For August’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Kirsten of Troyer’s Loving Life. Kirsten is a stay at home mom who lives in Washington State with her husband and two daughters. She shares stories, moments and recipes from her life and journey as a daughter of the Most High King.
She has tons of delicious recipes – even including some gluten free ones! The following recipes caught my eye – creamy avocado dressing, Vegan peanut butter cups, Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Fusilli with Sausage, Zucchini and Cheese. When I was on holidays, we needed to bring a dessert to a dinner party, so I made a variation of Pioneer Woman’s Peach Crisp and it was a success! I was also feeling really ambitious, so on a hot day I made her Strawberry Watermelon Drink, which was super refreshing!
I did make a few modifications to the crisp to make it more “me friendly:” made it gluten and dairy free, didn’t add the maple cream sauce (although I’m sure that would be absolutely heavenly), reduced the sugar and used the fruit I had on hand. We served it with coconut ice cream and it was delicious! Definitely a keeper!
Gluten Free Vegan Peach Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp
3/4 c. Gluten free flour blend (I used Bob Red Mill)
1/4 c. almond meal (could use more flour)
1/4 c. gluten free oats
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (or other fat – coconut oil would probably work as well)
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of Allspice or Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Juice and Zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp. maple syrup
5 – 6 c. of fruit (I sort of eye-balled it and used two sliced peaches, ~2 c. of fresh blueberries and ~3 c. of fresh blackberries. I didn’t skin my peaches, but if you want to, Kirsten has really good directions with her recipe.)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, almond meal, oats, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and Salt.
- Cut in margarine using a fork or a pastry blender (or go really old school and use your fingers, like me) until it is a moist, coarse meal.
- In a separate bowl, mix together fruit, lemon zest and maple syrup. Pour into a 8 x 8″ pan. (I also put some into muffin cups so that I would have some available to take photos of in case nothing was left over after the dinner party.)
- Sprinkle topping over fruit and press down lightly.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for another 30 – 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. (The muffin tins took about 35 minutes total)
- Let cool slightly before serving warm with the maple cream sauce or ice cream.
Strawberry Watermelon Drink
Strawberries (I used less than 1/2 a pint)
Watermelon (3 – 4 2″ frozen chunks)
Fresh Basil Leaves (I used 2)Ice (if not using frozen watermelon)
Vodka or other hard liquor (optional)
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add additional basil/ice if desired.
- Enjoy on a hot day!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking below!
At the beginning of June, I had my company retreat. (That’s only 2 months ago… I’m doing well!) The second day we had “team building” activities and I chose to go caving.
At the beginning, I was wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into.
It was dark. We had to clip into a rope. It was a bit slippery.
It was only until I successfully went through the first practise “squeeze” that I started to enjoy myself. It’s funny how doing something successfully boosts your confidence enough to give you the boost to continue on and enjoy yourself!
It was kind of crazy going through the “big squeeze”, where you had to riggle through a tiny hole that the helmet barely fit through, pushing yourself a few inches at a time with your feet and hands.
It ended up being really awesome – slithering through holes, climbing up and down rocks to get between “rooms” and generally getting very dirty. Totally worth it!
At the end of our adventure, we went to the Grotto. So pretty!
Soda straws from the ceiling
After a while we all turned off our headlamps and it was dark. I know I shouldn’t be surprised at that, but even when you’re in a dark room at night, there’s still a little light that your eyes can adjust to. Nope. Obviously not in a cave.
The happiest thing was this mushroom growing.
All clean at the beginning…
All dirty at the end!
Have you ever done something that pushed your comfort levels but ended up enjoying it?
