Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tamara's Coconut & Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

This truly tasty recipe belongs to my good friend Tamara. While I don not believe she is gluten free she does have many bizarrio allergies and is constantly playing with her food. One of the reasons I think we get along so well. So here is her recipe for coconut almond flour chocolate chip cookies and a cute pic of one of her boys helping make them (as apposed to just helping eat them like my ds)

For this recipe you need two sticks of butter softened to room temperature, so plan ahead!  I left mine out last night so I could make these cookies first thing this morning.  Preheat oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (I love parchment paper).

Dry Ingredients

  1. 2 cups almond flour
  2. 1 cup coconut flour
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/3 cup ground flaxseed meal
Mix these five ingredients together in a bowl until well blended.  I use Bob's Red Mill coconut and almond flours.  I haven't tried making almond flour from scratch because I don't have a food processor, but I hear it's really simple.

Wet Ingredients

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1/2 cup maple syrup
  3. 1/3 cup almond butter
  4. 2 sticks of butter (softened)
Beat the heck out of these four ingredients!  Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  This is one of those recipes that's great to make with kids, it's easy for them to comprehend the whole dry/wet thing....  Mix well and then add:

Yummy Ingredient
  1. Chocolate chips- 1/2 cup or as much as your kids talk you into using (I always hear "Mom that doesn't look like enough chocolate chips... these are supposed to be CHOCOLATE CHIP cookies.")
Stir in the chips!  I was excited to be able to use newly certified peanut-free Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips today.  :0)   Enjoy Life chocolate chips are another good option- they are also soy-free, dairy-free and gluten-free. For my dairy-free friends, feel free to substitute coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil for the butter. 

Let the kids spoon out the cookie dough in balls and put them on the parchment paper, stressing the need for about 2 inches of space between cookie dough balls and the fact that the last time they made a cookie as big as their head it didn't turn out as well as they'd hoped.  Squash the balls FLAT but not too thin.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes, shamelessly using your kids to "keep an eye on things."  Remove cookies from oven and let them stay on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.  Remind kids that the last time they grabbed the cooling cookies off the rack they burnt their tongues.  Pour glasses of cold milk in preparation for this to happen anyway.

This should in theory make about 2 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them.  Nate decided to make small(ish) ones this morning, so far we have 3 dozen and are still baking.

Have a happy day!

non foodie post

So this post is about the laundry. I have always been leery of the cleaners I use or the soaps I buy and so on but the price tag of a green home is hefty. Recently i read somewhere as a comment on a blog about homemade laundry soap (which maybe a little ambitious for me) that you could use vinegar as a fabric softener.

Now I researched this idea and what I have learned is traditional fabric softener contains a chemical known as a surfactant that coats your clothes in order to "lubricate" the fibers. Sounds awesome because my nice clothes are covered in chemical goo. Now how was vinegar gonna work I wonder well turns out very well.

Vinegar removes all traces of detergent left in the final rinse as well as being acidic enough to produce a positive charge and reduce static. but the one thing most people worry about when they hear this idea is smell. Vinegar smelling clothes would be a deal breaker right. Well i made this change and informed no one in my house (i used unscented organic fabric softeners) and nobody noticed. My husband is quick to notice change and his only comment was looks like the new softener you bought works better than the last one. I finally broke down and told him it was vinegar and he smelled his work t shirt 5 times to see if he would smell like salad.

That being said i recently ran in to an idea for the dryer sheet addicts of the world and yes I use them on occasion  but not a huge fan in general(currently Mrs Meyers lavender). This idea involves tin foil so I am curious as it is much cheaper than dyer sheets. Basically you crumble up a piece to make a medium size ball not to tight though just a loose crumple and through it in the dryer with your clothes. You can also reuse this crumble many times so I will be giving it a try today.

my question now is what are your favorite money saving green cleaning tips???????

Sunday, May 13, 2012

bringing back the peanut butter cookies

Well I got 2 huge jars of crunchy peanut butter from Costco and was craving some before my well meaning teen son cross contaminated them with his sandwich making. That's when I realized while there is a brief post on peanut butter cookies back in 2008 but I didn't even include the recipe or show how truly versatile this recipe is. Shame on me because this is the easiest cookie you will ever find with just 3 ingredients.

first the cookie

1 cup peanut butter ( creamy, crunchy, freshly ground its your choice)
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Mix together until smooth and that's the dough. Now for traditional cookies make table spoon size balls and roll them in a little sugar. Using a fork press down twice to create criss cross pattern. Thumb prints can be made by indenting the ball with your thumb and filling with your favorite jam or Hershey kiss. Now my favorite is to mix in a half cup of chocolate chips and follow directions for rolling and fork mashing.

now bake these at 350 degrees for about 10-15 mins until slightly golden. these cookies need to cool before you handle them to much or the crumble and fall apart but once cooled they are chewy and yummy

they don't last long (my family eats the whole batch the first night) so make them often and happy baking

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

KinniKinnick Toss Your Toaster Product Review.

