Birfday Cookies.

The good news is…I didn’t kill the nurse who administered my blood test on Tuesday.

She was actually quite nice.

And guess what? I didn’t feel a thing.

I’m totally five.

Afterwards, I hauled butt downstairs, jerked open the car door, flew into the drivers seat, and hoofed down my breakfast consisting of 1 muffin, 2 pancakes, 1/2 banana, and a piece of grilled chicken?

Yep, I needed protein, so sue me.

Anyhoo, all better now after the fasting dilemma.

Real talk: I love birthdays. I may even love other people’s birthdays more than my own birthday.

Ya, riiiiiiight. 😉

No, really though. I enjoy celebrating others’ birthdays simply because I looooooove to give gifts.

I love people, therefore, I love to buy them things…especially on their birthdays.

However, ever since I started documenting my passion for cooking and baking on this here blog, I apparently have an invisible sign on my back that reads “Will bake birthday treats on demand.”

In fact, I don’t know of one single person who hasn’t requested that I make them a cake, cupcake, cookie, muffin, 3-cheese chicken casserole, etc. etc. for their birthday, their mother’s birthday, their father’s best friends sister’s youngest sons best friends birthday.

You get the picture?

Ya, it’s good to be loved.

It’s also a good thing that I’m 100% on top of my game in any aspect of my life.

Today is my best-est cousin Megan’s 25th birthday.

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Technically, she is younger than me (by exactly 3 months 🙂 ), but that doesn’t mean that I don’t admire her and in a way…look up to her.

We attended school our entire lives together  (except college) and have celebrated many birthday’s together, year after year.

She was a big fan of those collectable Barbie dolls when she was younger, so you can bet that one of her birthday gifts would involve some sort of shiny plastic box, with a Barbie clad in an oversized gown, ballerina outfit, or disco boots.

Those were the days. 🙂

One thing that I will never forget about Megs is the school lunches that we shared together.

I don’t know if she remembers this, but this is how I remember it.

We were the cafeteria ladies’ teachers pets. Seriously, if we wanted something off the menu, you can bet that they would get back in the kitchen and whip it up.

But…only for us.

I mean, I don’t know about you, but no one could whip up a tuna salad sandwich as fast as Mrs. Baeza or Mrs. Frida.

Like 4 seconds fast.

Anyway, Megs and I were both fans of the oversized chocolate chip cookies served at lunch.

No, Megs was pretty much gung-ho over these suckers.

However, because we weren’t the first class to have lunch, the cookies weren’t always fresh.

Have no fear…the lunch ladies would make Megs a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, just so she could have a warm chocolate chip cookie…right out of the oven.

She would even share it with me!

That’s love.

So, today…we’ve got cookies.

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Now, these are probably sub-par as compared to our beloved cafeteria chocolate chip cookies.

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But I’d say they are pretty legit.

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And I’m pretty sure that if I asked for a vegan, gluten-free, paleo chocolate chip cookie from the lunch lady

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she would have stared me down as though I was from Mars.

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Or possibly even send me to the principal’s office for absurd misconduct.

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Now, thanks to people with celiac disease like seester,

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people who want to save the cows, chickens, baby gecko’s, etc.,

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and those nice people of crossfit,

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we can have a gluten-free, vegan, paleo chocolate chip cookie.

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Oh, and I can assure you that these don’t taste like dirt.

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Duh.

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I’m pretty sure almond butter didn’t exist back then either.

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Seester had peanut allergies back then too.

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But then again,

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who wouldn’t develop allergies to everything in the book

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when you live off Snicker’s bars, Capri Sun,

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Kraft Mac N’ Cheese, and Hamburger Helper.

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It’s amazing that she was able to nourish herself.

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Happy Birthday Megs!!!

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I’ll pay you back for all the ice cream money I borrowed some day 🙂

xoxo!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Grain-free, Gluten-Free, Paleo and Vegan cookies made with almond butter and packed with chunks of chopped dark chocolate chips.
Ingredients
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • ⅓ c. coconut flour
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • ¾ t. baking soda
  • ¼ c. coconut oil, at room temperature (not melted, just softened)
  • ⅓ c. pure maple syrup
  • ½ c. almond butter (I used my homemade Toasted Coconut Banana Almond Butter...see recipe index)
  • ½ c. vegan chocolate chips, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the coconut oil, maple syrup, and almond butter on high until smooth.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the almond butter mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop out the dough by rounded tablespoon and roll into a small ball using your hands.
  7. Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet and lightly press down into each one of them using the palm of your hand.
  8. This will help flatten the cookies, as they do not spread during baking.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  10. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Nutritional Facts (per cookie (1/24)): Calories: 117.9, Total Fat: 9.3g (3.4g Saturated Fat), Sodium: 100mg, Total Carbs: 8.4g, Dietary Fiber: 1.4g, Sugars:5.3g, Protein: 2g

 

MANGIA!!!

