September 29, 2013

gluten-free chocolate coconut bars (samoa cookies)

Mr. A loves samoas.  Samoas are the cookies sold by girl scouts in the US (I'd never heard of them before since in Canada they sell chocolate and vanilla cookies with creme centers, also delicious).  Samoas are super tasty, so I decided to give them a go with a gluten-free twist.

coconut flour cookie base before it gets popped into the oven; really great sub for regular cookie base!
evaporated milk & chocolate chips are drizzled onto the cookie base before they both go back into the oven
make sure it's refrigerated for at least 2 hrs before cutting into bars, otherwise the bars will fall apart on you!

Here's the recipe!

Coconut Flour Samoas
adapted from Martha Stewart and Coconut Mama


For the cookie base:
1 cup coconut flour
12 tbsp cold coconut oil
6 tbsp honey
pinch of salt

For the topping:
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)


Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

1) Prepare a baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.
2) Combine all the ingredients for the cookie base.  Make sure that they are totally combined, then spread the dough onto your parchment-lined dish.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the edges of the cookie base are golden brown.  Remove from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
3) Once the cookie base is at room temp, sprinkle it with the chocolate and the almonds.  Pour the condensed milk over the top.  Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  After ten minutes of baking, sprinkle the toasted coconut oven the top of the whole deal.  Bake for another 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and transfer to cool on a wire rack.
4) Once it's at room temp, place the whole thing in the fridge for a least two hours before cuttng into about equal sized bars.


September 22, 2013

summer highlights

Summer has ended and we've officially entered autumn.  It was a great summer, with lots of little adventures.  So, I thought it would be nice to put together our summer highlights.

best ice cream
During one of the long weekends we decided to go on a little adventure in our own city.  We visited the Distillery district and stopped at BrickWorks before heading back home.  In the process, we discovered the best ice cream we've ever had:  Greg's Ice Cream.  We had the roasted marshmallow and coffee toffee flavours and both were just out of this world.  If you're in Toronto, please do go to this place.  Your tastebuds will thank you for it.

best meal
A few weekends ago, we went to Niagara-on-the-Lake to celebrate our anniversary.  For dinner, we went to Zees Grill.  It was ah-amazing.  The charcuterie plate was incredible.  We went back the next day for lunch.

best fruit picking
The Niagara region is famous for it's fruits.  On our way back home from Niagara-on-the-Lake we went fruit picking at Cherry Avenue Farms.  Bonus tractor wagon ride included.

best hot air balloon ride
Ok, I should probably call this "First Hot Air Balloon Ride" since it's my first and only time in a hot air balloon.  I'd like to say here and now that while hot air balloon rides are fun, they are also extremely uncomfortable and frightening.  It's not because you're in a small basket up in the sky, it's because the massive (and I mean massive) roaring flame that keeps the hot air balloon up in the air, threatens to burn your hair (and head) off the entire ride.  Still, I loved it.

best llama
I'm not sure this guy was the best llama, but he's the one we got.  We went to the High Park Zoo and got to feed the llama (we'll Mr. A fed him, I was having none of it).  By the way, this zoo was great fun and has a lot of interesting animals besides llamas, like buffalos and wallabies.

best fun
Is that even a thing?  Best fun?  Probably not, but I'm still saying this was the best fun.  Scootering in Niagara-on-the-Lake tops my list of funnest things I've ever done.  The owners of eSkoot, Colin and his wife, treated us like family.  This is a must-do if you're ever in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  I was very tempted to get an electric scooter for myself after all that fun.

Well, that caps it off.  I hope you had a great summer too!

September 15, 2013

breakfast hash

Here's a great idea for breakfast using whatever leftovers you have in the fridge.

In our version, we had some leftover fries from lunch on Saturday, as well as some speck (smocked prosciutto), and aged cheddar.

Mr. A cooked them all up in our cast iron skillet and then topped it off with the cheese and a fried egg.  Yum!

You could make this with any left over meat like chicken or turkey or of course bacon, any type of cheese you have on hand and some type of potato, and presto, you have yourself a nice Sunday morning hash perfect for fall.


September 02, 2013

coconut flour biscuits

I promised myself I would do some baking and some projects over the long weekend, and I did it!  I baked these coconut flour biscuits.  These were so simple to make and they turned out really well.  They reminded us of these cornbread muffins, but grain- and gluten-free, which made Mr. A very happy.

this is what they looked like before I popped them in the oven (I shaped them into little discs)

We had them with my mom's amazing homemade blackberry jam.

Here's the recipe!

Coconut Flour Biscuits
adapted from The Gluten-Free Homemaker

makes 12 biscuits

  • ½ cup melted coconut oil  (I just popped the coconut oil in the microwave for 10 seconds)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • ⅔ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a larger bowl, beat together the coconut oil, eggs, and honey (we used a whisk).
  3. Add the flour mixture and beat until well mixed.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Shape into disks approximately 1/2 inch thick and 2½ inches in diameter. They will spread a little, but you can definitely fit 12 on one large cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes until golden brown on top.
  6. I put them on a wire rack to cool, but you can eat them almost immediately.  They're super-delicious when they're warm.