Mexican Chocolate Churro Rice Krispie Treats

date02.20.17

Churro rice krispie treats sprinkled with a heavy dose of cinnamon and sugar, then drizzled with cayenne-spiced Mexican chocolate. Made with brown butter and brown rice crisps cereal, these treats are crispy, chewy, and downright addicting.

Mexican Chocolate Churro Rice Krispie Treats

Before I even dive into talking about these Mexican chocolate churro rice krispie treats, I need to get something off my chest. I’m a snickerdoodle snob. Alanna and I have spent the better part of the year playfully rolling our eyes at recipes labeled as “snickerdoodle  __(fill in the blank)__” when the only thing snickerdoodle about it is a little sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. And with this recipe for churro rice krispie treats, I concede. I’m no better.

I realize I could just as easily call these snickerdoodle, cinnamon toast, or even cinnamon roll rice krispie treats – for they’re all of those things just as much as they are churro. That being said, I need something that called out the heavy dose of cinnamon + sugar sprinkled under the Mexican chocolate drizzle and churro fits. So snickerdoodle/churro purists out there, I see you. I hear you. And I’m churro-ing onward anyway. Shove a rice krispie treat in your face and we’ll be friends again soon. Promise.

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Baby Smash Cake: Spiced Banana Date Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting + Zoella’s 1st Birthday

date02.14.17

A gluten-free refined sugar-free banana date cake with maple cream cheese frosting that’s perfect for a baby’s first smash cake (with a naturally green dragon scale frosting option), but delicious enough for fancy dinner party! 

Baby Smash Cake: Banana Date Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten-free & refined sugar-free)

Have you ever seen someone hug a cake before? This spiced banana date cake is a truly hug-worthy cake. I’ve been working on the recipe since my friend’s son turned one about 3½ years ago. This final version that I made as Zoella’s first smash cake experience for her first birthday party this weekend is exactly perfect and she agrees (green frosting optional).

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Puffed Quinoa Crumble with Macadamia and Candied Ginger

date02.06.17

Maple sweetened puffed quinoa crumble studded with roasted macadamia nuts and candied ginger adds a spicy sweet tropical twist to your favorite tart & sweet yogurt bowl with blood orange supremes. Toss is over ice cream, pudding, or eat it by the handful as an addicting quick snack!

Puffed Quinoa Crumble with Macadamia and Candied Ginger Yogurt Topping

My tiny baby is turning one tomorrow, which I think officially expires the “I just had a baby” excuse from the arsenal of reasons why it took me a week to respond to your e-mail. While I still stink at e-mails, my goal of breakfast prep is alive and well. So when noosa reached out to try their new tart & sweet flavors, I wanted to create the perfect crunch to toss on top. I’ve been throwing homemade cardamom granola over yogurt bowls all January, but this puffed quinoa crumble filled with macadamia nuts and candied ginger is my latest yogurt topping anthem.

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Frosted Earl Grey Brownies with Rose Petals + Sweet & Simple Cookbook

date02.01.17

Frosted earl grey brownies baked in a loaf pan and topped with rose petals for a romantic Valentine’s Day dessert for two! Adapted from the Best Ever Frosted Brownies from Sweet & Simple by Christina Lane, these brownies are exactly that with the perfect chewy balance between fudgy and cakey. 

Frosted Earl Grey Brownies with Rose Petals (Gluten-Free)

The base for these earl grey brownies comes from my friend Christina’s newest cookbook Sweet & Simple. When a brownie boasts as “Best Ever Frosted Brownies” you should probably pull out the cocoa powder and preheat the oven. No questions asked.

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Favorite Gluten-free Chocolate Cake with Hibiscus Frosting

date01.25.17

The BEST gluten-free chocolate cake topped with naturally pink ombre hibiscus cream cheese frosting. Light and tender cake with a moist crumb and rich dark chocolate notes that balance with tart hibiscus cream cheese frosting.

