Archives for March 2013

My Life According To…

Happy Easter y’all!

As I sit here sipping on my coffee I cannot help but think how blessed my life is.

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And how good my coffee is…but mostly, how blessed my life truly is.

Today I will relish in being around family.

No matter how dramatic they are…I’m pretty sure I have come to appreciate and embrace the drama.

It doesn’t really phase me anymore.

Plus, I know other people who are far worse off than I am  w/ family drama 😉

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In other news, I could really go for some pancakes right about now.

Or some of this glorious bread

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downside of making banana bread: bananas spoil too quickly.

Makes for a sad Chelsy.

I’m bringing some cookies to my family Easter today.

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I am deeming myself the cookie queen as of…now. 🙂

This soup made my life just THAT much better this week.

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Oh, and this salad

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well, you know how I feel about kale!

MANGIA!!!

Hip-Hop

Happy Good Friday y’all!

I’m ready to kick this no meat on Friday thing like a bad habit.

Just so you know…I actually stuck to my guns on most Friday’s by opting for tuna, grilled shrimp, or egg dishes like omelets and frittatas.

That is fighting the system right there.

I have “stickittothemanneosis”…definitely 🙂

What can I say? I love me some meat.

Anyway, I bet y’all are about ready to dive head first into some Easter candy, am I right?

Unless you are like me and already have.

Ummmmm hello Jordan almonds! They are just better when eaten around Easter even though you can probably eat them year round’.

I might be making that one up.

I for sure wish that I could get my Reese’s PB Eggs year round’. They are just sooooo much better than the regular cups.

I think there is more peanut butter in that egg.

Gets me every time.

When I was a child, Reese’s PB Eggs were all I wanted to find on the Easter egg hunt. That and of course, money…so I could buy more Reese’s PB Eggs. Duh.

On Sunday I will be celebrating Easter with my Dad’s side of the fam at my aunt and uncle’s casa.

There is going to be tons of shenanigans…including a slip-n-slide, Easter egg hunt, and probably a table covered with Easter desserts.

I will no doubt bring something decadent.

Let’s start this party a couple of days early.

Mixing coconut oil and coconut sugar together is therapeutic.

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It’s pretty much like double the coconut smell…they need to make a candle like this. Dear Bath and Body Works…

It just wouldn’t be Easter without neon-colored candy.

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These are chocolate covered sunflower seeds I picked up in the bulk section of Central Market.

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We went Chelsy style and put them in/on a cookie.

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Not just any cookie.

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A cookie packed with oats and coconut, made with a dark cacao powder, and spiked with espresso powder for a bit of a kick!

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How’s that for your Easter cookie?

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I’m pretty sure the Easter bunny would be hippity-hoppit-ing like a light speed jack rabbit all the way across town if you left him some of these out.

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That is, if you don’t  devour them  share with friends beforehand.

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You are definitely going to need a tall glass of milk with these.

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But then again, when do cookies not need milk?

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Now I want some Oreo’s…maybe a pizza. Is it Easter yet?

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Cacao Oatmeal Espresso Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 26
 
Gluten-free
Ingredients
  • ½ c. almond flour
  • ½ c. certified gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 c. + 2 T. certified gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¼ c. cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  • 2 t. instant espresso powder
  • ½ c. coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 1 c. raw coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. pure Mexican vanilla extract
  • 1 T. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • ½ c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • chocolate covered Easter sunflower seeds, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar together until creamy.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth.
  5. Add the coconut oil mixture to the flour mixture and combine until a dough begins to form.
  6. If the dough is still dry, add the almond milk to the dough and mix to combine. Fold in the coconut.
  7. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand.
  9. Press 6-7 chocolate covered sunflower seeds into each cookie.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.

 

 

MANGIA!!!

The Countdown.

One more day until Good Friday. You know what that means…3 more days until Easter…3 more days until all of you who gave up drinking Diet Coke, indulging in chocolate covered cheesecake 3 nights a week, and/or eating a box of Snackwell’s dipped in a jar of peanut butter for dinner…those self-inflicted cold turkey ways are almost up.

