Monday, August 31, 2015

cookie monster chronicles: part 2

I promised I'd update you on the status of #cookiebattle2015, so here I am. 

My second attempt at grain free cookies was a success, I suppose. No, they didn't satisfy my major craving for homemade chocolate chip cookies, but if I closed my eyes and tried really hard, it was almost like I was eating an almond joy. 


I guess that could be referred to as a win-lose? They taste just "healthy" enough that I'm not tempted to eat the whole batch at once. Another win-lose, I think?


I found these grain free, coconut flour cookies via Pinterest. I made a few edits in my version below...the name, being one. The dough was very crumbly and hard to form cookies out of, but it seems to hold together OK once baked. They look a lot denser and drier than they actually are. 


These were good, don't get me wrong, but I think I'm going to make the real deal next and finally satisfy my cookie craving. 




Paleo Almond Joy Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of coconut flour (SAMs has really great prices if you use coconut flour a lot!)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil ( ^^^ )
  • 3 tbs of raw honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut (I used sweetened because I had it on hand. Oops. This may have contributed to the almond joy taste.)
  • 1/2 cups of dark chocolate chips (the original recipe called for more, but I think they turned out too chocolatey. Go ahead and add 3/4 cup if you are a chocoholic. I used the chips with the least amount of added sugar I could find. I think mini-chips would work best as the large ones made the balls of dough hard to form. You could also chop them into smaller pieces.)

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Melt the honey and coconut oil together in the microwave for 15-30 seconds.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the coconut oil, honey, eggs, vanilla and salt.
  4. Stir in the coconut flour, coconut and chocolate chips.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and roll balls of cookie dough. Place on the baking sheet and gently press down. They will not expand while baking, so make them the shape you want to eat!
  6. Bake for 12-15 or until golden brown.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

cookie monster chronicles

I'll admit it. I'm a cookie monster. I have absolutely zero self control when cookies are placed in front of me and I'm OK with that.

HOWEVER. I try to live a mostly healthy lifestyle (think: limited amounts of grains, sugar and alcohol) and 17 (because I'd eat at least 17) delicious fresh baked cookies don't exactly fit the criteria.

Insert grain free, paleo-ish, chocolate chip cookies. I feel like these are healthy enough that you don't blow your entire diet and use up a cheat meal, but they still give you some* cookie satisfaction. This recipe only makes 12 cookies, so you are forced to spread them out over a few meals.....as opposed to eating 17 of the 36 cookies my usual recipe makes within the first 20 minutes they come out of the oven. Oops.

I found this recipe via Pinterest. I made a few extra notes on my version below. They turned out very fluffy, almost cake-like, which I didn't particularly love, but my hubby sure did. I found a different grain free version that I plan on testing out over the weekend in our fancy new oven range. I'll be sure to keep you posted on the outcome! #cookiebattle2015

*note: they most certainly did not fill the chocolate chip cookie void I've been experiencing as of late, but they will get me by a while longer until I can bake my usual recipe for a crowd and not be "forced" to eat them all myself


Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Grain Free)
Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli, but had to chop them into smaller pieces. I tried for the chips with the least amount of added sugar.)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the chocolate chips. It will start off runny, but will thicken as the coconut flour absorbs the moisture. Add in chocolate chips and stir to distribute.
  3. Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball and flatten on cookie sheet. These cookies will not spread on their own, so shape them how you want them to turn out.
  4. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

home

One of our favorite parts of getting married was the copious amounts of boxes that showed up on our front porch. Presents! So many presents. Kitchen gadgets, house decor, linens, gift cards...the list goes on and on!

My very manly husband commandeered the kitchen and all of it's entities, but the rest of his bachelor pad was mine to do with as I pleased. And I made our little urban farmhouse - we're still getting used to saying "our" ;) - the absolute cutest. I firmly believe that Joanna Gaines would applaud my efforts.

The front porch. Welcome!




The living room.


The dining room.

The master bedroom.

The full bath.

The hallway.

The guest bedroom, now taking reservations.

The den.


The kitchen (my favorite parts of it, at least).


And of course, as you saw in the hallway, a house is not a home without a dog. A dog who is almost always found on this rug.


We love our little home. Thank you for sending us so many pretties to fill it with.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

brunch in the 405

As Ron Swanson once said, "There is not a sadness in the world that can't be cured by breakfast food."

I love breakfast food. It's basically my love language. In my mind, the only thing better than breakfast is brunch....because it includes bubbly, of course.

Stella Modern Italian has been a date night go-to for us for quite some time - their mac & cheese will forever change your life. We'd heard rumors of their Sunday brunch for a while now, and decided it was about time we give it a try.

The conclusion? Worth it. 

Although we stuck out like a sore thumb (think: everyone had grey hair and drove Cadillacs), we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There was no wait (as opposed to Stella's neighbor, Waffle Champion... We love you WC, but we're not about crazy lines when we're hangry), we were immediately served lemon poppyseed muffins hot out of the oven, and the service was, as always, impeccable. Plus the Bloody Mary bar and Mimosas didn't hurt matters any.

I ordered lemon ricotta pancakes, because who doesn't love pancakes? It came with the most appetizing maple butter I've ever laid eyes on, and it tasted pretty good, too. Cole ordered their "Green Eggs and Ham." Not the usual green eggs and ham, mind you, but poached eggs topped with a spinach-artichoke puree, prosciutto and parmesan. I have no words. You just need to experience it for yourself.


We left with full stomachs and full hearts. Cliche, yes, but true. Happy brunching!