New Book! Fat Chance

Yesterday on NPR's Science Friday, Ira Flatow spoke with Dr. Robert Lustig about his just-released Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. In the book, Dr. Lustig, endocrinologist and obesity specialist, deconstructs the mythology of fat.

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Cookies in a Pinch! Thanks EatPastry®



"Hi, yes, this is your son's teacher calling and I forgot to mention that Johnny is celebrating his birthday in class today and that we're having cookies and Kool-Aid®. I was wondering if you could bring something by in the next hour?"


Is this call all too familiar?

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Play and Nature

This month I am joining CELESTIAL SEASONINGS in kicking off the New Year right with the TEALC WELLNESS CHALLENGE. I have committed to the personal challenges; "To Be Happy(er)" and to drink tea daily. I thank each one of you who has shared their personal challenge for 2013 in THIS POST. You have inspired me and encouraged me to keep growing. For those just joining in, head on over and share your personal challenge in a comment HERE by 12:00 pm PST, January 11th and you'll be entered to win a month's supply of Celestial Seasonings wellness tea and a copy of the movie HAPPY™.


I have a good life.

I am content.

I am happy.

But the notion of being even happier intrigues me. Can one be filled with too much happiness? I think not. And so this year my personal challenge for 2013 is to ramp up my happiness meter. 


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It's Going to Be a Very Happy New Year


Happy New Year my sweet friends! It's going to be a great one, I just know it.

If you're ready for a fresh start and some positive change, I invite you to follow the “31 Days of TeaLC” challenge Celestial Seasonings is hosting this month.

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2012 All-Star Recipes from Jeanette's Healthy Living

Hello from Jeanette's Healthy Living!

Hi everyone, I'm Jeanette from Jeanette's Healthy Living! Thanks so much Lexie for hosting me here at Lexies' Kitchen as part of the 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes event. What a fun way this has been to see the best of the best gluten-free recipes for 2012!

Our Story

I started Jeanette's Healthy Living 2 1/2 years ago as a place to record recipes I was making for friends with cancer. In December 2010, our youngest son was found to have food allergies and I began chronicling my journey to learn how to cook and bake gluten-free for my son.  At first, I was at a loss at how to make his favorite meals free of the foods he was allergic to. Through an elimination diet, we were able to heal my son's gut and today, he is only gluten-free. Thanks to Lexie's Kitchen and other gluten-free blogs, I can now cook and bake gluten-free easily (most of the time).

I try to cook as healthy as I can for my family, but never sacrifice on flavor. My motto is that everything I make has to taste great. I'm always trying out new recipes and cuisines on my family, so you'll find all sorts of gluten-free recipes on my blog - North American, South American, Asian, European, and African. In fact, I've found it much easier to cook gluten-free because I have learned how to cook different cuisines that are naturally gluten-free.

My Favorite Recipe from 2012

Before revealing the 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes from my site, I want to highlight an all-star blogger and recipe that quickly became a family favorite in 2012. It's decadent, but perfect for a special occasion and lighter than you might expect—Chef Dennis' Spaghetti Fresca with Jumbo Lump Crab (served over gluten-free pasta of course!). 

This dish is very easy to make and doesn't require a lot of ingredients. I've adapted this recipe slightly to make it saucier by adding more tomato and stretching the crabmeat (I use a 1-pound can from Costco's for 4-5 servings). This has become our kid's favorite 2012 celebratory dish and would be perfect for New Year's Eve. It's also perfect for anyone who is dairy-free and egg-free. Given how decadent crab is, I love how light this recipe is.

Jeanette's Healthy Living 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes

Now for the drumroll...This year the top three honors at Jeanette's Healthy Living go to Beginner Green Tea SmoothieDetox Beet and Carrot Smoothie, and Strawberry Banana French Toast Casserole. Interestingly enough, two of my most popular recipes are for smoothies. These smoothie are so good for you, so I'm glad to see that they garnered so much interest. I know they'll be a great way to kick-start the New Year! I'm not at all surprised that the Strawberry Banana French Toast Casserole made the top 3 as it is a favorite in our house, easy to make, and so naturally beautiful.

Beginner Green Tea Smoothie
{Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free}

I posted this recipe at the beginning of the year when everyone (including me) was coming off all the celebratory eating from the holidays, and ready to detoxify their bodies. I think people were especially drawn to this Beginner Green Smoothie because I served it in shot glasses. It was a great way to get my kids (and adults alike) to try a green smoothie. Here is the recipe. 

Detox Beet and Carrot Smoothie 
{Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free}

This red smoothie is a tease because it is so vibrant in color and looks like it's going to taste like strawberries. I posted this smoothie recipe at the beginning of the year when I was trying to incorporate more vegetables at breakfast time. It is such a brilliant red color that my husband thought it was a strawberry smoothie. He drank it all, then looked at me with a puzzled face, wondering what was in the smoothie. I had "tricked him" into drinking something healthy—ha! Here is the recipe. 

