Get In Touch

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trip to Chicago!

I have a perfectly acceptable excuse for not posting for a whole week (which I'm really sorry about, by the way). Firstly, I had a ton of schoolwork to do so no time for creating new recipes. And I was in Chicago over the weekend! Woo! :D Some of you might remember me mentioning it briefly a few months ago, but now it actually happened! And the trip was fantastic as you're about to find out in this post.

We left early Friday morning and arrived in Chicago at about nine o'clock.
Our first stop was Shedd Aquarium. This was the first real aquarium I had ever been to, and it did not disappoint. We went to an aquatics show in the morning and it explained how they trained the animals and took excellent care of them, so any doubts I had about the animals (or fish ;) being kept in captivity were erased. My absolute favorite part of the aquarium is the jellyfish exhibit. As harmful as jellyfish can be to humans, they really are beautiful creatures. They can be as small as a button or as large as a table. Although the ones we saw were mostly somewhere in between. It's really hard to describe how awe inspiring this exhibit was, so if you ever get the chance, definitely go to Shedd Aquarium. 

As for the food, there was a cafeteria that had some great gluten-free options (they had gluten-free pizza!). Definitely not Paleo, but I wasn't really concerned about that this weekend. My mom and I split a taco salad and Vienna sausage with grilled onions. At the cafeteria, there was this robot who served frozen yogurt. My sister was all over that (she was more excited about the frozen yogurt than the robot ;), and being the amazing sister that I am, I bought some for her. I have to admit, it was pretty cool and the yogurt tasted great. 

Below is my Shedd Aquarium photo bomb:

These are actually jellyfish

We stayed at the aquarium until late that afternoon and visited the Adler Planetarium for about an hour. We didn't get through nearly as much as I would've liked. But if we had spent more time there, I'm sure I'd have a lot more to rave about.

For dinner we ate at Weber's Grill, which was also gluten-free friendly. Again, my mom and I split our food. We ordered grilled beets with goat cheese and pecans, brisket, ribs, bourbon baked beans, and a coleslaw that had chunks of blue cheese and pecans in it. It was all really good, so I definitely recommend Weber's Grill and would go there again. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures. :(

Okay, this post is going to get really long if I don't break it up into two parts. So, I'm going to stop here for today but I'll post the rest either tomorrow or Friday.

Inquiry of the Day:

Have you ever been to Chicago? If so, what were your favorite things to see, do, or eat? 

Continue Reading...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Healthy 3 Musketeers!

I'd been wanting to make 3 Musketeers for a while and with Halloween so close it was the perfect time. Plus the Paleo Parents are having their third annual Halloween recipe round-up! Since I wanted to make 3 Musketeers anyways, I thought, why not submit a recipe? So that's what this is. My submission to their recipe round-up.

Do you remember the last time you had a 3 Musketeers? Bitten into a bar of whipped chocolate filling covered in more chocolate? If it's been too long, then you're in luck! This recipe mimics the taste of the classic 3 Musketeers bar without the corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, sugar, and artificial flavors. This copy cat version is also a lot more nutrient dense. The original candy bar packs a whopping 36 grams of sugar per regular sized bar and has little nutritional benefit. This isn't to say indulging in one every now and then is terrible, but wouldn't you prefer to eat one more than every now and then? ;)

My version is much lower in sugar, good for gut health (because of the coconut), and even has a small amount of protein while the original has none. Also, you can't really beat the health benefits of dark chocolate. ;) Some new studies have shown it helps you live longer and (if you eat a piece every day) keeps you slimmer. But that's besides the point...

 Now it took a little bit to get this recipe into shape. The first time I made it, the flavors were right, but the looks- not so much. The second time didn't work at all. But the third worked decently. I mean, there is probably no way you are going to get this recipe to look exactly like a 3 Musketeers bar without adding all the chemicals to it. So this is the best looking you are going to get them. Unless you possess some magical powers that I don't. And coating the filling in chocolate is seriously messy business, meaning a great job for younger kids. Just make sure they don't burn themselves on the chocolate, although that's probably unlikely.

