Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes {gluten free}

Happy Friday friends!
I am SO happy to report that fall finally arrive in Texas this week.  The past several days the mornings have been in the 50/60s and just so pleasant.  By mid afternoon it has been in the mid 70s with a slight breeze.  Humidity has been down and it has been glorious! A huge reminder as to why fall is still my favorite season of all! I am so thankful for the gorgeous weather.  The weather has been pretty hot again since hurricane Harvey blew threw.  I wish I could have spent more time outside this week, but I have been working on a big project at work that has taken a lot of my time.  I don’t mind working on it, but I am excited to spend some time outside this weekend!  These fall evenings have been so perfect and I can’t wait to use the new fire-pit I built to make some s’mores for girls night this weekend! img_2009

The past few years for Foodie Friday, we have done a Choctober Fest recipe release! This year is NO exception!! I have to say that this is one of my most favorite Foodie Fridays of the year 🙂 In my book it is always wonderful to gather some chocolate as much as possible!

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our Choctober Fest themed week!

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Cupcake

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of pink salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2-1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with papers or silicon holders
  3. In a large bowl blend together the coconut oil and the pumpkin puree.
  4. Sprinkle in the baking soda and blend well.
  5. Add in the sugar, salt, egg, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  Blend well.
  6. Gently fold in the flour till just incorporated.
  7. Gently add in the chocolate chips.
  8. Scoop about 1/4 cup into each cupcake holder- Makes about 24
  9. Bake for 18-20 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Make frosting while the cupcakes cool on a cooling wrack.

Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2/3 coconut oil
  • 1/4-1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup raw cacao
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. Place the coconut oil in a stand mixer, beat for several min until creamed.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and cacao and mix till fully blended in.
  3. Add in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and blend well.
  4. Slowly add the milk, 1 Tbsp at a time till your desired consistency.
  5. Once cupcakes have cooled, spoon a heap of frosting on each one and spread it around.
  6. Store any remaining frosting in an airtight container in the fridge.

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂Join us next week for some potato recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Broccoli Cheese Soup {gluten free}

Hello friends and happy Friday!

Life has been a little on the crazy side- I am still working on an update post and I hope to get that finished this weekend- Although I have some clients and a wedding so we shall see!

When I think of fall, I always think of curling up by the fire with a bowl of soup! Living in Texas, those cooler fall days are few and far between {It was 100 degree today}. But I have our little built in fireplace that I turn on without the heat element and with the a/c on it almost feels fallish! Hahah

When I was in college and grad school, I spent some A LOT of time at Panera. In grad school my roommates and I were too poor to pay to have our own internet and Panera had free wifi, so I did a lot of my home work there.  I would often get a bowl of soup and when I had some extra $ I would even get a bread bowl to go with my soup!
Since developing some food allergies and not eating certain foods for my own health, it has been a while since I have had soup from Panera!  The other day I had a REALLY strong craving for broccoli cheddar soup.  I have been doing a lot of soup making for my husband lately, and I decided to give it a whirl.  I had all the ingredients I needed and threw it together.  I have made it a few more times since then and it has been given the stamp of approval from some friends and special kiddos in my life!  This soup is packed with veggies and def perfect for a fall day even if it is over 100 degrees outside!  😉

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our free for all themed week!

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Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp ghee
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 carrots, peeled & shredded
  • 1 zucchini shredded
  • 2 cups broccoli slaw
  • 4 Tbsp gluten free flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used almond cheese)
  • Pink salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric & red pepper flakes to taste

*To keep it on the lighter side, omit the cream and use 1 cup of almond milk*
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Directions

1. Melt ghee in large pot. Add in all veggies, sautée till soft.
2. Sprinkle flour on veggies and stir till coated.
3. Slowly add in liquids and gently stir.
4. Bring to a simmer and let the liquids thicken for about 10-15 min.
5. Add in spices to taste.
6. Add in cheese and stir till melted.
7. Enjoy on a beautiful fall day.

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂Join us next week for some Choctober fest recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Pumpkin Veggie Mac & Cheese

Hi friends!
Jumping on here real quick to say hello, happy October and happy national noodle day!
Since it is fall I have been craving more comfort foods! Even though the weather here in Houston has still been pretty warm but that is not stopping me from making more fallish recipes! 🙂
This have been a little nutty, and I will be posting a real update soon!

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our noodle themed week!

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Ingredients

  • 1 package gluten free pasta- I used spirals
  • 2 Tbsp ghee
  • 4 Tbsp gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 12 oz butternut squash, chopped into pieces
  • 4 cups loose kale, washed & chopped (I think I will add even more kale next time)
  • 2 cups dairy free cheese (I used almond milk cheese)
  • Spices to taste- Garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric

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Directions

  1. Heat the avocado oil then saute the butternut squash till soft large frying pan.
  2. Throw in the kale and let it wilt.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the directions
  4. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
  5. Melt the ghee in the bottom of a large pan.  Add in the flour and whisk it into the ghee.
  6. Slowly add the chicken broth and milk, whisking the entire time.  As the sauce begins to thicken, add in the pumpkin puree and spices to taste.
  7. Add in the cheese to the sauce and stir till melted.
  8. Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the sauce and coat all the noodles with the sauce.  Add in the butternut squash and kale.
  9. Eat and enjoy!