You can almost breathe easy. Almost.

I love Easter. The Lord has risen and there are plenty of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs to be hunted down beneath the bushes in my family members’ front yard.

Watch out little cousins…I’m coming for you.

However, while Lent is still upon us…let us keep our promise to remember not to pick up that Cadbury egg until Sunday.

Let us eat salad.

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Now, this isn’t a “i’m going to force feed you some kind of horrible, tasteless green” salad.

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Nope, this salad is flavor town U.S.A.

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I even made you a homemade citrus poppy seed Greek yogurt dressing.

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This salad is all about the massage. Massage that kale!

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The simplicity of this salad is unreal, yet absolutely delicious…the acidity of the red onion cuts right through the bitterness of the kale and compliments the juicy, sweet honey tangerine juice that gets infused into the creamy Greek yogurt for one genius dressing.

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This might even be enough for you to extend your Lenten resolution past Sunday.

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Baha! Who am I kidding?

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This coming from the girl who currently has a freezer stocked full of an 8 piece pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs.

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I mean c’mon…you know me better than that 🙂

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Citrus Poppy Seed Kale Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
 
Gluten-free
Ingredients
  • For the salad:
  • 1 bunch of curly leaf kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ of a large red onion, thinly sliced
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
  • For the dressing:
  • ½ c. non-fat, plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • juice of 1 honey tangerine (or another type of tangerine)
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T. granulated stevia (or sugar)
  • 1 T. poppy seeds
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the ingredients for the kale in a large mixing bowl, season to taste.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together.
  3. Pour 4-5 tablespoons of the dressing over the kale.
  4. Gently massage the dressing into the kale, coating it evenly.
  5. Serve or for best results, place in the refrigerator to chill.

 

MANGIA!!!

Zuppa Del Sol.

Yesterday, I wrote an email to Summer.

Dear Summer, please come quick.

I need a snow cone and a sunbathing session like yesterday.

I am sick and tired of the days of gloves and layers.

I need to see my legs and wear flip-flops that show off my freshly painted toes.

Did I mention I need a snow cone?

Yea.

Let’s talk Mexican food. Tex-Mex is the stuff I grew up on.

Buuuuut I was also privileged to grow up around many authentic Mexican restaurants down here in Houston.

Taqueria’s run rampant here. No joke.

Sometimes all I want is to take a trip to my childhood Taqueria Del Sol. I grew up 5 minutes from this place and it was a treat on weekday/weekend nights for my parents to take seester and I out for an authentic Mexican meal.

Now, I’m talking enchiladas with homemade red sauce, smothered in Mexican cheeses, and rolled between corn tortillas that you know your abuela is back there pounding out with her hands.

Did I mention this place has a bakery? My fave are the “pig” cookies.

Google it.

The best part of this experience for me was the check-out line and a frozen cooler that carried a variety of “La Brisa” Mexican popsicle flavors.

You haven’t lived unless you have tried a coconut or a chocolate La Brisa.

This past Sunday my parents called me from a little Mexican market that they found a couple of blocks away from my house.

La Brisa jackpot!

They were like kids in a candy store.

Spring/summer is on the way, but let’s make the most of it.

Chicken Enchilada Soup.

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Take that winter!

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And by “winter” I mean it’s 70 degrees here and it’s freezing.

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This stuff is legit. Heartwarming, ooey, gooey, crispy with crushed tortillas on top, “Did I really just eat a bowl of enchilada filling?” soup.

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Today, I am your abuela.

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Chicken Enchilada Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Gluten-free, Paleo
Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling the pan
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeds discarded, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 large stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. ground paprika
  • 1 t. ground New Mexico chile powder
  • 1 t. granulated garlic
  • 1 t. granulated onion
  • freshly ground black pepper and fine sea salt, to taste
  • 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2½ c. low sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1 plain, rotisserie or smoked chicken, shredded
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • crushed corn tortilla chips, optional garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Add the poblano pepper, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and saute until the vegetables become tender and break down. About 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin, paprika, chile powder, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper and stir well, coating the veggies evenly.
  4. Saute for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, reduce the temperature to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Add the shredded chicken to the pot and mix well. I divided the shredded chicken in half, pureeing some of it, and leaving a few chunkier pieces. 🙂
  8. Using an immersion blender, gently puree the soup until you reach your desired texture. I love my soup slightly chunky. You can also do this using a high powered blender or food processor.
  9. Add the chopped cilantro to the soup last and stir well.
  10. Check the seasonings and season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  11. Serve warm with crushed tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream (or Greek yogurt), warm corn tortillas, fresh garnish of cilantro, and/or Mexican cheese.