Sweet As Sugar.

Dear grocery stalker, did you seriously just ask for my number at a grocery store?

While I was working?

Oh, and that’s after you complimented me on my European “features,” tried my samples, and then swung back around 5 minutes later for a phone number.

Why did I cave?

Because I’m nice I tell you…that’s why.

Too nice, maybe?

I mean, don’t get me wrong.

I want to find myself a guy, but seriously, this grocery thing has gone too far.

I would overlook it if it didn’t happen ALL THE TIME.

And while I’m working?!!!

Side note: I should wear caked on make-up 24/7…apparently it keeps the creepers at bay.

Every guy just loves to chat me up sans no make up…au natural.

Whatever. I’m sticking to no makeup.

I’m also sticking to these.

Well, at least this stuff is sticking to my gut.

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Or maybe the inside of my nose because I seriously face planted into this batter.

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Because it’s vegan, gluten-free, and paleo!

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Dear Lawd, how do I come up with this stuff?

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Thank goodness I didn’t have a bag of these with me while I was working…my blondies bring all the boys to the yard?

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Yup, yup.

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These should be against the law they are sooooo good. 🙂

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They are seriously melt in your mouth.

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Super creamy and decadent and oh so

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chocolate-y.

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Did I mention they are health(ier)?

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I should write a cookbook called desserts in disguise…you may think that chocolate cake has a ja-zillion calories

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nut nope, it has magical powers…gluten-free, vegan, and/or paleo magical powers.

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These babies are amazingly good at curing your sweet cravings.

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If you are me…I have sweet teeth 24/7.

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But you knew this.

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Thank goodness we are back to our regularly scheduled programming here on the blog.

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I couldn’t look at one more “green” thing.

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This is definitely not salad.

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Or vegetables.

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Can I get an Amen?

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Life is always sweet with things like these.

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Chocolate chips are my life.

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Be jealous.

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I’ll never understand the male brain 🙂

5.0 from 1 reviews
Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Blondies with Sea Salt
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Bars, Blondies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
Flour-less, vegan blondies chock full of banana almond butter, bananas, and chocolate chips. You'd never know they are healthy!
Ingredients
  • 2 large, ripe bananas
  • ½ c. creamy almond butter (I used my homemade Toasted Coconut Banana Almond Butter...see recipe index)
  • ⅓ pure maple syrup
  • 2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. coconut flour
  • ¼ t. baking powder
  • ¼ t. baking soda
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  • ½ c. vegan chocolate chips, plus extra for topping
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in. square baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Put every thing except the chocolate chips in a food processor and process on high until a smooth batter forms. (Side note: best thing about this stuff is that it's vegan, totally eat some of it raw...delish!)
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan and top with extra chocolate chips, I used about an additional ¼ c.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely, cut into even squares, and sprinkle each blondie with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
  7. Don't forget a tall glass of almond milk goes amazingly well with these!

Nutritional Facts (per 1/16th of recipe): Calories: 132, Total Fat: 11.9 g (1.9g of saturated fat), Total Carb: 16.6g, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 9.9g, Protein: 1.4g

MANGIA!!!

Snack-um.

Peopleeeeee, did y’all have coffee with me yesterday?

Because, seriously? I totally wasn’t feeling the love.

Tell me something new! I want to know all about it!

In other news, yesterday I kind of went crazy in the kitchen.

None of it involved baking pastries of any sort.

This is not me. I have totally been kid adult napped.

I also decided to take a shower at 2 o’clock in the afternoon because my hair felt super dirty and it was cramping my style.

Anyone else have this problem? Yea, anyway…felt like an entirely different person after I washed, blow-dried, and styled my hair.

Oh, that only took me 1 hr. and 30 minutes.

Don’t even tell me to cut it.

Oh, look I made you a snack.

Almonds +

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bananas…even after that whole banana fiasco yesterday…I can get around it.

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Yep, you saw it…bananas whirled up in an almond butter.

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Hey now…you best like it.

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Things only get better with toasted coconut.

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So summer-ish-y…!? Totally tropical vacay!

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It’s all I want in an almond butter…smooth, creamy, slightly sweet from the banana, with a bit of crispy, crunchy texture from the coconut.

