Making Perfectly Deliciously and Perfectly Healthy Coconut Cookies — March 7, 2021

Making Perfectly Deliciously and Perfectly Healthy Coconut Cookies

The perfect coconut oatmeal breakfast cookies are perfectly delicious, perfectly healthy, and the perfect way to start a perfect day.

Did I use the words “healthy” and “cookies” in the same sentence?

Actually, yes I did.

Why?

Because these coconut breakfast cookies are vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly.

Perfectly delicious because they are perfectly moist and che`wy on the outside…perfectly crisp on the outside with perfectly crisp edges…and bursting with the perfect amount of coconut f1lavor.

 

Dry Ingredients

  • ¼C + 2Tbsp rolled oats
  • ¼C flour—coconut flour, almond flour, regular flour, almond flour
  • ½tsp cinnamon
  • ¼tsp baking powder
  • ¼tsp baking soda
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 2Tbsp coconut sugar, maple syrup, organic cane sugar or organic brown sugar…or 2Tbsp granulated stevia…or ½C pure maple syrup

 

Wet Ingredients

  • 8oz coconut oil or vegan butter
  • 1 flax egg or four medium eggs….
  • 1tsp. vanilla

 

The Coconut…½C unsweetened coconut flakes

Make sure to use large coconut chips or flakes…Using large coconut flakes or chips will ensure that your cookies spread out and flatten like regular cookies…instead of ending up looking like macaroons.

 

Add-in Ingredient

Feel free to customize these cookies to your liking ny adding whatever else you want—such as finely-chopped nuts, seeds, raisins, dried fruit. sugar-free chocolate chips, and so on and so forth.

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or greased foil. Set aside. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Whisk all of the wet ingredients in a second bowl until smooth. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture. Cream together until light and fluffy. Fold in coconut and any other add-in Ingredients.

Scoop 2Tbsp-sized firmly-packed dough balls onto prepared cookie sheet. Press down with your palm into a cookie shape.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and slightly golden on top.

Making the Perfect Corned Beef and Cabbage… Just In Time for St. Patrick’s Day — March 5, 2021

Making the Perfect Corned Beef and Cabbage… Just In Time for St. Patrick’s Day

Katie Workman's Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

It’s hard to believe that it’s already March…seems like Christmas was just yesterday…I think that time just flies as you get older…not to mention that if you’re like me, life during this crazy pandemic has seemed like Groundhog Day.

What exactly is corned beef…and why is it called corned beef when there is probably no corn to be seen anywhere on the table?!

Before refrigerators became an expected in every kitchen in every home worldwide, salt was used to preserve meat and other foods. This salt was about the size of corn kernels, so they started calling the meat “corned.”

Corned beef has become the cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Day…even though the dish isn’t really eaten in Ireland with the same enthusiasm you’ll find here.

 

 

 

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The Brisket

There are two “cuts” of corned beef—the “flat cut”…and the “the point cut.”

The point cut will have more fat marbling throughout the meat, making it a more flavorful cut, but this cut will shrink more as the fat renders out of the meat, so you will need more in order to have the same amount of cooked meat.

The flat cut is a leaner cut.

Some people prefer the flat cut…while other people prefer the point cut…so which one you use is totally up to you.

Plan on at least ¾ pound per person…larger if you are planning on having leftovers, to make corned beef sandwiches…corned beef hash…or whatever else…

 

 

 

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Other Ingredients

Usually corned beef comes with a pouch of spices—such as pepper seeds, dill seeds, mustard seeds, and bay leaves…it’s obviously included for a reason…

  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/4C hot sweet honey mustard
  • 2Tbsp brown sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil and butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
  • Any additional veggies you want to add—such as carrots or potatoes

 

 

 

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Instructions

 

Boil to remove some of the saltiness…Corned beef is cured in a salt mixture, so it can be very salty. To remove some of the salt before cooking, place it in a pot fat side up. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and discard the water. Repeat to remove even more salt.  

