Blueberry & Goat-Cheese Dip

I can’t get enough of these goat cheese dips. I’ve shared three so far, and this will be the last. At least for now. To try making the others:

Almond & Goat Cheese Dip

Fig & Goat Cheese Dip

Fig & Almond Goat Cheese Dip

I bought some blueberries because, well, I love them. What more perfect food to add to one of these dips? And the color is simply beautiful.

The consistency of this dip will depend on how juicy the berries are and how much honey you use. Mine was pretty thick, but great for scooping.

Blueberry & Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

blueberries

honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add texture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator, to have with crackers for a snack.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Couple coupons with a sale to save more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with apple or pear slices.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Fig & Almond Goat-Cheese Dip

I’ve written about how I recently came to try goat cheese for the first time, and offered a couple of goat cheese dip recipes for you to enjoy:

fig & goat cheese dip

almond & goat cheese dip

This recipe is the third experiment, and is just a mash-up of what I’ve already done. I like the flavor combinations.

The consistency of this dip will depend on how much liquid you use.

Fig & Almond Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

almond butter, and a little of the oil from the top of the jar

2 or 3 figs, processed in the blender

honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add texture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator, to have with crackers for a snack.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Couple coupons with a sale to save more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with raw cauliflower.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Almond & Goat-Cheese Dip

I mentioned the other day that I was experimenting with making flavored goat cheeses. If you missed it, check out how it all came about in that post. Sometimes mistakes turn into good things.

This is the second recipe I tried. I must say I’ve enjoyed creating these recipes. And I’m happy to have something new to share with you here on the blog.

The consistency of this dip will depend on how much liquid you use.

Almond & Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

almond butter, and a little of the oil from the top of the jar

honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add texture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Couple coupons with a sale to save more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with cucumber slices.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Fig & Goat-Cheese Dip

While trying to stay away from regular milk products, I’ve been discovering other things to use instead. I was shopping with my daughter Skye one evening, trying to hurry and not really paying attention, when I came across goat cheese. I bought three:

plain

blueberry, lemon, and thyme

cranberry, orange, and cinnamon

Imagine my excitement. I’d been looking for a substitute for the cow’s milk cheeses and decided I would try these. When I got them home I looked more closely at the label.

The ingredients are simple, which is great. However, the flavored cheeses had sugar in them. 😦 Well, I had paid almost $5.00 each, so you know I ate them. And they were delicious! All three of the cheeses were. I don’t know why I never thought to try goat’s milk cheese before.

As much as I would like to take the easy way out and just buy the flavored ones, I decided to be good and do some experimenting. I’m trying not to eat sugar. I went out and bought blueberry’s, figs, nut butter, and honey and started whipping up some of my own flavored goat cheeses to pair with fruits and vegetables.

The results? Three great dips using plain goat cheese as the base.

Fig & Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

2 or 3 figs, processed in a blender

a little honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add tecture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Coupling an in-store coupon with a sale will save you even more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with carrot and celery sticks.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Peppermint Coconut Cream

Here is another coconut cream recipe that is quick and easy to make, and can be catered to your own tastes. Some of you will like more peppermint flavoring than others, so experiment to see what works for you.

The creams I am making, such as this one and the vanilla coconut cream, are far healthier for me than dairy-based creams. I’m thankful to have them for topping my fruit and desserts. They also goes well with the chocolate sauce I like.

This peppermint recipe is particularly good for the holidays.

Ingredients

1/2 of a 13.66 +/- can of organic coconut cream

10 to 12 drops of pure peppermint extract

  1. Put half the can of coconut cream into a small bowl.
  2. Place the rest of the cream into a container, cover, and place in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. Put 10 to 12 drops (give or take, depending on your preferences) of pure peppermint extract on the cream.
  4. Mix the cream and peppermint together until well combined.
  5. Pour into a canning jar and cover.
  6. Label the jar and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Photograph copyright 2017 by Shannon L. Buck. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

 

Tips

  • Try other flavorings, such as lemon or almond.
  • Try to find coupons or wait for sales to save money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve over a Paleo brownie.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Vanilla Coconut Cream

This coconut cream recipe is so quick and easy to make, and can be catered to your own tastes. Some people may like more vanilla flavoring than others, and that is fine.

Vanilla flavoring is so good, I may try others in the future.

This cream is far healthier for me than dairy-based creams, and I’m so thankful to have it for topping my fruit parfait and other desserts.

Ingredients

1/2 of a 13.66 +/- can of organic coconut cream

6 drops of pure vanilla extract

  1. Put half the can of coconut cream into a small bowl.
  2. Place the rest of the cream into a container, cover, and place in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. Put 6 drops (give or take, depending on your preferences) of pure vanilla extract on the cream.
  4. Mix the cream and vanilla together until well combined.
  5. Pour into a canning jar and cover.
  6. Label the jar and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Photograph copyright 2017 by Shannon L. Buck. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Tips

  • Try other flavorings, such as orange or peppermint.
  • Try to find coupons or wait for sales to save money.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy!

Shannon

Paleo Chocolate Sauce

Brownie delights are one of my favorite desserts. I can get them locally at Governor’s restaurant, but it will have far more sugar than any one person should ever have at one sitting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve allowed myself one a year from there, because these desserts are amazing. But for home, I wanted a version that contained less sweetener.

This chocolate sauce is the one I use for my homemade brownie desserts, and it is delicious. I use honey rather than refined sugar, and am actually working a little at a time to see how far I can cut back on the amount of honey I can use before it gets to a point where the sauce is no longer sweet enough.

