Category Archives: Recipe

A complete listing of all posted recipes.

Mint-Lime Julius

Snow, frigged temperatures, Northern MN, cross country skiing, a warm cabin, the Goldies and a delicious cocktail(s). Who could ask for anything more? Not me that’s for sure!

The Goldies and their men have made it a tradition to get together for “ski weekend” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend for the last eight or nine years (we couldn’t agree on how long it has been).  Some how, it just happens to also traditionally be the coldest weekend of the year.  This year the car thermometer read -22 degrees on our way to the Golden Anniversary State Forest ski trails in Grand Rapids, MN.   That’s right, the cold doesn’t stop us.  In fact, I myself have found a benefit of getting outside and working up a sweat in the cold weather: it suddenly feels like it’s 75 degrees:)  If you haven’t been skiing at Golden Anniversary, I highly suggest it.  The soft rolling hills combine with blue skies, green forest, white snow and peacefulness of the woods are a delight for all senses.

So what were the men during while the Golides were skiing you ask? Shopping of course!

After a blissful afternoon of skiing we nestled in the warm cabin for some good conversation, laughter and of course Tiffany’s craft cocktails. This year, as usual, I concocted a few new cocktails to test out.  A few of them were OK, not really worth remembering.  But this one we all decided, was one to get in the books!

Per cocktail:

3-4 mint leaves

1/4 wedge of lime

2 ounces of Coconut Bai Juice

2 ounces vodka (could probably use white rum too)

Lime soda water


Method: muddle mint and lime in a short glass.  Add ice, vodka, Bai and then fill the rest with soda water. DONE!

Thanks for being my best friends Goldies! You inspire me in so many ways! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXOXOXOXOXOX

The freezing temperatures turned our hair into beautiful pieces of art! Jaime’s hair looked like moth antenna’s!

We were pretty excited about the new-found cocktail!


Brain Power Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ever since my dad had a stroke last summer I have been trying to incorporate more brain and heart healthy Omega-3s into the food I feed myself, Shane and others that may cross my path.  Omega-3s are one of the best nutrients to support heart health, brain function, immunity and younger looking skin (oh-ya baby!)

I miss my dad!

From what I have read the best way to get Omega 3s is to eat them.  In addition to incorporating Omega-3s into your diet, take a wild caught omega-3 supplement as “insurance”.

Try incorporating the some of the following foods into at least three meals per week:

  • Ground Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Wild Caught Salmon
  • Grass-fed Beef
  • Beans
  • Olive oil
  • Shrimp
  • Brussel sprouts

My Omega-3 obsession was the driver behind concocting these simple, lovely, comforting and powerful cookies! BTW-these cookies have been husband and co-worker approved!

The recipe will make approximately 20 cookies.

Ingredients & Method:

2 cups raw rolled oats (not instant but that might work too)

1/3 cup raw cashews (raw nuts are the healthiest and raw cashews are super creamy!)

1/3 cup walnuts (there’s those Omega-3s!)

Put all of the above into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped (you can experiment with this, I like go a little finer on the chop).  Put this mix into a separate bowl.

1 large handful (~1/4-1/2 C) of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate chips- these are big chips so you can chop them into smaller bits.  I use about 1/4 cup, honestly I don’t think you need more than that but do what makes your heart sing.

Next, add the following into the food processor:

1 Cup packed pitted medjool dates (I like medjool dates because they are soft and carmel-like, if your dates are dry you can try soaking them in warm water for a 1/2 hour.

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp unrefined coconut oil

Process until a smooth paste is formed.

Next, add the dry ingredients back into the processor and pulse to combine.  If things get a bit dry, try adding a bit more coconut oil.

Now the fun part: take ~2 TBSP size dollops and roll into a ball.   Convert the ball into a cookie shape by smooshing it flat–this works best if you use one hand to smoosh while containing the ball between  your thumb and pointer finger shaped into a circle.  You could leave them as balls but I personally think that flattening them out into more of a cookie shape me feel like it is a “real” chocolate chip cookie!







Blue Spruce Ice Cream

**Ice cream maker needed for this recipe**

Spruce tips prime for picking!

Have you ever looked at a spruce tree and thought, “yummy, those needles look delicious!”?  If you haven’t, you might have that thought after trying this recipe.  Spruce tips give ice cream a very unique and elegant flavor, something unlike any other food I’ve ever had before.

Foraging for spruce tips is easy, but like all foraging, it needs to be timed just right.  The tips in these pictures were found in the middle of May in Minnesota.  Depending on weather, it will fluctuate slightly every year.  It’s easy to see when the tips are forming and ripe for picking.  From a distance, you will see an off-color at the tip of each branch compared to the rest of the tree .  As you get a closer look, you will look for a brown, papery film that is falling off some of the tips.  The tips should not be opened up very much and will feel much softer and pliable than the other needles, which are hard and spiky.  If it is not the right time of year for harvest, start noticing where the nearest spruce trees are located and store that in the back of your brain until spring.

