Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Foodie Gifts & Chocolate Peppermint Cake

It's that time of year again ... it's Black Friday! Time to deck the halls, buy the gifts, and be otherwise on your game to get everything in done for the holiday season :) We love Black Friday because it gives us the opportunity to be a little fanatical about buying our favorite thing: cookbooks!
This year we have a great lineup of some must-have foodie gifts and cookbooks. AND they're all 35% off at if you pick them up before 11/30. Just use promo code FEAST14 at checkout to get your deal.
Ho ho ho. Have a great day. And be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post once you're done your shopping to get a great recipe for Chocolate Peppermint Cake from 5-Minute Mug Cakes.
SPOON - Top 10 Foodie Gifts


Visit and use code FEAST14 at checkout to get 35% off your favorite cookbooks until 11/30.

Chocolate Peppermint Mug Cake
Excerpted from 5-Minute Mug Cakes by Jennifer Lee

My chocolate mug cake gets a winter makeover with the addition of crushed peppermint candies, giving a cool minty finish to each bite. It’s also quite therapeutic to crush peppermint candies with a mallet—perfect relief for all that holiday stress!

¼ cup (45g) semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp (45ml) fat-free milk
3 tbsp (22.5g) all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tbsp (7.5ml) vegetable oil
2 peppermint candies, finely crushed

TOPPING, optional (serves 2)
½ cup (120ml) whipping cream
2 tsp granulated sugar

Combine chocolate chips and milk in an oversized microwave-safe mug. Microwave for about 40 seconds. Mix with a small whisk until chocolate is completely melted.

Add flour, baking powder, and oil and whisk until batter is smooth. Stir in crushed peppermints.

Cook in microwave for about 1 minute. If cake is not done, heat an additional 15 seconds. Let cake cool a few minutes. Cake is best consumed while still warm or within a few hours of it being cooked.

If desired, place the whipping cream and sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or use a handheld mixer), and mix on high speed until peaks form. Top the cake with whipped cream. Cake is best consumed while still warm or within a few hours of being cooked.


5-Minute Mug Cakes 

Don't think you can make a warm, gooey homemade cake in under five minutes? Think again! 5-Minute Mug Cakes is the perfect gift for anyone with a mug, a microwave, and a dream. With nearly 100 delectable recipes for cakes, brownies, cookies, and more, every single recipe can be made in an ordinary, microwave-safe mug in just a few minutes. Author Jennifer Lee, creator of Kirbie's Cravings, guides you through simple recipe favorites like:

-2-Ingredient Flourless Nutella® Cake
-Salted-Caramel Chocolate Cake
-Funfetti Cake
-S'mores Cake
-Strawberries & Cream Cake
-Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
-Red Velvet Cake
-Lemon Dream Cake and dozens more!

Featuring special chapters like Skinny Mug Cakes (all under 200 calories!), Gluten-Free Mug Cakes, and even 4-Ingredients-or-Less Mug Cakes, there is no excuse for eating tasteless, packaged desserts anymore. Every recipe in 5-Minute Mug Cakes is simple, fast, and delicious. The best part? If you mix your ingredients right in your favorite mug, there is next to no cleanup!
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! And a Toffee Pecan Pie

Happy happy Thanksgiving!

Wherever you are, we hope you're enjoying this special day with your closest friends and family over a delicious meal. Take photos and share them with us on instagram and Facebook! We certainly will be. Whether you're cheering on the big game with some yummy appetizers or baking up your favorite pies or cookies for dessert, be sure to enjoy every moment this special holiday holds. Today, we're especially thankful to have you as fans. Thank you so much for taking time to pop by our blog to grab a recipe. We appreciate YOU.

And if you're looking for a last minute recipe, this toffee pecan pie is one of our all-time favorites.

See our full roundup of Thanksgiving recipes here.

