Forever Searching For That Perfect Sandwich Bread

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Sandwich bread is the number one complaint and the most sought after item by people who are gluten-free and/or grain free. Seriously, I cannot believe with the information and technology we have today that no one has been able to make the perfect gluten-free, grain free, or Paleo sandwich bread. How is this possible?

And don’t go getting too excited, because this post isn’t the post where I tell you I have it all figured out either.


Sifted Almond Flour

Sifted Almond Flour

I constantly search thinking there has to be someone out there who has this all mapped out and is sitting on a revolutionary allergen free sandwich bread . Oh, there are people who think they have it figured out and have shared some decent recipes, and I’ve tried tons. But I have yet to find that one recipe that screams “BREAD!”

I mean come on. They’ve created crazy GMO foods and cloned animals and who knows what else… you’d think someone could come up with the perfect allergen free sandwich bread.


I too am guilty of putting “the best” or “fabulous” in front of some of my creations. And truth be told, I do feel those are the best or most fabulous of the numerous variations I’ve tried. However, there are those recipes you run across and try that have all of those colorful and hopeful descriptions that leave you scratching your head when they come out of your oven.


Something else to keep in mind…sometimes for no rhyme or reason you can follow an allergen free recipe exactly and it still won’t turn out like the photo or the comments of the person sharing it. I have no idea why.


I have recipes that I’ve used for years and years that are consistent and reliable and occasionally people will write me and tell me they’ve followed it exactly and it didn’t turn out the way I said it would. I have no idea how to address that. It would have to fall into the category of what is your definition of “exactly”? Or, I just do not know why. Which is frustrating for people.


One of my biggest complaints lately is that many of the grain free recipes I’ve tried all have the same texture. In between bread and a muffin or banana bread texture.

Promising because it's a pretty loaf, but still, a low rise.

Promising because it’s a pretty loaf, but still, a low rise.

For some reason, this really irritates me. And after a while, grosses me out. I want to say really? This is it? The BEST sandwich bread? Are we all just so desperate for a decent bread that we have lowered the bar…dramatically?

About half the height of the loaf pan...

About half the height of the loaf pan…

I would say the biggest complaints I have and the biggest complaints I hear from other people are in this order:

1.  It doesn’t rise and is too small

2. The texture is weird. Either grainy or dense or crumbles and falls apart

3. It lacks in flavor

4. It needs to be toasted to be used for sandwiches

5. Too eggy, especially in Paleo bread making

6. Too many uncommon ingredients

7. Too expensive to make (many grain free recipes call for up to 6 eggs! If you’re using organic and it doesn’t turn out, it’s a huge waste of money)

The first words out of my husband's mouth, "it kinda tastes like banana bread...without the banana."

The first words out of my husband’s mouth, “it kinda tastes like banana bread…without the banana.”

But because we are in this together, and you love bread as much as I do, I’ll keep looking. And I’ll share the recipes I create and recipes of others that I’ve tried, because not everyone’s tastes are the same. But, I will always be honest about how I feel about them and why or why not I was or was not impressed.

BLT's with Avocado, Olive Oil Mayo, & Spicy Ground Mustard

BLT’s with Avocado, Olive Oil Mayo, & Spicy Ground Mustard

I tried two “sandwich” bread recipes the other day. One that I created and the other I followed exactly with the exception of 1 ingredient.

We’ll start with the one that I created and I’ll share the other one with you tomorrow.

Toasted it worked well for our lunch. I was fine with one, but because of the small size, my husband had two.

Toasted it worked well for our lunch. I was fine with one, but because of the small size, my husband had two.

Sandwich Bread

Out of 1-10 for toast I rate this bread a 7. Toasts well, holds together, nice texture, good taste, still doesn’t taste like “real” bread but it’s totally livable. Again, size is an issue. Don’t burn it in the toaster, it will make your house smell like popcorn.

Out of 1-10 for sandwich bread un-toasted, I rate it a 2-3 because of small size, muffin/banana bread like texture, and crumble

Out of 1-10 for hot out of the oven slathered with dairy free butter, I rate it a 6 because it’s hard to complain about hot bread right from the oven when you haven’t eaten bread in three weeks 

2 Cups of Almond Flour, sifted

1/3 Cup Flaxseed Meal

1 Tablespoon of Raw Organic Pumpkin Seeds, chopped

1/2 teaspoon of Organic Chia Seeds

1/2 teaspoon of Iodized Sea Salt

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/2 Cup of Arrowroot Powder

4 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter, melted

3 Organic Eggs

1 teaspoon of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup of Coconut Milk

1 teaspoon of Organic Raw Honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a loaf pan and line bottom with parchment, set aside.  Sift the almond flour into a medium bowl and add the flaxseed meal, chopped pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, salt, baking soda, and arrowroot powder. Whisk together and set aside.

