Vanilla Bean Macaroons Drizzled in White Chocolate

The holiday cookie baking continues... These macaroons are really simple to make. I highly recommend investing in vanilla bean paste. It's so fragrant and gives the beautiful little specs of vanilla in every bite.  

Vanilla Bean Macaroons Drizzled in White Chocolate

1 tbs vanilla bean paste
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
3 ounces white chocolate (Hershey's white chocolate is gluten free)

Preheat your oven to 325º F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.

Add vanilla bean paste to a large bowl along with the egg whites and sugar and whisk until blended. Stir in the shredded coconut until completely coated.

Scoop the coconut mixture onto the lined baking sheet with a cookie scoop or spoon, creating balls about size of heaping tablespoon. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the coconut starts to turn a golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Melt the white chocolate in a double broiler. Add the warm chocolate to a ziplock bag (this is a good alternative to a pastry bag). Squeeze all the chocolate into the corner of the sealed zip lock. Cut off a tiny corner of the plastic bag and pipe/drizzle the chocolate over the macaroons. Let chocolate harden and enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen macaroons.

after baking 



Gluten-Free Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

This is a delightful cookie that many people usually only eat or bake once a year, including myself.  These cookies have the festive holiday flavors of ginger, cinnamon and molasses with just the right amount of chewiness. I'm sure Santa will love them with a cold glass of eggnog! 

Gluten-Free Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies


1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
     (my personal favorites are Pamela's Baking Mix, Bella All Purpose Baking Mix, and the GF Bistro)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup black strap molasses
*white granulated sugar for rolling cookies 


In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and xanthan gum. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses. And beat on medium until combined. 

Next, add the dry mixture to the wet until combined. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat. 

Scoop out tablespoon-sized amounts of dough and roll into a ball between palms of hands then roll dough into granulated sugar to lightly coat. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy! 

Makes about 24 cookies.


Gluten Free Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's that time of year again! These cookies are perfect for holiday baking or a cookie exchange :)

                                          Gluten Free Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups GF Flour (I used Cup4Cup)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbs bourbon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup chopped Andes Creme de Menthe

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. Beat butter and both sugars until well blended. Mix in vanilla and eggs until creamy. Add in flour, salt and baking soda just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and andes mints by hand. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto parchment. Bake 14-16 minutes  or until edges are lightly golden. Cool completely. Enjoy!


Gluten-Free Bourbon Chicken with Brown Rice

I was in the mood for Chinese American food, so I quickly searched Pinterest and found "the best bourbon chicken" recipe! It's pretty delicious and easily satisfies the Chinese take out craving (and guaranteed to be better for you and safe to eat for those with gluten issues)!

Gluten-Free Bourbon Chicken with Brown Rice 

2 lbs boneless,skinless chicken-thighs, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup Tamari sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 scallion chopped, plus more for garnish 
1 tsp ginger powder
2 tbs peanut oil, or other high heat oil of your choice 

In a bowl, mix together Tamari, sugar, bourbon, garlic, scallion, and ginger. Set aside. 

Heat oil in skillet or wok until hot, add chicken pieces. Sauté in very hot pan until browned slightly. Add liquid mixture to the pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered until liquid is reduced to a glaze and chicken is cooked thoroughly(mine took about 25 minutes).

Serve with cooked brown rice and steamed veggies! 

Gluten-Free Vanilla Bean Scones

Although it's been ages since I lasted posted...I promise I am still cooking! Turns out having a baby is really time consuming :-) 

I recently discovered vanilla bean paste and it is life changing! you get the rich flavor and little speckles of real vanilla without scraping a vanilla bean! I used Nielson-Massey bourbon vanilla bean paste which is certified gluten free and can be found on Amazon or speciality stores like Williams & Sonoma and Sur la Table. It's so flavorful and easy to incorporate into recipes. 

Vanilla Bean Scones 

2 cups Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix
1/4 cup Cup 4 Cup Flour 
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder
4 Tbs butter
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
1 Tbs vanilla bean paste

Mix the dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter using two knives. Add the milk, beaten egg and vanilla bean paste. Mix together with a fork or in a mixer. Dough will be thick. Using an ice-cream scoop, drop dollops of dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 15-17 minutes or until tops of scones lightly  golden.  Makes 9 or 10 scones. For a perfect tea-time treat, serve with butter and raspberry preserves. Enjoy! 


Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Thai Peanut Sauce

This salad is an easy summer lunch or dinner. It's refreshing, colorful and pretty simple to put together, especially since I "cheat" and use Annie Chun's gluten free Thai Peanut Sauce!

                                      Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Thai Peanut Sauce

1 package 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles (if you can't find these, rice noodles will work just fine)
1 tbs olive oil
1-2 carrots, shredded
2 cups mixed greens or lettuce of your choice, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup cucumber, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu
2 tbs cilantro
1/2 cup to 1 cup gluten free Thai Peanut Sauce (depending on how much dressing you like)
Siracha sauce (optional for the extra kick!)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1 tbs olive oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add carrots, lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, chicken and cilantro together. Toss gently. Add noodles and peanut sauce to the vegetables and mix together until coated. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serve with extra cilantro and Siracha sauce for spice. Enjoy!


Gluten Free in Norway...traveling with Celiac Disease

Traveling to a new place can be scary. I do countless hours of research online, looking for places to eat-out, grocery stores close to my hotel or vacation rental, and wondering if I will be able to partake in the local fare... I didn't go out to eat too many places in Norway, yet I still ate the most delicious Norwegian salmon and fresh potatoes, just like the locals. I have found that having a vacation rental with a small kitchen a necessity when traveling internationally. It's so much easier to prepare some meals and snacks at your home-base than always wondering if you can find gluten-free meal out and if that meal is going to be safe for one with Celiac Disease.

Here's a breakdown of my daily meals while out and about in Bergen and Oslo, Norway.

Yogurt and gluten free muesli (found at Meny, Coop, SPAR) and fresh fruit

gluten free Wasa crackers and cheese, carrot sticks, Toblerone chocolate or a cappuccino. I also packed some Lara and Kind bars in my suitcase just in case I was ever starving!

Max Burger and McDonalds both have gluten free buns. At Max, they are very nice and accommodating  regarding food allergies. I ended up eating Max in the Stockholm Arlanda airport in Sweden, however the Norwegian Max have the buns also.

Fresh poached or grilled salmon, boiled dutch potatoes, salad with olive oil and vinegar
the salmon is Norway was better than any salmon I've had in the US. It was so fresh, tasty, not expensive and easy to cook!


In Oslo, you must visit Bakefri. It's a 100% gluten-free bakery and cafe. The chicken salad, quiches and desserts are divine. The almond danish was the best! It was flakey, buttery, full of real almonds and oh so delicious. I cannot recommend this place enough!


Gluten Free Fluffy Key Lime Pie

Warning: this recipe is full of sweetness, really easy to make, and tastes soo good. Light, fluffy and perfect for a summer dessert! Also happens to be  egg-free! 

Gluten Free Fluffy Key Lime Pie 

For the crust:
1.5 cups crushed graham crackers
(kinnikinnick smoreables or  pamela's ginger snapz  are the best gluten-free options I have found)
1/3 cup butter, melted 

Mix all together and press into 9" pie plate. Bake in 350°F oven for 8-10 min. Remove from oven and let cool. 

For the filling:
1/2 cup key lime juice (or reg lime juice)
Zest from one lime
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 container TruWhip (the health food version of "Cool-Whip" found in freezer section) 

Using a mixer add lime zest, juice and condensed milk together. Mix in medium speed until fully incorporated. Gently Stir in whipped cream/true whip. 

Fill cooled pie crust with key lime filling. Top with a tad more lime zest and chill in refrigerator for ~ 4 hours- or overnight. 

Easy and delish! 


Gluten Free Lemon Trifle

A perfect spring dessert!
                                                          Gluten Free Lemon Trifle

15-20 gluten free ladyfinger biscuits (I used Schar brand)
3/4 cup lemonade
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cup lemon curd (homemade or store bought), plus more for garnish if needed
2 tablespoons lemon rind, grated for garnish or fresh berries

Place gluten free ladyfingers evenly in a rimmed baking sheet. Pour lemonade over the tops of the cookies. Let sit for about 3 minutes, carefully turning them halfway through soaking.

In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour the cream and sugar. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, cover and place in the fridge until ready to assemble.

Place ladyfingers in the bottom of the bowls, spoon lemon curd onto ladyfingers, then top with whipped cream. Repeat this step ending with either a spoonful of lemon curd or lemon rind for garnish. I used about 3 tbs curd for each individual trifle. 

Place trifles in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight before serving.
Makes about 5 servings.

