Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gluten Free Pasta: Homemade

Yeah,  that's right. I made this meal for Girl's Night, and shared it with my non-weird-diet friends! Also.. disregard the overcooked (aka, flattened) ziti.  Still tastes awesome!

My new favorite meal is homemade gluten free pasta.  I have a Cuisinart pasta maker that mixes the dough and expels it out of a die, which makes the whole process super simple.  It should be possible to roll out the dough and cut strips without a pasta maker, too.

I've been using THIS recipe from GlutenFreeGirl. (Scroll down to the recipe in the box.)  I've use garbanzo bean flour instead of garbanzo-fava, and also tapioca starch instead of potato starch.  I did use a baking scale to measure by weight for the flours.

I usually have large eggs (not extra large, as the recipe calls for) at home, so the second time I made the pasta I used 4 egg yolks from large eggs, and 2 large eggs-- it came out the same.  Either way, just adjust the oil and water amounts if it ends up too wet or too dry.

Oozing out of the Cuisinart!
Plate of uncooked pasta.

Seriously, this pasta is delicious.  I eat it with some Spanish olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little basil. --Delish!


I found this at my local Healthway:

Conte's frozen gluten free potato gnocchi.  Cooked up in under 10 minutes... I don't get insta-meals very often, so this was awesome. Pretty darn good, too!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Madness!

Pumpkin snickerdoodles!

A new post? Shocking, right-- seeing as I've been completely AWOL for a very long time.... sorry about that. This week I got caught up in the fall pumpkin-everything craze!  It started with pumpkin snickerdoodles and then progressed to pumpkin-sauce pasta. I still have some pumpkin left in the can... so there may be some pumpkin pancakes in store for tomorrow morning.

I still have been being food-lazy, so I mainly used other peoples' recipes for these creations.  I made the pumpkin snickerdoodles using the awesome recipe on The Nourishing Gourmet.  They are definitely some of my favorite cookies ever!! The pumpkin gives them a delightfully fluffy texture.

In the recipe, I used coconut sugar for the sweetener.  For gluten-free flour, I used 1 cup millet flour, and 1 cup of mixed garbanzo flour and brown rice flower.  I also threw in about 1/4 or 1/2 tsp guar gum for good measure.  I also added Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips to half of the batter...... but those do have cane sugar in them. (I was feeling adventurous!)  I love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, but these cookies were so good they barely needed the addition.

Pumpkin (sauce) pasta

Now, for the pasta, I cooked up some gluten-free brown rice penne and twisty things (don't know the proper pasta-name!) and whipped up some pumpkin sauce with the left-over canned pumpkin.

I really just made the sauce by taste, and followed the basic seasonings listed here. The base was pumpkin, olive oil, almond milk, and pasta water.  The seasonings were salt, pepper, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  It ended up having a great blend of savory taste, plus the implied sweetness of the touch of cinnamon.  Definitely also a winning creation.

Happy fall! Now the big question.... what are you being for Halloween???

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

EWG Cosmetics Database

"HEY GRRL! My makeup's probably toxic!"

Here's a useful site that you can use to look up cosmetics and toiletries to see whether their ingredients pose heath risks. It's created by the Environmental Working Group, and rates products from 0 (good) to 9 (bad!), and includes a breakdown of what ingredients pose specific risks.

EWG Cosmetics Database 

You might not WANT to know the risks of the products you're using... but it's good to know that this site exists!

I looked up a few of my favorite items, ranging from....

Ocean Potion SPF "XTREME" Tanning Oil  --- rated 7 (that's bad), with a high risk of "Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity"

 - Honestly, that's no big surprise. Nothing about this stuff looks healthy to begin with. It is "XTREME," after all!


Hugo Natural's Volumizing Shampoo --- rated 1 (that's good!)

- Granted, 75% of the time I wash my hair I use my Pantene 2-in-1 (rated 4)... but I did at least buy the Hugo's to go in the right direction!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chocolate Easter Bunny

Yes, it's belated. But pour it into a different mold, and it can be chocolate whatever-you-want!