Spruce trees are not native everywhere in this area, but they are often planted in yards for privacy, protection from the elements, and year-round greenery, which can make harvesting very convenient… especially if you have one in your own yard, like I do!  It’s not harmful for the tree to pick the tips, but you shouldn’t harvest all of them… which would be pretty difficult anyway unless you are 20 feet tall.  Any spruce tree can be used for this recipe, but according to those that have tried different types of spruce tips, they recommend Blue Spruce.  I’ve only tried Blue Spruce, but feel free to experiment with others and let me know what you think.

From a distance you will notice discolored tips at the end of each branch

1 can coconut cream
1/2 cup honey
6 egg yolks
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup Blue Spruce tips


  1. Add everything except the Blue Spruce tips to a pan and heat until steaming, but not boiling. Whisk the entire time.
  2. Pour everything from the pan into a blender and add the spruce tips.
  3. Wait for everything to cool to room temperature before blending.
  4. After blending, pour the mixture through a fine strainer and into your ice cream maker and operate your ice cream maker and blend until desired consistency.  (The last time I made this recipe, I kept the spruce tips in.  It just gave a fluffier texture than regular ice cream, but still very delicious and I’ll do it again unless the tips aren’t extremely tender)
  5. Eat immediately or spoon the ice cream into single-serve size cups and put into freezer.
  6. When you want to eat the ice cream that has been frozen, remove and let sit out for 15 minutes before enjoying so the ice cream can soften to a more ice cream like consistency.  These 15 minutes seem like forever!

Spoon the ice cream into freezable container and freeze for later enjoyment

Strawberry-Basil Mojito

Somehow, summer always knows it is supposed to arrive after Memorial Weekend.  Here we are, the weekend after Memorial and the once the cool, rainy days have turned to steamy and dry! Oh ya baby, bring on the summer!

This years kick-off to summer started with a 4-wheeling trip to Hurley, Wisconsin with two of the Goldies and their counterparts.  We had a great time filled with laughter, cocktails, 4-wheeling, and of course lots of iron ore!  While the days leading up to our trip were cool and rainy, in true Goldie fashion the weather cleared just long enough for us to enjoy our outdoor adventure.  If you like 4-wheeling Wisconsin is super 4-wheeler friendly;  they have miles of trails set up and welcome the vehicles in most any small town.

The gang! This was our “before” picture, we had so much fun that we forgot to take the “after” one!

To make a long story short, we had a FANTASTIC time and hope to do the same thing again next year.

Of course there was some mud and Shane had to get involved!

The weekend following our kick-off was a laid-back one.  I spent the weekend doing chores around the house and just plain enjoying the hot, hot, hot days!  The weather inspired evening outdoor cocktails.  I REALLY wanted a Mojito but I didn’t have any mint; so what did I do? I got creative of course!  I remembered that I had some frozen organic strawberries from my local food co-op and some potted fresh basil.  The two quickly came together in harmony in my new summer favorite: Strawberry and Basil Mojito!

The Drink:

2 oz White Rum

3-4 Basil Leaves

2-3 frozen Strawberries (they wouldn’t need to be frozen)

Lime LaCroix Water

Stevia or other sweetener of choice (optional)


In a short glass muddle the basil.  Add the ice, strawberries and Rum and then fill the remainder with LaCroix.  I like a bit of sweetness so I add stevia.  Some people don’t like stevia so feel free to add whatever sweetener your heart desires.

It was a glorious summer evening in Harris, MN!

The hot weather lead to lazy dogs!

Shane didn’t want to come inside:)

Smoked Fish and Cheese

Today I can’t help it, I am dreaming about camping with the Goldies.  I am dreaming about laughter, “tropical” sunshine, clean northern waters, and of course food!  Summer is coming and I don’t want to rush it but I am really looking forward to our annual trip!

That being said, I want to share a simple camping lunch idea that you may not have thought of.  Smoked fish, hard cheese and wine! I can’t find a picture of it so you’ll just have to imagine it.

The Golides have pretty much made it a tradition to pack smoked fish and cheese for a simple, elegant and protein rich lunch.  I know, I know. There is no way to keep this meal cold but it is fine if you keep it in the shade and devour it within the first day or two.  You’ll want to make sure you purchase some hard cheese such as Manchego (it’s our favorite).  You’ll find this cheese in the special cheese section of your local grocer.  A necessary component of this meal is wine!  We always pack a Bota Box of red wine.

Seriously, sitting in the BWCA wilderness, listening to loons, smelling the warm northern forest floor and tasting this delicious meal with your best friends- it is a sensory experience!

