Gluten Free Pumpkin Carrot Bread with Chocolate Chips

October must be the official month of "Pumpkin Spice" flavor. My favorite foods with pumpkin happen to be cookies or bread. This recipe is really great for my little one because I pack in the pumpkin and shredded carrots, throw in a few chocolate chips and she thinks it's the best dessert ever! :)

Hope you enjoy!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Carrot Bread with Chocolate Chips


4 tbs melted butter
1/2 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar)
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 large carrots, grated/shredded
1 1/2 cups of Pamela's GF Baking and Pancake mix
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chocolate chips ( or chopped nuts)


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, pumpkin and shredded carrots and mix to combine. Next add the flour, salt and spices, add to mixer bowl and blend well. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased loaf pan (8 x 4" or 9 x 5"). I like to butter and sugar my pan, so the bread will not stick (or use parchment paper to line the loaf pan).

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or when toothpick inserted comes out clean.

(I doubled this recipe to make 2 loaves. Pictures below show 1 loaf with chocolate chips, 1 loaf with pecans)


Vegetarian Chile with Winter Vegetables

Autumn. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning yellow and rapidly falling to the ground. I love this time of year, but it's a clear signal that winter is fast approaching. I find myself torn between wanting an endless summer and reading design magazines next to the warm fire with a Moscow Mule in hand... Oh what to do?! Instead of hibernating all fall and winter I decided we better invite some dear friends over for soup and cornbread.
This recipe is straight from the NY Times most downloaded vegetarian recipes. I loved it, however being from New Mexico, I thought it needed a little extra spice. I made the recipe as is, but served it with fresh roasted hatch green chile to add a little kick. Enjoy with homemade cheddar cheese cornbread and good company and you might for a moment be happy that summer has ended.

Vegetarian Chile with Winter Vegetables
 From the NYTimes 

4 cups cooked pinto beans in broth (find recipe for simmered pinto beans here)
2 tablespoons grapeseed, sunflower or canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut in small dice
1 red pepper, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons mild ground chili (or use hot, or use more)
1 tablespoon lightly toasted cumin seeds, ground
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons tomato pastedissolved in 1 cup water
2 cups diced winter squash (about 3/4 pound)
Salt to taste
½ cup chopped cilantro
Grated Monterey Jack cheese

Heat the beans on top of the stove in a large soup pot or Dutch oven.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy nonstick skillet and add the onion, carrot and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, stir together until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and add the ground chili and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture begins to stick to the pan. Add the tomatoes and oregano, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is beginning to stick to the pan, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste dissolved in water and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt to taste and simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and fragrant.
Stir the tomato mixture into the beans. Add the winter squash and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, for 30 to 45 minutes. It is important to stir often so that the chili doesn’t settle and stick to the bottom of the pot. It should be thick; if you desire you can thin out with water. Taste and adjust salt.
Shortly before serving stir in the cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls. Top with cheese. 

I like to eat chile with cornbread. My new go-to mix is by Krusteaz. It's gluten free and really good with some shredded cheddar cheese mixed in! 


Traveling Gluten Free: La Jolla, California

Traveling Gluten Free in La Jolla, California

The hubby and I are celebrating 6 years of wedded bliss (5 1/2 of those being gluten free)! We try to always do something special for our anniversary, however simple or small it may be. Last year, we had splendid plans to lounge on the beach, drink mojitos and take in the sunsets of the West Coast. Low and behold that plan was derailed due to extreme nausea from baby #2 cooking up in my belly! We ended up staying home, watching tv and having take out :) It was special and perfect. This year we spent a week in La Jolla, CA at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. It was an incredible family vacation and we made sure to cheers a couple times to our beautiful family and our September anniversary.

Although, I did the majority of cooking in our small kitchen at the hotel or we picnicked at the beach we did manage a few meals out. I have found it is easier to cook at our hotel with small kiddos and having Celiac. But when we did eat out, the options were delicious and I never got sick/glutened.

Gluten Free Friendly Restaurants in La Jolla

1. Puesto! Was a good option for fresh Mexican fare. I had the carnitas bowl with a side of corn tortillas and crab guacamole. It was so much food I had it for dinner the next night! All natural meats, fresh homemade salsa and tasty ingredients! GF is listed on the menu.

2. A Shore thing Cafe had gluten free wraps that are probably the best wraps I've ever had. We had them for lunch 2 days in a row. They changed gloves and took extra precautions when told I have celiac.

3. Gelato is necessary on a hot day in Southern California. We hit up Bobboi Natural Gelato. This place makes some of the best gelato I've ever tasted. Using unique flavors and fresh ingredients, including fresh fruit from the farmers market, this is a place you must check out at least once. Plus the decor is just darling! Make sure to specify you have an "allergy" and they can use a clean scoop to get the gelato out of a new bucket/container (took a little explaining) but it all worked out in the end.

4. The Counter is a burger joint that is not to be missed (assuming you are flying in/out of southwest terminal at San Diego Airport). They are so good at keeping cross-contamination at bay. My toppings all came from separate and clean containers and the burgers and sweet potato fries (fried in clean fryer) are tasty!!

We look forward to visiting La Jolla again. Great weather, great food, beautiful sunsets.  Until then it's already winter...umm... I mean Autumn in Colorado :)