Strawberry and Banana French Toast Casserole
{Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

I first made this pretty French toast casserole for my kids after one of my sons had his wisdom teeth pulled and I wanted to make something soft and special. It's a great way to get kids to eat fruit at breakfast time, and it's really easy to make. One father wrote: "This is awesome!! My son and I made for my wife for Mother’s day. Easy to make and tastes great! Thanks for the recipe." Here is the recipe.

Follow Jeanette's Healthy Living

I hope you enjoyed my 2012 Top Recipes. Please pop over to Jeanette's Healthy Living and check out more recipes. I have lots of recipes focused on whole food living, all family tested.

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2012 All-Star Recipes from Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats

Hello from Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats!

Hi there! My name is Sarah and I love to bake...gluten free!  I share all of my most favorite recipes and baking adventures over at Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats. From cakes, to cookies, to breads, to muffins. All of my recipes are gluten free, and you'll find dairy/egg free goodies too. I am so excited to be sharing my top 3 recipes on (insert your blog) for the 2012 Gluten Free All-Star Recipes event. So fun! 

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2012 All-Star Recipes from Tasty Yummies


Hello from Tasty Yummies!

Hi there, I am Beth from Tasty Yummies! I am so excited to be here at Lexie's Kitchen as part of the 2012 Gluten-free All-Star Recipes event. Thanks so much to Lexie for having me!

I started sharing my gluten-free recipes on Tasty Yummies nearly 3 years ago when I decided to clean up my diet, cut out all processed foods and be much more mindful and aware of everything I was eating and where it was coming from.

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2012 All-Star Recipes from Cara's Cravings

Hello from Cara's Cravings!

Raise your hand if you're hungry.

Glad I'm not alone! Who wouldn't be ravenous after all the temptingly delicious 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes that have been shared around the web this week? Kudos (gluten-free ones, of course) to Lexie for coming up with this fabulous idea and rounding up some of the most talented gluten-free recipe developers to be a part of it. I'm honored to be a part of it! And big thanks to Lexie for featuring me today!

Something you should know about me is that I'm not your average gluten-free blogger. Believe it or not, I can tolerate gluten seemingly just fine, as can my husband (the only other member of my household for now, but that will be changing in a few short months!) And yet, just about everything I cook at home (and all of what has made it to my blog in recent years) is gluten-free. Everyone from gluten-eating carb-lovers to discouraged celiacs must be wondering, "Why do that to yourself if you don't have to?" If that is eating a variety of clean, wholesome foods that offer myriad nutritional benefits and never getting board, I'll happily keep doing it. Bonus if more people can enjoy my food because it happens to be gluten-fre—and if gluten-lovers can learn that there are good reasons to go beyond wheat flour every now and then.

Of course, I haven't always embraced this philosophy. I've always been a food lover, which was very evident as I was obese through early childhood and most of college. Things turned around in my early 20's, when I decided that someday I'd meet a wonderful guy and with that man I'd probably want to have children, not raise them to be obese, and that I'd be so in love with said husband and children that I'd want to live as long and active a life as possible and soak up every minute with them. This motivation was worth a lot more than simply wanting to fit into a pair of size 6 jeans. I adopted a (mostly) low-carlorie diet and began exercising until I reached a healthy weight. And how have I managed to stay there and indulge my love of food? By learning to cook! With colorful, nutritious, and exciting ingredients. It's funny how many people think you must deprive yourself to eat healthy as a food-lover; I think it's quite the opposite. I'm grateful to enjoy so many foods as it just opens up more possibilities for healthy, delicious things to eat.

Cara's Cravings Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes of 2012

Now that you know me, how about getting to know some of my recipes? Here are a few that my readers really loved in 2012.

Mint Chocolate Brownie Protein Bars

These Mint Chocolate Brownie Protein Bars were hugely popular both on the blog and in this house. In fact, they've spawned a wide variety of spin-off flavors we regularly enjoy, so much that I've considered putting out an e-book of all the flavors. Would you like to see something like this? These bars are sweet and chewy, naturally sweetened, and vegan—yet they boast 12 satisfying grams of protein, something I see missing from most dried-fruit-and-nut concoctions. Here is the recipe.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

When going through this year's top views and comments, I was psyched to see my Salted Caramel Ice Cream right near the top! Just the other day I was telling my husband I *need* to make this again. I could tell you about the healthy, vegan ingredients and lack of refined sugar, but I'd rather let your mouth water with thoughts of rich, dark caramel blended into an unthinkably creamy base, perfect for scooping on top of a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie. That's how we first fell in love with it! Here is the recipe.

