Monday, August 30

Chocolate Ganache

Saying goodbye is one of the more difficult aspects of life.  As many of you know, dear friends are not easily found.  When I must let one go and wish her well on her new adventures I find myself somewhat solemn and contemplative. I ponder the precious nature of deep friendships and wonder if I could ever travel through life without them.  I know I could not.

Yesterday was one such day for me.  It was a day of farewell. My dear friend Katie-Lynne came to visit to spend time with me, celebrate her birthday a bit and unfortunately to say goodbye.  She is venturing out to find her own life and experience new places and people.  I am excited for her, but I must admit I am hopeful that her journey will not be too long.  As good friends do, we spent most of the time talking and laughing.  Updates regarding jobs and relationships were shared.  Topics that are wonderfully girly were embraced...weddings, Anthropologie purchases, etc.  The only pause was for a baking break.... for we share a love of the culinary arts, as well as all things delicious! We created a delicious Chocolate Ganache, altering an old, grain-free brownie recipe I had found.  It turned out simply yummy, so of course I must share it with you!  A rich, fudgy chocolate ganache suited a girls' get together and it definitely gave Katie and I a satisfying treat, somehow softening the blow of our farewell.

Sadly, we all must say goodbye to the ones we love.  My encouragement to you is to cherish the times you have.  Take time to celebrate life and friendship and never hesitate to do it with treats...they can always be called upon to sweeten the mood.

Life truly is both sweet and salty.

{Chocolate Ganche}

2 cups Organic Black Beans
1/4 cup Organic Pure Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 TBSP Chia Seed + 2 tsp Egg Replacer + 4 TBSP warm Water (or 3 eggs)
1/3 cup Liquid, Extra-Virgin, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Honey or Maple Syrup or Raw Agave

1/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free..etc)
1/3 cup dried Cranberries
1/4 cup chopped Dark Chocolate Chunks


Pour all the ingredients, except the last three into a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth and then mix in the Chips, Cranberries and Chunks.  Pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake for 40 minutes or until it begins to bubble.  The Ganache will remain gooey, but pull it out and let it cool.  Serve cooled with your choice of ice cream or berries. It is rich so savor slowly!

Congratulations Amy on your 1st Anniversary! Thank you for creating a forum of wonderful recipes at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Also linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Saturday, August 21

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I did it! I created the tastiest oatmeal chocolate chip cookie yet!  Since I discovered my food allergies I have been attempting to create my favorite cookie, the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.   It has always been my special cookie, the one I go to in a storm or for celebration or really for any reason I can think of...
Many noble attempts have been made, along with some sweat and perhaps a few tears, to bring me to this moment.  Yes, I know this is sounding a bit dramatic, but if you only knew the pure joy this recipe has brought, you might allow it this once.

How did I find it? Well my inspiration came from a fellow food blogger, Sara.  Her lovely blog is one of beauty and heart and delicious recipes.  Sprouted Kitchen is a place you will want to visit again and again.  Sara's most recent recipe was near and dear to my heart as it guessed it...oats and chocolate! Viewing her and her fiancĂ©'s creation captivated me and encouraged me to try once more for the perfect cookie.  Her recipe was a traditional cookie recipe including wheat and eggs and butter, so alteration would be necessary.  Naturally, this got me even more excited!  I do love a good recipe challenge.

Friday, August 20

Homemade Inspiration

A little bit of homemade crafts took place today in honor of a dear friend's birthday.  Happy Birthday my sweet Amy!  I had a blast making her a special card and thought you might enjoy it as well.  I tried to re-use materials, such as a green envelope and cut outs from magazines.  It can't hurt to recycle a bit while creating, I like to think.  I included a self-explaining sequence below, but feel free to ask any questions or  if you would like, please offer your tips.  I love to try new things! Happy Friday my Friends :).

I included a little "birthday coupon" using the extra scraps from my cardstock and envelope....

Monday, August 16

Chocolate Chip Gingersnap

As I have said before, the bakery BabyCakes has stolen my heart.  San Diego born Erin McKenna created a delicious and delightful sactuary for the allergic and intolerant.  Since moving back to San Diego from my four year stint in L.A. for school, I have already missed the tasty goods Babycakes had in plenty.   It seems.... since Erin was raised in San Diego she might consider it for her next location? I can only hope! Would it be too much to ask dear Erin?

Yes, I am pining after a bakery, but just you wait.  On your next trip to LA or NYC take a stop and try a few of her treats.  A thickly, frosted vanilla cupcake...gluten-free/dairy-free/egg-free...or a moist rich brownie bite...gluten-free/dairy-free/egg-free...or perhaps a tasty slice of cornbread for later.  Did I mention these are all gluten-free,  dairy-free and egg-free? Still gets me giddy! Believe me, your life will truly never be the same after you visit.  Fortunately, for the many that do not live within driving distance of her two bakeries, Erin has written a cookbook that includes most of the treats she sells daily in her shoppes.  

The Gingersnap recipe I bring you today is an adaption of Erin's fabulous recipe.  I altered it a bit to fit my own dietary needs, but please feel free to find Erin's original in her cookbook, available online or in your local bookstore.   It comes decently priced on  and I have even seen it at my local Anthropologie store.  It's worth the investment!  Enough said, here is my scrumptious recipe for a tasty,Monday night treat.

Thursday, August 12

Fresh Veggie and Chicken Tacos

I love produce and tend to purchase more than I or my family can eat.  As I opened the fridge today such was the case.  Produce, produce, produce.  I wouldn't have it any other way, but it needs to be grilled, sautĂ©ed or baked...soon! Grabbing a few of the goodies I decided to try my hand at a veggie chicken taco.   As typical, the meal evolved as I tried new flavors and seasonings.  Goat creamed cheese somehow found its way in there along with my favorite, brown rice.  A nice warm lunch my mom and I loved the results and hopefully you will to.

Thursday, August 5

Family Pizza

It felt like a pizza night. You know those days. It typically includes a craving for something hot, crispy  and yet soft, with a gooey cheese and tangy, sweet tomato flavor.  For those of you who are new to my blog I have a tasty pizza recipe I like to use that I adapted from Karina the Gluten-Free Goddess.  
I'll alter the spices in the dough and vary the toppings I use, but it always produces an unforgettable Italian meal.  So this week I thought I would share the new twist I used for my pizza night. The result was fabulous.  My family ate more than their fair share of slices, left nothing but crumbs and begged for a second round, thus giving me confidence to once again share this recipe with you.  I encourage you to give it a try and come up with your own flavorful toppings and seasonings.  When you do, share it with all of us back here on this post.  I'd love to hear how it turns out.  Bon Appetit everyone!

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