My oldest son loves to cook and I love his love of cooking. Between football and lacrosse, he is very busy, but always finds time to watch one of the many cooking shows that is regularly on in the background.
One weekend morning we were watching “The Kitchen” and the Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro made Fried Ravioli. My son was intrigued and became insistent that he make a batch. Since we have recently gone gluten free I purchased a package of Three Bridges 3 Cheese Ravioli, with hopes that the ravioli would be tasty. Normally fried ravioli consists of flour and breadcrumbs, however I decided to use rice flour in place of the flour and toasted breadcrumbs from several slices of Udi’s bread and we were good to go. Aside from helping out with the ingredients my son made these all on his own. I am so proud of him in general, but this is just another example of his creative and fun personality that is always up to try something new.
I have been gluten free for about a month now and I can’t begin to tell you the difference I am feeling. “Things” are moving much more smoothly in the stomach region (if you know what I am saying) and emotionally I feel world of difference. I am less irritable, snappy, I feel less anxious and just overall more peaceful. The only major change I have made is eliminating gluten so I am attributing these changes to my new way of eating.
I have to also add that prior to this I ate a LOT of gluten. All-purpose white flour, pasta, cookies, muffins and I were BFF’s. However, since breaking up with these former loves I have found different ways of taming these cravings with other options. One of my favorite recipes is those for Banana Muffins. You can find the original recipe here, which I still make for my boys, however for a gluten free and lower fat version I created this recipe. Now, they are not exactly as light and fluffy as the original version – I can’t tell you that, however they are delicious. I used gluten-free oat flour in place of the all-purpose flour which gives these a chewy texture that I love. My favorite way to pair these is with my homemade raspberry coulis and a light smear of butter.
If you are gluten-free or are considering adopting a gluten-free lifestyle I would recommend giving these a try. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how these turned out for you.
Gluten Free Banana Muffins
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
3 very ripe bananas, medium size
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. gluten-free oat flour
1/2 c. coconut flour
1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor bowl add the oil, applesauce, sugar, vanilla and bananas. Pulse until smooth. Next add the baking soda and salt. Pulse 2-3 times. Add the flours and pulse 2-3 times, just until combined and then add the chocolate, if using. Again, pulse just 1-2 times to distribute them evenly.
Scoop the batter into muffin tins and bake for about 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.
I have a confession…I am not good at doing eye makeup. As a makeup junkie it is a bit sad to admit, but it is the truth. My look is generally a swipe of eyeshadow primer to give my eye a tiny hint of color, a swipe of liquid eyeliner on the top of my lid and mascara. For years I have been plagued with raccoon eyes mid-day if I every took the chance and added a touch of mascara to my lower lashes. So for the most part, I would skip this – until now…
Enter Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara, $10 at Sephora. I freaking love this stuff! It is not often that I buy 2 tubes of an item to make sure that if they do discontinue this item, I have backups – however I did just that with this product. A couple of things to note – this is a tiny tube. However, I do think this is well worth it to not look like I am completely unkempt and have been out all night. Also, the brush is teeny, tiny, itty bitty. It is great to work those lower lashes, but it is so tiny I was surprised when I saw it so I thought I would mention that as well.
Here are before and after photos of this magical item:
Now keeping with my mascara post, I would be remiss not to mention probably one of my favorite articles from the past year. I stumbled on this article while I was perusing Pinterest and is from the Cosmopolitan UK website. Is an image showing 100 different mascaras on the same eye. Can you believe how genius this is??? The actual article can be found here, but see below for the image as well as the mascara used for each eye.
