Cookies, Desserts, Gluten Free, Uncategorized

Needle in a Haystack

The last couple of days out here in the Prairies have been hotter than H-E-Double Hockeysticks. Now a lot of people I know are basking in the heat, loving that it’s been +40, in stead of -40 like it will be in a few short months. Me on the other hand? No. I am not built for this weather, especially since I’ve been working in the bake-shop section of the kitchens at work. It’s been so hot that I start sweating just using the Hobart and mixing whipped cream. That’s a bad sign. A deliciously bad sign.

So what do you “bake” when it’s already baking outside?



Drop Cookies.

The “Oh My God These Are So Good Why Can’t I Stop Eating These?” Cookies.

Yeah, these things are seriously that good. And deceptively easy.

Friend of mine calls these "poop cookies"...but not because of the flavour
Friend of mine calls these “poop cookies”…but not because of the flavour

Chocolate Haystacks – yields roughly 2 dozen tablespoon sized cookies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups shredded or flaked coconut

The How-To

  1. Melt and mix the butter, sugar, cocoa, salt and milk.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in everything else.
  3. Drop by teaspoon, or tablespoon, or handful (whatever…this is one place where size doesn’t matter) onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  4. Let air-dry and set. Don’t refrigerate! It’ll cause them to be all melty and gross when you take them out of the fridge. Just leave them alone for a while. Sneak one while it’s still warm and gooey though, because that’s just delicious.

Whole New Level

You may have have been hearing about this for a while – the Whole 30 Challenge. I’m certainly not new to this real-food grocery cart, this has been going on for a few years, and I doubt I’ll be the last blogger to give it a try. 

Eat meat, seafood, tons of vegetables, some fruit and plenty of good fat from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.  Eat food with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. 
-Whole 30 website

Here’s the (not-so) skinny: my wife and I have been trying to be paleo for a while. But, wife is in the army and is unfortunately subjected to mess food whenever she’s away from home – and mess food is hardcore on grains and legumes. I happen to be a cook, whose wife is away a lot. I’ve been a little lazy and maybe should have been making delicious food for me as well as my customers! She’s got IBS, I’m anemic. Short and the long of it is we need to do this not just for out waistlines, but for our health. 

So! Wife is away on course right now, perfect time for me to start rocking out some simple, delicious, whole food meals. 

Welcome…to Day One!

Over medium eggs; sauteed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and green onions; blueberries, kiwi, strawberries and a tangerine.

Basic Rules of Whole30

  • No sugar. Real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, (my rant on Stevia shall e reserved for another post!)
  • No booze. Not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.) 
  • No grains. Including (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free fad grains like quinoa. 
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. No soy, no way– soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin). 
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. 
  • No fake food flavours. No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
  • This is a big one, especially for the Capitol P Paleo folks: Do not try to re-create baked goods,  junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. 

Sounds strict, huh? You might be saying, “What the hell is she going to eat?”

Well that’s kinda the point of this blog now, isn’t it?


Oatmeal Fudge Bars – screw you mermaid…

I’m usually not a fan of coffee shop treats, unless it’s one of those cute little coffee shops that you KNOW bakes their own stuff in the back of the shop. The cookies are usually stale, the sandwiches usually pre-packaged, and their muffins are usually so dry they could choke a horse. But the Fancy Seattle-Based Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named won me over with their oatmeal fudge bars. For those of you who haven’t succumbed to these little beauties, they’re a layer of oatmeal cookie, then a layer of chocolate fudge, and then these cute little dots of oatmeal cookie on top. They’re chewy, and a little crumbly, and buttery…and…and FUDGE I FREAKING LOVE FUDGE!


That being said. I happen to be cheap.

Like, super all the way cheap.

You’ll only ever find me in the Fancy Seattle-Based Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named if someone else is buying, which doesn’t happen often. My friends are good friends, but they’re cheap too. So, how’s a girl supposed to feed her oatmealy-chocolatey-fudgey obsession?