In a large measuring cup add the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Whisk together and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the eggs and melted dairy free butter and whisk together. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.


Simple Chicken Dinner & A Fabulous Fallen Cake



Simple is my middle name these days. I used to just relish working on recipes that had a gazillion steps and were a labor of love to create.


Now, I still aim for fabulous and crave fantastic, but the first thought on my mind is “simple”.


Something simple that won’t take me hours to make, where the cleanup won’t exhaust me, that really anyone with basic cooking skills can make, and still have it be delicious and not taste or look simple.


Both the chicken dish and the spicy cauliflower and broccoli dish are extremely easy with very few ingredients.


The dinner had a prep time of 20 minutes and cook time of about 35 minutes.


Delicious, simple, fantastic.

The chicken has amazing layers of flavor. The onion, garlic, and sundried tomatoes work perfectly together. Distinct flavors, but not so much that they overpower the chicken. The spicy cauliflower and broccoli has just enough spice to contrast the sweetness of the cauliflower but not too much heat to take away from the flavors of the chicken.


The not so fantastic part? Enjoying it on the patio overlooking our dirt back yard. 



Landscaping was supposed to start Tuesday, now it’s Friday…they “think” they’ll be able to start the sprinkler system on Monday then it will take “about” 10 days to complete all the landscaping. At this point, I’m convinced that the majority of construction and landscape laborers live in an alternate universe where time is of no consequence.


As many of you already know I’m doing a grain free trial run. Baking grain free has been a challenge to say the least. So far I haven’t been impressed with even one bread recipe I’ve tried. But I’ll save that post for later.

For now we’ll discuss the flourless fallen cake.


I tweaked the recipe a bit like I said I would. Added more chocolate and a bit more coconut oil. Also baked it in a regular sized cake pan rather than two tart pans. Turned out much more moist and now has the perfect balance of chocolate. However, with the fear of over cooking it and having it be too dry, I believe I may have under cooked it just a touch. It looked wonderful coming out of the oven…and then.

You may be wondering why I’m calling it fabulous… Of course I didn’t know it was fabulous when I was taking pictures of it. So I took my shots and then set it aside and ignored it while it cooled.

I’ve seen tons of recipes on Pinterest for Paleo frosting made with avocado. So I found one that looked promising from Gourmet Innovations and tweaked it to suit my needs.

Behold, the Fabulous Fallen Cake.


Amazingly enough….FABULOUS in every way.

Even the avocado frosting. Not weird at all.


Both the cake and the frosting are very rich but in a light and airy way. The cake was perfectly moist and now I’m convinced that the fallen aspect is no big deal and just gives it rustic character.

I like rustic character.


Fabulous Fallen Cake

*Instructions in bold are what have been updated from my previous recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooling time: 1 hour

Cook time: 34 minutes (Maybe add another 5…)

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cakes)

4 Tablespoons of Raw Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil

8 ounces of 70%  Dark Belgian Chocolate, chopped (or Enjoy Life chips)

6 Large Organic Eggs, yolks and whites separated

1 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar Crystals

1 teaspoon of Instant Coffee or Espresso Powder (decaf is fine!)

2 Pinches of Iodized Sea Salt (1 for the chocolate mixture and 1 for the egg whites)

2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (I use convection). Line the bottom of one 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and rub the paper and pans with coconut oil or spray with coconut oil. Place the 4 Tablespoons of coconut oil and chopped chocolate in a small glass bowl over a steaming pan of hot water. Stir until combined and fully melted. 

Remove bowl from steaming pan, wipe bottom of bowl with a towel to avoid any water dripping into the chocolate. Set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of coconut sugar crystals on medium high until thick and fluffy and crystals have dissolved completely.  Add the instant coffee or espresso powder, salt, and beat until combined and coffee has dissolved. Add the vanilla and slowly drizzle the melted chocolate mixture in and beat for about 1 minute until combined.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt until foamy. Increase beating to high and slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar crystals in small batches. Continue beating on high until stiff peak (close to 5 minutes). Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Pour batter evenly in one 9 inch pan. 

Bake for 34 minutes, remove and cool completely on baking rack.

Chocolate Avocado Frosting

Prep time: 3-5 minutes

Mix time: 5 minutes

(Adapted from Gourmet Innovations)

1 Organic Avocado, pitted & scooped out

1/4 Cup of Organic Cocoa Powder

2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon of Organic Coconut Sugar Crystals

1 Tablespoon of Dairy Free Butter

Place all ingredients into a food processor. Process until smooth and fluffy, scraping down sides several times. 

