cinnamon bun muffins – gluten free


now, i don’t personally eat gluten-free, but i made these for a good friend several years¬†ago who had just had a baby – her husband eats gluten-free and we were taking over brunch.
these turned out so well (read: they were devoured by both adults & kiddos within minutes), i decided to post them on my non-GF food blog.
they do require some specialty ingredients (i had no trouble finding them) but it is well worth it if you are wanting something GF for your family or to take to a friend.
who will thank you for days.
maybe months.

*april of 2016 i edited this recipe to make it whole30 friendly – cuz that is our life this month ūüôā my adapted version here is gluten-free, paleo, and refined sugar-free (only date syrup used, which has no added sugar). i also omitted the vanilla extract because it is made with an alcohol base, which is not whole30 approved. the date syrup and the cinnamon give them so much flavor, i didn’t even miss it. even with these changes, Y’ALL. they were totally awesome!
if you want the original gluten-free recipe via elana’s pantry, just click here.¬†

cinnamon bun muffins
makes 9 muffins

cinnamon topping ingredients:

2 tbsp pure date syrup

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp grapeseed oil
muffin ingredients:

1 cup almond flour

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 cup date syrup

3 eggs

1. line 9 muffin cups with liners or spray with cooking spray. preheat oven to 350.

2. in a small bowl, whisk together all 3 topping ingredients and set aside.

3. in a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt and whisk together. in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs then add oil and date syrup. stir well to combine.

4. mix together the wet & dry ingredients until well combined. scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter into each muffin cup, then with a spoon, drizzle topping on top.

5. bake muffins for 13-15 minutes. once baked, allow to cool at least for an hour before serving (or they’ll fall apart).


double chocolate & espresso cookies

i’m not playin’ around y’all. these are serious cookies.
if you are extremely strange and don’t like chocolate in the least, you should stay away from this recipe.

they are basically the perfect chocolate chip cookie but with chocolate in the batter too.
plus they have this surprise of espresso in them which is lovely and warm and exciting.

(this recipe is from the lovely giada de laurentiis, and as usual, i have adapted it just a bit.)

double chocolate & espresso cookies
(makes about 26 cookies)


6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2″ pieces

2 tbsp butter, unsalted

1/3 cup dark chocolate-covered espresso beans (*see note below*)

1 cup flour

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. preheat the oven to 300.

2. in the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate and the butter. fill lower pan with about an inch of water and bring to simmering. (if you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a small bowl and place it over a regular saucepan of simmering water.) stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

3. in a blender or food processor, finely chop the the chocolate-covered espresso beans. in a medium bowl, whisk together the chopped espresso beans, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

4. in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, water, and vanilla. gradually add the dry ingredients and stir until thick & smooth. fold in the melted chocolate. stir in the chocolate chips. using a cookie or small ice cream scoop, place 1/4 cup-sized scoops onto baking sheets.

5. bake until slightly puffed and the tops begin to crack, about 18-20 minutes. allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets before serving.


**ingredient note: on one day i was dying to make these, i was unable to find chocolate-covered espresso beans. instead, i used 1/4 cup regular espresso beans and the cookies came out just as well.

baked lemon garlic chicken with thyme + oregano

baked lemon garlic chicken with thyme + oregano | via she likes to eat

this recipe is adapted from¬†the ever-brilliant barefoot contessa. she’s got such a knack for easy, flavorful dishes. i have gently edited this recipe for¬†i how i tend to cook… using a little less olive oil and making sure all of the lemons got used and not wasted. and giving an option for those of you who would rather cook with chicken¬†stock instead of wine.

it has a bright, delicious taste and is pretty easy to make, perfect for a weeknight meal. and it’s one that i know everyone is sure to like.

baked lemon garlic chicken
(serves 4)


2 tbsp olive oil

8-9 cloves minced garlic

1/3 cup dry white wine (like a pinot grigio) or chicken stock

3 lemons* (zest 2 and then juice both; set 3rd aside)

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (just pull leaves off stem)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt & freshly cracked pepper


1. preheat the oven to 400.

2. warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. add the garlic and cook for about¬†1 minute –¬†don’t allow garlic to brown. remove from heat and add the white wine (or stock), lemon zest, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1/2 tsp salt. whisk and set aside.

3. pat the chicken breasts dry and brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. place them in a 9×13 baking dish that has been lightly coated on the bottom with olive oil or cooking spray.

4. pour sauce over the chicken breasts in the baking dish. cut the third lemon into 8-10 wedges and nestle among & between chicken breasts.

5. bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is slightly browned. remove pan from the oven. cover dish tightly with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. serve hot with pan juices and lemon garlic spaghetti.

tex-mex sloppy joes

good lordy, do i love tex-mex.
and i am positive it’s not because i’m from texas.
it is only because it’s AWESOME.

my ever-so-thoughtful little brother came across this a while ago and sent it my way… boy, does he know me well.¬†the original recipe is by the lovely lisa fain, author of the¬†homesick texan blog, a blog that i love & you should go check out.

i have always been a fan of sloppy joes and when i contemplated this delicious epiphany she’d¬†had in making them with a texas twist… MY MIND = BLOWN.
these babies are amazing.

tex-mex sloppy joes
adapted from the homesick texan
(serves 4-6)


1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1/8 tsp (scant) ground chipotle chile powder

1/2 medium yellow or white onion, diced

1/2 green bell pepper (seeds & stem removed), diced

3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp jarred)

15 oz can tomato sauce

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp allspice

pinch of cayenne

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

6 oz (half a bottle) mexican lager (i use dos equis amber)

2 tbsp ketchup

1/2 cup cilantro, divided

juice from 1/2 a lime

salt & black pepper to taste

4-6 warm buns for serving

guacamole, cilantro, jarred/sliced jalapenos, cotija cheese for serving


1. in a large skillet, cook the meat until almost completely browned, about 5-7 minutes. add the onions and bell pepper and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.

2. add in tomato sauce, chipotle chile powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, allspice, cayenne & worcestershire sauce Рmix well. add the beer, ketchup and 1/2 the cilantro. stir until well combined.

3. cook on medium-low heat uncovered for 15-20 minutes and then stir in half of the remaining cilantro and the lime juice. add salt & pepper to taste.

4. on each plate, lay bun halves open-face and slather (yes, slather) each slice with guacamole (this way makes sandwiches, or you can make them open faced Рthis is how i like them Рwith just one bun half). top with the sloppy joe mixture, cheese, jalapeno slices, and cilantro.


photo via the homesick texan blog