Cinnamon Chocolate Cake (GF)


Last Friday my first recipe contribution was featured in Holl & Lane Magazine (Issue 5)! Holl & Lane is a digital magazine focusing on “telling the stories that make up our lives.” They cover many aspects of a woman’s life: entertainment, style and beauty, food and fitness, small business, travel, DIY, interior design, travel, family, and most importantly, life stories! The message at Holl & Lane is a simple one: “Each time you open up and share a part of your story, you help someone else feel less alone.”

I am honored to be a part of their mission!

This cinnamon chocolate cake was a staple in my house growing up. I requested it every year for my birthday or anytime I could convince my mom to bake it.

I decided to tweak the original recipe to make the cake gluten-free and the frosting dairy-free. It was a success at our joint birthday celebration in September. Each issue is $2.99 (or $7.99 for a 6 month subscription) but you’ll receive %25 off with the code, Issue5Friends&Family. Here is the direct link to purchase.

Happy Baking!

Gluten-Free Eats | Banana Bread

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I’ve been on a baking mission. A mission to find the best gluten-free quick bread recipe. Quick breads (breads without yeast) are one of my favorite things to bake (here & here). Growing up, while participating in 4-H, I received a blue ribbon for my vegan banana bread recipe! Most of these recipes take 15 minutes or less to prepare, minimal equipment used and the end result can be served for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. Add a spinach smoothie and you’ve got yourself a light dinner.
I’ve made a few sad attempts at baking gluten-free pumpkin and banana bread since the fall, but I think I have finally found a winner! This bread isn’t grainy and unless I had baked it, I wouldn’t even know it was gluten-free. I posted this revelation on Instagram last week and was asked about the recipe from several people. I made a few slight tweaks to Monique’s recipe from Ambitious Kitchen to accommodate what ingredients I had on hand, so I figured I should share how I made it.
4 medium or 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter (I subbed natural peanut butter)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened (I used applesauce. No other reason than I needed to use it up!)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut flour (I used regular gluten-free flour*. Coconut flour is more absorbent, so I put in closer to 1 cup. I added  more flour until the dough appeared the right consistency.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (raisins would be good too!)
For the rest of the instructions, head over to Monique’s blog. She has tons of great recipes, most of which are allergen friendly!
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*My mother-in-law bought me a bag of Krusteaz gluten-free flour at Sam’s Club and I’ve been extremely pleased with the results. I’ve also made blueberry muffins and pancakes using the flour that is even Jordan approved!

Weekend Links / / On The Table


Living with my parents this summer has been a real blessing for Jordan and I. We were able to end our previous lease and live a more streamlined life before our move to Nashville later this month. One result from this transitional period has been the fact that the time I’ve spent in the kitchen has significantly decreased. As in..basically none! We contribute to the grocery bill, but my mom continues to be the main cook. At first, it was nice not to think about that age-old question, “what’s for dinner,” but I am itching to get back in the kitchen. I enjoy the process and find it therapeutic and fun!

Over the summer, I’ve continued to read food blogs and browse Pinterest for ideas, so I thought I would share what I will be making very soon.

I can’t stop bookmarking meals that contain curry or involve quinoa. I’m trying to branch out from my midwestern casserole mentality. Lasagna and anything with bake in the title, are delicious, but very tricky to eat while trying to avoid dairy. Now that our new place in TN will be closer to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, our diet will change a bit. I would like to incorporate more grain-free meals (not simply substituting gluten-free pasta) and continue without dairy.


Banana Bread Granola  | Buckwheat Dutch Baby


Avocado & Chocolate Pudding | Vegan Cherry Blueberry Crumble

Main Dishes 

Chana Masala | Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas | Fried Egg Dosa with Potato Curry |  Curry Roasted Vegetable & Avocado Naan


Corn Salsa | Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Honey & Peanuts

/ / What have you been making in the kitchen this summer?

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Entertaining with Banana Cupcakes



Over the weekend, my parents, Jordan, and myself had the pleasure of entertaining two of my nieces! Besides plenty of park time, a movie night, and a trip to the zoo (more on that later), I really wanted to bake with the girls. I haven’t baked or cooked really at all this summer (a benefit of living with my parents this summer!), so they were the added motivation to bring out my flour and sugar!

My mom has several excellent banana dessert recipes. We chose one from her well-loved Betty Crocker cookbook. This recipe literally takes about 10 minutes to throw together and only needs one bowl! Obviously, with helping hands it takes a bit longer but speed wasn’t our goal for the day. Quality time was our goal 🙂


Banana Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1 1/4 cups sugar (I used a little less)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs

Heat oven to 350. The original recipe says to literally beat everything together in your mixer. We decided to separate the dry from the wet ingredients before combining everything in my mom’s kitchen aid mixer.

For little hand portions, we chose to make cupcakes.

Bake 50 minutes for a cake and a little less for cupcakes!

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cream (we used a combination of milk & cream)
1/4 cup baking cocoa
3 cups confectioner sugar (this is a runnier frosting, but you can add more sugar to thicken it!)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine butter, cream, and cocoa in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat, beat in sugar and vanilla until smooth.



^ Helping hands 🙂


^ This frosting is SO good! Every year for my birthday my mom spruces it up with cinnamon which pairs with her famous cinnamon chocolate cake.

As our moving date is getting closer, I’m so grateful to share any special moment with my nieces! I’m going to miss not seeing them so often!

Jean’s Apple Pumpkin Bread

apple pumpkin bread

There was a particularly cold day a few weeks ago when we layered more than usual, cranked our space heater up and turned on the oven. I made a simple pumpkin bread we could eat for breakfast during the week, while a batch of homemade bread was rising on top of the stove for dinner.

I was looking for creative ways to use the few remaining apples from my dads garden, when I remembered a recipe given to me by my mom’s friend and decided to tackle it. Due to my unorganized pantry, I almost couldn’t find my last can of pumpkin puree. Does this happen to anyone else? You go to make something and realize that the last egg or stick of butter is nowhere to be found?

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Granola | Going Tropical


Below-freezing temperatures have become the norm around here and I relish any opportunity to stay warm: long hot showers, snuggling in blankets, slow-cooked meals and of course baking. On a recent day-off I baked a cake and also tried a new granola recipe.

In typical year-end fashion, I felt the need to purge my pantry of items that have been lingering around too long. We keep a tropical dried fruit mixture from Trader Joe’s to eat with nuts for a quick snack, but I misjudged and bought another package when we had two others (Making a grocery list would have solved that problem!). My mom sometimes adds pineapple to her granola so I thought, “why not go tropical for my next batch?” After searching around a little bit, this is what I ended up making.

Tropical Granola (Modified from teacheatlove)

1/4 c cup maple syrup (or any other sweetener)
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of flaked kosher or sea salt
3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup crushed nuts (I used almonds, original recipe called for macadamia nuts which probably would be divine)
1 – 1/4 cup dried fruit mixture (pineapple, papaya, mango, and coconut comes in my prepackaged mixture)

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine oats, chopped nuts and toss with a pinch of kosher salt. Chop dried fruit mixture to preferred side, set aside. Melt coconut oil and slowly pour, along with the vanilla, over the dry ingredients. Mix well. Spread evenly onto a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, adding dried fruit and mixing about halfway through.



At the end I added a bit more dried pineapple for kicks. And as a suggestion, eat this with vanilla yogurt!


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/ / Basic granola here


Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

My mom has several friends that give my parents baked goods for Christmas and since Jordan and I live close we get to share in on their gift 🙂 I’ve come to look forward to the variety of desserts to eat and new recipes to try in the future. I’m sharing with you a cookie recipe that has become a favorite in our home — Molasses Spice Cookies!

As I have mentioned before, Jordan leans toward simple cookies and this one fits the bill for both of us! The molasses spice cookie is the feisty cousin to the always reliable sugar cookie; basic and simple to make, but fun and festive for the holidays.

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Homemade Breakfast Granola

Homemade Breakfast Granola

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my brother Jason mentioned he recently made granola. My mother also regularly makes granola, but for some reason the idea had never crossed my mind. Which is odd considering my pantry is stocked with these ingredients regularly. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a little to include the kind of oil and sweetener I wanted to use. I’m excited to build upon this recipe and experiment with different variations – coconut and chocolate would be an exciting combo to try!

I don’t imagine this batch sticking around for very long because Jordan has already been snatching little bites all day. So, if you have more than two people in your house that will eat granola, I would suggest doubling the recipe because it really is just that good! Also, this would be a lovely gift to give during this holiday season. Fill some cute jars, include the recipe on the gift tag, and you are good to go!

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Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread

Jordan was away overnight last week attending a conference for work. While he was preparing to leave, I began organizing and clearing out our closets (I love doing this after a season change). It looked like a tornado had whipped through our house, but I promised him I would have everything in order when he came back.

The problem was I had just picked up the last two discs of Homeland season two from the library. I managed to finish the closet makeover, straighten up the house, finish the episodes (intense!), and bake pumpkin bread. It was quite the epic day off 🙂

And speaking of days off, those are usually my baking days.

Continue reading “Pumpkin Bread”

A Weekend Worth Celebrating


Look at my handsome groomsman!

Happy Monday! I can’t believe Monday has arrived again. I had intentions of documenting many things last week, but the days came and went and my DSLR camera didn’t leave its bag. Most of the week was spent spring (fall) cleaning our apartment for the arrival of friends (who were attending a wedding with us). We love hosting guests for many reasons and an added bonus is that our home becomes extra shiny. I also took the opportunity to do a little baking for the extra mouths to feed (but let’s be honest, I bake even if it’s just for myself). These apple crisp muffins were Jordan’s favorite, but as I love all things pumpkin, this coffee cake style pumpkin bread was mine.


On Saturday we attended a beautiful outdoor wedding. The cornfields and forest surrounding the ceremony and reception tent were perfect for secluding all of us from the outside world. It rained during most of the ceremony, but the guests shared umbrellas and set in for the rest of the evening; the bride and groom fully embraced their special day.

I didn’t remember to grab my camera, so these pictures are all from my iPhone! I wish I would have though, because everything was worth documenting.


We went to a baby shower on Sunday. It was nice to celebrate this little girl’s impending arrival and spend time with friends who were also in attendance. I cherish these people. We’ve experienced a lot with one another and it’s special to see these babies start to roll in.

I didn’t intend to match with the momma to be; it happened naturally!