Frost cake when it is completely cooled. After serving, store lightly covered in fridge. 

Simple Chicken Dinner

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

5-6 Organic Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Thighs

1 Organic Medium Onion, peeled and sliced thinly

2 Organic Cloves of Garlic, peeled & pressed or shredded over chicken

About 1 teaspoon of Organic Dried Thyme

3 Sun Dried Tomatoes In Oil, chopped


Sea Salt

Organic Olive Oil

Place chicken thighs in an 8×8 baking dish. Layer sliced onion on top, in between, and under thighs. Shred garlic cloves over chicken (I used a zester). Sprinkle the thyme over the chicken, disperse the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with a little paprika and sea salt. Drizzle somewhat generously with olive oil.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Spicy Cauliflower & Broccoli

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

About 1 1/2 Cups of Organic Cauliflower, large stalks removed and heads broken into small bite size pieces

About 1 1/2 Cups of Organic Broccoli, large stalks removed and heads broken into small bite size pieces

1/4 of A WHOLE Jalapeno, membrane and seeds intact, diced

Organic Olive Oil

Sea Salt

In a medium saute pan add the cauliflower, broccoli, and jalapeno. Drizzle with olive oil. Saute on Medium Low for about 20-25 minutes until aldente. Season with sea salt. (I added another drizzle of olive oil toward the end of the cooking process).

Buckwheat & Coconut Flour Pancakes



I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this whole Paleo thing. The concept behind Paleo in a nutshell, is eating only things that our early ancestors ate. Basically, if a caveman couldn’t hunt it or find it, you can’t eat it.


I very quickly came to the realization that the majority of Paleo recipes “out there” are not technically Paleo at all. Coconut sugar? Coconut milk? Coconut flour? Maple syrup? Blanched almond flour? Sweeteners made with plants like xylitol and stevia?

Paleo? I think not.


A truly Paleo diet of course would only consist of local wild animals, insects, berries, tree fruits, maybe some seeds, and root vegetables and I suppose maybe bird eggs when they could find them. Possibly honey. So modern Paleo is really nothing like a true Paleo diet.


Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about that fact. As a foodie, living on just the basics above would be very difficult and extremely boring and there’s no way I’m introducing insects into my diet. I think figuring out what irritates your body and finding a healthy balance is the key. Balance doesn’t mean I’m promoting eating things you’re sensitive to or allergic to of course, but if you’re just tweaking your diet to see how it goes, then I recommend a happy, non-obsessive, balance. If you don’t strive for balance, you’ll find yourself standing in front of the fridge and cupboards freaked out and overwhelmed because you feel like there’s nothing you can eat.

Balance is the key.

On top of my usual abstinence from gluten and dairy, grain has not touched my lips in 23 days and neither has refined sugar. Some may think that’s obsessive, however, I take this very seriously as Lyme Disease and its ugly side effects are nothing to mess around with.


I will give you a good example of what I mean by balance. When we are eating at home we eat all organic meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, any condiments we can find that are organic, and my husband drinks organic cow’s milk, and we drink filtered water. Not everything in our cupboard or fridge is organic, but that’s what we strive for whenever possible. When we go out to eat (a rarer and rarer occasion), I don’t even think about the organic aspect. I still have to keep allergies in mind but other than that we find that balance and enjoy ourselves. The other day we went to a movie. Typically if we go to a move my husband and I will share a large popcorn “buttered”, salted, and a soda.  But, because I’m trying to get rid of refined sugar, I settled on a water bottle but still shared the popcorn that I’m sure is totally GMO and god only knows what they butter it with. And I don’t want to know. That in my mind, is balance. Mental balance. Because life is much TOO short not to have movie theater popcorn every now and then or enjoy a delicious steak at a wonderful restaurant even though the chances of it being organic are close to zero.


 I have noticed a dramatic difference in my hands and ankles and overall body/joint pain and swelling since kicking grains and refined sugars out of my diet. My knuckles are almost back to normal, partly due in fact to the prescription anti inflammatory I’m sure, but even that hasn’t been able to quench the fire completely. Once I stopped the gluten free grains and refined sugar, I noticed a marked difference. I could tell my body was working with the anti inflammatory, rather than against it. I’ve never been one to eat a ton of sugar anyway, so I’m going to attribute the vast improvement in my body to the lack of gluten free grains and an increase in raw vegetables and other anti inflammatory items such as turmeric, cinnamon, raw honey, and ginger . Going gluten and dairy free isn’t always the heal all unfortunately. Another bonus: I’ve lost 9 pounds in the short time I’ve been off all grains. Obviously, I was inflamed and swollen and puffy, even more than I could see.