Inspired by the Epicurean Mom and Martha Stewart


Berry and Pine Nut Salad with Balsamic Orange Vinaigrette

                                     Berry Pine Nut Salad with Balsamic Orange Vinaigrette 

4 cups mixed baby greens
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blackberries
3 strawberries, sliced
handful of golden raisins
1 oz white cheddar cheese, diced
handful of pine nuts

Toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl and top with the amount of vinaigrette to your liking!

Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette (from Vegetarian.About)

2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil 
juice of 1 orange
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients except oil in small bowl. While whisking quickly, add oil and combine well. Store unused dressing in a mason jar for a few days! 


Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Muffins

                                                          Chocolate Banana Muffins

Try them. You'll love them. Moist, chocolatey, not too sweet and healthy.

1 cup almond flour
1 1/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Pamela's Artisan Flour Blend)
6 tbs cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter muffin tins or use liners.

Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside (first 6 ingredients).

In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together the brown sugar and oil until creamy. Beat in eggs, yogurt, vanilla and mashed bananas until fully incorporated.

Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix at low speed until mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Using a spoon or ice-cream scoop, fill muffin cups to the top. Bake for ~30 minutes or until muffin springs back lightly when touched.

Allow to cool and eat! Eat within a couple days or freeze! Recipe makes about 16 muffins.

This recipe is inspired by the NY Times, A Hodgepodge of Muffins, All Gluten-Free.


Lemon Pine Nut Sugar Cookies (gluten free)

Sometimes you need the easiest way to make a fail proof sugar cookie. I recently tried Pamela's Sugar Cookie Mix. Dont get me wrong, I love truly homemade cookies, but sometimes an easy roll and cut cookie is all you have time for.  These cookies are delicious and so simple to make! I added a bit of lemon zest and topped them with pine nuts. The pine nuts give the cookies an additional delicate flavor and extra texture while the subtle lemon makes the cookie not too sweet and sugary! I definitly will be making these again...and even though its been over  three years since I've had a "real" gluten filled sugar cookie, I'm pretty sure these taste like the real deal.

                                              Gluten Free Lemon Pine Nut Sugar Cookies

1 bag Pamela's Sugar Cookie Mix
8 TBSP butter
1 egg, large
2 tsp lemon zest
pine nuts for topping

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Soften butter in stand mixer, then add dry mix, egg and lemon zest, mixing until dough comes together. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment. Cut out cookies using cookie cutters.
Lightly press pine nuts into top of cookies before baking. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 8 to 12 minutes until edges just start to brown. Let cool completely and enjoy!


Arugula and Grilled Veggie Pizza

Arugula and Grilled Veggie Pizza

10" pre-made gluten-free pizza crust (I used the Gluten Free Bistro) 
Fresh Arugula and/or spinach  
Mushrooms, sliced 
Yellow peppers, sliced
Fresh tomato, sliced
Whole milk mozzarella cheese
Olive oil
Sundried tomatoes
Kalamata olives
2 Garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Toss mushrooms and peppers in olive oil, season with garlic, salt and pepper. Sautée or grill for about 5 min over medium heat. Remove and set aside. 

Top pizza crust with a thin layer of olive oil, salt and pepper and mozzeralla cheese. Next,  layer on remaining toppings- arugula, both tomatoes, grilled veggies, olives etc. place directly on grill (set at low-medium) for about 12 minutes or until pizza crust is crispy and cheese is melting and bubbly.
(or bake in  400 degree oven for 12ish minutes, directly on rack) 

I don't have any measurements of ingredients for pizza because I just chop veggies to my liking. Feel free to add more or less of anything! Grilled pizza is the best! 


Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting (Gluten Free)

                                              Gluten Free Sour Cream Sugar Cookies 
                                                          with Buttercream Frosting 


1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 cup + 3tbs Cup4Cup GF Flour
2/3 cup white rice flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In standing mixer, mix together sour cream, canola oil, sugar, vanilla, egg and egg yolk. Mix on low-medium until smooth. Set aside.

Place remaining dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl and whisk to combine. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until completely blended. Remove dough from mixer, roll into a large ball.

Place dough in between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out dough so dough is about 1/4" thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out dough. Continue until all dough has been rolled and cut.

Bake cookies in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until just slightly browned around the edges. Allow cookies to cool slightly before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cooled, frost cookies and enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

Easy Buttercream Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-5 tbs 1/2 and 1/2 (enough to get the consistency you want)
coloring (optional)

In a mixing bowl, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Frost cookies :)

Recipe inspired by the The Baking Beauties