- Brownies, Finally! -

Hi there! I'm interrupting my own blog hiatus for this:

I did it. I finally, after many attempts, made a super delicious grain-free brownie recipe!! I have this thing where I don't like to look at other people's recipes because I want to come up with my own, on my own. Sure, I'll look at the food photos all day long. But, unless I am purposely following someone's recipe because I'm making it, I don't typically read them. So it's taken me months to figure out a good brownie recipe. And with grain (thus, gluten-)-free baking that can be quite a challenge. But I did it. And they are absolutely delicious. :)  Rich, dark chocolate brownies. Yes. Thank you Lord!
Not only that, but today I remembered seeing a title on a picture of chocolate pudding and it said that the base was avocado. I was quite intrigued by this and have been wanting to try this. Today was the day because I cut into an avocado and it was perfectly ripe. Not the slightest bit hard OR over ripe. And I immediately thought to make the pudding. So I am excited to tell you that this pudding recipe (which I then froze and it's now an amazing ice cream substitute!) is fabulous. Not one hint of avocado flavor. Just  creamy, sweet, dark chocolate goodness. So naturally I had to combine the brownie and pudding and just for fun topped it off with cinnamon-toasted coconut that I toasted a couple days ago. 
I don't think I need to tell you that this was absolutely delicious. 
I imagine you're wondering where the recipe is, huh?
Well, that's the thing. I have a goal. A big one (for me). I want to put together a recipe book this year. And so I'm keeping recipes I love just for that book. This is one of them. So while I genuinely want to give you this recipe, I'm not. At least yet. :)
Stay tuned for more info on that book. And try out some of the other recipes I've posted. 
If you have any questions, please feel free to write me!



- Taking A Break -

Hi Lovely People!
I want to let you know that I will be taking a break from this blog for a bit.
Even though I might not be posting regularly anymore, the recipes and resources on here are still great.
Enjoy your grain-free baking & cooking! :)


- Pumpkin Walnut Cream Cheese Muffins -

   I know we're a ways past Fall and traditional "pumpkin season" but I have a great recipe for you! While I was visiting family for Thanksgiving, I got to bond with my littlest nephew Z [he's almost two]. He saw me baking and cooking every day and associated me with the mixer. It was too cute. First thing in the morning two days before my trip ended, Z saw me, took my hand, walked me to the cabinet with the mixer, and handed the mixer to me. All while saying in his cute voice, "Cinnnnmiiinnn, Nutmeg."  That was his sweet little way of telling me, "Let's bake, Aunt Linny!" :)  And though I didn't have plans to bake anything right then, I couldn't resist spending time with Z and letting him help me bake.
 the cutie pie with the mixer
So that's when I came up with this recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Walnuts. And, boy, am I glad Z wanted me to make something! These muffins turned out so well. Much better than my first pumpkin muffin attempt! They've got a great consistency, and spicy-pumpkiny flavor, and the walnuts add a nice crunch. The cream cheese makes it even better with its creamy sweetness.  Definitely a crowd pleaser. Everyone that tried these really liked them. Including little Z.


• 3 eggs
• ½ c ZSweet

• 4 tbsp butter, softened
• 1 c almond flour
• 2 tbsp coconut four
• 1 ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ c pumpkin
• 1 ¼ tsp xanthan gum
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ¼ tsp cloves
• ½ cup of finely chopped walnuts

- Preheat oven to 350º
- Grease&flour muffin tin or line with liners.
- In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients- except walnuts- until well mixed.
- Add walnuts and stir to incorporate.
- Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop batter into muffin tin filling ¾ the way up.
- Try to make an indent in the middle of each for the cream cheese.


• 5 tbsp cream cheese, softened
• 1 tbsp heavy cream
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 1 ½ tbsp ZSweet, powdered [granulated works, too]

- In a small bowl beat ingredients until fluffy.
- Place about a tablespoon of mixture into indents in the dough.
- Evenly distribute any remaining cream cheese mixture.
- Bake muffins for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan at least 10 minutes prior to eating.