Toffee Pecan Pie
Excerpted from Ms. American Pie by Beth Howard 

When I talk of friendships being formed through pie, I am specifically thinking of friends like Kathleen Beebout. A resident of Des Moines and a regular competitor in the Iowa State Fair, Kathleen has a passion for pie that matches her warmth, her savvy, and her sense of humor. After just becoming acquainted, we met for lunch one winter day at a cafĂ© near her house, and she brought one of her award-winning toffee pecan pies for me. I was so touched. It’s a treat for me to get other people’s pies. So besides this pie being sinfully good—and a first-place winner at the state fair—it holds a special memory for me.

Basic pie dough recipe (Kathleen’s recipe makes two single-crust pies, so use the double crust recipe
to make enough dough for two single crusts, recipe here.)

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
1½ cups brown sugar (Kathleen uses dark, I use only light)
1 tsp salt
1¹⁄³ cups corn syrup
6 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla
2 cups whole pecans
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups Heath Bar bits

Prepare the Basic Pie Dough for two 10-inch single-crust pies (see recipe here). You’ll still make the double-crust recipe, but for two separate pies!

Prepare the Filling: In a saucepan over medium to low heat, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup.

Continue to stir until fully heated. (Kathleen uses a double boiler for this stage, but she knows me and said, “You can change the instructions, simplify them if you want.” To which I answered, “Oh, I already did.”)

Beat the eggs slightly. Add some of hot mixture to the eggs, then mix the egg mixture back into the saucepan, stirring so as not to curdle the eggs. (Remember, no one likes scrambled eggs in a pie!)
Continue heating, stirring well until thick, then add vanilla.

Combine hot mixture with nuts and toffee bar bits and pour into pie shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set.


Ms. American Pie 

Beth M. Howard knows about pie. She made pies at California’s Malibu Kitchen for celebrities including Barbra Streisand (lemon meringue), Dick Van Dyke (strawberry rhubarb), and Steven Spielberg (coconut cream) before moving back home to rural Iowa. She now lives in the famous American Gothic House (the backdrop for Grant Wood’s famous painting) and runs the hugely popular Pitchfork Pie Stand.

With full-color photos throughout, Ms. American Pie features 80 of Beth’s coveted pie recipes and some of her own true tales to accompany them. With chapters like Pies to Heal, Pies to Seduce, and Pies to Win the Iowa State Fair, Beth will divulge her secret for making a killer crust without refrigerating the dough and will show you how to break every rule you’ve ever learned about making delicious, homemade pie.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Baking with Kids: Good-for-You Graham Crackers

Graham crackers can be a wonderful snack (especially when partnered with chocolate and marshmallows to make s'mores). Turns out they're actually not that tricky to make and you can even involve your kids in the process with this great recipe from Leah Brooks. Kids or not, you should definitely give these good-for-you graham crackers a try. You'll never go back to store-bought again!

Good-for-You Graham Crackers
Excerpted from Baking with Kids by Leah Brooks

When comparing store-bought to homemade, these graham crackers hit a home run in the flavor department. They are excellent for snacking with a glass of cold milk and delectable in campfire s’mores.


1¼ cups (150 g) white whole wheat flour
½ cup (120 g) lightly packed golden brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
3 tablespoons (45 ml) honey
3 tablespoons (45 ml) whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
3 tablespoons (36 g) granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Tools Needed

measuring cups and spoons
liquid measuring cup
large mixing bowl
small mixing bowl
plastic wrap
bench scraper
wooden spoon
jar with lid
rolling pin
pizza cutter
assorted cookie cutters (optional, but more fun)
bamboo skewer
baking sheets
parchment paper


1 Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a whisk
until combined. Add the butter and toss to coat in the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour until it takes on the appearance of wet sand with some visible chunks of butter.

2 In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be very soft. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle. Wrap it completely,
then chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

3 Meanwhile, for the topping, place the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.

For Smaller Hands
This is a great step for children to take ownership on; just make sure that if it is a glass jar they don’t
drop it while shaking! 

4 Once the dough has been chilled, divide it in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough about 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick. You may want to have extra flour and a bench scraper handy in case the dough begins to stick.

