Chocolate Peppermint Reindeer Cookies

I’ve been holding onto this cookie for way too long. I can’t wait anymore to share it with you. I just made another batch today, and was asking myself, why haven’t you blogged this yet?

reindeer cookies

The beauty of this cookie is not only how scrumptious it tastes, but it is versatile! You can make cut out cookies or thumbprints and put the frosting in the middle. The thumb print will take less time, but is equally as delicious!

Chocolate Peppermint Reindeer Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup of Avocado Oil or Coconut Oil

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Butter

3 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons of Cacao Powder

1 Tablespoon of Grass Fed Gelatin

1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/4 Teaspoon of Cream of Tartar

1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/8 Teaspoon of Peppermint Extract

Directions:

Place two cookie sheets, lined with parchment out, and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the Avocado Oil, Maple Syrup, Softened Coconut Butter, Vanilla Extract, and Peppermint Extract. Blend until combined. Then, sprinkle the Gelatin over the liquid mixture, and beat for one minute. Add in the Coconut Flour, Cacao Powder, Sea Salt, Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar, and beat for one more minute.

Place the cookie dough onto a sheet of parchment, add another parchment sheet on top, and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Refrigerate the rolled dough for ten minutes. Using a reindeer cookie cutter, cut out shapes in the dough. Carefully remove the dough around the shapes, then lift the shapes with an offset spatula onto your prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the dough scraps as necessary to cut out more cookies. If it gets too soft to handle place it back in the refrigerator for ten minutes.

Bake the cookies at 350º degrees F. for 9 to 10 minutes until set and the edges are starting to brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

For the icing. In a small mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat together:

3 Tablespoons of Organic Shortening

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Butter (softened)

1 Tablespoon of Honey

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Using a small piping bag, pipe decorations on the cookies. Alternately, spread the icing onto the cookies. Top each Reindeer with a dried cranberry half for the nose!

For thumbprints, scoop the dough with a tablespoon cookie scoop into balls. Make a print with your thumb in the center, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Fill with the icing.

Approximately 18 rolled cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Reindeer Cookies - Delicious cookie that works as a cutout or dropped cookie thumbprint!

 

 

Perfectly Posh Chunk Bars, Why You’ll Love Them and a Little Eye Glimmer for Autumn!

There is a lot I love about these bars! These super awesome Naturally based bath bars are called Chunks, because they are so big, you may need both hands!!!  The Shea Butter is luxurious, they are made with high quality skin loving ingredients, are cruelty free, fun, all different, and affordable! The Gender Bender Chunk is a charcoal based bar. It helps the skin detoxify free radical pollution and promotes clearer skin on the body. It has a crisp, woodsy, amber, citrus fragrance, and All the bars are tallow free.

gender bender

One of my favorite bars is Field Better Soon. It has real lavender in it, oats and lavender essential oils. It is the perfect soothing bar for sensitive skin, full of skin loving lipids and toning lavender.

Field Better Soon

Milking It Chunk has rejuvenating goat’s milk for sensitive skin, honey and oats. The glycerin base creates a moisture locking barrier on the skin, which is perfect for dry skin and winter months. It also contains honey, and smells divine!

Milking It

The You Could Use a Hug Chunk has Cat’s Claw in it for a gentle, natural exfoliation. It’s very gentle and feels good! I’ve been really loving the sensation in the shower, and it gets the old skin cells off and allows your moisturizer to penetrate that much better! It also contains Vitamin E rich cotton extract, and is Vegan.

You Could Use a Hug

Also two liquid shimmer eye shadows were just added! I just purchased the new Be So Gold Liquid Gold Shimmer Eye Shadow that was launched this month. I am wearing it below in a daytime subtle look. It can be applied over other eye shadow or on it’s own. It adds a beautiful shimmer that is perfect for Fall and the Holidays! To create a glamorous  eye, apply it over a smoky eye shadow! The other color available is silver glimmer called Silver Screen.

glare demo on me

If you shop with me this month, check out under my lip drawing for a chance to win a Free Latin Love Lip Balm! My consultant name at Perfectly Posh where you can find all these products is listed as Sandra Shields link here.  I can help you pick the best products for you, just shoot me a note below!

As always, thank you for choosing to me as your safer personal care consultant. I’m  happy to answer any questions you have and look forward to sharing more with you!

what is perfectly posh graphic

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can’t control everything, but remember your monthly self exam, don’t put off your mammograms, stay active, eat a healthy diet and pay attention to the ingredients you put on your skin.

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As a Perfectly Posh Consultant, I can guide you to the best products for your skin, body and pampering! If you would like me to send you a free sample, just comment below. They ship withing the United States. All the Winter products have just been released, and there are exciting ideas for holiday gift giving as well as for yourself! See the holiday release below. There is also a natural line that uses only essential oils and is very effective for your facial care routine. Anti-aging, brightening, dark spots, fine lines, plumping, serums and more.

