Archives for October 2013

Healthy Halloween!

This is so typical of me.

It’s Halloween.

Yet, I have no Halloween candy treats to present to you.

I know, I’m such a slacker.

Buttttttttttttt (that’s a big butt)…somewhere I’m chuckling like a little girl inside.

But, I do have something sweet on deck for ya.


I pulled through.

Oh, and it’s healthy.



I mean, sweet potatoes are veggies.


So it just hasssssss to be healthy.


 You definitely won’t feel guilty about the 123763764 Reese’s P.B. cups you are going to have tonight.


I made some homemade coconut butter just for this treat.


You know this is serious business.

I never like to jip the Trick Or Treater’s.


You know what I’m saying?

I was that kid who got all dressed up on Halloween and walked up and down the block with one of my parents to fill my jack o’ lantern basket w/ loads of candy.


I was also extremely disappointed when I received what I like to call “dollar store candy.”


You know, the fake tootsie rolls that are 3 months expired.

C’mon people, at least give me some Wal-Mart stuff.




So, you can bet that I’ve got a good stash filled w/ mini snickers, twix, reese’s, and those occasional MNM’s.


I’m also definitely that person who sits on their front porch in their p.j.’s eating the candy out of the bowl, leaving only half the bowl for the actual trick or treaters.


Mhhhhm…I just healthified your Halloween.

Coconut Sweet Potato Butter
Recipe type: Spread, Snack, Dip
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 oz. jar
Creamy sweet potato and sweet coconut butter spiced w/ pumpkin pie spice and sweetened w/ a hint of maple syrup for the perfect snack. Spread on toast, fruit, or just eat with a spoon! Gluten-free, vegan, paleo, refined sugar-free, nut-free.
  • 1 recipe homemade or store bought coconut butter
  • 1.5 T. slightly melted coconut butter from the batch above
  • .5 T. melted coconut oil
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • .5 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 15 oz. can organic sweet potato puree, or 15 oz. of mashed, roasted sweet potato, from 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1.5 t. pumpkin pie spice
  1. Go ahead and prepare the coconut butter according to the recipe, unless you are using store bought.
  2. In a large food processor, process the 1.5 T. coconut butter along with the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  3. Serve topped w/ a bit of shredded coconut or spread on anything you want for a healthy snack.


Thunderstorm Morning.

 Sunday was a thunderstorm kind of morning.

It was also a lay in bed, lazy, light candles, drink coffee kind of morning.

Then I got hungry.

As usual.

This was breakfast Sunday.


I needed something hearty.


But healthy too.


Oh, and sweet double too!


Welcome to my life 🙂


So then I made some scones.


These things are super oat-y, chock full of all the good stuff…apples, pecans, raisins, and coconut.


Because you know I like to throw the kitchen sink in my scones.


Bang, bam, butter.

Apple Oatmeal Raisin Scones
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch, Scones
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Warm, chewy, oatmeal scones chock full of fresh apples, sweet raisins, pecans, and coconut.
  • 1.5 c. gluten-free oat flour
  • 3 T. coconut sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ c. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk mixed with ½ T. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ c. gluten-free rolled oats
  • ½ of a small, honey crisp apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • ½ c. raisins
  • ½ c. chopped, raw, pecans
  • ½ c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9-in. pie plate w/ cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  4. Stir in the evoo & almond milk and apple cider vinegar mixture until a dough begins to form.
  5. Fold in the oats, apple, raisins, pecans, and coconut.
  6. Press the dough into the prepared pie plate.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the scones are lightly golden.
  8. Let them cool slightly, cut into triangles and serve warm w/ vegan butter & a drizzle of maple syrup.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 Calories: 234 Fat: 14g Saturated fat: 3g Unsaturated fat: 10g Trans fat: 2.7g Carbohydrates: 27g Sugar: 10g Sodium: 152mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 4g Cholesterol: 0mg


Cookie Heaven.

 Death is a depressing subject.

I don’t like to think about it.

But there comes a time when it happens, sometimes to people close to us, other times to people that we barely know.

No matter what, it always pains me to see someone that I know lose someone close to them.

My aunt lost her dad this week.

The first thing I thought about was what I could do to help.

Of course I thought, maybe I should bake/cook something to bring to her, my uncle, and their two children.

I asked her how I could be of service and she replied simply, “just pray.”

Why didn’t I think of that before?!

The funeral was beautiful and it was great to see so many family members, extended family members, and people who barely knew her  father there supporting my aunt and her family.

That is what family is all about.

Supporting one another day in and day out no matter what.

Yesterday, I broke down in tears while in the car with my mom listening to Brad Paisley and Allison Krause’s song “Whiskey Lullaby.”

It could have been hormones.

But it wasn’t.

Allison Kraus was one of my grandfather’s favorite singers and at a time like this it feels like his funeral was just yesterday.

Anyway, I made some cookies to make me feel better.

These are autumn cookies.

We could totally eat them in the spring/summer



It’s all about the chai spices: cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.


Mhhhhhm…this all gets packed into an oatmeal cookie


with walnuts & coconut because


hey, that’s just me 🙂


Oh, and if you think I could make a cookie without an ooey, gooey, glaze on top


you should know me better 😉


Is this what heaven is like?


I sure hope so.


