Hope your holidays were merry & bright! Here in the northeast it was unseasonably warm for most of December. Christmas Eve was sunny with a high of 65, so I prepped Christmas brunch with the door open and took a few breaks to sun myself on the patio.
As we live in a teeny tiny cottage, we did not host anything over the holidays and were invited to family and friends’ houses for most meals, so I only made a few festive things for the two of us. We tried to minimize our treat intake outside the house, as they tend to be loaded with white sugar and flour. I did make a couple of sweet things to satisfy the sweet teeth in this house, and they did wonders to help us refrain while we were out.
I found most of these recipes on some of my favorite Paleo bloggers’ sites, so head there to check out their awesome dishes. Recipe creation and testing is not my forte, so I trust these women to provide options that come out great every time. Let’s face it: almond flour is way too expensive to experiment with, so it’s a safer bet to let someone else waste a lot of it coming up with the perfect recipe so that we don’t have to. Thank you for your sacrifice, ladies. You must be broke.
Christmas Day Brunch
I made the entire brunch in advance and kept it simple, but it made Christmas morning so easy and kept me out of the kitchen. The only “cooking” disaster we had is when the man of the house tried to make French press coffee. We settled for the coffee machine and all was well. These recipes would make for a cozy winter brunch all season.
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
This coffee cake was to DIE for. The beautiful gifts under the tree paled in comparison to this cake. It will make you so utterly warm and comforted on the coldest winter morning. I made it again as muffins and it was good, but not the same. The cake is much more moist. By the way, I despise the word moist, but I keep using it because it sets this cake apart from so many other Paleo baked goods.
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I added a tsp. each of cloves and ginger)
- ½ cup coconut milk, full-fat
- 1 stick grassfed butter (or ½ cup ghee), softened
- 5 tablespoons honey (I reduced the honey a bit and added organic raw cane sugar to add some crunch to the cake)
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ stick grassfed butter (or ¼ cup ghee), softened
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- Coconut Butter, adjust to preference
- Coconut Oil
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Add the dry ingredients (coconut flour, almond flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, spices) to a bowl and mix well.
- Next, add the wet ingredients (coconut milk, butter, honey and eggs) to the bowl and mix well.
- Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch cake pan.
- Chop the pecans in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Add the finely chopped pecans to a bowl along with the remaining topping ingredients and using your hands, mix well. Sprinkle this on the top of the cake.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
- Melt coconut butter.
- Add coconut oil to the melted coconut butter until it reaches desired consistency.
- Drizzle over cake.
Egg & Veggie Casserole
This casserole comes from PaleOMG, one of the most entertaining, funny Paleo blogs out there. Juli’s brutal honesty and self-depricating humor make me smile (and sometimes laugh out loud). If you want to find great recipes and get a good laugh, head to paleomg.com. If you want to find this recipe directly, click here or see below.
- 2 tablespoons fat of choice (coconut oil or butter or ghee, etc.), melted
- 1 large sweet potato or yam, diced
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ pound breakfast sausage
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 10 eggs, whisked
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
*I added sauteed mushrooms
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9×12 baking dish.
- Toss diced sweet potatoes in fat and sprinkle with salt
- Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until soft.
- While sweet potatoes are cooking, place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add breakfast sausage and yellow onion. Cook until no pink remains in meat.
- Place meat mixture in baking dish, add sweet potatoes and spinach then add eggs along with salt and garlic powder and mix until well combine.
- Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until eggs are set in the middle.
I saw these shortbread cookies on Danielle from Against All Grain’s blog and had to make them. They are based on Walker’s shortbread cookies, which I have fond memories of eating as a child. These are just as good as the real thing (if not better), and are probably the easiest cookies I’ve ever made. I actually made them on a random weeknight when I was craving dessert and didn’t want to have a whole stash of cookies laying around tempting me, so I halved the recipe and it was the perfect amount. These suckers go down pretty easy. Oh, and I added frosting, which is totally unnecessary, but I felt like decorating. Danielle’s recipes and cookbooks are amazing– I highly recommend them. She has tons of easy recipes for weeknights, as well as great meal ideas for holidays and special occasions. Here is a link to her recipe or see below for recipe with frosting.
- 2 1/4 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup palm shortening
this recipe was tested using Tropical Traditions palm shortening. Cold grass-fed butter may be substituted in, but reduce the amount to 1/3 cup.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a stand mixer or food processor, combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, and sea salt.
- Add the maple syrup and mix until combined.
- Drop the palm shortening into the mixing bowl in 1 tablespoon increments for easier incorporation. Pulse a few times until a crumbly ball forms.
- Place the ball of dough in between two pieces of parchment paper. With a rolling pin, roll into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Cut into small bricks or cut using biscuit cutters.
- Place the cut cookies onto the baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Once baked, place on a cooling rack to cool. Once fully cooled, store in air-tight container or bag in the fridge.
Note: If you choose to flatten the edges with a fork like I did, your cookies will be 1/4 inch thick instead of 1/2 inch.
Combine chilled full-fat coconut milk and confectioners sugar at your discretion and mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
New Year’s Eve Appetizers
We met some friends for a late dinner on New Year’s Eve, but wanted to have some appetizers and cocktails to tide us over until then. This involved no cooking, but thought it was a pretty spread. We had wild-caught shrimp with cocktail sauce, proscuitto, venison sausage (venison hunted by a friend), truffle and Manchego cheese, and guacamole with veggies. An appetizer spread is a great way to do dinner in front of a movie on a weekend night that gives the chef in the house a welcome break.
As we embark into 2016, I wanted to share the very last day of my favorite calendar I get every year for Christmas made by Mary Englebreit. “And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” Here’s to a healthy year full of adventure.