Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Oranges

So, even when you’re eating healthy, you need something to make you feel like you are getting a “treat.”  One thing I have learned about a healthy lifestyle is that your “treats” don’t have to be things that will make you feel like death.  Last time I was craving something rich and sweet, I used things laying around my house and created something BEAUTIFUL that I would eat as a treat even before I cared about health!  And health wise, it really isn’t all that bad!!

It all started with this, a Christmas present from my mother in law:

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Anyone who knows me well and loves me truly buys me Orange Dark Chocolate.  I tell you what, I went on a mission trip to Switzerland probably 4-5 years ago with some of my very favorite people, Christopher and Jennifer Hopper and my dear friend Abby.  While there, I discovered the beauty of Swiss chocolate.  And they had many different kinds with orange.  Some even with big chunks of orange rind in them.  Ohhhhhh it was heavenly.  And to this day, whenever one of them sees some form of Orange Chocolate, they bring it to me!!  And now my mother in law has joined in the tradition!!  So I had this beauty at my house.  Notice just HOW dark it is…and that it is 65% cacao instead of cocoa.  Yes, there is a difference, and cacao is supposed to be much better for ya.  🙂

So, back to my “I need a sweet treat” hankering.  I had this bar of chocolate.  But how could I take Orange Dark Chocolate to the next level?!  By melting it and dipping orange slices in it, of course!!  Still, it didn’t seem quite complete to me yet, and being a lover of salty over sweet…but especially salty WITH sweet (can I get a holla for Salted Caramel and Kettle Corn?!)…I got the idea to crack a little fresh Sea Salt over the chocolate before it set.

I’m glad I did.

Heaven.  Dear sweet Jesus, thank you for Orange and chocolate.  Hallelujah.  🙂

 

SO, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Orange, Peeled and as much white removed as possible
  • 1 Quality Chocolate Bar, Preferably Dark Chocolate…even better if organic, cacao…with orange!
  • Few cracks of Sea Salt

 

And here’s how you do it (SO SIMPLE!!)

  1. Break your chocolate up roughly into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 15-30 second intervals, stirring between until just melted.
  2. Separate orange segments and dip half way into the warm chocolate.
  3. Lay out on a plate or wax paper and crack a small amount of Sea Salt onto chocolate portion.
  4. Eat.  Enjoy.  Sharing is optional!  😉

Welp, there you have it folks.  I hope you enjoy this not-so-cheat treat.  I didn’t feel guilty about it one bit, and I don’t think you should either!  I think you should try it, right now!!!  What is your favorite thing to dip in chocolate?!

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A Promised Update: Sweet Potato Cassarole with Brown Sugar Pecan Crumble

So from here on out I wanted to only post healthy recipes…at least for a long time!  Buuuut I had promised you all that I would add pictures of the process to this post, and it is so delicious it is worth it!  I don’t want you to miss this!!  The most heavenly Sweet Potato Cassarole EVER.  So here’s pictures for ya!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 C Mashed Yams
  • 3/4 Stick of Butter, Melted
  • 1 C Canned Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 C Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

For the topping:

  • 3/4 C Butter, melted
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Corn Flakes, Crushed
  • 1/2 C Pecans, Chopped

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Mix together yams, butter, milk, and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add spices and vanilla.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.
  5. Add topping and bake until pecans look toasted but NOT BURNT!!  5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm!!!

I see on the original here that it can even be made the day before…just warm up in the oven, put the topping on, and heat!!  🙂

Pretty easy, huh?!  You gotta try this!!  Let me know what you think!!

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Peel and chop your sweet taters.

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Boil until tender, just like you were making normal mashed potatoes.  It will probably take 20 plus minutes, just because sweet potatoes are more firm.

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Drain…

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And mash!  I use my stand mixer, it makes them uber creamy!

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See?

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Now add the rest of the ingredients…

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Pour into a greased casserole dish…

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Slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.  (It usually takes mine a bit longer than that.)

