It's a Twinderful Life

Looking For the Silver Lining in All of Life's Clouds

The hunt for red (or pumpkin?) October

We’re mid-way through the week, friends! Go ahead and brush your shoulders off.

Can you believe that Bre is having a baby?! I am SO excited! Seriously, it’s probably not even healthy how stoked I am to have a niece/nephew from my twin sis. Since she told me the news our conversations have been centered around pregnancy, cute baby clothes, and nursery decor ideas. I can’t get enough!

I’ve also been wondering if I’ve been experiencing some pregnancy symptoms along with her. For example, since she’s been battling morning sickness for the past couple of months the only thing that sounds good to her is junk food. Oddly enough, my will power to resist the things I shouldn’t eat had completely diminished for a while. I couldn’t say no! Luckily, I’m back on the wagon on that front.

Then, a few days ago, she sent me an instant message at work telling me that she was craving October. You see, October is Bre’s favorite month out of the entire year. She’s loves the crisp mornings, changing leaves, and the smell that’s in the air. She’d start decorating for Halloween right now if she could. Then, she said that she was especially craving autumn leaves. I didn’t think anything of it until she specified that she craved them as in she wanted to EAT them. That’s right, folks, I said EAT. She said that she’d been wanting them for a few days and had chalked it up to a bout of PICA, a disorder that some pregnant women experience that make them crave dirt and chalk and things like that.

Well, yesterday, I was sitting at my desk at work, minding my own business, when I suddenly had this uncontrollable desire (dare I say, craving?) for it to be October as well! I didn’t want to eat leaves like Bre, but I wanted to feel the crisp air, go to the mountains and hike through a grove of trees while the sun shone through the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of the changing  leaves, and eat something with pumpkin in it. The first two I had no control over, but the last one – that was something I could remedy. I picked up a can of pumpkin on the way home and before I knew it my house smelled and tasted like Autumn. I present to you, my Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins.

Unless you have a nut or coconut allergy, these beauties are extremely allergy-friendly. They are gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, and high in protein. They also qualify as paleo, which rocks my socks off.

I found the original recipes (here and here) at one of my favorite blogs (that I’ve mentioned before), Elana’s Pantry. Seriously, that woman is a genius! Her recipe called for eggs (which I can’t have) and grapeseed oil (which I was fresh out of) so I made a few substitutions and, voila – my little babes were born. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

  • 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 2  flax “eggs”
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  1. In a large bowl combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, agave, “eggs” and pumpkin until smooth
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Place paper liners in muffin pan
  5. Scoop batter into paper liners
  6. Bake at 350° for 35 – 45 mins.
  7. Cool
  8. Serve

 Makes 8 muffins

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  1. In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and coconut oil
  2. Stir in agave, vanilla, and salt
  3. Place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to chill and thicken
  4. Remove from freezer and whip frosting with a hand blender until it is thick and fluffy
  5. Spread onto the muffins (whilst trying not to eat spoonfuls of it at the same time)
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Sometimes a girl’s gotta have her pizza…

Happy Hump Day Everyone!  We are halfway to the weekend and I am LOVING it!

We were sitting at lunch yesterday when Bre let me try a bite of he homemade pizza from dinner the night before. I took a few chews and suddenly found myself in the midst of heaven. It was AMAZING! I decided right then and there that I was going to make some homemade pizza of my own when I got home from work. Of course, I would have to be creative and make a pie sans the gluten and dairy that Bre’s delish pizza possessed, and so this fabulous recipe was born!

First, I consulted one of my favorite gluten-free blogs, Elana’s Pantry. I searched for a gluten-free pizza crust recipe and found this little gem:

A video of one of Elana’s fans making her recipe. I followed it, added some changes of my own, and came of with this awesomesauce recipe:

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Egg-free Pizza

Crust (Elana’s original recipe with some changes of my own)
1 1/2 c. blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 TBSP grapeseed oil
1 TBSP golden flaxseed meal mixed with 3 TBSP warm water (and then let it sit for 1 minute)
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 tsp. pizza seasoning (or any herbs that you fancy)

Mix all ingredients together and then flatten into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish that has been coated with Earth Balance Vegan Butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the crust starts to get slighty golden. Pull it out, add your toppings, and put it in for another 8 – 10 minutes until the cheese (or cheese substitute) is ooey gooey and melty.

Toppings
Add whatever toppings float your boat. For the pizza pictured below I did half for me and half for my husband (who can have dairy and loves his cheese). On my half I put:

  • pizza sauce (I used Prego’s Roasted Garlic & Herb)
  • spinach and small bell peppers (minced finely in my food processor)
  • pepperoni
  • lean spicy turkey suasage
  • Daiya cheddar style shreds
  • diced jalepenos ( I love me my spice)
  • crushed red pepper
  • Durango Hickory Smoked Salt (local buy at Harmon’s. I just use a sprinkle; this stuff is like crack and every time I smell it I have this uncontrollable urge to go sit by a campfire)

His half (he’s a simple kind of guy):

  • pizza sauce
  • pepperoni
  • mozerella
  • Durango hickory smoked sea salt

And there you have it, a fabulous pizza to please all! And now for the fun part – a pic!

 

Have a FANTASTIC day!

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