Kinnikinnick released a whole promotion to build hype up for their new line of softer bread products. I have been a fan of many of their products so I was excited to try the new line. So did they live up to the self-promoted hype. For me yes and no. I tried the multi-grain bread and the hot dog buns.

I heated the bread up for about 10 seconds in the microwave because i am not a fan of cold bread (i keep mine in the fridge even the non-gf kind) then made me a sandwich with cream cheese and turkey pepperoni. Yes I like it my husband thinks it sounds gross. The sandwich was soft and tasty just as promised. I also loved the whole grain texture created with seeds. The chap-stick is just for size reference.

This sandwhich was so yummy I cannot wait for another. I also think this is a bread that my son would eat in place of his gluten filled whole wheat bread. I usually eat Udi's white bread and while I love it the slices tend to be on the small side and I defenitly have to toast it which sometimes leaves it a little too crunchy.

Now for the hot dog buns. I am a little torn on my feelings about these. Hot dog buns are hard to find so i love that they included them in this new line. my issue was they were a tad on the dry side but that could have been cause I got no chili. i was so eager to find a gluten free hot dog chili I forgot to check the meat. I can't remember what brand I bought but my sweet hubby was fast to point out that night that it had pork (another allergen of mine) in it. Oh well guess I will have to just keep making it from scratch. The bun was soft and very edible but slightly crumbly. Any experienced Gluten Free eater knows what I mean. While I will have to say they did not live up to the toss your toaster hype I think toasted this bun is still great. I actually used the other 2 buns to make garlic bread and was so amazing.

This line also has a hamburger bun and white bread i have not tried yet. With only 1 gf eater takes time to go through bread products since I also am trying to loss weight. Bread and carbs lead me to trouble.

small rant before a product review

I have received several emails in the past few weeks asking to advertise or buy space on my blog. I want to take a minute and say I DO NOT sell my blog space. I carefully reviewed the company that runs banners and selected a company that is relevant not only to food but runs her own blog. Secondly I do have a co-author but she is a close personal friend and receives no monetary compensation nor gives me any.

Now onto the topic of reviews. I do occasionally receive samples to review other times they are just products or restaurants i felt compelled to share. I always welcome companies to contact me with the understanding that I do not guarantee a timely or positive review. I have a life and sometimes a product must wait until I have time. I also try to point out positive features but I will not say I like a product I don't. I occasionally send the products to Melissa or encourage her to post items she has discovered but again she understand the reviews must be honest.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gluten Free Domino's

Domino's has launched their Gluten Free pizzas in 5,00 stores today. This is exciting news for people with gluten sensitivities across the country. they are the first national pizza delivery chain to do this. The bad news is that if you have celiacs this pizza may be to much of a risk. Domino's worked with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) but they decide store practices would not allow them to ensure a truly gluten free pizza at this time. They plan to continue to work out the bugs and hope to be Celiac approved in the future.

you can learn more at

So I decided to be brave and try it. My Domino's is small and I order as soon as they opened. It is a 10 in pizza and with 3 toppings cost me about $14. Not a bad value considering i paid $22 for a 14 in from Garlic Jim's. The pizza was very tasty but I don't see me ordering often. One because Garlic Jim's was bigger and had more options for toppings plus delivered. That being said if I was still in NC where delivery options are limited yes this be a regular. I also might at a party or gathering where the risk of Cross Contamination might be worth it not to feel like a leper  . I don't not advocate this kind of risky behavior. It is my personal choice to decide on case by case the risks of getting sick with how i am feeling emotionally.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fat Bottom Pie

This is the first recipe in my revamp series. The original recipe is called Black Bottom Pie and was featured in Cooking Club of America magazine in August/September 2003 originally. I renamed my version because this pie is so yummy I will have a fat bottom if I keep eating it.  It featured a graham cracker crust with a decadent chocolate ganache layer topped with a raspberry mousse layer.  My version is almost the same I just tweaked the crust to be gluten free simplified the mousse and changed the alcohol used.