And check out these recipes from others:
Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free

- Swerve Sweetener -

   I am quite excited to tell you guys about this new sweetener I am using! It is still the sugar alcohol Erythritol, but it's a different brand and formulation. I Love it!
   The company, Swerve, was so very generous and sent me a complimentary goodie box. How RAD of them?! Seriously. I was so excited when this came in the mail. I've been wanting to try Swerve for a while now and this is my opportunity. And what's even better is that I had run out of the sweetener I  used to use the day before I receive this package from Swerve. Perfect timing!
   Unlike in other brands of erythritol, the lovely people at Swerve were able to remove the strange cooling sensation that is typical in erythritol. That is what I am most excited about in using Swerve over other brands of erythritol. Swerve is also not mixed with stevia but is equal in sweetness to sugar. It measures and bakes like sugar. It is a wonderful replacement for sugars! It's got no calories, doesn't impact blood sugar levels (a 0 on the glycemic index), and is safe for diabetics. I highly recommend Swerve. And, no, they did not ask me to write anything about them. These are my own genuine opinions. 
   So far I have used the confectioners type of Swerve in peanut butter frosting and chocolate peanut butter mousse (both recipes, by the way, were phenomenal) :). It worked wonderfully. No cooling sensation. No strange aftertaste. It just sweetened as it should and tasted great. I also used an individual pack in my blended coffee at work- tasted great! No artificial taste (note: it's not an artificial sweetener like splenda/sweet n low/ equal). I also gave a few packets to a coworker.
   Overall, I am very very pleased with Swerve and truly recommend you try it out. If you're looking for ways to be healthier, cut calories, reduce sugar or carb intake, (or any other reason!) do yourself a favor and buy a bag! You can even request a free sample so you can try it without having to buy a whole bag first. When you purchase your Swerve, let them know I sent ya. :)
   Happy Healthy Baking!


- Hamburger Buns & Cranberry-Herb Bacon Avocado Burgers -

   Let me just start by telling you that I really, really, really like cheeseburgers and all of the various ways they can be eaten. And I can barely express how excited I was about having a bun for burgers again! Something that's typically lost when switching to this lifestyle is that there's no bread so you can't hold a sandwich or burger as you generally would have. One day I was bummed to have to use a fork and knife to eat a burger and thus was determined to create an adequate hamburger bun. Now, I'm not going to make these every time I eat a burger or want a sandwich, but it's so fun to have a recipe for buns when I feel like whipping some up.
These burgers taste so gourmet and are pretty easy to make. Yes, it will be more time consuming than the usual burger nights since you'll be making your own buns, but it's so worth the extra time. And you might be wondering why one would put cranberries in a burger? Because it's delicious. That's why. Well, and because I happened to have cranberries and wondered what they'd taste like with beef. Thus this wonderful concoction was born.
I will note that the buns won't be as flavorless and spongy as conventional burger buns. But that's part of the charm and character of using almond flour. I think, too, that these buns would make a great sub for english muffins in a breakfast sandwich or as the base for an open-faced turkey&pesto sandwich. They can be so versatile. I also recommend using them the same day you bake them. They will keep for a day or so, but after that'll get softer so they won't be as functional as a bun [still taste great, though].
Ok, onward to the recipes!

Hamburger Buns

• 1 c blanched almond flour
• ¼ tbsp coconut flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ⅓ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp garlic powder
• ¼ tsp pepper
• ⅔  tsp xanthan gum
• 2 eggs
• 2 tbsp butter, softened
• ½ tbsp almond oil
• ¼ c unsweetened plain almond milk [or heavy cream]
• ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds, for topping- optional

- Preheat oven to 325º
- Line baking sheet with parchment.
- In small  bowl add dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
- In medium bowl beat remaining ingredients together.
- Add dry in two batches and beat until just incorporated.
- Let dough sit for a few minutes.
- Drop mounds of dough by the ¼ cup two inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheet. Smooth into about a 4” circle [or smaller if you’re making sliders].
- Bake for 17-20 minutes or until springy to touch. [Top with sesame seeds towards the end of baking.]
- Let cool completely before serving.