1 can coconut cream
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
sweetener, to taste
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
2 T. coconut oil

1. In a large bowl, whip the coconut cream until it's fluffy.
2. Add the cocoa powder, sweetener, and salt. Whip until it's thoroughly combined.
3. Line a 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Pour the coconut filling into the dish. Cut it into whatever size squares that you want.
4. Freeze for about 4 hours or until firm.
5. When the coconut filling is completely frozen, start melting your chocolate in a pot over low heat. You can do this in the microwave, too. Just make sure to watch it closely.
6. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the coconut oil.
7. Retrieve the coconut filling from the freezer. Dip the squares in the chocolate one by one and lay on a piece of wax paper. You want to do this fast so they coconut doesn't thaw too much.
8. Freeze again for about half an hour, then put in the fridge too thaw a little bit. They're best kept in the fridge or you can store them in the freezer and let them set a little before you eat them. Or you can eat them frozen, but they'll taste more like ice cream than a 3 Musketeer.

Inquiry of the Day:

What are your favorite kinds of candy? Any you want me to try and health-ify? (I make no promises that I'll get to them soon, though.)

Reese's, Butterfingers, 3 Musketeers, PB Twix, York Peppermint Patties, and Kit Kats are some of my favorites. I haven't had a Mounds Bar before, but I probably like them seeing as how I like chocolate and coconut.
Continue Reading...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Remember how I said I was going to make a grain free version of this cake? Well I did! And it was amazing! My whole family loved it. Especially with vanilla bean ice cream.

When I decided to make this recipe I knew that it wasn't going to turn out exactly like it's gluten-filled counterpart, but I thought, what the heck? It's still gonna be good! And who knows? Maybe it's even better than the original recipe! I wouldn't know since I haven't actually tried the other cake, but you're welcome to if you can have gluten.

Pardon the terrible frosting job in the photos. I'm a horrible cake froster (just pretend that's a word ;). Although I haven't really had much practice. I think that's an excuse to make more cake! To practice my frosting skills. ;) I will be making more cake later this month, believe it or not, so expect another cake recipe! I'm sure you all don't mind, right?

Also concerning the frosting, it does contain dairy, but I bet if you substituted it with a vegan cream cheese or coconut cream it'll work. If using coconut cream it'll just lack that tang the cream cheese gives it. It'll still be good. I have heard that vitamin C crystals lend that lacking tang to dairy-free recipes, so maybe try that. But I still recommend using full fat cream cheese if you have it.

Just because this is a summer sort of cake doesn't mean you can't have it any time of the year. It's especially great during those dark winter months when you're wishing for a bit of summer. This cake provides a light, citrus-y flavor that'll definitely satisfy your nostalgia. ;)

*Based off the Very Vanilla Cupcakes recipe from Elana Amsterdam's cookbook (I feel like I mention her cookbook a lot...)


2 eggs, separated
1/2 c. honey or agave
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. almond flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 T. lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until a pale yellow. Add the rest of the wet ingredients, excluding the egg whites.
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks.
3. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Be warned, it doesn't fold in very well, so just do the best you can.
4. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
5. Add to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined. Add the lemon zest and mix thoroughly into batter. 
6. Pour batter into greased 9 inch round cake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
7. Frost just before serving and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


4 oz. cream cheese (For substitutions, see blog post)
1 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. lemon rind
little over 1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. honey

1. Blend all the ingredients together. This is to prevent the cream cheese from clumping.
2. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and whip on high speed until fluffy.
3. Refrigerate for at least an hour before frosting the cake.

Inquiry of the Day:

Do you like eating summery foods in the winter?

For me it depends on what kind of summer food it is. For example, I love salads in the winter, ice cream, and lemonade, but I normally can't bring myself to drink smoothies for some reason.

Continue Reading...

Sunday, October 13, 2013


This week is a very important week for me. Why? Because my birthday is this week! Yay! (I won't tell you when or how old I'm turning for privacy reasons.) I'm going to try to make this cake grain free and refined sugar free so we'll see how it goes.

Is it weird that I like to bake my own cake? My sister offered to do it for me, but I wouldn't let her. Maybe it's because I'm a control freak. Wait, I already knew that. ;)

Anyways, for some reason I want to take a trip down memory lane today and I repost what I blogged for my birthday last year. I think I'll probably change my mind after I publish this post because my writing will be so cheesy and I'll be really embarrassed. Hopefully I'm a better blogger now. Right?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Birthday!

The one thing I was really stressing about for my birthday was the cupcakes. How does one make I good gluten, egg, xantham gum, and dairy free cupcake? They go on the Internet. Which is exactly what I did. I came across Ginger Lemon Girl's homemade vanilla cupcake recipe and modified it to suit my needs. I think I changed it up so much that it's basically my own recipe, however, I'll give credit where credit is due and it's definitely due here.

The cupcakes were really moist and fluffy. They didn't leave me with that sick feeling I get most of the time after eating a cupcake. I used the vegan chocolate frosting recipe from Elana's Pantry and it complemented the cupcakes perfectly. I also made my own colored sugar, since we were out of the yellow kind. :( Oh, well. It was fun. The recipe is at the end of the post.

For dinner, we ate a Hunger Games inspired menu: roasted roots (turnips, beets, sweet potatoes, and potatoes), turkey breast, and pita bread with jam. Mom bought a Costco pizza, too, just in case there wasn't enough food. Which there was. Everyone tried the roots and like them! They were pretty delicious if I do say so myself. I used Trader Joe's super-food jam and it closely resembled cranberry dressing. It was wonderful! The house smelled like Thanksgiving. Yum.

I came up with this awesome game to play. And, of course, that was Hunger Games inspired too. I made everyone bring whatever makeup they had and pull the name of a district out of a hat. I put the Capitol in as well. Then I sorted them into teams and the teams did each others' clothes, makeup, and hair according to what district they chose. I didn't invite enough people to do all the districts, but the ones that got picked were District 2, District 3, District 4, District 6, District 7, District 12, and the Capitol. There was glitter everywhere by the time everyone left. In fact, if you look underneath the cabinets in our study it still kinda sparkles. :)

Overall, it was a really great birthday. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. Except maybe go to bed early. Ah, well, isn't that what sleepovers are for? To not go to sleep? ;)

Vanilla Cupcakes:

1/2 + 1 T. brown rice flour
1/2 c. arrowroot starch
1/2 c. evaporated cane juice (or regular sugar)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
very scant 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 + 2 T. oil
3/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used vanilla almond)
2 flax eggs
1/2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, make flax eggs.
3. Mix dry ingredients together well in a separate bowl.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the flax eggs and mix with dry.
5. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
6. Pour into each liner until 1/2 full.
7. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
8. Cool completely then frost!

Roasted Roots:

3 medium-sized turnips
3 large sweet potatoes
4 medium white or yellow potatoes
3-4 beets depending on how big they are
1- 1 1/2 T. olive oil
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Chop up roots and mix with olive oil.
3. Spread on a greased jelly roll pan or lined with parchment paper or tin foil.
4. Sprinkle salt over roots.
 5. Bake for about an hour or until roots have turned golden brown.

For my family birthday, we went to BD's Mongolian BBQ. It was delicious! It's my new favorite restaurant. For dessert I made a gluten free, dairy free, egg free, xantham gum free, vegan pumpkin pie (recipe to be posted soon.)

Okay, back to the present. This year for my birthday I really want to go to this amazing Thai restaurant near my house. I could eat there for every single meal, it's so good. Unfortunately, Thai isn't exactly my grandparents favorite food and I'd hate to not invite them just because I want Thai and they don't. *sigh* 
Sorry about my ranting. I just felt like I needed to get that off my chest.

Inquiry of the Day:

Do you like to bake your own birthday cake (or pie or whatever)? Or buy your own presents? This year, that appears to be what I'm doing. ;)

Continue Reading...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

200th Post!

It's October 10th and I've only posted twice this month. I'm so sorry you guys. Like, really, really sorry. I just haven't had the time to try out any new recipes. I have a ton that I want to make, but, like I said, I can't seem to fit "experimenting in the kitchen" into my schedule. 

But fear not! I'm working on making a healthier version of a favorite chocolate Halloween candy. Any guesses what it is? I'll give you a hint, the candy has the same name of a book written by Alexandre Dumas. ;) So far, I have the flavor and texture right, but my method for making them needs improvement. They should be up on the blog by next week.

And it's just in time, too, because this is my 200th blog post! So my surprise recipe will be in celebration of so many posts! Surely you all have enough content to keep you satisfied even though I'm not posting as much as I used to (unfortunately).

You probably won't hear much from me this month due to the fact that I'm going to either be in school or out of town for the rest of the month. I'll try to post as often as I can, but you all know I'm going to Chicago at the end of October and I'll be gone for fall break next week. Hopefully everything will calm down by November. You know, besides the whole Thanksgiving and Catching Fire premiere thing. ;)

I apologize for such a short post, but I have run out of things to say. I hope you all enjoy your October! :D

Continue Reading...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Greek Salad

Just because summer is over doesn't mean you have to stop eating light, refreshing food. You know what I mean, salads, sorbets, sandwiches, ice cream, etc. Especially during those 80 degree fall days. Who wants to eat chili then?

Okay, so some states (or countries, wherever you live) don't have as fickle of a fall as Indiana does. For example, in Indiana, it could be gray, windy, and cold one day, then sunny and beautiful the next. Sometimes, we even have hot weather on Halloween! It just depends on how crazy our weather's been that year. ;) And this year it's been pretty crazy.

So you can see why I'm not ready to start bringing in the fall food (stews, soups, roasts). Well, except for pumpkin and apple. But you really can't go wrong with those flavors anytime of year. ;)

Every once in a while, okay make that at least three times a week, I want salad. Crisp, refreshing salad.  This recipe is perfect for that last crop of tomatoes in your garden. Store bought are good, too, but garden tomatoes take this salad to a whole new level. If you can't get fresh, Costco has these really good tomatoes called Capris or something like that.

I'm also not going to list specific amounts for this recipe, because it really depends on your preferences. Do you like lots of tomatoes? Or not very many at all? Not a fan of balsamic vinegar? Use just red wine. Just play with the recipe and find out what you like best.

For the salad:
  • crisp lettuce (I used romaine)
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • cucumbers, diced
  • onion, diced
  • green pepper, diced
  • feta or goat cheese (optional, but highly recommended)
  • chicken or chickpeas (optional)
For the dressing:
  • olive oil (If you have basil olive oil, use it!)
  • red wine vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Italian seasoning
1. Toss all the ingredients for the salad together, except the cheese.
2. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
3. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the salad. For this part, there is no right or wrong answer. If you don't like acidic salad dressing, add more olive oil and less vinegar. Top with Italian seasoning and chicken or chickpeas if you're using them.
4. Toss all the ingredients and enjoy!

Inquiry of the Day:

What's fall like where you live?

Cold? Rainy? Humid? Sunny? Hot? Or a combination?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

One-Minute Pumpkin Muffin

Wow, it's been a week since I've posted. I apologize, you guys. I won't let it happen again.

Anyways, I told you you'd see more pumpkin recipes! Not that I don't have like a gabillion already, but it's pretty much impossible to have too much pumpkin this time of year. ;) As soon as fall starts, I constantly have pumpkin or butternut puree in the fridge. I go through a container almost every week. Yup, lots of pumpkin spice lattes in this house. ;)

The one thing I'd been meaning to try for a while was a microwaved pumpkin muffin. This recipe is perfect for when you don't want to make a whole batch of muffins, but you also don't want to heat up your oven for a single muffin. Also, it's a lot faster than baking one in the oven and makes for a great breakfast on the go.

The inspiration for this recipe actually came from Trader Joe's. A while ago, when my mom first started looking into going gluten-free, she went to this class at Trader Joe's. They took her around the store, showed her what foods were gluten-free, how to prepare gluten-free food, etc. And they handed out recipe cards, too. One of the recipes was for a gluten-free muffin in a mug. It has very few ingredients and is super simple to make.

With that said, I used the base of that recipe for this one. At first I wasn't sure how it was going to work, but it turned out great! The one thing I suggest you do is top your muffin with butter or coconut oil or even pumpkin butter to make it a little more moist. Because the muffin is made in the microwave it's very spongy. Not exactly, dry, but, just kind of, well, sponge-like. So the butter would definitely be good with this. If you can have butter, that is. If not, coconut oil or coconut butter would be just as tasty.

1/4 c. almond flour
pinch salt
 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1-2 T. pumpkin puree, depending on how pumpkin-y you like things
1 T. honey
1/2 T. oil
optional: chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins,  etc.

1. Combine your wet ingredients in a small bowl.  Make sure you beat the egg really well.
2. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Stir in chocolate chips or whatever add-ins you want.
4. Grease a mug or ramekin well and pour the batter in.
5. Microwave for one minute on high. The muffin will seem a little wet on the top at first, but don't worry. The muffin's done.
6. Spread with butter, coconut oil/butter, jam, etc.

Inquiry of the Day:

Have you ever made any baked goods in the microwave?

I actually try not to use the microwave too much, but when I'm short on time or don't feel like making a ton of muffins I use this recipe. This was the first recipe I ever made in the microwave and I was very pleased with the results.
Continue Reading...


Social Media