybe you will be on the Ellen Show before Januray too!
MoFo is not for the weak! It’s really kicking my wimpy butt big time. Hopefully we will get a second wind so we can keep posting like maniacs! 🙂
Thank you so much for the shout-outs! I hope more people send Ellen crafty crafts that she won’t be able to resist!