Sweet Laurel’s Snickerdoodle Cookies

I have been making these cookies from Sweet Laurel on repeat. They are vegan and gluten free and absolutely delicious. Make sure to use precise measurements– just a tad too much oil will result in really flat, greasy cookies and just a little too much flour will make them dry. Although, they are still delicious! The best part is you can eat the batter by the spoonful.

Ingredients:
3 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Topping:
1/4 cup date sugar (I used coconut sugar)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set rack in the middle of the oven.
Stir together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together all wet ingredients and stir into the dry ingredients. Place one inch balls of batter onto parchment lined baking sheets and lightly press down. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon combination. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.  

Enjoy!

Farro Salad & Vanilla Cake

I’ve had big, hearty salads on repeat over here. While we were waiting on our new baby, I kept stocking the fridge with them– farro, orzo, pasta, black bean and corn– the options are endless and they are so great to have on hand for lunch and dinner. This Mediterranean farro salad is one of my favorites.

The recipe is flexible, so add or remove whatever you wish! I boiled the farro per the directions on the package. While it was boiling, I chopped and tossed everything else into an extra large bowl: cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, green onion, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, arugula, and chickpeas. Drain and rinse the farro, then toss that in. I mixed everything up with lemon juice, olive oil and lots of salt and pepper.

One of my favorite (healthy-ish) summertime desserts is the vanilla cake from Sweet Laurel. I’ve made it for my son’s birthday two years in a row now and I think we will keep the tradition! It’s perfectly sweet and moist. **The only change I make is adding a dash of cinnamon to the cake batter, otherwise this is the recipe from Sweet Laurel:

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon**
seasonal berries

For the coconut whipped cream
1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like Let’s Do Organic brand)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Prepare your 8-inch pan by cutting a circular round of parchment paper to fit the base of your pan. Place the circular parchment round inside the cake pan, then grease the sides of the pan with melted coconut oil.
Place eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whisk until well incorporated. Add almond flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix until batter is formed, then pour into prepared pan.
Bake about 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool, then flip cake out of pan onto a cake plate.

For the coconut whipped cream
Place can of coconut milk in refrigerator the night before you make your cake.
Before you plan to serve your cake, open the can of refrigerated coconut milk. The fat will have risen to the top of the can, with the liquid at the bottom; scoop out only the solids to your mixing bowl, then add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk together, then refrigerate whipped cream to keep it firm until you are ready to top your cake.
To frost your cake, place cooled cake on serving plate and top with prepared coconut whipped cream, followed by organic seasonal berries.

The Absolute Best Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a family favorite over here and this recipe from Susan Branch is the ultimate. It’s incredibly moist and makes such a statement– I love to make it for my husband on his birthday. This time, I swapped the vegetable oil for coconut oil and it worked beautifully. Sharing the recipe below as well as the image from her book because it’s too cute not to! If you don’t have a food processor, now is the time to get one. It’s one of my favorite kitchen products, and a game changer for shredding all those carrots!

4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup shredded coconut
1 8oz. can crushed pineapple
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. box powdered sugar
3 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil 3 8″ cake pans (these are my favorite). Set out butter and cream cheese to soften for the frosting. Put pineapple into a sieve to drain liquid. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add oil and mix well. Put in the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients and pour into the oiled cake pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of cake. Cool and frost.

Frosting: mix butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Frost between layers and on top of the cake.

Summer Recipe Roundup

We have been grilling and eating outside every night for the past week– it officially feels like summer! For dinner last night, I roasted up a ton of vegetables and plated with burrata and a leftover spinach basil pesto I had in the fridge. It was delicious! I have a bunch of recipes saved for the next few months and thought I’d pen some of them here for you to enjoy as well. I’m also stocking up on melamine plates and other outdoor dining essentials– some fun ideas linked below for dining alfresco. Bon appetit!

Grilled corn and zucchini salad
Grilled watermelon and feta stacked salads
Charred peppers with lemon ricotta and cucumbers
Potato salad with mustard sauce
Grilled vegetables
Watermelon salad with cucumber and feta
Skirt steak with avocado and tomatoes
Summer stone fruit salad
Cucumber and peach salad with herbs
Spaghettini with roasted tomatoes
Loaded grilled steak salad
Southwest BBQ pork sliders
Blackened salmon burgers
Everything but the kitchen sink pasta salad
Blackberry peach crisp
Browned butter grilled peaches with ice cream
Strawberry yogurt popsicles
Strawberry thyme lillet spritzer
Cucumber mint gimlets
Grapefruit ginger bourbon sour
Kentucky lemonade

Spaghetti with Asparagus and Parmesan

I absolutely love this spaghetti– not only is it delicious, but it’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Asparagus is the perfect addition for spring and pairs wonderfully with parmesan and lemon, but the options are endless– any roasted veg added in would be delicious.

I use a lentil and chickpea pasta that I really love. I’ve tried more kinds than I can count and this brand has remained my favorite. Of course, any kind of spaghetti works, but I love that this offers more protein and fiber than most.

Directions: Lay asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 until tender.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta per the directions on the box. Once drained, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and some more salt & pepper. Add in asparagus, plate up and enjoy. I often also add in a couple handfuls of fresh arugula. Anything goes! The perfect dinner in a pinch!

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Happy Spring! Happy Easter! This is one of my favorite springtime appetizers. It is so perfect to make on Easter, but really it’s delicious and absolutely acceptable to have anytime. Plus, it’s extremely healthy! The ingredients are very flexible, but the below is my favorite combination. Hope you enjoy!

6 eggs
1 avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
lemon zest
2 tablespoons green onion or chives
salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Lower in 6 eggs, carefully with a spoon. Boil for 30 seconds. Cover, reduce to very low and simmer for 10-11 minutes. Remove from heat and drop the eggs into an ice bath for 15 minutes. The eggs should be perfectly hard boiled and very easy to peel!

Mash together all ingredients– egg yolks, avocado, lemon juice, a little lemon zest, green onions, mustard, salt and pepper. With a piping bag and tip, or just a snipped plastic bag, pipe the filling into the eggs. I like to finish them with a sprinkling of more lemon zest and sea salt. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday! A large cheese and charcuterie platter is one of my favorite appetizers for a crowd. You can chuck it full of cheese, nuts, fruit, meats, olives… the list goes on. I wrote a blog post a while back that outlines what I like to add to mine and how I get variation. Hope it helps you create your own! The board I have shown here is a favorite reclaimed bread board from McGee & Co. – I have the XL size and it’s the perfect board for a crowd!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my go-to, tried-and-true classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. There are a few key things that make these chocolate chip cookies extra delicious– the addition of sea salt, setting the dough overnight, and giving the cookies a good fall on the stovetop mid-bake. Let me know how yours turn out!

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of cinnamon
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted + 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces dark chocolate chips
Sea salt (to sprinkle on top)

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. 
Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla until combined.
Slowly beat in dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Refrigerate dough overnight
Bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Midway through baking, give the sheet pan a good drop on the stovetop to flatten them.
Sprinkle sea salt on top, let sit on sheet pan for a minute or two, and then transfer to a cookie rack.

Enjoy!

Spring Entertaining

Spring is officially here and I could not be more excited! I love hosting this time of year– in addition to the abundance of beautiful blossoms, there are so many fun entertaining pieces to use for a fresh spring table. I also love that recipes are light, fresh and colorful. Below are some of my favorite tableware pieces for spring as well as some delicious seasonal recipes. Happy brunching!

spring frittata
classic french toast with fresh berries
pickled deviled eggs
spring orzo salad
beet hummus with crudités
farmers market salad
avocado toast
spring pea farro salad
lemon curd
strawberry shortcakes

tray
folding chair
beverage dispenser
seagrass charger
cheese knives
tray
folding chair
beverage dispenser
seagrass charger
cheese knives



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