As I’ve said before, breakfast is hard when you have so many restrictions. When I found out 14 people were coming over on Christmas morning, I had a small freak out. After putting my mind into a whirl I came up with an easy Apple Pancake Bake. I love the thought of casseroles because you throw everything together and bake them in the over. It’s not too much work and you have time to sit and visit with family. You just set a timer!
Here are the ingredients
- 6 Pink lady apples
- ½ teaspoon of Cinnamon
- 1 Cup brown sugar
- Enjoy Life brand pancake mix
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Stick on Earth Balance butter (vegan)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk (or alternative)
- Preheat over at 400 degrees
- Peel and core your apples
- Cut them into circles and place them in a greased oven safe dish
- Melt ½ of a stick of butter and pour over your apples
- Add ½ teaspoon on cinnamon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon sugar over the top of the apples
- Mix pancake mix, vanilla, rest of the melted butter, sugar, water, and milk in a bowl. This mixture should be loose and not thick. If it’s thick, add more water
- Pour the pancake mixture over the apples
- Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar over the top
- Bake on 400 for 40 minutes or until the pancake mix is dark brown
Being a parent is sometimes just, well, rough. There are some weeks when I think that those “rough patches” will be never-ending. Let’s face it, when you’re a parent, there is no more YOU time. If you’re having a tough day, week, month… you still have to be a parent. You smile through the pain and difficulties, you laugh when you really want to cry, and find patients when you just want to punch a wall.
When there isn’t enough time in the day (or every day) and you need a little pick me up of happy, do something small for yourself that helps to start your day off sweet and refreshed.
Having a protein shake isn’t just easy, but it can be packed full of healthy benefits. This shake is made with vanilla, banana, and topped with cinnamon. 20 grams of protein, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and much more.
Here is how to do it:
- ½ cup of coconut milk
- ½ cup of water
- 2 scoops Arbonne vanilla protein powder
- 1 ripe banana
- Blend ingredients on high
- Pour over ice in a blender ball and shake before pouring into a glass
Peppermint is my ultimate Holiday Favorite. Since the grocery stores only stock it during the Holiday season, I’ve found a way to make it myself when I’m having a craving. Luckily for me, I usually have this craving during the Holidays so it’s easy enough to go pick some up. The hard part is finding that many ice creams have wheat or eggs in them. Disappointing!
This weekend I made peppermint ice cream without the allergy ‘yuck’! Jot this down in your recipe book because this one is GOOD!
Did I mention you don’t need an Ice Cream maker to do this?
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ ounces of cream chees (I use whipped)
- 1/8 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 ¼ heavy cream
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 4 crushed candy canes
Free From: Wheat, Eggs, and Nuts
- In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with cornstarch
- In a large bowl, add the salt and room temperature cream cheese and whip until smooth.
- Make an ice bath (heavy on the ice) and set aside.
- Pour the cream, sugar, and remaining milk into a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, set a timer for 4 minutes and boil for exactly 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Do this a little bit at a time so that you can whip out any lumps of cream cheese.
- Mix in the peppermint extract.
- Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag, seal, and submerge the bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until very cold, about 30 minutes.
- Set up your standing mixer/or your blender. Pour the chilled zip lock into the mixer. Using either your blender or standing mixer, mix on very low. About 5 to into this process, sprinkle in half of the crushed candy canes. They will mostly dissolve, turning your ice cream a pretty pink color. After 10 minutes remove the mixture and place into a freezer safe container. Let freeze at least 3 hours before serving
Going gluten free can be very difficult to say the least. Many people ask what the best pasta options are for gluten free products. Keep in mind that GF pasta can taste gritty, and/or slimy if not cooked right. It takes a little longer to cook GF pastas and remember you need to rinse it after it’s been strained.
Here are my top three favorite options
- Andean Dream:
Ingredients: Organic white rice flour, organic quinoa flour. All ingredients are GMO free.
Free From: Gluten, Allergen Friendly, Corn Free, and Vegan
This is 100% the best pasta I have had! I absolutely love it. It tastes fresh and doesn’t get a slimy texture. This pasta is expensive though and you need two boxes for a family of four. It’s defiantly my favorite but not the best price.
- Trader Joes Quinoa and Brow Rice:
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice, Organic Quinoa Flour and Water.
I like this option better than I like the all brown rice option. It’s not gritty and tastes similar to normal pasta you would eat.
- Deboles: Amaranth
Ingredients: Made with brown rice, quinoa & amaranth
I really like the texture and taste of this pasta. If over cooked it can be slimy which isn’t ideal but if it’s cooked just right then it tastes pretty great.
Here is a secret. I don’t usually make my flours from scratch. Shh!
Wait, that’s right, I don’t care. Here is why – I love to make things for my son and he doesn’t care where it comes from, as long as its safe for him, he is happy.
You’ve heard me say it before; I love Betty Crocker gluten free mixes. They are safe and free from gluten, nuts, eggs, and oats. To make this recipe, I added my quick Betty Crocker brownie mix, with some other ingredients, and it was a masterpiece!
Here is what I did:
- 1 box Betty Crocker GF brownie mix
- ¾ cup of all-purpose GF flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 stick Earth Balance Vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 4 colorful peppermint candy canes
- Preheat your oven at 350 and line your cookie sheet
- In a small bowl add milk, butter, sugar, and both extracts. Mix well
- In a bowl (or standing mixer bowl) combine all other ingredients.
- Slowly add into your standing mixer bowl, your small bowl mixture. Allow this standing mixture to remain on medium
- The mixture should be more wet than normal
- Use a table spoon to add mixture to your baking sheet in desired amounts. Flatten before adding your candy cane crumbles to the top
- Bake for 10-12 minutes – let stand for 6 minutes
Free From: Gluten, Eggs, Dairy, Nuts. Vegan
Did you know that Grey is spelled correctly? How about Gray? Do you know the difference? I was messing around with a friend and this question came up. Her response, “Duh, one is England English and one isn’t”. Okay so that seemed logical… turns out, that’s actually true. They are both correct however one is American English and one is English. Can you guess which is which?
While you think about that, let’s talk about the cozy little sweat I found at one of my favorite spots, Irene’s Story. It’s Cashmere and I want to live in it.
I absolutely love when the season starts to change which doesn’t really happen in Orange County California but it’s been cold enough to wear this amazing Grey (with an E) sweater and these fun boots I found at Bloomingdales.
Shop the look:
Cashmere Sweater – Irene’s Story
Black Ponte Pants – Maxstudio
Booties – Bloomingdales
Accessories – Irene’s Story