Chocolate Fudge Bars


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 15×10 or 13×9 baking pan with parchment. Set aside 2 tbsp of butter.
  2. In a large bowl, and if you’re feeling lazy here’s where you grab your stand or electric hand mixer, beat the big hunk of butter for about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and baking soda, beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Beat in the eggs, and 2 tsp of vanilla. If you’re using a mixer you might have to stir in the last of it by hand. “Stir” in the rolled oats. “Stir” being in parentheses because anyone who knows anything about baking knows that at this point all kitchen utensils have been rendered useless and you’re going to have to get your hands right on in there and smoosh things together with your fingers. If you’re smart you’ll take off your rings first. If you’re not so smart, you may need to soak your rings afterwords. This stuff is thick and sticky…
  4. Smoosh 2/3rds (about 3 1/2 cups) of the oat mixture into the bottom of the parchment lined pan. If you’re using the smaller pan you’re going to have a super thick layer…and that’s all good. If you’re using the larger pan the cookie will be a little crisper when it bakes up. Both are equally delicious and filled with fudgey goodness. There’s no hate here, size doesn’t matter.
  5. For the fudgey goodness, melt the 2 tbsp butter, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk together in a medium sized saucepan. Stir occasionally or else you’ll end up with burnt chocolate nubbins, and nothing is sadder than ruined chocolate. Do this over low heat…because again, burnt chocolate is a sin. Once everything is melty, remove from heat and add in the last of the vanilla
  6. Schmear the fudgey goodness onto the oatmeal goodness. Dot remaining cookie mixture across the top of the fudgey layer. You can do this all pretty-like, just like in the Fancy Seattle-Based Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named, or do what I usually do and turn the whole top into a giant cookie where almost no fudgey stuff is showing.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is light brown. If there’s any fudge showing it’ll look moist. Cool in pan on wire rack. Don’t even THINK about cutting these until they’re all the way cooled down. I mean, leave the house and go entertain yourself for a couple of hours. Don’t cut ‘em until they’re set. I mean it.

Shake it Like a Polaroid…

I’ma be honest, I sometimes live off of protein shakes. It’s hard for a grain-free-gal to get her nourishment when she’s all “go-go-go” and roast pork is all “cook me for at least an hour.”

Sometimes…you just don’t have the time to do a full breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Or bedtime snack. Or elevensies.

The key to a good – and healthy – shake is to remember three things: Fat, Protein, Carbs. And here’s the real secret…Are you listening? Fat. Is. Good.

Fat is a highly concentrated form of energy. It gives you over twice the energy that protein or carbs do. Without fat you can’t process and store vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat-soluble vitamins help to regulate blood pressure, heart rate and blood clotting. And those lovely healthy fats also make your hair pretty. It’s a win-win! Tasty healthy fats = happy heart and shiny hair? I’m in!

Carbs, also energy goodness. But these little beauties help you feel full. Which, let’s be honest, when you’re drinking a meal is a big issue.

Protein. Most people are not getting enough lean proteins in their diet. This stuff is a component of EVERYTHING in your body, you need it to build and repair tissue. And unlike carbs and fat your body doesn’t store protein, it has nowhere to draw from when you’re running low on it – you have to feed it in. Protein will help speed recovery after exercise, curb your hunger, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Protein is awesome.

I’ve seen far too many recipes out there for smoothies and shakes that don’t really have any benefits for you. Remember you don’t need ALL THE FRUIT to make your smoothie taste awesome, and be healthy. Avoid any smoothie recipe that’s calling for full cups of fruit, you really don’t need that much sugar in your life. I typically avoid fruit juices in my smoothies for that exact reason (with one exception, and you’ll see that below). Do some research! Figure out what you need, and what ingredients might help you. Anemic? Kale is super high in iron, and you can add it to just about anything without adding too much flavour. Need an energy kick? Matcha! Need to poop? Well, just about anything with fruit in it will help you – berries will go a long way too (all those little seeds). Or just scroll down to the bottom of the post…

Another secret to smoothies? If it's green, or really's probably gonna make you poop
Another secret to smoothies? If it’s green, or really dark…it’s probably gonna make you poop


Nut Butter: Awesome source of both healthy fat, and carbs. And it tastes like yum in your smoothie.

Avocado: Makes smoothies nice and thick, adds a nice soft flavour. This healthy fat also goes a long way to helping you feel full at the end of your drink.

Greens: Nope, not talking that powdered “daily dose” of greens crud. That stuff is LOADED with sugars, and sweeteners. I’m talking grab a couple of stalks of kale or a handful of spinach and toss ‘er in.

Bananas: Want your smoothie to have that awesome stick-to-your-ribs texture? Bananas will do it. Be wary, the more ripe (or overripe) they are, the more sugar they’ll be adding.

Flax Seeds: Great source of Omega 3s, and they don’t mess up the flavours you’ve already got going on.

Chia: Loaded with Omega 3s, calcium and lots of fibre. I LOVE these little guys. I usually add them in after the mixing, and let ’em soak up the smoothie goodness for a minute or two. The chias readily absorb liquids forming a gel like shell that helps…uh…flush you out.


The Nutter Butter Cup – HIGH in protein, and in fat…but so tasty.
150ml chocolate almond milk2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/2 apple
1 tbsp honey
1 banana
1 1/2 cups ice (optional)

The Blueberry Muffin
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1tsp flax seeds
1/2tsp cinnamon
20oml almond milk

Mango Green Tea
1/4 cup frozen mango
200ml almond milk
1tsp matcha
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Green and Nuttyprotein-y and nice and refreshing! A nice, lighter feeling, meal
1ooml coconut water
100ml almond milk1/2 avocado
2 stalks kale
1tbsp peanut butter
1tbsp honey

Gotta Go – …this will make you poop. Sorry, there’s not really another way to say it.
100ml apple juice
1/2 banana
1/4 cup blueberries
2 stalks kale
1 1/2 cups ice
2tsp chia seeds


Desserts, Food, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Muffins / Cupcakes

Mama G’s Lazy Ass Cupcake Recipe (aka Almond Flour Cupcakes)

So, I won’t be so silly as to call these little babies paleo…there’s more than enough sugar in that icing to make sure that the words “paleo” and “healthy” don’t even begin to cross my lips when I talk about these. But they’re cupcakes, they’re not supposed to be good for you!

What these are is grain free, and easy. Super easy. I promised my wife that I’d make her cupcakes, but found myself with absolutely no interest in braving the wintery weather to scour the shelves of the hippy food store for xanathan gum, and sorghum flour…and any of the other weird ingredients that are often found in gluten free baking. Why can’t there be a simple gluten free recipe out there? One that doesn’t call for ingredients I’m pretty sure I used in highschool chemistry class? A recipe that’s quick to make, and basic – so I can add whatever flavours I want?

And then I realized that standing in front of the kitchen windows with a whisk in my hand, talking to myself, was scaring the neighbours…and I came up with Mama G’s Lazy Ass Cupcake Recipe.

The icing recipe that follows is super easy as well, and VERY sweet. It goes nicely with the cupcakes because they aren’t terribly sweet. But, if you don’t have a sweet tooth, I’d recommend making a honey or maple-syrup based buttercream instead. Actually…that sounds good…stay tuned for that recipe shortly!


Almond Flour Mini Cupcakes


  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk (go for the stuff in the can, not in the box. The stuff in the box is basically coconut drink. Bleh. You can also go with cream, or milk, or even 50/50 almond milk and cream. Just don’t use anything thinner, or without some fatty goodness in it)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 eggs, room temperature


  1. If you’ve got really chunky almond meal, and not almond flour, it helps to pulse that in a food processor for a few spins before you get started. Technically there’s no difference between almond flour and almond meal, but the finer consistency makes a big difference. While you’re debating whether your almond meal is fine enough, go ahead and turn the over to 350.
  2. In a large bowl blend together almond flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl (this one doesn’t have to be large, but it may feel inadequate next to the dry ingredients bowl. Bowls are sensitive creatures.) whisk together the coconut milk, melted coconut oil,  vanilla, honey and eggs.
  4. With a spatula, blend the wet and dry ingredients together.
  5. Spoon evenly into lined mini-cupcake tins, makes roughly 24!
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until edges turn a lovely golden brown. Remember, we’re working with almonds here…so as soon as they turn golden, or you can smell their heavenly aroma PULL THEM OUT OF THE OVEN. These suckers go from perfect to burnt as fast as a redhead at the beach.


So Easy It’s Ridiculous(ly Sweet) Icing

This, is the lazy man (or woman’s) frosting…and therefore one of my favourites.

  • 100g butter (room temperature)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tsp flavoured extract

Smoosh together all of the above. Add food colouring if you so desire, and either spread it on your completely cooled little cupcakes, or get fancy and pipe it on with a piping bag.



Dinner, Food

Maple-Mustard Glazed Pork Roast – Now with Bacon!

…because honestly, bacon really does make everything better.

This little beastie is a favourite of my wife’s. It has two of her favourite foods all wrapped up in one easy-to-nom bite; meat and bacon. And yes, bacon OBVIOUSLY deserves it’s own category as a food-stuff. And really, I’m not the only one to think so. There are people far more bacon obsessed than I and they’re knocking out some truly scrumptious (and slightly bizarre) bacon-laced concoctions! Need I mention Bourbon-Bacon Brittle ? Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies ? What about the Jack Daniels and Bacon infused chocolate mousse? Heck, my own mother even cracked out Bacon Butter-Tarts for a art show she was catering. They were amazing, sweet, salty and just…so…bacon-y.

Just like this roast!

Don’t be intimidated by this, it’s easy. Super easy. And pretty damned fast to make, if you’re smart and remember to thaw the roast ahead of time!


  • 3lb Double Pork Loin
    • Trim off the fat – believe me…you’ve got enough fatty awesomeness going on here that you DON’T need this stuff
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound thick-cut bacon
    • From your favourite butcher of course! Although the low-sodium grocery store variety goes well here. Don’t spend mad money on fancy flavours and specialty cured bacon here.
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 tsp Montreal Steak Spice
    • BONUS: Make your own! Recipe at the end of this one!
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
    • The darker the better. And don’t even think about using anything other than real maple syrup. None of that fake crap in the plastic squeezy bottle. Use that sh!t and we can’t be friends anymore. I’m serious.
  • 1/8 cup dark-brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grab your roasting pan, and for easy clean up you can line it with foil, or just hope someone else is doing the dishes. If you’ve got one that fits, plop a rack into the bottom of your lined pan – this helps the bacon crisp up on all sides and stops it from sitting in all the bacon fat.
  2. Mix everything except the pork, bacon, and brown sugar, in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Take the bacon, one strip at a time and start laying it in the bottom of the roasting pan. Start the end of the bacon at the half-way point of the pan, and overlap each slice slightly as you go. Put enough slices down that it will cover your roast from end-to-end.
  4. Take your spice mixture and slather some on the bacon in the bottom of the pan – this way you’ve got that delicious sweetness going all the way around.
  5. Plop the roast in the middle of the pan, on top of the bacon, and use all but maybe a teaspoon or so of the mixture to cover the roast. Make sure you brush every inch of that sucka.
  6. Wrap the bacon around the roast, strip by strip, and tuck it underneath. This way you don’t have to use toothpicks to hold anything in place…which is awesome because I never have the damned things in the house, and honestly, they just slow the slicing and eating process down anyway!
  7. Brush the last of the spice mixture across the top of the bacon-wrapped roast. Now take the brown sugar and sprinkle it along the top of the roast, rub it in and down the sides as well, try to cover as much of the bacon as possible with a thin layer. You don’t want gobs of sugar – just enough to help caramelize your pig-wrapped-pig!
  8. Roast for about an hour, or until your meat thermometer reads 145F. Then get that baby out of the oven! Let it sit for a few, take it out of the roasty-pan and slice ‘er up!


  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon crushed coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Mix it all. Store in air-tight container. Om Nom with pork, steak, and other delicious things.

Cookies, Food

It’s Peanut Butter Cookie Time!

Every time I make anything with peanut butter I suddenly have visions of a singing dancing banana float through my head. For some reason he’s incredibly excited about peanut butter and jelly, and according to the banana it’s time for the afore-mentioned PB&J. This wiggling, grinning banana also sings something about a baseball bat. I’m not entirely sure what a baseball bat has to do with peanut butter and jelly, but it can’t be good.

Sometimes the visions are of a cartoon dog in a banana suit, trying to lull his cartoon master into a false happiness by singing the song. The song repeats, over, and over, and over.

