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Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Winery View

Another fantastic road trip out to the Okanagan… I feel so fortunate to live so close to such beautiful wine country! :) And, of course there’s more to the Okanagan than wine… A friend and I did some serious grazing as well. The Terrace at Mission Hill Winery stole the show this time around. But I also checked out: The Patio at Lake Breeze, Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolates, and Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar.

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How to Make Coconut Butter

September 20, 2013

How to Make Coconut Butter

I remember first coming across coconut butter at the grocery store. I was puzzled by the concept. How the heck do you make butter out of coconuts?! I know I wasn’t alone in my confusion – my post on Coconut Manna (the Nutiva brand of coconut butter) is still the most popular post on my blog (followed closely by a post about Dr. Oz and the Paleo Diet!). And my post comparing Coconut Manna to Artisana’s coconut butter is in the top 10. So, it’d be fair to say coconut butter is pretty popular.

Nothing can explain what coconut butter is better than making a batch yourself. After all, it’s simply one ingredient: coconut – either shredded or flaked. And the process is much like that of making any nut butter.

Food processor + ingredient + time = ingredient butter.

The homemade stuff is a little different than the store bought, in my experience. The consistency varies, but is typically slightly more runny. But, considering that most people like to heat up their coconut butter to make it less solid anyway, that’s not much of an issue.

So what do you do with coconut butter? Like with nut butters, I tend to just eat it by the spoonful. But you can dip chocolate in it, or drizzle the coconut butter over fruit. Some people also like to use it in baking, smoothies, or to thicken sauces. I’ve even used it to stuff dates. And if you’d like, you can experiment with various coconut butter flavours by adding ingredients like vanilla, honey, cocoa, or even nuts.

Us paleo/primal folks like our butters, and this is another classic to stock your pantry with.

How to Make Coconut Butter 4

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Zucchini Fritters (Paleo)

September 13, 2013

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini fritters are a fun and tasty meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Pre-paleo/primal, I used to love potato fritters/latkes, and I’ve missed them. Although these zucchini fritters aren’t quite the same, they’re amazing in their own right.

The secret is to really wring all of the water out of the zucchini, and to add enough egg as binder. Otherwise you get watery fritters that fall apart and don’t crisp up. These delicious fritters have a fluffy texture, with a nice, crispy exterior. And I love the little bit of extra bite from the green onions. They even taste great cold, which makes them perfect for a packed lunch or picnic.

Zucchini Fritters 2

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chocolate arts gluten-free ice cream sandwich

I’ve been meaning to try Chocolate Arts for a while, but I never seem to be in the area – it’s a nice stop to make if you’re heading over to Granville Island.

They have a large selection of bulk chocolate, with cacao percentages ranging from 29% to 100%. Several of the chocolates are single origin. The cool thing is that there’s a self-serve sample area set up so that you can try as many as you’d like.

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Strawberries with Honey Sabayon 2

One of the simplest and most enjoyable treats is simply a bowl of fresh fruit. But if such a bowl doesn’t feel like “dessert” to you, you can kick it up a notch by topping the fruit with a simple soft custard, which is all that sabayon is. You may have also seen it called zabaglione – they’re the same thing, sabayon is simply the French version, whereas zabaglione is Italian. Both are traditionally made with sugar, but honey works just as well.

This dessert is light, fresh, and very easy to make. Also, you probably already  have all of the ingredients in your kitchen, so it’s one of those recipes that’s nice to have in your back pocket for unexpected guests (or cravings). If strawberries aren’t in season, feel free to serve the sabayon with whatever fruit you have on hand.

Strawberries with Honey Sabayon

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