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This recipe comes via my best friend Tabitha.

She is going back to grad school to become a nurse practitioner. With this and working the rest of the time at the ICU I have promised to be there. For more dinner and laundry dates. Whatever it takes to get her through school.

I love her. We have been friends for well over a year. We are so odd. Not only are we physically opposites. Her dark hair, tan, dark eyes, Romanian and more exotic looking. Me blonde (usually), hair, blue eyes, pale skin. We both are the same height and incredibly strong women (willed and physically). This theme of being polar opposites, but the same oddly runs throughout our friendship. I love mornings. She is constantly telling me to shut the fuck up. Who is that happy in the morning? I love people. Tab is pickier. I am a free-spirit hippy. She is a bad ass nurse who gets shit done. She is more practical and brings me back to reality. The list is on going. However, somehow we are a perfect duo, who has withstood the test of time and life’s challenges. If ever the other is needed, the other shows up. As she says, I am her ride her die.  Continue reading

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Sunbutter Blondies

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So I have 10 pounds of sunbutter at my apartment! Yes 10 pounds! That is a lot of freaking nut butter.

What is a girl to do with 10 pounds of sunbutter?

Well upon browsing on my Pinterest, a recipe popped up for peanut butter blondies.

Perfect! Let’s adapt it!

Here is the results. Not impressive looking per say (for some reason I felt like baking it in a bundt pan. However, my mother and my best friend Tab (who I gave the whole thing to), both said it was delicious. That is all I need!

Sunbutter Blondies Continue reading “Sunbutter Blondies”

Gluten-Free Sugar Cream Pie

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As I mentioned yesterday, my grandfather and aunt have Celiac’s they can’t have anything with gluten.

One of my grandfather’s favorite pies is a sugar cream pie or Hoosier Pie (fitting since we are Indiana heartbeats).

I decided on December 23rd then that I HAD to attempt to make one. I will confess now that I have tried before and it was an epic fail (it happens to us all).

Now this picture is not very appealing. I was unsure too of the texture, it was pretty custardy. But since I wanted it to be just right, I tried some. At first I was hypercritical. But progress bites made me a believer, that this is indeed a very good pie. Not the prettiest, but a good bite. Plus once dessert was set out, I was told it was very good. Positive approval from the family is always something to be treasured.  Continue reading “Gluten-Free Sugar Cream Pie”

Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Cookies

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Man I had a great Christmas and mini holiday break! Did you?

I am fortunate to come from two BIG families. Every year each side gathers together at my grandparent’s house. That is over 30 people in a house. It is loud. Neither of my families are quiet. We are loud. It is crowded. There is drinking. Lots of wine. Lots of whiskey. Games of euchre. Delicious food every where. Endless options of people to talk to you. The opportunity to discover new things about someone and forge deeper connections. My cousin Ali, for instance, I spent a lot of time talking to. We have a LOT in common. We bonded over art. The last two years we’ve had baseball games in my grandma Dreher’s back yard. There’s a lot of story telling. Laughter and smiles. There are tears. Often happy tears that we still have this time together, even as many of us are well into adulthood. Sometimes there are arguments. It is bound to happen occasionally. Sometimes we try to open presents one at a time, before mass chaos ensues. Hugs. There are all kinds of hugs. Great bear hugs because some people you only see once a year. Hugs that you feel to your core. And love. There is an abundance of love.

And so I had a great four-days off with my family and friends.  Continue reading “Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Cookies”