I have tried dozens of beauty lines for years looking for performance, safety, and great ingredients before deciding to become a Posh Consultant! I choose to use Perfectly Posh for my family’s and my own skin care because they have naturally based beauty products that don’t have ingredients like parabens, petroleum, sulfates, paraffin, and sls. They DO have fantastic ingredients (like sustainably sourced Shea Butter, High Quality Essential Oils, Apricot Oil, Avocado, Honey, Lavender, Vitamin C, Carrot Seed Oil, and so much more! Way too many to list here.) that work to pamper and make you look and feel beautiful! A Big Plus for me is they are fun and affordable!

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To browse all the products, just go here and choose me as your consultant.

Cranberry-Orange English Muffins – Grain Free

Cranberry Orange English Muffins Gluten Free Dairy Free

Reducing your grain consumption or eating grain free, whether for health reasons, or because you are eating a lower carb diet, doesn’t mean you have to be without English Muffins!!!

English Muffins, I have missed you so!

Cranberry Orange English Muffins are one of my favorites! You can make these English Muffins in a little over 30 minutes. They are like a warm hug. Slather them with your favorite spread. The ones shown here are topped with American Spoon Blueberry Spoon Fruit. They always list allergens on their jams, spreads and products, and almost everything is gluten free.

This recipe makes 4 English Muffins. To make these a Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin, substitute raisins for the cranberries, omit the orange zest, and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.Cranberry Orange English Muffins Grain Free

Cranberry-Orange English Muffins – Grain Free

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Spray four English Muffin Rings with cooking spray and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I used Avocado Oil Spray.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup Avocado Oil or Olive Oil

4 Teaspoons of Ground Flax

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Orange Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Orange Zest

1 Tablespoon of Honey (may substitute maple syrup)

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder (here is my recipe for corn free baking powder)

1/4 Cup of Dried Cranberries (I used apple juice sweetened)

Directions:

Beat together eggs, honey, orange juice, orange zest and avocado oil until creamy. Add in the coconut flour, ground flax, sea salt and baking powder. Beat until thickened. Fold in the cranberries.

Fill the four English Muffin Rings evenly. Using the back of a wet spoon, smooth the batter to the edges of the rings evenly. Re-wet the spoon as needed. No sticking this way!

Mist the tops of the English Muffin batter lightly with more cooking spray. Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges are turning golden brown and the center are baked through. Remove from the oven, and cool for five minutes. Remove the rings. If they stick a bit, run a knife around the edges. Cool completely. Split the English Muffins carefully with a bread knife. Enjoy!

Cranberry-Orange Grain Free English Muffins

 

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Cashews

Cranberry Cashew Kale Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

This is a delicious salad any time of year, but it is particularly good, in my opinion, in Autumn! The crunch of the cashews, and the chewiness of the dried cranberries, along with the savory scallions and tangy mustard maple dressing is the perfect balance of sweet and zesty!

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Cashews

1 Bunch of Lacinato Kale (also known as dinosaur kale)

1/3 Cup of Dried Cranberries (fruit juice sweetened if available)

1/3 Cup of Raw Cashews

2 Scallions (thinly sliced)

1 Tablespoon of White Balsamic Vinegar

Mustard Maple Dressing:

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of White Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions:

Wash and strip the stems from the kale. Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and add them to a medium salad bowl. Pour over 1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar and massage the kale leaves with your hands. The vinegar and massaging will help break down the fibers in the kale and make them tender, about three minutes will do.

Add in the cranberries, cashews and sliced scallions.

Whisk together the Dressing ingredients, and pour over the kale salad. Toss and serve!

Delicious Kale Salad with Cranberries, Cashews and a Maple Mustard Dressing. Gluten and Dairy Free

Apple Maple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Apple Maple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze Paleo

I’m sitting in my kitchen this morning listening to the rain pour down outside. It is really pleasing and cheerful after such a long hot and humid spell. It feels so refreshing after the oppressive heat. The air is cooler and more invigorating. I am envisioning everything getting washed fresh to bring in the new season.

Apple Maple Cake Grain Free Moist and Delicious

Because it is September, and the apples are in season, my mind always wanders to baked apples, warm cinnamon, cloves and spices.

What better way to welcome in the cooler weather than a coffee cake filled with delicious softly baked apples.

Whole Apple Maple Coffee Cake - Whole top View

Ming always gets frisky in the cooler weather, so we will be doing more outside walks. In the heat she just plops down and refuses to budge. Fawn pugs do have a double coat, which must be terribly hot. I can only imagine if I were wearing not one, but two coats in the hot weather, what I would do. Here she is in her beautiful new collar and leash from Pack Leashes. We always get her a brand new spiffy collar after Summer, and I found this company recently that donates 4 pounds of dog food to a no kill shelter with every purchase, plus their leashes are guaranteed for life! Gotta love that! You can get 20% off your purchase from me when shopping with them by using the code MINGANDLILY at checkout.

ming

I’ve recently been busy in my sewing room making quilts. In this case they are two panda quilts, one is finished, and I am almost done with the second. I’ve been sewing since I was in middle school. I made one of my prom dresses in high school, then when my husband and I bought our first home, I made window treatments, pillows, table runners and other home decor. When we had our little girls, I sewed them dresses and Halloween costumes and stuffed animals. Then a nice women in our town introduced me to quilting, and I found a whole new avenue that I really loved. Two years ago I opened an Etsy Shop, Porcupine Craft Studio.  You can visit if here: Right now I have many different bags available, and my daughter Jessica makes greeting cards using quilling art. The quilts will go in the shop in the next couple weeks. I find time to sew in the evenings, and I  find it relaxing and an enjoyable creative outlet.