*Make 3 servings [6 pieces], Sorry I know that's an odd number, but it's just how the recipe worked out.

Cranberry-Herb Bacon Avocado Burgers

*Have bacon pre-cooked crispy.
*Set out sliced avocado, lettuce, onions, cheese, and tomato [or any other toppings you’d want].

• 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
• ½ c. almond flour
• ⅓ c. fresh cranberries, finely chopped [food processor is good for this with 1 tbsp zsweet]
• ½ tsp rosemary
• ½ tsp thyme
• dash garlic powder
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp bacon fat [or other oil], for cooking

- In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except bacon fat.
- Shape into 4 patties.
- Place in fridge for 5 minutes.
- Heat skillet, add bacon fat.
- Cook patties to desired doneness.

*Serve on almond flour buns with desired toppings.

**ENJOY! And come back and leave a comment- I want to know your thoughts on this.**


- Hot Fudge -

   I like chocolate. A lot. And this summer when I decided to go full-force into eating well, I was sad to give up sugar-heavy chocolates of all sorts. Even dark chocolate since it has sugar in it. You can't imagine my grand excitement when I found a recipe to make homemade chocolate chips with with sweetener I already use [Zsweet]! Oh goodness, I was so entirely excited to have chocolate again- and to actually make it. Since the first time trying that initial recipe I have changed it nearly every time I whip it up. I like to tinker with recipes each time I make them. This was no exception. 
   So, last week I was making some chocolate just to have on hand when I noticed this batch of chocolate looked quite different than normal- it was greasy. Well, actually, it's looked like this one or two times before, but I think what was different this time was that I could see it as something different. I saw it as something other than a chocolate bar or chocolate chips or chocolate coating. I saw it as hot fudge. And my life was forever changed. That may or may not be an exaggeration. But it certainly made me intrigued. I decided to try something I hadn't done while making this chocolate before- beat it with the mixer. That was just the ticket. It created this beautiful, thick, dark chocolate fudge. And it was glorious! I made it three times in a week. And if I hadn't run out of Zsweet yesterday, I'd have made it again today. To say that I really like this chocolate would be an understatement. The consistency is perfect for hot fudge- thick, smooth, and rich. A deep chocolaty flavor with just the right amount of sweetness.
   I, of course, had to figure out what I could put it on and came up with a quick and easy machine-less ice cream. The recipe for that will come soon. Also, with half of the initial hot fudge batch I made a flourless chocolate cake [!!!]. And I'm not kidding when I say it's one of the best desserts I have ever eaten. The recipe for that will be on here pretty soon as well. Keep a look out! 
   But for now, without further ado, here is the Hot Fudge recipe I know some of you have been waiting for. I am so excited about this and was giddy to be able to share it with you! ENJOY!

Hot Fudge

• 4 tbsp unsalted butter [grass-fed/pastured or organic]
• ¼ c heavy cream [raw or organic]
• ¼ c zsweet
• 5 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened [organic]
• 1 tsp vanilla [organic]

- Heat butter, cream , and zsweet in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add cocoa powder and vanilla, mix with a spatula until smooth. (Note- it might seem greasy. Don’t worry.]
- Let cool for about 5 minutes.
- Pour chocolate into a small mixing bowl and beat for about a minute or until smooth and glossy.
- Serve immediately. (Or store in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to use, portion out the desired amount and microwave for a few seconds.)

- * This can also be used as ganache. It's got a smooth texture and firms up nicely in the fridge but doesn't get too hard. It's great!