For July’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Emily of Life on Food. Emily moved around the States a lot growing up, she even spent a semester in Paris (lucky!) and now spends her time looking at buildings (slightly jealous – part of me has always wanted to do things related to architecture). She love cooking from scratch and experiencing life with her Husband, who loves to help her. Lucky girl! :)
I had a bag of peaches that I bought at the farmer’s market this week that I needed to use up. I looked at Emily’s delicious peach recipes: Peach Mango Lassi, Peach and Blackberry Crisp, and Peach and Blueberry Buckle. In the end, I chose the buckle as it looked amazing and is the easiest to send along with Mr. Bean to work.
I made a few changes, like making it gluten free and using less sugar. I meant to make it vegan, but I couldn’t find coconut yoghurt at the store and didn’t have time to go to the health food store, so I said “what the heck” and used goat yoghurt and an egg. I used some almond flour to add some protein to offset some of the sugar, so it totally makes this a legit breakfast. :)
Gluten and Refined Sugar Free Peach Blueberry Buckle (with Vegan Option)
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1/4 c. potato starch
1/3 c. each almond, rice and millet flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dairy free margarine
1/2 c. coconut palm sugar (heaping)
1 egg or egg replacer
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. yoghurt (I used goat, for vegan use coconut)
4 peaches, cut into 8 slices
1 pint of blueberries
1/2 c. sliced almonds
- Preheat oven and line an 8 x 8″ pan with parchment paper
- Whisk together all the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat the margarine and sugar together until fluffy (2 – 3 min). Add the egg, vanilla and apple cider vinegar and beat until combined.
- With the mixer on low, add half the flour, then the yoghurt and the remainder of flour, mixing well between additions.
- Fold in the sliced peaches and blueberries. Scrape into your prepared pan and smooth out.
- Sprinkle the sliced almond over the batter.
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until multiple toothpicks come out clean.
- Cool slightly before serving.
- Enjoy with or without (coconut) ice cream!
Please check out Group D’s recipes below!
There was a guy like this who captured exactly how I feel when I’m skiing. No pictures allowed unfortunately.
How did almost two months pass so quickly? You mean this trip wasn’t just yesterday? Oh man. I guess I’ve been busy! :) Thankfully, there are lots of good memories and pictures from it to remember the fun!
Also, good company! When I’m with my sister, we have fun:
We saw some really happy things – like this ecobus!
And the pink pi house:
This wasn’t so much fun, but was quite the accomplishment – there is a flight of stairs from the river level to the Plains of Abraham – this view is only about half way up.
We had dinner at the La Saute Lapin – “The Jumping Rabbit” and it was really well decorated. Really great food as well – very gluten free friendly! I don’t think I’ve eaten that much bread in a single day for a really long time…
Started with a Green Salad with GF Croutons
Cassoulet with Rabbit Leg pour Moi
Duck Poutine for Mr. Bean
Charcuterie Board for the Sister complete with GF bread
What’s your favourite memory from a recent trip?
For June’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Nicole of I am a Honey Bee. Nicole is also a lover of Boston Terriers, beaches, and food! She recently had her daughter, Autumn, and she is so cute! Nicole also goes on lots of adventures and eats tons of delicious looking food – yum! On top of that, she has tons of delicious recipes on her blog, including these s’mores campfire banana splits, a legitamite Horiatiki salad, and sauteed green beans with lemon and almonds. After much humming and hawing, I ended up choosing her Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad, which is perfect for summer – especially since we’re actually starting to have nicer weather around here!
I didn’t change anything except the dressing – I’m not a huge dressing person, so I cut it back to 1/4 c. liquid total and added the lime zest.
It turned out really well! The flavours worked together quite well and both Mr. Bean and I went back for seconds! (He even tried to eat the one I was photographing before I was done with it!)
Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad
3/4 of 1 small watermelon, 1″ diced
1 english cucumber, diced
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small block of feta, crumbled
Finely sliced red onion, to taste (I used about a quarter of a small one)
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Toss together all the ingredients.
- Squeeze lime juice into a glass 1 c. measuring cup. Add enough olive oil to measure 1/4 c. Add zest, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
- Pour dressing over salad, toss lightly to coat and serve immediately.
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below: