Monday, September 30, 2013

Engagement Party Bliss

In the locket around my neck were pictures of my honey.
This past weekend was our official engagement party at Lammer's sister's home in Garden City, Long Island.  We were blessed with beautiful weather along with amazing friends and family.  We are so excited to celebrate our love with the people we love and the fun is only beginning!

Lammer & Lauren

After our gorgeous party we all huddled around a warm fire.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free/dairy free)

I've got it bad for sweets.  Cookies in particular are my weakness.  I dream about them at some point of every day, without a doubt.  After years of playing with different recipes for the perfect cookie...I can pretty confidently say this is it, baby!!!!!!!  These suckers are gluten free, dairy free, and totally delicious.  Hallelujah!  

1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life)

In a bowl, mix together your almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt. In a separate bowl mix together your melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and egg. Incorporate your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, then stir in your chocolate chips.

Preheat your oven to 350F and refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes.

Once the 30 minutes are up and your oven is heated, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and roll your dough into balls. Bake for about 8 minutes, then take them out, and slightly flatten them with the back of a spatula. Put them back in the oven for about 10-15  more minutes or until golden brown (time depends on your oven)

Remove from the oven, set on the counter to cool, and attempt to wait a few minutes before eating.  They're soft, chewy, a little crisp in some die for good!!!

Fun-fact:  Baking with parchment paper makes your life so much easier.  It means cookies that slide right off the sheet and NO clean up because you just crumble up the paper and discard.  Whoo-hoo!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Simple Spaghetti Squash Supper

Need a yummy fall meal?  Click on the spaghetti squash above for directions on how to cook one of these big suckers up in a pinch.  I love tossing mine with a tablespoon of grass-fed butter, sea salt & pepper.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Figs & Fall

Our neighbors have a gorgeous fig tree in their front yard that they've offered to share with us this season.  Holy heaven!  I've been spoiled with fresh, plump figs all fall and have gotten so creative with them.  Throwing them into my shakes, tossing them into salads, sauteing them up with my greens, or just eating them for a sweet treat.  The other day I sliced them super thin and arranged them onto a gluten free wrap with a nice swipe of almond butter.  I folded it up and cut into wedges.  Party in my mouth!!!

Have you been gettin' your fig on this season?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

First day of fall, on the beach!

The Jersey shore locals know how to celebrate the first day of fall...relaxed out on their beach chair on the beach!  Lammer and I spent the day on Ocean Grove's beach today.  He was in and out of the water surfing with his friends while I was soaking up every last ray of sunlight before it gets too cold!  

On the way to Ocean Grove we spotted a woman selling sliced fresh fruits in a cup...papaya, watermelon, mango, coconut, cucumbers and jicama.  Even though it looked divine only a few of the fruits were's no longer their season!  

I packed a jar full of water with a splash of apply cider vinegar, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice.  Zing!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Presentation is everything.

 I didn't even want to touch this plate as it came to me the other Saturday afternoon for lunch, but I did and enjoyed every last bite of it.   Presentation is everything and just the look of this made the whole lunch that much more enjoyable because it's not only delicious food, but a work of art!

Get Your Sunshine

Have you gotten your daily dose of sunshine (vitamin D) today?  

Expose your skin to direct sunshine for at least 10-15 minutes each day.  Your body will thank you on so many levels and your mood will totally improve!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Decadent Risotto

Up until the other day, I thought risotto was pasta.  In my mind I thought orzo was risotto, and vice versa.  DOH!  While taste testing some of the food that will be in our wedding the other day, I came to find out that risotto is a rice and that it's gluten free!  Who the heck knew?  Not me.

This was the first time I enjoyed risotto, a decadent lobster butter risotto dish at Brandl's in Belmar.  I never wanted it to end!

Looking up some more recipes for it and stumbled across this one, Spinach Mushroom Risotto.  Can't wait to give it a try in my kitchen.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

CSA Drop-Off Day!

I'm fortunate enough to have a corporate CSA set up at the company I work for (ok, so it was the wellness department's idea to set that all up...meaning my coordinator and I!), and today was drop-off day!  My fridge is now loaded with fresh, incredible color that I can't wait to devour.

Do you belong to a CSA?  If not, it's something to definitely look into.  It's a way to eat healthy, save money and feed the whole family.  If it's too much food for you, consider splitting your share with a family member or friend.  It's so worth it!  Visit Local to find a farmer near you to sign up.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Vinegar and H2o, yo!

 Who the heck needs a cabinet filled with TOXIC chemicals that totally harm you, your family and your pets?  Natural cleaning is SO easy to do, it's SAFE and it's friggen' cheap.  What what.

Vinegar and water is my go-to for like, everything in my house.  I fill up spray bottles with half white vinegar and half water.  Sometimes I'll add a few drops of essential oil to scent the spray (Lammer hates the smell of vinegar!).  

I use it to clean the bathroom, clean the windows and mirrors, clean the countertops, clean the sink, clean the table and coffee tables, clean my desk, clean the floors, clean the bottoms of the garbage cans...I can keep going here.  

Vinegar and H2o, yo!

Are you eating BEAVER BUTT?

When an ingredient label reads 'natural flavors' know that it could include about 45 other additives that the FDA has deemed 'safe' - one of which is castoreum, a 'natural' vanilla flavoring from the anal glands of beavers. All the more reason to make your own food at home, from whole ingredients.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Simple Pudding

What's better than a ripe avocado?  Uh, they are unreal.  I had my eye on a few avocados for a couple days, wondering what to do with them...duh, PUDDING!  Oh mama.

This is a rough recipe for what I threw together the other night.  It's very easy and very delicious.  This recipe yields a lot so it's perfect for parties or for the whole family!  It's still great the next day or two in the fridge.

about 7 or 8 dates (pitted of course, soaked in 1/2 cup water for 30 mins)
3 ripe medium avocados
1 cup coconut milk (can use almond milk too)
about 1/4 cup honey (I love local, raw)
5 - 7 tablespoons cacao powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
nice pinch of sea salt

Let the dates soak in 1/2 cup water in your blender or NutriBullet for about 30 minutes).  After that, just add in the rest of the ingredients and blend away until uber smooth.  There's ya pudding!

I like it just as it is, but you can top it with shredded coconut, chopped nuts, berries or raw caco nibs.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Home, the Beautiful Jersey Shore

Today I was overwhelmed at how much I love where I live.  The Jersey Shore is so special to me for so many reasons.  It's beautiful.  It's vacationland all year round.  It's home.  I only hope that others feel as grateful as I do to live where they do.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

BPA-Free Cans

Canned food is dead food.  I don't recommend it.  However, I am human and like everyone else I have a busy schedule that sometimes permits me from planning ahead and soaking my own beans.  So, every now and then for convenience I crack open a can or two of something that will help to make my life easier.  It's not the end of the world.  However, if your can is lined with BPA (Bisphenol A), it may be!  Ok, maybe not the end of the world, but certainly not a healthy move to make for your health.  BPA is a chemical that is in the lining of most canned foods, in plastic bottles, in plastic containers, in plastic wrap, in children's toys, plastic utensils, and many other places.  

BPA disrupts our hormones, BAD.  

When possible, only purchase BPA-free cans.  Trader Joes has many BPA-free cans!  Other companies are realizing that we're onto them about this issue and are labeling their cans like you see above.  Other ways to reduce your exposure to BPA is to avoid plastics.  Use glass jars or glass Tupperware.  Be sure your dentist uses BPA-free composite fillings.  Look for plastic toys (or other products) that are BPA-free.  Your hormones are precious and effect everything about your health.  Take care and protect them!