I can’t wait to try some of these mascaras based on my personal lash preference, which is for them to be long and extremely dramatic (note price is shown in pounds since this article is from Cosmopolitan UK):
1. NYX Cosmetics Doll Eye Mascara, £9 2. Lord & Berry Scuba Extreme Waterproof Mascara, £10 3. Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, £12 4. Accessorize Fibre Lash Lengthening Mascara, £5.95
5. Benefit, Bad Gal Lash Mascara, £17.50 6. Bourjois Volume Clubbing Ultra Black Mascara, £7.99 7. Origins GinZing Mascara, £17.50 8. Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, £16.50
9. MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara, £14 10. Rimmel Max Volume Flash Mascara, £6.69 11. NYC Big Bold Curl Mascara, £1.99 12. PUR Big Blink with Argan Oil Mascara, £15
13. Barry M Lash Vegas Mascara, £6.49 14. Chantecaille Faux Clis Mascara, £35 15. Benefit They’re Real Mascara, £19.50 16. AVON Supershock Max Mascara, £10
17. Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara, £19 18. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Flex Mascara, £6.99 19. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Lash Enhancing Mascara, £21 20. BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara, £16
21. Seventeen Va Va Voom Mascara, £6.29 22. Liz Earle Lash Definition Smudgeproof Mascara, £14.50 23. Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara, £23 24. The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara, £10
25. Maybelline The Falsies Flared Mascara, £7.99 26. Bourjois Fantastic Volume Mascara, £9.99 27. Shavata Extreme Volumising Mascara, £15 28. Seventeen Doll’d Up Mascara, £6.29
29. Dior Diorshow Mascara Volume Lash-extension Effect Mascara, 30. Gosh Boombastic XXL Volume Mascara, £8.49 31. Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara, £18 32. Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara, £17
33. Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara, £22.50 34. Make Up Store Rotating Mascara, 35. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara, £25.50 36. Givenchy Noir Couture Waterproof Mascara, £23.50
37. Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara, £10.99 38. YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Babydoll 1 Mascara, £24.50 39. Maybelline Great Lash Blackest Black Mascara, £4.99 40. Tom Ford Extreme Mascara, £34
41. MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara, £18 42. Shu Uemura Precise Volume Waterproof Mascara, 43. Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Mascara, 44. Dior Diorshow Iconic Extreme Mascara, £23
45. L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara, £10.99 46. Wild About Beauty Nourishing Mascara, £18 47. Miss Sporty 24h Pump Up Booster Mascara, £3.99 48. Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara, £15
49. Daniel Sandler Jumbo Jet Mascara, £14.75 50. Art Deco Art Couture Lash Volumizer Mascara, £14.50 51. MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara, £14 52. The Body Shop Big And Curvy Mascara, £10
53. Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara, £18.25 54. Eyeko Lengthening Skinny Brush Mascara, £15 55. MAC Studio Fix Lash Mascara, £14 56. AVON Supershock Mascara, £8.50
57. Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara, £22.50 58. Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara, £19 59. Shiseido Perfect Mascara Full Definition, £23.50 60. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara, £7.99
61. MAC Opulash Mascara, £14 62. Max Factor Lash Extension Effect Extreme Lengthening Mascara, £10.99 63. NYC Show Time Volumising Waterproof Mascara, £1.99 64. Bourjois Ultra Black Volumizer Mascara, £10.99
65. MUA Mascara, £1 66. Bourjois Volume Glamour Max Definition Mascara,£9.99 67. Collection 2000 Mascara, 68. Kiko Luxurious Lashes Mascara, £7.20
69. Eyeko Fat Brush Mascara, £15 70. YSL Shocking Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara, £23 71. Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara, £10 72. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Show Off Mascara, £6.99
73. Seventeen Falsifeye False Lash Effect Mascara, £6.49 74. 2True Wow! Volume Mascara, £1.50 75. Eyeko Black Magic Drama & Curl Mascara, £18 76. MAC Studio Fix Boldblack Lash, £14
77. Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Mascara, £9.99 78. Topshop Volume Lash Mascara, 79. Nars Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara, £19 80. Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara, £17.10
81. Max Factor Wild Mega Volume Volumising Mascara, £6.99 82. Bourjois Volume Glamour Max Mascara, £9.99 83. Gosh Growth Mascara, £8.49 84. Art Deco Amazing Effect Mascara, £11.50
