Savory Baked Roasted Creole Chickpea Snack



 After making these a number of different ways in the past, I decided to add the Creole version to our recipe collection. The spice combination is very versatile so you can flavor these however you choose, savory or sweet, you can make them sweet by using melted coconut oil with cinnamon, sugar, and a touch of nutmeg (I do plan to try that one out).
 Make sure you put them in a fully preheated oven, doing so before the oven is up to temperature may not fully crisp them by the end of their bake time.
 These tasty little crisped chickpeas are a tasty snack with an irresistible crunch and tempting flavor, the bright side of their addictive tendencies is that you gain more nutritional benefits from noshing on these than you would from chips or other store-bought snacks, and they are fantastically simple and inexpensive to make!



Savory Baked Roasted Creole Chickpea Snack

makes about 2 cups

-2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

-1 Tablespoon avocado oil
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon chili pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking liner.
2. Thoroughly rinse and drain chickpeas, place on top of 2-3 sheets of paper towel, place another 1-2 sheets of paper towel on top and roll between the layers with your hands. This will partially dry the beans as well as get their outer layer skin to start coming off. Take off the top sheets of paper towel and pick off most of the outer skins, you don't need do remove all of them but remove most (this step helps them to form an irresistible crisp while baking).
3. Place dried and shelled beans into a large bowl and add remaining oil and spices, toss to evenly coat the beans. Place covered beans on prepared baking sheet and bake until dry and crisped, about 40-45 minutes.
Enjoy!

notes:

optional substitutions...
-chickpeas: if you would like, you can experiment with other types of beans, if you do, let me know how it goes!
-avocado oil: olive oil, or if you choose to make these sweet, melted coconut oil
-salt/pepper/garlic/chili/cayenne spice mix: you can alter or substitute any other spices or herbs into this recipe to make it suit you, if you choose to make these sweet, try cinnamon and sugar with a touch of nutmeg!


















Mangia! Mangia!
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Raw Vegan Gluten Free Caramel Chocolate Creme Bars





This lovely layered dessert looks like a fancy gourmet post-5-course-meal sweet. Which of course, it could be. The nutty crust, creamy dulce de leche caramel centre, and chocolate creme topping have tastebuds surrendering and begging for more (at least in this house). 
And it is all made in a food processor. 
For so little effort, these sweet little gems are quite the fancy dessert.




Raw Vegan Gluten Free Caramel Chocolate Creme Bars

makes one loaf pan

Crust
-1 cup almonds or other nuts 
-1 cup dates

Caramel
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/4 cup coconut oil

-1/4 cup coconut milk
-1 cup dates
-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-1 teaspoon molasses

Chocolate Creme

-1/3 cup coconut oil
-3 Tablespoons cacao powder
-¼ cup maple syrup

-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, or grease.

2. Process almonds and dates in food processor until fine. Press into bottom of loaf pan.
3. Process all caramel ingredients in food processor until smooth. Layer on top of the crust layer in pan.
3. Process all chocolate creme ingredients in food processor until smooth. Layer on top of caramel in pan.
4. Refrigerate until firmed up, a couple of hours. Remove from pan [using parchment paper], cut and serve.
Enjoy!

notes:

adapted from this recipe by This Rawsome Vegan life
optional substitutions...
-1 cup nuts: 3/4 cup flour of choice
-dates: raisins
-peanut butter: any other nut or seed butter






















Mangia! Mangia!

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bars

arguably the most deliciously beautiful union, to date...



meanwhile, in 1928...

chocolate, 
do you take thee peanut butter to be your lawfully wedded lover,
to have and to hold from this day forward, 
for better or for worse, 
for richer, for poorer, 
through sickness and in health, 
to love and to cherish?
-I do.

peanut butter, 

do you take thee chocolate to be your lawfully wedded lover,
to have and to hold from this day forward, 
for better or for worse, 
for richer, for poorer, 
through sickness and in health, 
to love and to cherish?
-I do.

and the world would never be the same...





Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bars
makes one 8"x8" pan

-3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
-1/4 cup vegan buttery spread
-1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-1 cup finely crushed gluten free graham crackers
-1 cup powdered sugar

-3/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
-3 Tablespoons peanut butter

for bars
1. Line 8x8 pan with parchment paper or grease.
2. Combine peanut butter, vegan buttery spread, vanilla, crushed graham crackers, and powdered sugar.
3. Spread and press firmly into prepared pan and place in the fridge.
4. Melt chocolate chips and 3 Tablespoons peanut butter in a double broiler over medium heat 
(or a heat-safe glass bowl over a saucepan filled with about an inch of water.)
5. Spread with a spatula over cooled peanut butter mixture.
6. Chill in fridge at least a half hour.

for peanut butter cups:

1. Pull out silicone cupcake cups, no need to grease or line.
2. Combine peanut butter, vegan buttery spread, vanilla, crushed graham crackers, and powdered sugar, set aside.
3. Melt chocolate chips and 3 Tablespoons peanut butter in a double broiler over medium heat 
(or a heat-safe glass bowl over a saucepan filled with about an inch of water.)
4. Using a small spatula, scoop about a Tablespoon of chocolate into each mold and spread into corners and 
partially up the sides. Place in freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened.
5. Drop peanut butter mixture by rolled and somewhat flattened 2 teaspoonfuls into chilled chocolate-filled 
cupcake cups. Scoop another Tablespoon of chocolate over the top and spread around the sides of the peanut butter.
6. Chill at least a half hour.
Enjoy!

notes:

adapted from this recipe
a quick way to crush graham crackers without dirtying your blender or food processor: 
place graham crackers in a zip-top bag, seal, and use a rolling pin to roll out and crush.
optional substitutions...
-peanut butter: any other nut or seed butter
-vegan buttery spread: coconut oil
-gluten free graham crackers: can use any graham crackers, store bought or homemade


















Mangia! Mangia!

Homemade Wooden Oak Spoon




today I share with you my homemade wooden spoon . . .







I'm rather taken with it
...as you may have noticed

it all started one day, when I realized I did not have a single wooden spoon in my kitchen, so I put "sturdy, long handle wooden spoon" on our Secret Santa wish list. Secret Santa responded with a very hearty, 16" long wooden spoon!
I was so excited, a new toy for the kitchen!

then, it happened. "The I could make this!" voice popped into my head again.
the next day...a trip to gather my materials, a beautiful medium color oak wood with red undertones and lovely grain, as well as a bit of mineral oil, for finishing.
I couldn't locate the proper woodworking tools so I began with a chisel the Mr. had given me in a stocked toolbox he put together for a birthday gift (so great!)



After sketching an outline of the shape I was going for on the oak, we used a jigsaw to cut along the outline and I began chiseling away.
With each chip and curl the chisel shaved from the wood, the more and more excited I got!
The square headed chisel presented me with a challenge when it came to carving out the round bowl of the spoon... a challenge I gladly accepted.
After chipping away at at the hunk of wood with my chisel, I used a rough sand paper and got to sanding down.
Lots of sanding, so much so that the next morning I woke up with a scratchy throat and raspy voice from breathing in all the sawdust that the Mr. later told me pouffed into a cloud around my little spoon making station.
Fabulous.





When I got back to it, I wore a dust mask.
Best. Decision. Ever. for anyone planning to pursue a homemade wooden spoon endeavor.
With a medium grain sand paper, I sanded and smoothed the spoon into a beautiful splendor.
I almost couldn't contain myself as I wiped it down with mineral oil. With each layer that soaked in and each layer I applied, it developed a rich cherry-oak color that had me swooning.
*other than cropping, I did not edit any of these photos









My camera couldn't stop snapping photos of this beauty, it loved the spoon, as did I.
Forming such a handsome, darling, lovely work of art out of a piece of oak and a chisel gave me a feeling of accomplishment.







I'm not over it yet, whenever I glance at my homemade wooden spoon and each time I pick it up, this warm, flitting feeling of pride overwhelms me with happiness.







it's the little things in life