baking

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Paleo + Refined Sugar Free)

These cookies are incredibly easy to whip up and even easier to eat! Totally free of refined sugar but full of delicious chocolate chunks! 

You guys. I’m experiencing a bit of a break through over here. Oprah always called it an a-ha moment, others an epiphany. But By George, I think I’ve got it (yes I just said that).

I’ve finally figured out what takes chocolate chip cookies to the next level.

No matter what batter you’re using, everyone wants a cookie with gooey melty chocolate goodness and after baking them for countless years and trying recipes of every kind from gluten-free to gluten-filled, grain-free to vegan and everything in between, the key to making your chocolate chip cookies the envy of all other chocolate chip cookies?

Chocolate Chip “Peanut Butter” Banana Bread Waffles!

For the last two weeks I’ve had a major, serious, very real craving for waffles.

The only problem? I didn’t own a waffle iron.

When we were registering for our wedding, we decided we would be satisfied with pancakes and that we didn’t need another gadget taking up space in our cabinets.

What a mistake that was.

Because when waffle craving strikes you, no pancake in the world will substitute the peaks and valleys and crispy edges paired with the soft fluffy-ness you get from all of that waffle goodness.

Lesson Learned.

So last week I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to get a waffle iron and well, that man took it to a whole other level.

Seriously Delicious EVERYTHING Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

But how can something that has nothing be so delicious, you ask?

I’m not sure but I think the answer lies in bananas & chocolate.

All I can say is – This bread is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Last week all of my college friends came in to town to celebrate and shower one of our friends who just had the most precious baby girl! We’ve done this for every one that’s had a baby- we all fly in for the weekend, we all buy a new book for the baby’s library and we all cook brunch together and spend the day eating and drink mimosas and we are usually asleep by 10 pm because well… it’s been TEN years this spring since we graduated college and those crazy late nights are noooo more.

Usually these brunches are filled with foods that are delicious but full of gluten, dairy, soy and the like. But my friend/the new mom is doing an elimination

When a delicious looking dish totally flops. #CookingFail

Let me be clear: I’m no stranger to cooking fails.

There have been cookies that completely fell apart (but still tasted great crumbled up on top of some coconut milk ice-cream), banana bread that didn’t quite rise and definitely wasn’t sweet enough (but still tasted ok with some almond butter spread on top) and of course, there was the time I was supposed to make a pretty ombre Hanukah cake turned anything else than pretty. (But I was able to salvage them into delicious and festive cake pops.)

Usually, I’m able to salvage the dish and turn in to something edible. But this one? This one was a throw-it-in-the-trash-how-do-I-get-this-taste-out-of-my-mouth-I-could-probably-use-this-to-torture-someone-to-get-information-I-need kind of bad.

You’ll Gobble Up These Grain-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Pumpkin Season seasons seems to be stronger than ever.

Have you set foot inside a Trader Joe’s recently? That entire store got a Pumpkin Makeover. And I’m not talking about that weird Today show horrible slapped together makeover. I’m talking about the back in the day Oprah Winfrey Show circa 2008 ‘there’s NO way that’s the same woman that just walked out there on the stage and now I’m crying tears of joy’ kind of makeover. There are things on those shelves that got Pumpkinified that I wouldn’t even think could be pumpkinified. But nevertheless, I still want it.

What is it with us and pumpkin?! I can’t say for certain why this obsession runs deep but whatever it is, I’m happy to be on the bandwagon and admittedly also spend my mornings from september-january craving something delicious and warm and pumpkin (of course) but as you know by know, I’m also looking for something filling and gluten-free, dairy free and won’t

Improvised Scones (as inspired by the Jersey Shore)

Ok so Scones aren’t the first thing you thing of when you think Jersey Shore, I know

Drinking, gambling, screen printed touristy t-shirts and Snooki come to mind, sure.  But devouring gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free, dairy free & Paleo scones? Yeah… not even in the top 250 list of “Things you MUST do when visiting the Jersey Shore”

Unless you’re reading my list. In that case, it’s number one.

I discovered the gem of a coffee shop that is No. 7311 in Ventnor city last year, their almond milk lattes, small batch baking and overall cuteness made a major impact on my soul. (Be warned: You will want all of the things)  So when I returned with the Husband (ah, how weird is THAT to type?!) it was at the top of my list.

The almond milk latte? still delicious.

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But this year they had a new addition.

Dust Off That Waffle Iron… And Other Fun Kitchen Hacks From My Appearance on Windy City Live!

In case you missed it – I had a blast sharing more kitchen hacks on Chicago’s Windy City Live!  You can watch it here!

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Over the years through work and through falling in love with baking and cooking, I’ve amassed a plethora of kitchen gadgets. Couple that with The Boy moving in AND this whole registering thing that you’re supposed to do before you get married and let’s just say my cabinets and kitchen drawers are looking like a very messy and overstocked Bed Bath & Beyond…. mostly the Beyond section.

Spend five minutes in that Beyond section staring at the walls and walls and walls of kitchen gadgets, and you quickly convince yourself that your life will not and cannot be complete without every single one. Of COURSE I need both an Avo Saver, Hard Boiled Egg Slicer and Melon Baller. How did I exist up until this point without one? What kind

Easy to make, Easy to Eat: Paleo Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches!

You will HEART these Grain Free, Dairy Free and Paleo Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches! I’ll be whipping up a batch of the cookies for my friends Baby Shower this weekend. She’s currently on the dairy and soy free train and I know these are so good they will fool even all of the Team Pro Gluten & Diary attendees! so while I’m prepping the batter, I figured I would share how to turn a delicious dairy free cookie into an even more delicious dairy free ice cream sandwich. These store really well in the freezer, the cookie stays soft (that is, if you can resist not eating them all before the whole freezing them part comes along!)

I used Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter for half of these and their Cherry Amaretto flavor for the other but any ice cream flavor would work! I particularly would enjoy a coffee flavor! 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

xoJ

HOW TO MAKE… GLUTEN FREE CANDY STUFFED BROOKIES!

Hi Folks!!

A while back I posted about the homemade Brookies I made and I’ve been asked by a lot of people how I make them. Others have told me they’ve since made them and brought them to parties and that they were a hit- I LOVE hearing this!! The whole reason I started this blog in the first place is to share what I love in hopes that you and your friends, families, and strangers you meet on the street, love it just as much as I do! And really, what’s better than sharing the love of cookies meeting brownies meeting (gluten free) oreos and a whole lot of other chocolate goodness?! That is real, true love!

For me, back in the days of Lisa Frank folders and Kipling backpacks, I loved a good old visual aid to help my learning. So I figured why not make a fun visual aid on how to make these Brookies even easier for you

Ho Ho Ho it’s a Ha-Ha-Hanukkah Party

Happy Hanukkah/Chanukah!

This past weekend I had my second annual Hanukkah dinner and I got VERY into keeping the food within the Hanukkah theme.

But first, let’s talk Target. Just when I thought I couldn’t love Target any more, they really stepped up their paper plate & Hanukkah decoration game. I mean these cute plates made serving dinner on paper actually acceptable!

And the napkins? I love them a Latke (see what I did there?!) The table was so colorful and bright (just like the candles from the menorah! Zing!) that one might not even notice the plastic silverware OR the cheap blue plastic tablecloth I used. (FYI The plates are designed by Spritz and I highly recommend them both for their cuteness and price point)

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Also, let’s talk about exciting it was to get to use our new camel Menorah that we got as an engagement present (thanks Amy!). It’s