Melon Mojito Fish Tacos

And since sweets aren't for everyone, I'm happy to share some savory nosh that went over particularly well. My Melon Mojito Fish Tacos are certainly not your average taco; but we love our tacos here and I rarely make normal ones. This fusion of zesty mint-and-lime marinated white fish topped off with bright purple cabbage and green honeydew melon was as pretty to look at as it was delicious to eat, and got me through a long-lasting summer affair with melon. Here is the recipe.

One of My Favorite Recipes of 2012

Finally, I want to highlight an extremely popular recipe that I can't take total credit for. This Strawberry "Cheesecake" with Almond-Macadamia Crust by my friend Alta of Tasty Eats at Home was the inspiration for my Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes—and a jumping point for me to begin incorporating cashews into more creamy dairy-free concoctions.

Follow Cara's Cravings

Once again, thanks to Lexie's Kitchen and all the other participating bloggers for making this such a yummy and fun event—and proof that 2012 is going to be hard to top!

Want to join me for a delicious 2013? Here's how you can stay in touch:

Subscribe to Cara's Cravings via email or your favorite reader
"Like" Cara's Cravings on Facebook
Follow @carascravings on Twitter
Check out my favorite recipes on Pinterest
See what I'm eating on Instagram


2012 All-Star Recipes from kumquat

Hello from kumquat!

It is quite an honor to be a part of this talented and inspiring crew of gluten-free bloggers for this 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes event. It's been awfully fun to see what have turned out to be hit recipes on these blog—and now it's time for me to share the winners from my site.

But first, let me introduce myself. I'm Gretchen. By training, I'm a registered dietitian, recipe developer and food stylist. Almost six years ago, after a lifetime of health issues and tummy pains, I omitted gluten from my life and everything seemed to turn around. 

A few years later, now a full-time mommy, I craved a creative outlet for sharing gluten-free recipes and the photographs I wanted to take of them. Even more I wanted to spread hope and deliciousness to those who, like me, cannot eat gluten but aren't willing to skimp on taste. So that's how kumquat was born... 

My Favorite Recipe of 2012

Before I share the 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes from my site, let me pause to tell you about one of my very favorite gluten-free food blogs, that is if you haven't already discovered it. In my opinion, Coco of Roost has one of the loveliest and most inspiring sites. Her recipes are all very clean and delightful, both visually and in ingredient list. All of her posts make me swoon a bit. But when I saw her Cinnamon Roll Almond Flour Donuts I knew I had to try them. Their simplicity is just as satisfying as their delicate flavor and tender texture. 

kumquat's 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes

Now, back to kumquat... Admittedly, my site contains a heavy dose of sweets. I've yet to successfully curb my sweet tooth and my blog seems to be where most of those creations land. A proper dietitian would have a healthier balance, I know, so I'm working on that. Slowly. So it's no great surprise that the top recipes from my site were a bit on the sweet side.

Blueberry Coconut Pecan Breakfast Cookies

The recipe that has been above and beyond, by miles and miles, the greatest hit this year are these Blueberry Coconut Pecan Breakfast Cookies. Maybe it's the title... who wouldn't want a cookie for breakfast? Whatever the reason, my reason for developing them is because I wanted something not only quick and simple, but also tasty and healthy for breakfast. These fit every description and have clearly hit a cord with lots of folks. Click here for the recipe.

Nutella Crepe Cake

Next up is this Nutella Crepe Cake. Okay, I'm a full disclosure girl... this cake was sinfully delicious and truly lovely to behold. However, it was a bit of work and a fantastic mess. I say fantastic because it is Nutella we're talking about and I don't think it's possible to complain about chocolate-hazelnut dripping down your chin. If you disagree, then luckily a little chill time in the fridge helps keeps things a little tidier. If you dream of Nutella Crepes, like I do, then this is a must try! Click here  for the recipe.

Iced Coconut Chai Tea Latte

The third All-Star Recipe was a bit of an unexpected one to me... Iced Coconut Chai Tea Latte. I think people are really inspired by easy beverage recipes that are a tasty change-up from their usuals. Because dairy isn't a friend of mine, those iced coffee house drinks are mostly off limits to me... so like many recipes on my site, I decided to make my own. So, as an easy off-the-cuff idea stirred together, photographed and posted, this recipe has been a hit! Click here for the recipe.

2012 has been quite a year for me, both personally and professionally! Truly a year I won't ever forget. In all of the chaos and joys and pains of 2012, I've been so grateful for my little space.  And I've been humbled and thrilled by both the fellow bloggers, like Lexie, whose creativity inspires me and the generous readers whose kind comments encourage me! Thanks, too, to Lexie's Kitchen for wrangling us all together to share a little bit and pass our love around.

 May you all be blessed as this year comes to an end ... I certainly look forward to what next year will bring, and I hope to share some of it with you over at kumquat.