Chewy, ooey, gooey oatmeal cookie



Chai Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
Chai spiced, chewy, oatmeal cookies chock full of walnuts, coconut, and topped w/ a simple coconut chai glaze.
  • For the cookies:
  • 2 T. ground flaxseed meal + 6 T. water (2 flax eggs)
  • ¼ c. coconut sugar
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c. gluten-free oat flour
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ t. ground cardamon
  • ¼ t. ground ginger
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ¼ t. baking soda
  • ¼ c. gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¼ c. chopped, raw walnuts
  • ¼ c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • For the glaze:
  • ½ T. coconut oil
  • 1 T. coconut butter
  • 2 t. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ t. ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ t. ground cardamon
  • ⅛ t. ground ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water together in a small mixing bowl. Set aside and let sit for 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut sugar, olive oil, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add in the flax egg mixture and mix until everything is incorporated.
  5. Mix in the oat flour, spices, salt, and baking soda and mix until a dough begins to form.
  6. Fold in the oats, walnuts, and coconut.
  7. Using your hands, roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls, place on the baking sheet, and gently flatten using the palm of your hand.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies have risen slightly and are golden on the bottom.
  9. Let cool and make the glaze.
  10. In a small mixing bowl, melt the coconut oil and coconut butter in the microwave for 15 seconds and mix.
  11. Whisk in the maple syrup and spices and mix until smooth and thick.
  12. Glaze each cookie with a bit of the glaze.
  13. Serve with a cold glass of almond milk and enjoy!


Cornbread Situation.


I’ve got some things going on in my life that are pretty durn (yes, I say pretty durn) exciting.

It all begins today.

I will let you in on the deets later.

But y’all.

This cornbread situation.


I have always been a cornbread connoisseur but this…


well this is on a whole notha’ level.


I smacked this cornbread w/ some autumn flavors.


But wait, this cornbread doesn’t even have corn in it.


That’s cuz it’s paleo pumpkin cornbread.


Yep. I make my own rules round’ these here parts.


I dare you to make this and tell me you think there’s cornmeal in it.


It’s gonna blow your mind.


Fluffy, melt in your mouth, fragrant, flavorful Rosemary Pumpkin Cornbread…

best damn thing I’ve made all fall.

Rosemary Pumpkin "Cornbread"
Recipe type: Bread, Cornbread, Side, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Melt in your mouth pumpkin "cornbread" made w/ coconut flour and seasoned w/ fragrant, fresh rosemary. Perfect drizzled w/ a bit of maple syrup, honey, and butter. Paleo, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free 🙂
  • ½ c. pure, canned pumpkin, unsalted
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c. coconut flour
  • 2 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • 2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Stir in the coconut flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, and fresh rosemary.
  4. Pour into a greased 8x8 in. square ceramic baking dish.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  6. Cut into squares and serve warm w/ a drizzle of honey, maple syrup, and/or butter.

Nutritional Facts (1/12th of recipe): Calories: 81, Total Fat: 6g (1.4g Saturated Fat), Sodium: 238mg, Potassium: 49mg, Total Carb: 5g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 3g


Secret Recipe Club


It’s Monday.

We all dread it.

Buttttttt…not today 🙂

Because today, well, today is the best Monday of the month.

Secret Recipe Club Monday.


Let’s get down to business.

I cannot tell you how stoked I was to learn that my secret blogger for this month was Christina, the voice behind Mele Cotte.

I have been following her blog for sometime and absolutely love it.

Plus, Christina is Italian, just like me, so ya know, we have a connection. 😉

Christina grew up in the Boston area and was influenced by a host of experienced Italian cooks in her family.


Like Christina, I too have a slew of self-taught Italian cooks in my family. So, when I picture her family, all I see is my grandmother in the kitchen w/ a wooden spoon, standing over the stove, tasting her pasta sauce.

Oh, and I picture a ton of loud mouths talking screaming across the table with conversation and big appetites.

That’s just Italian families.

Well, at least mine 🙂

Christina also has her pastry certification from The Art Institute in Atlanta, so she is pretty brilliant too!

You can definitely tell that Chris has some serious cooking/baking chops by her scrumptious looking extensive recipe index.

Plus, she has tons of gluten-free recipes like this tasty looking Sweet Potato Nut Bread.

Oh, and seriously, just look at these Mini Tiramisu Cups…so freaking adorable.

While I have a terrible sweet tooth, I was craving breakfast.

Surprise, surprise.

 Since it is starting to get a little cooler outside, I needed something warm, cozy, and fluffy.

Enter Chris’ Pumpkin Pie Pancakes.

Because I have bombarded you with pumpkin pie pancakes before on my blog, I decided to go a different route.

Instead, I used sweet potato.


So, these are now Sweet Potato Pie Pancakes.


Oh my ba-jeezus.


I think my dad said it best: “Chels, these pancakes are off the chain!”


Ummmmmm…psh, ya they are.


Thank you soooooo much for the recipe inspiration Christina!


These will be my new go to pancakes for the fall most definitely! 🙂

Sweet Potato Pie Pancakes
Recipe type: Breakfast, Pancakes
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Light, fluffy, pancakes w/ sweet potato for the perfect fall breakfast. Paleo, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and nut free! 🙂
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut milk, the kind in the carton, not in a can
  • 1 c. egg white substitute, or 4 large eggs
  • 2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c. coconut flour
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 3 T. granulated Stevia
  • maple syrup, coconut butter, etc., for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the sweet potato on the baking sheet and roast until the sweet potato can be easily pierced w/ a knife, about 1 hour.
  3. Let the sweet potato cool completely and then scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin.
  4. place the sweet potato flesh in a large mixing bowl and mash.
  5. Add the coconut milk, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in the coconut flour, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and stevia.
  7. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  8. Grease the skillet w/ cooking spray.
  9. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into the skillet.
  10. Let the pancakes cook for about 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip and let cook an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  11. Transfer the pancakes to a plate to cool while you finish the rest.
  12. Serve the pancakes warm, drizzled w/ maple syrup and/or melted coconut butter 🙂


Nutritional Facts (1/12th of recipe/per pancake): Calories: 43, Total Fat: 1g, Sodium: 155mg, Potassium: 71mg, Total Carb: 5g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 3g