 

Oven Method…Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay the corned beef, fat side up, on a large piece of heavy duty, wide, aluminum foil. Insert the cloves into the top of the slab of corned beef, evenly spaced. Spread the top with the hot sweet honey mustard. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Wrap in foil. Place foil-wrapped corned beef in a shallow roasting pan. Bake for 2 hours at 350°F. Open the foil. Spread a little more honey mustard over the top of the corned beef. Broil it for three minutes, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned.

 

Stovetop Method…..Place corned beef in a large (6 to 8 quart) pot. Add beef and spice packet to pot, Cover the beef with an inch water. Bring to a boil, Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for three hours, until the corned beef is fork tender.

 

Crockpot Method…Place everything but te cabbage in a large slow cooker. Cook on high for five hours or low for nine. The shorter time at the higher temperature will result in a firmer corned beef, while the longer cooking time at the lower temperature will give you a softer corned beef.  

 

Cook the.Cabbage…You can cook the cabbage and other veggies by adding them to the crockpot or pot of boiling water during the last hour of cooking…or by sauteeing them in 2Tbsp olive oil.  

 

Slice the Corned Beef…When a skewer or a sharp knife slides easily into the brisket, it’s done. Place the` brisket on a cutting board. Let the cooked brisket sit for at least ten minutes before cutting into it. This will give` you get the cleanest and neatest slices. Cut the meat at a diagonal, across the grain of the meat, into 1/2″ thick slices. Make sure to cut the corned beef against the grain…so that the meat will be as tender as possible.  

Making the Perfect Club Sandwich — March 2, 2021

Making the Perfect Club Sandwich

Now that we know how to make the perfect BLT, let’s “kick it up a notch” by making the perfect club sandwich—an expected item on the menu of every diner, sandwich shop, restaurant, country club, school, resort, hospitals, and so on and so forth.

The perfect club sandwich is a delicious triple-decker tower that consists of toasted bread, tangy mayo, crisp lettuce, bacon. fresh juicy tomatoes, high-quality deli meat—such as ham, chicken or turkey breast…and perhaps cheddar cheese…cut into fourths and secured with toothpicks…served with the perfect pickle spear and perhaps some fries.

So let’s take a look at the steps required for create a basic club sandwich…

 

 

 

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The Ingredients

The club sandwich has been around for generations because it is chock-full of the things we all love best….and can be as simple or elaborate as you want.

As with anything else you ever concoct in your kitchen, in order to get perfect results, you must start out with the perfect and best-quality ingredients that you can find….the perfect mayo…the perfect deli meat—whether it be turkey, ham., or chicken…the perfect cheddar cheese…perfectly cooked bacon…the perfect sliced tomato…perfectly crispy lettuce…the perfect bread—wheter it be white or wheat or sourdough or rye.

Additional ingredients to consider include avocado slices, pickles, fancy microgreens, stone ground mustard, or anything else that you can imagine.

 

 

 

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Instructions

Toast…Toast three slices of bread. The bread should be lightly toasted, crisp, slightly golden brown and warm. Now spread mayo on one side of the lightly toasted bread.

Cook the bacon…Fry two or three slices of bacon. Drain the bacon on paper towels.

First Layer…Add meat, tomato and cheese, placing tomatoes in the middle so the bread doesn’t get soggy.

Second Layer:…Spread mayo on both sides of the second slice of bread. Layer ham, bacon, lettuce, and any of your own favorites—such as slices of avocado, hard boiled eggs, a smear of mustard…

Final Layer…Spread mayo on the final slice of bread. Place on top. Secure with toothpicks or cute sandwich picks. Cut into quarterx, using a chef’s knife. Serve with pickles. 

Making the Perfect BLT Sandwich — February 28, 2021

Making the Perfect BLT Sandwich

 

The BLT is a “classic” sandwich that we all already know exactly what is…

But have you been settling for imperfect BLT’s…sandwiches made with thin, brittle bacon that crumbles when you just look at it…limp and wilted lettuce…and mealy tomatoes that don’t belong in jarred marinara sauce…

When instead you could be enjoying perfect BLT’s…sandwiches with perfectly salty and crispy bacon…perfectly crispy refreshing, crunchy lettuce…and perfectly juicy and flavorful tomatoes.

Let’s talk about the specifics that make up the perfect BLT’s that you’ll want to enjoy all summer long…

 

 

 

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THE BACON

As with anything else you’re baking or prepping in the kitchen, you cannot attain the perfect results if you don’t start out with the perfect ingredients.

Of course you could simply walk into any grocery store or shop off your normal food delivery website…and find plenty of bacon options….low-quality.

Curing bacon takes time and money to the manufacturer…so most bacon is highly processed in order to speed up this process and to make the bacon cheaper…both in quality and in price.

You want to make sure that your bacon has actually been created using only high quality pork…how are you supposed to get the perfect bacon if you start out with imperfect pork?!

Finding perfectly good bacon…I mean great bacon…can actually be a real challenge.

Be willing to splurge on the bacon you choose because honestly you shouldn’t be eating bacon that often—if at all. Buy the highest quality you can find…thick cut, such as this bacon from Wild Pastures.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

 

 

 

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THE LETTUCE

Making the perfect BLT requires buying not only the highest quality, thick cut bacon you can find, but also the perfect tomatoes and lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is the classic choice because it has that perfect crunch and  texture…but crisp, fresh romaine hearts would probably be a better choice. Stay away from lettuces that provide little crunch—such as spinach, spring mix, and arugula.

 

 

 

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THE TOMATO

Obviously in order to have the perfect BLT, you must also have the perfect tomatoes…nice juicy ripe ones…that are firm and full of flavor.

So which tomato should you choose?!

Look for plump, heavy tomatoes that are about 3 inches in width…preferably an heirloom beefsteak.

Better yet, only make a BLT when tomatoes are “in peak season”—June through September.

 

 

 

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THE BREAD

Honestly you could use whatever bread you like, as long as the bread is not so flimsy that your whole sandwich falls apart after the first bite. Perhaps your bets would be sourdough and rye because these two breads will add extra flavor.

 

 

 

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THE MAYO

Without mayo, your sandwich would totally fall apart…right?! 

Sure you could go all out and make your own homemade mayo…but honestly how many of us are actually gonna do that? Flavored mayo actually takes away from the flavor of the tomatoes.

Instead grab the largest jar of Hellmann’s that you can find…you’re gonna want enough to slather mayo on both the top and the bottom slices of bread.

 

 

 

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MAKIN’ BACON

Cook the bacon….The perfect bacon for BLT’s us evenly crispy with no flabby parts…bacon that doesn’t end up in a crumbly mess when you take your first bite of your BLT…yet cooked enough that it’s not chewy.

You can cook the bacon however you’d like—stove, oven, or microwave. I personally like to bake mine.

To cook bacon in the oven, first preheat oven to 400°F.  Place a rack layered with the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake about twenty minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.

Bacon can be cooked up to one week ahead and refrigerated. Let sit out at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the BLT ingredients.

 

 

 

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PREP

Lettuce…Wash, dry and cut into thin shreds.

Tomatoes…Slice tomatoes into 1/3″ thick slices. Place the slices on a layer of paper towels in order to absorb some of the moisture and prevent a soggy sandwich. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

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TOAST

 

Toast: Toast bread until light golden brown.

 

 

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  1. ASSEMBLE

Spread 1tbsp mayo on each slice of bread. Place one romaine lettuce leaf on one slice of bread, folding it as needed to fit neatly on the bread. Top with the seasoned tomato slices in a single layer, cutting them in half as needed to fit in a single layer. Tear three bacon slices. Place on top of the tomatoes in two layers. Close the sandwich with the second slice of bread mayonnaise-side down. Layering the tomatoes in-between the bacon and lettuce will keep the tomato juices from making the bread all juicy.

Gently press down on the top of the sandwich to compact slightly. Cut diagonally in half with the serrated knife. The teeth on a serrated knife will keep your tomato slices without smashing or mangling them.

 

Making the Perfect Plant-Based Bacon — February 23, 2021

Making the Perfect Plant-Based Bacon

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Baking sheet filled with a freshly baked batch of homemade Coconut Bacon

Coconut bacon is the answer to everyone pursuing a plant-based, vegan, grain-free, oil-free, or gluten free lifestyle…yet craving bacon.

The perfect coconut bacon is simple—requiring just eight ingredients, one pan, and fifteen minutes to prepare.

