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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Gingerbread Nachos ~


Gingerbread Nachos

I've included some easier store bought suggestions to substitute for the homemade version if you aren't a big fan of cooking and mixing. But it's as easy as making Christmas cookies. And of note, the homemade cookies and dips are lower in fat and contain healthier ingredients than standard holiday fare. Win. Win.

This recipe will feed lots of nibblers. (at least a dozen unless they are starved and this is the only thing you are offering them.) :  ) 
Gingerbread Men

(If you want to take a shortcut any vegan ginger or cinnamon cookies will do. In addition each of these dips would taste great on apple slices and pretzels so put those out as well.
These little guys are pretty simple to make.

Prep two to three cookies trays with coconut oil, spray or butter. Preheat oven to 350.

1/2 Cup coconut oil or non-dairy butter
1/2 Cup applesauce
1 Cup brown sugar (if you are a big fan of sweet add an additional 1/4 cup, these are not overly sweet but kids and adults alike liked them with the recipe as written.) (Also, you will use additional brown sugar as you roll out the cookies.)
6 TBSP molasses
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of almond extract (can sub vanilla)
4 Cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour).
Combine room temperature oil/non-dairy butter and applesauce, add spices, soda and tartar and mix well. Add sugar and molasses and combine until completely incorporated. Stir in extract and mix. Finally add the flour and mix well. Chill for ten minutes. Grab about a 1/3 of the dough and roll it between two sheets of waxed paper to slightly thicker than pie dough or equivalent to sugar cookie dough. Sprinkle the dough with brown sugar. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 1 minute. Remove to cooling rack. Reroll cookie dough for another batch. If the dough starts to get sticky refrigerate for another 5 minutes or so. This will make 50-60 cookies depending on size. This batch made about 50 3 x 2 inch gingerbread and 20 1 and 1/2 x 1 inch mini guys.

Nacho Dips (There are five)
The Cran-Orange Dip and the Cinnavanilla Dips are as follows:
You combine the first three ingredients in a food processor and then divide that in half.

1 Can drained white (canelli/navy/white) beans (If you soak and cook your own 1 2/3 cups prepared)
1 Cup brown sugar
1 TBSP vanilla

Whir until smooth.

Place half this mixture (approx ¾ cup) into a serving bowl and stir in a strong ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.

To remaining dip in processor add the following:

Zest of one orange
½ Cup dried cranberries

Combine until cranberries are pulverized. Place in a serving bowl.

Place both of those dips in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To make easy versions of these:

Cran-Orange Dip

3 TBSP non-dairy cream cheese
1 TBSP orange marmalade (Vegan)
1 TBSP finely chopped dried cranberries or canned cranberry sauce. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

CinnaVanilla

3 TBSP Non-dairy cream cheese
1 TBSP brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Maple Caramel

¼ Cup brown sugar
1 TBSP coconut oil or non-dairy butter
2 TBSP milk
¼ Cup maple syrup
2 TBSP peanut butter

Combine all in a pan, bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly, boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place in refrigerator until ten minutes before you are ready to serve.


“Egg Nog” Dip

1 Can full fat coconut milk chilled for 2 days so the fat separates from the coconut water. (Use Thai Kitchen, Whole Foods 365 brand or Trader Joe's – not Geisha)
2 TBSP maple syrup
¼ Cup powdered sugar
2 sprinkles of cinnamon
¾ to 1 teaspoon nutmeg (start small, you can always add more)

Coconut milk makes great whipped cream. You scrape (some brands are thicker than others. Trader Joe's is the thickest and needs the least amount of time to separate/chill) the thick white layer into a bowl, leaving the watery layer behind (if you are a smoothie or juice drinker or like Thai food, you can save the watery leftovers for one of those). Whip the cream, add the other ingredients and whip until fluffy. It gets firmer in the refrigerator.


Pumpkin Cream Dip:

½ Cup  non-dairy cream cheese
          3 TBSP coconut oil or non-dairy butter
1 TBSP pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 Cup powdered sugar

Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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