Tip: tie your dogs up!  I am sure the Godlies would attest to this. We have had our fish and cheese plate fly all over several times due to Rocco running though it on a squirrel chase! Sorry ladies:)

In lieu of a food picture I’ll share some great Goldie camping moments!!

We used to catch our own fish, our priorities have changed over the years:)

We don’t let any of our wine go to waste!

Exactly the scene that I am dreaming of today!

Almond, Maple, Raisin Walnut Cookies

If Tiffany is the cocktail genius then I am the cookie guru. I LOVE them. I completely enjoy baking and find it almost meditative. This recipe was inspired by Angela Lidden and her fabulous recipe for crispy almond chocolate chip cookies. Sorry Angela, but I rarely follow a cookie recipe verbatim. I go with my mood and let the creative juices flow(:

These – as with my other cookie posts are a great snack because they are not filled with refined flour and sugar.  They are packed with protein and complex carbs.  Wholesomely sweet, they curb the sugar craving and provide sustained energy.


1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup almond butter

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup sucanat, coconut sugar or date sugar

1 egg or 1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup oats (not instant)

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup organic raisins (grapes are on the dirty dozen)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in small bowl, set aside.  In large bowl combine coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, flax or egg, vanilla and sugar.  Mix well.  Add flour mixture and mix well.  Finally stir in oats, raisins and walnuts.

Scoop 1 tablespoon portions on to prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes, rooting pan 1/2 way through.

My mom gave me this fantastic tool for Christmas. It is an OXO 1 tablespoon scoop that is just perfect for little bit cookies! My biggest trepidation with this was thinking it would be hard to clean – it is actually incredibly easy AND dishwasher safe(:

Cool for a few minutes on pan before transferring to a cooling rack.

Store in airtight container for up to a week or freeze (this is my preference – they are easy enough to grab out of the freezer container and then they are always fresh!)

Each cookie is only 1 tablespoon of dough (Tiffany’s genius trick) so go ahead have a few!



Cherry-Bai Martini

Somehow I became known as the drink “mix-master” among my Goldies. It’s probably because I love, love, love dreaming up new concoctions to share with my soul-mates!  As soon as we plan a get together I start plotting my next drink.

Last winter the Goldies spent ski weekend at Wind Golides in Jordan, MN.  This was quite the departure from our normal trip to Earth Goldies cabin in the north-land.  You see, we usually “bust-ass” cross-country skiing at Sugar Hills.  I’m serious, we ski for at least three hours without hardly having the breath to talk to one-another.  This year we skied side-by-side and chatted the entire time! What a welcome, relaxing and invigorating change.  When the Godlies are all together you can just feel the energy-I love you women!

OK, so we didn’t just ski. We also devoured some great food, some not-so-great food (head-cheese), and sipped on the cocktails I’m sharing here.

These drinks are best shared with your closes friends.

Ingredients (per serving)

2 oz R.W. Knudsen Just Tart Cheery juice (usually found in the natural foods section)

2 oz Coconut Bai Juice

1 oz Dragon Berry Bacardi

1 oz Bacardi

1/4 lime-squeezed


Pour all ingredients into a martini shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Drink in your favorite martini glass.  When the Goldies get together we all bring our own personalized metal martini glasses- just so you know, they can be taken apart so they can be transported easily into the Boundary Waters for camping!

We enjoyed these drinks along with some head-cheese. While it was fun to try, I’m not sure I would recommend it!




Buffalo Chicken (of the Woods) Strips

Those who know me would not be surprised to learn that I have resorted to mushroom hunting while boating!  I found this beautiful Chicken of the Woods (COW) mushroom while I was on Lake… oh… HAHA!  you thought I was going to tell you where???  🙂  I was on “a lake” and took a quick stroll on “an island” (yes, in my swimsuit) when I found this beast!  I imagine the nearby boats were a little confused when they saw me carrying this thing over my head, through the water, and back to the boat.

Often when you find COW, you find it in abundance.  It is less often, however, that you find it in abundance AND fresh!  This mushroom was about 12 pounds and amazingly fresh and juicy!  When you find a mushroom like this, find a party to attend and tell them you will bring an appetizer!  Otherwise, I freeze it raw in vacuum sealed bags and it keeps very well.  Some people prefer sauteing the mushroom slightly (about 30-40% cooked) before freezing.  I don’t think it’s worth the extra effort because I think it’s just fine when frozen raw.

COW is a super versatile mushroom and I normally tell people you can use it as a substitute for almost any chicken of the farm recipe.  One of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook COW is by turning it into buffalo strips.

Shred the COW into strips

Important! Use only extremely fresh COW that is so juicy that it drips when you cut it from the tree or ground.  Dry or old COW is gross and can have unwanted creatures inhabiting it.


  • Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
  • Buffalo Sauce
  • Ranch and/or Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Celery Sticks


  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Tear the chicken into preferred size strips.  COW has a similar texture of chicken and tears nicely into strips.
  3. Put the COW into a glass baking dish and pour your preferred buffalo sauce onto the COW and stir so it is fully coated.  I have used Franks Red Hot Sauce and it works great.  There is also a Buffalo Sauce version, which is delicious, but has more ingredients than the original Franks (which is only aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt And Garlic Powder).
  4. Cook the COW uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the mushroom is cooked fully (depends on thickness of strips).  Stir occasionally.  Feel free to add more sauce if you like it saucy!
    NOTE:  It is important to cook COW thoroughly as some people can get an upset stomach if undercooked (but don’t overcook it, either!). It’s not as easy as sticking a thermometer in it to tell if it is done.  Raw COW is firm, flakey, and solid in color.  I consider a COW cooked when the “meat” becomes softer and more flexible and has a slight translucent-ness to it.  If you can imagine cooking a regular white button mushroom, and how it changes in color and texture, I’d say it’s the same thing.  You just get a feel for it after a while.  It’s slightly more complicated with COW because it is picked at different stages, and there are different varieties, but that’s the best I can explain it.  As with any wild mushroom, if you have never had it before, restrain yourself and only eat a small amount the first time to see if you have any negative reactions.  Also, do not eat COW that grew on a coniferous tree… only deciduous trees.
  5. Serve the mushroom as you would normal buffalo strips, with a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing and sticks of celery.  This is where you have control of how healthy you want this dish to be.  I have found healthier versions online, like this one.

Get Creative!

In the lunch room people often say: “what are you eating???” I might respond with: “an egg on top of oatmeal OR roasted buttercup squash with peanut butter and jelly OR a grass-fed hamburger with roasted butternut squash skins in a cabbage leaf and it tastes AMAZING!” Their response: “OK, I wouldn’t have thought of that.”

That’s my point- get creative folks! If you have leftovers and need to use them up combine them ,you might be surprised. Heck, you might even find your new favorite snack!

Pictured: last time I made butternut squash soup I had squash skins left over.  I HATE wasting food so I drizzled some olive oil on them and roasted them at 450 degrees until they were crispy delights.  That very same day I was making some hamburgers.  That’s when the idea came to me: OMG these would probably taste great with the burger.  Then I had another great idea: OHHH, I have some cabbage, I could use that as a bun! YA baby! As I swaddled the burger in the bun I decided that I would put the squash in with the hamburger to keep it company and WALA!  The delicious combo was born.  I might never make this combo again because it would be a hassle to roast the skins just to put in the burger- BUT, it was a creative way to use what I had and tasted dang delicious!

So, next time you have leftovers think outside the box. You might be surprised!

Mint Chocolate-Chip Protein Boost

Dessert for breakfast? WHY NOT????!!!

I have been on a protein shake breakfast kick for quite some time.  I like this option because it’s quick to make and I can enjoy it on my drive to work.  When I am sipping this out of my straw I often find myself saying out loud: “YUM” or “O my gosh this is good!”

This shake is a GREAT way to sneak veggie’s into your husbands or kids breakfast:)

For the protein component I really do like whey the most, I think it adds a creaminess that vegetarian protein powders don’t.  Whey also seems to “puff up” the shake which adds some bulk to it.  I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I love bulky food because it makes me feel full!  I do not enjoy feeling deprived!

It is important to be careful about what brand of whey protein you buy because many of them contain a crap load of sugar, artificial colors, growth hormones and other ingredients that I certainly wouldn’t consider “clean”.  The brand that I have found to be the best is available at Walgreen’s for a decent price; it’s sourced from grass fed cows that are free of growth hormones and it’s sweetened with stevia.  It’s called: Natural Whey by Bodylogix- Vanilla Bean.

Did I mention that this recipe taste’s like mint chocolate chip ice cream?


1 Scoop Whey Protien

1 cup non-dairy milk (I like unsweetened cashew milk)

1/2 frozen banana

additional ice-cubes (add as many as you like to make the thickness you desire)

1 cup spinach or other green

1 drop peppermint extract (start with one drop and add more if you need)

additional stevia or other sweetener of choice (if you want it sweeter-try it without this first because the bananas and protein powder already have stevia)

1-2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips


Toss all ingredients except the chocolate chips  in a blender (I use the Ninja) and blend until smooth.  Add the chocolate chips and blend briefly so the chips get chopped up but not emulsified.  I like to use a wide straw to drink, the chips should be small enough to fit through the straw.

You might be able to get away without adding the banana but I have found that it adds to the creamy texture.