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2012 All-Star Recipes from All Day I Dream About Food

Hello from All Day I Dream About Food!

Greetings, fine readers of Lexie's Kitchen. In the likelihood that you know nothing about me or my blog, All Day I Dream About Food, let me tell you a little about myself.

I really do dream about food all day and I always have. However, I am also a diabetic, which makes the foods I dream about a little more limiting. I do not fit the typical profile of someone with Type 2 diabetes, as I am slender, fit and have always eaten healthfully. But it is what it is, and there is no use crying over the proverbial spilled milk.

I am pleased to say that I control my blood glucose levels entirely through diet and exercise. Besides becoming a very dedicated long-distance runner, I also switched to a low carb, gluten-free diet. And I can honestly say that I believe this is the way humans are supposed to eat. It just so happens that I have a Master’s degree in human evolution, so I feel I am uniquely qualified to say that!   

You will find that my blog tends to focus on baked goods and sweets, but also includes main dishes, side dishes, soups and salads. I lean heavily towards the baked goods because I’ve always had a passion for baking (and, let’s face it, for the end results!). But I also feature decadent treats and “bready” foods because these are the things that newly diagnosed diabetics and low carb dieters think they have to give up for good. Nothing delights me more than proving them otherwise, and I’ve become quite a whiz with almond flour, if I do say so myself. Cakes, cookies, muffins, quick breads…it’s all possible to be gluten and sugar free. And seriously delicious. 

I am not vegan or vegetarian, but many of my baked goods can be adapted as such. If you have any questions about how to adapt one of my recipes, please let me know. I’d be more than happy to help you figure it out.  

The Top 3 Recipes from 2012 on All Day I Dream About Food

Light and Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes

If you’ve ever worked with coconut flour, you will know that it’s a strange beast. It soaks up liquids like crazy and stubbornly remains as thick as porridge, and it needs a lot of eggs to make it rise and hold together. I’ve had many a coconut flour fail, but as it is both gluten-free and low carb, it’s an ideal ingredient for me so I keep on trying.  And these pancakes were a huge success. Many readers raved about them, and they happen to be the most searched for recipe on my blog. I guess a lot of people out there want pancakes made with coconut flour! One word of note: it seems that different brands of coconut flour differ somewhat in consistency. If you find your batter too thin, add one more tablespoon of coconut flour to help thicken it up. Here is the recipe. 

Mini Maple Pumpkin Cheesecakes

What is it about things in miniature that make them so appealing?  Is it the fact that we can pick them up with our fingers and pop them into our mouths in one fell swoop?  Whatever it is, these sweet little guys were very popular.  They were creamy and light, and had a crust that tasted like maple shortbread. And I happened to make them with my homemade cream cheese recipe, which I also highly recommend. If you don’t have a mini cheesecake pan, you can make a large size, but I recommend doubling both the crust and the filling, and it will take longer to bake. Here is the recipe.

Crispy Rosemary Sriracha Chicken Thighs

I'd love to tell you that it is my expertise in the kitchen that led me to create this popular recipe, but it was more of an accident than anything else. I was putting together a recipe I’d used several times, but I ran out of hot sauce and decided to sub in Sriracha. And I was distracted by my son, who needed help with his homework, so before I knew it, I’d put in far more than the 2 teaspoons I intended. I decided to go ahead with it anyway, and it was amazing. It’s not overly spicy, the yogurt seems to subdue the Sriracha in the marinade. But it’s tangy and delicious and has become a family staple…for my family and apparently for many others as well! Here is the recipe.

One of My Favorite Recipes from 2012

Finally, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favourite low carb, gluten-free bloggers, the lovely Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal. Maria and I have worked to together on a couple of projects, including a cookbook and a series of short cooking show clips for a local channel down in New Orleans.

For one of the clips, she made her delicious Flourless Chocolate Torte. This dish is amazing and I’ve adapted it into Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies on my own blog.

Enjoy! And Happy Gluten-Free Holidays!

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2012 All-Star Recipes from The Spicy RD

Hello from The Spicy RD!

I’m EA, aka The Spicy RDI’m delighted to be posting at Lexie's Kitchen today, and honored to be a part of this amazing and talented group of 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipe bloggers.

First, a few tidbits about myself, The Spicy RD Blog, and my gluten-free lifestyle ...

I’m a dietitian and mom of two, and have been eating gluten-free for almost 6 years now, since I discovered gluten and other food sensitivities were at the root of my symptoms from Sjogrens’ Syndrome and Fibromyalgia {you can read more about my nutrition journey here}.  

While the best part about eating gluten-free has been feeling healthy, happy, pain-free, and full of energy again, a secondary benefit has been re-discovering my love of cooking and baking. Rather than feeling deprived on a gluten-free diet, my diet is full of healthy and delicious variety, which is what you will find on The Spicy RD blog where I share my {mostly} healthy, {sometimes} indulgent recipes along with my other loves: family, travel, fitness, and just plain old fun!