Here’s my latest quilt.

Apple Maple c

Back to the Apple Maple Coffee Cake! It is perfect for a rainy day or a sunny autumn day. This recipe is grain free, dairy free and nut free. I topped it with a creamy coconut butter maple frosting which is spread over the baked apple top. The cake is baked with the apples in the bottom, which makes them perfectly soft.

Apple Maple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Preheat the oven to 350º degrees F.

Ingredients for the Cake:

3 Cups of Peeled, Cored and Sliced Apples

1/2 Cup of Maple Sugar

1/2 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Flour

6 Pastured Eggs

1/4 Cup of Organic Shortening 

1/4 Cup of Coconut Butter

1 Tablespoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice

1 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

2 Teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon of Ginger

1/4 Teaspoon of Allspice

1/8 Teaspoon of Cloves

1/4 Teaspoon of fine Sea Salt

Ingredients for the Maple Glaze:

1/2 Cup of Coconut Butter 

2 Tablespoons of Real Maple Syrup

Directions:

Grease an 8″ spring form or cake pan with organic shortening. Draw a round circle on parchment paper using the bottom of the cake pan as a template. Cut out the circle and place it in the bottom of the greased pan.

Place the peeled, sliced apples in the bottom of the pan in concentric circles starting on the outside and working your way in.

apples

In a food processor, add six eggs and the maple sugar. Process until creamy. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, coconut butter (soften the coconut butter just slightly for ten seconds in the microwave) and palm shortening, process until creamy. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and all the spices. Process for thirty seconds, then scrape down the sides of the processor, and process another minute. Scoop the cake batter over the apples and spread evenly over the apples to the sides of the pan.

*If using a spring form pan, I recommend placing it on a cookie sheet to bake in case of leakage.

Bake in your preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean when poked in the middle of the cake with just a few crumbs on it.

Remove the coffee cake from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for ten minutes. Remove the sides of the spring form pan and cool completely. If using a cake pan, run a knife around the edges of the cake pan, and invert onto a wire rack to cool. When the cake is cooled, you are ready to make the glaze.

This is super simple and delicious. Soften a half cup of coconut butter in the microwave. Do this in ten second increments just until it is soft. Whisk in two tablespoons of pure maple syrup with a fork. Then, spread the glaze evenly over the coffee cake. Now it is all done and ready to serve.

You can absolutely pour this glaze over the cake when it is still warm and serve it that way too! There is nothing better than a warm coffee cake!

Apple Maple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze. This cake is moist and perfect for Autumn. Grain, Dairy and Nut Free!

How Do I Increase My Enthusiasm and Creativity?

Enthusiasm and Creativity

If your creativity is at an all time low and you find all you are doing is going from one task, chore, item on your to do list to another……you know, going through the motions, because your day is all mapped out for you? Or, if you spend every spare moment of your day scrolling through social media, maybe you need a little boredom in your life!

The happiest times in people’s lives are when they have plans, dreams and are inspired! You don’t have time to think about these things when your day is jam packed and you fill every spare moment you have by grabbing your phone. I’m talking about when you are waiting in line, waiting to be called for an appointment, eating, walking, you know any spare moment? It isn’t refreshing, and it can be exhausting and draining to fill your brain with what other people are posting. That’s because our minds need time to do nothing! This actually frees up space to plan, dream and create. You should have at least one dream right now or goal you want to achieve. At all times, you should have one dream for your future.

creativity and inspiration

If you want to increase your creativity, you need head space for that. I know when I land on a new creative idea it gives me a huge surge of enthusiasm, energy and joy, and I can’t wait to get started! My most creative times are when I have had some free time, without an agenda, to get rid of mental clutter. Be deliberate about having time inside your own head.

When you are so busy all day every day, and you don’t have time to sit with your thoughts, your mind is like a fragmented computer. Distractions are the antithesis of creativity. If you can think back to a time when you were on fire with ideas, plans and enthusiasm, you can be sure you had time to just be. Working out, walking, or going for a jog without distractions is also a good way to boost creativity according to a recent study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

If you take the time to surround yourself with a little quiet time, whether you are moving your body or sitting still, you will increase your enthusiasm and creativity, and this will increase your level of happiness. We were meant to create.

How do you increase your enthusiasm and creativity?

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