food

Holiday charcuterie board with Tillamook

Thank you Tillamook for sponsoring this post. Try Tillamook Maker’s Reserve! Available at Costco.

Holiday Charcuterie Board

One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the get-togethers with family and friends… and all the delicious food at said get-togethers. It can feel a little overwhelming to whip something elegant and fancy up, on top of hosting a party, so my favorite thing to do is put together a charcuterie and cheese board. It’s always a crowd pleaser, and you can make it look super lush and inviting without a lot of work! And the best part is you don’t have to cook anything!

IMG_8715.jpg
Holiday Charcuterie Board

For this spread I partnered with Tillamook to feature their Maker’s Reserve 2013 Vintage White Cheddar. Here in the Northwest we’re pretty big Tillamook eaters, and I’ve actually been to the Tillamook factory in Oregon twice! Watching all those blocks of cheese getting cut and wrapped in the factory is kind of mesmerizing!
I’m a fan of sharp cheddars so this cheese hit the spot for me. The Maker’s Reserve line of cheddars are bold with the flavors unique to the year they come from (2013 in this case).

If you want to add some to your own holiday charcuterie board, you can find Maker’s Reserve 2013 Vintage White Cheddar (18oz.) can be found at select Costco stores in the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco Bay Area (search at https://www.tillamook.com/where-to-buy.html to see if your local store has it!).

Not sure what to include in your Charcuterie + Cheese board?
Here’s a list of some of my favorite things to plate up!

  • Cheese- You can get a variety and get a couple more exotic types of cheese, or stick with something classic and widely enjoyed, like a cheddar or brie

  • Rustic Mustard- This is great for spreading on crackers or bread, and is a little fancier looking than your standard mustard.

  • Fig Jam or Honey- I like having something a bit sweet to counteract all the savory that goes on with a Charcuterie board

  • Olives- There are lots of varieties, and some grocery stores even have an olive buffet so you can pick out a bunch of different kinds!!

  • Prosciutto/salami- There are lots of different kinds you can get, pick your favorite or get a few different types

  • Fruit- Pear slices always make it onto my board, but I also like to pick something seasonal. When I saw Pomegranates in my grocery store, I picked one up to include on this board!

  • Sliced bread/crackers- Gotta have a delivery system for all your cheese! I like to pick a rustic bread, slice it up, bake it with a bit of butter spread on each until they’re slightly golden, then cut a garlic clove in half and swipe it on each little toast- it gives them the perfect bit of garlic flavor!

  • Nuts- Marcona Almonds are my favorite to include, but you can choose whatever you like! Specialty or gourmet grocery stores will usually have some fancy nuts to choose from.

Now you’re ready to party! Grab a plate or a big cutting board to arrange all your items on, and your guests will flock to it! Happy holiday partying!

Apple Rustic Tart

Rustic Apple Tart

My best friend came over today with her little month old baby and we got to spend the afternoon baking! My dad brought some apples from my parents’ house where they have a few apple trees so I had a ton of apples to use for recipes (I made this applesauce last week too!). My pie pans have disappeared since our move last October, so instead of making apple pies, we decide to make Apple Rustic Tarts. This recipe says that the prep is about 30 minutes but if you’re also watching a baby and a toddler it takes like 3x that long…

Apple Rustic Tart

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For the Crust

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold water

For the Filling

1 -1/2 lbs apples (appx 3 large)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/8 tsp salt

For Assembly

1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp apricot preserves, for glaze

Instructions

Prepare the crust:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse briefly to mix.

  3. Add the cold butter and process just until the butter is the size of peas, appx 5 seconds. Then, add the ice water to the mixture and process just until moistened and very crumbly, about 5 seconds.

  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it until it comes together into a cohesive ball, just a few times. Split the dough into two equal balls.

  5. Flour your work surface again and sprinkle one of your dough balls with flour, as well. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a circle appx 12 inches in diameter, turning and adding more flour as necessary so the dough doesn’t stick. Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. Repeat with the second ball of dough.

Make the filling:

  1. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/8-inch-thick slices (you should have about 4 cups) and place in a large bowl.

  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, melted butter, and salt; toss to combine.