The BEST Gluten-free Chocolate Cake with Ombre Hibiscus Cream Cheese Frosting

At this time last year, I was approximately 1 billion pounds heavier, awaiting the arrival of #cheesebabygirl. We’d just thrown one last “you probably won’t see us for a while” pre-baby dessert shindig (we were right). I spent an entire day baking for it and my feet were trying to quit my body. They were going on strike, swelling up like balloons, and throwing in the towel along with any hopes of homemade Valentine’s Day treats. With Zoella’s February 7th arrival and our unexpected week-long hospital stay, our Valentine’s Day dessert was a heart-shaped Whole Foods cheesecake shared over hospital trays with visiting friends and a snuggly soft baby that smelled like fresh laundry.

I’m making up for no homemade treats last year by getting a head start with this (naturally) ultra-pink ombre layer cake. I’ve waited months for the perfect occasion to share this chocolate cake – this is not any ol’ chocolate cake. The base is my absolute favorite chocolate cake EVER. I considered going as far as titling it “the best gluten-free chocolate cake in all the land,” but decided to tone down my intensity. But, in my not so humble opinion, it is just that.

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Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Falafel Salad Bowls with Pickled Beets

date01.17.17

Crispy gluten-free chickpea and butternut squash falafels on a bed of quinoa and arugula with an assortment of flavor-packed salad toppings: Quick-pickled beets, crispy fried shallots, crumbled feta, roasted peanuts, and a drizzle of tahini dressing.

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Falafel Salad Bowls with Pickled Beets

Zoella has suddenly discovered that she has free will. Namely that she can say no by shaking her head. Doesn’t she know her mama is the master of strong will though? Game on, Baby Z. My first word was no. Hers was cat. Who do you think will win?

On Monday Zoella LOVED butternut squash falafel. On Tuesday, she decided to test that new found free-will in the face of homemade falafel. She pursed her lips tight with a vigorous “no” head shake, eventually indicating with grabby fingers that she instead wanted to eat what I was eating (go figure).

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White Chocolate Cardamom Blondies with Grapefruit Frosting (gluten-free)

date01.10.17

White chocolate cardamom blondies flecked with brown butter and slathered with tart grapefruit cream cheese frosting. And sprinkles, of course.

White Chocolate Cardamom Blondies with Grapefruit Frosting (gluten-free)

Back when I detested all things chocolate (I know), I used to tell people that my favorite cookie was “my mom’s chocolate chip cookies, but without the chocolate chips.” What is that then? A cookie? My favorite cookie is just cookies. Crispy-edged, ultra chewy, slightly under-baked cookies made up of about 99.9% with brown sugar and allofthebutter (exaggeration) that smack of butterscotch.

These white chocolate cardamom blondies remind me of my mom’s just cookies in flavor and texture except spiked with cardamom and studded with blissful pockets of pure buttery sweet vanilla bean white chocolate. Then I slathered the whole thing with citrusy grapefruit cream cheese frosting because: citrus season! And sprinkles!

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Cardamom Granola Yogurt Breakfast Bowls

date01.05.17

Butternut Squash and Granola Yogurt Breakfast Bowls

I hate mornings. I’ve always hated mornings. I’m cut from the night-owl cloth and, as someone who doesn’t drink coffee, what could possibly drag me out of bed in the AM? In high school, my mom would start the shower then wake me by telling me I was wasting water by staying in bed (it worked…mostly) (sorry, California). Even now with my extra adorable 7:30am baby alarm clock, I am very not fond of mornings. BUT!! 2017 ushered in two major developments that are making mornings slightly more tolerable.

First: I’ve committed myself to weekly breakfast meal prep, starting with these roasted butternut squash and cardamom granola yogurt breakfast bowls topped with fresh mint. With all the pieces made in advance, I can toss this elegant morning bowl together in about 5 seconds. This is key because Zoella has yet to learn patience when it comes to meal time, which means if I don’t have something ready to go, I’m having the uneaten half of her banana as my breakfast.

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