Category Archives: Desserts

Strawberry Shortcake

When I went strawberry picking last weekend, they had strawberry shortcakes for sale. Obviously they weren’t gluten-free, so I didn’t have one. BUT, I was inspired to make my own version when I got home. I was incredibly excited about it, especially since I had some raw cream to make my own whipped cream!

There are three parts to a strawberry shortcake: the biscuit, the strawberries and the whipped cream. I made everything from scratch- YUM 🙂

Gluten-free biscuits (Makes 6-12 biscuits depending on size)

Inspired by this recipe by Elana from Elana’s Pantry. I added more honey and the vanilla since I was going to be using these in a sweet recipe. You could do less honey and omit the vanilla for regular dinner biscuits. These are phenomenal! I have actually been cutting them in half and toasting, then smearing with butter and jam in the mornings. 

  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ÂĽ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the almond meal and the flax meal. Add in the salt and baking soda and stir together.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the softened butter, eggs, honey and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until a dough forms. Add more almond meal if it is too sticky, or add a little water if it is too dry.

4. Form your biscuits. You have a few options here: you can either roll out the dough and use a circle cutter to make round biscuits, or you can put into a muffin pan for more of a muffin shape, or you can put into a special pan that has squares instead of circles like I did 🙂 This formed 12 little squares of biscuits. They were a  little small, but I liked that it made more biscuits.

5. Bake the biscuits at 350 for 10-12 minutes, depending on their size. Just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t get too brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Strawberry Sauce

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 tbsp honey

1. Chop the strawberries up into small chunks and place in a bowl.

2. Drizzle with honey and stir to coat.

3. Let sit in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. The sugar in the honey will bring out the juices.

Whipped Cream (Makes about 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream)

  • 1 cup cream, raw if you can find it
  • splash of vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp honey

1. Before you begin, put your bowl and beaters into the freezer for a few minutes.

2. Take out of the freezer and pour the cold cream into the bowl.

3. Add the splash of vanilla and then beat the cream until stiff peaks form.

4. Drizzle in the honey and fold in carefully with a spatula.

5. Cover and put in the fridge until ready to serve.

Strawberry Shortcake

  • 1 biscuit
  • 2 spoonfuls of strawberries
  • 2 dollops of whipped cream

1. Cut the biscuit in half and place on a plate.

2. Place one spoonful of strawberries on the bottom half of the biscuit.

3. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

4. Repeat with the top half of the biscuit.

5. Enjoy 🙂

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3 new recipes

Today did not start out so great. Titan woke me up at 2am to go out and I had a hard time falling back asleep. Then, he didn’t want to sleep this morning once my honey left, which meant I couldn’t sleep either. It was rainy and really dreary out and I was worried the rain wouldn’t end!

Alas, it did and this is what it looks like outside now:

Even though it started out a little rough, I have gotten a lot accomplished so far!

The main thing I have done is work on my recipe page. I actually went back through about 45 posts and have updated recipes (I still have a lot to go!). I have also been adding categories to each post which I didn’t do as I was posting them…word to the wise….don’t be like me!

I have also worked out, done my video for next Tuesday’s Tuesday Trainer, and baked two new recipes!! I’ve also gone for a run and walked the dog around the yard. I still have to make a dish for the Apple Butter Festival tomorrow and make dinner for tonight, plus clean up around the house and get a few other things done. I doubt I’ll get to it all today, but here’s hoping!

I am excited to have three new recipes to share today! A smoothie and then two pumpkin baked goods 🙂

Mango-Peach-Squash Green Smoothie (Makes about 6 cups)

I rarely make the same smoothie twice, but the addition of butternut squash puree was something I had to share because I’ve been doing it lately! I made a big batch so I could have it all weekend long. 

  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 mango (I cut up and froze a few last week)
  • 1 peach (again, cut up and frozen)
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

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Like I mentioned yesterday, I planned to make a new cookie recipe today. It turned out great, but it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Here’s why: I’ve never used pumpkin puree before. (I know…oh the horror, right? Nah, I couldn’t care less!)

Anyway. I am making cookies for the RA class I teach on Monday and I wanted to do something different. For one thing, they wanted chocolate chip and sugar cookies, so I obliged and bought Pilsbury all purpose flour and regular white sugar for them. But I wanted to have something I could eat. I saw the can of pumpkin as soon as I walked in the store and got this idea in my head to make a pumpkin cookie. With pecans. Thus, my Pecan Pumpkin Cookie was born.

By the way, for this recipe you have to pronounce it pee-can, not peh-cahn.

Pecan Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies (Makes 3 dozen)

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground up flax seed + 2 1/2 tbsp warm water)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tsp cinnamon spice blend/pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cup GF flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

1. First make your flax egg and set aside.

2. With a hand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy.

3. Add the flax egg, maple syrup, vanilla and pumpkin. Mix well.

4. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time. Mix well before adding the next batch.

6. Fold in the chopped pecans.

7. Spoon mixture onto baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

It is best to undercook these a little as my first batch was a little dry. I thought the pee-can flavor would come out more, but it really didn’t. I might roast them first if I make these cookies again. The pumpkin flavor is definitely there, which is something I’ll have to get used to. I really haven’t eaten a lot of pumpkin foods in my day.

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I had a few bananas lying around the kitchen, so I decided I needed another banana muffin. I had already opened the can of pumpkin, so I figured why not?

Pumpkin Banana Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup GF flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. First make your flax egg and set aside.

2. Next, mash up the bananas with the pumpkin in a large bowl.

3. Then add in the flax egg, maple syrup, and melted butter.

3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

4. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined.

5. Fold in the chopped pecans gently.

6. Divide evenly into 12 muffin cups.

7. Bake at 350 until the tops are slightly brown.

I think I like the muffins better than the cookies because of the banana. It adds a different type of sweetness and an extra punch of flavor.

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Off to clean the floor and finally shower! And then make dinner 🙂

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe? Or are you like me and have never really used it?


Vanilla Cashew Butter Cookies

Ever since I saw Ashley post a recipe for Cake Batter Cashew Butter, I knew I had to make some. I finally bought a package of cashews when I was in Minnesota last weekend just for it.

I finally found the time to make it today!

I had to change up Ashley’s recipe just a little because I don’t like almond extract, I don’t have sucanat, and my cashews were already salted. I also left out the sprinkles, so really I made almost an entirely different recipe than Ashley, but her recipe was my inspiration!

Vanilla Cashew Butter 

I had never had cashew butter before today, and now I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to afford the $8.99/lb price tag so I can have it all the time! 

2 cups dry roasted and lightly salted cashews (from TJs)

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp maple syrup

Put the cashews in your food processor and process until smooth. Stop it every once in awhile to scrape down the sides. I probably stopped it 4 times before it got smooth. Then I stopped it 2 more times. Don’t be alarmed (like I was!) if it forms into a big ball and spins around on the blade for awhile. It will stop and smooth out eventually. Once it is smooth, add the vanilla and maple syrup. Process again for a minute. Taste it to make sure it is sweet enough and add more maple syrup if desired and process again. Store in an airtight container, I used 1/2 pint mason jars. This made about 1 1/4 cups. Resist the urge to dive into the jars with a spoon and eat it all in one sitting!

*Note: Having tried lots of different brands of vanilla extract, I must make this comment here. Make sure you have quality vanilla extract. The vanilla flavor is so potent in this that you don’t want to have a cheap brand that doesn’t taste all that good.

So with all this cashew butter lying around, I was thinking of all the ways I could enjoy it. I had it on a piece of GF toast and boy was it good. But, I knew I didn’t want to eat toast just to enjoy the cashew butter.

Then, I had a brilliant idea. Cookies!!!

Vanilla Cashew Butter Cookies

A delicious way to enjoy cashew butter! The cookies are soft on the inside and have a nice outer layer that adds a small amount of crunch. They are buttery with a powerful vanilla flavor, and simply sweet. Definitely my new favorite cookie!!

6 tbsp salted butter, softened

2/3 cup maple syrup

2 flax eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup cashew butter

2 cups GF flour

Preheat your oven to 350*. Begin by beating the butter until fluffy. Add the maple syrup, flax eggs, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add the cashew butter and mix again until smooth. Resist the urge to eat it straight from the bowl. Add the flour 1/2 cup a time. I think I used a few extra tablespoons to get it thick enough. The dough won’t be as thick as most cookie doughs. It is light and fluffy and will spread when baking. I used a large cookie scoop and made 24 perfect sized cookies with a little leftover batter for me to enjoy off the spoon 🙂 Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes. Bake longer for crunchier cookies.

Vanilla Maple Oatmeal Walnut Butter Cookies

This morning on my way into work, I heard an interview with Dr. Oz on Elvis Duran and the Morning Show (a really funny radio show that is highly inappropriate most of the time!). I’ve never really had an opinion on Dr. Oz because I haven’t followed his career really. However, I can now confidently say that he is awesome!

He said two things that literally made me cheer out loud in the car.

1) America is not fat because we eat fat, America is overweight because we eat white flour, white sugar, and white rice.

2) Between skim and whole milk, which one makes you fat? The skim milk!!! Once you take out the fat from it, all that is left is sugar- which makes us fat (see number 1).

Can I get an AMEN?!? I just had to share this! These are things I have learned over the past year or so and I wish I had known them years ago! I’m just so glad someone as popular as Dr. Oz preaches this kind of stuff. Hopefully people are out there listening 🙂

Okay, onto what you’re really here for: cookies!

I’m sure you’ve figured out what you might need for this recipe and hopefully by now you’ve done the mental checklist to see if you have the ingredients on hand (or in your cupboard…you know, wherever you keep the stuff!) to make these cookies tonight (or right this second if you can!).

A few weeks ago, I got an idea in my head for some cookies. I often have these thoughts as I’m driving home from work (see my Raspberry Banana Muffin recipe from Monday for more proof!), and I just can’t stop thinking about it until I’ve made the recipe. This was one of those recipes.

I wasn’t quite sure what to call these, so I figured I’d just name the ingredients and see how that sounds.

Vanilla Maple Oatmeal Walnut Butter Cookies

This light and fluffy butter cookie packs tons of protein and lots of flavor! Super easy to throw together in a matter of minutes. They are super delicious and will disappear quickly!

1 stick butter, salted

2 flax eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup maple syrup

2 3/4 cups Pamela’s GF flour

1 cup old fashion oats

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Beat the butter until fluffy. Add the flax eggs, vanilla and maple syrup and beat for a minute or so until well combined. Add the oatmeal and 1 cup of the flour. Mix until combined. Add the other cup of flour and combine again. Finish with the last 3/4 cup flour, then add the walnuts and mix with a spatula. Once it is all combined, use a cookie scoop to make balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for  12-15 minutes, or until very lightly browned on top. Enjoy with a big glass of cold milk!

These were beyond belief! They were light and buttery with a chewiness from the oatmeal that made them last a while in your mouth. I told my honey they were little puffy balls of buttery heaven! Maybe that’s what I should name them??

Do you keep up with Dr. Oz? Have you read any of his books or watched his show? Thoughts on his comments are welcome!

My love for Pamela (and her products!)

When I first decided to cut wheat from my diet back in February, I was pretty distraught about what I was going to be able to eat. I had primarily lived on food made from wheat: cereals, cookies, BREAD, pasta, pancakes, etc. I talked to a friend whose daughter has celiac disease and she gave me a bag of Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix. I made the cinnamon swirl recipe on the bag and was in LOVE! With this type of bread on my side, I could do this! I was a happy camper 🙂

To my surprise, I went to the gluten-free section at my local grocery store, and I saw Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. I just had to get it, even though it is a bit expensive. Once I realized I could use it cup for cup as a flour substitute, I was sold! The first thing I made was the pancake recipe- YUM! I substituted whole raw milk for the water and oil, and later added in a flax egg, walnuts and vanilla to make my current recipe. Talk about knock your socks off good! My honey even REALLY liked it!

From there, I realized the possibilities were endless! I’ve now made cookies, breads, ravioli, muffins, cobblers, and LOTS of pancakes!

Now that I know what I do about flour- how nutritionally void it is- I definitely recommend Pamela’s to ANYONE, not just those with gluten or wheat issues. The nutrition facts on the stuff are so impressive that we should ALL be using the stuff instead of regular flour. I didn’t really notice a flavor difference, but as I use it more, I’ve become more attuned to the taste and can see how people might have issues with it tasting different than white flour. However, I feel like it tastes BETTER because of the flavorful ingredients- brown rice flour, almond meal, etc.

Visit www.pamelasproducts.com for more information on all of the available products.

One cup of the stuff packs 12g of protein so I feel better about stuffing my face with yummy cookies 🙂

My most recent creation with it is a Raspberry Banana Muffin. I have failed at making banana bread too many times to count! It never fully cooks in the middle, so I decided that I was going to make muffins instead of a loaf of bread. I have lots of raspberries from my honey’s grandma, plus I had two extra-ripe bananas. I also have cashews that I’ve been meaning to do something with. Naturally the wheels started turning in my head of what I could possibly create. On the way home from work today, it all finally clicked. I must make raspberry banana muffins with cashews!!!

Raspberry Banana Muffins

No picture because my camera still doesn’t like its own battery!!!

A light and fluffy muffin that isn’t too sweet. The secret ingredient adds a little extra protein along with a mild sweetness. 

2 ripe bananas

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground up flax seed + 2 1/2 tbsp warm water)

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp melted butter

1/2 cup cashew meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/8 cup GF flour (Pamela’s baking mix)

2/3 cup raspberries

First make your flax egg and set aside. Next, mash up the bananas, then add in the flax egg, honey, and melted butter. Grind up 1/2 cup cashews into a meal/flour. Combine the cashew meal with the baking powder, salt and GF flour. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the raspberries gently. Resist the urge to eat the batter straight from the bowl and divide evenly into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are nice and golden.

Words cannot even express how good these are! I am so tempted to eat all of them this instant and not save any for my honey (who is sleeping with the dog right now!). They are not super dense like a lot of banana breads/muffins I’ve had. They are very moist and just absolutely delicious!

