Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies

The biggest downside to grain free cookies so far that I have found is they simply do.not.keep.

And before you get all smart on me no it isn’t because we inhale them. Most grain free cookies I have found are just best eaten the same day they are made. They tend to have a lot more moisture than the regular variety. I always thought I was a chewy cookie person but man now I miss a bit of crunch.

Strawberry thumbprint cookies (grain free)

Maybe it’s me? Perhaps I should just cook them longer?

Thumbprint cookies however are my absolute favorite. There is already a recipe on here for delicious thumbprint cookies. When I saw this grain free version I couldn’t resist.

Next time I make them I want to put poppyseeds in them too….

But really I made these because I had an excuse. I made these last week for a movie night with two close mama friends of mine.

Strawberry thumbprint cookies (grain free)

You know what is healing to the soul? Sitting on the couch with two women you love and admire, eating junk food, and giggling like 16 year olds at an Adam Sandler movie.

Seriously. If you love people make time and space for them. Do non sensical things like watch silly movies. Life is much less hard when you have friends nearby.

Friends and cookies and you pretty much have the perfect life. Right?

Strawberry thumbprint cookies (grain free)

 

One year ago today: Pumpkin Scones

Two years ago today: Rosemary lemon BBQ chicken

Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies (grain free) (Makes 12-15)
From Dish by Dish

2 cup of almond flour/ almond meal
1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 – 3/4 cup of strawberry jam

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper or a silpat. In a medium bowl, cream together the coconut oil, maple syrup, pure vanilla extract until smooth. Add in the almond flour/ almond meal and salt, and then gently stir until dough is well incorporated. Use a tablespoon to scoop even amounts of the dough and roll the dough with the palms of your hands to get smooth balls. Place the balls onto the lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 fingers of spacing between them. Use your thumb to make a well in the middle of each of the balls. Fill the well of each cookie with around 1 teaspoon of jam. Bake for around 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Strawberry thumbprint cookies (grain free)

Garlic Crackers

Lets talk about things that are hard.

Life. Life is way way way hard.

What else?

I agree. I kinda feel like that sums it up.

And in talking with a friend just recently I realized (for the umpteenth time) that life is hard on everyone.

Garlic crackers (grain free)

We all have our own brand of tough things to deal with. Sometimes I find myself looking at others thinking wow they have it easy but that’s just because I either a) don’t know all that they are dealing or b) whatever is they might be dealing with I may have dealt with before and built up a tolerance. Other times I find myself looking at someone’s life and thinking “nope, never, no way, all the nopes.” I will take my hard over other hard any day.

But why? Why is it so flipping hard? Who knows. However I think we can make it a tad easier on ourselves sometimes. The two lessons that I have learned of late are first and foremost I own things that aren’t mine to own and secondly I am bad at forgiving myself.

Garlic crackers (grain free)

Ps. If you think I am crazy feel free to ignore me. I am just getting some things out there. It makes me feel better. Cracker recipe to follow.

So the owning things that aren’t mine thing. When other people have things or feelings or issues or whatnot I tend to take it personally. Lately I have learned it isn’t about me. Usually rather it is just that- things or feelings or issues or whatnot that are THEIRS. Sure I can have a role in helping or hindering but it is not my responsibility.

Garlic crackers (grain free)

Let me tell you how great releasing things feels. It feels amazing.

Secondly I am so hard on myself and when I screw up I like to wallow. Owning what I have done wrong and mending is tough but important. If I can be gentle with myself and forgive like I forgive others I find myself a much happier person.

So what does this have to do with crackers? Nothing. Other than that grain free crackers are not hard at all. This is the third or fourth different cracker recipe I have made and I quite like them. In fact most have turned out quite well.

