Tybee Island fun

4 Aug

We headed to Tybee Island, GA last weekend for a little getaway. We don’t really get the opportunity to go away very often. Time is the main issue. J works 6 days a week so going away is a luxury. We had a great time! We didnt realize how important it is to just have some alone time away from the daily routine..it was amazing.

Tybee is pretty small and an older beach town. There are mainly family owned businesses on the island, which we loved. The river inlet runs behind where we were staying so kayaking is pretty popular. We really didn’t have much time to do much but bum around and eat which was okay by us. 🙂

We stayed in a little studio shack called the Love Shack. It is owned by the owners of the Beachview B&B. It is located behind their house. It was reminiscent of being in Europe and staying in homey locally owned properties. It was incredibly quiet and private. We were able to use the owner’s beach bikes which was fun. The morning we left we were invited to the main B&B for a free breakfast before we hit the road. The food was yummy and the main B&B is gorgeous. Both locations are in the historical district so it’s pretty quiet and not full of spring break type activity. We would highly recommend this place.

There were storms rolling in and out all weekend which was great because it cooled off the beach and made for some great photos.

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Visit with college buddies & chocolate pie!

10 Jun

Our friends Linsey, Stephen, and their adorable daughter Leland came to visit. We were so excited to visit and show them Greenville. We had a great time. 🙂 Seeing loved ones from home makes me homesick. Linsey was my college roomie and first friend I had at Central. We both transferred into the photojournalism program our junior years and became best buddies. I remember our shared love for Incubus ( mmm Brandon Boyd…hahah) and of course photography! We have been best buds ever since. I can’t believe this was 10 years ago!! Wow.

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I also have another amazing dessert to share. I got this idea from a friend of a friend, who is now my friend ( yeah, I just typed that). She came to our small group with this amazing chocolate tofu pie. Needless to say I was intrigued because it was delicious.

I found a similar recipe online and tweaked it a smidgen. Also it’s a great platform for trying a new yummy grain free/ gluten free crust recipe. I made this pie twice now and each time it was amazing.

Here is the recipe:

I would make the crust first or a day before because it needs to be completely cooled before the filling goes in.

1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon water

Place nuts in food processor; grind until fine.
Add melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla and water.
Continue processing till mixture begins falling off sides of bowl.
Press into 9-inch pie pan.

Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Filling:
Approx 13 ounces chocolate chips ( half milk chocolate and half semi sweet chocolate)
1/3 cup Kahlua or strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound silken tofu, drained
1 tablespoon honey
Top with favorite berries

The very first thing I do here is place the tofu in a colander to drain it. I let it sit for at least 20 minutes to get the excess moisture out.
Melt the chocolate chips, Kalhua or coffee, and vanilla using the double boiler method. I use a pan filled half way with water with a metal or glass bowl on top. This keeps the chocolate from burning.
Once melted place in food processor with the tofu and honey, blend until smooth.
Pour into cooled crust.
The original recipe suggested two hours cooling/ setting time in the fridge. I have cooled overnight both times so I’m not sure if two hours is enough.
Once cooled place berries on top. I have used raspberries and blackberries. Both were yummy!
You should try this it’s super easy and so good.

Filling Adapted from Alton Brown’s Mooless Pie:
Crust adapted from Food.com

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Peanut butter chocolate heaven

26 May

Peanut butter and chocolate is my absolute favorite combo. I have always been a peanut butter addict but since going Wheat free, I’m pretty sure I eat more of it. I have been trying to make wheat free sweets at home so I don’t feel so bad about what I can’t have. Cake has been a huge blow. I love cake. So instead of dwelling on what I can’t have I made these cookies instead. These cookies are amazing and popular online. Here is my version.

This recipe has been tweaked from one of my faves: Gluten free girl

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Two cups peanut butter ( I used and recommend Trader Joes brand–used creamy this time)
Two cups white sugar
Two teaspoons baking powder
Two eggs
About a cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Cream the peanut butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat in the baking powder, then egg. Add vanilla and lastly chocolate chips. Mix until well combined.

Roll dough into small balls and roll in sugar. Bake about 10-12 minutes and let cool.
This recipe makes about 20 cookies or so depending on how small you make the cookies.

