Archives for January 2015

Microwave Nutella Cake

I need a pedicure like last week.

For reaaaaaalz.

Toes are growing over toes here people.

There is nothing I won’t do for a little pampering.

Okay, well maybe a few things I won’t do. 🙂

Let’s talk this Nutella business.

I’ve got a little secret.

I used to hate Nutella.

Like loathe it.

Then, one day, I mixed it with some peanut butter, slathered it on a piece of bread, and topped it with sliced bananas.

Oh, then I put it in a skillet to make it all toasty.

Add some bacon and that’s a death row meal right there.

Soooooo…I’ve been making my own Nutella for a while now.

Because I’m a Nutella snob and because, frankly, I like to health-ify not so healthy foods.

I’m sure you know this by now.

We are making a single-gal cake.


This requires uno bowl.


It also only takes dos minutos to make…in la microwave!


Am I faking Spanish enough for ya?


Seriously…this cake is super fluffy


with a semi-gooey chocolate center


that is crazy good.


It’s also health(ier)!


I put some toasted coconut butter on top for all you coconut haters out there 😉

Microwave Nutella Cake
Recipe type: Muffin
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
A fluffy chocolate hazelnut cake with a gooey chocolate center made with homemade nutella. Gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar-free.
  • For the Nutella:
  • 2 c. unsalted, roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 4 T. raw cacao powder, or cocoa powder
  • ¼ t. fine sea salt
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. pure Maple syrup
  • ½ c. hazelnut milk (you can also use unsweetened, vanilla almond milk or another nut milk if preferred)
  • For the cake:
  • 1 T. melted coconut butter
  • 1 T. homemade nutella from the recipe above
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 T. coconut sugar
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T. coconut flour
  • ½ t. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • 1 T. dark chocolate chips, optional
  • 1 T. melted coconut butter, for topping, optional
  1. For the nutella, place the hazelnuts in a large food processor and process on high until smooth, about 10 minutes.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and process on high until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. For the cake, combine the coconut butter, nutella, egg, coconut sugar, and vanilla in small mixing bowl. Mix until smooth.
  5. Stir in the coconut flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the batter into a small greased ramekin or coffee cup.
  8. Place in the microwave on a paper towl (to eliminate the mess if it overflows).
  9. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
  10. Top with coconut butter and enjoy!


Nutella Tarts + Secret Recipe Club

Happy Monday y’all!

Let’s get this Secret Recipe Club ball rolling.

It’s going to make Monday fun…I guarantee it.

 Now, don’t hold me accountable if you get yelled at by your boss at work, but wait…

you should quit that job. 😉

Go on a month long vacation.

We all should do it.

Back to reality.

I was super excited when I found out that my secret recipe blogger was Manuela, the lovely lady behind the blog Manu’s Menu.

I thought to myself…”Manuela, that’s Italian!” Totally. Manuela was born and raised in Milan, Italy by her Sicilian parents.

I freaked! My family is Sicilian too!

We were instant friends.

She doesn’t even know it yet.

What she does know is her food.


Girl can cook, and she has some mouthwatering, authentic Italian recipes on her site.

Now, if your idea of Italian food is the garlic breadsticks and alfredo at Olive Garden…we’ve got a ways to go.

I’m talking real, deal Italian dishes here.

This hit home for me.

Authentic Italian cooking is key to the experience of eating and sharing in my family.

It’s also effortless.

I had such a difficult time choosing from Manuela’s recipes like her Pandoro, Gnocchi all Romana, Minestrone, and Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes.

But then.

Then, I came across this.

Oh, and it sooooooo spoke to me.

I mean, anything with Nutella practically calls my name while I’m sleeping.

Nutella Tarts.

Errrr mah gaaaaawd.

Soooooo…I kind of made a few changes to the recipe.

Because, ya know, I just like to make my own Homemade Nutella.

But ya know, the store bought stuff beats mine like by a million.

But you can decide.

I don’t judge.


Then, I went a step further and made my own hazelnut tart crust.


I’m just an over-achiever like that.


This is chocolate heaven.


Crispy hazelnut crust with that milky, hazelnut-chocolate filling.


It’s pretty much amazing.


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


Milk is a breakfast beverage, so ya know…this could definitely be breakfast food.




Oh, and I made this paleo/gluten-free and vegan friendly!


Nutella Tarts for EVERYONE!