So don’t own whatever isn’t yours and forgive yourself. And make some grain free crackers. (Sorry… don’t mean to be bossy but I would just like to see you happy you know)

Garlic crackers (grain free)

One year ago today: Broccoli Fritters

Two years ago today: Pumpkin cookies

Garlic Crackers (makes about three dozen small crackers)
From Dish by Dish 

3/4 cup flax meal
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 egg, whisked until frothy

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Stir almond meal, flax meal, olive oil, water, salt, garlic powder, and egg in a large bowl until a thick dough forms. Using your hands, form the dough into a thick square or rectangular block. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 cm (1/8 inch) thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and then cut the dough into crack shapes (squares or rectangles are the easiest) using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Transfer the dough (together with the bottom parchment paper) to a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crispy and fragrant. Allow to cool before separating along scored lines into crackers. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature

Garlic crackers (grain free)

Chocolate Layer Cake

Lets talk about adjusting expectations.

Just because you have managed to do something to the highest degree of awesome once (or even twice!) doesn’t mean you should or have to do it that way again.

Chocolate layer cake (grain free)

Just because someone does something super awesome in the coolest way doesn’t mean that you need to be that way either.

So much easier said than done.

Chocolate layer cake (grain free)

While Little isn’t three yet (this birthday is Wednesday) we celebrated his birthday this weekend. The party was not what past parties have been. There was no three layer beautifully decorated cake. The food was simple and easy. The decorations largely commercialized store bought stuff. I felt like the worst mom ever.

And you know what? He loved his party. He woke up the next morning asking if he could have another birthday party.

Chocolate layer cake (grain free)

I am harder on myself than I should be. Letting go and adjusting my expectations I know would make me a happier person. I’ll get there. It’s just going to be one tiny shift at a time.

One place where I refuse to compromise and adjust expectations is with grain free cooking. I want the grain free food so be as good as the with grain varieties. This cake fits that bill perfectly.

Chocolate layer cake (grain free)

Beyond impressed.

So while the cake was frosted rather simply and topped with Pixar rather than homemade coolness it WAS absolutely delicious. Even most of the grain eaters who came to the party agreed that it was delicious.

Little clearly loved it.

Chocolate layer cake (grain free)

One year ago today: Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto

Two years ago today: Buttermilk cake with blackberries

Chocolate Layer Cake (makes 1 two layer 6 in cake)
From Against All Grain

6 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/4 maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 almond meal
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 F. Place the eggs, honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla in the bowl of your food processor. Process till fully combined. Add the rest of the ingredients and process till smooth. Allow to sit for 10 minutes (for the coconut flour to absorb some of the liquid). Meanwhile grease two 6 inch pans and line the bottom with a parchment round. Once the batter has rested divide it between the two pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes rotating halfway through. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan and frosting. Can be made up to three days ahead.

Chocolate layer cake (grain free)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity

This has been a motto for me for quite some time. A little secret about me: I struggle with self image.

We all do right? Right? Thanks for being there with me.

I’ve always been taught to think of others and to put them first. I do this to a fault often neglecting myself.

I know better. I really do. What I need to embrace is to that thinking of others does not mean that I am not wickedly awesome in my own right.

Chocolate chip cookies (grain free)

I’ve been trying on good self talk lately. Some confidence. It’s kinda awesome. However I usually make it through about 3-4 hours of it before my reflex kicks in and I feel guilty for thinking I rock.

Can you join me in working on this? Talking good about yourself and NOT feeling bad about it?

Because we are all badasses in our own right. And that should be celebrated and loved and put on a pedestal. That doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t rocking too.

And the one aspect of who I am that I have chosen to embrace and own is what this little blog is all about: cooking.

I have decided it is my superpower. That doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t good at it or that I am better than anyone because I work voodoo magic in the kitchen. It means that I rock. And I am awesome. And that things that work for me in the kitchen that shouldn’t work ALWAYS turn out.

A super power.

Chocolate chip cookies (grain free)

Phrasing it like that, being proud of myself and not apologizing for it, is hard. I think I like it though. Feeling confident about yourself can be scary. What happens if I fail? What if someone feels intimidated by me? What if I am wrong about myself?

