Monday, September 29, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Want a delicious crust without all the carbs? Maybe you just want a sneakier way to get your kids to eat veggies? This crust might take a bit more prep time than a regular dough, but it's well worth it! The taste is phenomenal, you get extra veggies, and it's not only gluten-free (if you care about that) but grain-free, too!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1 4 oz. package of herbed goat cheese

Preheat Oven to 400F

1) Heat water (about 1 qt) to a boil while washing and cutting cauliflower into small pieces.

2) Add boiling water to cauliflower in a glass bowl and use an immersion blender and blend until in small particles ("cauliflower rice") and no chunks left.

3) Strain to remove as much water as possible.

4) Place in cheesecloth (optional) and place inside a dish towel (not optional) to wring out the remaining moisture. Too wet and you will have a soggy crust! The cheesecloth just makes it easier to clean the towel when you're done.

5) Place cauliflower back in a bowl and blend in the egg and goat cheese.

6) Press dough onto baking sheet (or pizza stone) that is lined with parchment paper. Shape however you want. Keep the dough about 1/3" thick.

7) Bake at 400F for roughly 40 minutes or until crust is firm and golden brown.

8) Add sauce and toppings, then return to the oven for 10-30 minutes. The more toppings you have, the longer it will take. We added a lot of toppings, so it was about 25 minutes. Bake until the cheese is lightly browned to ensure you cooked out enough moisture.

ALLOW EXTRA COOLING TIME! This pizza retains a lot of heat if you are using a pizza stone, so allow extra cooling time.

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Tip: Toaster Oven

This summer we used our crock pot a lot, but we placed it in the mud room or in the garage to keep the house cooler. We also did the same with our toaster oven. Instead of heating the whole house up, we scrubbed and stabbed the potatoes like we would before grilling or placing in the oven, but placed on the rack in the toaster oven instead. (And then placed that in the mud room or the garage).

Baked potatoes without heating our house, and without using charcoal. Win-win!

Yes, I realize I'm desperately in need of a new toaster oven. One day.

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Super Easy Peanut Butter Frosting (original recipe)

Looking for a super easy frosting recipe? How about for a peanut butter frosting? Look no further!

We keep a powdered peanut butter called PB2 on hand in our house. It's great for adding into
 smoothies, sprinkling into baked goods, adding into ice cream, and for making frosting!

This super simple recipe requires only 3 ingredients:

Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 1c. PB2
  • 1/2c Sugar
  • 1/2c Cream


That's it!

This will give you enough frosting for a sheet cake, 2 round cakes, or 2 dozen cupcakes. Of course, that's all subject to how you like your frosting (thickness).

We frosted a chocolate cake, though we debated on making brownies for this or cake. Both would be delicious!


Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Tips: Storing Stock

Do you make a bunch of stock and then not know how to store it?

We frequently have a huge batch of stock each time we make it.

 After we cool it, we pour it into (regular sized) ice cube trays to freeze up, then drop into a freezer bag.

Each ice cube tray equals 2 Tablespoons of stock, so it's easy to measure out that way, too!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Elderberry Syrup

My family uses a lot of elderberry syrup throughout the year. Elderberries are great for your immune system, and have been used for medicinal properties for centuries. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, referred to the elderberry as his “medicine chest” due to the wide array of uses the plant had. 

Elderberry syrup gets rather pricy, but I’ve never been able to find elderberry locally to try and make my own. I was going to try making some from dried elderberries when I happened across a major find at my local farmer’s market: FRESH ELDERBERRIES! Not only were they fresh, but they were the last of the season, apparently, and so he offered me a deal when I offered to take all he had.
I have found a variety of recipes for elderberry syrup online, and I’ve sort of combined a few I found to try out for my first batch. I’ve read recipes saying 1 cup of berries to 3 cups of water, others say 1:1 is the best ratio. Since this is my first attempt and I have SO MANY BERRIES, I figured I’d try a 1:2 berry to water ratio. This has proven to be a bit weak (my husband got a cold and normally feels a bit better a day later, but didn't with the normal 1t of syrup since I did half the strength), so I would recommend either doing the 1:1 ratio for fresh berries, or just making sure you remember to double the amount you take if you make it weaker. If you like using the syrup atop pancakes or ice cream, you might like this weaker version since you can have more of it in one sitting!
This recipe uses honey, so is not safe for children under the age of one.
Local, raw honey is always best to use. Local honey has pollen from the local plants and will be more effective if you have seasonal allergies.

It is also easiest to de-stem elderberries if you freeze them.

Again, 1:1 (water:berries) is best for fresh elderberries.

Elderberry Syrup
1c. Fresh elderberries
2c. Water
1/2c. Raw Honey

1.) Freeze elderberries on a baking sheet for a couple of hours. 

If you are making large batches of syrup, remove only part of the elderberries to pull off the stems, as it gets significantly harder (and messier!) as they thaw.
2.) Take a fork and hold a bunch of elderberries of a large pan or bowl. Comb fork through the frozen elderberries to easily remove them from the stem.

Little pieces of the stem may break off with the berries. Try to remove as many as possible, though don't fret if you can't remove them all (or simply don't want to). The bark on the larger stems of elderberry are poisonous, though the tiny little stems aren't really a concern, especially if you are boiling them to make syrup anyway.

3.) Once de-stemmed, measure out berries and water in a pan and bring to a boil.
4.) Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

5.) Remove from heat and allow to cool.
6.) Once cool, strain the berries with a mesh strainer, applying pressure with a spoon to help extract as much juice as possible.

7.) Stir in honey until well mixed, then pour your syrup into a jar (or can)! 

Store the syrup (not canned) in the fridge for up to 3 months.
*Ginger, cinnamon, and cloves can be added to this (add at step 3). If using freshly grated ginger, add 1 tablespoon per cup of berries (1 teaspoon per cup of berries if dried ginger). Cinnamon should be roughly 1 teaspoon per cup of berries, and cloves 1/4 teaspoon per cup of berries.

Preventative usage: 1 teaspoon daily (for children aged 1 year and older)
While ill: 1 teaspoon 3x a day (for children aged 1 year and older)

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.