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While waiting, combine your topping ingredients.

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Sprinkle on top and bake 5-10 minutes, until it is browned but not burned.

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And there ya go!!  SO DELICIOUS!!

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Yummy yummy yummy!!

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Brown Sugar Orange Sweet Potato Casserole. On the Fifth Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me the best sweet potato recipe!!  Seriously, this sweet potato casserole cannot be topped!  It’s so good that we usually all agree that it should be served with the desserts its so tasty…and then we just keep eating it with the entrée haha!!  Warm, soft but crunchy, sweet with a hint of citrus…yay!!

Just a heads up…I will soon have photos of the process, because I am going to make it for Christmas!!  But I figured if you guys need this recipe for YOUR Christmas, you can’t wait for the photos!!  So I am going to post a few pictures of people enjoying this beauteous treat, and add the pictures of the process later for ya!!   Because seriously…you don’t want to let Christmas slip by without making this!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 C Mashed Yams
  • 3/4 Stick of Butter, Melted
  • 1 C Canned Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 C Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

For the topping:

  • 3/4 C Butter, melted
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Corn Flakes, Crushed
  • 1/2 C Pecans, Chopped

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Mix together yams, butter, milk, and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add spices and vanilla.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.
  5. Add topping and bake until pecans look toasted but NOT BURNT!!  5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm!!!

I see on the original here that it can even be made the day before…just warm up in the oven, put the topping on, and heat!!  🙂

Pretty easy, huh?!  You gotta try this!!  Let me know what you think!!

photo 3 (1)Here is my dear brother Gabe, about to dig into the casserole!!

photo 2 (1)And here it is, next to the mashed potatoes and Fresh Cranberry Relish!

photo 4My mommy always makes such a pretty holiday set up!!!

Cranberry Orange Relish. On The Third Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to meeeee, a sweet and tangy classic recipe!!

 

Yes, that’s right!! I gave you two fun new recipes to freshen up your Christmas season and bring the “wow” that you probably won’t see anywhere else.  Now I am going to change it up and show you how to make those classic “it’s not Christmas without this” foods!  And make them dang good.  How can I guarantee that?!  Well, because I grew up eating them, they didn’t come from a bag or can…and because I tried them out for our Rodgers family Thanksgiving so I could share them with you for Christmas!!  Yay!! So…our first classic???

CRANBERRY RELISH!

You put down that can of jiggly jelly stuff!!  This will blow your mind!!  And if you are a weirdo like me and am not a huge fan of turkey OR gravy…this is a great way to bring a pop of flavor, texture, and moisture to your turkey! However, at our house, we started eating it with our turkey…and ended eating with a spoon.  Yes it’s that good.

 

And you know what the best part is?  It is 3 ingredients…and they’re all pretty cheap ingredients that you may already have in your house considering the season.  🙂

 

SO….here’s what you need…ever so slightly adapted from oceanspray.com!

  • 1 Orange, NOT PEELED, Cut into eighths (seeds removed if it had them)
  • 12 oz Bag Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed
  • 1/2C- 3/4C Sugar

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Place 4 of the orange slices in a food processor, then dump in half the bag of cranberries.
  2. Process until finely and evenly chopped and dump into a bowl
  3. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange.
  4. Sprinkle on your sugar and stir in.  Taste and adjust sugar amount.

 

How fantastic is that flavor?!  Citursy…tart but so sweet, somehow refreshing and rich at the same time!!  Just so good!!  Yay!!  ENJOY!!

 

Peectures!

Photo (5)Slice orange with the rind still on!!

Photo (6)Rinse your cranberries….

Photo (8)Place in a food processor, half of each at a time, and whiz until finely and evenly chopped…

Photo (9)And dump into a bowl, stir in sugar, taste, adjust, and enjoy!!! I wish I had a pretty picture of it on our turkey, but I was too excited about eating to think of taking pictures haha!!!