I think there’s a common human trait involved in changing your diet. Even if there are several things on your “Do Not Eat”  list that you don’t eat often anyway, there is, after about a week or ten days, an intense desire to eat them. The stubborn gene that you inherited from one of your crazy relatives comes out in full swing. Luckily, I love to cook and bake and on a good week have the time to be prepared for such instances. I’m also fearful of what I will feel like if I add those things back into my diet. If you don’t like to cook or you are strapped for time, or your willpower is lacking, you’re going to have to get creative. Or somehow find the time to focus on your diet and your health. You’re worth it you know. So many of us, the majority probably, have forgotten how good we’re supposed to feel.

Don’t live like that.


The sugar thing is easy to get around if you’re willing to do a little research. I have been using coconut crystals, maple syrup, and honey when I make something sweet. I’m fine with that. Some people will argue about the honey and maple syrup. If you are being more strict, then look into xylitol and stevia. I haven’t tried either one just yet but will eventually try baking with both.  If you’re really serious about completely eliminating all sugar from your diet, I would recommend “I Quit Sugar 108 Sugar Free Recipes” by Sarah Wilson. It’s a beautiful cookbook and she will walk you through the entire 8 week detox path and then supply you with wonderful recipes to try. I’ll admit her detox plan was a little overwhelming for me. It’s extreme. But some people love and need extreme. If that’s you, you’ll enjoy it.

 I tried a recipe for pancakes last week I found on Pinterest with just coconut flour and they were awful. Gooey in the middle, heavy like a brick, and way too much coconut texture. They had to all be tossed in the garbage; an expensive experiment.

These Buckwheat & Coconut Flour pancakes are delicious and were the perfect meal to curb that “grain” craving. Fluffy and hearty with the perfect balance of sweet and savory, and not too much coconut going on. I’ve made buckwheat pancakes in the past so am familiar with the texture and how it works. This experiment turned out fantastic and even Tony who is a pancake and all things sugar expert, loved them.

 They are gluten free, dairy free, grain free, and refined sugar free. They can also be made with any type of milk, making them nut free.


Buckwheat & Coconut Flour Pancakes

*Makes 12 medium to large pancakes

2 Organic Eggs, Separated

2 1/2 Cups of Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk (or milk of choice)

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Cup of Organic Buckwheat Flour

1/2 Cup of Organic Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup of Tapioca Starch

1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 teaspoon of Organic Coconut Crystals

1/4 teaspoon of Iodized Sea Salt

Separate the eggs and beat egg whites to stiff peak. Set aside. Sift the buckwheat, coconut flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium sized bowl. Add the milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Carefully fold in egg whites.

Heat a griddle on medium and oil. I used bacon fat but you can use avocado oil or coconut oil also. Spoon batter onto hot griddle and cook for 4 minutes or until bubbly on top. Flip and cook for about 3 minutes.

Anti Inflammatory Smoothie



“There are literally hundreds of illnesses caused by chronic inflammation that modern medicine has classified as unique and unrelated, when in fact they are all products of the same underlying imbalances inside the body. When the root causes of these imbalances are properly addressed, chronic illness in general stands a far less chance of taking hold than if left to run its natural course. Persistent, systemic inflammation is at the root of practically all known chronic health conditions, including everything from rheumatoid arthritis and high cholesterol to dementia and cancer. These conditions are not necessarily inevitable, and neither is chronic inflammation, but you have to know what lifestyle and dietary steps to take in order to avoid them, many of which are fairly simple and straightforward.” ~ from Natural News-Natural Health News & Scientific Discoveries


Basically, what I’ve learned from extensive research of inflammation, how it damages the body, and how to get rid of it is this: Inflammation is the root of almost all evil in the body. A little inflammation is a good thing because it’s helpful in fighting off sickness that doesn’t belong, but for most of us, we are overloaded with inflammation because of diet issues, stress, and environmental hazards. This overload of inflammation does the exact opposite of what inflammation was created to do. The good news? There’s all kinds of things YOU can do to work with the amazing disease fighting system you were given, rather than work against it.


Figuring out your food sensitivities and allergies, eating whole organic foods, reducing chemicals in your daily products, drinking filtered water (half of your body weight in ounces every day), and adding fermented foods as well as anti inflammatory spices and herbs to your diet will go a long way to helping you fight the overload of inflammation and the ugly side effects it brings along with it.

A morning smoothie is an excellent way for you to start off on the right foot. But if you can’t fit a smoothie into your morning routine, you can have it for any meal or snack. I aim for 5 days a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But I definitely notice the difference in how I feel if I slack off for several days. If you’re not used to buying organic ingredients there may be a little sticker shock involved. The way I look at it; I would rather spend more on whole, organic, items that are excellent for my health and then tighten the budget elsewhere to compensate.