The perfect coconut bacon is crispy, smoky, savory and amazing…tastes like the real deal…well maybe that’s somewhat of a stretch…but it does make a pretty darn healthy bacon replacement.

The perfect coconut bacon is coconut perfectly tossed with smoky flavors and naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup…and then baked until golden brown and crispy.

Great for adding to salads, wraps, tacos, tofu scrambles, home fries, BLTs, sandwichesdips, and more.

 

 

 

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The Coconut

Coconut…3C large flaked coconut…wide, oversized flakes from the bulk section at health stores such as Sprout’s are perfect for making coconut bacon…yoyu can also purchase it online

When purchasing your coconut flakes, make sure all of the flakes are completely white, with no yellowing…yellowing is a sign that it’s old or has not been properly stored.

Be sure to use coconut flakes, not shredded coconut. Coconut flakes are large and flat, while shredded coconut is essentially grated coconut.

 

 

 

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The Other Ingredients

  • 1Tbsp neutral high-heat oil—such as avocado, sunflower or grapeseed
  • 1Tbsp soy sauce…this adds saltiness and flavor…for gluten-free bacon, use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1Tbsp maple syrup…use more or less depending on your taste preferencesd…you could also completely leave it out if you’re like me, and don’t actually like the taste of maple syrup.
  • 2-½Tbsp liquid smoke…there are different flavors of liquid smoke—such as hickory and mesquite—use your favorite. You could also add ½tsp more smoked paprika and a dash or two more of tamari instead.
  • Spices…1/4tsp pepper…1/4tsp garlic powder…1 tsp smoked paprika…pinch sea salt… 1/2 tsp black pepper…mineral salt for sprinkling, optional

 

 

 

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Instructions

Prep…Preheat oven to 325. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make the “Stuff”…Stir everything but the coconut together.

Add coconut…Toss for about 45 seconds or so…making sure to coat each flake well. The “stuff” will likely pool at the bottom, so be sure to mix well.

Layer…Spread the coconut flakes to the baking sheet in a single, even layer. If there is any leftover marinade in the bowl, drizzle it on top. Sprinkle lightly with a bit of mineral salt if desired. Don’t worry if the coconut flakes aren’t spread out perfectly even because you will be stirring it every now and then while it is baking.

Bake…Place cookie sheet on the center rack of your oven. Bake 15min, checking and stirring every five minutes until the “bacon” has a nice browned and caramelized color. Watch carefully in the last minutes of cooking and be careful not to burn as it can go from brown to burnt very quickly. Your final baking time might be shorter or longer, depending on the size of your coconut flakes and your oven.

Cool…Let the coconut flakes cool for about fifteen minutes. The flakes will become crispier as they cool.

Store…Any leftover bacon can be stored  in a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container at room temp for about a month. If it softens a bit, re-crisp in the toaster oven on medium for a few minutes or under the broiler for a few seconds, keeping an eye that it doesn’t burn.

 

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Making the Perfect Coconut Chia Pudding — February 21, 2021

Making the Perfect Coconut Chia Pudding

The perfect coconut chia pudding is a perfectly simple, healthy breakfast or snack that you’ll want to make over and over again…

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  1. Place the coconut cream, coconut milk, chia seeds, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, and maple syrup in a bowl, blender, or shaker.
  2. Stir the ingredients together so that everything is mixed thoroughly.
  3. Wait about fifteen minutes and then stir or whisk again to break up any clumps of chia seeds.
  4. At this point you can either wrap the bowl with plastic wrap or spoon the mixture into mini jars, filling each jar almost to the top.
  5. Regardless which container you choose, place the pudding in the fridge…for at least two hours or overnight…The longer you refrigerate it, the thicker it’ll be.
  6. Now top with whatever toppings you have chosen—fresh berries, shredded coconut
  7. Chia pudding will keep fresh in your fridge for up to a week. 
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Making the Perfect Coconut Cake — February 16, 2021

Making the Perfect Coconut Cake

Growing up in the Deep South, my mom and both grandmothers and almost every other female at that time took great pride in their cooking—especially their cakes and candies.