Holy smokes these are intensely good. My husband and I couldn’t get enough. Enjoy!

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Waffles!

13 May

I love waffles. They remind me of when my mom used to make me a special breakfast as a kid. I love the way they get crunchy in the waffle iron. Plus it’s a great excuse for eating real maple syrup. The kind that is almost painfully sweet. I prefer the Michigan kind– it’s my personal favorite. This recipe is not dairy free— worth the lactose bellyache for me. But I’m sure you could try with some dairy substitutes.

GF waffles adapted from Martha

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF flour
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups low fat buttermilk (I make a substitute that you can find here)

Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet– being careful not to over mix. The batter will be runny, but it cooks up just fine.

Grease a waffle iron and cook for about 5 minutes a batch. These get crunchy and delicious. Enjoy!

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The good, the bad, and the ugly.

7 May

That about sums up my weekend with food. I have had stomach issues for awhile now and finally sucked it up and went to a doctor this past year. I was given an elimination diet by my GI several months ago. No dairy and no whole grains– sigh. I finally got serious and decided to really stick with it the past 6 weeks. The culprits I noticed are dairy and wheat (and apparently oatmeal which is highly contested in the gluten free world). The dairy is no surprise as I have been lactose intolerant for years. I know what my dairy threshold is. The wheat has been somewhat of a shock. Gluten Is still up in the air.

I ate a cupcake and a flour tortilla this Saturday. Sunday morning I woke up with what can only be described as a wheat hangover. Awful. For the past 6 weeks I honestly thought I might be OK with wheat until Sunday happened.

It’s really all starting to click. Especially when I was doing endurance sports. During that time my wheat/carb consumption was at an all time high. I remember eating a PB&J before a swim workout and getting oddly sick. I’m remembering the stomach cramps after eating wheat based processed energy products during runs…and so on. Damn.

My love affair for all things wheat are over. I’m honestly depressed about it. Good news is that with Gluten Free being a more common issue my options for eating out and such isn’t all that bad.

Another blessing in this mess is that I like to cook and am already familiar with special diets. My mother is allergic to corn, soy, wheat, eggs, chicken, dairy..and probably more things that I missed. I’m just hoping I’m not intolerant or allergic to anything else.

Good news is the recipes in this blog just got more interesting? Creative? Scary? Probably all of the above. Here is my first stab at a recipe I tweaked to be GF/ wheat free. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Zucchini muffins
Adapted from Nancy Creative

Makes 24 muffins

2 ounces semi sweet baking chocolate
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar (add more if you prefer a sweeter muffin)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour
1 cup Almond Meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I used a combo of white and milk chocolate- its what was on hand)
Could add nuts if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave baking chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, grated zucchini, vanilla, and melted chocolate; blend well. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (optional), and cocoa powder. Then fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Spoon into lined muffin cups.

Bake muffins at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Viola!

These were super yummy and I will definitely make them again.

Baby Fever

19 Apr

 Friends are popping out little ones left and right.  Designing a onesie has been a fun way to give them handmade usable gifts. After the onesie has gotten its use, the design could be framed and used in a nursery. Double win. I decided to try my first ‘sewing’ project on making this onesie for my friend Emily’s little girl.  Emily and her husband have two Dachshund doggies so I thought a weiner dog design would be fun.

After trial and error in making past onesie designs Jerri shared her method with me to help out. We used Heat N Bond from the local Hobby Lobby. I sketched the design out of card stock and then traced it on the fabric. The fabric is then placed on a sheet of Heat N Bond. You can then cut out the fabric design very easily at this point. After your fabric/Heat N Bond has been cut then you adhere it to the onesie.  After this you can stitch around your design.  I used a zig zag design with a lime green thread. Don’t look too close…it’s kind of messy. All in all, I was pleased with my final gift.  I think Baby L’s smile says it all though. She is so darn cute!!

Gold!!

25 Feb

I’m kind of obsessed with the gold trend these days. It makes everything fancy. And if it’s not fancy than I don’t want it-ha!

Jerri gave me these gems for a birthday present. I love them. Especially the giraffe and his little tongue sticking out.

Before the gold goodness:

 

 

After–Now the little buddies reside on our bookshelves.

Stay tuned for more gold popping up soon.