Soft Gluten-Free Gingersnaps

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“I love this. This is my first tree. I’ve always lived with someone. I love that it is simple, yet beautiful. It’s not themed or impersonal. It is me. More importantly I love that it is filled with memories and traditions. Every year since I was born my parents (mom) have gotten me an ornament. And so this is an accumulation over my lifetime. There are homemade ones and ones from other family members. And as much as I seem unconventional in many ways, I love holidays traditions. I think looking back I had a happy childhood, with a big crazy, beautiful family. Every time I walk by my living room I will have to smile. Because it floods me with these feelings. With love and tradition and family and memories and pure bliss.” ~Me, on my Facebook on December 8th
So clearly it is nearly Christmas. This above post pretty much sums up my thoughts on the holidays. Love. Family Tradition.
To me, as a baker, Christmas is about cookies. Growing up, both of my grandma made amazing cookies for Christmas. My grandmother Dreher lived across the holler and I would walk over it to my grandmothers house tucked into the woods. Once nestled inside we would roll and cut cookies. Stars. Trees. Maybe a few Santas. A couple of angels. These were the usual cookie cutters. Once they set we had the task of icing. I think if you took pictures of my cookies from a young age through my 20’s, they were be drastically different. While we were there, we sampled the other cookies. Sandies. Sandies (powdered sugar cookies with pecans) were my FAVORITE). I stayed clear of the gingersnaps (although they’re my momma’s favorite). I also really loved what she did with the extra dough when there wasn’t enough to shape. She would roll it thin. Cover it with cinnamon and sugar. Roll it up. And cut them into little pin wheels. Delicious.
Two years at my grandma Paulin’s we decided to start an annual cookie exchange. We all dressed up in our pajamas. My aunt Toni taking it to another level. Each person brought x amount of cookies. Everyone got to sample all the cookies. My cousin Jacki’s friend Erin then came to judge. She didn’t know who’s cookies where who’s. And I can only imagine the pressure of watching so many Paulin women staring at you while you ate. Waiting for a reaction. Afterwards we divided into teams and played games. It was a night filled with delicious cookies, fun, laughter, and the prospect and excitement of creating a new tradition.

Continue reading “Soft Gluten-Free Gingersnaps”

Camping Cinnamon Cookies

12191675_10101117070079873_3338858583507352346_nLet’s talk about gratitude. It is November, talk of thankfulness is swirling around, so let us just dive in. Gratitude is near and dear to my heart. I talk about it frequently and I mean it when I say that gratitude has saved. Living from a perspective of thanks, keeps me going. Keeps me positive.

Three years ago I feel is when I hit my rock bottom. You know we all go through this at some point in our life. The fall before the rise (if we choose). My parents business was failing. My dreams and the future I had created in my head was crumbling. It felt as if the bottom of my life had fallen out. You make decisions not in the right frame of mind. You feel as if breathing is hard sometimes. Struggle seems constant. And you grasp. Grasp for positivity and hope. Grabbing at something to hoist yourself up. Where waves crash over you repeatedly and you have to keep resurfacing. I was reeling, lost. Who am I? Who am I without these dreams? How do I create new ones? How do I rebuild? So how do you resurface? How do you continue the climb when your lungs burn, there’s a stitch in your side and your legs beg you stop?  Continue reading “Camping Cinnamon Cookies”

Cinnamon Cashew Cookie

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I have been playing around a lot lately with cashews. I don’t know what the pull is. Actually sometimes I think the Universe leads me to cashews. Last market I stood dumbfounded in front of the nut butter area completely devoid of almond butter. I acted very maturely, gave a lovely little finger to the empty almond butter slot, and grabbed the cashew butter instead, determined to make even better bread with it.

Upon standing at Trader Joe’s I stared and stared and stared at the almond meal. How has the price went up $2 from when I began buying it? Then I spot the cashew meal a row down. The original price of the almond meal. What can it hurt? Grab a bag my intuition begged of me. Always one to go with my gut, I set back down an almond meal and picked up a cashew meal. I know from past experience that the cashew meal is a little trickier to deal with it. My first patch of flat cookies proved that. It’s not as fine as the almond. So as it goes in life, I had to compromise and use both meals in the recipe. I did get better results and a wonderful blend of flavors. Not wanting to waste time, I gave them to my ultimate taste-tester: my 5 year-old no BS nephew Trenton, to tell me if they were complete crap. The suspension was intense, but after a few bites, he revealed that he loved them…..woo….I could breathe a sign of relief again.

When my mom asked me to bake up some goodies for their Florida trip, I made these cookies plus Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips. She called me from their hotel that night to tell me it was a good thing didn’t stop by work before they left to share cookies with Rachel, because they were bomb. Some of the best cookies I’ve ever made. Love it, that’s what I love to hear!

Cinnamon Cashew Cookies Continue reading “Cinnamon Cashew Cookie”