Assemble the tart:

  1. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the pastry. Arrange the apple slices on top in overlapping concentric circles to within 2 inches of the edge. Work quickly so the dough doesn’t get too warm. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples, working your way around and creating pleats as you go.

  2. Using a pastry brush, brush the pleated dough evenly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the crust and apples. Chill the assembled tart in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. Prepare the second tart and place it in the fridge as well.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the center position.

  4. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden and cooked through.

  5. While the tart bakes, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the apricot jam with 1-1/2 teaspoons hot water. About 2-3 minutes before your tarts finish baking, remove them, brush the tarts with the apricot glaze, and put them back in the oven for the final two minutes. Remove and let cool.

  6. Transfer the tart to a serving plate or cutting board. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. The tart is best served on the day it is made, but leftovers make for a delicious breakfast treat the next day!

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Father's Day wasn't a big to-do around our house this past Sunday but I wanted to do something special for Dan, so I decided to make his favorite cake: Carrot Cake.  But Keto!  I always tend to give keto versions of delicious non-keto foods the ol' side-eye but this cake was seriously delicious. And with only 5.5 net carbs per slice, I can eat a slice for breakfast, ain't no thang!  

Keto Carrot Cake
Recipe slightly adapted from WholesomeYum


Cake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Erythritol (I use Swerve Confectioners)
  • 3/4 cup Butter (softened; I use Kerrygold)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup Almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cup Carrots (grated, measured loosely packed after grating)
  • 1 cup Pecans (chopped; divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup)

01/   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9 in round cake pans (springform is best) with parchment paper.  Grease the sides.

02/   In a large bowl, cream together the butter and erythritol, until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Set aside.

03/   In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.

04/   Stir in the grated carrots. Fold in the chopped pecans.

05/   Transfer the batter evenly among the two prepared baking pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is spring-y.

06/   Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 oz Cream cheese (softened, cut into cubes)
  • 4 tbsp Butter (softened, cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup Powdered erythritol (again, I use Swerve)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Heavy cream (or more if needed)

01/   Use a hand mixer to beat together the cream cheese and butter, until fluffy.

02/   Beat in the sweetener and vanilla, until well incorporated.

03/   Add cream and beat again, until creamy. You can adjust the amount of cream to desired consistency.

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Put it all together

If you aren't looking to make a fancy lookin' cake, you can just frost the two 9in. cakes like you normally would, with frosting between the layers and then on the top and sides.

I wanted my cake to have a little more style to it so I tried something new! I recently watched the Milk Bar episode of Chef's Table (if you aren't craving sweets, you absolutely will after watching it), and I loved how she used a plastic sheath mould thing (you can see what I'm talking about here) to create her naked cakes, and I also like how she deconstructed cake, mixed it with frosting and pressed that in to the mould to create layers. 

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

So that's what I did.  I took my two 9 inch cakes and cut 6 inch rounds out of them, then used the remaining pieces of cake and frosting mushed together and pressed that into the mould to make layers.  And I frosted it in a more "naked cake" style.  I think it definitely was more delicious with the layers that were frosting/cake mixed together than a standard cake-frosting-cake situation. 

I didn't feel like putting chopped pecans on the top, so I made a little carrot round flower instead, but if you want a more classic topping, cut up 1/2 cup more pecans and add those to the top!

If you want to get the nutrition info on this cake, head over to Wholesome Yum, the info might be slightly different as I didn't include a couple of the ingredients she used but it should be about the same!

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

You might also like

Keto Chocolate Cookies

Keto Chocolate Cookies

Being on a high fat, low carb diet means that you can sometimes get cravings for baked goods that are off limits.  Luckily I've found some great recipes for keto-friendly goodies and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand the other day when I was having my cookie craving so I threw them together real quick, popped 'em in the oven and was happily munching on cookies in less than an hour.  The original recipe calls for chocolate chips which was the only thing I didn't have on hand, but next time I make these I will definitely be adding those for some additional gooey goodness.

Keto Chocolate Cookies Recipes

Keto Chocolate Cookies

(makes 12-18 cookies. recipe via peace love and low carb)
Ingredients: 
1 cup natural creamy almond butter
2/3 cup confectioners erythritol (I use this brand)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter powder
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon melted salted butter
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/ Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

2/ In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, erythritol, cocoa powder, peanut butter powder, eggs, butter, water, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Using an electric hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are well combined. It will be a very thick dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3/ Form the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch balls. This will produce 12 good sized cookies. You can make them smaller to yield more cookies.

4/ Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. At the 9-10 minute mark, remove the cookies and press them down to keep them from getting to big and cake-y.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack to allow the cookies to cool before eating.

Keto Low Carb Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Keto Low Carb Flourless Chocolate cookies
Low Carb Keto Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Keto Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

Keto Cookies + Cream Ice Cream-9.jpg

Dan and I have been attempting Keto since last summer.  Well, I should say Dan has been pretty successfully doing Keto, and I have been... not.  But I finally feel like I have mental and physical energy to focus on my own health and am diving back in!  For those who have no clue what Keto is, the readers digest version is: Your body runs on glucose and ketone bodies, but will default to glucose when it's present.  Ketone bodies are created from fats, so if you reduce the glucose you consume and increase the healthy fat, your body switches to running off of fat.  So real basic: eat fat = burn fat.  When your body is running on ketones, it's said to be in "Ketosis" hence: Keto.  Anyway, in such a carbohydrate and sugar heavy culture it can be hard to switch to a high fat/low carb diet, so something like Keto ice cream can help not feel sad about the carbohydrates I'm craving.

I was skeptical that this would be actually as tasty as normal ice cream because usually substitute foods are like a sad version of the original, but this stuff is actually amazing.  I was pretty excited to make ice cream because it was the first time I used my ice cream bowl and mixer for my Kitchenaid mixer!  If you have a Kitchenaid, you can find the ice cream attachment here

Keto Cookies + Cream Ice Cream

makes 10 servings (recipe via ruled.me)
 

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIE CRUMBS:

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup erythritol (I used Swerve)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp. softened coconut oil
1 egg, room temperature
Pinch of salt

MAKE THE COOKIE CRUMBS:

1/ Preheat your oven to 300°F. Take a 9 inch circular cake pan (or similar sized pan), and grease with oil, or line with parchment paper.

2/ Into a medium bowl, sift your almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, erythritol, and salt then whisk until there are no lumps.

3/ Add the vanilla extract and coconut oil to the bowl and mix until batter forms into crumbs.

4/ Add the egg and mix everything together until the cookie batter begins to stick together.

5/ Dump the batter into your prepared pan and press the batter down with your fingers until it evenly covers the bottom of the pan.

6/ Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the center of cookie bounces back when it's pressed.

7/ Once it's done, take the pan out of the oven and let it cool.

8/ Now that the cookie has cooled, crumble the cookie into small bits. Set aside.

INGREDIENTS FOR ICE CREAM

2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup erythritol
1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened

 

MAKE THE ICE CREAM

1/ In a large bowl, blend the whipping cream with a Kitchenaid or electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

2/ Add vanilla extract and erythritol, and whip until thoroughly combined.

3/ Pour in the almond milk and blend mixture until it re-thickens.

4/ Transfer cream mixture to ice cream maker bowl and churn until ice cream begins to hold its shape. If you're using the kitchenaid mixer, make sure you only use the churning attachment on the "stir" speed.  Churn for about 20 minutes.

5/ Once you've been churning for 20 minutes or so, gradually pour the cookie crumbles in while the ice cream maker is churning to evenly mix the crumbles into the ice cream. Churn for 5-10 more minutes, until the cookie crumbles are mixed throughout.

6/ Once all of the cookie crumbles are incorporated, transfer the ice cream into a freezer-safe container.  You can serve the ice cream right away if you want a softer texture, or if you want it harder, put it in the freezer for an hour or two. Mine gets too hard in my freezer, so I have to take it out and put it in the fridge for a bit to let it soften up. 

Makes 10 servings. Each serving comes out to be 289.9 Calories, 28.9g Fats, 3g Net Carbs, and 4.6g Protein.

ENJOY!

 

You Might Also Like