Saturday, December 29, 2012

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is not for the faint of heart-it contains two sticks of butter. Two, deliciously melted (and browned!) sticks of butter that make these cookies taste unreal. I followed this recipe with a few changes of my own. I used spelt flour instead of unbleached flour, and I used two Ghirardelli chocolate bars (chopped up into little bits) in place of the chocolate chips, and I added the hot browned butter straight to the sugars to create a caramelized taste. I also allowed the dough to sit in the fridge for a few hours, so that the flavors could marinate. These cookies are best eaten straight out of the oven, or within a day of baking (in my opinion!).



 1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups spelt flour (or any flour you wish)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 chopped Ghirardelli chocolate bars

 Add sugars to a heat proof bowl. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutesuntil it just starts to brown and changes to an amber color. Once butter browns, transfer to bowl of sugars, mix and let cool completely.
Once cooled, add eggs and vanilla to butter and sugar, mixing well. In a separate bowl add flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix until dough forms. Fold in chopped chocolate, cover bowl, and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
 Preheat oven to 350 and roll dough into 1 - 1 1/2 inch balls. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies just barely begin to brown. You want them to look a bit undercooked, so that they're perfectly chewy once cooled.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mini Quiches with Veggies

One of my biggest problems when I'm in a hurry in the morning is grabbing something sufficient enough for breakfast. Fruit doesn't hold me over, though grabbing a banana on the go sounds tempting. I came across the idea of baking eggs in a muffin tin on Pinterest and decided to add my own spin to it. These are great for making ahead, you can refrigerate them or even freeze them until you're ready to heat them up. Plus, it holds you over and you get a bit of nutrients from the veggies. You can add any vegetables/herbs you have on hand. I happened to have spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, and green onions. I also add parmesan cheese and feta on top for extra flavor.



 5 eggs, beaten (I sometimes do 3 eggs with yolks and 3 egg whites)
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
1/8 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
Use a 12 muffin baking tin

 Preheat oven to 350, beat the eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Generously spray a muffin tin with cooking spray so the eggs don't stick. Evenly separate all veggies into each muffin tin. Evenly disperse egg mixture into tins and sprinkle parmesan and feta atop each one. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until eggs are no longer jiggly.
You don't want to overcook! Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before taking quiches out of tin. Enjoy with avocado toast (with whole wheat or gluten free bread) or fresh fruit.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Kale and Spinach Salad

This salad is super simple, high in vitamins, and delicious. I usually combine whatever salad ingredients I have on-hand, this salad in particular containing organic kale, organic spinach, thinly sliced red onion, toasted pine nuts, crumbled feta, fresh basil, and organic cherry tomatoes. I made an easy lemon vinaigrette to go with the salad, making sure to allow the kale to sit in the vinaigrette for at least 30 minutes (raw kale can be very tough, and allowing it to marinate tenderizes the kale). This salad would also be very delicious with homemade croutons and/or parmesan cheese.

Ingredients: (per serving)

1 cup chopped kale leaves (washed and dried)
1 cup chopped spinach leaves (washed and dried)
1/2 cup to 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1-2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1-2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

 For Vinaigrette:

 Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped basil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of granulated garlic (or fresh chopped garlic)

 Add all vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until incorporated. Wash and chop kale leaves and add to a bowl. Add chopped cherry tomatoes and vinaigrette, toss and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Then add chopped spinach, onions, pine nuts, and feta cheese, toss and add salt and pepper as needed. That's it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza (GF)

I decided to try making cauliflower crust pizza a few weeks ago and loved it. This time around, I added my own spin to the recipe I had followed. To my surprise, my husband even liked it. Don't get me wrong, it definitely doesn't make an exact substitute for regular, yeasty and yummy pizza crust. But it's a great low carb and gluten free alternative if you're watching your waist line. For the pizza toppings, I made two completely different flavors. One pizza had pesto sauce, mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes, and basil. The other had olive oil, mozzarella, onions, spinach, and I drizzled it with truffle oil right out of the oven. I actually preferred the taste of the pesto and tomato pizza with the cauliflower crust, which is surprising because I LOVE truffle oil. Nonetheless, both pizzas were delicious and I will be making this pizza crust WAY more often.

Ingredients for crust:

1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped
2 egg whites
1 clove of minced garlic (or 1 tsp garlic granules)
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup almond meal
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper

 In a pot steam the 1/2 head of chopped cauliflower until it's soft. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher until it reaches "riced" consistency (the cauliflower will look like white rice). Carefully put the rices cauliflower in a thin towel or cheese cloth, and wrap up, twisting and squeezing out excess water. Squeeze hard, you want the cauliflower to be dry.

Once cooled, add in clove of chopped garlic, egg whites, parmesan, almond meal, basil, salt, and pepper. (You can add in any seasonings you like, oregano, cayenne, etc). If the 'dough' is too sticky, you can add more almond meal or parmesan, but it should be fairly wet so that you can mold it into crust. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (if you have pizza stone, place in oven as it's heating to ensure that it's nice and hot when the dough is ready to bake.

 On a piece of WELL greased (or  sprayed with cooking spray) parchment paper, mold the 'dough' into 5-6 inch rounds and place onto baking sheet or pizza stone. Bake about 20-30 minutes, or until the crust is starting to brown around the edges. It will look burned, but the outside needs to get dark for the inner part of the pizzas to be crunchy. Remove from oven and cover with pizza toppings. Return to oven until cheese is melted and enjoy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Homemade Exfoliating Face Mask

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for a good exfoliating mask to clean off the dead skin cells and give me a 'glowy' look. I saw on a few websites that baking soda actually makes a great gentle and natural exfoliator and is much less expensive than buying a fancy one at the store. I added a bit of honey, since it's a natural moisturizer, and it also has antibacterial properties. Raw honey is the best type of honey to use, however I didn't have any, so I just used what I had.


1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp water
1 tsp honey

 Mix all three ingredients and gently rub onto face in circular motion. Leave on for 5-10 minutes and rinse!
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