This chocolate sauce is great for many desserts, and for dipping fruit into.

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk, canned, refrigerated. Mix the cream into the liquid before measuring.

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup of raw, unfiltered wildflower honey

  1. Pour the milk and honey into a saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Add the cocoa powder while warming, and stir often until warmed.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon.
  4. Pour into small canning jars cool.
  5. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

I’m not sure exactly how long this sauce will last, because I use it over the course of the week.

Tips

  • Even though it costs more, I use organic ingredients for this sauce. Since I don’t make it often, it’s not like I’m paying all out doors to make it frequently.
  • The taste of the organic ingredients is far superior to other options. If you’ve never had organic cinnamon, I do suggest you try it. Delicious!
  • Store coupons can help to bring the cost down some, as can gift cards.
  • I have a variety of small canning jars, lids, and rings that I reuse over and over again. If you’re not processing the foods, you can reuse the lids as often as you like.
  • I can sometimes save money by buying the coconut milk in bulk through Amazon.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve over brownies.
  • Dip fruits such as grapes, strawberries, apple slices, and banana chunks into the sauce.
  • Serve over Paleo ice cream.

Enjoy your desserts!

Shannon

 

 

Homemade Food Gifts: Dried Herbs

Throughout the summer and autumn months, you’ve harvested and dried organic herbs to use in your culinary ventures throughout the winter. As is usually the case, you have far more of these dried herbs than you’ll be able to use before the next harvest season. Why not share your bounty with family and friends?

Hopefully, throughout the year, you’ve been cleaning and saving the glass jars from your food purchases. Perhaps you have purchased canning jars, lids, and rings frugally at yard sales and thrift shops. You may also have fabric and twine and/or raffia from the projects that you’ve been working on throughout the year. If so, you have the makings for great holiday gifts.

Single Herb Examples

Basil

Bay leaves

Parsley

Rosemary

Sage

Herb Mix Examples

Basil, oregano and thyme

Basil, thyme and parsley

Dill, mint and parsley

Lemon balm and mint

Parsley and rosemary

  1. Sterilize all the jars, lids, and rings. Dry completely. It is important that no moisture is evident when packing the dried herbs.
  2. Fill the jars with single herbs, or herb mixes.
  3. Tie squares or rounds of fabric over the cover of each jar with twine or raffia.
  4. Add a tag or sticker to the jar with the name of the herb, and with ‘From (Your Names’) Garden.’

How do you package your dried herbs for gift giving? Share your ideas in the comments below.

You may also enjoy:

Candy-Filled Ornaments or Tags

Food Gifts for Yule and Christmas

Shannon

Reference:

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (1987, Rodale Press)

Homemade Food Gifts: The Cooks’ Gift

If you’ve taken the time to make the homemade vinegars, oils and butters that have been featured here on the Frugal Recipes blog, then you have a great base for a cooks’ holiday gift. If you have made dried herb gifts, you will be able to add them to this. All of these items, combined with some homemade baked goods, will make a great gift.

Place a combination of these items in a large gift basket, over a dish or tea towel, or other fabric. Tie a bow on, and add a tag.

You can add to this gift if you have affordable ways of obtaining certain other items. For instance, why not add some homemade knitted or crocheted dish cloths to the gift. (My sister makes me a couple of these each year, and I just love them.) A dollar store will net you wooden cooking spoons and rubber spatulas, or even dish towels. I once found two large metal pots at a yard sale for .50 each. They were used, but looked almost new. A thrift shop may net you a hand grater for a quarter, or a couple of whisks. If you’ve been lucky enough to find such deals, create gifts with them.

This would be an easy project for children to put together, as they aren’t really preparing any of the foods themselves.

Tips

  • Combine in a container. No need to wrap.
  • If you choose to use a basket, they can be found affordably at thrift shops.
  • I once found four large baskets at a yard sale for $1.00 each.

What food gifts do you give at the holidays? Please share with us in the comments below.

Shannon

Note: I know sweets and many baked goods are not healthy, and that we really shouldn’t be eating them, but I have family members who don’t limit such things. So yes, I give these items at the holidays. Also, I don’t think it is necessarily bad to treat yourself once-in-a-while. You just don’t want to make a habit of it.

Homemade Food Gifts: Herbed Butters

Purchase sweet butter in large packages, preferably on sale. Generic and store brand butter is fine. Use a coupon if you have one.

Herbed butters are simple to make, and can be made up to three months before the date they will be given as gifts. Simply freeze them in 1/2 or 1 pint canning jars, or other thick jars that have been saved and cleaned for this purpose. Be sure to sterilize the jars before using them.

Two days before you wish to give the gifts, take the butters out of the freezer and place them into the refrigerator. The next day, you will want to tie a square or round of fabric over the jars’ lid with raffia or twine. Add a tag or a sticker with the name of each butter and its’ ingredients, as well as a line that reads ‘From the Kitchen of (Your Name).’

RATIO: 1/2 cup butter to 1 Tablespoon of herb or herb combination. Mix it all up well. (May need to be remixed before giving as a gift.)

USE: Herbs fresh from the garden or pot. Wash and mince them before use.

Variations:

  • Dill and mint
  • Garlic and marjoram
  • Parsley

Experiment with different herbs and combinations of herbs.

NOTE: These jars of butter do not need processing.

What combinations of herbs do you use when making butter? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.

Shannon

References:

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (1987, Rodale Press)