Friday, October 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Grain Free Carrot Cake (or Cupcakes!)

I have tried a few carrot cakes and, once again, combined about 12 recipes until I "got it" the way I wanted it.  You may even improve it more (if you do, lmk!) but here's what I did:

For the carrot cupcakes (makes 12):
Just under 2 c. of almond flour (I like Honeyville)
1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 heaping T. pumpkin pie spice (which is just cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice :))
3 organic, free range eggs
1/2 c. organic, unrefined coconut oil (softened but not melted)
1/4 c. raw, organic honey from my bees
1/4 c. real maple syrup
(you can use all honey also and just do 1/2 c.)
1 T. vanilla
1 c. organic carrots (I use carrot pulp leftover from juicing so if you are using shredded carrots you may not need the entire 1/2 c. of coconut oil.  Hold some back and see if your batter looks moist enough)

For the cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces of Greek cream cheese
2 T. maple syrup
1 T. vanilla
dash of real salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease muffin tin with coconut oil.  Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl.  In mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients and mix well.  Add dry mix to wet mix and then gently fold in the carrots.  Put batter in muffin tin and cook for approx. 15-20 min (my oven is 15 min on the dot!)  Let the cupcakes cool for 5-10 min. in the muffin tin and then remove to wire rack.  Cool completely before icing.  Make sure your kiddos know you are making them or somehow (!) all 12 will disappear before they arrive to the kitchen to eat them.  I'm kidding, I would never eat them all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grain Free, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are amazing.  Seriously.  I have tried a ton of recipes and I really, really love these.  I combined a few recipes I found online and this is what I came up with.  And yes, I have made a new batch every day for the past few days.  Not because I am compulsively eating them.

1 c. almond flour (I like Honeyville the best)
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. real salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
3 T. coconut oil
3 T. real maple syrup
2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. or so of Enjoy Life chocolate chips
I add a large handful of raw, sprouted pecans or walnuts -- totally optional!

Mix coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.  Add in all dry ingredients.  Then add in chips and nuts, if desired.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 min and then LEAVE ON TRAY for 5 minutes.  This is super important when baking with almond flour.

This recipe makes 10 cookies.  And you will eat them all in less than 10 hours.  But honestly, if you're going to indulge, these are pretty harmless.  At least I hope so.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Grain Free, Gluten Free, Banana PB muffins

Wow, that's a mouthful.  I combined a few ideas I found online and created these gems today.  And they are delicious.  I've been gluten free for over a year now but my alternative doc recommended I try grain free a few months ago so I am always looking for ideas.....of things that taste good.  I'm not into eating cardboard.

1 c. peanut butter (yes, another nut butter would be healthier but I looooove pb!)
2 very ripe bananas
2 organic eggs
1 t. Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda
3 T. pure maple syrup

Throw all this in the BlendTec and blend until smooth.  (eggs first makes it easier to blend)
Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 15 min. at 375.  This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy 4th of July Weekend

It's been the best weekend ever....parades, festivals, pool parties, family time, fireworks, games and more.  I love this time of year.

Today, I ran across this throwback picture of Gabe from when he was 2.  Awwwwwww.  And now he's 7.  Sniff.

Monday, June 9, 2014


The girls recently performed some violin and piano pieces downtown, at a benefit for Buckeye Ranch.  It got us talking and we decided to create a Be Someones Miracle Summer List (BSMSL) to complete this summer.

I let them create the list completely on their own.  Here are some of the things they came up with:

* Invite a random family to dinner (and cook a great meal!)
* Bake and deliver cookies to a nursing home
* Pay for a stranger's meal
* Buy a stranger ice cream
* Cook breakfast for Hazel's House of Hope again
* Make another blanket for a child with cancer

Here's a picture of Lauren performing.  On our way home that night Madeline commented, "Well, I've officially performed at a bar!"

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spring Piano Recital

The girls had their spring piano recital last night and it was wonderful.  It was such a proud moment for me to watch them performing with some of the best students in the city.  Hundreds of hours of sitting through piano lessons (yes, I am required to sit in on all lessons!) and a gazillion hours of daily practice (on 2 pianos!) truly paid off.

This year, Madeline competed in TAP through the Royal Conservatory's Development Program and all 3 girls competed in Guild, a national audition program.

Madeline received a trophy for "Top TAP score" and also for "Outstanding Student."  Truuust me, these girls are up against some stiff competition.  You wouldn't believe some of the performances we heard last night.  Abigail took home 3 trophies last year (a record!) so Lauren said next HER year.  GO BUG!

Just found a quick clip of 2 of the students who performed a duet together: