Archives for December 2012

CoCo.

Happy Wednesday y’all!
Christmas is fast approaching! Whoop! I am seriously stoked. Can you tell? I have been selling fragrance for the past four days so most likely it is all the fumes from the Very Irresistible that have gone to my head. See what I did there? Marketing at it’s very best. 🙂 Anyway, I just love this time of year, especially when I work fragrance, and not because I get to sell the finest…and might I add, best fragrance to lovely and sometimes Grinch-like customers, but because I can bring sweet treats for all of my co-workers. This makes me one popular gal. I have yet to see my baklava, which went missing sometime around Monday. I was getting all of these compliments but had yet to see the evidence of the consumed layers of stuffed, buttery phyllo dough. Skeptical.
Yesterday at work I was approached by my aunt who kindly asked me where her treats were. Of course I was off my A game and had nothing to show. Today it is on. It is on like Donkey Kong. 
Tis the season for macaroons.
Well, tis always the season for macaroons in my book.

Now, these macaroons are super chewy and spiced with pumpkin pie spice for that Christmas-y flavor.

Oh, and they are vegan and gluten-free.

Come on people

would you expect anything less?
Didn’t think so.
Chewy Pumpkin Pie Spiced Coconut Macaroons (GF/V):
Ingredients:
1 c. light coconut milk
1 T. coconut oil
1/4 c. agave nectar
1/4 t. sea salt
1/4 c. brown rice flour (or any other gf flour…I suggest gf all-purpose flour, coconut flour does not work)
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the coconut milk in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Add the coconut oil, agave, and sea salt and mix well.
4. Whisk in the flour and the pumpkin pie spice…the mixture should basically look like cream of wheat now. Boil for another minute, then let simmer on low for about 3 minutes.
5. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl and add the vanilla and coconut. Combine until fully incorporated.
6. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
Makes about 22 macaroons.
MANGIA!!!

My Life According To…

Happy Tuesday y’all!
I apologize for being M.I.A. for the past couple of days. Totally not like me. At all. 
The devastation that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday was enough to make me sick to my stomach. Needless to say, I have spent the past couple of days hugging my family members harder than usual. It’s moments like these that make me really assess my life, which could be taken in an instant. Sometimes it is scary to think, “What would I do, what would I say, what would I think, if my last breaths were being taken?” However, it realistically puts into perspective what we should be doing: Living life to the fullest. 
What I’ve been up to this past week:
Getting my nails did…
glitter always puts me in a festive mood.

This was the first week I have been able to actually read a magazine without a million things 
going on inside my head about school or work. 

I’m pretty sure that you need these
Okay, I’m 100% sure.

I’m just a silly fool for biscuits

Our neighbors were giving away free grapefruits from their tree. 
SCORE!
So, I know that everyone has been talking about this tragedy, but it is something to think about. What are your thoughts? Do you live your life to the fullest? If so, how?
MANGIA!!!

C.B.S.

Happy Thursday y’all!
Well, I have been up since early…ate breakfast, ran 3 miles, showered, and then baked a little something for a BIG something I am about to share with you. A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a rep from CBS (yes, CBS the television network), who stumbled across my blog via one of the many social media sites. She then proceeded to tell me about a new t.v. show that CBS was working on called the CBS Baking Show, which she believed I would be the perfect candidate. So, needless to say, we chatted, and before I knew it, I had booked a flight for this Saturday to attend the Dallas casting call. VIP, of course ;). I mean, no biggie, right? Just a major casting television network…no problem…I got this. WRONG! B.I.G. deal…like, MAJOR. I’m sure it will hit me once I am on my flight and I start to feel those anxiety butterflies in my stomach. The funny thing is, I’m not even concerned about my dish. It’s the unexpected that just tortures me. Haha. Well, we will see what happens. Anyhoo, on to some yuuummmmy’s.
Let’s talk breakfast for dinner. It is probably one of my most favorite meals. I am even satisfied if breakfast for dinner involves a bowl of Cheerios w/ a side of burnt toast. Oh yea. However, sometimes, sometimes it is necessary to go all out on breakfast for dinner…yet, in a “totally stress-free, I just slapped some things together,” way. So, yea, last night breakfast for dinner…a roasted pepper and arugula frittata, bacon, and these…
o wait…

sorry

i meant 

these 

little babies.

Black Pepper Cornbread Biscuits.

It’s like a biscuit and a chunk of cornbread had a baby.

Just imagine a crumbly, melt in your mouth piece of cornbread, crossed with a toasted biscuit.

I slathered mine with pumpkin butter.

Yes, please. 
Well, I’m off to get a massage. Have a grand day!
Black Pepper Cornbread Biscuits (GF):
Ingredients:
1 c. gf cornmeal
1 c. almond flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. + 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggs
1 T. agave nectar
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.
5. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet, cover the dough with another piece of parchment paper, and roll the dough out using a rolling pin. You only want to roll it out just so that the biscuits will be thick.
6. Use a 3 in. biscuit cutter to cut the biscuits.
7. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
8. Spread the biscuits out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bottoms of the biscuits are lightly golden brown.
9. Serve warm with butter and jam.
Makes 9 biscuits. 
MANGIA!!!

Bites.

Happy Happy Wednesday y’all!
I’m finished with my finals! Whoop! The highlight of my morning was when seester called to get my advice on an affordable, get the job done, food processor. She knows I am her go to gal for all things culinary electronic. Mmmmmm makes me feel so good to be her little kitchen confidant. Anyhoo, let’s talk about easy, simple recipes. Like recipes that really aren’t recipes at all because they are extremely effortless. This is very important because I am sure all of you are knee deep in Christmas receipts, tine, wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, and Christmas cookies that require 5 batches of royal icing. Sheesh. Or, maybe you are just like me and haven’t even started Christmas shopping. Yay for procrastination. Either way, you need these.
I put my Dark Chocolate Marcona Almond Butter to good use yesterday.

These “bites” are literally a mouthful. 

No Bake Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Oatmeal Gingerbread Bites. 
I told you so. 🙂

Full of yummy good stuff, like oats, agave, almond flour, dark chocolate almond butter, almonds, and ground ginger. Oh, and more dark chocolate. 

I mean, what did you expect?

Then, we roll in extra crushed almonds. 

These bites are mind-numbingly delicious!

Now, where did I put my Christmas cards?

No Bake Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Oatmeal Gingerbread Bites (GF):

Ingredients:
1 c. gluten-free rolled oats
2 T. almond flour
1/4 c. chopped sliced almonds
1/4 t. ground ginger
pinch of salt
1/4 c. + 2 T. Dark Chocolate Marcona Almond Butter, slightly melted and cooled
1/4 c. + 1 T. agave nectar
1/4 t. pure vanilla extract
3-4 T. chopped dark chocolate
ground almonds, for rolling

Instructions:
1. Place all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until distributed evenly.
2. Add in the almond butter, agave, and vanilla. Mix well using a spatula until the mixture starts to combine and stick together.
3. Fold in the dark chocolate.
4. Using your hands, roll the dough into ping-pong sized balls. Roll each ball into the ground almonds. Place in a container to freeze or refrigerate.

Makes 13 bites.

MANGIA!!!

My Life According To…

Happy Monday y’all!
I apologize for the hiatus yesterday…I have been extremely busy lately. You shall see what I’ve been up to. Anyway, I was so exhausted yesterday from traveling over the weekend that I thought my rest was a little more important 🙂
Last Sunday my mom and dad went to purchase our first “real” Christmas tree in a loooong time. You see I am allergic to real trees, so it has been quite a while since we had one. However, this year I crossed my fingers and said a prayer and really…I just wanted to be like all the regular kids and have a fresh Christmas tree. I just want to smell the fresh pine scent wafting through the house as I sit in my living room watching Christmas movies…is that to much to ask. 
I think not!
No words. Wait…crispy, chocolate, tart, sweet. 

Oh, ya know…just making some pesto

This is the best stuff I’ve made all week. 

Playing Santa for my secret Food 52 buddy. 
These are my favorite “cookies” of all time, especially around Christmas. 
Just walking to class with the local campus ducks. 

Throwback Thursday. 
Pimped out in my biker hat. 
This is me and my dad on the final night that my great Uncle Joe Matranga’s Italian restaurant was open. 
I miss those red checkered table cloths. 

Fast forward to Saturday morning. 4:30 am wake up call to Austin for seester’s college graduation.
Pit stop #1: H’ruska’s aka Mecca. 
You’ve never been to such an awesome gas station with homemade kolaches.
It blows Buckeye’s right out of the water. 

View from the 24th floor of our hotel room. 
Shout out to Mr. Hilton for the accommodations and for letting our dogs stay with us. 

Seester graduating. 

Throwing up the horns.

Post graduation family photo op. 

Sunday morning breakfast at 24 Diner. Love the upside down Christmas tree decor. 

Coffee was my crutch this weekend. 

Perfect way to end the beautiful weekend. Scrambled eggs with salsa. 
MANGIA!!!