One of My Favorite Recipes from 2012

Before I share my Spicy RD favorites from 2012, I’d love to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers, Melanie Flinn of Nutritious Eats, and her deliciously healthy “dessert for breakfast”, Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal.

Although not all of Melanie’s recipes are gluten-free, her Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal is {if you use certified gluten-free oats}, and she and I share a similar food philosophy, that’s based mostly on fresh wholesome foods, with definite wiggle room for home baked treats! If you like apples, oatmeal, and/or pie {not necessarily in that order!} be sure and check out the recipe, which has become one of our family favorites. It definitely goes without saying that my kids love eating “pie” for breakfast!

And Now on to the Spicy RD 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes

Lemony Kale Pasta and Pistachio Salad
{Gluten-Free. Omit the parmesan for vegan option}

I didn’t discover kale until a little over a year ago, but ever since my discovery {and sub sequential love affair with kale!}, I have made it my personal mission to get all my family, friends, and readers to try it and enjoy it in any which way, shape or form. I think I have almost succeeded, but I have to confess, my daughter is still a holdout. Whether you are on {or off} the fence about kale, I urge you to try this favorite recipe of mine that made my hubby a true kale believer! Click here for the recipe.

Fresh Apple Pie Smoothie
{Gluten-Free. Vegan option}

Smoothies make a regular appearance in our household, and what better way to have “pie” for breakfast {Ahem…Do you see a pie theme going on here???} than in this wholesome whole fruit {leave the skin on for extra nutrition!}, apple pie spiced smoothie. Click here for this most pinned Spicy RD smoothie recipe of 2012.

Rosemary Parmesan Polenta Fries 
{Gluten-Free. Omit the parmesan for vegan option.}

A green thumb I am not, but I have copious amounts of fresh rosemary thriving in my garden, and this all-time reader favorite recipe from 2012 makes for an absolutely delicious twist on the standard French Fry, plus, it’s a great way to use up a wee bit of my rosemary!  Click here for the super easy, delicious recipe.

Follow Me!

Thanks so much for reading, and I’d love to continue sharing my easy, healthy, and delicious gluten-free recipes with you in 2013!

Check out The Spicy RD blog here, and let’s connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle +, and Pinterest.  Wishing you and your families the healthiest and happiest of holidays!


2012 All-Star Recipes from Beard and Bonnet

Hello from Beard and Bonnet!

Hi, I am Meg and I blog over at Beard and Bonnet! Thank you Lexie for hosting me at Lexie's Kitchen for the 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes event. I am so honored and humbled to be a part of this fabulous group of bloggers whom send inspiration to my own personal inbox every week!

What you should know about me...the short version.

I am happily married to my best friend and business partner, Todd, and we have 2 amazing children, Eliza and Kash! We have always eaten a healthy diet that is primarily vegetarian. I buy local whenever possible, and we try to avoid junk food and fast food. Our now almost 2 year old son was born with a nasty little cough that was deemed chronic at 4 months old. His cough was accompanied by a constant runny nose, acid reflux, severe ear infections lasting more than 30 days at a time, and extremely slow weight gain when we introduced solid foods. Our pediatricians ordered every test imaginable during his first year of life to try and figure out what the problem was. Possible diagnosis' ranged from silent acid reflux to structural problems with his organs to..wait for it, it's a wild one...Kawasaki's disease.  Every test brought more questions than answers and more prescriptions for medications that "might" help.

At our wit's end and a little more than 2 weeks away from ear tubes and an invasive test to look into his bronchial tubes that required sedation, we met with a Chiropractor in our area that suggested removing dairy and gluten from our diet for a few weeks to see if there were any changes. Man, were there changes, and she is our hero! Our sweet little man was a completely different child at the end of the 2 week period, so much so that we canceled the surgery and the tests and continued on our gluten-free journey. His current ear infections that hadn't budged with 4 rounds of antibiotics were clearing, his cough was so minimized that he started to sleep almost completely through the night, he looked healthier, and was full of an insane amount of energy!

Our journey has really just begun and almost a year into it I can safely say that we are happier and healthier than we have ever been as a family. Over the past year we have discovered that Todd has a gluten intolerance as well, that gluten-free food can be absolutely delicious, and that we can make it through anything together! If you would like to learn more about our road to recovery click here.

Samoa Cupcakes from Fork & Beans

My Favorite Gluten-Free Recipe from 2012!

This picture makes me drool! I have to give mad props to Cara at Fork and Beans for these seriously delectable Samoa Cupcakes, aren't they beautiful? They are gluten-free and vegan which makes me super happy but don't tell anyone because seriously, they will never, EVER know! I will make a batch, eat the whole batch by yourself, and then have to make another batch to share with your family and friends. They are that good, forget the Girl Scout cookies, these cupcakes look better, taste better, and are better for you. It's a trifecta of goodness!