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂Join us next week for some free for all recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Happy Friday friends and happy national coffee day!
Could there be a better day to celebrate coffee?  Haha
I am actually not an avid coffee drinker, but I do have a few brands that I do enjoy here and there.  My trips to Costa Rica and Ethiopia definitely influenced me to drink coffee more often.  Coffee has never really done anything for me and I guess I am a bit picky because most coffee I ever have had here in the states always seemed so bitter.   My first time to the Cafe Britt coffee plantation in Costa Rica back in 2002 changed my mind about coffee. It was such a great experience that when the hubs and I went 2 years ago I took him there 🙂


When the hubs and I went to Ethiopia 2 summers ago, it was a whole different experience! They roasted, ground and brewed the coffee right in front of us several times a day.  It was a beautiful cultural experience! The hubs has never been a fan of coffee, but the Ethiopian coffee changed his mind!  It was also neat to be where coffee was actually discovered!

So although I don’t drink coffee every day, I do enjoy my select brands! But along with coffee, I do enjoy some delicious coffee cake!  It is now fall, so adding pumpkin and coffee cake together for national coffee day just seemed like the right thing to do! Hahah

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our coffee themed week!

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It is hard to go wrong with coffee cake! My kitchen smelled SO good while this was baking! It was hard to wait for it to cool off before we had to dive in!  It was my first time attempting this with gluten free flour and coconut oil.  Trying to make it more allergy friendly for my own health and for friends who have food allergies! It came out perfect and I could not be more happy with this delightful treat!

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 115 oz can organic pumpkin puree

Topping

  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 c coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 c gluten free flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F
  2. Grease a 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil
  3. In a med bowl sift all the dry cake ingredients together
  4. In a Kitchen aid (or large bowl using a hand mixer) whip together the coconut oil and sugar.  Add in each egg and mix well.
  5. Mix in the pumpkin with the wet ingredients.
  6. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until fully combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish.
  8. Put all topping ingredients into a small bowl and mix using your hands till crumbly and combined.
  9. Sprinkle on top of the cake batter
  10. Bake for 45 min or till toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Cool fully before cutting in (about an hour).
  12. Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee!

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂Join us next week for some Noodle recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk & Food Blogger Love

Hello Friends!

Happy Friday and happy 1st day of fall!

As summer fades away it is still 90 degrees here in Texas, I still love that it is fall.  Even though it is not as cool as the falls I grew up with, I just love the feeling of fall. I have been putting out some cute fall decorations, I changed up my door sign, and have been busy in the kitchen with fall flavors and spices!

One thing I also love about fall is sharing the love of some of my fav food bloggers.  I am always inspired by the creative recipes and the gorgeous pictures of so many bloggers! It inspires me to want to be better at what I do! (Saving for a new camera to get better pics is 1 goal this fall!) Here are a few amazing recipes from around the food blogging world, which of course includes my Foodie Friday co-hosts, Annmarie and Farrah!

Patty from Sweet and Strong blog with this amazing Pear Smoothie
Farrah from Fairyburger with her tasty Ginger Tea Latte
Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama with this flavor packed Pumpkin Spice Coffee Protein Smoothie
Katie from Gettin’ My Healthy On with this delicious Maple Gingerbread Smoothie
Laura from Viand {the blog} with this gorgeous Turmeric Pumpkin Latte

It is hard to go wrong with all these flavorful drinks just begging to be devoured!

I decided to go with fall flavors with make a twist on my homemade almond milk recipe! I have to say the result was pretty tasty! My husband was raving about it for days 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups almonds, soaked in purified water for 6+ hours
  • 6 cups purified water
  • 6 medjool dates- depitted and soaked for 15-20 min
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 Tbsp pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place almonds, water & dates into a blender.  Blend on high for 2 minutes
  2. Strain mixture through nut bag over a large bowl
  3. Rinse blender/lid
  4. Pour strained milk back into the blender
  5. Add the pumpkin pie spice, purée and vanilla into the milk, blend well
  6. Store milk in glass airtight containers for up to 1 week in the fridge.
  7. Enjoy! It is a great addition to coffee! 🙂

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂Join us next week for some coffee recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Donuts

Happy Friday my wonderful friends!

Thank you all SO much for your kind words and well wishes last week! We are still so thankful we were spared flooding after hurricane Harvey and continue to help where we can.

Fall is almost here! I can smell it in the air.  The temperatures have been slightly cooler. The leaves have begun to drift down from the trees.  And I just can’t hold it in any longer!!! I need me some pumpkin!!  I actually received a pumpkin from my CSA last week and I can NOT wait to roast that baby and make something delicious out of it! Until then…

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our copy cat themed week!

I am all about pumpkin.  I have been a fan since I was a little kid! I love decorating with them and eating pumpkin flavored foods and desserts! Pumpkin yogurt, cupcakes, lattes, pasta, etc!

