365 Project: My birthday cake with Christmas tree lights in bokeh

Per my birthday wish, my hubby ordered this delicious carrot cake from Nourish Sequim, an all gluten-free restaurant. It’s easy to feel forgotten when your birthday lands smack in the middle of the holidays but, my hubby was determined to make my birthday (birthday week actually!) special and memorable! 🙂

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Gluten-free carrot cake with fresh whipped cream, topped with sweet shredded organic carrots…YUM!

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365 Project: Easy, yummy vegan chocolate mousse recipe

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Yummy vegan chocolate mousse
1-4 servings
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup organic almond or coconut or almond/coconut milk
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1 organic avocado in big chunks
1 organic banana in big chunks
OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon chopped nuts (almonds, peanuts, or pecans)

In this order,  put cocoa powder, coconut oil, then milk in a blender/vita mix. (NOTE: For a lighter mousse, add 1/2 cup milk, for denser mousse, add 1/4 cup milk.) Start on low to mix in the cocoa powder then blend on high until frothy and the coconut oil is liquified. Scrape down sides.  Add the avocado and banana. Blend until creamy.  Scrape down the sides then blend again.  Serve this mousse in ramekins for one serving or up to four dessert shots. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Enjoy this guilt-free mousse, which in our family can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

VARIATIONS:

  • Add sweetener as desired such as honey, agave, or stevia.  But, try it as is…you may be surprised how good it is without any sweetener at all!
  • Add 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter to create a slightly stiffer yet still creamy consistency. It also adds a slightly salty/sweet taste.
  • Serve with a dollop of your favorite whipped cream to gussy it up. 😉

365 Project – 132: Citrus Napoleon – Mother’s Day brunch at Cafe Flora, Seattle (May 12, 2013) #seattle #mothersday #cafeflora

First course for my Mother’s Day brunch at Cafe’ Flora in Seattle was this Citrus Napoleon served with a coconut chantilly cream and berry sauce. My whole fixed brunch menu was gluten-free. Hot yoga in the morning, brunch with my family, and an afternoon to relax. It’s been a lovely day for this content mama! 🙂 HAPPY MOTHERS DAY EVERYONE!!

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Rebar Chocolate Chip Cookies with apricots and walnuts

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Apricots and Walnuts
(from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook)

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These will become your FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies!

INGREDIENTS

* For gluten-free cookies substitute Gluten-free Baking Flour for the unbleached flour

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1.5 cups or less light brown sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Dried Apricots, chopped
1.5 cups Unbleached Flour *
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Walnuts, roasted and chopped
1.5 cups Chocolate Chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350′ and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a bowl, combine apricots, flour, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and blend well before adding the next. Add vanilla and set aside.
Add wet to dry and then fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Drop on cookie sheet in heaping tablespoonful sized blobs. Leave room between for spreading.
Bake 9 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Cool on wire rack.

NOTES:  The first time I made this recipe I realized I actually didn’t have chocolate chips OR dried apricots in my pantry.  So, I substituted craisins for the apricots and chopped up a 1 1/2 bars of dark chocolate with sea salt.  I LOVE the subtle hit of salt from this chocolate bar.  And, I used that amount of bars because that’s what I happened to have in my house.  It felt like the right amount, although, you can’t have too much chocolate, right?  😉

Also, I used a melon baller to measure out the cookies and I baked them for 10 minutes, so rotating the pan at 5 minutes.  With the smaller cookies, 9 minutes seemed like the right time.

I’ve also kept this dough on hand in the fridge to make them fresh for guests.  Just right out of the oven, after slightly cooling on a wire rack, is just divine.  ENJOY!!!

365 Project – 345: “stripes” – Day 10 iHeartFaces photo challenge (December 10, 2012)

Shutter Speed: 1/50, Aperture: F/2.2, ISO: 800

Shutter Speed: 1/50, Aperture: F/2.2, ISO: 800

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

365 Project – 316: Lemon dream tart…puckery sweet and gluten-free (November 11, 2012)

Shutter Speed: 1/50, Aperture: F/3.2, ISO: 400

I’ve posted pics of this tart before but, here’s the link again to this yummy gluten-free recipe. I make this a lot!

I made the lemon curd and crust the night before. The crust recipe made enough for one 9 inch tart pan and six 5 1/2″ oval creme brulee dishes so I modified the recipe to stretch out the filling since the lemon curd alone wasn’t enough to fill my tart AND tartlets.

I made the whipped cream ( a pint of heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract), whipped in 8 oz. of softened cream cheese, then once smooth I whipped in the lemon curd.

I froze the tart (s) then one hour before serving put them out to thaw. The raspberries can be added before serving or before putting in the freezer. As an option you can serve with additional whipped cream. This is my go-to fundraiser dessert, especially when they’re looking for a gluten-free dessert. It’s creamy, tasty and sooo pretty!:)

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

365 Project – 291: The last slice… blackberry pie ala mode :) (October 18, 2012)

Shutter Speed: 1/150, Aperture: F/2.5, ISO: 1250, FLASH

Thoroughly enjoyed this last slice of homemade blackberry pie last night. Mmmmm…. 🙂

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens