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Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's NO JOKE! April Fool's Day Giveaway!

We are officially adopting again!
'Cause who doesn't want more love & laughter in the house?  We sure do!
Are you as excited as we are?!
 One of the biggest parts of the initial adoption process is fundraising.  
 Yep, money. But that isn't going to stop us because when the Lord calls you to walk down a path, He gives you the ability and the resources in His sovereign timing!

We are excited to announce our online silent adoption auction fundraiser we are affectionately

Will you help us spread the word about our online silent adoption auction coming up on April 15th?
 You Will?  Awesome!

We have put together a FREE GIVEAWAY  for that will end on April Fool's Day
 (April 1) to get you excited for our fundraising auction & to help us share all the info with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, church members, homeschooling groups and more!  

(No purchase necessary to win) 
Giveaway Includes: 
  • Donatos Pizza Gift Card ($10.00 Value)
  • Brand New Songs for Saplings 3 CD Set ($28 Value)
  • Lilly's Coconut Dark Chocolate Candy Bar ($5.00 Value)

Enter to WIN below!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Grandma's Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies... THM {S}

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

These cookies are AMAZING!  They are Gluten Free, Sugar Free & THM friendly!  These would be considered an {S} and are NOT a crossover.  Don't let the small amount of oats fool you in this recipe.  It yields 36 cookies which means that you are well within your carb limit if you don't eat the whole blessed batch.  Even though you will want to.  But don't.  Okay?  Good.  Let's move on to the recipe!!

Pour the following into your high speed blender at full speed to make a Flour Base Mixture: 

  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla unsweetened whey powder (Swansons Brand) (About 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Set aside your flour mixture and wipe the drool from your mouth at the excitement of your pending cookie rampage. 

In a large bowl, combine well:

  • 2 sticks of softened (salted) butter
  • 2 eggs (We use fresh farm eggs from our hens)
  • 1 1/2 cup of your preferred baking blend sweetener (xylitol, erithytol, truvia, etc.)  I used xylitol for this recipe. 
  • 1/8 tsp black strap molasses 
  • Splash of vanilla

Then add the following to your wet ingredients:
  • 2 cups of your dry mixture (SAVE THE REST FOR ANOTHER TIME)
  •  a couple shakes of sea salt 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Finally, add:

  • half a bag of Lilly's Dark Chocolate Chips (Sugar Free- they use Stevia).  You could use the entire bag, but it costs $7, so I'd rather make it laaaaaaaaaaaaaaast.  
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans because I like nuts in my cookies, but that is totally optional.  

Scoop your dough onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  My sheet holds 12 cookies and I was able to make 3 trays.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Basically, you are looking for them to LOOK like a 'done' cookie. 

We didn't let our cookies get hard or sit in the fridge because we were too hungry to eat them.  They are pretty soft and will fall apart, but if you stick  them in the fridge, they will harden right up.

My boys said that these are the best on-plan (Trim Healthy Mama) cookies that I have ever made in 7 months... trust me, I've tried a LOT.   They really resemble the chocolate chip cookie dough that I LOVE to eat raw.  And, if you skip the eggs, you could totally just eat the dough!

Enjoy your tasty treats.  ;)



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

{S} Easy Caribbean No Bake Balls

In the mood for a fantastic chocolate treat?  I give you... Easy Caribbean No Bake Balls!  For you girls on THM, these are an S... if you eat too many, it would be a Crossover.  Like I said, be careful if you want to stay in "S" mode because they have a small amount of oats in them plus a minimal amount of net carbs from the pecans, so don't go crazy.  My batch makes 25 nice sized cookies with a carb count of 2.5 grams each, so to be safe- I would only eat 2-3 for a snack (staying below the 6 gram rule) or dessert within 3 hours of any other S or E meals. They are filling!

Ready?  Oh, this is so easy.  You're gonna love me.

In your blender, combine 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes and 1 cup preferred unsalted nut choice (Pecans, Walnuts or Almonds).  Blend until thoroughly mixed, but not a paste.  Pour this "flour" into a large bowl and add 1 cup whole dry oats (NOT instant).  Add two shakes of salt and stir.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 stick of salted butter, 1 cup peanut butter, splash of vanilla, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of xylitol.  (You can add a little more of you prefer a sweeter taste).  Heat on low-medium heat until low boil and then pour into "flour mixture.  Mix it all up until nicely blended.

Roll into nice little balls.  See below?  Put on parchment paper and then place into freezer until hardened.  Then, if you want a little extra coconut flavor, make up a batch of skinny chocolate to drizzle on top!



Saturday, March 1, 2014

{S} Nanaimo Bars from the THM Inspired Test Kitchen

You know how you click on a link to read a recipe and the blogger tells you an entire story about how their recipe is going to change your life and they use all kinds of funny anecdotes and make you want to be their BFF and all you can think is, "For the love!  Give me the recipe already!"  Forgive me because I'm going to be that annoying blogger today.  But, if you want to scroll past all my witty anecdotes, the recipe is at the bottom. 

Last week I was on a Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle and was desperately hungry for something chocolatey on an E day and came up with some yummo Brownies from my "THM Test Kitchen".  My sweet friend, Jennifer Griffin, who many of you know from Home With a Purpose was so kind to share my blog link with you (because nobody knows me- haha!).  She also shared my recipe for Angel Food Cake and the Rockin' Roll Cake too!

I had a great response from the brownies and in the Facebook thread I mentioned that I have an open test kitchen and would love people to pass along their favorite pre-THM desserts for me to adapt to be on plan!

One of the ladies said, "Hey!  Do you have a converted recipe for Nanaimo Bars?"

I replied, "Sure!  Those are my absolute favorite!" "Eh?  What is a Nanaimo Bar?"

So, off I went to learn a little more about this treat.  Apparently,The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin popular across North America. It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the west coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. (Source: Wikipedia)  You feel smarter now, don't you?

The basis for my recipe is from the Cooking Classy site:   Now, prepare yourself for this blogger's pretty pictures and neatly cut squares of dessert perfection.   I am ashamed to tell you that I am a photographer, but have no patience for still-life or the pretty plates to match.  I'm all about the active portrait session and the blushing bride, but don't let my picture fool you... this is GOOD.  I mean, sneak-back-around-midnight-with-a-fork-and-hide-in-the-pantry kind of good.

This is a no-bake bar and really wasn't hard to make at all.  It made a big ole' casserole dish full that I served to our family of five and the grandparents for a birthday treat and we had over half left so it goes a long way.  We had just had a big meal and when I offered dessert I only had one taker (out of seven people!)  Then I served it to him and all of a sudden, everybody straightened up in their chair and said, "Hey!  I'll take a little of that!"

Without further ado (and there was a lot of ado here today).... here you go!  This is a step-by-step layering dessert that doesn't involve any baking. I may have mentioned that, but save the ovens, sisters!

Nanaimo Bars THM Style {S}

Dry Crust:  In your high speed blender, place the following ingredients and then blend until thoroughly crushed into a thick flour.  Don't over blend into a paste.  After blended, set aside.

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
Wet Crust: In a saucepan, place 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup).  Melt and take off heat.  Stir in the following and whisk until blended:

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup xylitol
  • 1/8 tsp black strap molasses
Now, put your saucepan back on a low heat and add in a beaten egg.  Continue to quickly whisk egg into chocolatey mixture for 1-2 minutes until thickened.  Take saucepan off heat and add a splash of vanilla.

Remember your nut/coconut flour mixture?  Now is the time to dump it all into your saucepan and thoroughly combine wet and dry crust ingredients.  Layer this crust into the bottom of a casserole dish (9x12) or if you want a slightly thicker bar, a 9x9 pan.  Cover with plastic and put into freezer for 20 minutes.

Now for the filling.  I went a little different route this time than the classic bar mixture because I wanted a thicker filling.

Combine the following with an electric beater.  Add in your ingredients ONE AT A TIME until creamy so that your cream cheese doesn't clump.

  • 3 packages (8 ounce each) full fat cream cheese. (Blend until creamy before adding any of the other ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Swansons vanilla whey powder
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Pull your pan back out of the freezer and pour your creamy mixture on top.  Spread out evenly.  Recover with plastic and freeze again for 15-20 minutes.

Last layer is your chocolate topping.  You can melt a bag of sugar-free chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of hot water and mix in a saucepan OR you can make a batch of Skinny Chocolate (see THM book for recipe) using extra virgin coconut oil.  After you mix this up (must be hot), let sit for a minute and then pour over the creamy filling mixture and then put back in your freezer for a final 15 minutes.

Store in the fridge after serving.  

All done!  Serve and enjoy!  I know this recipe seems a bit tedious, but it really was one of the faster recipes I've ever made.  Let me know what you think!

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Have a blessed day!