MANGIA!!!

Buh-Nah-Nah’s.

 It’s official.

I have hit a low point.

I am now “that food blogger” that prides herself in dipping her fingers into a bowl of leftover banana bread batter/scraps and oh, yea then proceeds to take photos of said banana bread.

With those sticky fingers.

No biggie. A little banana bread batter adds a bit of spunk to my new camera. Right?

Sure.

I have also hit a lowest, lowest point with my reasoning that everything must be frosted. I cannot make cookies, cakes, cupcakes, or bread without some sort of glaze or frosting.

I mean, my sweet teeth speak for themselves.

Obviously.

We all know by now that I have a weak spot for banana bread, banana cake, banana pancakes…let’s just go banana crazy.

Wait…stop right there. I am actually not a fan of bananas…by themselves, that is.

Nope, they have to be diced up in a bowl of Chex or Special K, slathered with peanut butter, or dipped in chocolate and covered with crushed nuts.

But banana bread. Well, that is a entire different story.

Banana bread is comfort.

Banana bread is “home” to me.

Banana bread is childhood memories of warmth coming from my grandmother’s oven, standing on her kitchen stool with my little wooden spoon, delicately folding the mashed bananas into the batter.

That banana bread was my life. I wasn’t going to let anything happen to it.

Banana bread can be reinvented…over and over again.

 So here we are today.

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Reinventing.

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Let’s add some honey tangerine zest to this banana bread…..mmmmmmkay?

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It gives our banana bread a little spice of life…an added zest…a spunk!

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So citrus-y.

That vanilla bean is for the frosting. Duh.

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Hello coconut butter frosting…so glad you could come back into my life again.

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This coconut butter is whirled with fresh honey tangerine zest and smoky vanilla bean seeds.

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Now, I had a problem weening myself away from this bowl of goodness.

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Coconut haters be gone!

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I mean, I really have no explanation for this.

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Other than banana bread is my life.

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Let me tell you a secret.

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This is better than my grandmother’s banana bread.

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Yea, I said it.

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She doesn’t have social media so I can say whatever I want…even though I have little “birds”

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a.k.a. family members that will probably tell her…haha!

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I should probably get my apology letter written up.

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Sorry, I’m not sorry. 🙂

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I mean, how could you be sorry for something as delicious as this?

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This would be “slammin” to take to your Easter get together.

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Just saying.

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Maple Citrus Banana Bread with Citrus Coconut Butter Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread/Quick Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 11-12
 
Gluten-Free, Paleo Option, Vegan, Paleo
Ingredients
  • For the bread:
  • 1.5 c. almond flour
  • 1.5 c. certified gluten-free oat flour (for complete paleo...use almond flour)
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 1 honey tangerine (or an orange, or any other tangerine)
  • For the frosting:
  • 5 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • zest of 1 honey tangerine (or an orange, or any other tangerine)
Instructions
  1. For the bread:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 in. loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix in the mashed bananas, maple syrup, evoo, and eggs until smooth and evenly distributed.
  5. Fold in the honey tangerine zest.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 1 hr-1 hr. 15 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  8. Let the bread cool completely before frosting and slicing.
  9. For the frosting:
  10. Place the coconut in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an "S" blade.
  11. Blend on high until the coconut begins to break down and become a runny liquid, about 10 minutes. Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides as needed.
  12. Add the vanilla bean seeds and honey tangerine zest and process for another minute.
  13. Spread the frosting evenly over the banana bread, slice, and serve.

MANGIA!!!