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Rhubarb Basil White Sauce Pizza

While growing up, I remember enjoying fresh produce from the garden. We often exchanged excess produce with the neighbors, who also kept a garden. Outside the garden, in the western part of the yard, there was a patch of hearty rhubarb that popped up every year. I love rhubarb, but for the life of me, I cannot recall any recipes we used it in. Though, I do remember a plethora of uses for the garden zucchini, sweet and savory.

Last summer I started entertaining the thought that rhubarb could be savory. Around the same time, I was trying out lower lactose “alfredo” sauce recipes. This recipe really came together as a result of those interests.

The rhubarb is sautéed with fresh green onions giving it a zippy it’s-summer-and-the-produce-is-rockin’ vibe. The alfredo sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese create a level of comfort. Finally, a bit of tang with crumbled goat cheese to top it all off.

In the time since I posted my last pizza recipe, I have changed my favorite crust recipe. This crust is a bit more tender while still being flavorful, even when adding in some wheat.

Hope you get a chance to give this recipe a try. Be sure to tag MamaSparrow on social media with pictures of your recipe results. Have a great holiday weekend!

Rhubarb Basil White Sauce Pizza

Serves 2 slices or 1/4 of a pizza round

Rhubarb Basil White Sauce Pizza

Sauteed rhubarb and fresh green onions over alfredo sauce and basil. Tangy goat cheese and mozzarella cheese top off this cozy, spring pizza.

42 minPrep Time

18 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Crust
  • New Crust Recipe
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pack active dry yeast (also ok to use instant, let sit 15-20 mins instead of the 30 - 1 hr)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour, divided, I like a mix of wheat and all-purpose
  • Olive oil or melted butter (optional)
  • Garlic salt (optional)
  • Cornmeal dusted on baking pans
  • Toppings
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 cup rhubarb, chopped
  • 6 green onions, finely sliced
  • 16 oz of alfredo sauce*
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, sliced or crumbled
  • 3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, 1 cup flour and sugar. Let sit covered 30 minutes to 1 hour if using active dry yeast. For instant yeast, let sit 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Uncover the bowl and mix in the salt. Add 1 ½ cup cups of flour measuring in 2 Tbs. at a time. Mix. Sprinkle the last ½ cup of flour onto a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into 2 pizza rounds. Bunch the dough around the edges to form crust. Spread dough rounds with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt, if desired.
  3. Dust baking pans with cornmeal before placing dough on them.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degree F.
  5. While the oven warms, start cooking the toppings. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan over medium low heat. Toss in the green onions and warm a couple of minutes. Add the chopped rhubarb to the pan with the onions and warm for another couple of minutes. Pull the pan off the heat and set aside.
  6. Top the crust with the sauce. Evenly spread the onion rhubarb mix over the sauce. Spread the chopped basil for the next layer. Finish the pizzas topping with cheese and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  7. Eating Now
  8. If eating immediately, bake at 425 degrees F for 10 - 15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden.
  9. Freezing for Later
  10. If freezing for later, set pizza on a cooling rack to allow crust to cool completely. Prepare the pizza for freezing by wrapping in plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Mark the wrapped pizza before placing it in the freezer.
  11. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place frozen pizza on baking sheet or foil. Bake 15-25 minutes, until crust browns and cheese is bubbly.

Notes

*I used a homemade cauliflower alfredo sauce. http://leelalicious.com/healthier-cauliflower-alfredo-sauce/ It is healthier and has less lactose. The recipe easily converts to a dairy free/vegan sauce.

7.6.5
68
https://mamasparrow.com/2017/05/25/rhubarb-basil-white-sauce-pizza/

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Orange Cinnamon Rolls

My childhood memories of cinnamon rolls and sweet breads are associated with holidays and special occasions. My mom would prepare the tasty treats in a pan the night before. The first riser was responsible for turning on the oven in the morning. 

Making these kinds of treats from scratch may seem daunting, but I wanted to share a few secrets for making the process more breezy. This is the same base recipe I use for Honey Fig Jam Rolls. It’s a nice, quick sweet roll recipe that is about 1 hour to make from start to finish.

