gluten smuten


I’ve never been one for health food crazes. I’ve never ‘been on a diet’, I just try to avoid drive-thrus and eat my broccoli. A coworker of mine mentioned his family was trying to go gluten-free. I didn’t know what that meant, and while the all-knowing  google has shed light on what gluten is, I still am not totally clear on why people avoid gluten unless they allergic to it—besides the fact that avoiding gluten means avoiding lots of carbs but let’s call a spade an Atkin’s diet spade. So of course that very same day I am perusing pinterest when I see these cookies and am stunned by their shiny, scrackly, chocolate goodness. I went to repin it for myself and realized underneath the picture and see it says “gluten free” and I thought “who wants their cookies to be—” ohhhhh. So I made these. For my coworker and his health kick. For myself and my sweet tooth. For the gluten sensitive. And for all those people out there who broke up with gluten because “it’s not you, it’s me”.

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i scream for ice cream

This is less of a recipe and more of an idea. It’s simple and quick and—thanks to these wonderful store bought cookies—delicious. These are the cookies Oma uses in her famous holiday log and I bought them to use as a crust to a cappuccino cheesecake I never got around to making (YET!).  They are the perfect size for these little treats. These will be the cutest, easiest ice cream sandwiches you will ever eat. And since you assemble them yourself, they are homemade, right??

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a coconut cream dream


I live two lives, one at work and one at home. I love to bake so I squeeze in new recipes, pictures, and posts anywhere I can–often to the detriment of my sleep. And so I guess you could say that my coworkers um…eat well. Birthdays in particular have taken a somewhat spoiled turn, as it’s an excuse for me to delve into the wonderful world of cake. The coworker this cake was made for, when asked what her favorite flavor of cake might be for no particular reason <cough cough> responded quickly “coconut”. I was expecting chocolate or vanilla….or any of those general categories of sweets that leads me in a general direction pretty easily. But I had never had a coconut cake before. I have had vanilla cake with vanilla icing and a layer of coconut on top. I’ve made banana cupcakes with brown butter icing and toasted coconut. So I was surprised by her response and excited for a fun and exciting new challenge. I used parts of two different recipes, one for the cake and one for it’s icing and filling recipe. I searched high and low for a cake that would cut perfectly—literally one of my favorite moments is cutting that first slice and finding out if its a dense, fine crumbed cake where the slice has smooth, flat sides or if it’s going to be a crumbly, hot mess. I’ve found that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I found a cake recipe with a picture of the most beautiful slice and went with it. The final result was perfect—a slightly coconut flavored, delicate white cake with a thick, gooey coconut filling and creamy icing to tie it all together. And as strange as this may sound, I recommend it be served cold. It was so good that way—refreshing and wonderful.  It might be because the filling has almost a pudding-type feel. Anyway you want it, try it out. It had a great balance so that those who love coconut are satisfied while others, who may not be the first in line to crack open a coconut and call it dinner, will love it too.

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be better than green

St. Patty’s day is always such a great excuse to make all sorts of sweet treats and tasty drinks, but when I look for a great recipe to make for this holiday the number of cupcakes, cakes, and brownies overloaded with green sanding sugar, clover cut out sprinkles, green oozy icing—-well it begins to look less like food and more like something you found behind your sink when you were cleaning back there that one year. Green is such a great fun tradition, but sometimes maybe we should leave the green on our shirts and let good food look like…good food. I’ve tried out several “drunken cupcake” recipes over the years and this is the cream of the crop. I combined a few different recipes and found that this is the ultimate crowd pleaser–the ultimate moist, chocolate cupcake (which I WILL figure out how to make un-boozy so i can use it all the time because it is perfect and amazing) with the perfect hint of dark, nutty guiness, the creamy bitterness of the ganache filling, perfectly offsetting the perfectly sweet irish cream buttercream that is the ultimate consistency and flavor. Convinced yet? Make it and find out for yourself how delicious these babies are. And if you can find them, top with these perfect liquor filled chocolates.

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a teeny zucchini

Zucchini isn’t a big part of our lives. Not purposefully, but somehow it just never comes up and I’m not sure it’s the kind of food you get a craving for. Well, until now. Most meals with the word “stuffed” in it tend to make it on this list—the “hey we haven’t had THAT in a while” list that has often surfaces when we’re in a pinch at 5:45. Starving and confused. A dangerous time to hit the grocery stores, by the way (how did 3 boxes of nutter butters get in our cart??). This recipe was as easy as your classic stuffed pepper but with less of a southwestern twist. The flavors are hearty with cumin and a little chili powder lending it a robust flavor that goes great on the zucchini base. The feta and tomatoes add a fresh, light flavor. Pair with some brown or white rice and enjoy a new, healthy and inexpensive  meal that packs flavor and will feed your family all week long.

