Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trick-or-Treat Orange Sweets

Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore!

Taking candy corn to the next level, these Valhrona chocolate and candied orange slices will amaze and bedazzle your family and guests.

For a fresh alternative to stale packaged treats, enjoy these Halloween Orange Sweets ~ 


2 oranges, peel on, thinly sliced with a mandolin

1/2 cup cane sugar
2 cups water

40 oz. Valrhona Guanaja 70% Baking Bar 
40 oz. Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar

1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt, optional topping


1. Bring the water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and add the orange slices. Immediately turn the heat to very low, cover pot partially with lid, and cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally, and when the slices are cooked through, remove with tongs to a baking sheet or plates covered with parchment paper. Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

2. When the oranges are ready, temper the chocolate as follows: Put 2 inches of water in a saucepan and place a wider metal bowl on top to make a double boiler. When the water boils, put 1/2 of the chocolate pieces in the metal bowl and melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, heating it to a temperature of 105 degrees F. with a candy thermometer.

3. Add the rest of the chocolate to the melted chocolate. Stir briefly to melt most of it, then take the bowl off of the boiling water.  Mix until all the chocolate is melted and the temperature has cooled down to about 82 degrees. The chocolate is “tempered” (blended well, good color, and will have a crunchy bite) when it has a glossy sheen.

4. Dip each end of the orange slices in the chocolate and place on parchment paper. Add salt if desired. Return to the refrigerator to chill for for about 1 hour. Serve.

Recipe adapted from GiveRecipe website.

#halloween #chocolate #dessert

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Thai Coconut Curry Soup

A little heat. A little sweet. My perfect soup to come home to on a cool autumn evening.

For this recipe, I followed the guidelines for making soup from Epicurious: chop; sweat; season; add liquid (broth or water); blenderize.

The result was an intensely flavorful, creamy soup. Customize your ingredients and enjoy!


For the Chop:
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces, about 4 cups
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2” pieces, about 2 cups
1 apple, chopped into small pieces, preferably Pink Lady or other sweet red apple
Pinch of fine sea salt

For the Sweat:
1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Seasoning:
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Red Thai Curry Sauce

For the Liquid:
4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon fish sauce, preferably Red Boat Fish Sauce

1/2 cup coconut flakes, pre-toasted, or make them here
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk for drizzling on top
Cilantro sprigs
Fresh lime juice


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and oil in soup stock pot; add onions and stir for a couple of minutes until they start to soften. Add the seasonings while the oil is hot to allow their flavors to release. Now add the remaining butter, squash, apple, carrots and salt and stir to combine. Cook about 8-10 minutes until onions are translucent, stirring frequently.

2. Add the liquids, and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables soften. 

3. Transfer the soup to a blender in small batches. Tip: remove the plastic knob on top and cover with a towel to allow steam to escape. 

4. Serve, or reheat the soup when ready to eat. Add toppings of choice.

Makes about 4 servings.

#paleo #thai #curry #soup #healthyeating #glutenfree #dairyfree

Recipe adapted from Running on Real Food website.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cranberry Apple Acorn Squash

’Twas a cold and windy night when I turned on the oven to cook this acorn squash.

An hour or so later, the warmed kitchen was filled with the aroma of apple pie and this pastiche of fall colors was ready to eat!

Ingredients for 1 Squash:

1 large acorn squash (2 - 4 servings)

3/4 cup apple juice


1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used a Fuji)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons grass fed butter, melted (or coconut oil or grape seed oil)

Fine sea salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1. Wash and dry the acorn squash. Set the squash on a cutting board with the stem side on the bottom. Cut the squash in half vertically. Clean out the insides with a spoon.* 

2. Pour the apple juice in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the squash halves cut side down in the juice, and place in preheated oven.

3. While the squash is roasting, mix together the ingredients for the filling in a bowl. 

4. Remove the pan from the oven after 30 minutes, and turn the squash halves over. Add a pinch of salt to each half. Spoon in the filling, sprinkle with salt again, and return to the oven.

5. After another 30 minutes (1 hour total), check the squash. My squash took another 15 minutes (45 minutes total) until the color was golden and the flesh pulled apart with a fork. I turned off the oven and let it stay for another 15 minutes. To serve, cut into portions for a side dish, or serve one half per person. Be sure to stir the filling with the flesh of the squash to blend the delicious flavors together.

*Discard the stringy parts, and if desired, bake the seeds later at 200 degrees F until they are slightly browned, about 3/4 hour; sprinkle with salt.

#paleo #veggies #squash #glutenfree #healthyeating

Recipe adapted from Elana’s Pantry website.