Perhaps you have many other things to coordinate, though. Cinnamon rolls are quite forgiving. Below are a few ways you could make these work for your situation.

Refrigerate for the last rise, bake in the morning. You can prepare them up to the point of the final rise – getting them cut and into a pan. Allow them to rise in the refrigerator overnight and bake the next morning.

Rise and freeze to bake later. Allow them to rise and then freeze for later.

Bake, freeze, then warm to serve. Follow the whole recipe and do a shortened bake ahead of time and freeze for later. Then all you need to do is to warm and add your topping.

With some manageable preparation options you can surprise guests and include from-scratch sweet rolls on your brunch menu. These cinnamon rolls go above and beyond with a satisfying inclusion of fresh orange and a healthy drizzling of maple icing. Hope you have a chance to make these real soon. We would love to see photos of your results – tag Mama Sparrow on your social media shares.

Enjoy!

Serves 1 - 2 rolls

Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet, orange kissed cinnamon rolls drizzled with a maple-orange icing.

40 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Dough
  • 2 ¾ cup flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • Filling
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 2 Tb cinnamon
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • Drizzle
  • 1 - 1 ¼ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 - 2 Tbs. orange juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Mix all the dry dough ingredients together in a medium size bowl. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the water, milk and butter. Heat for 45 seconds, or until the butter is melted. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mix. Stir the egg in. Knead the dough for 4 minutes. Dough should get smooth, have a bit of grip and bounce. Rest the dough in a lightly greased bowl for 5 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Mix the orange zest, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. After the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface or silpat mat, shaping dough into a rectangle about 9x15 inches. Spread the melted butter over the dough.* Then spread the brown sugar cinnamon mix over top the butter on the dough. Leave 1 inch without filling on one of the long sides of the rectangle; this will be the seam. Starting at the long, not seam side, begin rolling the dough jelly roll style. End the log roll with the seam side down. Use a sharp, floured knife to cut the log into 9 sections to make rolls.
  4. Place rolls into a 9x9 inch pan lightly greased and covered with greased parchment paper. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Turn off the oven and place the covered pan of rolls in the oven to rise for 20 minutes.
  5. After rising, remove the aluminum cover from the rolls and leave in oven while turning on to 375 degrees F. Bake 16-20 minutes until the rolls just start to get golden. Remove from oven and top rolls with drizzle.
  6. To make topping, combine sugar and orange juice in a bowl. Whisk together and add in maple syrup. Adjust ingredients to desired consistency and taste.

Notes

*For cinnamon rolls, I usually reserve ⅓ or ¼ of the melted butter to pour over the rolls after they have risen, just before baking. The rolls tend to be a bit more tender and the sugar near the bottom of them caramelizes.

7.6.5
80
https://mamasparrow.com/2017/05/12/orange-cinnamon-rolls/

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5 Minute Breadsticks

There are few satisfying smells than fresh baked bread with a meal. Homemade bread can be an entire day’s task that you don’t have time for or for which you did not plan. You can still have the satisfaction of fresh baked bread on the table in 20 minutes flat. These bread sticks only require about 5 minutes of hands-on time.

Also, included is my first posted recipe video. You can catch the video over on YouTube too. I can’t help be also share that the music in this video is by my talented husband. *cheesy smile*.

Hope you get a chance to whip these up with an upcoming meal. Please be sure to tag Mama Sparrow on social media with your pictures. We would love to see your results.

Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

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Tender breadsticks with a satisfying blend of garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Fresh bread with dinner does not need to be time consuming. Whip these up

12 minPrep Time

8 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 ⅓ cup flour OR 1 cup wheat & ⅓ cup all purpose
  • 2 Tbs granulated sugar OR 1 ½ Tb honey
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • Garlic salt
  • Grated parmesan in shaker