Beard and Bonnet's 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes!

Authentic Golden Falafel: Gluten-Free and Vegan

I have been on a mission for years to replicate my husband’s favorite dish, authentic falafel, at home and apparently so have my readers! It takes a little planning since you have to soak the raw garbanzo beans for 24 hours, but they are SO worth it!  Nope that isn't breading, it's all garbanzo beans and spices. The texture is spot on, no mushiness here, only crispy, spicy goodness that will satisfy even the most skeptical of falafel connoisseurs. You can find the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Casserole Hash: Gluten-Free and Vegan Option

I only posted this recipe a few weeks ago and it has rapidly zoomed up to the top of my most viewed list! I love any form of hash..they are so comforting and easy. This one has a whopping 7 ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry, and is ready in as little as 15 minutes. Best of all it is the perfect blend of sweet and salty in the same dish. You can find the recipe here.

I have a savory hash that has been super popular over the past few weeks too and was only behind this one in views by a very small amount! If you prefer savory flavors click here.


Cranberry and Coconut Raw Bars: Gluten-Free and Vegan

We can't get enough of these cranberry and coconut raw bars and neither could my readers. Imagine the yummiest Lärabar you have ever had now multiply that by 50! Seriously, there is something to be said for homemade meals and snacks. They taste so much better and are healthier for you too. These bars come together in about 10 minutes with only a knife and a food processor. You can find the recipe here.


Follow Beard and Bonnet

If you don't already follow Beard and Bonnet via email we would love to have you join us! Click here to subscribe on our home page.

Do you love Pinterest? We do! Todd and I fill our Pinterest boards together. I love that our passion for family, food, art, and design can come together all in one place. Click here to join us!

I recently started a Facebook page for Beard and Bonnet where I share recipes, tips from my blogging friends, and products. Stop by and join our conversations here.

Probably our favorite form of social media at the moment is Instagram! Check out what we are up to here.

If  Twitter is more of your thing we tweet here!


Holiday Spice Skillet Apple Crisp

Who doesn't love a good apple crisp? It was the mainstay dessert in our household growing up and nothing speaks more of "home for the holidays" than my mom's apple crisp. The other day I phoned her for tips and we got to talking about her latest trials. She said she's been adding a touch of molasses and a generous teaspoon of ginger to her apple filling. And so she inspired me!

This apple crisp starts on the stovetop and finishes in the oven. An easy skillet dessert (thank you Lise for introducing me to skillet pies!). It has slight undertones of gingerbread and spice. Throw in a few fresh cranberries and you've stepped it up a festive notch. I tried to cut out as much fat (though good fat it is) and sweetener as possible without making it a "why bother" dessert—you know the ones, so healthy that they lack the "indulgent" factor.

The apples I use for crisp or pie making are Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Jonagolds. For this crisp I used a combination of all three.

Another trick my mom taught me is the "partial peel." Peeling apples is cumbersome (I usually holler for the kids) and so if working with organic apples, I just give them a rough peel. Leaving some skin. It adds a little rustic touch. If you are using non-organic, I suggest peeling them completely.

The crisps pictured here are individual servings made in 6-1/2" cast iron skillets (I so love these). I cook up the apple filling and then divide it between four mini skillets. But, feel free to use one large skillet—cast iron or a le Crueset braiser (see below, it's my favorite and most-used piece of cookware). 

Holiday Spice Skillet Apple Crisp


For the Apple Filling

2-1/2 pounds APPLES (Granny Smith, Jonagold and/or Pink Lady)
2 tablespoons virgin COCONUT OIL
3 tablespoons brown sugar or COCONUT SUGAR
2 teaspoons TAPIOCA STARCH
1 teaspoon apple pie spice or BAKING SPICE
2/3 cup full-fat canned COCONUT MILK (like Thai Kitchen)
2 tablespoons MOLASSES
1 teaspoon grated fresh GINGER
Pinch of SALT
1/2 cup fresh CRANBERRIES (optional)

For the Crisp Topping

1-1/2 cup quick cooking gluten-free OATS
1/3 cup brown sugar or COCONUT SUGAR
1/4 cup COCONUT OIL, solidified
Pinch of SALT


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Partial peel the apples, leaving some bits of skin on. Core and slice in 1/8-inch thick wedges.
  3. Heat the 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a 12-inch cast iron or oven-proof skillet. Add apples and cook 15-20 minutes until they begin to caramelize and become tender—stirring only 2-3 times. 
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine; 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, tapioca starch, baking spice, coconut milk, molasses, vinegar, ginger, and salt. 
  5. Remove apples from heat and stir in liquid mixture and cranberries until evenly coated. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl combine topping ingredients. Use your hands to massage the solidified coconut oil into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  7. Spoon topping over apples and bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes.
  8. Serve warm.

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2012 All-Star Recipes Event Kick-Off

Today is the first in a series of posts here at Lexie's Kitchen that will highlight some of the best of the best gluten-free recipes of 2012.

Over the next two weeks, a handful of talented gluten-free food bloggers will be here sharing their hottest recipes of the year—recipes their readers have raved about and that have gone viral on the likes of Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Recipes that are foolproof and tasty. 



I encourage you to get to know these bloggers. Peruse their sites and be inspired. Each serves a special niche—all are 100% gluten-free. 

So please join me here, today through December 31, for the 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes event. You won't want to miss a morsel! 
First up, yours truly! Enjoy.


Hello from Lexie's Kitchen!

Our family has been on a journey to recovery with our youngest son going on four years now. Through diet, we have made great strides in healing him from the inside out. One thing we've learned is that living with food allergies and intolerances can be challenging. As the parent of a hungry and growing boy with multiple food intolerances, I have the deepest gratitude for the gluten-free and allergy-friendly food blogging communities and "safe" creations they pour out that keep me inspired. 

My Favorite From 2012

Before unveiling the 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes from my site, I wanted to highlight an all-star blogger and recipe that rocked our world this year! It is a recipe for super simple bagels that are, among other things, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, grain-free, and yeast-free.

The recipe comes from Kelly over at The Spunky Coconut. Kelly is one of the most innovative healthy recipe developers I know. I hope that you will get acquainted with her site, her recipes, and her bagels! You are in for a real treat.

Lexie's Kitchen 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes

This year the top three honors over at Lexie's Kitchen go to Bacon & Kale Pasta, Dairy-Free Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes, and Cool-Aid. Each is a proven winner not only in my kitchen, but in the kitchens of my readers!

Bacon & Kale Pasta

One evening I wasn't home to make dinner for the troops so the privilege fell on the shoulders of my dear and honorable husband. While necessity may be the mother of invention, this one was based upon what was available to him in the fridge and pantry. I can scarf this pasta dish down like it's nobody's business. Here is the recipe.

Dairy-Free Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

When I make these, they are almost too pretty to eat. But once you get me going, I can't stop. 
These are the bomb when frozen and allowed to thaw a bit prior to serving—oh, and topped with a decadent dairy-free Kahlua Ganache, of course. Here is the recipe.

"I made this Saturday night for a party and it was a tremendous hit. The kids were following me around like the Pied Piper pining for seconds. I even spotted someone licking their plate!" –Cass


The traffic and interest this recipe (if you can call it that) generated was beyond belief. For those trying to break the juice or soda habit, I highly recommend giving it a try. This refresher may look like Kool-Aid but is far from it. The base is herbal tea. Raw apple cider vinegar is added for tang and its health promoting properties, and a little stevia (or other natural sweetener of your choice) balances it all out. The only things missing are the artificial flavors and a good dose of Red #40. Here is the recipe.

"Oh my! I made this and it turned out great. It really does taste so similar to Kool-Aid! Only soooooo much better. I love that my kiddos are getting some ACV at the same time." -Danielle

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DIY Gift: Tasting Spoons

Can you give me a second? If you have not already, please head on over to HEALTHY. HAPPY. LIFE. (CLICK HERE) and cast your one-time vote for Finalist #2 (that'd be me)"We Met at That Easter Buffet Back in '82". Thank you, thank you, thank you. If I win, I will owe it all to you! Vote through December 15, 2012.

Eco-Friendly, Recycled Gift Giving

Looking for a handy {and affordable} gift for that chef in your life? Here's my suggestion.

Get yourself down to Goodwill, find your way to the odds and ends flatware bin, and grab a handful of mismatched spoons. Then cruise on over to dishware and pick out a tasteful wide-mouth jar. Then head on back home, give the spoons and jar a good scrub and polish. Place the spoons in the jar and tie on a festive bow. Voila. Done. A gift that's recycled, eco-friendly and quite useful.

I don't know about you, but I go through soooo many spoons in the kitchen when I'm cooking. Tasting this, dipping into that. My continually running out of spoons prompted this Tasting Spoon Jar idea.

Sure, the gift may take a little explaining but once they understand what "a jar full of spoons" is for, they just may exclaim, "aha! Very cool!" Of course, you run the chance seeing their "Present Face"—but no biggie if you do, you're only out a couple of bucks! And they can always take their spoons and jar back to Goodwill.


New Cookbook! Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking

Can you give me a second? If you have not already, please head on over to HEALTHY. HAPPY. LIFE. (CLICK HERE) and cast your one-time vote for Finalist #2 (that'd be me)"We Met at That Easter Buffet Back in '82". Thank you, thank you, thank you. If I win, I will owe it all to you! Vote through December 15, 2012.