In this small aspect of my life (kitchen superpowerness) I am releasing the what ifs, the anxiety, the feeling of resposibility for other people’s feelings and instead choosing to be proud of myself.

It isn’t easy but I think it will be worth it in the long.

So, my loves, can you please tell me what your superpower is? We all have one. Lets make today about us and how cool we are. Because the cooler we all are the cooler the village is and the more powerful we are together.

Oh… right. And cookies. Here are some delicious grain free cookies that are every bit as good as any variety you have ever had that has grain. I promise.

Chocolate chip cookies (grain free)

One year ago today: Chanterelle Mushroom Tacos

Two years ago today: Homemade Granola

Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes about 16)
From Against All Grain 

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, cream the butter, coconut sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla for about 15 seconds until smooth and fluffy. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt and mix again until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed in order to incorporate all of the flour. Pulse once or twice more.
Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Place golf-ball sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Using another sheet of parchment on top of the dough, flatten them slightly with the palm or your hand or a spatula. The cookies don’t spread much so create the size and thickness you want prior to baking them. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges.

Chocolate chip cookies (grain free)

Chicken and “Rice” Casserole

Hi.

Missed you.

As in I am currently crying I have missed you so.

It’s been a summer. Nothing bad just… Hectic and life and Little and you know.

I didn’t forget about you. Not once. Not one single day. But there reached a point where I hadn’t reached out in a while and then I was embarrassed and scared.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

And you know how sometimes when you are apart people change? Yeah that happened. So I worried you wouldn’t like me anymore. I still want to bake and cook for you all day long but somewhere mid July I went grain free.

Yes yes yes I know it is a bit crazy. Or a lot bit crazy. Can we still be friends? There will be lots of yumminess still I promise. Some of the things I have learned to make are out of this world good. You know me. I don’t settle for subpar food and just because it doesn’t have grains doesn’t mean I will all of sudden start putting up with awfully dry muffins or crappy crackers. No way.

This is for legit gonna blow your mind grain free deliciousness.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

Can we still be friends? Make a cup of coffee and catch up? I promise if you want to come along on this new grain free ride (even just as an occasional experiment) I will hold your hand the whole way. If you aren’t up for this I get it too. Come over anyways. The cookies are still delicious.

So this dinner is from one of my new favorite cookbooks Against All Grain. The author is not only talented but also stunning. I have been gifted both of her cookbooks and they are stanbys for me. So far only one recipe has been subpar. The rest have all been keepers.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

This is one of the keepers. Some wise soul at some point discovered that grated cauliflower was a great substitute for rice. It is awesome. This recipe even just cooks it with the rest of the veggies so there is no extra step to make rice. Even if I was eating grains again I would put this on the menu rotation because it is a mess of veggies with cashew cream (yeah I have ventured there too… it is worth it) and chicken. Ridiculously healthy.

Total legit comfort food. No compromises. Just deliciousness that happens to be grain free.

Can we do this? I say this to you as much as me. Opening up the blog again is vulnerable and and and…. I don’t even have words. Just stay with me. Love me as I am- broken, crazy, busy, and now grain free.

We can do this.

Chicken and "rice" casserole

One year ago today: Tomato Bread Bake

Two years ago today: Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

Chicken and Rice Casserole (serves 6+)
From Against All Grain Meals Made Simple

Sauce:
1 cup cashews soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
Juice from 1/2 small lemon

Casserole:
3 tbs olive oil
5 cloves garlic minced
2 shallots minced
3 cup grated cauliflower (box grater works AWESOME)
10 ounces chopped zucchini
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Optional: 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Sauce:
Drain the cashews and place in blender (or a bowl if using an immersion blender like me)with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend till smooth. Set aside

Casserole:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook till just starting to soften. Add the cauliflower, zucchini, and salt. Continue cooking till crisp tender (about 10-12 minutes). Add the chicken and remove from the heat. Stir in the sauce thinning with water if necessary. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and top with the cheese if you so choose. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10. Serve straight away.

Chicken and "rice" casserole