Monthly Archives: March 2014

Post 28 of 365 Real Foods Series: Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


This morning Jack is scheduled for a sleep deprivation EEG with his neurologist, so we woke at 5:00 am. I have been putting together lunch, took my shower, got the bags packed for the kiddos, and Jack watched Thomas (a few times). I figured I would whip up some Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies for breakfast. Yup, for breakfast. 🙂

These cookies are full of fiber and made with pure pumpkin. They are egg-less, gluten-free, soy-free, vegetarian, and can be made vegan friendly and dairy-free with subbing butter for coconut oil, or Earth Balance . Typically, I avoid butter in baking and eating, but I really like it in this recipe. Also, I have never tried this recipe with granulated sugar, and find the maple syrup keeps the cookie smooth and sweetened with a nice underlying maple flavor. I only use Enjoy Life chips because they are allergen friendly and small. You can also use broken up dark chocolate.



  • 1/2 Cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 Cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 Cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 Cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds


  • Mix wet ingredients into large bowl.
  • Mix all dry ingredients into a separate dish and gradually add to dry ingredients while beating well. I used my stand mixer, but a hand mixer works great too.
  • Scoop onto non-stick baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on a cookie rack.
  • Enjoy!

These cookies do have a tendency to crumble. Allow to sit on cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to the cooling rack.




Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 27 of 365 Real Foods Series: Easy Veggie Chicken Bake


Easy chicken veggie bake is one of my go to recipes when I need something quick and easy. I LOVE one-pot meals because you often use leftovers and fresh ingredients, plus you get everything you need in one dish.

I often make this after we have baked chicken and I need to make stock. This dish is versatile and pretty much anything can be added. I mix it up depending on what we have in the fridge. My mom grabbed me some mark down zucchini at the market in town, so I have a few and I love adding zucchini to this dish. I also had leftover broccoli and I always have plenty of carrots.



  • Baked chicken diced
  • 1 cup rice of choice (I prefer white for this recipe – for speed purposes instant is a good choice)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • About 1 cup of cooked broccoli
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, or bread crumb topping (optional – I omit both but reserve cheese on the side for John and Jack)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350.
  • Cook rice per instructions.
  • Chop carrot and zucchini, steam quickly or sautĂ© on stove until cooked.
  • Dice cooked chicken .
  • When rice and veggies are done, add to baking dish with rice, chicken, and sauce.
  • Mix together.
  • Bake at 350 for roughly 20 minutes.
  • Everything is cooked so it simply needs to heat through.
  • (Optional) top with cheese of choice for last five minutes of baking.


It’s super quick and easy to make, and to adapt this recipe to dietary needs. We have this once every other week or so.



Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 26 of 365 Real Foods Series: Naturally Dyed Cupcakes

I lost the first two weeks of February to illness and the last two weeks to a ridiculous foot injury, but now I consider myself off the bench and back in the game!

Prior to my last food post, Postponement of 365 Real Foods Series (, my friend Courtney posted a photo of gorgeously dyed cupcakes on her Facebook page. I nearly went insane when I saw how stunning they were. She kindly sent me the information so I could blog them. 🙂

She began experimenting with natural dyes to test out colors for her daughter’s birthday cake. Like us, she avoids artificially dyed foods, so her goal was to find a way to make a colorful cake using natural ingredients she has at home.  She used real foods to make beautifully colored cupcakes, and they came out amazing.



  • White and yellow cake mixes (for the purpose of experimenting and budgeting, Courtney used a basic Betty Crocker mix).
  • Organic eggs
  • Paprika
  • Organic basil
  • (7) small canned beets
  • Blueberry jam
  • Organic frozen raspberries


  • Prepare mixes per instructions on box with eggs.
  • Divide mix into three separate bowls.

Yellow Cupcakes: 

  • Yellow cake mixed used – no need for adding any additional color. Try a bit of cumin if you wish to add more color.

“The yellow cupcakes were simple yellow mix and tasty.”

Green Cupcakes:

  • Yellow cake mixed used.
  • Put fresh basil leaves and stems into blender.
  • Chop and add cake mix to blender.

“These cupcakes had a very fresh, bright, herb flavor and the color was bright green.”

Orange Cupcakes:

  • Yellow cake mix.
  • Add paprika to cake mix.
  • Blend well.

” …  a little goes a long way (the taste was slightly savory with the normal texture).”

Purple Cupcakes:

  • White cake mix.
  • Place canned beets into blender and blend until nearly smooth.
  • Add cake mix and blend until nicely combined.

“The beet cupcakes have a very mellow sweet taste and texture, barely noticeable earthy tone.”

Blue Cupcakes:

  • White cake mix.
  • Add blueberry jam to cake mix and blend until combined.
  • Do not over mix.

“The blueberry cupcakes have a dense texture, deep blueberry flavor, and almost a moist pound cake feel to them.”

Pink Cupcakes: 

  • White cake mix.
  • Place thawed, frozen raspberries into blender.
  • Blend until smooth and add cake mix.
  • Blend together until smooth.

“The texture is very moist and dense, almost like a fluffy cheesecake, flavor is very fruity.”

Overall, these cupcakes came out amazing. Courtney would tweak a few things here and there, but was happy with the outcome. If making for a party, she would use organic cake mix. “If I’m going to go all the way with this much effort….It’s going to be organically spectacular!”

“I do have some cream cheese frosting that mellows out the stronger flavored cupcakes, it compliments basil, beet, and paprika very nicely. Blueberry and raspberry are already so moist they don’t need the additional creaminess. The final judgement on these has been they are very flavorful, the color is intense, and the texture is off in the mixtures I put into the blender. I would not put the mixture into the blender again, even though it makes it so easy to mix and to pour into the cupcake pan.”

About Courtney: I’m a mother, girl friend (12 years running), sister, daughter, organic gardener for food and landscapes. Creating meals with organic food I have grown or bought is my goal. I am willing to use non-organic products to help my budget. I focus on buying organic dairy, meat, and veggies, locally during the season. I have many organic spices, sugar, and other baked goods. I buy them when they are on sale and I clearance shop at the natural food stores.

A big thank you to Courtney for sharing! These are wonderful, and I can’t wait to try them. <3

Give these cupcakes a try and let me know what you think. I would love to see your pictures as well!

Happy Baking,

The Joyful Homemaker

March Giveaway!


Who’s up for a little spring cleaning? Time to wash those curtains and couch cushion covers, because this month The Joyful Homemaker is giving away one full size, Honest Co. Oxy Boost Laundry Packets! Retail value is $7.95!

To enter the contest:

  • Like The Joyful Homemaker on Facebook for +1
  • Comment on my Facebook post for +1
  • Leave a blog comment for +1
  • Share the contest to your Facebook page for +5!!

Due to the narrowness of the right hand widget column, the entry box is located on the bottom of my homepage.

Contest runs 3/5/14 – 3/7/14. Winner is picked at random using Rafflecopter’s randomizer. Winner will be notified via email no later than 48 hours after the contest. Product will be shipped at no cost to the winner.

The Joyful Homemaker is no way affiliated with Honest Co. I simply love their products and wish to share them with one lucky reader.

Good luck!

The Joyful Homemaker