5.0 from 2 reviews
Nutella Tarts
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A crispy hazelnut crust filled with a creamy chocolate-hazelnut filling! Gluten-free, paleo, vegan, grain-free.
  • For the Crust:
  • 1 c. ground hazelnut flour
  • 1 T. melted coconut oil
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ t. salt
  • For the Nutella:
  • 2 c. unsalted, roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 4 T. raw cacao powder, or cocoa powder
  • ¼ t. fine sea salt
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. pure Maple syrup
  • ½ c. hazelnut milk (you can also use unsweetened, vanilla almond milk or another nut milk if preferred)
  • Topping, optional:
  • ¼ c. dry-roasted, skinless hazelnut
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4 mini-tart pans with cooking spray.
  2. For the crust, in a large mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients until a crumbly ball of dough begins to form.
  3. Press the crust evenly into each mini tart pan.
  4. Use a fork to put tiny holes in each crust.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly golden.
  6. Let cool.
  7. For the nutella, place the hazelnuts in a large food processor and process on high until smooth, about 10 minutes.
  8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  9. Add the rest of the ingredients and process on high until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  10. Fill each tart crust with 3-4 tablespoons of the homemade nutella.
  11. Top with extra hazelnuts if desired.





Mini Date Banana Bread Bites

 I’m still a bit saddened over the loss my Dallas Cowboys had on Sunday.

I mean, we are America’s team.

I’m sure you heard or saw your facebook blow up with tweets from angry DC fans the moment those refs made that call.

That one freaking call…cost us the whole damn game.

Okay, rant over.

Always next year.

Let’s talk about more important stuff.


Last Sunday wasn’t only a football watching day…it was a banana bread making day.


this stuff is sweetened with date puree.


That’s alllll!


This we cut it up into little banana bread bites.


Then we do a little cinnamon vanilla icing on top.


Ya, these practically melt in your mouth.


It’s like little bites of disguised health food.


Those sneaky little dates.


So magical.


My brain goes nuts.

Mini Date Banana Bread Bites w/ Cinnamon Vanilla Icing
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
Melt in your mouth banana bread bites sweetened w/ nothing but dates. Gluten-free, paleo, nut-free.
  • ¼ c. pitted Medjool dates, soaked in water overnight, and drained
  • 1 large, ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 T. full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ c. granulated stevia, optional
  • 1 T. melted coconut oil
  • ¼ c. coconut flour
  • ¼ t. baking soda
  • For the icing:
  • ¼ c. coconut butter, melted
  • ½ t. vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  1. For the bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a small square baking dish w/ cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, process the dates until a thick paste forms.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the date puree, banana, eggs, coconut milk, stevia, and coconut oil until smooth.
  4. Stir in the coconut flour and baking soda.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the bread cool slightly, cut into small squares.
  7. For the icing, in a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until smooth.
  8. Top each square of banana bread with a small amount of icing.
  9. Serve.


Caramel Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

I have one week left until I go back to school.

This holiday break has been crazy…family, food, fun, relaxation, etc.

I have really caught up on eating sugary things and watching my favorite real housewives seasons on Hulu.

It reminds me why I have absolutely no tolerance or time for drama.

Life is way too short.

Back to that sugar situation…cookies have been involved.

Peanut Butter ones.

A couple of month’s ago I was sent a gluten-free goodie package with these lovely (no pun intended) caramels from the Lovely Caramel Co.

Seriously. These things are amazing…soft, chewy, and oh, gluten-free!

Win, win, win, win, win.

So, I thought why not smash bang some caramel up into a chocolate chip peanut butter cookie.


Ummmmmm…we can’t go wrong.


This is a serious cookie.


For reaaaalz.


Crispy edges,


chocolatey chips,


with a chewy, caramel center.


This is pretty serious business, y’all.


I think we can all sleep well tonight.


Let’s toast to sugary sweets


with peanut butter, chocolate, and caramel


in the new year. 🙂



Caramel Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Peanut butter cookies stuffed w/ chocolate chips and a gooey, caramel center. Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, flour-less.
  • 1 c. crunchy peanut butter (you can also use creamy, no big deal 🙂 )
  • 1 c. coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T. coconut flour, optional
  • ½ c. dark chocolate chips
  • 12 chewy caramel candies (I used Lovely brand, which is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet w/ parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, coconut sugar, and egg until smooth.
  3. Stir in the coconut flour.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop to distribute the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Place 1 caramel on top of the cookie dough and gently press down.
  7. Use the small cookie scoop to top the caramel with another ball of cookie dough.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies have slightly spread and the bottoms are golden brown.
Using coconut flour is optional. I use it to prevent the cookies from spreading out too much, giving them a firmer shape.


Flu Fighting Tips and Cinnamon Swirl Cashew Date Mug Muffin

Is it me, or does everyone have the flu?

I feel as though the entire population of my face book friends has the flu, oh, and if they have kids, they have it too.