Hi, I'm cute! Also, delicious!

2 oz unsweetened baker's chocolate
1 tbs coconut oil  (I used the kind that doesn't taste like coconut to make it more standard-chocolate-y)
1 tbs agave (or stevia to taste)

Melt and mix - then pour into a candy mold!
If you're feeling fancy, try to temper your chocolate... I wasn't, so I didn't.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Also: Two Cool Things

#1 - Earthing.

Ever noticed feeling brighter after walking outside barefoot? (Or do you even go barefoot anymore?) - I know it always helps me to gain energy by "reconnecting" with nature and the Earth.  This research is really interesting to me, and is producing a whole new idea of "Earthing" -- purposely grounding one's body by connecting into the electrically grounded surface of the earth.

When I google "fitness," this is the first image that comes up. ...ironic?
#2 - SlimKicker!

This is an awesome website that helps boost motivation for reaching health goals- in nutrition, exercise, and emotions. You "level up" as you earn points by logging your progress and completing health challenges.  It's just what I need to get my competitive spirit engaged!  Super easy to use, fun to get your friends to do it with you, and helpful to track nutrition stats!  (friend me on it- I'm mcphilli!)

The Sticky Bun Experience

 Also known as, How I Spent My Easter:

Sticky Bun: aka, giant brick of sweet, rich, caramely decadence.

I made Pecan Sticky Buns, invented from a recipe in April's Bon Apetit magazine.  Problem is, they somehow ended up taking half the day to make!  This was pretty much due to a few "mishaps" that occurred along the way.  In the future, I will also make everything the night before, roll them out, and then will only need to slice and bake them in the morning.

At any rate, these turned out sinfully rich, sweet and delicious.  Since I didn't use yeast in the recipe, they have a more flakey than doughy consistency, but still fine nonetheless. 

This recipe has three parts: the dough, the filling, and the topping/glaze.  Before I go into the making of them, let me explain the "mishaps" that I had. 

1. First of all, gluten-free flour must absorb less water than normal flour. (Maybe? Let's blame it on that?) - I added less milk than called for to my batter at the last step, yet still turned it to a sticky, unrollable mess.  So, I had to keep adding more and more flour....  I was already making a double recipe, so this nearly made my mixer bowl overflow.  (It also prompted some delirious song... "25 gallons of sticky bun dough, 25 gallons of dough.... add some flour, mix it around, 26 gallons of sticky bun dough.....")  After adding about a cup, I gave up, threw it in the fridge, and it ended up fine after chilling.

2. Second major issue-- Bon Apetit recipe calls for 1 cup of the glaze to be poured into the pan before putting the raw buns in, before cooking.  I somehow missed the "1 cup" part, so I dumped the whole pot in.  This led to sticky buns swimming in a pool of caramel sauce.  When I realized my mistake, I tried to pour some out.... this did not end well either. (Actually it was fine- but sticky buns were still baked in WAY more glaze than necessary!) - So that one definitely changed the final product.

The moral of the story is, they're still delicious, even if you mess up a little. (Or "improvise!")

Without further ado....


1/2 c millet flour
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/2 c potato starch
3/4 c all-purpose GF flour
1.5 tsp guar gum
2 tsp baking powder
5 tbs coconut sugar
1 tsp sea salt                       --> combine dry ingredients, stir to mix

2 large eggs                        --> break into a cup, whisk until smooth
~1/3 c almond milk-- or less!
1/4 c ghee
1/4 c coconut oil  (soft, but not melted)

Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Dough hook is probably optional, especially since we're not using a yeast dough... but I used one anyway)  Gradually add all eggs, and about 1/4 c almond milk. Add milk slowly until dough is moist enough, but not too wet to roll.  Mix in butter a little bit at a time.  Mix on medium speed for ~5 minutes.  Place in refrigerator to chill (2-3 hrs).

1/4 c ghee
1/4 c coconut oil  (soft, not melted)
1/2 c coconut sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients using an electric mixer on high speed, beating until light and fluffy, 2-3 mins.  Set aside.