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Melt 3 Tb of butter on the baking sheet in the oven while it preheat - about 2 minutes. Take out just before all butter is melted and tilt the pan several times till it finishes melting.
  2. While butter is melting, combine the dry ingredients in medium size mixing bowl - flour, baking powder and salt (also add the granulated sugar at this point, if using instead of honey).
  3. Warm the milk and honey (if using instead of granulated sugar) briefly (45 seconds in the microwave or on stovetop just until warm)
  4. Slowly stir the milk into the dry ingredients.
  5. Sprinkle additional flour over the dough so it is workable and gently knead a few times. The dough should still be fairly wet, but just enough flour to pull apart and shape into 12 breadsticks.
  6. Place the breadsticks onto the baking sheet of melted butter and brush butter from the pan onto the exposed surfaces of the breadsticks.
  7. Sprinkle a little garlic salt over the sticks and bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with grated parmesan after breadsticks finish baking and serve warm.
7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2017/04/13/5-minute-breadsticks/

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Persimmon Cranberry Pie

This is one of those recipes I’ve had for a while (like since early fall), but just never got to posting. No better day for posting a delayed pie posting than Pi Day (3.14).

The fruit called for in this recipe is a fall combination. However, this recipe has been tested and approved with other great combinations that span more seasonings. The best are apple cranberry and apple blackberry. Really, you can use your imagine to get your seasonally available mix.

All of this fresh snow is making me crave things flavored with mulling spices. This is a perfect solution – some late season blackberries I flash froze from last fall, Gala apples, and ginger molasses cookie topping.

I enjoy making all the components of the recipe from scratch (apple cider, pie crust, and cookies). Included in the recipe below are links to my favorite recipes for each of these items. The cider is particularly enjoyable to make from scratch as it simmer for 3 hours and makes the home smell amazing. These are all things that can be bought for a quick baking solution.

Happy Pi Day. I hope you have a chance to make pie real soon. Please tag us on social media to share photos of your pie results. We would love to see what you are making.

Enjoy!

 

Persimmon Cranberry Pie

Apple cider infused persimmon and cranberries on an all butter crust - soft beneath and crispy, flaked on the edges. Top off the coziness with a ginger molasses cookie crumb.

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Ingredients

    Filling
  • 1 9 inch unbaked pie crust (I used this recipe from Completely Delicious http://www.completelydelicious.com/how-to-make-perfectly-flaky-pie-crust/
  • )
  • 4 cups peeled and chopped persimmons, about ¼ inch sections
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 ¾ cups apple cider juice, divided (I made homemade from http://www.amomstake.com/cranberry-apple-cider-drink-recipe/)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Topping
  • 1 ½ cups ginger molasses cookies crushed (I used this recipe from Eating Well http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249788/yummy-molasses-crackles you could also use store bought or your own favorite recipe)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the persimmons, cranberries, 1 ½ cups apple cider, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat until the cranberries pop/split.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch into the remaining ¼ cup of cider. Add the starch/cider combination to the pan of ingredients. Stir everything until it has thickened.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool while preparing the topping and crust.
  5. While filling is cooling, place ingredients for the crumb topping in a medium bowl. Mix until it forms a crumb like texture. Set aside.
  6. Roll out the pie crust and place in pie dish. Once fruit mixture has mostly cooled, pour it into the pan lined with the pie crust. Trim and prepare the edges of the crust as desired. I just crimped the edges on mine.
  7. Distribute the crumb topping evenly over the filling.
  8. Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on the rack below the pie to catch any pie drippings. When done, the filling should be bubbly. Cover the edges of the crust with foil if they start to brown before the pie filling is baked through.

Notes

Dairy free option - use your preferred vegan pie crust or substitute vegan butter sticks for the butter in the pie crust and topping

7.6.5
70
https://mamasparrow.com/2017/03/14/persimmon-cranberry-pie/

 

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Galets – Fry Bread

I was in Missouri for the first time. It was by accident. We were returning from Iowa, driving back into Chicago. There must have been a patch of highway without network connection and the phone maps dropped. My husband and I were in deep conversation and did not notice until he saw the “Welcome to Missouri” road sign. We easily added two hours to that trip.

As we drove back the correct direction, I noticed a scenic area with a river running and rustic homes. I recall a sign for Lost River. I am hoping to look up more information about the place because it was beautiful.

