summer breakfast

It’s hot. Summer is hot, proven by my social media feed filled with people posting photos of their car thermometers or screenshots of their weather apps. (do you remember winter….and the ice and snow? yeah, me too.)

It’s that wake up hot,
…go to bed hot, kind of hot.

If you’re like me and you don’t like a big breakfast (and if you can remember to prepare this before bed, which I know I’m asking a lot) this is my new favorite breakfast treat.

I know, there’s a billion recipes for these online. In fact I even saw pre-made “Refrigerator Oats” at target last week.

Some call for cute mason jars or fancy spices and yogurt

But, after experimenting and testing different methods my favorite recipe is this:

OVERNIGHT OATS:

in the smallest of my Pyrex Snapware (the little orange one):

1/2 cup gluten free oats
1 Tbls shredded coconut (unsweetened)
a few blueberries
some chopped pecans
1 Tbls maple syrup (agave, or other liquid sweetener will work)
1/3 cup milk of choice (coconut works great!)

Don’t stir, just snap the lid down, refrigerate overnight and in the morning you have a cold refreshing, (gluten free, dairy free) nutritious breakfast!

Of course the options to modify this are pretty endless; I find that the combination of the crunchy (pecans) and the sweet (blueberries) with the texture (coconut) make a great balance.

Enjoy! And stay cool ūüėé

 

 

 

All images © 2013-2017 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

spring.

IMG_6801

supposedly it landed here in ohio a few weeks ago, but we’ve only had a smattering of warm days in which to get us in the mood. we’ve also now entered the rainy month(s) “april showers bring may flowers” usually means it won’t stop raining until somewhere around June 1st.

so it’s time to be thinking about¬†what you can do to nourish yourself if you’re stuck inside a little while longer waiting for the clouds to clear.

starting the day with an organic protein drink is a good beginning:

IMG_6802

I make mine using Orgain Organic Protein Powder as a base (but any protein powder that you like would work, mixed with your milk of choice: almond, coconut, soy…..etc)

in a NutriBullet:

8 oz. milk of choice

1 scoop protein powder of choice

4 chunks raw coconut (about 4 ounces)

4 drops turmeric oil

1 capsule royal jelly (open cap up, dump powder into liquid)

blend on high, pour in glass and drink!

The turmeric oil helps with pain and inflammation you may have, the royal jelly is an amazing energy boost.

enjoy and happy spring!

ūüôā

sunset. lake erie.
sunset. lake erie.

 

time to bake.

(finally)

looking back, and realizing that we have moved six times in the past year helps me understand why lately I just feel like sitting on the bed zoning out to back episodes of shows like “keeping up with the kardashians” and “brooklyn nine nine”.

mindless brain numbing occupiers of my time.

 

but last night I decided I needed a treat, preferably a gluten free one….and even better if I could bake it myself.

so

I did just that.

IMG_3234

behold; the shortbread crust.

IMG_3235

reserve 3/4 cup of the crust, blend with brown sugar and 1/4 cup gluten free flour.

IMG_3236

I used frozen organic cherries….tossed with a tiny bit of sugar (about a teaspoon)

IMG_3237

sprinkle the crumb topping on top.

bake!

 

Gluten Free Cherry Shortbread Crumble

Ingredients
  • 2 cups (280g) + ¬ľ cup (35g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • ¬ĺ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ¬ľ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons (224g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¬Ĺ cup (109g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1¬†cup frozen (organic) cherries, thawed and tossed with a teaspoon of sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch square pan. Set the pan aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place 2 cups flour, the xanthan gum, (if needed) ¬†granulated sugar and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, and mix to combine. The mixture should come together as a soft dough. Remove about ¬ĺ cup (150g) of the dough and transfer it to a medium-size bowl. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and the remaining ¬ľ cup (35g) flour to the reserved dough, and mix to combine. This is the crumble topping. Place the bowl of crumble topping in the freezer to chill.
  3. Scrape the remaining soft shortbread dough into the prepared square pan, and press into an even layer with a spoon, or well-floured hands. Set aside.
  4. Layer the cherries on top of the shortbread evenly.
  5. Remove the crumble topping from the freezer and sprinkle it in an even layer on top of the cherries. Press down on the topping gently but firmly.
  6. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is uniformly light brown in color and seems set. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely (place in the freezer to speed the process).
  7. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Freeze any leftovers, tightly enclosed in freezer-safe wrapping.

IMG_3238

snack time.

I’ve been benefiting greatly from the use of essential oils lately, and sharing them with my friends and family to help them has become one of the best benefits. from helping my little nephew find a solution to his tummy aches, to the awesome sight of my brother in law inhaling peppermint oil for the first time and being able to breathe¬†through both nostrils for the first time in years! (priceless)

using oils in cooking is something I’m just starting to experiment with, and this recipe from doTERRA we’ve made several times, in that it’s so easy and delicious. you’d never know there was no refined sugars, gluten or dairy in these tiny pops of power and flavor.

give them a try–and if you’d like to have more information on the benefits of oils for your family, feel free to¬†contact me here with the link above.
Image

let’s bake a cake.