1 3/4 c chopped pecans, toasted     (toast on a cookie sheet in oven, if not pre-toasted: 10-12 mins at 350)
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c ghee
3/4 c coconut sugar
1/3 c agave
2/3 c almond milk + 2 tbs soymilk powder + 1/8 tsp guar gum  (= "heavy cream" substitute!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp finely grated orange zest (optional- I did one batch with, one without-- both great!)

Melt oil/ghee in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in all other ingredients. (Coconut sugar will probably separate out/turn tar-like... this is okay! Proceed!)  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 3-4 minutes.  (MAGIC!) Sauce should be uniform, glossy, and smell (/taste) like caramel. :)
What NOT to do: pour entire pot of glaze into pan.

Pour ONE CUP :) of glaze into a 8x8 baking pan, and tilt to coat sides. Set aside the rest for later use.  Sprinkle 1/2 c toasted pecans over bottom of baking pan, and let cool.

Roll out dough- I recommend between 2 sheets of waxed paper, or between two silicone rolling sheets.  Either way, flour surface liberally (I used brown rice flour.) Roll into a 12"x16" rectangle, about 1/4" thick, with the long side facing you.  Spread the filling over the rectangle, leaving a 1" plane border on the edge farthest from you (so it doesn't goo-out post-rolling!)

Sprinkle 3/4 c chopped pecans over filling.

Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll up the dough, trying to tighten as you go.  Use a metal knife/spatula to help free it if necessary.  Pinch long seam together when rolled. Pat open ends to make them flat (un-tapered). Arrange log seam-side-down.

Buns swimming in glaze.... yummo!
Use a knife to slice log into 9 pieces (buns)... or more if you want lots of shorter ones! (but then you will need more pans... possibly with more glaze in them....)  Turn buns cut-side up, and pat top to flatten slightly.  To make a bun more round in shape, cup it in floured hands, and gently push and turn it in a circular motion. 

Place buns in prepared pan, evenly spaced, and preferably not touching.

Preheat oven to 350, with a middle rack available. Whisk one egg with 1/2 tsp water in a bowl, and brush tops of buns with egg wash.  Bake for ~50 minutes, "rotating pan halfway through and tenting with foil if browning too quickly" (--yeah right Bon Apetit, I did neither of those two things).  Buns should be golden-brown, and filling (/glaze goo) should be bubbling.

Let cool for 5 minutes, then spoon remaining glaze over them.  Sprinkle on remaining 1/2 pecans, then let cool completely.  --Bon Apetit also says to lightly sprinkle sea salt over them. I forgot to do this, but I think it would be good! --> so let's say sea salt optional.


Outta the oven.  Maybe more like Sticky-Bun-Loaf... but delicious all the same.

For me, the experience of making these was equally important as the outcome.

(Sadly, I can barely eat the outcome, as they're just so darn sweet and rich! ..and probably calorie rich too... oh well!)

Oh oh and you know what my favorite part was??? Making the glaze taught me that coconut sugar does indeed caramelize, and if you boil it with almond milk./agave, it WILL melt! (contrary to its low-heat tar-like behavior!) Yay!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Waffle Cookies! (Wookies?)

Waffleization #1: Chocolate Oatmeal Waffle-Cookies!

Look like waffles, taste like cookies. True Waffleization.

Waffleized cookies are cookie batter cooked in a waffle iron.  I whipped up some chocolate-oatmeal batter, and popped it in my belgian waffle maker... instant waffle-cookies! (wookies?)


1 c flour  (1/4 all-purpose GF, 1/4 brown rice, 1/4 c millet, 1/4 c GF oat)
3/4 c GF oats

1/2 tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbs cocoa powder
1 Tbs cacao nibs (optional)

1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c agave
1/4 c coconut sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, and separately whisk together all wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients, and stir/beat until well combined. (I did it by hand using a wooden spatula/paddle thingy.)  The batter should be cookie-consistency: Holds its form, but still moist/a little sticky.

Fire up the waffle iron! I used a medium-high setting, but still needed to watch them carefully.  It's a balance between cooking them long enough that they're firm enough to be removed in one piece, but also not cooking them too long/too high that the outside burns.  A little bit of dark toastiness is fine, and to be expected. The inside will still be gooier than the outside, which is also fine (and delicious)!

Scoop on blobs of the batter, and flatten them slightly.  I chose not to make them full-waffle sized, but any size should work.  Since I didn't fill the griddle, my "green light" was going off before the waffle-cookies were truly all the way done... so as I said, I had to check them to see when they were really done.

Overall, this worked very well! They taste just like normal cookies, but have the added benefits of being (a) waffle-shaped (thus possibly still passing as breakfast), and (b) TWICE AS BIG as normal cookies (thus allowing you to eat twice as much). :)

SUCCESS! Wookies rock.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"The Waffleizer"

I found a new favorite blog, and just in time for International Waffle Day (or, if you're Swedish, VĂ„ffeldagen!), which is March 25th.

Creations of THE WAFFLEIZER:

 It is... "The Waffleizer," and features its author, Dan, experimenting with waffle-izing many every-day foods.  These range from macaroni and cheese, to hamburgers, to crepes, to (my personal favorite) bibimbaffle.  (That's waffle-ized bibimbap, a Korean rice/egg/veggies dish)

I must say, it's pretty inspirational. Waffleizing will begin tomorrow!! Stay tuned, and fire up the iron.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Part 2 - Brownies w/ Irish Creme Frosting

I used the recipe from my Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake, but doubled it and baked it in a 9x13 pan.  And then made Irish Creme Frosting using flavored agave. (What I REALLY wanted to do was incorporate whiskey flavor using my whiskey flavored tea from Scotland.... but then I forgot it at work!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.


1 c coconut oil
1/2 c ghee (or more coconut oil)
2 c coconut sugar
1/2 c light agave          ---> if oil is solid, heat on stove until melted; whisk together/stir continuously. Let cool slightly.  (the components may remain separate, but that's okay for now)

4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla    ---> after wet ingredients cool slightly, whisk in eggs and vanilla. At this point, stir until all ingredients are mixed.

Combine in a separate bowl:

1 1/3 c flour combination: oat, GF all-purpose, brown rice, millet, tapioca  (basically whatever you have!)
1/2 tsp guar gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c cocoa powder    ---> combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add them to the wet ingredients. Mix well.
Pour batter into pan, and bake ~30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool.

I made this in a very small quantity, since I'm basically out of irish creme agave. Multiply the proportions as necessary:
1/4 c coconut oil  (softened, but not melted)
1/4 c irish creme agave   ---> whisk together until frothy/creamy
1 tbs cocoa (or more/less to taste)
1/8 tsp lemon juice (makes it less sweet)
If you want it thicker, place in fridge for a while.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! - Savory Basil Pancakes

I'm back!

After a long hiatus, I'm ready to start making fun food again. For St. Patrick's day lunch today, I made "green" shamrock savory pancakes.  They aren't really green in color, but they COULD be, if the basil/spinach that they contain were pureed. I based the batter off of my standard waffle recipe proportions, and threw in the greens.  Here's how it worked:


Combine in a 2c measuring cup:
1 egg   -----> beat with fork
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil   ---> beat into egg
1 cup almond milk      ------> add and stir
1 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 c baby spinach leaves, chopped
a few sprigs of lavender leaves, chopped  ---> add all chopped greens
1/8 tsp salt (or to taste- should taste a bit salty)
dash pepper
2 dash onion powder
dash garlic powder  ----> add all seasonings, stirr
1/2 c garbanzo bean flour
1/2 c amaranth flour       ---> combine and stir. (millet instead of amaranth would also work, or all garbanzo)

Cook on a non-stick frying pan. To make a shamrock shape, pour four small circles of batter in the pan, and let them blend together in the center. Spread with ghee or EarthBalance, and top with avocado slices.

International Waffle Day Update:  this recipe is also AWESOME as waffles!!!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Povitica v.2.0

Yum yum yum yum yum!

Much tastier version than the last, albeit not quite as authentic as far as the thin-rolling goes.

