On the day I tried this recipe I had an epic success as well as one of the greatest food fails I’ve ever experienced! I hoped to share this recipe as well as a dark chocolate bourbon truffle recipe with you fine people (and with my mouth, my mouth definitely wanted some of that action). I battled poorly melted, clumpy, bumpy, TERRIBLE tasting chocolate that I endlessly tried to troubleshoot when BAM I dropped the world’s smallest glass bowl and it EXPLODED into a billion pieces. It looked like I had broken the world’s largest bowl! I’ve never seen any glass break like that! I looked, bewildered, across the kitchen at my husband and said “I think we have to move. I don’t think there’s any way it’ll ever be safe for our daughter to crawl in this kitchen again”. Dead. Serious. Thank goodness she wasn’t crawling around there at the time.

Fast forward to endless vacuuming, mopping, scrapping hard clumpy chocolate and drinking that damn bourbon! A toast to epic fails! HA!

Make these though. For real. Epic success. They are the food of the gods! Lightly sweetened and so very full of healthy fats. They taste creepily like real cheesecake, you won’t believe it. They’re also much easier and faster than real cheesecake! Trust me, I didn’t shoot them because they’re beautiful (they’re not much to look at). I shot them to share the recipe with you deserving people;) I’ll be making a bunch for Thanksgiving as they are the perfect single serving taster so you can fit a bit of everything into your tummy!

How to make coconut butter at home:

Load up a high powered blender (vitamix/blendtec) or a food processor with unsweetened coconut flakes. Blitz/process with increasing speed, scraping down the sides often or using a tamper. In a blender it’ll blend up to a creamy liquid consistency in a couple minutes. In the food processor it may take upward of 10 minutes with frequent scraping of the sides. My Blendtec has a “nut butter” pitcher that blitzes butters up in no time. You can also buy a jar from a high end grocery store.

Copyright Crystal Cartier all rights reserved 2015

*makes ~ 20  1-inch balls

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup coconut butter, completely liquified
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • large pinch salt
  • crushed maple candied pecans (sub herbs and pepper for 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice)

~ With all ingredients at room temperature and the butter completely melted, whisk together first six ingredients until smooth in a ceramic or glass bowl (helps keep “dough” cold as you’re forming balls)

~ Refrigerate for an hour then scoop “dough” and roll meatball style into 1″ balls. Roll balls into crushed candied pecans.

~ Immediately shove them all in your face, or if you possess self control that I do not, store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I’ve been on a bit of a pickling bender lately. They are so crunchy and tangy I just can’t get enough! I won’t even mention how good pickled foods are for digestion (oh, wait, I just did). This recipe is easy, suuuuper crunchy and made to store in the fridge. Get crunching and make your tastebuds and your tummy happy;)

Copyright Crystal Cartier all rights reserved 2015Copyright Crystal Cartier all rights reserved 2015

*makes 2 pint jars

1 1/2 pounds Persian cucumbers, washed and dried
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
small handful dill
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon fennel
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 Tablespoons sea salt

~ Prepare jars and lids by cleaning in the dishwasher or with hot soapy water. These are not preserved pickles and must be refrigerated.

~ Trim off blossom end of cucumbers. These ends contain enzymes that can take the crunch out of your pickle (hehee). Cut cucumbers into spears or coins.

~ Add spices to jars, dividing evenly between both jars.

~ Combine vinegar, water and salt in a pan over high heat. Bring to a boil then pour over the pickles, leaving space at the top of each jar to gently tap the jars and release air bubbles. The fill the rest of the way then cover with the lids, screwing them on fairly tight.

~ Let the jars cool then refrigerate and ENJOY crunchy fresh homemade pickles!!!

* These Pickled Bell Peppers aren’t to be missed either! They’re PERFECT for that leftover turkey sandwich;)

Copyright Crystal Cartier all rights reserved 2015

As the weather gets cooler I start to gravitate toward heavier foods. It’s just so so satisfying until my tummy starts to protest! Oh heavy foods can come at a price! This recipe used to be a summer staple in our house but has most recently become a go-to any time we need to do some tasty clean eating and give our poor bellies a break. The other day I realized the only place this recipe exists is jotted in barely legible scrawl on a post-it note it my cabinet in true mad scientist form (all of my best ideas and food/body product recipes live on post-its;)! If that post-it ever fell off and found it’s way into the trash, which is right next to it, that would be the end of this dish. My memory is useless! So, needless to say, I had to make and shoot it asap to preserve it’s delicious legacy.

This is the kind of good-for-you food that even veggie haters tend to really like. It’s beautiful and very obviously healthy with tons of crunch, taste and texture to satisfy your taste buds and heal your angry guts! I’ve been on a pickling kick so more pickled recipes to come…

Ps: This slaw is best made the night before and tastes so much better if the flavor have a chance to get it on in the fridge for a bit!

Copyright Crystal Cartier all rights reserved 2015

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 3 Tablespoons minced dill
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 apple, sliced into match sticks
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

~ In a very large mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar and honey to emulsify. Add dill and salt and pepper once thoroughly mixed.
~ Add sliced apple to dressing and immediately toss to coat to prevent browning.
~ Add cabbage, raisins and pecans. Toss well to coat and mix ingredients.
~ Cover with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
~ Toss thoroughly before serving.

ENJOY!!!

Copyright Crystal Cartier all rights reserved 2015

…look at all that gut-loving goodness, Hubba hubba…

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