Cinnamon Chocolate Cake (GF)

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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 | Pumpkin Apple Bread

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Apple Bread

I recently shared on Instagram I was hoping to convert my favorite pumpkin apple bread recipe to become gluten-free. A friend at work gave me a selection of canned goods (including applesauce) from her parent’s farm so I immediately went to work.

The brand of gluten-free flour which continually gives me amazing results is Krusteaz. Their gluten-free blend is comprised of whole grain sorghum flour, brown rice flour, whole grain millet flour, rice flour and xanthum gum. The texture isn’t grainy and if you didn’t know it was gluten-free before taking a bite, I promise you would think it was baked with all-purpose flour.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to substitute flours. The recipe yields three loafs but I made two loafs and also filled a muffin tin. I would like to experiment with substituting the refined sugar for coconut sugar or another alternative. I’ll let you know if I figure it out!

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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!

A Short Cookie

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Jordan and I had dinner with friends last week. You know you are blessed with great friends when they accommodate dietary restrictions without batting an eye. We brought dessert and I debated for a while about what to make.

I love cookies. They are my favorite dessert; you won’t have to ask me twice if I want a cookie. 🙂 I’ve baked a few gluten-free cookies and they’ve been okay, but not amazing. There are so many flour varieties to play with and I don’t feel I’ve found the right combination yet.

All of a sudden I remembered no-bake cookies. I didn’t grow up with these cookies, but they were made regularly in Jordan’s home. No-bake cookies consist of oats and peanut butter, while not exactly allergen free, they hit all of my requirements! The bonus is, you don’t need any special flours or ingredients.

Ingredient

1 stick of butter (could sub coconut oil to keep it completely dairy-free)
2 cups sugar*
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put above ingredients through milk in a pan and stir until butter is melted. Then bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla. Mix in oats to consistency (3-4 cups depending on how wet you want the dough to be).

Drop onto foil sheets until cooled. Store in an airtight container.

*I searched for a slightly healthier version and found one that used honey instead of sugar. Jordan requested his moms version (it was nice to bite into a familiar cookie) but next time I’d like to try this variety.

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Weekend Links / / Gluten Make Up

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/ / I did a little gluten-free baking this week: chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. I was pretty proud of myself for how they each turned out. Baking is really all about the recipe you choose to use, so the originators get all of the credit. I still have several more bananas that need to be used, so I think Minimalist Baker’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread is next on my list.

/ / My photography journey has been trial, error and a bit of luck. I have found that using food as my subject allows me to try different angles, settings, and locations without the fear that the item will walk away. Elizabeth shared several great tips that I’m excited to begin working on.

/ / Serial Parody on Funny or Die.

/ / Make up and hair tips for glasses wearers. My favorite look is a top knot with a bold lip.

/ / Five, easy, DIY garlands from A Beautiful Mess. I’ll be visiting after Christmas sales to purchase bauble ornaments to make one of these!

/ / Bek wrote beautifully on Advent.

“This is what Christmas is. It set the stage for how He would save the world. Joy & pain. Faithful & forsaken. Silence & angels. Darkness & light. Loved & hated. Miracles occurring & treks across deserts. Fully man & fully God. Death gives birth to life.” 

Wishing you a beautiful and relaxing weekend.

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Eggscussions

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/ / Are you caught up on the Serial podcast? The penultimate episode was released yesterday morning and last night Sarah Koenig appeared on The Colbert Report. She gave insights to why she decided to tell this specific story in a serial format.

/ / My friend, Kate, shared several wintry photos on her blog last week. Chicago during Christmastime is extra magical. I’m not exactly going to miss the harsh weather realities of January and February (and March and April), but I will miss the extra glow illuminating the city streets from the twinkle lights.

/ / I love listening/watching people being interviewed about their craft. During each awards season, The Hollywood Reporter gathers actors, writers, directors, and producers together into groups for roundtable discussions. These conversations are interesting, candid and remind me that no one is living without challenges (even big Hollywood stars). Did you know that the writers for Dallas Buyers Club began working on that screenplay 20 years before the movie was green lit to be filmed?!? I’m pretty sure I would have given up. Assuming that if my script wasn’t selling it must not be good. Talk about perseverance!

/ / After eliminating dairy (except butter) and gluten from my diet, I have become hyperaware of people who live with severe allergies/intolerances. I won’t break out in hives or be admitted into the hospital if I eat bread (I’ll just wake up with a new pimple) but I know people who will. I’ve become all too familiar with vegan recipes and generally flax seeds are the replacement for eggs. When Amy shared her cornstarch version I was really intrigued. Have any of you experimented with flax or cornstarch “eggs”?

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.