5 Using a bench scraper or a pizza cutter, cut the crackers into 2½-inch (6.4 cm) squares.

6 Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

For Smaller Hands
Make an example cracker for children to refer to when they are poking the holes. Part of the cuteness
of these crackers is that they have similar markings, so explain to your child that the goal is to make each cracker look the same!

For Smaller Hands
Because the dough is quite sticky to begin with, have children help by cutting the dough into crackers
after you have already rolled it out.

7 Place the crackers on the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar topping. Poke 6 holes (2 lines of 3) in each of the crackers using the blunt side of a wooden skewer. Repeat with the second batch of dough (or freeze for later use). Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll.

For Smaller Hands
Have children help sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the crackers. If children get overzealous with salt, you can bet that they will have the same if not more enthusiasm with sugar. When sprinkling finishing sugar on baked goods, hold your hand high above the item you are seasoning. This helps disperse the mixture evenly.

8 Check the crackers after 10 minutes and rotate the sheets. Bake for another 2 minutes if necessary. The crackers are done when they have browned and are slightly firm to the touch. They will continue to crisp as they cool.


Baking with Kids

Get ready to measure, mix, and decorate! Baking with Kids is just the book you need to help teach children to bake. Show your children how to safely use basic equipment in the kitchen and explain all about the important ingredients they'll need to make the most delicious baked goods. Recipes include muffins, scones, breads, pretzels, crackers, pizza dough, pie crust, cake, cookies, cupcakes, and more! Celebrated chef and instructor, Leah Brooks creates activities with simple step-by-step photo illustrations that will guide kids through each recipe and inspire creativity throughout. Put on your aprons--it's time to get baking!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Silver Dollar Banana Pancakes

It's time to take a quick break from Thanksgiving recipes and share something fun that you can make any day (even Thanksgiving morning, if you'd like). These bite-sized banana pancakes are perfect for breakfast on the go, snacking, or even a late-night indulgence. And they're completely Paleo and gluten-free, so you can go ahead and share them with anyone.

Silver Dollar Banana Pancakes
Excerpted from Paleo Super Snacks by Landria Voigt

These scrumptious little snacks are great for the road because you can eat them alone or with some nut/seed butter. They also freeze well, so they are great for packing on a long trip. Just be sure to take them out of the freezer about three hours before you’ll want to eat them. Because they are small, they won’t take long to thaw. Just in time for snack time!

2 ripe bananas
3 eggs
3 tablespoons (21 g) coconut flour
1 tablespoon (8 g) arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon (20 g) maple syrup
1 tablespoon (12 g) coconut palm sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon (14 g) grass-fed butter or coconut oil

In a food processor, combine the bananas, eggs, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, vanilla, baking soda, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, and salt and blend until smooth.

In a large skillet over medium heat (not any higher because they can scorch easily), melt the butter to coat the skillet. Pour silver dollar–size pancakes. Cook for about 4 minutes, until you see bubbles, and then carefully flip and cook for a couple more minutes, until done.

Yield: 15 to 18 pancakes


Super Paleo Snacks 

Snacks are essential for making sure we get the proper amount of nutrients. They refuel our bodies and allow us to be productive at work, school and during fitness activities, but it's so difficult to find a snack that isn't processed, boxed, or GMO. What's a Paleo-lover to do? You need snacks to feel good about eating, that are portable, appealing, inexpensive, and easy to make. That's a tall order. Luckily, there is Landria Voigt's Super Paleo Snacks. With over 100 recipes using Paleo superfoods like coconut, avocado, sweet potatoes, and almond, you will be on your way to amazing health benefits including reduced incidence of diabetes, autoimmune illnesses, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. These recipes are quick and easy to make, most take under 15 minutes to prepare! Try every easy Paleo-approved recipe for enjoyable bites, treats, and munchies. You'll always have something healthy, natural, and delicious for snacking!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Almond-Crusted Turkey Cutlets with Tomato Arugula Salad

Thanksgiving can mean different things to different people. Not everyone plans a giant dinner with all of the fixings. Especially if you're just cooking for one or two. If you're looking for a smaller meal idea that incorporates turkey, why not try out this almond-crusted turkey cutlets recipe from the new Paleo cookbook, 30-Minute Paleo Meals? It's a healthy, delicious option that is easy to make and takes only about 15 minutes.

This recipe is also perfect for leftover turkey if you are planning a huge meal :)

Almond-Crusted Turkey Cutlets with Tomato Arugula Salad
Excerpted from 30-Minute Paleo Meals by Melissa Petitto

The almonds add texture and flavor to ordinary turkey cutlets here, and they are equally delicious on
chicken cutlets. The peppery arugula and tomato make a fitting side dish for this quick and easy meal.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 8–12 minutes | Total Time: 13–17 minutes | SERVES 4

1 cup (100g/3½ oz) almond meal
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 organic free-range eggs
8 x 3oz (85g) organic free-range turkey cutlets, thinly pounded
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups (80g/3oz) wild arugula
2 cups (300g/10½oz) grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

On a large plate, combine the almond meal, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.

In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Dredge the cutlets in the egg wash and then in the almond-meal mixture, coating the cutlets evenly. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sautĂ© pan over medium-high heat. Add four cutlets and cook 2–3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and crispy. Transfer the cutlets to a platter and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and cutlets.

To make the salad topping, combine the arugula, tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

To serve, top the cutlets with the salad and drizzle with balsamic.



30-Minute Paleo Meals

Cavemen had all the time in the world to slave over a hot fire and cook their meals. You don't. As most of us know, getting a meal together can oftentimes be difficult--and making sure that it's healthy can be next to impossible. However, with the help of Melissa Petitto, personal chef to the stars, healthier and happier mealtimes are a breeze! 30 Minute Paleo Meals is filled with over 100 quick and easy recipes that won't jeopardize your time or your health. Not to mention, they're also kind to your waistline. Petitto uses all-natural, gluten-and-GMO-free ingredients in her recipes and makes a point of crafting meals which include only the foods that were available in paleolithic times; all unprocessed, unmodified, and unbelievably good for you. Whether you are new to the Paleo lifestyle or you're already a modern caveman, this cookbook is likely to become one of your most trusted allies.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Herbed Sourdough Crackers

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is getting to put out a great spread of delicious snacks and appetizers to get people excited about the upcoming meal. There's something so warm and familiar about sharing a platter of mouthwatering cheeses, nuts, fruit, and crackers. I've never tried making my own crackers, but this amazing recipe from Tim and Shanna of Food Loves Writing makes it seem really simple. My Thanksgiving just got a lot more exciting. Hope yours does too.

Herbed Sourdough Crackers
Excerpted from The Einkorn Cookbook by Tim and Shanna Mallon

Homemade crackers seem fancy and elaborate, but they are crazy simple to pull together, especially this sourdough version. After you mix together a dough and let it rest for a few hours, you simply roll out dough, cut, butter, and season it, and bake it until dry. We love making these little flatbread crackers with an artisan feel and serving them alongside cheese and fruit.


1 ¼ cup (294 g) 120 percent hydration sourdough discard
1 ¼ cups (156 g) einkorn flour, plus more for dusting surfaces
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, butter, ghee, or coconut oil, melted (if necessary) and cooled

2 tablespoons (28 g) melted butter or ghee
2 to 3 tablespoons (9 to 13 g) garlic herb seasonings (such as Simply Organic Garlic ’n Herb)
1 tablespoon (18 g) sea salt

Yield: 25 to 30 crackers

In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to stir together starter, einkorn flour, salt, and olive oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let mixture sit at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C or gas mark 4). Divide dough in half. On 2 floured pieces of parchment, roll each half out to be 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Slide parchment sheets onto baking sheets. Brush with melted butter or olive oil or ghee. Sprinkle with garlic herb seasonings and salt. Use a pizza cutter to divide the dough into squares and rectangles.