The following recipe makes FOUR LOAVES plus a bit extra filling.


Dough:  Cream together...

1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c ghee
1.5 c coconut sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c brown rice syrup

Mix and add....

2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c garbanzo bean flour
2 c millet flour
1 c gluten-free oat flour
1 c tapioca flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Filling:   Melt together...

1.5 c ghee
1.5 c almond mulk
1 c agave nectar
1 lb ground walnuts
3 tbs cinnamon
2 tsp guar gum (to thicken)

Separate the dough into four quarters- one for each loaf.  Roll out one portion between plastic. Spread cooled filling onto dough, then roll dough. Fit each portion into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for ~40 minutes.

Slice and enjoy!

Gingerbread S'mores Cookies


Happy New Year!

I know I've continued to be AWOL for a while, but I have several holiday recipes to post in the next few days. Also, will probably be updating my health saga on a separate page, since of course there's a new development on that front as well.

The good stuff: Gingerbread Marshmallow S'more's Cookies! Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free, as always.  These were my favorite Christmas cookies this year- festive and quite delicious!



Look at that creaming action! So light! So fluffy!
1/4 c (non-virgin) coconut oil
1/4 ghee
3/4 c coconut sugar             
--> cream fats and sugar until mixture lightens in color and increases in volume (takes 5-10 minutes)
2 eggs
1/4 c brown rice syrup         
--> add wet ingredients, mix thoroughly

1 1/4 c teff flour
1 c millet flour
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/2 c gluten-free oat flour     --> combine flours

2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt                          --> add other dry ingredients to flour mixture

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; mix thoroughly.

Roll out a portion of cough between two sheets of waxed paper, until 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.  Cut with your favorite cookie cutters.  Grease cookie sheets with an acceptable oil/fat, or line with parchment paper to prevent cookie-sticking.

The un-broken (aka, un-eaten) batch.
Bake at 350 for ~6 minutes, or until top of cookies just begins to be firm to the touch.  They won't brown much, so don't wait too long to take them out!

If you didn't use parchment paper (which I did not), use a metal spatula to remove cookies immediately from sheet. If you wait til they cool (or the usual 10 minutes), they will stick and break! And then you will be forced to eat stomachfuls of headless, armless gingerbread girls to destroy the evidence.

At this stage, cookies can be eaten as-is, OR they can be TAKEN TO THE NEXT LEVEL and s'more-ified.


You will need these two essential components:

Two gingerbread girls: one light, one dark...
1. vegan marshmallow fluff   (ingredients: brown rice syrup, guar gum... plus MAGIC)

2. chocolate filling/frosting:   (extra can also can be used as truffle shells!*)

4 oz unsweetened solid chocolate
3/8 c coconut sugar
3 tbs agave nectar
2 tbs coconut oil    --> use a double-boiled to melt chocolate over medium heat, then mix in other ingredients.


Take two cookies of corresponding shapes. Spread marshmallow fluff over one, and chocolate over the other-- then BAM sandwich them together.

Decorating options based on how lazy you are feeling:

Pretty Lazy - dip a toothpick into chocolate filling and 'paint' chocolate onto cookies
Medium Lazy - put chocolate into a piping bag, and pipe on decorations
Zero Lazy - make some other frosting, all-natural-food-color it, etc., and knock yourself out.

S'mored AND beautified. Check out Slutty New Year's Dress Girl on the left there.

* To use this as truffle coating:

Option A, and Option B. Option C? Eat that chocolate plain!
a) use silicone ice-cube trays, preferably pre-greased with coconut oil, and coat with chocolate. Add a dollop of whatever filling, then cover that with a layer of chocolate. Place in freezer to set, then move to fridge. (They will look pretty!

b) use waxed paper - place a 1cm-to-1inch sized dollop of chocolate on waxed paper. Then dollop your filling on top of that, and then seal it all in a final coat of chocolate. Place in freezer/fridge to set. (Lots of dollops. And they will look lumpy.)

I used extra povitica filling for the inside of the truffles... this recipe will be up next! Stay tuned.