Raw Almond Macaroons

For about the last month I have been trying to limit the amount of sugar I eat daily, so I experimented with some of my favorite ingredients to create a delicious raw chocolate almond macaroon recipe. Wow, that’s title is a mouthful!!  With just a few ingredients, each macaroon is 80 calories and the perfect amount to soothe a sweet tooth! 🙂
Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups of unsweetened coconut~1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli bittersweet chips)~1 cup of almonds (I substituted 1/2 cup with walnuts because I ran out of almonds)~1-2 Tbs cocoa powder
Soak almonds in warm water for half hour to an hour, they will plump up to be quite big. The absorbed water acts like a binder for the macaroon. 
While the almonds are soaking; preheat the oven to 300°, spread the coconut on a baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes or until coconut is golden brown. 
When the almonds are done soaking, take them out and dry them well with a paper towel. Layer all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until the chocolate and almonds are ground to the consistency of coffee grounds. 
Poor mixture into a bowl and give a few stirs to make sure everything is mixed well. 
Dip a tablespoon into the mixture and pack tightly.
Flip the spoon upside down and tap against the bowl a few times to release the macaroon. 
Repeat until the mixture is gone, snacking as you go! 
Lay them out on a baking sheet and chill for an hour in the fridge.  Store macaroons in the fridge until ready to eat!

Easy scarf-belt tutorial

I have this old vintage scarf I absolutely love, but wanted to come up with some different way’s to wear it.  I got this idea one morning, that just requires that special scarf and a skinny belt!  I think I will try it again when I increase my collection of thin, long, silk scarves.  Unique patterned/textured scarves, and silk scarves are a fun addition to any outfit, no matter how they are worn!  Below is the tutorial:
What you will need: 1 skinny belt that matches your outfit (just in case it peaks out a little)~1 long scarf no more than 4 inches wide 
 Start by securing your belt around your waste to desired tightness.
Spin the belt around so the clasp is in the back. Take your scarf and string it between your belt and stomach, and pull until both sides are equal lengths.  
 Use one hand to hold the scarf in place and begin wrapping one side of the scarf  around and around your belt, while continuing to slide the belt around until the belt buckle is back in the front, end by sticking the tip of the scarf through the top half of the belt buckles to hold it in place.  This may take a few tries to get it evenly wrapped  while still having enough of an end to be secured in the belt buckle.
Repeat with other side, and secure in bottom half of belt buckle.  If you have two long ends left just tie in a little not.  The goal, if possible is to not have any of your belt showing!
And the finished look!

Baked Wonton Ravioli Bites

These little gems make a great party appetizer but could also be paired with a salad for the main dish!!  Made with a combination of broccoli,  pesto, and cheeses, wrapped with wonton dough, and baked until golden brown.   The recipe was adapted slightly from this.  We will definitely be having a repeat of these in our household.
The Ingredients:  1 Tbs butter~2 Tbs olive oil~1/2 cup water~1 large head of broccoli~2-3 garlic cloves~1 package of wonton wrappers~1/2 cup of ricotta cheese~1/8 cup pesto~1/4 cup of fresh parmesan~cooking spray
First start by preheating the oven to 425° and spraying a cookie sheet with oil.  Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Chop broccoli into small pieces, and crush garlic cloves.
Put the garlic cloves in the skillet and sautee for about 30 seconds.  Add the broccoli plus the water and butter to the skillet ,turn down to low heat and cover for about 6 minutes.   While the broccoli is cooking lay individual wonton wrappers onto clean service.  
In a large mixing bowl place pesto & cheeses.
When the broccoli is done cooking, scoop it into the food processor until coarsely pureed, then add to the other ingredients and mix well.
 Spoon about a tablespoon into each wonton wrapper.  Dip a pastry brush in a bowl of water and brush along the edge of 2 sides of the wrapper.  Fold over corner edge and make triangle shape, push edges together to seal.  Set on baking sheet and sprinkle with a little cheese.
 If you run out of filling, just fill the wonton with some other yummy filling.  Today I just added some pizza sauce and cheese.
Some other ideas: Peanut butter & Jelly~ A few chocolate chips & peanut butter~a cheese mixture
Bake wonton’s for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with pizza sauce or eat them alone!! Enjoy 🙂

The Gold of Michigan

I can’t even explain how much fun my family has going mushroom hunting.  Spending time out in the woods, searching our secret spots, finding that first mushroom of the year!!  When I tell people about mushroom hunting they think I’m crazy to get so excited about some wild mushrooms.  But they haven’t tasted these precious gems, delicious in eggs, dipped in flour and sauteed in butter, or in my favorite bacon & corn chowder. Just look at these beauties, we found 23 on our first trip, in previous years we have found more than 100!!
 The smallest one was smaller than my pinkie.
 We ate them right away, no sharing this time…Hopefully many more weeks of mushroom hunting to come.  And maybe some secret recipes for you!!