the best paleo chocolate chip cookies

the best paleo chocolate chip cookies

bump dayIt’s Wednesday! Around here, we call it “bump day.” Each and every Wednesday we’ll post a tip, trick, gadget, or something fun and random to get you through the rest of the week. 

I have a sweet tooth. Probably not a shocker to most! And so when I first started following the paleo diet I thought I was going to go into some serious dessert withdrawal, but after a couple of months I discovered there was a paleo version to just about every dessert out there. Cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, cake, fudge, you name it, someone has attempted to make it paleo, or at the very least paleo-esque. So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this chocolate chip cookie recipe from BakerGal. In fact, I was even more thrilled at the fact that she had done actual research to find the best chocolate chip cookies. What a job, right?! I need to start incorporating dessert-taste-testing research into my daily regime. What a great way to spend the day!

With the Easter holiday this weekend and tons of candy filling the home from school and family-arranged Easter egg hunts, I need a distraction (in the form of something sweet, that is). So instead of grabbing my daughter’s Starburst, which I love by the way, I’ll be grabbing one or four of these wondrous little treats. Actually though, because Gwyneth loves them just as much as me I’m almost positive she’ll be begging for a couple to eat all on her own. And well, since I’ve just baked a batch (with a few tweaks) I thought I’d share my candy-deterrent secret and pass along to you the absolute best paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are so good, in fact, that I much prefer them to the original Tollhouse recipe I grew up with.

the best paleo chocolate chip cookies

paleo chocolate chip cookies
The best paleo chocolate chip cookies. Makes 2 dozen cookies.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 cup agave nectar
  5. 1/4 cup walnut oil (or other nut oil, not peanut)
  6. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  8. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cocoa)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 325F/163C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together agave nectar, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing on medium speed. It will be a thick batter.
  5. Add nuts and chocolate chips.
  6. Taking a small spoonful of batter, roll one-inch balls and space them about two inches apart on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.
  7. Using parchment paper, press the cookies down flat with the palm of your hand, about a 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Bake 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies, oven calibration, and your desired doneness.
  9. Let cool on cooling rack.
Adapted from BakerGal
Adapted from BakerGal
bump & run http://bumpandrunchat.com/

My daughter absolutely loves helping me cook, which has been incredibly wonderful and I recommend it to all parents. Get the kids involved in cooking at a very young age and watch what they are willing to eat!

paleo chocolate chip cookies 2

Remember the batter should be thick enough to be able to roll into small balls. Then using parchment paper and the palm of your hand, press them down to a 1/4 inch thickness. They won’t flatten on their own in the oven, although it would be kind of cool to cook them as is, cookie balls!!!…Okay, I’ve said too much, moving on.

paleo chocolate chip cookies

 Let them cool, which in my family only lasts a minute or two before we dig in.

paleo chocolate chip cookies 3

These make the perfect dessert for anytime of day, anytime of year. We make them year round. So scrumptious! 

paleo chocolate chip cookies

Enjoy!

paleo chocolate chip cookies

What’s your favorite dessert? And have you tried the paleo version?

bre


scrapbook: pinehurst golf academy

scrapbook: pinehurst golf academy

Happy Tuesday! We know, we know. It’s not normally the day of the week that calls for celebration, but we’re still on a high from our trip! We spent our entire weekend at the Pinehurst Golf Academy in North Carolina and we had an amazing time! We were super excited to go, and it did not disappoint. We’ll have a full recap for you soon, but for now, here are some pictures from our incredible trip!

In front of The Carolina Hotel and our first day on the course!

Pinehurst Hotel

The infamous Centennial Course No. 8 where the golf academy took place. It is a gorgeous course!

Pinehurst Resort

Bre teeing off.

Pinehurst Resort

Ree teeing off.

Pinehurst Resort

Much needed drinks after playing 7 hours of golf each day.

Drinks FrameOur last day on Course No. 2 where this year’s US Open will take place. It was an unforgettable experience.

Pinehurst Resort

One of the things they taught and emphasized this week was the importance of on-course training. So with callused hands and exhausted feet, we’re back at the ladies’ clinic today and already have a scheduled tee time this week. Practice, practice, practice!

How was your weekend? 

b & r

 

 

 


roasted grapefruit

roasted grapefruit

bump dayIt’s Wednesday! Around here, we call it “bump day.” Each and every Wednesday we’ll post a tip, trick, gadget, or something fun and random to get you through the rest of the week. 