It brings chills to my spine.

These cookies, however, are totally worth dealing with those night-marish visions. They’re big, dense, bakery-style peanut butter cookies with all kinds of yummy add-ins nestled in their peanutty goodness. These are ideal for bake-sales, as the recipe turns out an amazing amount of dough. But, is easily cut down by thirds for something more manageable. The dough also freezes really well, just thaw it out in the fridge before trying to bake them.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate, M&M and Pretzel Cookies

Prep: 15 minutes      Chill Out and Knit Time: 1 hour      Bake: 15-18 minutes      Makes: 60 monster-huge cookies
Diabetes Level: Grab me some more insulin, would ya?



  • 4 1/2  cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (don’t even think about using margarine…shame on you.)
  • 2 1/4 cup brown sugar (I always use the darkest I can find, but whatever floats your boat)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp vanilla (Sounds like a lot…and it is! But this recipe is HUGE)
  • 1 1/2 cup peanut butter, use the just peanuts kind (you can try using the “regular” kind of peanut butter, but you’ll have to mess with the recipe a little)


Add Ins

  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1 1/2 cup pretszels, chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips








  1. In a medium bowl sift/stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until nice and fluffy. Beat in eggs, and vanilla until combined. Add in peanut butter.
  3. In about 3-4 additions add dry ingredients to your buttery goodness. Mix well, scraping from the bottom to make sure you don’t end up with a pure peanut butter sugar lump at the end of the batch.
  4. Dump in all of your add-ins, and fold the dough over to mix in. This will help stop the pretzels from breaking up too-finely.
  5. Smoosh the dough into the bottom of the bowl, cover with saran wrap and chilll for an hour. Or divide the dough, roll into a ball, wrap tightly in saran wrap, then wax paper, then a zippy bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. Many layers mean yummier dough when it’s thawed.
  6. Go knit for an hour, or…go for a bike ride, or a run or something.
  7. Pre-heat your oven to 350. Grab an ice-cream scoop and your giant bowl of dough.
  8. Scoop out balls of dough and plop onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Smoosh the ball a little so it’s about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch high. Bake dough about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake those suckas! about 15-18 minutes, or until the edges turn a little brown. Let firm up on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before you even think about transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling.
  10. OM NOM THOSE COOKIES! Once they’ve cooled down a little, melted chocolate is kinda burny.

Don’t have an ice-cream scoop? Measure out a 1/3 of a cup of dough and rock it out that way!PeanutButterCookies_04

Desserts, Food, Muffins / Cupcakes

Banana Bread Muffins

So, those who know me really well know the ridiculousness of me posting a banana recipe.

I hate bananas.

That’s not even an understatement. I absolutely hate bananas. If I’m in a room the size of a basketball court and someone at the other end of the room opens and proceeds to eat a banana my gag reflex kicks into overdrive. My stomach starts to twist and I turn green. Usually I leave the room. For the longest time they were a banned substance in my household, and if my partner had a banana they had better damn well brush their teeth before they even think about kissing me.

So obviously, me wanting to make banana bread makes no sense to anyone who knows me.

Just a small portion of the banana baking. Every flat surface of my kitchen and dining room was covered with delectable banana-infused treats. I start rehab on Monday.
Just a small portion of the banana baking. Every flat surface of my kitchen and dining room was covered with delectable banana-infused treats. I start rehab on Monday.

A couple of months ago I started working at a smoothie place. And as most people know, bananas are a key ingredient in most smoothie recipes. They smooth out the texture, they help make them nice and thick, and they actually help bring out the flavour of other ingredients.

Smoothies were my “gateway drug” into the world of bananas. It started with a sip or two, just so I knew what the smoothies were supposed to taste like – so I could get the flavour right when I made them myself. And then I leaped into putting them into my own smoothies at work. And then I brought bananas home one day. Next thing I knew I had a full case of over-ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen floor and I was Googling banana bread recipes.

What’s happened to me? How could I let things get this far?!

Over a dozen loaves of banana bread, and about 6 dozen muffins later, I think I’ve perfected Banana Bread Muffins.