This smoothie is packed with nutrients and anti inflammatory benefits. It’s a cinch to whip up. Pour it in a BPA free cup (mine is 24 ounces) and it will go anywhere with you.

Love Your Body Smoothie

*makes one 24-26 ounce serving (383 calories/ 13 grams protein)

9.5 oz of Coconut Water (or nut milk, hemp milk, coconut milk)

1/2 Cup Organic Spinach and/or Kale, packed

1/2 Cup Fresh Organic Pineapple

1/2 of a Medium Organic Apple

Juice of 1 Small Organic Lemon

3/4 Cup Frozen Organic Blueberries (or fresh)

1 Medium Organic Carrot

1 Stick of Organic Celery

1 Tablespoon of Raw Organic Pumpkin Seeds

1 Tablespoon of Organic Chia Seeds

2 teaspoons of Manuka Honey 400+

1/2 teaspoon of Organic Ginger (fresh or powdered)

1/2 teaspoon of Organic Cinnamon, heaping

1 1/2 teaspoons of Organic Turmeric

2 teaspoons of Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil

1 Cup of Ice

Place all ingredients (except the ice) in a heavy-duty blender until smooth. Add the ice, blend until smooth.

*I switch it up and add other items occasionally: 1/2 Organic Avocado, Banana (not too often!), Beet Greens, Chard, Fresh Beets, Mango, Non-Dairy Protein Powder, Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, Almonds, Walnuts, Ground Flax. You can also do all vegetables and no fruit. Be mindful of too much fruit and not enough protein and healthy fats.

Firemen & a Fabulous Dessert


We had a visit from the fire department on Tuesday morning.


Our fire alarms started and the automated system was saying, “fire, fire, fire”. We searched and searched and couldn’t figure out where this supposed fire was burning. After 25 minutes, some very freaked out dogs, and no sign of fire…the alarms were still blaring. Fearful that there was an electrical fire within a wall somewhere in the house I made a call to the fire department after calling the construction supervisor of our neighborhood to see if he had any ideas.

Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base with Coconut Milk & Maple Syrup

Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base with Coconut Milk & Maple Syrup


The fire department of course told me to call 911. Which I felt uncomfortable doing because there wasn’t a fire, but did it anyway. Meanwhile, the construction supervisor showed up and began removing all of the alarms one by one. In every single room and hallway.


The noise was deafening. I’ve never heard fire alarms blare so loudly.


We’ll certainly never sleep through them if we have a fire in the middle of the night. In fact, the people in the town next to us won’t either. Dogs were moved to the garage where there aren’t any fire alarms. (I made a mental note of that fact.)  Abigail rested quietly on her dog bed in Tony’s “man cave” area of the garage while Romeo hid behind the truck, shaking like it was the end of the world.

The Beginnings of a Honey & Coconut Milk Caramel Sauce

The Beginnings of a Honey & Coconut Milk Caramel Sauce

So the fireman arrived. Extremely friendly and very good looking as all firemen are. Of course we had just returned from walking the dogs and I was dressed in exercise clothing, sweaty, and didn’t have a stitch of makeup on. They searched high and low and used some fancy equipment to test for hot spots in the walls, smoke, and any sign of gas leakage.


A Low Boiling For 7 Minutes.

A Low Boiling For 7 Minutes.

The construction superintendent assured us his electrician would be here at 1:00 PM and then he exited the house as quickly as he came to probably try to recover what was left of his hearing.


The firemen assured us there wasn’t anything fishy going on. And then they were off to battle real emergencies. We were left wondering if our system really works, and pondering questions like, “how safe are we really?”

  But at least it was quiet again.

Sitting Out At Room Temperature Until Cooled.

Sitting Out At Room Temperature Until Cooled.

Well, 1:00 PM rolled around, then 2:00, then 3:30, then 4:30. I’m sensing a pattern in this neighborhood with the “construction” people and their inability to look at their watches. So I called the construction superintendent and left him a voicemail to let him know that his electrician never showed up.

After A Night of Refrigeration. Glorious!!

After A Night of Refrigeration. Glorious!!

He returned my call to let me know he had sent a text to my husband two and half hours earlier to let him know it would need to be rescheduled to Wednesday morning. My husband was upstairs in his office. Of course he didn’t let me know about the text until 2 1/2 hours later…right after I called the construction superintendent in my mother voice. I wondered quietly to myself how they get through life with such a glaring lack of communication skills.

I Really Wanted Fluted Edges So Baked The Cake In A Tart Pan. The Half Full One Will Be Saved For Non-Guests Only and Late Night Snacks.

I Really Wanted Fluted Edges So Baked The Cake In A Tart Pan. The Half Full One Will Be Saved For Non-Guests Only and Late Night Snacks.

