Watermelon Granita

Watermelon Granita

During these hot summer days, there is no better way to cool down than with a delicious cool treat, like Granita! Not only is it the perfect mix of refreshing and sweet, it’s also a ton of fun to make. Let’s get started!

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We decided to use kombucha for the base. You could use water or juice as well.

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The cub adds her favorite part…sugar!

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Next up the cub chops the watermelon. One piece in the blender, one piece in the mouth! 🙂

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Grandma DiDi zests a lime and adds it to the blender.

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Then the cub gets to squeeze the lime for its juices. SQQQUUEEEEZZEE!

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They poured the kombucha mix into the blender and it was ready to mix.

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The cub covered her ears because it was really loud!

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Once it’s all mixed together, they poured the mixture into a 9 X 13 pan (metal works best) and put it in the freezer.

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Outfit change! Every 45 minutes they pulled it from the freezer to scrape it with a fork. This process insures it breaks into little fluffy ice pieces.

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The finished product… Summer treat perfection!

 

Watermelon Granita
(Recipe adapted from Kitchn)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a small seedless watermelon(any fruit you choose)
  • 1-2 tbsp of sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)
  • 1/4 cup of ginger Kombucha (or water or other liquid you wish to use)
  • 1 lime, for zest and juice

Directions

  1. Mix together kombucha and sugar, set aside so sugar dissolves
  2. Cut the watermelon into small pieces
  3. Add all ingredients, plus lime zest and juice to blender and puree until smooth
  4. Pour into 9 X 13 pan
  5. Place pan in freezer and set timer for 30- 45 minutes
  6. Remove and scrape the granita mixture with fork and return to freezer
  7. Repeat scraping with fork 3-4 times and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving

Paleo Peppermint Brownies

Paleo Peppermint Brownies

I have to be honest, I would not have thought to make a paleo style brownie a few months ago, but we have been exploring alternative ways to make sweets with healthier ingredients and I must say I’m completely blown away. These are just as good as regular brownies. Ooey gooey and delicious!

I also have a new obsession with Cheryl Malik’s blog 40 aprons. I found these delicious brownies on her site and knew the cub would love them!

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We started off our cooking session with a little snack – raisins! And an excuse for me to post a cute photo of the cub!

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In goes the dry ingredients. The cub has mastered this skill!

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After all the dry ingredients have been added, the cub likes to take a moment and observe the texture, color and smell.

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The cub observed how the coconut oil went from a solid, then a liquid after heating it. Fascinating!

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We always stop to smell our ingredients. Peppermint is a new smell for the cub and she approves.

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“It wont come out Grandma,” the cub explains! Grandma DiDi helps scoop out the almond butter from the measuring cup. “It’s thick, isn’t it,  explains Grandma DiDi?

Grandma DiDi and the cub completed mixing all the dry and wet ingredients and now its time to pour it into our 8 x 8 baking dish.

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“Grandma, am I doing this right” the cub asks? Grandma DiDi encourages the cub and lets her know she’s doing a fantastic job.

Grandma DiDi helps spread the mixture evenly in the pan and then it was time to put the brownies in the oven.

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While the brownies bake, it’s time to make the frosting!  The cub may or may not have eaten a few.

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There is a first time for everything. This was the cubs first time using a can opener. With a little help, she did it!

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After they opened the can, Grandma DiDi added the coconut cream into the frosting ingredients and popped it into the microwave.

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Once heated and stirred, the cub thought it would be nice to dip her bread stick in the frosting to make sure it was just right. “Delicious,” the cub yells!

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After the brownies have cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 mins.  Pour over the frosting and add crushed candy cane! Almost time to eat. Let them cool completely before cutting into squares.

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I brought these to a dinner party and everyone thought they were sooo good. As good as a regular brownie and have a rich and gooey texture.