Bake dough for 15 minutes; then lower temperature to 175°F (80°C or gas mark ½) and bake for 1 to 2 hours. Taste a cracker to see if it’s as dry as you’d like; if not, continue baking and check every 30
minutes or so.


The Einkorn Cookbook 

If you haven't heard of einkorn yet, get ready to get excited. Easy to digest, less likely to cause gut inflammation, tolerable for those with gluten sensitivity these are just a few reasons why the ancient grain known as einkorn is quickly becoming one of the most popular grains/flours on the market--not to mention its sweet flavor and silky texture. How does one prepare this ancient grain? Popular food bloggers, Tim and Shanna Mallon of Food Loves Writing, bring einkorn right to your table with this beautiful whole food cookbook that includes over 100 recipes, all featuring the world's most ancient grain. Recipes are broken into sections including breakfast, appetizers, breads, main dishes, and desserts, and include such hits as: Vegetable Quiche with an Einkorn Crust, Kale Salad with Einkorn Berries, Einkorn Cranberry Walnut Bread, Einkorn Cinnamon Buns, Acorn Squash and Caramelized Onion, Einkorn Salad, and Mexican Chocolate Einkorn Cookies. Get ready to embrace einkorn, not only for its health benefits, but its wonderful taste. Once you try The Einkorn Cookbook, you'll never go back.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Honey Cashew-Cranberry Pie

Looking for a change this Thanksgiving? Instead of the traditional pie-- like pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple pie-- switch it up with this kosher recipe that combines cashews and cranberries. We bet you'll love it so much that you'll be freezing cranberries so you can make this pie recipe throughout the year.

Honey Cashew-Cranberry Pie
Excerpted from The Modern Kosher Kitchen by Ronnie Fein

I invented this pie out of necessity because we all love pecan pie in my family, but my daughter Gillian is allergic to pecans. Substituting isn’t that difficult except that nut textures and flavors are so different from one another. Cashews are soft, like pecans, so they’re a good choice with the soft sugar custard in this pie. But they need a different sweetener than the usual corn syrup, so I switched to honey. I added the fresh orange peel and cranberries to give a tangy finish to this rather sweet confection.

2/3 cup (230 g) honey
1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons (42 g) Earth Balance Buttery Spread or margarine, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons (12 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (4 g) grated fresh orange peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (110 g) chopped fresh cranberries
1 cup (145 g) chopped cashews
1 unbaked 9-inch (23-cm) pie crust

Preheat the oven the 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Combine the honey, sugar, eggs, and melted
spread or margarine in a bowl and whisk the ingredients until well blended. Stir in the flour, orange
peel, salt, and vanilla extract and blend them in thoroughly. Stir in the cranberries and cashews. Pour
the mixture into the pie crust. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is richly brown and crunchy.

Yield: Makes one 9-inch (23-cm) pie, or 8 servings

Cranberries freeze well for up to 1 year. In the autumn, buy 2 to 3 bags when you see them in the market, so you can cook with them throughout the year.


The Modern Kosher Kitchen 

This isn't your traditional kosher cookbook. Whether you're new to the kitchen, or new to keeping kosher, you'll love the array of creative and interesting recipes found in The Modern Kosher Kitchen. This modern cookbook includes recipes for preparing a family meal, hors d’oeuvres, vegetarian entrees, budget-friendly dishes, and new takes on holiday favorites for Passover and Hannukah. Don't worry about needing the talent or equipment of a professional chef. Ronnie Fein's recipes are creative and interesting, but never intimidating for home chefs. Throughout the pages of this cookbook, Ronnie also provides suggestions on what to serve with her dishes; how to change the dish from dairy to parve to meat (and vice versa); or how to change the recipe to suit a different need. You'll learn valuable tips on recipe shortcuts, information on unusual or new ingredients, and receive advice on product usage. Recreate your favorite family dishes and learn some new tricks with the help of The Modern Kosher Kitchen.