Today, Ree and I are heading up to the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina and spending the weekend at their golf academy! I think it’s fair to say that we are both unbelievably excited about this trip. It took me several days to pack and I’m still not sure I have everything. Golf bag, golf attire for both cold and warm weather (the mornings will be freezing, to us anyway, and the afternoons will be hot), dinner attire, running gear (have to keep up my half marathon training), and I can’t forget to grab a bottle of duty-free wine from the Barbados airport for the room. Yes, we are going all out and BYOBing it! It’s going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

So, since we’re both traveling and spent the last few days in a panic trying to get everything organized, I thought this would be a great opportunity to post something so incredibly easy to make, but that I absolutely love. It’s an amazing breakfast all on its own and is one of my weekly favorites – roasted grapefruit. 

Roasted Grapefruit

The funny thing about this recipe is that I actually grew up thinking that this was how everyone ate grapefruit. My mom used to always roast her grapefruit, and so before I started cooking on my own I just assumed that it was meant to be cooked. Of course, I’d seen it in salads and other recipes, but when someone sits down to eat just grapefruit (like you would an orange or an apple), I didn’t realize that it could and often is eaten raw. Astonishing realization, I know! And would you believe me if I said that I have still, to this day, not eaten grapefruit on its own raw?

Roasted Grapefruit 2

Anyway, one day a friend stopped by to visit while I was cooking my lovely grapefruit, and she was so intrigued having never seen it done before that we had a full conversation about roasting fruit! With grapefruit in particular, roasting them helps remove some of the sourness and makes them a little sweeter. And after discovering that several of my friends had never roasted a grapefruit before, I thought I had to share this recipe because it is so delish. If you have never tried your grapefruit this way before, try it! You won’t be disappointed.

roasted grapefruit
Serves 1
a simple, healthy breakfast with the classic citrus fruit
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
12 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 grapefruit
  2. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  3. 1 teaspoon honey (or sweetener of choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F/205C.
  2. Using a chef's knife, cut the grapefruit in half and remove any visible seeds.
  3. Using a paring knife, cut completely around the skin of the grapefruit or it's outer edge.
  4. Then cut along the fruit's inside membrane.
  5. Place the grapefruit face up in an oven safe dish.
  6. Sprinkle each half with the cinnamon.
  7. Drizzle each half with the honey, or sweetener of choice.
  8. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the fruit has swelled.
  9. Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Often times when eating a grapefruit raw, it's suggested to cut a bit off the bottom so the fruit will lay flat on your plate making it easier to handle. When cooking a grapefruit though, it's best not to cut the end off so you don't lose any juices or, more importantly, the honey and cinnamon goodness.
bump & run http://bumpandrunchat.com/

The hardest part about the entire recipe is really just cutting the grapefruit, which actually you would do anyway if you were eating it raw. You can use a double blade grapefruit knife, which certainly makes the cutting process so much easier and helps to eliminate the stinging shot of juice in the eye. I have one, and it’s great! 

DSC_0003

Well, that’s it. Enjoy and have a fab weekend!

Have you ever had roasted grapefruit? What’s your favorite way to eat grapefruit? What do you have planned for the weekend? 

bre


scrapbook: barbados

scrapbook: barbados

I’ve had a bunch of family staying with me for the past ten days, and I’m super, super sad to see them leave today=( It’s always so much fun to play hostess and to spend some rare quality time together.

When my husband and I decided to move to Barbados, we knew we would be giving up precious time with our family and friends. No more summer bbq’s, Thanksgivings, or pumpkin picking. No more Christmas Eve’s spent with the entire family, but living in paradise does have its perks. We can treat our family to a fabulous vacation! And the best part about having guests is getting to see the island through a tourist’s eyes. When you live somewhere, it’s easy to forget about the cool things your country or city has to offer. So I put together a bit of a scrapbook about Barbados, the island I call home…for now (being an expat means a move is inevitable)!

The turquoise sea and white sandy beaches beckon you from the plane!

Grab a bucket of beer at Bert’s bar. Banks is the local beer of Barbados.

Since it’s a former British colony, British sports are very popular. Take in a cricket match at Kensington Oval, or head to one of the many polo fields and watch a polo match. Don’t forget the Champagne!

Take a catamaran tour and and snorkel with the beautiful sea turtles!

Sea turtle

Fields of sugar cane produce wonderful rum. It flows like water here! Find a rum shack with a view, or take a tour of the local distilleries, like Mount Gay or St. Nicholas Abbey.

Fields of sugar cane produce wonderful rum. Take in a factory tour or visit a rum shack with an amazing view

(clockwise l to r: rum shack, Mount Gay, St. Nicholas Abbey)

Don’t forget to book a tee time! We have some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean (see my reviews here).

