No-Bake Paleo Chocolate Avocado Pudding*

*based on recipe found on Don’t Mess with Mama

  • 3 or 4 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted**
  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas**
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder**
  • 1 to 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 tsp to 1 Tbs vanilla


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or stand mixer and process until smooth and consistency of pudding.

Divide among 6 custard cups, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.


**If you want stronger banana flavor, you can use 4 bananas and 2 avocados as the original recipe specifies. If the bananas are small, use 4 bananas and 3 avocados. Experiment until you get the flavor you like best. Start with the same number of bananas and avocados and go from there.

Potato and Leek Soup 

Serves 4

1 pound of potatoes*
1 pound of leeks
quarts of boiling water*
Salt to taste
3 Tbs butter
9 to 12 fully cooked turkey meatballs, quartered*
Freshly group black pepper*
Fresh parsley*
Fresh dill*


Quarter the potatoes lengthwise and slice into a 1/2 dice. Remove tough green parts of the leeks and slice open lengthwise to clean away the sand or dirt. Slice thinly (about 1/4 inch slices is good). Add potatoes and leeks to boiling liquid and cook covered at a slow boil until potatoes are cooked completely. They will be easy to crush with a wooden spoon when ready. This should take about 15 or 20 minutes. Five to 10 minutes into the cooking process, add the fresh herbs, meatball quarters, and pepper. When potatoes are fully cooked, remove from heat and stir in the butter. Serve and enjoy!

* Instead of using plain ole potatoes, I used 8 ounces of baby red and 8 ounces of baby white potatoes with peels intact, cut into about a 1/2 dice. I substituted low-sodium chicken broth for the water. The original recipe does not include the herbs or meat, but I wanted to have a complete meal.

Sunny Peanut Granola Bars

1 1/3 cups peanuts
1/2 cup raisins, chopped
1/2 sunflower and pumpkin seeds *
1 or 2 tablespoons flax seed, optional
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup whole spelt or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup currents or dried cranberries
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can use muffin pans with cupcake liners. Recipe makes 18 muffins.**

Combine peanuts and raisins in food processor or blender and pulse until chopped coarsely. Dump into bowl of stand mixer. Pulse sunflower seeds and flax seed, if using, until coarsely chopped and add to peanut mixture. Add currents and dried cranberries to peanut mixture. Add oats and the rest of the dry ingredients and stir on lowest speed of mixer while combining wet ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, and vanilla. Pour the honey mixture on top of the oat mixture and stir thoroughly to combine. Spoon a couple of cups of the mixture into the bowl you used to mix wet ingredients to make sure you get every bit of the wet ingredients. Pour back into mixing bowl and continue to stir until everything is well mixed.

Pour into a lined and lightly oiled 9 x 13 pan and press to ensure the mixture is as even as possible. Bake about 35 minutes and let cool in pan for about 15 minutes. About halfway through baking time, check and see if the mixture needs to be patted down a bit. Sometimes the raisins puff up with the moisture of the wet ingredients.

Remove from pan and let finish cooling on a wire rack. When it is mostly cool, melt chocolate chips and pour on top. Smooth with a spatula or knife and let cool completely in the refrigerator. The chocolate will lose its glossy appearance when it firms up.

* This is a great way to use up leftover seeds or nuts.

** If you use the muffin pans, reduce cooking time to about 25 minutes. You can use an ice cream scooper to get equal portions.

cut granola bars

And here is a variation if you are not a fan of peanuts.

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, including the seeds, raisins, and chocolate chips. Stir together, making sure the raisins are coated with the flour and not clumped together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, pumpkin and vanilla. Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the oat mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.

Spread out on the baking sheet and press into a 9 x 13 inch rectangle about 1 inch thick. Carefully smooth the edges and push any loose nuts into the sides. Bake 35 to 40 until it looks fairly firm. It will firm up more as it cools.

Cool completely before cutting into bars. To spare your pan from scarring, pull the parchment paper with the rectangle onto a cutting board before slicing.

Refrigerator Pickles with Banana Peppers

cucumbers banana peppers
refrigerator pickles

5 or 6 pickling cucumbers sliced thin
2 hot banana peppers, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp raw sugar
2 Tbsp fresh chopped dill or 2 tsp dried
2 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp kosher salt or sea salt

Combine cucumbers, pepper slices, garlic and bay leaves in a bowl. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, dill, mustard seed and salt in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Stir until sugar dissolves, and then pour over the cucumber mix. Cover bowl and allow to cool to room temperature (will take a couple of hours). Refrigerate when cool. These are very spicy and the flavor will intensify over time. You can adjust the heat up or down by using sweet banana peppers or leaving out the seeds, or adding another hot pepper, which I did!


2 medium-to-large red tomatoes
3 orange plum tomatoes
1 large onion
2 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried
handful of fresh basil
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

Put olive oil in large saute pan and turn heat to medium. While oil is heading, slice onion in half length-wise, then slice about 1/4 inch thick. Add onions to pan. While onions are cooking, seed the peppers and length-wise, and then cross-wise to get large to medium dice.
Add them to the onions, which should be a little soft by now, but not cooked.

Orange, red, and purple peppers
Orange, red, and purple peppers

Now cut the tomatoes into quarters and add them to the mixture. No need to skin because if you cut the tomatoes this way, it is easy to remove the skins from the cooked product before serving. Add by leaves to pan. Stack the basil leaves and slice into bite-sized pieces. Add to pan.

Pretty as a picture
Pretty as a picture

Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour to an hour. You can add fresh garlic or other fresh herbs if you like. Before serving, get a fork and remove the skins that the tomato and pepper slices have shed while cooking.

peppers tomatoes onions
Peperonata to server over pasta

My mother served this as a side dish, but I put it over pasta.

Wilton’s Roll-Out Cookies
rollout cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Add baking powder and flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
  • Dough will be very stiff. Blend last cup of flour by hand.
  • Do not chill.
  • Divide dough into two balls.
  • On floured surface, roll ball into 12″ circle and 1/8″ thickness. Dip cutters in flour before each use.
  • Bake on ungreased cookie sheet on top rack of oven for 6-7 minutes or until lightly brown.

I have tried many recipes for roll-out cookies and this is my favorite. More recent Wilton recipes have added more sugar, but I think these cookies are perfect when made as described above. You can use a stand mixer with the dough hook to make and tint this cookie dough. To tint dough, add a couple of drops of food coloring and continue mixing until incorporated. You might want or need to hand knead it to ensure the color is even though-out, unless you want a marbled effect.

Decorate with your favorite cooking icing or sugar. They are also delicious naked. I am very pleased with the icing recipe included below. I found it on a couple of years ago.  This icing is very easy to work with and tastes really good.

Sugar Cookie Icing 20130906_170230flipped

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons milk (can substitute with almond milk instead)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (can substitute another flavor, such as vanilla, lemon, or orange)
assorted food coloring

  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth.
  2. Beat in corn syrup and extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick thin with a little corn syrup.
  3. Divide icing into separate bowls and add food colorings. Paint icing onto cookies or apply with toothpicks to get precise control.

4 thoughts on “Recipes

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