Thursday, June 11, 2015

allergy-friendly pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Thanks to Calvin's unhappy guts, I've had to make some sacrifices to be able to continue nursing my little babe. I am now soy, dairy, egg and wheat free. So... basically no cakes, cookies, cheese, ice cream, processed foods, delicious bread, wonderful donuts.. Everything I sustained myself on during pregnancy is now off limits.
I don't really miss cheese- amazingly- but I do miss a nice, delicious chocolate chip cookie. The recipes I've found use expensive ingredients- almond meal, coconut flour, Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread, palm oil vegetable shortening.. And they taste like poo. I've been experimenting with recipes trying to come up with a delicious CHEAP cookie and finally baked one that I love! Thanks to the flax eggs and oat flour it has two components that typically make up lactation cookies, so I also added in Brewer's Yeast to make it a well-rounded lactation cookie. Of course, leave out the Brewer's Yeast if you're not breastfeeding. Or keep it in! It's a great source of B vitamins and chromium for everyone.

Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin (lactation) Cookies

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oat flour (use GF oats if avoiding gluten)*
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  1. Mix the flaxseed and water together in a small bowl- set aside for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix flax mix, pumpkin, honey and brown sugar until combined. 
  2. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Mix into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for an hour.
  3. Scoop dough with a cookie scoop and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet- lightly flatten tops (cookies will not spread). Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Makes 18 cookies.

Lactation variation: add 2 tablespoons Brewer's Yeast & an extra tablespoon of pumpkin.

*oat flour is just oats that have been blended in a blender or food processor into powder. You can buy oat flour pre-ground or save some cash and process it yourself.

Chocolate Pot de Creme

Chocolate Pot de Creme

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (I've substituted 2% with success as well)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Place chopped chocolate into a blender.
  2. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and almost boiling.
  3. Pour the hot mixture into the blender over the chocolate. Cover and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Hold a kitchen towel over the lid of the blender to be safe, everything will be hot.
  4. Divide the mixture among 6-8 ramekins or small cups and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream before serving.

Make individual dessert cups by topping the pot de creme with brownie chunks, raspberries, and whipped cream. If you stabilize the whipped cream with gelatin they can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance. Perfect for a party! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mustard Vinaigrette

a slight variation of the mustard vinaigrette at Chelsea's Kitchen. I think mine is better.

All-Time Favorite Mustard Vinaigrette
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 1/2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 2 T. orange muscat champagne vinegar (from Trader Joe's, so delicious!)
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 t. lemon zest
  • 2 t. whole grain mustard
  • 2 t. dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 t. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar & shake, shake, shake.
  2. Will keep for one week in the fridge.
Favorite ways to use this:
  • over sautéed Brussels sprouts. Serve at room temperature or chilled with shaved manchego cheese, marcona almonds & craisins.
  • over a kale salad or spring mix.

Pork Carnitas & Tomatillo Salsas

Pork Carnitas
  • pork butt
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 t. oregano
  • 1.5 t. chipotle chili powder
  • 1.5 t. cumin
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, rough chop
  • can of beer
  1. Trim the pork of excess fat. Season generously with salt & pepper. Rub with chili, cumin & oregano. Place in crock pot.
  2. Juice the orange into the crock pot, tuck the orange quarters into the pot as well as the remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until the pork is fall-apart tender.
  4. Take the meat out of the crockpot and shred it into smaller chunks. Lay it out in a single layer on a baking sheet and broil until the meat is browned and crispy.
  5. Serve in tortillas with pico de gallo & various salsas.
Fresh Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa
  • 4 tomatillos
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 2 serrano peppers (I left the seeds in)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • handful of cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 avocados
  • salt to taste
  1. Peel the husks (skins? what do they call those things?) off the tomatillos. Rinse under warm water to get that sticky-waxy residue off.
  2. Rough chop all the ingredients, then blend it all together in a food processor. Salt or add additional lime juice to taste.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
  • 1-1.5 lbs. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 serranos
  • 4 garlic cloves, still in peel
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • lime to taste
  • salt to taste
  1. Cut tomatillos in half. Broil halved tomatillos, whole serranos & garlic until the skin is blistered and charred. Let cool. Remove seeds from serranos (or leave them in for a spicier salsa)
  2. Process with the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Done!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Triple Berry Coffee Cake

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup EACH raspberries, blueberries, blackberries

Crumb topping:

  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a spring pan.
  2. For the cake: Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar with electric mixture until light. Add eggs one at a time and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream and mix well.
  4. Alternately, add flour mixture and the milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
  5. Spread half of the batter evenly into prepared pan and smooth the top. Spread berries (thawed & well-drained, if using frozen) on top of batter. Cover berries with the remaining batter and spread the top evenly with a spatula (some of the berries will show through).
  6. For crumb topping: Combine all ingredients and use fingers to mix and form crumbs.
  7. Spread crumbs on top of cake and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve at room temperature.

Peach Coffee Cake: substitute peeled, sliced peaches for berries. Orange zest or 1 tsp. orange zest for lemon zest.

Doubling recipe: bake in a 9x13 for 50-60 minutes.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bran Muffins

Sometimes healthy options don't taste that great. Bran muffins are no exception. But sometimes- they do.
(my healthy & filling 4 point breakfast!)

I dissected and re-arranged 4 different recipes to come up with this bran muffin. And... It's awesome. Unlike other bran muffins, it's not crumbly, dry or bland. Maybe pumpkin muffins are slightly out of place in the middle of summer, but any muffin that can help keep my on track while I'm trying to get into wedding-shape it welcome in my oven any time of the year.
I didn't think Michael would be a fan of these, but he thought they were pretty good. I thought they were awesome. They put my flour-less banana oatmeal muffins to shame.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bran Muffins

  • 15 oz can pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar substitute* (splenda baking blend)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used baby food. It's what I had on hand- I'm a mom now)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups wheat bran (I used All Bran)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup raisins or craisins
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (optional, but I like them!)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 20 muffin tins with paper liners or mist with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, honey, sugar substitute, canola oil and applesauce until well-combined.
3. Add in the eggs and vanilla, mix well.
4. Stir in the wheat bran, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Fold in the raisins or craisins and carrots (if using).
5. Evenly distribute between 20 muffin tins. They will be close to full.
6. Bake for 17-22* minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. They will still be slightly soft, but firm up when they cool.
7. Allow to cool completely. I prefer to refrigerate these- I like cold muffins.

*I opted to use the Splenda Baking Blend because it is zero points plus on Weight Watchers. You can substitute 3/4 cup white or brown sugar, or use a cup of honey if you'd prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners.
*22-25 minutes. Hmm. That's a total guesstimate. Michael canceled my timer when he put something in the microwave so I have no idea how long I baked these. Oopsies.

Points plus per muffin : 2
Total points plus for ENTIRE recipe: 44

This recipe is extremely versatile- I've added one cup shredded carrots, dried chopped dates, shredded coconut, extra bran, less oatmeal, turned into mini muffins, etc.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

It's been 7 months since my last post! Whoa. Not much has been cooking on Indigo Street, but man, have I been keeping myself busy in other ways...

First, this happened:
Yup, I got pregnant.

Then, this happened:
Yay!!! We're engaged!!!

Then, this happened:
Holy poo.

Milo is 4.5 months old now, but most people don't believe us because he's the size of a 10 month old. I've had to start going to the gym to build up my upper body strength so I can haul that kid around. And.. so I can lose my mom-gut.

Anyway, remember that time circa 2011 when I decided to join Weight Watchers and did so awesome and lost all that weight and and I proudly flaunted my body in a bikini and everyone rejoiced? Just Kidding. I lost 2lbs and posted a bunch of terrible Weight Watchers recipes. Well.. I'm going to do that again. But nix the Weight Watchers. My gym membership is expensive enough, I don't want to add any new expenses to my life. 

I've started tracking calories again (via MyFitnessPal), and I'm hoping to get back to pre-pregnancy weight before Milo hits his 1/2 birthday. That gives me just around 50 days to lose 7lbs. I think that's feasible.  

My first "life change" involves the most important meal of the day: Breakfast. Usually I chug an obscene amount of coffee and forget to eat until around 2pm. Not exactly the healthiest route. I've started pre-making breakfast so I can have a quick bite in the mornings.

I was actually shocked by how tasty these lame little muffins turned out to be. No flour or sugar or butter? Uh... That doesn't sound delicious.. But they were! Miracles do happen. 

Banana Oatmeal Muffins
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • Optional mix-ins: mini chocolate chips, blueberries, raisins, cranberries, couple dashes of cinnamon, etc.
  1. Mix together all the ingredients, allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Line muffins tins with paper liners. Evenly distribute batter between 15 muffin liners. 
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are firm to the touch. 
  4. Allow to cool completely, store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
I used chocolate chips in mine so I didn't feel they were lacking in sweetness, but if using raisins or blueberries I recommend using sweetened almond milk or adding a bit of sweetener (sugar, splenda, agave syrup, honey, etc.)