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I watched a repeat of Duck Dynasty on Sunday, where the family goes on a Hawaiian vacation.

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It was torture watching them have a blast on that gorgeous island.

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This is probably as close as I will get to Hawaii.

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Unless I win the lotto tomorrow. 🙂

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Toasted Coconut Banana Almond Butter
Author: 
Recipe type: Almond Butter, Nut Butter, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
 
Roasted almonds, sweet banana, and toasted coconut are blended together with a pinch of sea salt and a touch of coconut oil for the perfect tropical snack. Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Paleo.
Ingredients
  • 3 c. dry roasted, unsalted almonds
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced crosswise into "coins"
  • ¼ t. fine sea salt
  • 2 T. warm, melted coconut oil
  • 1 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the coconut out evenly over the baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, process the almonds on high until they begin to break down and form a smooth paste, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the sliced banana and process again. At this point, the almond butter will start to clump up again. Process for another 3 minutes until smooth, then slowly stream in the melted coconut oil.
  5. Process for an additional minute until a smooth butter has formed.
  6. Fold in about ½ c. to ¾ c. of the toasted coconut, reserving the rest for topping.
  7. Spread on a piece of gluten-free toast and top with extra sliced bananas and toasted coconut.

 

MANGIA!!!

Not yo’ Mama’s Almond Butter

Happy Wednesday all!


I hope you are enjoying the hump to get you over the week. I have some exciting news…only 4 more days to Christmas! I know, i know, I am super stoked. Currently, I am rubbing my sore feet as I sit on the couch watching “The Price Is Right.” Let’s just say work was a little hectic yesterday, so I am gearing up for round two this afternoon. Gotta make that money! Today is usually a day that I will post something absolutely wordless, but you must know by now, I am a girl of many, many, words. What can I say? I like to talk and there was absolutely no way, in a million years, that I was going to let this recipe go up without a few words. I have a confession. I made something pretty freaking spectacular this weekend. 
Now don’t get freaked out, it’s not peanut butter



It’s almond butter. Yes people, I said it, almond butter. Now, this is not your ordinary almond butter, this is your “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of stuff” (yes, I watched a lot of Mary-Kate and Ashley movies growing up). Let me tell you how this almond butter thing began. Last week I made some almond butter that was more like a thick almond paste than a creamy almond butter. It was so unbelievably tough and chewy that I didn’t waste a second forming it into a makeshift basketball and dunking it into my trash can…alley oop style. 

Anyway, after that disaster I had given up on almond butter recipes and decided to stick with peanut butter. I was so frustrated with my almond butter failure of the century that I started to picture my go-to getaway, which always involves me on an island, lounging under a big palm tree, drinking coconut water from a fresh coconut. Wait, that’s it (I thought to myself), coconut…coconut + almond butter. Now, I know what you are thinking, coconut in December? Really, Chelsy? Let me tell you a little something, coconut season lasts all year round’ for me. All day, every day…end of discussion. Now, to add a hint of some Christmas flavor to the mix I added some of the good stuff. 
What says Christmas more than a fresh vanilla bean? 
Let’s just say that this is the best, not to mention, the only almond butter recipe that you will ever need.

Coconut Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

You have absolutely no idea how satisfied I am with this recipe. It definitely lifted me right out of my almond butter funk. Almond butter + coconut + coconut oil + vanilla bean…do I need to tell you anything else? I know I tell you to do stuff all the time because I am the boss, right? Well, I am not telling you, but I am ordering you to get in the kitchen and make this now. I’m signing off to shovel about 50 spoonfuls of this into my mouth  spread this on an apple for a wholesome, hearty, snack. Join me on my island getaway…trust me it is going to be absolutely fantastic!

Coconut Vanilla Bean Almond Butter:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut

1 1/2 c. raw almonds 

pinch of sea salt

3 T. coconut oil, melted

1 whole vanilla bean

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 300 F. 

2. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes. 

3. While the almonds are toasting, add the shredded coconut to your food processor and blend until it breaks down. This takes about five minutes or so and will require you to scrape down the sides with a spatula to keep everything moving.

4. After the coconut begins to break down, stream in the coconut oil and continue to mix. 

5. Once the almonds are finished baking, add them immediately to the coconut and blend. This works best while the almonds are still warm.

6. Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean into the almond butter and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend and pulse, scraping down the sides of the processor until the butter comes together. 

Note: The almond butter will do fine if you refrigerate, but I love to keep mine stored in a small jar on the kitchen counter at room temperature. It will get firm regardless. Refrigerate after about two days. 

MANGIA!!!