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happy morning!

I knew i wanted to make this as soon as I saw the picture. I loved the texture–it has a fine crumb and cuts like a dream. The cake is soft and the top crunchy layer is full of brown sugar and cinnamon goodness with a touch of coffee flavor. A classic coffee cake, this is definitely going to be my new go-to recipe. I love the gourmet look, tall and perfectly sliced, unlike most recipes which leave you with flat, crumbly heaps of cake. It’s simple to make and would make a great base for your own favorite additions—pecans, blueberries, vanilla bean. Best enjoyed with a warm cup of coffee.
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you’ll go bananas, you’ll go nuts!

This is amazing. I use the term “ice cream” loosely here–this is a 2 ingredient, 2 step, milk free, delicious frozen treat. And as someone who is allergic to milk and who knows a lot of people who are lactose intolerant, this is awesome. It tastes like a banana split and is actually good for you. Bananas and Nutella. Blended and frozen to perfection. I eat ice cream now and then and don’t worry–this holds up to that bar, too.  It scoops out just like icecream and the texture is pretty similar—a mix between icecream and frozen yogurt. I poured it in a big bowl and just scooped out of it every night until it was gone. I’m not even sure my husband got more than a few scoops by me.  So if you want to try it out, don’t come crying to me. Make your own ; )

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east meets south

No, not the far east….put your chopsticks down and back it up. I saw a picture of this recipe and had to try it. It looked unique and it wasn’t until as I was preparing it that i realized that it was Italian meets Mexican. It’s like a lasagna, but instead of noodles there is tortilla. And there is ricotta, but it is mixed with salsa verde. The flavor is unique and delicious, and it’s so fun to stack the layers. It’s cute to look at, easy to prepare, and unlike any recipe I have ever tried. We loved the flavor and I know this will be a new go-to recipe. Healthy, quick, and delicous. It’s sure to please!

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slow buffalo

I took a trip. A week long work conference in Vegas (I got wild and took a picture in front of a slot machine! lol) and of course what would my poor sweet husband do without me all week long? Who would watch him play video games and eat pizza all night long feed him and make sure he gets to bed okay?? So I perused the wonderful world wide web for an easy slow cooker recipe that screamed out man-meal (yes, okay, there are recipes like that. They usually involve some combination of cheese, bacon, sausage, and as seen here—buffalo sauce never hurts). I was not surprised and secretly excited when I came home to find he’d been eating fruit and vegetables a large pizza for days and I would get to make this recipe myself. I was a little skeptical about lasagna in the slow cooker and also about the idea of mixing buffalo and marinara sauce—are there Italian cowboys?–but bleu cheese and buffalo flavors are one of our favorites and they sure didn’t let us down. I love a good twist on a classic and this was awesome and so tender and thick, cooked to perfection as I walked through the door after a long day which is awesome because lasagna normally involves an hour of pressing your face up against the oven door and watching the cheese slowly bubble for an hour or more. Subtly classic, with a true flavor kick. Try it out and then give your slow cooker a hug!

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1 biscotti 2 biscotti

I love biscotti. There is something so unique about the idea. Is it a cookie? Is it really socially acceptable to eat these before 9am? Thank heavens the answer is yes. Not too sweet and iconically shaped, biscotti are ridiculous dipped in a cup of coffee and the variations are endless. I debated about dipping them in chocolate (okay, so the debate was very very short) and decided that as long as I was bringing them to church bright and early and sat them next to the eggs and sausage, I could stick them on ice cream and drizzle them with chocolate syrup and they’d count as breakfast. But seriously, they aren’t too sweet and the chocolate adds a touch of glamour and melts perfectly with a hot drink on a cold day. I did this recipe two ways—white chocolate cranberry pistachio and dark chocolate cherry almond. They are from the same basic recipe which allows the imagination to take over for future delectable combinations. Both turned out crisp but not too crumbly, perfect in my book (I got a lot of “did you really MAKE these??”). And it was a fun experience learning how to get that biscotti shape and crunch (warning: you do have to bake them several times so be patient, it’s not that bad).

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