Smart Cookie

3 Comments

2017-04-05 15.41.04

I’ve been trying to come up with a cookie that has as few allergens as possible that still kicks the sweet craving and of course, tastes good. It’s not as easy as you may think to remove most of the things that make a cookie, a cookie and have it turn out like well…a cookie!

I’ve made numerous attempts that ended up being “okay”.  More attempts that ended up in the garbage.

This cookie only took two experiments of ingredient tweaking, tastes fantastic (even got two very big thumbs up from the husband) and because it only makes 12 cookies, I didn’t waste too much on the first attempt, so I’d call that a win.

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I was being a little lazy because I actually didn’t think the recipe would work so I didn’t even bother getting the good camera out. These pictures are all from my phone, which really don’t do the cookies justice.

These cookies are grain free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, organic, and free of refined sugar.

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Smart Cookie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees/Makes 12 Cookies

1/3 Cup of Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil

3 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Sugar

1/3 Cup of Organic Sweet Potato Flour

3 Tablespoons of Organic Arrowroot

3 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Flour

1/8 teaspoon of Sea Salt

2 teaspoons of Organic Pure Almond Extract

2 Tbs of Organic 100% Full Fat Coconut Milk

1/3 Cup Organic Dried Cherries, roughly chopped

About 1/2 Cup of melted chocolate (I use Theo’s Organic 70% Dark)

Beat the coconut oil until it is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the coconut sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth. Add the arrowroot, coconut flour, and sea salt and do the same. Add the almond extract and coconut milk and beat until smooth scraping down the sides. Fold in the dried cherries.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly roll cookies into balls and place on parchment. Pat down with fingertips into small circles.

Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

While cookies are baking melt the chocolate. Place a piece of parchment over a cooling rack. Dip half of each cookie in the melted chocolate, lightly shake off excess. Place on parchment and allow to set. If you want them to set quickly, place them in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies

2 Comments

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! 

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Whether you have a honey to celebrate with or not, you need these cookies in your life.

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I consider them one of those special “once a year” treats. 

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Of course, they go well with anything. What cookie doesn’t? After any meal, with a cup of tea or coffee, or as your afternoon treat.

You’re worth it! 

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And as always with my recipes, they are not complicated to make. I like simple, delicious, beautiful food. It should taste as wonderful as it looks and be satisfying all around. 

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You won’t be disappointed. 

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Happy Valentine’s Day! xo

Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies

*Dough will need to be chilled before baking

2/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter ( I use soy free Earth Balance)

2/3 cup Vegetable Shortening ( I use Spectrum)

4 cups of Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour plus more for rolling (In your local gluten free isle or online. I cannot rave enough about this flour!)

2 Eggs

1 1/2 Cups of Sugar (White or Coconut…coconut will make your cookies brown)

2 Tbsps. of Almond Milk (Could also use rice, coconut, or hemp.)

2 tsp. of Double Acting Baking Powder

1 1/2 tsp. of Xanthan Gum

2 tsp. of Pure Vanilla

1/2 tsp. of Sea Salt

Raspberry Jelly

Powdered Sugar Frosting (Powdered sugar, dairy free butter, pure almond extract, and a tiny bit of water or milk)

Beat butter and shortening in mixer until light and fluffy. Add about half the flour, the eggs, sugar, milk, baking powder, xanthan gum, vanilla, and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined and beat in remaining flour. Divide dough in half and place on plastic wrap. Press into discs, cover completely, and chill for at least 2 hours. This dough will last in the fridge for several days and I also like to wrap it well and freeze it to have on hand. It will last for months in the freezer. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After the dough has chilled remove one disc out of the fridge at a time. Flour your surface and roll out. Cut into shapes of your liking and place them on parchment covered baking sheets. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the edges are just slightly beginning to turn golden. 

Cool completely. Add about 1 teaspoon of jelly to each cookie and top with another cookie. Drizzle with powdered sugar frosting. 

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Pie, Glorious Pie & A Few Other Holiday Must Haves

3 Comments

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We had other foods on Thanksgiving of course that are my favorites, but I’ll start with the pies. There aren’t many people on the planet who dislike pie. I can’t even fathom such a crazy thing.

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I absolutely love that we can have food allergies and sensitivities and we can still enjoy all types of fabulous meals and desserts. In fact, that’s why I originally started this blog. To prove to people that you can dramatically change the ingredients in your diet and still love the food you eat while you gain back your health.

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I don’t know about you, but I was not willing to say goodbye to pie so I figured out numerous ways around it. First, the crust is to me, the absolute most important part. Good filling with a bad crust is a bad pie and we don’t want that.

My crust must be buttery, flaky, without weird texture or sour taste, and must be able to be used for both sweet and savory dishes. I’ve tried many recipe variations and this one meets all of my requirements and gets rave reviews every single time I use it. The Mama’s Flour Mix is the key. The recipe makes 4 crusts and can easily be frozen for future use. You can find my recipe for Pie Crust From Heaven HERE.

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So let’s move on to the actual pies. Pumpkin pie…oh how I love pumpkin pie! It’s incredibly easy to make gluten and dairy free.

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Gluten Free & Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

1 – 15 oz Can of Organic Plain Canned Pumpkin

1 – 13.5 Can of Full Fat Organic Coconut Milk

3 Organic Eggs

3/4 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pinch of Sea Salt

1 Pie Crust, rolled out with GF flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pie crust in pie plate and set aside. Measure all other ingredients into a large 6 Cup glass measuring cup or large bowl that is easy to pour from. Whisk well until all ingredients are fully combined, making sure the solidified parts of the coconut milk are fully combined and smooth. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and then place the pie plate on the sheet. Carefully pour the batter into the crust.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees (leave the pie in the oven!), and bake for 35-40 minutes until set. I like mine to have just the slightest jiggle in the middle when I take it out. It will set more when it’s out of the oven. If you overcook it, it will crack.

I also made an apple pie with a pie crust bottom and a streusel top. The best of both worlds in one pie if you ask me! Also extremely easy to do gluten free and dairy free.

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Apple Crumble Pie

For the topping:

1 Cup of Gluten Free Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

1/2 Tablespoon of Unsulphured Black Strap Molasses

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Cup of Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

6 Tablespoons of Cold Dairy Free Butter 

For the pie:

1 Pie Crust rolled out with GF flour

5 Fuji Apples, washed & dried, peels on

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/3 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

1/2 Cup of Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

About 6-8 teaspoons or so of Dairy Free Butter to dot apples 

Prepare the pie crust in the pie pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the topping: measure the sugar and molasses into a bowl and stir with fork until sugar and molasses are combined. Measure in the rolled oats, sea salt, cinnamon, and flour and stir to combine. Add the 6 Tablespoons of cold butter and lightly and quickly (as to not melt the butter) combine with fingers until it forms a “crumble”. Set aside.

The sugar and molasses should still be relatively dry after being combined.

The sugar and molasses should still be relatively dry after being combined.

Core the apples and slice thinly into a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and butter and stir well to coat all the apples. Pour the apples into the pie crust and arrange so there are no holes or gaps.

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Dot the top with the 6-8 teaspoons of cold dairy free butter. Top evenly with the crumble topping.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 60 minutes, I covered mine with foil at 40-45 minutes to keep the crumble from over browning. Test with a fork to make sure apples are done, they should have just a very light bit of texture.

Another absolutely fabulous thing you don’t need to go without when dealing with food allergies is whipped cream. This time when I went to grab my jar of homemade GF vanilla extract, I realized it was just full of beans and no extract. I used the insides of several beans and went without extract and it resulted in the best and most flavorful coconut milk whipped cream I’ve ever made.

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Vodka Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

*Place Cans of Coconut Milk In Fridge Overnight, or if you’re in a hurry, a minimum of 4 hours

3 Cans of Chilled Full Fat Organic Coconut Milk

About 1/2 – 3/4 Cup of Organic Coconut Powdered Sugar, whiz up in a blender or Nutribullet to resemble powdered sugar

8-10 Vodka Soaked Vanilla Beans, scraped about 3 teaspoons (or, 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract if you don’t have the beans)

If you’re using vanilla beans, slice down the middle and scrape into a small bowl.

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Whiz up the coconut sugar until it resembles a powdered sugar texture.

This is prior to blending.

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Carefully scoop out the solid half of coconut milk out of each can and place it in the bowl of an electric mixer. Reserve 3 Tablespoons of the liquid coconut milk for the whipped cream and refrigerate the remaining milk for smoothies at another time (If you’re using vanilla extract, you may not need to add any additional coconut milk). Using a whisk attachment, beat the coconut cream until medium peak. Add the powdered coconut sugar in two parts, beating in between. Add the vanilla bean seeds and beat until thick and the consistency you like in your whipped cream. If it’s too thick, add coconut milk about 1 Tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire. Don’t add it too quickly, as it will thin out very fast and there’s no turning back.

Next to pie, I would have to rank stuffing as my next favorite part of any holiday meal. By itself or along with giblet gravy and mashed potatoes…I could just swoon every time I eat it. Pure comfort food at its best. You can go HERE for my Million Dollar Stuffing recipe.

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Lastly, there’s the turkey. We had a bit of snafu with ours this year, you can read about it here. The farm we purchased it from responded to my note right away and we are being given the option of a gift certificate or a refund. An organic 14lb turkey costs right at about $100 with shipping, so I’m thankful for their courteous customer service and as this was the first turkey from them that we’ve ever had issue with, I will definitely try them again.

The turkey was a bummer but I did make a fabulous rub for the skin. Very flavorful and aromatic. To me, one of the best parts of any roasted bird is the crispy, salty skin!

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Turkey Herb Rub

Nurtribullet or Good Blender

About 1/8 to 1/4 Cup of Sea Salt (you will likely have some left over for other meals)

3 Fresh Sage Leaves

1 Large Sprig of Fresh Rosemary, stem removed

About 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Fresh Thyme Leaves

Place all ingredients in a blender or Nutribullet and blend until herbs and salt are completely combined.

Once I stuffed the turkey, I covered it in chilled dairy free butter and then rubbed a very generous amount of the Herb Rub all over the turkey. Delicious! 

Store any unused Turkey Herb Rub in an air tight container. But, allow it to dry out for a day first as the fresh herbs add a bit of moisture.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and remember, with a little research and willingness, we don’t have to suffer or feel like we’re going without just because of food allergies.

2015-11-26 11.45.49

Twenty Nine Gluten Free & Dairy Free ~ Holiday Cookie & Candy Recipes

9 Comments

The holidays just aren’t the same in our house without our yearly traditional recipes. Each Christmas season I always tell myself I’m going to add something new to the list, but there are just those favorites that I’m not willing to give up.

Below you’ll find pictures and links to all of my traditional holiday recipes, as well as other cookies and candies I’ve made along the way that can easily be incorporated into your list of favorites if you’re looking for something new.

Pecan Pie Bars

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Clementine Carrot Cookies

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Gingerbread Snowflakes

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Cranberry & Pepita Bark

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Grandma’s Divinity

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Double Chocolate Chunk Rum Balls

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The BEST Sugar Cookie Dough 

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Fig Pillows

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Clementine Shortbread

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Caramel Heavenlies

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Chokecherry & Raspberry Thumbprints

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Gingersnaps

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Triple Chocolate Cherry Brownie Bites

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Toasted Coconut & Pecan Haystacks

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Not Your Momma’s Sugar Cookie

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No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

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Raspberry & Apricot Pie Dough Cookies

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Peanut Butter Balls

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Rum Fudge with Macadamia Nuts & Coconut

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Chocolate Chunk & Dried Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

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Pumpkin Macaroons

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Pumpkin Biscotti with Drizzled Belgian Chocolate

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Wild Blueberry & Orange Bars

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Pecan Sandies

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Surprise

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Peanut Butter, Pretzel, & Cherry, Chocolate Clusters

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Orange & Sea Salt Chocolates

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Fruit & Nut Tea Cookies

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Dried Apricot & Almond Butter Granola Bars

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Pumpkin Coffee Cake

9 Comments

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My husband likes to have sweet things for breakfast when he’s home. When he’s on the road he doesn’t have time to seek out allergen friendly diners for breakfast. Evidently daily breakfasts of hotel powdered eggs and unknown origin sausage during his work week arent very fulfilling. Probably in fact, gross. I think I would settle for an apple.

I’m a fan of simple these days. Coffee cake is an easy and filling breakfast (I also served it with a side of organic bacon), and can be made a gazillion different ways. This time I chose pumpkin because it’s that time of year. I also chose to make it really easy, but if you want a more complicated, Martha Stewart type of coffee cake that is also delicious, you can go here.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch pie plate with nonstick spray and set aside.

Wet Ingredients:

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

1/2 Cup Almond Milk (or any DF milk)

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted

Whisk all wet ingredients together with whisk until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Dry Ingredients

2 Cups Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour (or your GF flour of choice)

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Whisk all dry ingredients together and fold into the wet ingredients until combined. Pour into pie plate and set aside.

Topping:

1 Cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats

3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

4 Tablespoons Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

5 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted

Measure all ingredients into a bowl and stir with fork until incorporated. Sprinkle over the cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until center tests done with a toothpick.

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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

8 Comments

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After a very long week my husband finally arrived home last night at midnight. And that was after sitting in a meeting all day (all week) and a 7 1/2 hour drive home.

So I took pity on him and made him one of his favorites this morning. Blueberry muffins loaded with blueberries and a delicious side of local, organic, bacon.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the smell of warm blueberry muffins and bacon?

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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

2 Cups of Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

1 1/4 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum

1/4 (rounded) teaspoon of Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Butter

1 Cup of Granulated Sugar

1 Individual Sized Container of Dairy Free Vanilla Yogurt

1 Egg

1/2 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup of Almond Milk

2 Cups of Frozen Blueberries (or a little more)

Raw Sugar For Sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins, set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, xanthum gum and salt. Whisk and set aside.

In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scrape down. Add sugar, yogurt, egg, vanilla, and milk. Beat for about 30 seconds or so until thoroughly combined. It will look curdled. Add the dry mixture to the wet and fold in with a spatula just until thoroughly combined. Fold in blueberries.

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Fill muffin liners and bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

4 Comments

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Nothing says Fall like apples, caramel, and pumpkin. I promised you pumpkin recipes, so I’m going to do my best to give you at least a few fantastic, dairy free and gluten-free ways to use pumpkin over the next couple of weeks.

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Are the trees changing in your neck of the woods? I have to say, it’s absolutely gorgeous here. New England does not disappoint in the Fall. We’re planning a day trip up to the lakes region this weekend and then another weekend trip to a resort in Vermont soon. I’m hoping to gather more beautiful pictures for you of what New England has to offer this time of year. But for now, it’s just apples, caramel, and pumpkin!

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Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

1 Box Simply Organic Gluten Free Carrot Cake Mix

1/2 Cup of Water

2 Eggs

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Butter, melted

3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed

2 Medium Apples, cored and thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan with non-stick spray. Melt the butter. Pat down the brown sugar in the bottom of the cake pan and drizzle the melted butter over the top.

Core and slice the apples. Layer the apples in a fan shape around the bottom of the pan on top of the brown sugar and butter.

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Empty contents of the cake mix into a medium bowl. Add the water, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree. Stir gently until combined.

Slowly and carefully dollop the cake mix onto the apples so as not to rearrange them. Then gently smooth the cake mix out on top of the apples.

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Bake for about 45 minutes, until cake pulls away from the sides and a toothpick tests done in the middle.

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Allow to cool about 90%. Too warm and the topping will slide off when you invert it onto a plate…too cool and the sugar will solidify and will stick to the pan taking the apples with it.

When you invert it onto a plate, have paper towels ready, just in case.

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You can serve it room temperature, cold, warm, plain, with whipped coconut cream, or with dairy free ice cream.

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Here’s a couple of photos of our “second wave” of children. New Hampshire is filled with old rail trails that are fantastic and beautiful for walking during the spring, summer, and fall.

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Sweet Miss Abigail

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And the ever playful and goofy, Romeo.

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