I literally woke up from a dream about pumpkin donuts! If you look on Pinterest, there are TONS of recipes out there. I looked at a few and decided I was jut going to make my own! Plus I wanted to add my other favorite ingredient, chocolate 🙂


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Donuts

Donuts

  • 2 cups sifted gluten free flour
  • 1½ tsp. aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. pink salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1  can pumpkin pie filling
  • 6 Tbsp. vanilla almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup enjoy life chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Rub coconut oil in the donut pan, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift GF flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, pink salt and baking soda together.  Wisk till combined.  Set aside.
  3. In a Kitchen-aid (or bowl using a hand mixer), combine coconut sugar and oil till fully combined.
  4. Add the pumpkin pie filling, almond milk and eggs. Mix till just combined.
  5. Gently fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  6. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Place the batter in a large frosting bag (or a zip lock and cut 1/3 on off the corner).
  8. Fill each space in the donut pan till full.
  9. Bake for 11-12 min, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let donuts cool in pan for 5 min then place them on a cooling rack.
  11. Enjoy!

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂Join us next week for some Food Blogger Love recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Crust-less Apple & Pear Pie plus a little life update

Hi there friends!
Whew, it has been a pretty crazy few weeks.  Last update we were getting ready for hurricane Harvey to make landfall.  We were braced for the worst, and it was even worse than we expected.  Over the weekend it felt like the calm before the storm.  Then the rain came, and it just didn’t stop.  On Sunday evening we were just hanging out and the police came through in a swat vehicle asking us to voluntarily evacuate.  My initial gut reaction was to get out.  So we took about 30 min or so and grabbed what we could and headed out.  We didn’t know where would we were going to go. We talked about heading to Dallas but I really didn’t want to go that far.  Through the whole process I was texting with one of our good friends and she and her husband ended up booking a hotel for us that was just a few miles away.
When we arrived, I began to have some major anxiety.  It was nerve wracking to not know what was going to happen and to see the news about what had already happened in Corpus Christi.  We tried to settle in the best we could.  The National Guard was also staying at our hotel so I felt a little better knowing they were there.
I am glad we left our home when we did. On Monday they did a mandatory evacuation and by that point the highway going north was flooded so everyone had to go south towards the storm.
We stayed in the hotel for a few days but then they were booked up. So we were able to stay with a wonderful friend of mine.  When drove to her house I was very thankful the roads were clear.  We ended up staying there for a few days and then we were able to go home.


During this whole process I had booked a trip for the Hubs.  His eldest brother passed away on the 22nd and he had planned to go out to the funeral.  When the storm hit the airports closed down.  Thankfully I was able to change his flight and he was able to fly out in time.

This past weekend I headed to another area of Houston and helped out some friends with their kids and homes.  Seeing all the devastation on the news was nothing compared to seeing it in person.  However, in the midst of all the sadness, there was a spirit of unity and hope like I have never seen before! I was just amazed at the number of people just showing up and helping friends, neighbors, and strangers.  This is what our entire nation and world need.  No one cared what race, religion, or political view anyone had.  People just showed up to help and did what they could.  People from all over the nation showed up, sent supplies, & have been sending donations.  JJ Watt’s foundation has raised over 29 million dollars! He is committed to making sure all the money is used for the Houston area and those affected by the floods.  This made me SO happy because so many people have donated to other organizations (*ahem, the Red Cross*) and those organizations do not ensure the money goes to the actual victims of the flood.


Despite all the crazy weather and events the past 2 weeks, we are SO thankful.  I have been trying to get back to somewhat normal life and routine but am still struggling with survivors guilt.  I have heard of it before, but never really dealt with it before.  But let me tell you, it is real.  I have been doing what I can to help in different ways and just continue to be grateful no matter what the circumstances I am facing.

One thing that has helped me a lot is making meals for families.  I love to cook and I love being able to help in tangible ways.  Plus cooking and baking is therapy for me and I def have been needing that after all that has happened the past few weeks.

After all the crazy weather with the storm the weather has actually been really nice.  Cool mornings and delightful warmth in the afternoons.   Throwing on a long sleeve top on my way to work and the gym has been really refreshing.  This change reminds me that Autumn is on it’s way!  This is my favorite time of year.  I love the feeling of crisp air and see the changes in the leaves.  It sometimes happens a little later here in Texas than it does up north, but I love it all the same!

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our fall flavors themed week!
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When I think about fall 2 fruits come to mind, apples and pears.  I have made many an apple pie over the years, but have been thinking about trying to make a slightly healthier version.  We had an abundance of apples and pears in the fridge, and so I got to thinking, and this is what I came up with 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • 2 pears
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/2 c + 2 TBSP coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Core and slice apples and pears into thin slices and place in a large bowl
  3. Drizzle lemon juice over the fruit and mix well
  4. Add in the coconut sugar (sans 2 TBSP) , cinnamon, nutmeg and flour.  Mix till all the fruit is equally covered
  5. Chop the butter into small pieces and place on top of the fruit
  6. Sprinkle on the remaining coconut sugar
  7. Bake for 25-30 min
  8. Enjoy by itself or with some vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah + Esther )

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂
  • Join us next week for some Copy Cat recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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