I've been on gnocchi kick—and it all started on a recent visit to Olive Garden. They serve a Chicken and Gnocchi soup that's oh so good but full of dairy and gluten and who knows what else.

Anyway, I'm on a kick.

So when Cybele Pascal's new cookbook Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame arrived at my doorstep, you can imagine my excitement when I flipped it open to find a gnocchi recipe. YES!!! Egg-free and gluten-free of course. 

Tonight I put the recipe to the test. I am a stickler for cookbooks that make the "in 30-minutes or less" claim and so I timed my gnocchi making from start to finish. The recipe delivered on time. Mixed, rolled, cut and boiled in 30 minutes flat. Impressive. 

The only full-blooded Italian in our family is my sister-in-law—one mean pasta maker she is. As for this Scotch-German, there's not a drop of Italian in her. I've never made gnocchi and I'm not even sure I did it right. But I think I succeeded. Mine came out looking just like Cybele's. And they were super easy to make.  

I might have added a tad more salt, but that's a personal taste. And I strongly advise using the flour mixes Cybele suggests (hers or Authentic Foods). Superfine rice flour is a must for a smooth gnocchi.

Great Holiday Gifts

Though I wanted to try a few more recipes before writing this review—like the soy-free soy sauce—I also wanted to help get the word out about this great new book before the holidays passed. Take a peek at it over at Amazon. I think it'd make a great gift for anyone new to allergy-free eating. For a few other gift ideas ... visit the Lexie's Kitchen Holiday Gift Page.


DIY Gift: Water Bottle 

Have you ever tried Synergy Kombucha? My personal favorite flavor is Cherry Chia. It's real tasty and loaded with good-for-your-gut probiotics and omega-3 packed chia seed. But that's not the only thing I love about Synergy drinks—I love the bottles they come in.

An Easy, Recycled and Handmade Gift

For the last month I have been collecting and reusing these lovely little bottles. I soak and peel the labels off, clean them up, and reuse them as water bottles for road trips and everyday hydrating. They are pretty and practical—so much so that I thought it would be fun to personalize them somehow and give them as gifts this year.

So I headed to the craft store and cruised the aisles looking for ways to pretty them up. I had a subtle glass etching effect in mind and Martha delivered. The Martha Stewart section had the best selection of adhesive stencils and all the other tools I needed. Find it all online (links below) or at Michaels.

The Tools You'll Need

  • Adhesive Stencils (see below)
  • Glass Etching Cream (see below)
  • A Brush
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Drinking bottles (preferably recycled)

All the directions you need are on the product packaging and may vary depending on the brand of etching cream you use. I used Martha Stewart's—very easy. Just clean the bottle up good, wipe it down with a little rubbing alcohol, adhere a stencil, and brush on the etching cream. Allow to sit 15 minutes, rinse off with water, and voila! A pretty drinking bottle—the perfect eco-friendly gift.

Click to Get What You May Need



Pretty Pretty Please Vote for My Picture

I Am a Finalist!

So last month I submitted an entry—"a picture of yourself with your favorite salad and a statement"—to the My Salad'tude Contest. And guess what?!!! I am one of 15 finalists! I am beyond excited.

You see, THE PRIZE is a $6,000+ dream Napa Valley Culinary Adventure. Potentially the first getaway, without kids, for my husband and I in over 6 years!!

So Please Vote for Me

If you could, please head over to Healthy. Happy. Life. (click here) and cast your one-time vote for Finalist #2 "We Met at That Easter Buffet Back in '82" (as seen below).

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't tell you what it would mean to win!!!

Feel free to share this with the world and tell all of humanity to vote for #2 as well.

Thank you for your support! And thank you to Dole and Happy. Healthy. Life for hosting this great contest.



Spicy Shrimp Hand Roll Sushi Filling

Last week I posted about a Hand Roll Sushi Party my sister threw. This Spicy Shrimp filling was a hit and can be mixed up in minutes. Spice it up to your desired heat by adjusting the measure of sriracha sauce and jalapeno pepper.

Spicy Shrimp Sushi Filling


1-1/2 cup diced cooked SHRIMP
1/2 JALAPENO PEPPER, seeded and diced
2 SCALLIONS, sliced 
2 tablespoons vegan MAYONNAISE



In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For more sushi making tips and recipes check out these links:



Nori and Rice Paper Wrap How-To

Here's a demo of one of my favorite gluten-free wraps (yeah the first 5 seconds got cut off, oh well :). All you need to roll up your favorite sandwich fillings are a sheet of rice paper and a sheet of nori. For the kale salad recipe, head on over to this post. For more kale salad inspiration, follow me on Pinterest and check out my Kale Salad board. Enjoy!!

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