Cottage Cheese Banana Split

IMG_4213.JPGBack away from the freezer and go for this Banana Split instead! It’s a healthy alternative, and this makes for a great pre or post workout. And SO easy and quick(I’m talking seconds here!)! This is MUCH more tart than the classic ice cream split, so feel free to drizzle some extra honey or maple syrup over the top.

Ingredients:

1/ 2 cup of Cottage Cheese

Teaspoon of vanilla

2 teaspoons of honey

1 banana

A couple of walnuts

A couple of mixed berries

Dark chocolate chips

Coconut chips

Method:

Slice the banana in half length wise. Place on a plate. In a blender, put the Cottage Cheese, vanilla and honey. Blitz the Cottage Cheese until smooth. Scoop the Cottage Cheese on top of the banana. Add your toppings and devour guilt-free!

 

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Vanilla Cookie Protein Balls

I was starting to make my Guilt Free Truffles, when I decided to omit the cacao. Two big thumbs up for this vanilla variation! Since hiring a trainer, it’s made me realize how important it is to fuel our bodies with the right foods. Getting enough protein has really helped my body recover quickly after workout sessions. I’ll be snacking on these before and after my upcoming workouts for the next couple of days! I’ve added some flavor variations down below!

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Ingredients:

14 dates pitted (Medjool)

1 cup of cashews

1/2 cup walnuts

2 heaped tablespoons almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Method:

Soak the dates in warm water for about 20 minutes. Then drain the dates, and put in your food processor. Pulse until smooth. Take out the pulsed dates, and add your cashews and walnuts to the food processor. Pulse until fine. Add the dates back into the processor, along with the almond butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blitz until everything comes together like a dough. Put the ‘dough’ in the freezer for AT LEAST  15 minutes to firm it up. Then take it out and shape into balls and/or bars! Put them back in the freezer, and take out about a half hour before eating to thaw.

*Add a pinch of cinnamon for a Snickerdoodle flavor (at the same time as the vanilla and sea salt)

*Fold chocolate chips into the dough (or melt chocolate and pour over them!)

*Add oatmeal and top with cranberries or goji berries for a classic oatmeal cookie flavor

 

 

Double Champagne Cupcakes

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I call these my Double Champagne Cupcakes, there is champagne in the Cupcakes and Frosting. These are great for ringing in the New Year, a birthday, or an anniversary–pink champagne would be great for a hen party! Quite easy, but show-stopping for a celebration!
For the Champagne Cupcakes:
-3/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature.
-1 cup of white sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3 egg whites
– 1 2/3 cups of flour
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 cup of sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
-1/2 cup of champagne
For the Frosting:
– 1 cup of butter (salted)
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-4 cups icing sugar
-5-6 tablespoons of champagne
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a small or medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a larger mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla and eggs whites and mix.
5. Then add the flour, but not all at once! You’ll add about half of the flour, then add the sour cream, and mix. Then add the rest of the flour.
6. Fold in the champagne and mix until smooth. Don’t overmix!
7. Fill the cupcake liners a little more than half way-or about three heaped tablespoons of batter. (This batter will make about 14). Bake for about 20 minutes.
While the cupcakes are baking, make the Frosting:
1. Beat butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
2. Add half of the icing sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add champagne, and mix until smooth. Then add remaining sugar, and mix.
4. Add more champagne if you wish(I added a 2-3 more little splashes!)
Ice the Cupcakes once cool. Decorate with edible pearls or sprinkles.

Let them Eat Cake!

It’s been birthday season in my family-my Dad’s birthday was earlier this month; my Mom’s birthday was exactly a week prior to his(Halloween); and my brother’s was exactly a week prior to hers. It’s great being around family after these last couple of years abroad. Dinner is our household (about 12 adults and 6 grandchildren!) is a time to: catch up, reminisce, gossip, celebrate; it’s loud; chaotic…BUT I really wouldn’t have it ANY other way! And there’s no shortage of food or wine…ever!

I’m really looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving dinner this month. I’ll be in charge of the main bird itself, as well as the stuffing, the gravy, and the pumpkin pie…but I also have two little recipes up my sleeve for the Day. Last Christmas I cooked the turkey and a few good sides, so I’m not feeling too nervous about cooking the turkey…it’s just deciding what flavors I want to include…

While I brainstorm new recipes, here’s a look at some of the cakes I’ve been making in the San Francisco/family home test kitchen: (Who needs/wants a cake in San Francisco??)

 

 

 

How-to: Whipped Ricotta Two Ways

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Fancy toasts have been on blogs, in cafes, and pictured on Insta for quite some time. Personally I can’t get enough avocado toasts-smashed avocado with a good sprinkle of chili flakes and squeeze of lemon juice. Another variation of these faWncy(pish-posh accent) toasts is using ricotta cheese. It’s my go-to snack as of lately. Sweet or savory, you’ll be making these for yourself for breakfast or lunch on the go, or for the wee ones after school.

I use the Sweet Ricotta on toast or pancakes! I use the Savory mix on toast, bagels, crostini, even as a dip for carrot and celery sticks!