If you haven’t tried any of Pamela’s gluten-free products, I highly recommend them!

Note: this review was simply just me sharing about a product I love which I use all of the time at home. Pamela has never heard of me before! 

Have you ever tried a gluten-free baking mix? Which brand? What did you make?

Two recipe Tuesday- peachy Mexican

I was going to share a mac and cheese recipe I made last night, but it is actually very similar to my Cheesy Rice and Broccoli Casserole, except it was made with brown rice noodles and chicken, so I figured I would share what I made tonight instead!

Cheesy Mexican Rice Casserole

My boss shared with me the technique to making the rice (which is super yummy by itself!), and I added a few extras to make it a complete meal! This is great for company and you can omit the chicken and/or beans if you really wanted to. 

1/2 medium onion

3 tbsp butter, salted

salt and pepper

1 clove of garlic

1 cup rice

1 cup chicken stock

1 8oz can of tomato sauce

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you can take the heat!)

1 large can of black beans (could use smaller, but I had a big one on hand)

2 cups cooked and diced chicken

cheese- lots and lots of cheese!

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, salt and pepper and saute until softened. Add garlic and rice, then the spices, and stir to coat. Cook for a little bit to let the rice sort of fry in the butter mixture. Add the chicken stock and tomato sauce and stir. Cover and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 30-45 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. I added a little water along the way because the rice was still a little crunchy. After the rice is done cooking, add the black beans and the chicken to the pot. Stir well to combine everything. Pour a third of the rice mixture into a large baking dish. Shred cheese to cover this layer. Add another layer of rice and another layer of cheese. Do it one more time and load up the top with tons of cheese. Since everything is cooked, you just want to melt the cheese, so I baked it at 450 for no more than 10 minutes. The cheese gets really nice and brown!

Mini Peach and Honey Cobblers- for two 🙂

Last night, I shared a sneak peach of this recipe because it was so good, I couldn’t wait to share it with you all! With so many peaches, I knew I would need to start using them up soon. Both my honey and I wanted cobbler, but I really didn’t have a lot of time, so I whipped up mini ones. The crust on top of the peaches is really light and almost flaky. Because of the softened butter, it melts in your mouth like pie crust. YUM! Seriously, this recipe I made up last night was on point and will be made over and over again! 

4 whole peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced

1/8 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup Gluten-Free flour

3 tbsp oats

1/2 flax egg (1/2 tbsp ground flax seed, 1 1/2 tbsp water)

splash of vanilla

1 tbsp honey (more if you like it sweeter)

2 tbsp softened butter

Make your flax egg and let sit to congeal. Place your peaches in two small ramekins. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, GF flour, and oats. Add the flax egg and vanilla, then drizzle in the honey. Combine the softened butter with the rest of the mixture using a fork or pastry cutter. With wet hands, ‘crumble’ the mixture on top of the peaches. Bake at 350 20 minutes or so. Until the top looks a little golden. I didn’t use much honey in the crust, so I drizzled some more on top before I served with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream- which is a must! I about died and went to heaven 🙂 Make this as soon as possible for the loved ones in your life and I’m sure they’ll offer to do the dishes…for a month! It is that good!

What is your favorite cobbler?

Blueberry Cobbler

After seeing Chelsey’s Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Bars, I had to have them! However, I was missing a few key ingredients…the strawberries and the banana. SOOO I did what any good cook/baker/girl-dying-to-have-a-sweet-treat would do: I made do with what I had, and what I had was blueberries, fresh from the farmer’s market earlier in the week. YUM!

Blueberry Cobbler

  • 1 1/2 cups GF flour
  • 1 3/4 cups oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed with 2 1/2 tbsp warm water)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • splash of water
  • splash of maple syrup

1. Make your flax egg and set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl.

3. Combine vanilla, maple syrup, milk, and water in another bowl.

4. Mix your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly. The batter will be thick.

5. In a food processor or blender, pulse the blueberries with a little water and maple syrup to a fine pulp.

6. Coat a square baking pan with oil or butter.

7. Spread half of the batter into the pan.

8. Pour the blueberry pulp on top and crumble the rest of the batter on top of the blueberries.

9. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

I seriously couldn’t wait even just a few minutes to try it, so the above picture is before I baked it! It is out of this world good! The bottom crust holds together really well and the blueberries get all syrupy. I love the crunch the walnuts give it and the chewiness of the oats. It is not an overly sweet dish, which I really like as well.

My honey and his dad just taste-tested it and they also approve! Their only suggestion is to serve it with some homemade vanilla maple ice cream. Great idea!

I can definitely see myself eating this in the morning for breakfast with a tall glass of cold raw milk 🙂

What about you? How do you see yourself enjoying this delicious cobbler?