Banana Bread Muffins

MAKES: roughly 3 dozen muffins     OVEN TEMP: 375      PREP TIME: 10 minutes      BAKE TIME: 18-20 Minutes

For those of you who aren’t baking for an army; this recipe easily cuts down by thirds. Bonus: You can also freeze these little guys, or bake as loaves (adjust temp to 300, bake for about 1 hour. Makes 4 loves)


  • 9 over-ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 cups)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons cinnamon

Add Ins

  • 1 – 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 – 2 cups chopped walnuts


  1. Smoosh up your bananas in a large bowl. I recommend removing the peel first, because otherwise they make for a very fibrous and unpleasant texture once baked. (Sorry, I’ll try and reduce the smart-assery)
  2. Stir in eggs and sugar until well combined. Add in butter, oil and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl blend flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon.
  4. Quickly mix dry ingredients into wet. Do not overmix! Basically once it doesn’t look dry anymore STOP! Otherwise your muffins will suck, and you’ll blame me…and then we can’t be friends anymore.
  5. Add your add-ins with a few quick strokes. (heh…) The amount is not an exact science, so use as much or as little as you want. I go whole-hog and do both walnuts and chocolate chips, ’cause I’m awesome like that.
  6. Plop by the spoonful into lined muffin tins. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for about 10 minutes in the muffin tins, and then pop out onto wire racks to finish cooling.
Food, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Snacks

Nut Bars

So, the joy of eating no grains what-so-ever means that most snack/granola/easy to grab and go bars I simply can’t do. On top of that, I refuse to eat those nasty little hard to pronounce ingredients that are staples of most pre-prepared foods. I want to eat food that’s real, is that too much?

SO! I made these, another one of my “add in whatever you want, just make sure you do the ‘glue’ of the recipe properly and you’ll be fine” recipes!

Nut Bars

Prep Time: 10 Minutes      Cook Time: 5 Minutes      Chill out and Knit Time: 15-20 minutes

  • 2 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet noor, A.K.A. Honey Dates)
  • 1/2 cup honey (or sub maple syrup for vegan option)
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 5 cups of whatever the heck you want!
    • 1 cup toasted green pumpkin seeds
    • 1 cup toasted almonds
    • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes (if you can find the BIG flakes, all the better!)
    • 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
    • 1 cup toasted chopped macadamia nuts
  • optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, pinch of sea salt etc.
  1. Toss dates into a food processor, and grind them up until small bits remain. It should roll itself into a ball in the processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you’re going to have to get creative. You’re looking for a dough-like consistency.
  2. Place the nuts and dates in a large bowl – set aside.
  3. Warm honey and almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over nut and date mixture and then mix, break up the dates so they spread out nicely. You can skip this step, and use just basic arm power…but this holds the bars together so much better…and doesn’t tire you out nearly as much 😉
  4. Once it’s all mixed together, plop into a parchment lined 9×13 baking dish and smoosh it in. Try to get it uniformly flattened. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to harden (really, this only takes about 15 or 20 minutes) Press down until uniformly flattened.
  5. Remove bars from pan and chop into bars, make them as big as appropriate. I typically do about 16-20. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days, keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or toss a portion of the batch in the freezer to keep even longer. I typically wrap my in plastic wrap, or those little snack-sized zippy bags so they’re ready to grab and go.
Cookies, Food, Gluten Free

Absolutely Everything (except flour!) Oatmeal Cookies

I made this recipe for a friend’s mom who is celiac and craving sweets. These cookies contain no gluten, just make sure you buy certified gluten-free ingredients. The recipe itself is extremely adaptable and goes well with just about any combo of ingredients and add-ins!

Absolutely Everything (except flour!) Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs (or 4 egg whites, and 1 whole egg)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • ¾ cup chopped peanuts, walnuts, pecans (or 1 cup flaked coconut)
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips (or M&Ms!)



  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat peanut butter and butter until well mixed. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and baking soda and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Stir in the oats, nuts and chocolate.
  4. For chewier cookies – let dough chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. For crunchier cookies, skip this and just get straight to the baking!
  5. Drop by tablespoon full onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Let sit on cookie sheet for at least 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


*Can also make giant cookies, ¼ cup in size. Place these about 4 inches apart and bake for 15 minutes.