Tag Archive | gluten free

Lately

Hi there! My oh my, where did June go?  I feel like I blinked and suddenly it’s July! Please slow down, summer. Summertime is always pure craziness with plans, but this summer just seems even crazier. Since I can’t seem to find the time to sit down and blog weekly, I wanted to share a few things going on around these parts lately, and share a recipe too while I had a few minutes.

Lately I’ve…been working constantly
I manage a seasonal ice cream shop, mini-golf, and barbeque restaurant (which I worked at for 7 years growing up), and along with management duties, I’m also the prep cook for the restaurant, so this all keeps me extremely busy. If you’re looking for me Thursday-Sunday, I basically sleep there.  I absolutely love it but I am also absolutely exhausted when Sunday night rolls around.  Monday is the new Friday in my book!

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Ice cream unloading
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Lately I’ve…spent as much time as possible with my Nana
Brandon and I escaped reality for a few days last week and headed down to Cape Cod to spend time with my Nana at her cottage on the water. It was my favorite place as a child and still remains my favorite  place today. The quiet, the serenity, the sound of the ocean,  and having daily cocktails with Nana can’t be beat. Grandparent time is the best time in my book.

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Lately I’ve…been loving ocean-side runs and outdoor workouts
Thanks to my second family living right on the beach and taking me in on a weekly basis, I’ve been enjoying ocean-side runs multiple times a week this summer. It doesn’t get much better  than exercising with a view like this. I will never be able to express my love of the ocean enough.

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Plus, while on the Cape, Brandon and I rode 22 miles on our bikes and it was a blast. Now I want to bring my bike everywhere! Outdoor workouts make sweating so much more fun.
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Lately I’ve…been loving ice cream way too much (no surprise here)
Do I even need to explain? I think not. YOLO.
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A father’s day ice cream cake for my Dad (1/2 for him, 1/2 for me hehehehe)

Lately I’ve…been missing my grandfather
It’s hard to believe a month and a half has passed. I love you, Bop.
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Lately I’ve…been praying for this puppy
Can someone please say a prayer that this puppy comes into my  life soon? Please? I’m begging.
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Lately I’ve….been making these cookies:
I’ve made these 3 times in 3 weeks, so believe me when I say that these are addicting! They are now my absolute favorite gluten-free homemade cookie. Love, love, love. Thanks Sally!
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Gluten Free Almond Butter Choc-Chip Cookies
Inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction
Ingredients
-1 large egg
-1 cup almond butter at room temperature ( I used creamy, but crunchy would work too.)
1/2 cup  light (or dark) brown sugar, lightly packed
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup to 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips  (or any type of chocolate chip you prefer. The chips I used were mini, so I reduced it down to a 1/2 cup amount, which was plenty!).

Directions:
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Then, in a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg.

2) Next spray a 1 cup measure with butter spray, and measure the almond butter accordingly. Then add the almond butter, baking soda, and brown sugar to the bowl with the egg. Mix everything together until thoroughly combined (this may take a few minutes). Then fold in the chocolate chips until combined.
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3) Now form your cookies. Scoop the dough and roll it into cookie formation with your hands, one by one (using about 1.5-2 tablespoons of dough per cookie), placing them onto a parchment-paper covered baking sheet.  Once the cookies are on each sheet, gently press down on the dough mounds with the back of a fork.
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4) Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (no more than this). The cookies will probably look  under-baked, but they will harden and be completely cooked in the next few minutes during the cooling process. Allow the cookies to cool for  about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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These are so addicting. I used dairy free chocolate chips, but you could truly put any sort of chocolate chip into these. Plus, I think slivered almonds would be a fantastic addition to this recipe, too. These are simply amazing to eat and so so easy to make. Thanks again for the recipe, Sally!

Have a great rest of the week, friends!

What have you been up to lately?
Have any new recipes to share?
What’s the longest bike ride you’ve taken? 22 was mine!

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Friday Confessions

Hi there and happy Friday! I’m not sure where the time goes, but I’m not complaining. Friday came quickly this week! I have so much to share with all of you (wedding updates, recipes, etc.) but I have to get through my 4 exams next week before doing so. In the meantime, here’s my Friday confessions:

1) I have never been more ready for spring. As much as I love scarves, I’m over the cold. Over it, over it, over it. It can stop snowing any day now.
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2) Airbrushed make-up rules. My sister, Shauna (a bridesmaid), and myself went in for our wedding make-up trial last weekend and it was amazing.  Porcelain-looking skin for the day? Sign-me up! Our make-up must-haves for the wedding are : bold lips, smoky eyes with shimmer, bronzing, and contouring. Does that make us pains-in-the-neck? If so, oh well. We are having Serai Beauty out of Greenwich, RI do our make-up, and they are lovely to work with. Can’t wait for May 25th!
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3) I’m currently obsessed with the  ‘Irish Crème’ coffee flavor at Dunkin’ Donuts. I’ve been treating myself twice a week on my long days at school, as it gives me something to look forward to in- between classes. Just two pumps in a black iced-coffee works for me. I’m already dreading the day they take the flavor away.  Has anyone tried the mint coolatta? I’m such a sucker for promotional items.
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4) My sister and I taste-tested potential wedding favors over the weekend. Cake-pops, cupcakes, and sugar cookies were on the menu. Can you say best job ever?! I am pretty sure she’s going to go with cake-pops from Sugar Bakery (a winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars), fingers crossed.
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5) I started volunteering at a senior center this week and I absolutely love it. I’m creating and baking sugar-free desserts for the diabetics at the center and yesterday was my first group session. It was so fun to get to know some of the members, and was an amazing feeling to be doing something that I’m passionate about, while helping others. That is a win-win in my book.