What gives?

I guess it’s flu “season.”

I’m not surprised given the bouts of cold weather that decided to show up round these here parts…post Christmas.

The 20-30 degree range is considered arctic temps for Texas.

I haven’t really been sick in the past couple of years.

I’m pretty sure I can’t even remember the last time it was that I had the flu.

I’m more likely to get food poisoning.

I owe my clean bill of health to my diet and exercise…it’s really not a special secret.

How we take care of ourselves truly governs our health.

Here are a few of my tips and tricks to keep the flu at bay 🙂

1. Drink Tea: 1 cup of tea/day keeps the Dr. away is my motto 🙂 Tea is packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants, which helps your cells fight off the germs which are making you sick. My favorite tea is Yogi Ginger Tea, which I have been drinking for years! It helps keep my acid-reflux at bay, aids with digestion, and helps fight off the flu. It’s a triple threat! I drink mine w/ a packet of granulated stevia and a bit of coconut milk.


2. Spice is Nice: especially Cinnamon. Cinnamon is not only my favorite spice, but it helps with aching muscles and congestion. Because it is slightly spicy, it works wonders for a stuffy nose. Other great spices are tumeric, cloves, and ginger. Stir any of these into your oatmeal, sprinkle a dash onto your morning coffee, or stir into a cup of tea.


3. Exercise: I mean, who would have thought…fitness is a flu-fighting remedy! I workout every single day. Now, if I worked my body to exhaustion every single day, I would probably make myself sick. However, I have a method. I usually run about 3-4 days/week and alternate with weight training and pilates, which I do on my “active rest” days. I joined the Tone It Up Community last year and loooooove their workouts. The Tone It Up girls, Karena & Katrina are absolutely amazing role models and have developed a community where women can feel comfortable sharing their struggles with body image, while workout out together. I usually do a variety of routines from their dvd’s or website, alternating strength training and HIIT workouts. I also just got the opportunity to try Class Pass and cannot wait…I love to try new fitness studios that offer something outside of my normal routine.


4. Eat Clean: I know…pretty simple, right. Eating a variety of healthy foods gives your body the energy it needs to fight off illness. Now, when I say “eat clean,” I don’t mean depriving yourself of any and all sweets, but making healthy choices. I have no idea when the last time was that I had soda, or ate something out of a package with ingredients that I can’t pronounce. Basically, I eliminated all processed foods from my diet, and I cannot tell you how much better I feel. Salty snacks & packaged foods always made me feel bloated. I would eat 1 package of kale chips for lunch and would feel energy drained by 3 o’clock. Now, I eat fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and incorporate my own recipes for paleo breads and snacks into my diet. Baking and cooking my own foods allows me to really get the proper balance of carbs, fat, protein, and sugar that I need to fuel my day. While my blog is predominantly paleo, I am not on a strict paleo diet. I have to have beans, and I would practically die without Greek yogurt in my life. Nobody is perfect. There is not one way to eat, it’s all about what is best for you! For some amazing superfood recipes to keep you in top flu fighting shape, check out Aloha!  Their recipes are not only good for you, but their photos are gorgeous! Check em’ out! Aloha also offers an amazing superfood green powder that you can add to any smoothie or recipe.


Below is the perfect flu fighting recipe with a combination of super foods to keep you healthy and energized.

Creamy cashew butter


does a little smash bang with protein powder & date puree.


Then, the whole thing gets a swirl of cinnamon.


Top it with coconut butter and you are good to go!


Oh, and this is a single serving mug muffin.


Oh, oh, and the best part…it takes less than 3 minutes to make.




It also looks like a giant cinnamon roll.


Flu-fighting foods for the win! 🙂

Cinnamon Swirl Cashew Date Mug Muffin
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack, Muffin
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
A fluffy muffin made w/ creamy cashew butter, sweetened with dates, and swirled with cinnamon for a heart-warming breakfast treat that you can feel good about. Gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar-free.
  • ¼ c. Medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water overnight
  • 2 T. cashew butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 T. unsweetened, vanilla protein powder (I used hemp seed protein)
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • melted coconut butter, for topping, optional
  1. Grease a coffee mug with cooking spray.
  2. Drain the dates and place them in a food processor.
  3. Puree the dates until a thick, smooth paste forms.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cashew butter, 2 tablespoons of the date puree, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Stir in the protein powder and baking powder.
  6. Pour the batter into the coffee mug.
  7. Place the ground cinnamon on top of the batter and use a fork or toothpick to make a "swirl" pattern throughout the batter.
  8. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  9. Let the muffin cool slightly, turn out of the coffee mug using a knife, and drizzle with coconut butter.