Overnight Fruity Oatmeal Parfait

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There is something about Shasta that just clicks with me. I struggle to put my finger on the exact feeling, but as my father says, “It’s in me.” My history with Shasta pre-dates me – my grandfather and my great-uncle started coming here with my father back in 1953. Their quest was mostly to fish and to drink the sulfur water. Continue reading ‘Overnight Fruity Oatmeal Parfait’

Raw Apple ‘Cookies’

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There are those times when it is necessary to change the way you look at things. Change the lens and refocus even on something as simple as an apple. Step out of your comfort zone and Continue reading ‘Raw Apple ‘Cookies’’

Valentine’s Day Pickled Eggs and Beets

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Eggs are one of those sustenance foods that are riddled with meaning and used frequently for analogies. For example, trust is often compared to a delicate egg. Once broken, it cannot be easily repaired. Eggs can also symbolize Continue reading ‘Valentine’s Day Pickled Eggs and Beets’

Smokey Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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Admittedly Super Bowl can be a major snooze-fest for the non-football fanatics of the world. But for many Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most exciting events of the year! Along with game day typically comes lots of Continue reading ‘Smokey Buffalo Cauliflower Bites’

Almond Orange Chocolate Sticks & Chocolate Dipped Raspberry Lime Macaroons (Gluten Free Valentine’s Day Treats)

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Valentine’s Day screams at the top of its lungs – GIVE ME CHOCOLATE! Despite the fact that I am sugar, gluten and dairy free for 30 days as I try to shed my holiday layer, I L-O-V-E my chocolate. I want to be romanced by all of its subtle complex flavors.

Aromas and flavors are certainly seductive. Tantalized by taste, we are drawn to certain foods and flavor combinations that please our senses. The sensual pleasure that we draw from the aroma and taste of food can have an aphrodisiac quality to it; not so different from pheromones.

There are five foods that are claimed to fall into the seductive category. These five foods Continue reading ‘Almond Orange Chocolate Sticks & Chocolate Dipped Raspberry Lime Macaroons (Gluten Free Valentine’s Day Treats)’

Peanut Butter Coconut Balls (Gluten Free)

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The holiday vortex. It is only when I’ve woken up in January from my sugar filled dreams that I realize I’ve been caught in culinary bliss; blissfully drifting from bite to bite through the month of December. My body screams- it’s time to wake up – time to thin down – time to ‘try’ to leave the sugar and excess poundage behind. Every year around this time I do a gentle cleanse. Now don’t panic, it is not just a juice cleanse, which I doubt I could ever do, but it does strip out a few edible options. The cleanse is gluten, dairy, and sugar free. There are a few foods I can’t eat temporarily, but that makes them all the better when I am done resetting my appetite.

As you may have noticed I took a bit of a blogging break. I wanted to have some much needed time to lavish my family in more attention then they could handle! I considered it part of my reset. Writing is something I truly enjoy, but I felt like I needed a few weeks away to really miss it.

I thought a lot about what I would write. Cooking for me in December is a slightly different beast. It is about making all of those treasured family secret recipes that equate to it becoming one of the best meals of the year. The silly thing about this time of year is that despite how much I cook for the holidays, I seldom have time to indulge in my exploratory cooking. I also realized that with so much prep going into these traditional dishes, my weeknight dinners suffered. It’s a bit of a joke as I could cook all day and then for dinner we get take out!

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While on my holiday sabbatical, I read a lot of magazines, most of them pontificating about resolutions. You guessed it. If you thought I was your dream resolutions girl – you’ve got me all wrong. I am the anti-resolution gal. I just hate the idea of making a promise to do something I obviously never wanted to do in the first place to which I then have to feel that I failed.

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So my resolutions go like this: My resolution will be to NOT make a resolution about cleaning out my garage! (to which I am already a blazing success!) ;)

It’s not that I don’t find value in the exercise; I do. I just try to limit my promises and make them realistic. So in the spirit of it all, here are a few I am considering:

- Reflection. Choosing a word or short phrase for the year. Then posting this word/phrase in a prominent place so it remains prevalent in my mind. (Peaceful. Kindness. Giving. Generous. Listening. Patient. Living in the moment. Gratitude. Making Dreams Come True.)

- The Giving Tree. Selecting a charity. Instead of saving all of my spare change for parking meters, I will put half the loose change saved in a jar towards a new charity each time the jar is filled. The other half of the money will remain as is — to be set-aside for the parking gods.

- Me Time. Carving out 10-30 minutes a day to do something for myself.

- Brighten It Up. Get 15 minutes of sunshine a day.

- Embracing The Fat. Coconut oil, avocados, peanuts and meat from grass- fed animals all contain healthy natural fats, which our brain and body need to function optimally. To make sure this is resolution is crossed off my list ASAP, I created this recipe to share with you today. Peanut Butter Coconut Balls. This should really count as THREE resolutions (Me Time) as it is so quick and easy to make, I might even be able to grab 1 full hour of spare time to myself while absorbing some much needed vitamin D in my sunny focused resolution (Brighten It Up); all while embracing the good fat (Embrace the Fat).

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Peanut Butter Coconut Balls


1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup gluten free oat flour

1/2 cup coconut

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder


In a medium size bowl mix peanut butter, honey, vanilla and oat flour. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a food processor finely grate coconut.

Divide the coconut into two bowls. In one bowl add in cocoa, and mix well to combine.

Remove peanut butter from refrigerator and begin rolling into 1/2-inch size balls. Once a ball is formed, roll into either mixture and place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Waffle-Oh (the potato waffle revealed)

For the record, let me say that I am a tried and true fan of potatoes in any format. I haven’t met a potato dish I didn’t like, but I keep on trying to find one. In the meantime I am enjoying every bite along the way. Continue reading ‘Waffle-Oh (the potato waffle revealed)’

St. Lucia Saffron Buns

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‘The holidays are all about giving’ – (right?!) There is a constant anti-consumerism thread that this time of year has become too commercialized. As a gift giver, what I’ve grown to realize is that the holidays are really about giving the gift time. The time it takes to select the perfect gift is no small task. So much thought goes into what to select Continue reading ‘St. Lucia Saffron Buns’

Linguini with Clams

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‘Tiz the Season to gather with family and friends and indulge in some “Festivus for the Rest Of Us!” Don’t know what Festivus is? Really, you didn’t see the December 18, 1997 ‘Strike’ episode of Seinfield? Well then, you need to know more. Continue reading ‘Linguini with Clams’

Pomegranate Panna Cotta & Taste This! Holiday Sale

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The holidays are officially upon us. The season brings with it a hustle and bustle that feels as if it culminates like a hurricane and moves me towards an unstoppable finish. While I certainly don’t consider myself a cynic, the holidays for me bring along a lot of emotional baggage intertwined with cheerful obligation. There is a lot of things I adore about this time of year; like spending time with family, festive occasions with those I hold near and dear, giving special gifts and enjoying the foods that conjure up memories of my childhood celebrations.

That said, it seems impossible for me to not feel overwhelmed with the commitments and Continue reading ‘Pomegranate Panna Cotta & Taste This! Holiday Sale’

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