Cravings: From a Gluten-Free Preggo Lady

Generally speaking, it’s not that hard for me to satisfy cravings. I’ve accepted the gluten-free requirement, and have found some lovely replacements and tricks for things that I really really really want. Except. Cookie dough. I miss gooey, yummy chocolate chip cookies, and now that I can’t eat the raw eggs safely, I REALLY MISS chocolate chip cookie dough.

So as I was browsing Instagram today, I saw a tasty-looking photo from MindOverMunch, and decided to check out the recipe. And OMG, it’s egg-free, and gluten-free, and requires no special ingredients or equipment! So I tried it, and damn. It’s tasty. So I’ll share with you!

Preggo-friendly cookie dough treat #recipe

No gluten, and no raw eggs, but tastes delicious!

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TASTY Gluten-Free Raw Salted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, that doesn’t sound super delicious. It harkens back to the sawdust-like biscuits trying to pass themselves off as real food. But, I tried it, and I’m convinced. They’re scrumptious.

The hubby and kiddo have been on a baking kick lately, and per my request, they use wheat flour so I can’t actually eat the whole pan of whatever they make (I have an autoimmune intolerance to wheat). But it’s a cruel joke, because when you smell brownies, and see brownies all day, all you want to do is EAT FACEFULS OF BROWNIES. Like some kind of itchy addict. And, as a pregnant wheat-free mama, I NEED more fiber and WANT more chocolate in my mouth. So I trolled the internet for ideas and found these Blueberry Muffin Bites on MyWholeFoodLife via Pinterest.

Gluten-free raw blueberry muffin bites

Don’t these look tasty? I love blueberries, but MAMA WANTS SOME CHOCOLATE!

Since I’m craving chocolate, I decided to go with a more chocolate-coconut flavor palette.

Supplies:

  • Food processor
  • Baking sheet (for the freezer)
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • 1/4 c and 1 c Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

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No More Balking at Chicken

I was a breast gal. A chicken breast gal. But I got tired of the dried-out, one-note grossness and switched to thighs. While these have more flavor and tend to be juicier, I really wanted to go back to breasts. Mostly because they’re easy to cook. Tonight, I think I unlocked the secrets to making UNREASONABLY JUICY and delicious chicken breast.

You will need:

  • A good pan (cast iron was what I used)
  • Olive oil
  • Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice (bottled is fine)
  • A bowl or freezer bag for marinating
  • Paper towels
  • Tongs
  • Cutting board
  • Chicken breasts
juicy chicken

This was so. damn. good.

1. Marinate

      – I use a combo of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce (that’s really how it’s spelled–I had to look it up), and lemon juice. No recipe, just equal amounts of the sauces, then some lemon juice for good measure.

      – You can marinate as long as you like, but I actually only had about 8 minutes.

2. Heat the pan

      – I used a cast iron skillet, and heated olive oil to just below medium on our gas stove (between 3&4). Heat for a few minutes so the oil and pan are evenly hot.

3. Dab your chicken dry

      – Thanks to Robert Irvine of Restaurant Impossible, I had the forethought to use paper towels to dab and squeeze most of the liquid out of the chicken. Robert’s tip was actually to do this with scallops. The reasoning was that removing the moisture allows the meat to sear, rather than steam. When it steams, the moisture INSIDE cooks out, and you end up with a dry, chewy blob of yuck. I thought I’d try it with chicken. Holy crap, I’m glad I did.

4. Cook it

      – I learned this tip from Gilles LeFort of Ecole de Cuisine Le Fort outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. To get a nice sear without charring your meat, turn it every few minutes. I know some people think this is a sin, but I’ve done this for every steak since his class and it’s been carnivorous perfection. Basically, cook 2 minutes on each side, then turn every minute until it’s done. The amount of total time depends on how thick each piece is, but the breasts we made were on the thinner side, and it took about 12 minutes total. (FYI, a medium-rare filet takes 8 minutes over medium heat).

5. Rest it

      – Once the chicken is cooked through (no pink jelly in the middle, juices run clear), take it out of the pan and let it sit on a cutting board for 2 minutes. This allows the juices to stay inside. If you try to cut it right away, all the juicy goodness runs out, and you dry out your meat, yet again.

6. Devour it!

We went Mediterranean with it this time, piling the plate with homemade hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, capers, olives, and roasted red peppers. MMMMM!

hummus and veggies

So good, even a toddler will eat it!

Cupcakes and Pipe Dreams

I had simple visions of my daughter’s second birthday. A small gathering of friends, a song, some bubbly and cupcakes, hugs, and bedtime. What instead happened was a mysterious chickenpox-like outbreak on the kiddo’s legs, a trip to the doctor, and a day home from daycare. Not to worry, we’re getting through it, and made the best of a day cooped up in the house. However, I still have cupcake envy.

Had I had the afternoon to do it, I would have loved to make cupcakes like this:

Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle

Samoa from Trophy Cupcakes

Or this:

Cupcake Royale in Seattle

Triple Threat from Cupcake Royale

But instead, we went with the box kind. And you know, they don’t taste great, but it was fun to make together. I’d love to whip together my own organic, hand-picked, single origin, roasted-chocolate-salted-tamarind-pink-peppercorn-caramel whatever, but who am I kidding?

Toddlers can help cook

Boxed stuff: easy mixin’

I did make my own frosting. Mmm…butter…
I used this recipe from Martha Stewart. I halved the recipe for one box-worth of cupcakes, but kept the full amount of vanilla. I added in food coloring to get the purple color. And voila!

Chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream

Fake it ’til ya make it.

Frozen vanilla buttercream frosting

Genius idea for leftover frosting: freeze it!

I did have a moment of redemption. I had a little frosting leftover in the piping bag, and figured, why waste it? So I lined a little tray with parchment paper and piped small florets. I have to say, the ones with the chocolate chip on top were the perfect treat! I mean, it looks less pathetic popping these in your mouth than scooping spoonfuls of frosting, right? Right?

Anyway, all’s well that ends well. We had a nice little celebration and will get together with friends once the threat of contagion has lifted. Happy birthday, kiddo!

2nd birthday cupcake

Happy birthday!