Paleo Peppermint Brownies
(recipe adapted from www.40aprons.com)

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 2 eggs 
  • 2/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa Powder 
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup Refined Coconut Oil melted
  • 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Spray Coconut Oil

Frosting

  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. Refined Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Cream
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • vegan peppermint candies or candy canes crushed, for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ÂşF.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine almond flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, baking powder, pinch of salt, and coconut sugar. Pulse a couple times until well mixed. Add in 2 eggs, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. Process until smooth. Alternately, to mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well, then add in egg, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, and extracts, and stir until very smooth.
  3. Line an 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil. Scrape brownie batter into prepared pan, push batter into edges, and smooth surface. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out close to clean. Don’t overbake! You don’t want the toothpick to be perfectly clean, but it should not be coated in what looks like frosting.
  4. Make frosting: combine chocolate chips, coconut oil, maple syrup, and coconut cream in a medium microwavable bowl. Microwave 60 seconds then stir well. Continue microwaving in 30-second bursts, stirring very well between each burst, until chocolate is just melted. Stir in peppermint and vanilla extracts, then pour over still-warm brownies. Let cool slightly then top with crushed peppermint candies. Let cool completely before cutting. If frosting is not solidifying, chill for about an hour to harden. Cut into 16 square and keep in an airtight container about 4 days.

Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs

Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs

The love of cooking didn’t just start with The Cub in our family. We have a long history of creative chefs who whip up delicious recipes with such ease. Grandma DiDi, being one of them, dug up some old family recipes a few years back and found these Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs her Great Aunt Adele used to make. Older family members were delighted to have them back on the Thanksgiving Day menu and newer members enjoyed them just the same. These are delicious, and come in a handy single serving size!

Speaking of amazing cooks, Grandma DiDi recently joined the San Diego Cookbook Club. A once-a-month cooking club where members bring a dish from a cookbook they are reviewing. She delighted the members with two dishes; a Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup as well as a Leek and Potato Galette. After all members silently voted, Grandma DiDi won first place for her soup! Way to go! Click on the link above to get the recipes for the holidays!

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Back to the Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs… The cub helped us by placing liners in each cupcake form. She had a choice between polka dots and stripes and she picked stripes!

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Next up, she helped measure the spices to add to the pumpkin mix, which was already on a double boiler over the stove.

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The cub watched as Grandma DiDi added all the ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.

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Separating eggs is a fun sensory activity for toddlers. The cub really wanted to pour the egg yolks into the bowl after Grandma DiDi separated the whites.

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For a toddler, the best part of an egg is the shell. She kept herself busy breaking apart the shells while Grandma DiDi prepped the rest.

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If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs in the store, make your own! We placed whole graham crackers in a plastic bag and used a rolling-pin to smash them. BIG fun for a toddler!

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After the crust mixture was mixed, the cub helped Grandma DiDi press the crust into each liner. Lots of finger-licking fun!

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Now that the pumpkin mixture had cooled, Grandma DiDi whipped up the 8 egg whites she had set aside. In they go with the pumpkin mixture.

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Then gently folded into each other until well mixed.

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Last but not least, the pumpkin mixture goes into the forms and they are ready to bake. The oven should be nice and hot by now!

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And there you have it! The most delicious, single-serve, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin chiffon dessert to add to your holiday menu. It’s not Thanksgiving without these in our family.

Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs

Please know that there are several approximations in this recipe.  The original recipe found was not complete and it had to be made several times to get things right.

Ingredients

  • 7 cups (approx) graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 to 2 cubes butter – start with less and add what you need
  • 1 large can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can evaporated milk and enough regular milk to equal 2 1/2 cups milk total
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 8  large eggs separated
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup (or more…) brandy
  • Whipped cream

Directions
makes approx. 30 puffs 

Set oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a double boiler add pumpkin, all milk, 1 1/2 cups sugar (reserving the rest for the crust), spices, brandy and molasses and blend well. As it begins to heat add flour and whisk in along with the 8 egg yolks (after separating egg yolks, reserve the egg whites for later). Cook stirring occasionally until it thickens. About 10 – 15 minutes. At this point you can taste to add more brandy if desired. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. As the pumpkin mixture cools, make the graham cracker crust. If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs (very rare these days), make your own crumbs in processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling-pin.
  3. Melt 1 cube of butter and add to crumbs with 1/2 cup sugar. Mix well. Add more butter if needed. It should be at a consistency that will stick together when compressed but not greasy.
  4. Line the cupcake tins with paper liners and carefully pack the crust mix into each cup. Get it as far up the sides as you can, but truthfully, they don’t always go up all the way and that’s okay – more room for the pumpkin.
  5. With the pumpkin mixture almost cooled, whip the egg whites until firm then fold them gently into the pumpkin mixture.
  6. Fill the cupcake tins to the top and bake 12 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  They will puff up like a soufflĂ© immediately after cooking and then will drop after a while, but still taste yummy!
  7. Top with a dollop of whipped cream

*They can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.