So along comes Wednesday, which was my 46th birthday and the reason for the fabulous dessert. The electrician showed up in the morning, late of course, but he did show up. And as I had guessed, after checking all of the alarms and the electrical, had absolutely no clue as to why they went off the day before.


Then he actually asked me for the fire alarm manual. Which he then read out loud to us along with 1,000 meanings as to why they flash a red light every 30 seconds, randomly, or continually and when the green light is going to be on and why, and how to reset them….and on and on and on.


At that point I had checked out. I had enough of late people and no answers and was annoyed quite frankly by the very presence of multiple men who don’t know what they are doing.

A Taste Test of The Half Full Cake.

A Taste Test of The Half Full Cake.

So as I stood there in physical form, my brain had checked out and instead of listening to a grown man read me instructions that I could easily read myself, I sent thank you notes on Facebook to people who were wishing me a happy birthday. Smart phones and Facebook…the all natural relaxation remedy. Amen.

I Placed The Cake in A Cake Dish To Steam To Assure It Would Remain Moist.

After cooling for 15 minutes, I Placed The Cake in A Cake Dish To Steam To Assure It Would Remain Moist.


 So the electrician left and we had no answers as usual.


We moved on to enjoy a very pleasant birthday lunch with my mother in law and our son. I made simple chicken and vegetable kabobs and a coleslaw salad. We finished with a flourless cake, coconut milk ice cream, and an impressive dairy free caramel sauce made with organic raw honey.


Romeo had been ill all day (intestinally) and we figured it was from the stress of the alarms the prior day, considering flies and bees will send him running for cover. But by afternoon, it hadn’t stopped. And then vomiting and panting began. At 5 minutes to 5:00 I called the vet to see what to do. They were closing in 5 minutes and said we needed to take him to the emergency vet on the other side of town because the combination of diarrhea, vomiting, and panting is serious business. So off Brandon and I went. Tony had to submit some paperwork for something or other to someone so he didn’t accompany us.

Absolutely Fabulous Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream.

Absolutely Fabulous Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream.

The vet visit turned out fine, nothing horrible thank God… besides the bill of course. $700.00 for blood work and x-rays to make sure nothing of extreme emergency was going on. The doctor said that Romeo’s blood work was SO fantastic that he actually had never seen test results so great. They gave him an anti nausea injection, an antibiotic injection, sent us home with antibiotic pills and recommend ice chips and water for the rest of the night. They also had no answers and figured that he had “eaten or drank something on our walk the previous day that didn’t agree with him”.  After I paid that horrific bill I then felt nauseated and wondered why they didn’t send me home with a prescription included in that price, or at least a cocktail.


So at 7:30 PM after being up and on my feet since 4:00 AM, I dropped the kiddo off at his house who was kind enough to come with me, even though he had been suffering from a terrible headache all day.


I then hauled Romeo home, but not before sitting in front of the gate to our neighborhood trying to find the stupid code I had typed in my notes area of my phone. I finally arrived in our garage just in time to have the fact pointed out to me, that the gate opener to the neighborhood was right above my head, on the visor in the truck, all along.

Upon walking in the house I was faced with the luncheon mess that hadn’t cleaned itself up and kitchen that needed cleaning.

I cleaned the kitchen and dining room, ate leftover chicken and vegetables for a late dinner in front of my computer, and thanked all of the amazing people on my friends list who had sent me the most heart-felt, loving, birthday notes that made me cry.

I slathered myself in Lavender oil, and went to bed.

I prayed for rest, and thanked God that Romeo wasn’t suffering from anything serious, said my thank yous that our house was still standing and my health is still holding, and finally… that I had made it through another year.


Flourless Chocolate Cake

A light and airy texture, but not as intense or moist as I would have liked. Still delicious and very good with the ice cream and caramel sauce. Next time I will experiment with more coconut oil and more chocolate.

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cakes)

3 Tablespoons of Raw Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil

6 ounces of 70%  Dark Belgian Chocolate, chopped

6 Large Organic Eggs, yokes and whites separated

1 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar Crystals

1 teaspoon of Instant Coffee or Espresso Powder (decaf is fine!)

A Pinch of Iodized Sea Salt

2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (I use convection). Line the bottoms of 2 tart pans or one 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and rub the paper and pans with coconut oil. Place the 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil and chopped chocolate in a small glass bowl over a steaming pan of hot water. Stir until combined and fully melted. 