1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup crumbled Pamela's Butter Shortbread cookies
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 tsp almond extract

Chocolate Ganache

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Monti's Cellar After Dinner ~ Chocolate Raspberry Port 
(OK I am gonna stop here for a second i found this wine locally but you could use any sweet wine you love or 1 1/2 Tbs of liqueur or raspberry syrup as the original recipe calls for)

Raspberry Mousse

1 12oz package frozen unsweetened raspberries ( sweetened can be used and your mouse will be slightly sweeter. I wanted a less sweet finish for topping of the chocolate layer)
1 Tbs Monti's Cellar After Dinner ~ Chocolate Raspberry Port (or what ever you used in the chocolate no need to reduce amount for liqueur or syrup though)
1 packet of plain gelatin (not jello or flavored boxes I use Knox you get 4 packets in the box)
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbs sugar

Preheat oven to 350. pulse cookie crumbs, almond meal, and sugar in food processor to combine. and butter and almond extract and pulse until evenly mixed. Press into bottom and sides of 9 in. pie plate (or tart pan like original recipes calls for) and bake for 8-10 minutes. crust should be slightly darker and butter glossy.

If you are using wine for the chocolate layer put it in small sauce pan on medium heat and reduce to 1 1/2 tablespoons. (no need to measure it should be half the original amount and slightly syrupy) If you use liqueur or syrup add to pan no need to reduce. Add cream to pan and whisk to thoroughly blend then add chocolate and whisk over heat until smooth and all of the chocolate is melted.

 Pour chocolate into baked crust and smooth out. Allow pie to cool thoroughly. Meanwhile puree raspberries and strain through fine sieve to remove seeds. combine puree and wine or liqueur in a sauce pan and sprinkle gelatin on top. Allow gelatin to sit for a couple minutes to bloom or soften. Heat mixture over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until it is warm and the gelatin has completely dissolved. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer so i poured it straight into there) Use and ice bath or sink of cold water to quickly cool mixture. This simply means place the bowl in the water but do not allow water to get into the bowl and stir until it is cool to the touch and slightly jelled. Using hand or stand mixer start to beat raspberry mixture and add sugar. Slowly add cream and beat until mixture is fluffy and has stiff peaks like whipped cream. Pour mixture over chocolate and refrigerate at least 2 hours until firm.

Now many culinary gurus would lead you to believe cream will only whip if conditions are perfect and my technique goes against this belief. If you have a phobia the cream and sugar can be whipped separately and folded into cooled raspberry puree.  This is the method the original recipe used.

This is the pie half eaten and 3 days old and still so yummy I can't wait for dessert.

Recipe Revamp Project

OK this is my last post for today probably. If you are a foodie like me you may have that collection of food magazines you are to afraid to toss because it may contain a recipe you might need later. Well the husband and i spent hours clearing clutter and decided that 80% of each issue is useless ads or article i won't read again so i clipped all the recipes i liked whether they were gluten free or not. Now i have decided to have Julie and Julia (ish) experiment. i am gonna work my way through these recipes with the goal of revamping and gluten freeing them as i go. I will be posting info on the original recipes as available and my revamped versions on here. If a recipe doesn't pass the family test (i.e my family does not like it) then it will be released from my growing collection.


So in search of new favorite spots I came across Friesenburgers on the find me gluten free app. The website is about as impressive as the location but you never know when a rock maybe a diamond so the hubby and set out to have lunch.
 I am so glad we did because this was one of the best burgers I have had since going gluten free. i have dreams of gourmet burgers but always end up eating mine with a fork and knife because buns are not an option or they fall to crumbs after 2 bites but not here.

Gluten Free Apps

Well I finally embraced the techno savvy world of smart phones and apps. I have to say my favorite app besides angry birds is called Find Me Gluten Free. This App was a life saver during the move driving cross country it saved hours of pre-planning locating stops where food would be available. I just open the app and bam it tells me everything close by my location. While this app relies heavily on big chains it also has the option for people to add places that you may not know about. Each entry includes links to the website and/or menu if available and gives people the chance to post a review on their experience there. it is also endorsed by the Celiac Diva now . If you do not have a smart phone you can access their database right from the website. I urge everyone to check this app out. OH THE BEST PART IS IT FREE but definitly and app I would pay for.