For the photo pictured, I used Irish Soda Bread(my go-to recipe is the one I learned at Ballymaloe!), Irish honey, and wild blackberries that I foraged down in West Cork.

Here is my quick ‘How-to’ for Whipped Ricotta:

 

Ingredients:

All you need is about a cup of ricotta cheese

 

For Sweet Ricotta:

A teaspoon of vanilla (I like to also scrape a tiny bit of the beans out of the pod to add an extra punch of flavor)

Drizzle of honey, agave nectar

Toppings: Berries, coconut shavings, or almond slivers

 

For Savory Ricotta:

A teaspoon of lemon juice

A teaspoon of thyme leaves (dried is totally fine, but fresh is that bit nicer!)

Sea salt and pepper

Toppings: Tomatoes, green olives, smoked salmon

 

What to do:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the ricotta until fluffy (just about 4-5 minutes). Remove the bowl from mixer and add either your Sweet or Savory ingredients.

It’s that easy! And there are so many ways to mix up the flavors. I even sometimes smash berries into the Sweet Mix, it creates a cool color effect.

 

Enjoy!

Paleo Dutch Baby

Dutch Dutch Baby!

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I had one of my pancake cravings this morning, but was also feeling a little bit lazy. This is just a simple recipe, which I’m sorta feeling this week, after a couple of days…well more like, weeks…of indulgent eating between it being the Regatta Festival in West Cork, my birthday, and taste testing for the eBook. I would also consider this on the healthier side, using all natural fresh ingredients. I see my blog’s recipes taking a healthier, cleaner route,  and my eBook certainly reflects that!

This is definitely a great recipe idea for a brunch with family and friends, served sliced and alongside coffee mimosas and you are pretty much guaranteed a good morning. The little amount of washing up is an added bonus! It’s another recipe of mine that is a great easy go-to.

Paleo Dutch Baby:

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heaping tablespoon of coconut oil

Small handful of berries

Method:

Preheat oven to about 220C. In a medium frying pan, melt the coconut oil over a medium heat. While it’s melting, beat the eggs then add the other ingredients. Pour into pan, and let cook for about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle on a couple of berries, and cook for another 3 minutes. It’ll look pale, and almost like it’s curdling. Then pop it in the oven for another 5-6 minutes, and cook through.

Serve with a splash of maple syrup, berries, coconut slivers, or yogurt!

AVAILABLE NOW, my EBook!

I’m so excited! My recipe EBook is available now!!

It’s full of my most popular recipes from my blog, as well as two exclusive recipes just for the EBook. All the recipes are more from my ‘Saintly’ category.

It was challenging at times, but I love a challenge. It also made me tweak current recipes, tasting and testing my skills even more.

This will be the first of several!

Purchase here:

https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Easy-Cookin-Carmel-Recipes-ebook/dp/B01KG4VN6O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471868893&sr=8-1&keywords=Quick+and+Easy+Cookin%27+with+Carmel

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Wild Berry Lemon Bundt Cake

This Lemon Bundt is a total crowd pleaser! It’s a big hit with kids, as you can call a Bundt a Castle Cake due to the shape.

I dressed the cake with the perfect Lemon Drizzle, raspberries and wild mint. There’s mint that grows in the field behind my parent’s house in West Cork-it’s such a perfect topping for summer desserts. Crystalizing the mint leaves adds an extra special touch to the cake. It’s an easy project-a little bit messy, but a beautiful result!

I ended up using zest and juice from TWO lemons, to really deliver that punch of flavor. And major bonus with this recipe, it’s made in one bowl!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup mixed berries: strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries

Garnish: berries, mint, and Lemon Drizzle (see below for recipe!)

Method:

Preheat oven to 130C. Grease and flour a bundt tin. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then the vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Don’t over-mix though! Pour HALF of  batter into tin, and scatter berries. Top with the rest of the batter,  and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean.

Take the cake out of oven, and let rest in tin for about 5 minutes. Then remove and let cool. While it’s cooling, make the Drizzle.

Lemon Drizzle Icing:

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Simply whisk the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, until a smooth consistency!

To Crystalize Mint Leaves:

Wash mint leaves, and pat dry. Beat one egg white in a bowl until foamy; pour half a cup of caster or granulated sugar on a plate. Dip the leaves in the egg white, then the sugar. Set to the side for at least two hours.

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First look at my recipe eBook!

Here’s a peak at my FIRST recipe eBook! A handful of my blog’s most popular recipes, as well as two exclusive recipes just for the eBook, and some of my favorite pantry essentials!

I wanted to keep the cover clean looking and keep it fairly short. So the theme is quick and easy, and for the most part, it showcases more ‘Saintly’ than ‘Sinful’.

I’m just tweaking the layout and it’ll be ready for purchase!

It’ll be available August 21–keep your eyes out for more updates/news!

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COOKING DEMO NEXT WEEK

In West Cork next week?! I am giving a cooking demonstration on Bere Island! It’ll be at 5pm in the Community Center.

There’s a lot of fun activities on Bere Island happening over the next week, check out the line-up:

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