Remove bowl from steaming pan, wipe bottom of bowl with a towel to avoid any water dripping into the chocolate. Set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of coconut crystals on medium high until thick and fluffy and crystals have dissolved completely.  Add the instant coffee or espresso powder, salt, and beat until combined and coffee has dissolved. Add the vanilla and slowly drizzle the melted chocolate mixture and beat for about 1 minute until combined.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt until foamy. Increase beating to high and slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar crystals in small batches. Continue beating on high until stiff peak. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture in multiple batches. I did three. Pour batter evenly in one 9 inch pan or 2 tart pans. 

Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until middle is just set when jiggled. Cool and cover until ready to serve. I warmed ours slightly (15-20 seconds) before topping with ice cream and caramel sauce.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Coconut Milk & Pure Maple Syrup

So far, this is my favorite dairy free ice cream recipe…and I have tried several. The egg yolks make all the difference!

(Adapted from Against All Grain)

27 ounces of Full Fat Organic BPA Free Coconut Milk

3 Large Vanilla Beans, slit and scraped

1/2 Cup Pure Maple Syrup (Use New Hampshire or Vermont, they’re the best!)

4 Organic Egg Yolks

2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

In a cold saucepan add the coconut milk, vanilla pods and scrapings, maple syrup, and egg yolks. Whisk to combine. Heat over medium low, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, about 10-15 minutes. Do not let boil.

Transfer to a large, shallow dish, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on liquid to prevent condensation and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours. I always refrigerate over night. When chilled, remove the vanilla pods, pour the liquid into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I use the ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. LOVE it.

When it reaches a thick soft serve consistency, spoon into an airtight container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream under the lid to prevent freezer burn. 

Allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes before serving with an ice cream scoop.

Dairy Free Caramel Sauce

This  has a delicious intense honey flavor with the consistency of caramel. Wonderful!

(Adapted from Against All Grain)

1 Cup of Raw Organic Honey

3 Tablespoons of Spectrum Shortening 

1 Cup of Organic BPA Free Full Fat Coconut Milk

1/2 teaspoon of Iodized Sea Salt

Boil the honey on medium heat in a deep saucepan. Simmer for 5-7 minutes swirling the pan occasionally to ensure even browning. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in the shortening, coconut milk, and salt. Return to heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes stirring occasionally to ensure the coconut milk doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. You may need to lower heat slightly.

Pour into a glass container and allow to cool at room temperature, uncovered. Chill in refrigerator over night before serving. Will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.

*When I checked it in the morning, the honey had slightly separated at the bottom of the glass dish and the caramel sauce seemed too thick. I stirred it thoroughly with a spoon put it back in the fridge for a bit and it turned out fabulous! Hasn’t separated since.

A Week In The Circus


Do you ever reach Sunday and feel so thankful that your week has come to an end? I don’t feel like that often, but this week has definitely been “one of those” weeks. Kind of felt like we were the ringmasters of a three-ring circus.


This morning’s breakfast was organic creamy buckwheat hot cereal. Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel, not a grain like many people think. I added organic unsweetened almond milk, organic nectarine, organic cinnamon, organic walnuts, and a tad bit organic raw honey.

A few unsavory things transpired this week that we had to deal with, but the highlight of our delightful week?

My husband was let go from his new job along with over 100 other employees including his boss who had been with the company for 17 years. His boss was informed 20 minutes before my husband who had worked for that company for 3 months was informed. They brought in a new CEO and that person revamped the company’s sales force and gave three-quarters of them their walking papers. If you have any experience with the corporate world, you know unfortunately, this is not unusual. Business is business. And business in this day and age is not what business was like “in the good old days” where you devoted your expertise to one company who was equally loyal to you for your entire career. So now we begin a new journey (another one!), trusting that everything most certainly happens for a reason and for our good. Prayers for stress protection for both of us and employment opportunities for Tony would certainly be welcomed if you feel it in your heart to add us to your prayer list.

We chose a see through fence along the backside of the property as it is owned by the county and not allowed to be used for housing.

We chose a see through fence along the backside of the property as it is owned by the county and not allowed to be used for housing.

As you can see we’re still staring at a backyard full of dirt. We switched landscapers after getting a rather frightening quote from the first guy. We had to put off the landscaping for three weeks with guy #2 but the price was worth the wait and we didn’t have to set aside any landscaping ideas like we would have with guy #1.

Even with the dirt backyard, watching the sunrise and breakfasts on the deck are delightful. A peaceful blessing!

Even with the dirt backyard, watching the sunrise and breakfasts on the deck are delightful. A peaceful blessing!

Our experience with the fence company has been…problematic. They didn’t show up two days in a row when they said they would. I had to make a call in my serious mother voice in order to get them out here. Then, we had to have one of the posts removed so the landscapers would be able to get into the backyard with their equipment. When the fence people were removing it with a borrowed piece of machinery from the builders next door, they destroyed the post. Then when they were backing up…destroyed another one. I kind of had to chuckle after all of that. What’s left to do?