Apes Hill Golf Course

Watch out for traffic jams! The blackbelly sheep tend to wander.

Barbados blackbelly sheep

To finish your day, watch the sun set over the Caribbean Sea.

Barbados sunset

Have you ever been to Barbados? Where is your favorite place to vacation?

ree

 

  


homemade dog food

homemade dog food

Since we’ve been focusing on our bff’s (best furry friends) this week (see our posts here and here), I wanted to share with you my recipe for homemade dog food. Yup, I make my dog’s food. Crazy right? But there’s a good reason why I do it! 

Please note that this is a diet that has been designed specifically for my dog, with the guidance of her veterinarian. By no means am I suggesting that you change your dog’s food, or am I suggesting that any other food (store bought, dry, wet, raw, etc.) is wrong. This is simply my story about the cleanest eater in our household. If you are interested in changing your dog’s diet, please consult a licensed animal care practitioner before doing so.

I never used to make our dog’s food, and I had absolutely no intention of starting. I mean, I could barely figure out what my husband and I were going to eat during the week, when would I have time to meal plan for a dog?

When I lived in Canada, I fed my miniature-dachshund, Lucy, a store bought, dry food from a company called Acana. She loved it, her weight was stable, she was healthy, and all was good. Then we moved to Barbados and that all changed.

We found out that the food she ate wasn’t available on our tiny little island. And it’s not easy to pack a big bag of dog kibble in my luggage every few months, and sneak it through customs! With the advice of her vet, I slowly transitioned her to a food that was available. Unfortunately, within a short time of being on the new food, Lucy had some issues in the bathroom department (no need to go into detail). Good times. So we tried another brand. Same thing. By the time we got to the third brand of food, she refused to eat altogether. I could hear her stomach rumbling from across the room! She wouldn’t eat her food, she refused to drink water, and then she refused to get out of bed in the morning. My poor pup! 

One night I noticed that she showed a lot of interest in the chicken I was cooking for dinner. Desperate to get some food into her, I gave her some cooked chicken and she gobbled it up, and then, of course as any dog would, begged for more.

ingredients_2

The next day I called her vet, and asked them about a homemade diet. They provided me with recipes and suggested serving sizes, and I went about making my first batch of dog food. That was almost three years ago and I haven’t looked back!

Lucy’s food is very clean and pretty easy to prepare! 

homemade dog food
a clean, homemade dog food
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of diced baked chicken, turkey or beef (boneless, or bones removed)
  2. 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  3. 1 cup of mixed vegetables (ie. corn, carrots, green beans, lima beans, peas, sweet potato, broccoli, brussels sprouts)
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in food processor.
  2. Portion them out in freezer bags.
  3. Thaw as needed.
Notes
  1. Drizzle food with coconut oil at feeding time.
  2. Every two weeks add some sardines to the bowl, for added calcium.
  3. NOTE: Before changing your dog's diet please consult with their veterinarian or animal health care provider.
  4. NOTE: Certain foods are toxic for dogs. Double check that the ingredients you use are safe.
bump & run http://bumpandrunchat.com/

I am considering increasing the amount of protein as it seems a bit carb heavy for her current activity level. And I always use the same frozen mixed vegetable medley, consisting of green beans, carrots, corn, peas, and lima beans. Then I cook and add whatever veg we have leftover in our fridge. I’ve used broccoli, brussels sprouts, and sweet potato, and she loves them all.

Please note that there are certain fruits, vegetables, and other items that are either not recommended, or are toxic, for dogs. Go here for a full list of items to avoid. 

A big bowl of dog chow!

A big bowl of dog chow!

Once the ingredients are cooked, I blend them up in the food processor and that’s it! The food gets portioned into freezer bags and thawed as needed. Without preservatives, the food will spoil if left in the fridge for too long. 

Portioned out and ready to freeze

Portioned out and ready to freeze

When I’m dishing out her evening meal, I’ll drizzle it with coconut oil, and every two weeks I’ll open up a can of sardines and portion that out over the week. Homemade dog food can be lacking in calcium, and I was advised to use either bone meal or sardines, to supplement. Let me tell you…sardines do NOT help puppy breath! Whew! Finally, she gets a doggy multi-vitamin every second day.

After almost three years, Lucy’s coat is shiny, her skin, teeth, and eyes are bright and healthy, and her weight has been consistent.

While this may not be the right approach for everyone’s four-legged friend, it’s one that’s worked really well for us. We have a happy, healthy pup, and that’s what matters!

Lucy approved!

Lucy approved!

What do you feed your pet?

Have you made any food or treats for you pet? I’d like to try making homemade dog treats one day.

ree