My Dad’s absolute favorite of these cakes was the coconut cake—as you all probably know already—a cake with frosted with 7-minute frosting or cream cheese icing or buttercreams, covered in shredded toasted and/or sweetened coconut flakes.

But honestly I don’t have the time or level of commitment that my mom and grandmothers had in order to spend hours and hours in the kitchen. That’s why God invented microwaves and freezer meals and drive-through windows, right?!

But on those rare occasions when I do feel like putting forth the time and effort, one of my favorite desserts is coconut poke cake.

Coconut poke cake so very easy to make—a rectangular one-layer white or yellow cake with holes made into the cake to absorb cream of coconut frosted with whipped topping.

So let’s get cookin’…shall we?!

 

 

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The Cake

For the cake, just grab you a box of white or yellow cake mix the next time you go to the store…(or have greoceries delivered)…and make cake according to instructions on the box for a 9×13 pan.

 

 

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The Filling

  • 1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Mix cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk together. Pour over the top of the still hot cake.

 

 

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The Frosting

  • 16oz Cool Whip, thawed
  • 8oz flaked coconut

Spread cake with Cool Whip. Top with coconut.

Making the Perfect coconut Porridge — February 15, 2021

Making the Perfect coconut Porridge

It’s snowed several inches this weekend…a rare thing here in the DFW metroplex (Texas)…and so we’ve switched many of our typical diet staples—such as iced tea, cold cereal, and yogurt—to warmer and more “wholesome” foods such as this hot cereal, or porridge, which is healthy, filling, and stocked with healthy ingredients—such as quinoa, oats, and coconut milk.

So let’s talk about how to make a bowl of this satisfying coconut comfort food that is not only true breakfast bliss, but also a keto delight

 

 

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2Tbsp coconut flour
  • 2tsp butter 
  • 1/2C coconut milk
  • 1/2C quinoa
  • 1 -1/2C rolled oats
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 3/4C water
  • Sweetener—coconut sugar, agave, maple syrup, brown sugar,…
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2C unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Optional Toppings—apple slices, peanut butter, honey, fresh chopped fruit, berries, nuts, seeds,…

 

 

 

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Instructions

Combine egg, coconut flour, and salt in a small bowl. Melt the butter and coconut cream over low heat. Slowly whisk in the egg mixture, combining until you achieve a creamy, thick texture. When it begins to simmer, turn it down to medium-low and whisk until it begins to thicken. Add water, quinoa, oats, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes…until the grains are soft to the bite and no longer gritty or hard. Add more water if needed to reach your desired state of thickness/soupiness. Garnish with your favorite toppings. Serve hot with coconut milk or cream.

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    Baking with Coconut Flour — February 13, 2021

    Baking with Coconut Flour

    coconut bread recipe

    The perfect coconut flour bread is the perfect answer to those starting a keto diet or those who are allergic to wheat, dairy, most grains, starches, and nuts. And switching to coconut flour means that you yourself don’t have to give up your favorite foods because of the other person. But baking with coconut flour is a whole different ballgame than baking with any other flour. One of the easiest recipes to learn how to bake with coconut flour is coconut flour bread. The perfect coconut flour bread is quick and easy to prepare, contains healthy all-natural ingredients, and has unbelievable taste. So let’s stop talking and start baking instead.

    Making the Perfect Avocado Pudding — February 11, 2021

    Making the Perfect Avocado Pudding

     Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Coconut Milk

     

    The perfect avocado pudding is not some sort of sweet guacamole…but a sweet, rich and decadent creamy pudding.

    The perfect avocado pudding is a great, delicious and good-looking dessert that you will be proud of serving because it is actually chock-full of healthy ingredients—banana for sweetening…lots of cocoa for a rich chocolaty taste…whipped coconut milk for airy texture and more sweetness…and finally avocado simply serves to bind all of the other ingredients together and provide creaminess.

     

    • 2 ripe medium avocados
    • 1/3C cocoa or carob powder
    • 1/4C coconut milk
    • 2tsp vanilla
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • Toppings of choice…such as strawberries, coconut flakes, cherries, raspberries

    Add the peeled avocados, banana, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Blend until a creamy paste forms. Set aside. Whip the coconut milk with a hand mixer until it obtains a mousse-like texture. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.