And of course, they were the more expensive gate posts. Prior to this happening, my husband came in from out of town and realized they had cracked our bran new driveway with their big truck when there was plenty of room for them to avoid the driveway all together. Not a good situation. Thankfully, the posts will be fixed (not on our dime), the driveway has been “patched” although not to my husband’s satisfaction, and fingers crossed, they’ll hang all the gates properly when the landscaping is finished.


They hung a temporary gate while our gate is being powder coated to keep the dogs from roaming. However, they left an 8 foot gap in the fence on the other side and didn’t hang anything temporary as discussed. At this point, I just had to shake my head. Such lack of attention to detail. Then I noticed several of the fence boards are dented and scratched. So I had to make another call in my serious mother voice and have them come out again to hang the orange temporary mesh and remove the posts they dug out of the holes and just left lying in the yard in the path of the landscapers. We were told to place painter’s tape on the damaged fence boards and they’ll be replaced.

We went with a 5 foot fence on this side of the house as no building will be permitted their either.

We went with a 5 foot fence on this side of the house as no building will be permitted there either.

Abigail is mortified that she has to pee in dirt. She stands in the middle of the “yard” and looks back at us like, “you want me to pee in THIS?”  Romeo is fine with it and has found it quite entertaining to jump around smacking his paws in the dirt and making huge dust clouds.

Abigail and I would never make it in the old west.  Dust…ugh. Notice the cat is on the inside of the screen. We hadn’t realized she was out the other night and spent the entire night outside and then the entire next day in a window well that she was too old to get herself out of. She’s typically a grumpy, snobby cat, but after that adventure, I noticed she was quite happy to see me and be back inside the comfort of a home full of self feeding cat dishes and kitty treats.


That’s what’s happening in our neck of the woods. Never a dull moment with us. Looking forward to an uneventful Sunday a peaceful week ahead, and wishing you the same!

Tuna & Sauerkraut on Paleo Herb Bread


No, I’m not pregnant.


We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief over that one. That would be quite the surprise for my upcoming 46th birthday, wouldn’t it?


Nope, not pregnant but I am craving some interesting things. I told you a few posts ago that I was going to be tweaking my diet some more and trying to battle the Lyme Disease symptoms with food.


I can tell you that going off of all grains and refined sugar (except for extremely special occasions) makes you crave some interesting things. Like sauerkraut and tuna fish, for some reason.


I started a Paleo diet last Monday. Today I had finally hit my limit of protein, vegetables, and fruit. So I grabbed my new Against All Grain cookbook and set out to see if I could find something I could sink my teeth into that didn’t crunch, moo, or cluck.


I found a recipe for her hamburger buns. A little tweaking, and I had the perfect “bread” snack.  I made three little mini sandwich loaves. Lowered the salt, added lots of herbs, and came up with this.



The reason I’m choosing to try the Paleo (ish) diet is because it is supposed to be very helpful in preventing inflammation, something people with Lyme Disease really struggle with. Inflammation can wreak terrible havoc on your body in so many ways.


Fermented foods are also excellent for inflammation and the gut.


And if you haven’t tried Trader Joe’s Skipjack Line Caught Tuna, you should. It’s delicious.


Add a little olive oil mayo, a little dill, some ground pepper…yummy.


Then slather the bread with horseradish mustard. So many bold flavors!

But not so bold they outweigh each other.


I would say the texture is in between bread and a biscuit if that’s possible. Very tasty and stayed together quite nicely until the last couple of bites. I would say it’s probably best if you’re going to use it for a sandwich to use it the day you bake it. Otherwise, it will probably need to be toasted to stay together.

It did satisfy my grain craving. For today anyway.

I’ve already been thinking I may bake a batch in the morning without the herbs. I’m thinking it would be delicious warm with whipped coconut oil and medicinal honey.

I’ll let you know!


Mini Herb Sandwich Loaves

1 1/2 Cups Raw Organic Cashews

3 Organic Eggs

3/4 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 Cup Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk

1/4 Cup Spectrum Shortening

1/3 Cup Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup Blanched Almond Flour

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 1/2 teaspoons Fresh Rosemary, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon Almond Milk – for brushing on tops of loves

Braggs Organic Sprinkle – for seasoning tops of loaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the cashews in a food processor and process until ground into course crumbs, about 20 seconds.

Add the eggs, vinegar, almond milk, and shortening. Process until smooth. Add the flours, salt, and baking soda. Process again until smooth. Spoon into three even mounds on parchment paper and smooth into loves with wet hands.

Brush tops of loaves with almond milk and sprinkle with the Bragg’s seasoning. Bake for 35 minutes.