85. Sensai 38°C Mascara, £20 86. Eyeko Curvy Brush Mascara, £15 87. Diego Dalla Palma Graduated Volume Mascara, £17 88. Cargo Triple Action Mascara, £14
89. Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara, £7.99 90. RMK Separate Curl Mascara, £22 91. d.j.v Beautenizer Fiberwig LX Mascara, £18 92. Essential Care Organic Mascara, £17.50
93. Sheer Cover Extra Length Mascara, £17.95 94. Vivo Volume + Length Mascara, £3.49 95. MUA Mega Volume Mascara, £3 96. Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long Wear Mascara, £17.10
97. L’Oreal Paris False Lash Telescopic Mascara , £10.99 98. L’Oreal Paris False Lash Flutter Mascara, £10.99 99. 2True Wow! Volume Waterproof Mascara, £1.50 100. B. A11 Lengthening, defining and Volumising Waterproof Mascara, £9.99
Man oh man is it COLD out! Every morning when I turn on Good Morning America one of the first stories covered has to do with how much of the country is being bombarded with record breaking snow and freezing temperatures. I live in Seattle and although we (thankfully!!!) have not been plagued with this type of winter storm, it is pretty chilly and nothing warms my soul like a comforting pot of homemade soup.
The recipe I wanted to share today is super easy and so comforting. It is a recipe for Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup that I stumbled on years ago while perusing the internet for a yummy and easy chicken soup. The original recipe can be found here, however I have made some changes over the years to make it a bit healthier and tastier, in my opinion. I love to start the soup with a healthy dose of veggies that I like to put in a food processor so that my boys will actually eat the soup and not question everything. You will also notice that I have a bit of an odd flavoring addition which is noted as packets of Ramen flavoring. I know – very weird, but I can’t explain how good that salt in those little packets make this soup! I also like to use either corn starch or potato starch to help make this a gluten free soup and I substituted half and half for the cream in the original recipe as well.
I hope you try this recipe out and let me know what you think. This has become one of our family favorites and hopefully will become one for your family as well.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
3 T. oil
3 T. corn starch or potato starch
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1 package Rice a Roni Wild Rice Mix
2 packets Ramen Soup Mix (I prefer beef flavored for this recipe)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1-2 cups Half & Half
Over medium-high heat in a large stock pot warm 3 T. olive oil.
Place onions, carrots, celery and garlic into a food processor and pulse until all vegetables come to a very, fine chop. Place vegetable mixture into soup pot and sauté until veggies are lightly golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add starch (potato or corn) and cook for 2 minutes.
Add stock, water, rice mix and ramen packets to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover pot and cook for 25 minutes over low heat.
After 25 minutes, add chicken breasts and half and half. Warm for another ten minutes and serve.
I LOVE chocolate, sugar, candy, sweets, and all sorts of amazing, yummy treats. I have tried to give up sugar at times but was so miserable that I will no longer attempt to deprive myself. However, I have promised to be a bit healthier while I embrace my love of sugary sweetness. This is where my delectable Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Parfait comes in.
Chia seeds are amazing for you and are such a versatile ingredient. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in protein, fiber and anti-oxidant rich to boot! These magical seeds naturally thicken in liquid making them the perfect way to create a healthy pudding. My favorite way to enjoy this pudding is to add granola (for crunch) and fresh fruit (in this case raspberries) for a burst of freshness.
I enjoy this pudding for breakfast or it can be eaten as a snack or dessert. This is such a tasty and healthy dish that you can enjoy it guilt-free any time of day. Please let me know of any healthy dessert swaps that you might have!
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Parfait
1 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 T. cocoa powder
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Whisk milk, chia seeds, cocoa powder, brown sugar, white sugar, coffee granules, vanilla extract, and salt together in a bowl until pudding is smooth. Let sit for 5 minutes; stir. Repeat sitting and stirring process at least 2 times.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight. Pour mixture into blender and blend until smooth. Spoon into bowls and top with granola and berries.