6) I ran outside for the first time in over two months last week…ouch. While I’ve been getting my cardio in via other forms of exercise (elliptical, biking, and HIIT workouts) I must admit my entire body felt that run over the next few days; calves, thighs, abs, everything! I am so excited to pound the pavement consistently this spring. Go away, snow!
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7) My sister’s bridal shower is only nine days away! Everything is really coming together, and I am so excited to celebrate the bride-to-be.  Since I am obsessed with all things Wedding Paper Divas, I loved the invitations my Mom and I picked out. Here’s a sneak peek:
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8) Brandon comes home in 5 weeks, 5 weeks, 5 weeks! Clearly I have a countdown going. Can you blame me? He was recently in Sydney visiting friends who had a beautiful baby girl late last year, and sent me this picture. Isn’t this the cutest?
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9) Eating gluten and dairy free (besides my wedding-favor tasting) is getting easier and easier thanks to more and more companies making great products, and adapting old recipes with new ideas. For example:
Best animal crackers I’ve ever tasted : 
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-Spaghetti-squash bake with dairy-free parmesan cheese and gluten-free crushed crumb topping:
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10) I need a dog. That is all.
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What’s your Friday confession?

Have a great weekend, friends!

small victories, big victories

Hi there, happy Monday and happy March! I know I’m a few days late, but I am still ecstatic that the calendar is no longer on February.  I kid-you-not I did a happy dance on March 1st. To me, March symbolizes the start of sunshine, spring air, tulips, brighter evenings, and most importantly, one month closer to Brandon coming home. Hooray!

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Anyway, February was a crazy month for me and I know March will be even crazier. My sister’s wedding is less than 3 months away, my classes are full-swing, and I start working weekends again verrrry soon.  For that reason, I’m making a diligent effort to take things day-by-day rather than looking ahead,  and I’m making sure to recognize each task accomplished off of my to-do list as an individual victory, even if it’s just a small one. I am a strong believer in recognizing accomplishments because my parents have always been big on this.  Growing up, whether we lost a tooth, learned the capitals of the USA, or scored in our basketball game;  every achievement was recognized, big or small. I remember those moments specifically because they made a point to celebrate them! It really helped me to slow down and live in the moment. Currently, if I think about the months ahead as a whole,  I start stressing out in a bad way. In order to start March off on the right foot, small victories are going to be big victories in my book. 

Recent victories:
-Aced my Chemistry 2 test = victory
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-Bought my bridal shower dress = victory

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…. just giving you a sneak-peek! : –)

-Attended Kimmie and Jimmy’s planning meeting/cake tasting and made some big decisions = victory
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(I helped taste, obviously!)

-Picked the bridal shower menu with Mom = victory
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-Concocted a delicious low-sugar no-bake dessert =  victory
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This recipe was too good not to share. I adapted the recipe to make it gluten-free (using gluten-free oats), dairy-free (using almond milk), and very low-in sugar, too. Plus, these are incredibly easy to make. Enjoy these for a healthy, Monday treat!

No Bake Low-Sugar Chocolate Nut Butter and Oat Cookies
Adapted from Sugar-Free Mom

Ingredients
½ cup peanut butter (almond butter or any sun-butter would work too)
4 tablespoons butter ( I used Earth Balance)
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips (sugar-free or regular would work, too)
2 cups rolled oats (I used gluten-free)
½ cup milk (I used almond.  Any milk would work)
powdered stevia packets ( I used 2)
0ptional topping: ⅓ cup sugar free chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

1. Add the nut butter, butter and chocolate chips to a small sauce pan and heat on low, stirring until melted.
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2. In a large mixing bowl add the oats and milk. Then pour the chocolate nut-butter mixture into the oats.
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3. Taste the mixture, and if you think it’s sweet enough, skip the stevia. I wanted it sweeter, so I added it in.  Mix well.

4. Using a small cookie scoop, form the dough into balls and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
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5. You can leave them in a ball formation and refrigerate them to harden, or flatten them into small discs. I flattened mine with a fork and I loved that they looked like a cookie but had a more substantial thickness to them! You could also drizzle melted chocolate over them if you choose to. (I skipped this step because I ran out of chips.)
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6. Refrigerate until hardened.

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A few of these are going into my lunch bag as I type! Have a great Monday, all!

Were your parents big on celebrating accomplishments?
Did you have any big/small victories this week?
What’s your favorite no-bake cookie combination?
Mine is chocolate and peanut-butter, no question!