This got me thinking more about perspective. Sometime our destination becomes so important to us that we ignore the meaning in the journey. Tomorrow night is my final presentation for my master’s degree. It is a fantastic destination, reaching this milestone. I would miss out on a lot if I did not recognize the journey that has gotten me here – especially the time spent staying at home with the boys while completing my studies. Time with the little boys is wild, lively, and demands a constant state of remaining in the present. Respecting all of this experience, I cannot find a way to separate the journey of studying, being present with my boys, and completing this degree. My time with the boys has been my lost river – my expected journey.

Back to the reason we were on the road to begin with, we had just visited my in-laws. My other mom is the one who gifted me the adorable bee themed honey pot from the pictures in this post.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is for fry bread. This is a treat that my great-grandmother would make for us, and later my mother. It is a quick bread recipe that finds it’s origins and broad use in Native American cooking. The dough is fried and then covered in sweet or savory toppings. As a child, I usually enjoyed these covered in melted butter and granulated sugar. Recently, I have made them for my family to cover with chili, tacos, or jam and honey. In these pictures, the bread is covered with vegan orange curd and drizzled with honey.

Below is the recipe. The base recipe for these is vegan and can be topped with a variety of vegan sweet and savory options, as well.

Serves 1 piece of bread

Galets – Fry Bread

Fry bread with a slight crisp to the outside and tender inside. This quick bread is fantastically versatile. Top with your choice of sweet or savory - taco, chili, honey, jam, curd...it's up to you.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar (for savory use) or 3 tsp sugar (for sweet use)
  • 1 ⅓ cup warm water
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Fill a skillet with enough oil for the bread to not touch the bottom of the pan. Turn oven to medium high heat.
  2. Mix dry ingredient. Make a well in the center and slowly add the water. You many not use all the water, just add enough to get a shaggy dough. Mix until well combined with a wooden spoon. Let the dough rest for 2 minutes.
  3. Separate the dough into 8 pieces onto a floured surface. Sprinkle flour over the dough and form to a thick circle. Don’t overwork the dough.
  4. Place the dough, one at a time into the pan setting them away from yourself so as to splash the oil. Cook 2 minutes on each side. If you have space, you could cook 2-3 at a time.
  5. Place cooked bread onto a rack to allow excess oil to drain.
  6. Add toppings while the dough is warm.

Notes

Topping Ideas

Sweet:

Butter and granulated sugar

Honey and jam (honey fig jam is awesome)

Maple syrup

Savory:

Taco

Chilli

Vegetable heavy hot dish

7.6.5
78
https://mamasparrow.com/2017/02/28/galets-fry-bread/

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Vegan Orange Curd

One of the fantastic things about living in the city is accessibility to rich cultural experiences. Yesterday, we had a family trip to the Chicago Cultural Center to attend the Chinese New Year Celebration. It was a beautiful display of dance, martial arts, and music.

No surprise, the boys were very taken with the dragon dance and martial arts dancing. There was much reenactment throughout the rest of the afternoon. I can now claim the skill of reading textbooks while chanting a drum rhythm.

Today, as we enjoyed a snack of vegan blood orange curd spread on fresh baked biscuits, we recounted our favorite parts of the performances yesterday. The tales were movement filled. The snack was well accented with the subtly sweet orange curd. This curd spread was silkier in mouth feel than the creaminess of an egg and butter version. It a delightful, lighter alternative to traditional curd.

This last round I used blood oranges and the color of the cream is so lovely. The process is rather simple. Slice and juice your citrus. Reduce the juice to heighten the flavor. Zest in an orange peel to get a hint of sweet, floral aspect. Then sweeten with your choice of sweetener. In a measuring cup, dissolve cornstarch in cold milk before adding to the juice. Warning: be vigilant while stirring because the cream will thicken very quickly. Once it does, it ready to remove from heat, cool, and store or use immediately.

Curd is a multi functional spread that is delicious on biscuits, cookies, crepes, cakes, and more. Even by the spoonful, no judging here.

Hope you have a chance to try this recipe soon. I’d love to see the results. Be sure to tag MamaSparrow on social media.

Enjoy!

Vegan Orange Curd

Yields 1 generous cup

Silky vegan orange curd. Flecked with the subtle floral sweetness of orange zest. Curd is a multi functional spread that is delicious on biscuits, cookies, crepes, cakes, and more.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 oranges; blood oranges produce a lovely color)
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • ½ cup sugar or ¼ cup honey for non-vegans
  • Zest of one orange

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, reduce the orange juice to about half the volume.
  2. While the juice is reducing, measure the milk in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk the cornstarch in the milk till it dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Once the juice is reduced, add in the sugar and zest. Stir just until the sugar dissolves. Add the milk mixture to the saucepan and use a spatula to mix. Keep on medium-low heat and mix constantly until the texture thickens quickly. If the mixture starts to bubble before thickening, reduce the heat slightly. Once it does thicken, it will be very sudden so stay with you pan. Once the mixture is thickened remove from heat and allow to cool enough to store in a jar or use immediately.
  4. Curd will store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freezer for 3 months. Some settling will occur, give the curd a stir to re-incorporate separating liquids.
7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2017/01/31/vegan-orange-curd/

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Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve been a bit quiet on the internet front as I’ve been enjoying time with family over the holidays. It was nice to have a break from grad school classes and a chance to spend time with people who are dear to me.

One week during the holidays was particularly notable. I got a chance to meet both my new nephews born during that week. It was an incredible honor to be present at one of their births. There is nothing else in the world like the experience or witnessing of childbirth.

Overall the week we went to Minnesota was family filled as I got to visit with my parents, my sister and her family, and my brother visiting from out of the country military service. Since we’ve been back home, the boys have been making pretend road trips to see family. It’s been adorable, but also means all my reusable shopping bags are constantly filled with books and toys.

Speaking of family, this recipe is an adaptation of a family recipe I grew up with. These muffins are like a winter hope. Oranges get so tasty by Christmas. The tang of prime citrus is like rays of sun promising summer warmth. While nature bides her time in the quiet rest of winter, I’ll stay here wrapped up a blanket with fresh baked goodies and a hot cup of tea.

Consider the baking and enjoyment of these muffins part of your winter therapy. The aromatic of orange zest will melt your stress and help you feel energized. Additionally, the studs of chocolate chips throughout these tender wheat muffins will give you an extra mood boost.

 

 

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yields 12 muffins

Tender wheat muffins with zesty orange and tasty surprises of semi-sweet chocolate chips throughout. These muffins are reminiscent of winter-y days of childhood.

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup honey/maple syrup or ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips, semisweet
  • 1 ½ - 2 tsp. orange zest (peel from one orange)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with liners or silicone muffin cups.
  2. Mix everything together except the chocolate chips and orange zest. Fold in the chocolate and zest. Fill muffin cups to ⅔ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
7.6.5
75
https://mamasparrow.com/2017/01/19/orange-chocolate-chip-muffins/

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Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Happy Winter Solstice! We are feeling the excitement in our home as Christmas is just a few days away. My preschooler checks the tree every morning to see if Santa has visited. The boys have been busy creating holiday gifts and being kitchen helpers. The youngest loves to taste everything from a mixing bowl; even the french bread dough is tasted with enthusiasm. He then declares, “Mmm, good Mama!” If only that same zest was for the finished meals on the table.

I enjoy making the cookies I had as a child every Christmas. Breaking from tradition, it was my goal to bring you all something that was vegan and more allergen friendly for your holiday cookie plates. This recipe is just that. Peanut butter blossom cookies were the inspiration for this recipe. Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies are the perfect vehicle for combining peanut butter and chocolate. Flecks of sea salt flakes add a little bit of sparkle and bring out the chocolate taste. They are easily nut free if you use sunflower seed butter and refined sugar free.

Here’s to hoping you have a chance to add this to your baking plans this season. Snap a picture of your recipe result and tag Mama Sparrow on social media so we can see it too.

Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Yields 12-15 Cookies

Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies filled with peanut butter and drizzled with chocolate. These tasty treats are vegan, easily nut free and refined sugar free.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Cookies
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp. applesauce, unsweetened
  • Caramel Sauce
  • 3 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs. non dairy milk
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • Topping
  • 1 oz. chocolate chips or chocolate
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all cookie ingredients together in a medium bowl until dough forms. Form form into ¾ in. - 1 inch balls - approximately 12-15 cookies. (Chill the dough briefly in plastic wrap if it is too sticky to work with.) Place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough balls into slight discs and press thumb in the center to create a little crater. Bake cookies for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and repress the centers with a spoon. Then allow the cookies to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the while. The mix should get a nice smooth caramel consistency that has a bit of drizzle to it. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside
  3. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag or simply use a ziploc with the corner snipped off. Set aside
  4. To assemble to cookies, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter confection into each cookie’s thumbprint. Drizzle chocolate over the filled cookies and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Notes

Nut free option: Use Sun Butter. Really you could use any preferred nut or seed butter. I did try pumpkin seed butter and it was not quite as tasty.

7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/21/vegan-peanut-butter-thumbprint-cookies/

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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

This is a recipe that has been handed down from my great grandmother. It is not Christmas in our family until these cookies are baking in the oven. My best memories of these cookies are their required presence the day our family decorated the Christmas tree. The Christmas album would be queued up, cups of hot chocolate prepared, and a plate of these cookies.

This tradition I have carried on with my own family. The copy of the recipe I have in my recipe box calls for margarine sticks. We use unsalted butter. Feel free to make which ever way you prefer. The results are much the same. The butter version requires re-chilling before going in the oven to maintain shape and reduce the spreading from the oven.

The recipe yield is entirely approximated. Much dough sampling and cookie sampling happens before I have the chance to determine how many cookies are made each time. Grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy with these. Just try to save a few for Santa.

Hope you get a chance to make these soon. We would love to see the results. Share on social media and tag Mama Sparrow so we can see.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

Yields 7-8 dozen

Melt in your mouth cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 ½ cups flour

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the first 5 ingredients together. Then add the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour 1 cup at a time.
  2. Chill in refrigerator and then roll into ball and roll in sugar and then press out with a fancy glass bottom. Refrigerate 5 minutes before baking so cookies keep their shape.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.

Notes

Crisp sugar cookie with a slightly tender inside. Each bite melts in the mouth. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. Just be sure to save a few for Santa.

7.6.5
73
https://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/15/melt-in-your-mouth-sugar-cookies/

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Cauliflower “Bolognese”

We had our first snowfall of the season earlier this week. A brief glance out the back window of the apartment and I caught an old longing. It was that penchant for winter night photographs. The soft light from surrounding houses and general urban aura accentuate the starring features of winter photography – contrast and texture. It is moments like these, passions remembered and fascinations reacquainted, that illuminate with reasoned existence.

This recipe harkens memories of my mother’s famous meat spaghetti. She never made less than a crowd’s worth when cooking her spaghetti. The sauce simmered and noodles boiled. Meanwhile, loaves of crusty, french bread were buttered, seasoned and broiled open-face, till toasty and fragrant. The real secret to this vegetarian version is the spices and the texture achieved from the pan cooked cauliflower.

This pasta dish is about as cozy as they come and a sure crowd pleaser. We fully recommend an accompaniment of crusty bread. We hope you try this recipe soon. Be sure to take a picture and tag Mama Sparrow on social media so we can see the results.

 

Cauliflower "Bolognese"

Yields 3-4 servings

A traditionally meaty sauce converted to a vegetarian delight. Grab a loaf of crusty bread. This is your next cozy pasta meal.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tb olive oil; separated
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seed, ground
  • 1 tsp sage, ground
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp marjarom, ground
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 12 oz of tomato pasta sauce
  • 10-12 oz spaghetti noodles

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together spices and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the cauliflower and toss till the cauliflower is covered in the oil and spice mix. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the seasoned cauliflower and reduce heat to low. Cook the cauliflower until tender on the outside with a slight crunch on the inside. May take 10-15 minutes. Splash in water to speed up the cooking and keep the cauliflower from drying.
  3. Once the cauliflower is cooked, add in the pasta sauce until warmed through. Serve over spaghetti noodles.
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/09/cauliflower-bolognese/