Image

gluten free white velvet birthday cake.

for a special boy turning nine

  • 2 3/4¬†cups¬†sifted all purpose gluten free flour¬†
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp¬†baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1 1/2 cups¬†sugar
  • 2/3 cup¬†vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup¬†vegetable shortening; I used solid Crisco (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons¬†good quality vanilla extract (if you want a pure white cake, use clear vanilla extract)
  • 3 large¬†eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups¬†buttermilk (at room temperature)
  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Grease and flour 2 eight inch round cake pans and line the bottom with 2 circles of parchment paper. (for this cake I used one larger pan)
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, shortening, sugar and vanilla. Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy
  4. Beat the eggs in one at a time.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.
  6. I always add dry ingredients in three divisions and liquid ingredients in 2 divisions. End the additions with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter. As soon as it has no lumps in the batter, pour into the two prepared 9 inch cake pans.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

frost with dairy free marshmallow frosting:

  • 4 egg whites
  • ¬ľ tsp cream of tarter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • ¬Ĺ cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water

In a small saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer or when a teaspoonful of the mixture dropped into ice water forms a soft ball that holds its shape when cool.

Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla extract to soft peaks in a large bowl. Keeping the mixer on medium high speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the egg white bowl in a thin stream. Continue to whip the frosting until it forms stiff peaks.

Frost your cake immediately while it is still slightly warm, this is much easier as it gets sticky when it cools.

Image

Image

Image

serve to a happy birthday boy (or girl).

begin, again.

 

 

balcony

new balcony.
new apartment.
kitchen

new kitchen and new ideas in mind….stay tuned for updates.

baking

 

(and, as always: find us on etsy and on facebook for your immediate gluten free needs)

facing the cold with photography and chocolate cake.

 

IMG_3721

We’ve been lucky so far this year in Ohio with the weather, but this week we got hit with some f-f-f-freezing cold.

So, what’s a good Cleveland girl to do? Go to the beach, of course.

IMG_3745

I wasn’t going to pass up the sunny day, even though it was only 14 degrees out, to get some stunning ice waves and driftwood photos.

IMG_3738

I spent the weekend preparing a gluten free cake for an order, and updating my etsy shop with a few new listings. I’m really excited about my new Cakes in Tins listing, which enables me to effectively ship individual cakes anywhere in the US. Hop over to etsy and take a peek, and just think of the possibilities!

BiteCan

starting a new plan.

Image

We started a new diet around here this week, and a big part of it is giving up sugar. If you’ve ever done this, then you know it is not easy.¬†Another aspect of the new plan is no grains, no dairy. This part; not so tough. Except I do like a little bread with my dinner, especially when it’s a dish like “Chili without Beans” which is what we had this evening.

I found a few recipes for coconut flour based breads and biscuits, and after reading several reviews, I modified, combined and fiddled until I ended up with the this one.

note: It would be much better with a tiny bit of honey, agave or other sweetener in it, if you are not limiting (denying yourself) sugar. this version is a moist, eggy bread that serves as a nice little side for a soup or chili. definitely savory.

recipe.

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup ghee (plus extra for greasing the pan)

6 eggs

(up to 2 tbsp honey)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8″ loaf pan with ghee, or spray with cooking spray.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Sift the coconut flour, baking powder and salt into the eggs, blend. Slowly mix in the ghee (and honey if using) until smooth. Do not over blend.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a little bit of crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack, slice and enjoy.

pumpkin donuts and cleveland.

Today my son didn’t have school. In the middle of the week? Yep. So I got up ahead of him, fired up the mini donut maker and whipped up some pumpkin spice donuts. I snapped this picture, just as he popped out of his room looking for breakfast.

Image

After we ate our stack, it was off to the West Side Market to pick up some necessities for the week, and for a special dinner this week. Someone is turning seventeen in a few days, and always asks for beef stew. When I was down at the market, I realized for the thousandth time just how lucky we are to have such a treasure in our city. It was bustling with school kids on a field trip, women with shopping trolleys gathering produce, old men discussing the price of lamb. We picked up some beef, potatoes, carrots, fruit, and some jerky from the stand now famous because the President shopped there just last week.

And while I’m on the topic of Cleveland, you should check out a fellow blogger who’s running a fantastic contest this week:¬†http://www.clevelandsaplum.com/

I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’m going to be the winner!

here comes fall, pumpkin scones.

I’ve been away for a while, sorry about that…but I’ve been under the weather. I have another genetic condition, hemochromatosis, and due to some oversights by people who should have been more careful I ended up very exhausted for the past six weeks.

But, I’m slowly feeling better…and better means baking!

Fall always brings pumpkin flavored goodies. My favorite is these delicious scones. They smell delicious coming out of the oven and are the perfect treat with a cup of coffee (or a pot of tea) while you curl up on the sofa with a good movie, a good read, or a good friend.