Grandma’s Crescent Cookies

Growing up my grandmother used to make these deliciously buttery and crumbly crescent cookies around the winter holidays, when the days reached their darkest. They were a favorite Christmastime treat of mine, but since I had to change my diet, I wasn’t able to enjoy them anymore. This year, I created a grain-free version that rivals the originals, crumbles and all!

While this recipe does use butter (I’m working on developing a vegan version), I replaced the white sugar and powdered sugar with monk fruit, a sugar-free fruit sweetener, to keep it paleo (you can also use coconut sugar). Hope you enjoy these delectable cookies this holiday!

Spiced Marinated Olives

What’s not to love about salty, savory olives? I didn’t think I could love olives any more until I made marinated olives using wholesome and warming spices and herbs–a perfect accompaniment for a holiday meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas. In fact, you don’t need a seasonal reason to make these; they can become a staple in your fridge as they are in mine, all year long.

Snickerdoodle Cookies (Vegan, Grain-free)

There is a lot to love about these cookies starting with the fact that they are super light and chewy.¬†They’re also vegan, grain-free, and oil-free. They aren’t considered paleo because I use white sugar to maintain their pale color, but substituting for coconut sugar will do the trick. I often make them when I’m dying for a sweet fix after dinner but don’t have a lot of time to make something time-intensive because they are super easy to whip up.

Springerle (Anise) Cookies

I recently read a wonderfully interesting book about the plants, spirits, and rituals at the origins of Yuletide, or Christmas. In it, I was introduced to a host of Christmas traditions and foods, most of which originated in Scandinavia, Germany, and other surrounding countries. One such recipe was Springerle cookies, German anise cookies, which are made during the Christmas week. While these cookies are typically made with wheat flour, powdered sugar, and embossed with various designs using wooden molds, I have Paleo-fied the recipe and used cookie cutters instead. For those of us unable to eat the traditional version, these anise cookies will certainly lighten up your heart and home this Christmastime!

Herb Pesto

When you think of pesto, you probably think of basil. However, pesto can be made of all different types of leafy greens and herbs. Basil makes me think of summertime and I wanted to create a winterized version. I substituted winter herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme in place of basil to create a more cozy pesto that can accompany your favorite salad, pasta or risotto dishes, sandwiches, crackers, cheese, and hors-d’oeuvres. Get creative! You may also just want to eat this pesto with a spoon… ūüėČIt’s delicious.

Chocolate Pecan Cookies

When I started baking using alternative ingredients to wheat flour several years ago, cookies (and pancakes) were the hardest for me to figure out. They seemed so finicky. I had difficulty getting the correct consistency and texture. Thankfully, I’ve figured them both out! This is one of my favorite cookie recipes. You¬†probably noticed from many of my recipes that I’m a huge chocolate fan (and who isn’t?!), so not surprisingly, these cookies are about as chocolatey as it gets! Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Blue Cheese Quiche

While this quiche is technically crust-less, the sweet potatoes brown and crisp to help make up the difference. This is my go-to breakfast dish if I have several guests over and especially for Christmas morning when you need something scrumptious and filling but don’t have time to prepare something extravagant. The best part? This can be assembled the evening before!

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Fudge

Fudge has always been a favorite treat of mine. Whenever I pass one of those boutique chocolate shops making fudge in the window I can’t help but stop. Smell. And go in and buy some! In recent years, my diet has prompted me to create my own. What’s unique about this recipe is that all sugar comes in the form of dates! Using rich, dark unsweetened chocolate cuts out the refined sugars and milk products. Go on, have several fudge squares!

Gingerbread Hot Cocoa & Mix

What makes this version unique is the addition of ground ginger and cayenne pepper. Get ready for a spicy kick! Instead of making one cup of hot cocoa at a time which is time-consuming, you can make a large quantity of it, store it through the winter, and enjoy a mug whenever you desire!

Pumpkin Butternut Soup with Side Salad

In this savory rendition, I’ve added pumpkin puree to the soup and trimmed it with winter herbs, raw walnuts, and salty feta cheese. Interested in making it vegan? Simply switch out the feta for a vegan brand (suggestion below)!¬†The soup is accompanied¬†by a¬†quick-and-easy side salad topped with my famous flaxseed croutons!

Gingerbread Cookies

Growing up, gingerbread and gingersnap cookies were my favorite Christmas treats! This year, I finally attempted my own and I’m pleased to say the first cookie batch exceeded my expectations. In fact, the photos shown here are taken of that first batch!