Blueberry Lavender Scones

Sunday mornings have always been sacred in our home.  It is our time to unwind and reconnect to all that is important.  A weekly moment to reclaim all that is happy in our lives.  

We take it slow... very slow.  Our morning usually starts with the pitter patter of little feet making their way to the "big bed".  We all snuggle in for a bit and happily give up our usual get-up-and-go routine.  Once we do decide to move on from the comfort of the bed, french pressed coffee is brewed and we begin to make breakfast with the tunes of Damien Rice, Rachael Yamagata, and Madeleine Peyroux playing in the background.  

Sometimes the morning calls for pancakes. Other times it is eggs, bacon and fresh fruit.  Some days is a new recipe that I have been brewing up in my head for a while. No matter what we make, I always have a little helper by my side.  A chair pushed up to the counter.  Messy measurements of ingredients dumped into a bowl.  Little fingers sneaking samples. Watching her smell and taste each ingredient like she has been doing this for decades.  My little sous chef is a natural. 

This Sunday morning has been inspired by the fresh blueberries of the season and the smell of dried culinary lavender that has been beckoning me for weeks.  My Sunday morning creations always seem to fit my current mood.  Today's mood is happy, bright and summery, but also a bit calm and introspective all at the same time.

Yes, I think Blueberry Lavender Scones will be perfect this Sunday morning.

Blueberry Lavender Scones

2-1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried lavender
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 tbsp vanilla
1-2 splashes of milk (I use coconut milk)
1-2 tbsp of melted coconut oil
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Muddle or roughly chop the lavender.  Your goal with this is to release the aroma and flavor and create a little bit of lavender dust that will incorporate itself into the dough.  Just focus on breaking it up a bit.  It is perfectly okay to a mix of broken up and whole lavender buds.  
In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the lavender. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix with a spatula until well incorporated.

Once the wet ingredients are all mixed together, slowly fold in the blueberries.  You want to be gentle with this so that you don't accidentally smash all the blueberries.

The mixture will be very wet.  Flour a clean work surface well.  Spoon the scone mixture onto your floured work space.  Sprinkle flour on top of the scone mixture.  Then, with your fingers, start pressing on the dough to form a disc that is between 3/4 to 1 inch thick.  Cut the disc into 8 triangles and place on a lined or greased baking sheet.  This process does not have to be exact.  Remember, scones are meant to be  a bit rustic looking.  Sometimes when I am feeling a bit indulgent, I cheat and sprinkle some vanilla sugar on the top of each scone just before putting them in the oven.
Bake 15-18 minutes or until the bottom edges are starting to brown.  Once done, let them cool a bit on the baking sheet.  Serve warm or at room temperature... either way, they are delicious.
Hope you are enjoying a happy, lazy Sunday morning.

From My Kitchen: Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are one of life's most simple pleasures.  Comfort food at its finest.  So when I discovered that regular flour was a no go with my stomach, I really struggled with chocolate chip cookie cravings.

Since going gluten free, I have attempted many, many variations of chocolate chip cookies recipes.  Some have been epic failures.  Others were okay, but the rest of my family would never want to eat them.  Over the last year and a half, my quest for greatness has persevered.

My husband, the resident sweet tooth critic, has categorized my attempts into the following categories:
  • So horrible that they immediately go in the trash
  • Okay, but not good enough to serve to regular gluten-eating folks
  • Fantastic and worthy of public consumption by friends and family
I am happy to report, that with this recipe, we have found a winner and have finally broken into that third category!!! I am so proud of this fact that I kind of want to list my success on my resume.  Not that chocolate chip cookies are really relevant to the ecommerce, but you never know.

Without further ado, I give you Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (grain free)!

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 cups of almond flour*
1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and baking soda.   
In a separate bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter with the sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla. 

Once the wet ingredients are all mixed together, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  I usually just add 1 cup at a time.  Mix well so that everything is incorporated.  Once everything is mixed, gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Form the dough into tablespoon balls and place on a lined baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake for about 13 minutes until the bottom edges start to get golden brown.  Once done, let the cookies completely cool on the baking sheet.

While these cookies are best enjoyed on the day they are baked, I do recommend that once baked you store them in a ziploc bag in the fridge.  For anything that I am not planning to eat that day or the next, I will freeze the pre-baked dough balls and just pull them out whenever a chocolate chip craving hits.  You better believe we are stocking up on these in the freezer for when baby girl comes! 

* NOTE: For the almond flour, I like using Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour.  I buy it online through Amazon and keep it in fridge.  For the chocolate chips, I really like Guittard semi-sweet or Enjoy Life.  Both of those companies do not process with peanuts or gluten.  Love that!

So it's been a while...

So it's been a while since my last post.  Sorry about that.  Can we be friends again and just forget this ever happened?

To get us back on track, let me fill you in on the last few months.  Here are the highlights:

:: Our tribe is about to get a bit bigger.  We have another little one on the way.  Did I mention that I am 7-1/2 months pregnant?!! What?!?! (that 5 month hiatus is starting to make a little more sense, huh?)    This pregnancy has been a bit stressful at times, but we are in the home stretch and could not be more excited to meet our second little girl. I just have to survive this Texas heat.

:: This one has grown and grown and grown.  Quite the sassy one, she is.  But we can't help but love her to pieces.

:: We just got back from an amazing road trip to the beach.  I LOVE the ocean so much. I could go every day for the rest of my life and never tire of it.

So as you can see, life is good... really good. Now it is your turn.  How's life?

Everyday life

Here are the highlights from this past week...
Cooking with my new bowl.  The pop of color makes me so happy on these gloomy days.
She is getting better and better each day!  She will be speed racing the neighborhood by summer.

apple skin chips
My new spice storage solution.  I have had this old soda bottle crate for years now and can't believe that I just now thought of this idea.

One morning we were all woken up at 5:30 in the morning by a sleet thunderstorm.  Not very often that we get to see white on the ground in these parts.
Almond Flour donuts - YUM - recipe will be posted soon.
Sometimes I feel that this little girl toy is always watching me.
A little Valentine's Day bling for the front door.