#FoodieFriday Tiramisu Chocolate Cake

Because I still have mascarpone from a fortuitous sale I happened upon, I’ve been wanting to make some tiramisu. I don’t necessarily have the time and energy to devote to a traditional tiramisu, which is exactly why I decided to go for a simple frosted cake. And obviously, I’m loving the little 6″ round pan I purchased.

For the cake:

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp instant coffee
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp butter or oil
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp Kahlua

Preheat the oven to 325. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix until combine. Pour the batter into a grease 6″ round pan or 5-6 cupcake wells. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool at least 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting: 

See the recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

To assemble your cake, gently split the 6″ round into two layers. Spread frosting on top of the bottom layer before replacing the top layer. Frost evenly. Save any remaining frosting for something else — perhaps some fruit? Sprinkle with whatever you desire. We ran out of cocoa powder, so chocolate and gold sprinkles came to our decorating rescue!



#FoodieFriday Coconut Pineapple Funfetti Cake

…with White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting. Yes. Oh yes, I did go there. Yum, yum, YUM! Why don’t we get right down to it…


For the cake:
1 cup Pillsbury Gluten Free Funfetti cake mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter (unsalted sweet cream)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp crushed pineapple
1 tbsp pineapple juice (reserved from can)

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 6″ round cake pan. Mix shredded coconut into the cake mix. Mix all the wet ingredients, then add the dry ingredients. Pour batter into the cake pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Top with white chocolate mascarpone frosting for a “naked” look, or go all out and frost the sides.


I over mixed my frosting, so I folded in more coconut shreds to mask my mistake. This may be due to my halving the recipe because I only made a single 6″ cake, so you may opt to either bake a bigger cake or store the leftover frosting for other purposes. Even with a halved amount, I still had leftover, though. I also dusted the cake with some gold sprinkles to give it a little extra charm. The cake looks adorable, and I’m thrilled that I can slice smaller pieces for less calories. Welcome to the family, little 6″ cake pan!



#FoodieFriday A Clean Dinner


During the week, I wanted something comforting and familiar, so I cooked up some baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, and meatloaf. It wasn’t too hard to substitute butter with coconut oil for the sweet potatoes, and I added a sprinkling of cinnamon to round out the sweetness. I stirred coconut oil and dash of salt into the broccoli. As for the meatloaf, I’m no stranger to omitting breadcrumbs. It was a great dinner — it was just what I needed the night before going back to work.


#FoodieFriday Valentine Cookies

I thought it would be lots of fun to make chocolate-dipped heart-shaped shortbread cookies for my family to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I searched the web for a recipe I liked, adapted it a bit to my tastes, and got to work.

From Taste of Home:

  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted sweet cream butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add in cubed butter. It works better if you use your (clean, washed) hands to knead the butter into the dry ingredients, but feel free to use a fork. Once the ingredients are mostly combine, add the water and extract. Mix until a dough forms. Place a piece of parchment paper on your counter and flour liberally. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using heart-shaped cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment, about 2 inches apart. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 325. Bake for about 13-16 minutes, switching baking sheets halfway through for even baking. Cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before coating in chocolate. Use your favorite chocolate chips to melt for dipping and coating your cookies — we used milk chocolate chips. Add sprinkles if desired. Place on parchment to set. Enjoy with your favorite cookie beverage!



#FoodieFriday Soup 101

Making soup from scratch isn’t as difficult as it might sound. Take a leftover roasted chicken, an onion, a couple of well-scrubbed carrots, a couple of medium celery stalks, a bay leaf or two, garlic, salt, and pepper, fill the pot until everything’s covered, then bring everything to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for two or three hours, and you’re ready to add whatever you like. You can use this method on chicken bones, turkey bones, and even beef or pork bones. If you’re a vegetarian, add some more vegetables to make a great veggie broth. Personally, I love a good chicken or turkey broth based soup.

Once you’ve gotten your broth strained and ready, add some more veggies, meat, beans, rice, potatoes, and/ or noodles. The combinations are endless, but a classic chicken noodle soup with carrots, celery, and onions always warms my tummy the best. Bring it back to a boil and lower to a simmer to tenderize the veggies and potatoes. If you’re adding noodles, you can toss them in when it boils. You can also cook the rice in the pot, but my favorite method is cooking the rice separate in a half broth half water mixture and added once it has absorbed most of the liquid.