*Please let me know if You've tried this recipe. I'd love to hear about your experience! Comment back here. Thank you.*


- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes -

Growing up, I was not the biggest fan of peanut butter. I occasionally liked it with bananas. But it was a rare occasion, indeed. It just wasn't my thing. Oh sure, I could've eat Reese's cups for days. The sugar was the culprit for that one, though. But other than that I've not been a big peanut butter / peanut fan. And since peanuts are technically legumes, I don't eat them anymore. That is, until 3 days ago.
See, I was at Whole Foods [my home away from home] and walked past the little station where you can grind your own almond or peanut butter. And it called to me. For the previous two weeks I had been craving peanut butter. Never in my life has that ever happened! Never. But I ignored it. That is until I saw that grinding station. And that is where the magic happened. I saw the nutritional profile for the peanuts that were in the machine to grind up- very similar to almonds. Less carbs, actually. And I thought, "I might as well try it!" So I ground up about four tablespoons of peanut butter and went on my way wandering the rest of the store.
I got home and right away stuck my finger in the freshly ground peanut butter, tasted it, and it was magical! It was so good and tasted so sweet even though it was unsweetened. I was a happy camper. I started to think of all the things I could make with my newfound enjoyment of peanut butter. Naturally, a chocolate peanut butter combo came to mind. I was just going to use a chocolate cupcake recipe I made last week, but I looked in my fridge and realized I was out of coconut flour. Bummer! But it made for a good occasion to try to make a good almond flour chocolate peanut butter cupcake recipe. And it worked. Splendidly! I shared some of these with my two housemates, two coworkers, and a friend and they all really liked these cupcakes. So exciting that I created a recipe that all sorts of people can enjoy. That makes me happy!
These cupcakes are quite dense and filling with a delicious, rich dark chocolate peanut butter flavor. The almond flour adds another layer of nuttiness, as well. I think next time I make them I will experiment with adding a tablespoon or so of coconut flour to cut the almond flour flavor. My original recipe wasn't quite as sweet as I had wanted it so I adjusted the recipe for you. And I know the cupcakes should have frosting on top, but the frosting is inside! [These would be amazing with fresh whipped cream, though.] :)
I truly hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

Chocolate Cupcake

• 3 tbsp coconut oil
• 5 tbsp grass-fed/pastured butter
• 1 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate
• 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• 3 organic/pastured eggs
• 2/3 c ZSweet
• 1 1/2 c blanched almond flour
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
• 1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
• 2 tbsp brewed strong coffee [decaf is a good idea for these!]
• 2 tbsp organic heavy cream

- Preheat oven to 350º and line 9 spots in a cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Melt coconut oil, butter, and bakers chocolate either on the stove or in the microwave, being careful not to scorch the chocolate. Then set aside to cool.
- In a separate medium bowl lightly beat the eggs and zsweet together.
- Add remaining ingredients and beat on low just to incorporate.
- As the mixer is going, slowly pour in the chocolate and beat lightly to mix well.
- Set aside.

Peanut Butter Filling

• 3 oz organic cream cheese, softened
• 2.5 tbsp freshly ground peanut butter, softened
• 1 tbsp organic heavy cream
• 2.5 tbsp ZSweet

- In a small bowl beat all ingredients together until well blended and smooth.
To Put Together

- Scoop a heaping tablespoon of chocolate cupcake batter into each of the lined cups.
- Scoop about a heaping teaspoon or so of the peanut butter mixture onto the chocolate batter and spread evenly.
- Evenly distribute the remaining chocolate batter between them all.
- Bake at 350º for about 15-18 minutes. Check frequently. They will be done when the tops are set in the middle and are firm to the touch.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes and cool completely on wire rack or countertop.
- Can serve slightly warm, but they are best after they’ve been in the fridge for a day or two. Great cold straight from the fridge or heat for about 8 seconds in the microwave.

**Please come back here and let me know if you've tried these. I truly would love to know what you though of them and if you made any alterations. Thanks and enjoy. :) **