Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coconut Oil Fudge - Recipe and Tips

After a recent doctor's appointment I learned a couple of things about my diet. First, I need more protein. Second, I need to cut carbs. Because of that I'm always looking for good snack recipes. On a recent quest to eat better and keep my feet warm (a different subject, yet indirectly related) a friend directed me to this article on The Nourished Life blog. She mentions a three ingredient, coconut oil fudge recipe. Follow a couple of links and you find it. It's pretty basic, so I gave it whirl.

1.One part coconut oil (I used 1 cup). I live in northern Michigan, so coconut oil in January looks like this. Just warm it on the stove or in the microwave until melted.

2. One part cocoa powder. I happen to have organic cacao powder. It's very light in the measuring cup, but don't let it trick you - this stuff not only contains lots of nutrients (including fiber and protein), it's also super dark and chocolately. Since I used 1 cup coconut oil, I used 1 cup cacao powder.

3. Half part raw honey. My raw honey is thick and creamy, so I measured out a 1/2 cup in my Pampered Chef measuring unit. I don't use this often, but I swear by it for thick, gooey ingredients like honey and peanut butter. When you press the measuring cup up, it scrapes off the sides so you don't miss any yummy goodness.



Now you begin the mixing process. Here are a few tips I'll pass along to you. First, if you have thick, creamy honey like I do, heat it up. The thick sweetener doesn't blend well with the liquid oil.

See how nice and dark this looks?

Next, the original recipe says to pour the mixture into a glass container. Yes, but ... I can't seem to get the fudge out very easily. I might put down some waxed paper so you can pop the fudge out of the pan instead of scraping it out.

Here's the mixed, poured, hardened yumminess. I'm not the biggest honey fan, so I might tweak the sweetening process, but Linda and Matt both love this recipe. It will definitely pop up here again!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Our First Christmas

It's become a tradition in northern Michigan for Matt and I to spend Christmas Eve with our friends Shaina and the Tschudys. Since we were going to be out of town this year we decided to get together early. Aunt Linda joined us this year for our first Christmas.

My little Joy-ful is a ham. This was our best photo.

Aunt Linda and Eli, probably talking Nintendo DS.

Holy presents, Batman!

A little pre-dinner chit-chat. 

A Tschudy and a Shaina. Yeah, that looks natural.

Dinner! Sort of ... brunch :) We enjoy nothing more than a giant, yummy breakfast. 

Mr. Tschudy sporting his brand new, Linda-made scarf.

Joy-ful modeling her new princess attire.

Merry Christmas! (So what if it's late ...)

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Christmas and Ceramics

Last year Linda and I were blessed enough to spend Christmas with my family in Las Vegas (not gambling, they actually live there). One of the wonderful things about Vegas is that you can always find a deal to do something. This past visit we attended Ladies' Night at The Artful Potter, a paint-your-own-pottery joint in Sin City. Though it was my first time, Linda's an old pro at this type of shop.

My mom and Linda at The Artful Potter.

Linda found herself a ceramic jack-o-lantern, complete with an orange bulb so we can plug it in later.

The finished project! This was actually days later - the fact that she's wearing the same shirt is a complete coincidence.
Our trip out west was fun, but a long one. Two weeks away from home helps you appreciate what you have. It also helps the kitties appreciate those who feed them.It didn't take long for Bucket to welcome Linda back to the tundra.