Then you’ve got accompaniments. Saltine crackers, butter crackers, multi-grain crackers, gluten free crackers. Biscuits, muffins, cornbread. Sandwiches and salads. There are so many ways to serve up soup as a meal. If you’re making a tomato soup, you’ve even got cheese and cheese crackers to add.

Yesterday I made my family my favorite traditional soup with some homemade biscuits. We neglected to snap a picture in time, but it was the perfect meal for a very cold day in the mountains.


#FoodieFriday New Year’s Partying

We like to party in our house — and by party I mean eat. Look at this delicious spread we enjoyed Wednesday evening…

We had deviled eggs, corn dog mini-muffins, pepperoni, cheese, crackers (both regular and gluten free), a cute little cake my daughter made in her Easy Bake oven, shrimp and cocktail sauce, green grapes, veggies and dip, and (gluten free) oreo truffles.

Then today we had a ham dinner complete with cornbread, spinach, baked beans, and delicious gluten free macaroni and cheese.

Happy New Year!


#FoodieFriday Christmas Dessert


Don’t mind the glare and lack of a photo-editor. We enjoyed festive mini red velvet cheesecakes and wintery green mint fudge for dessert yesterday evening. I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! Check back next Friday to see what we’ll enjoy for New Year’s Eve!


#Cultivate2012 Foodie Friday — Cultivate Style

Foodie Friday — Cultivate Style: Food nourishes us. Some foods give us more enjoyment than others. Some foods leave us feeling less than ourselves. What foods nourished your soul and body this year? What food choices can you make in 2013 to cultivate more self-care?

This year I learned how to make do with rice and potatoes. I gave up gluten for Lent in February as an experiment to see if my body had a reaction to gluten. On Easter, I discovered without any doubts that gluten negatively affects my digestive health. It was bittersweet because I’ve always loved bread and pasta — but they didn’t love me back. Along with this lifestyle change, I lost 20 pounds. It’s hard to believe I’ve been carrying around that much bloat! While it sounds difficult or like a fad, I’m actually comfortable without gluten. I treat it the way a diabetic treats sugar, a person with high cholesterol treats saturated fats and cholesterol, and a hypertension patient treats salt. I treat it how a person with food allergies would treat their allergens. It’s not a “diet.” It’s a not a “trend” to me. It’s a better quality of life.


#FoodieFriday Salted Chocolate Bark with Almonds


I was struck by a very specific chocolate craving the other day, and I happened to have leftover chocolate chips from a snack mix I made. It’s super simple.

Salted Chocolate Bark with Almonds
1 cup chocolate chips or pieces
1/2 tsp salt
slivered almonds (add desired amount)

Grease a small cookie sheet, plate, or whatever you’ve got lying around. Line it with wax paper. Grease the wax paper. Put the chocolate chips/ pieces in a microwave safe bowl (or a double boiler if you desire), and sprinkle on the salt. Heat the chocolate chips for 1 minute. Stir. Heat for another 30 seconds. Stir in the slivered almonds. Spread the mixture across the wax paper. Chill in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Break into pieces and enjoy! See? Super fast, and super simple — so fast and simple that I never captured a picture. Oops!



#FoodieFriday Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Last week I promised my daughter that if she behaved in school we’d bake cupcakes. She complied, so I invited her into the kitchen to bake some peppermint mocha cupcakes.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes (Adapted from Healthy Indulgences [Yes, I love playing with this recipe!])

1 can of drained, rinsed black beans
5 large eggs
2 tsps peppermint extract
1/2 tsp salt
3/8 cup coconut oil (or butter or oil of your choosing)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Put the beans, 3 eggs, extract, and salt into the food processor. Puree that mixture for a good two minutes. Add the remaining two eggs, oil, and sugar. Puree for another minute or so. Add the dry ingredients. Puree it until smooth and combine. Pour the batter into a lined cupcake pan (trust me — now is NOT the time to skimp on the cupcake liners!). Put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.

Peppermint Mocha Frosting

1 stick of butter (8tbsps, 4oz), sliced
1 cup melted mint chocolate pieces
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp coffee extract

Cream the butter and melted chocolate until smooth. Add the sugar, cocoa, and extract. Whip until smooth and fluffy. Frost your cupcakes.