When my parents come to visit, they practically stop at Jennifer’s Pharmacy to pick up gluten-free muffins before stopping at our house. Jennifer’s Pharmacy has these incredible muffins made with almond flour, banana, and other mix-ins like blueberries, peanut butter chips, or toffee. They’re so good, I’m not even offended if my parents stop there first!
Last week we were in Des Moines visiting my parents and my mom welcomed us with homemade gluten-free banana blueberry muffins. Although my mom’s were made with brown rice flour instead of almond flour, I was impressed with how the Giada de Laurentiis recipe she used rivaled the muffins at Jennifer’s.
I was loving these muffins so much that I made them as soon as we got home. The muffins don’t taste grainy or dense like one may think of gluten-free muffins; rather they are light and deliciously moist. I halved the oil that Giada calls for, and it made nary a difference. These muffins make the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack for my one-year old! They’re so good, you won’t miss the gluten.
My husband has informed me that football season officially begins tonight. This means I need to set my lineup, because for the first time ever, I’ve jumped into the proverbial Fantasy Football pool. I don’t even know who my players are or how to set my line up; all I know is that this signals the beginning of a lot more TV-time for my husband.
To me, the beginning of football season really means the start of fall foods and munchies that can be served to a crowd on a crisp Sunday afternoon. When I made this Chicken Chilaquiles, my immediate thought was how perfect it would be for a small get together. The dish, which was inspired by a Cooking Light recipe, is traditionally made with eggs or pulled chicken, and partially stale tortilla chips. I made this with pulled chicken, added cheddar cheese, and topped it off with a drizzle of adobo sauce, tomatoes, cilantro and guacamole. Chilaquiles are essentially baked nachos with sauce, and who doesn’t love the sound of that?!
Last week was our 4th wedding anniversary, so I wanted to share a dish worthy of a special occasion. This Blueberry Steak recipe is a remake of a dish from Acqua al Due, a restaurant in Florence, Italy. Since Florence is a city near and dear to my husband’s and my heart, this recipe was not only fit for our anniversary, but it is also a way for us to be taken back to our semester abroad and our trip to Italy a few years ago.
I’d wanted to try this recipe for quite some time, so when I bought a large container of fresh blueberries, this was the perfect opportunity! I did not follow this original recipe exactly since I realized my molasses had gone bad and I didn’t have orange juice when I set out to make this. Below is my rendition, which I thought turned out well. The sauce is rich in flavor and just sweet enough, without being too fruity. Although the sauce may not be an exact replica of Acqua al Due’s, it’s close enough to make me dream of our days in Florence.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we brought our little bundle home from the hospital! it has been truly mind-blowing to see our little baby turn into a little person in the first year of life. To celebrate this wonderful milestone, we had our family and friends over for a birthday party, complete with a petting zoo, lunch, and of course, cake. The party was a blast and we know Gavin had a ball!
The invitation from Joyful Ink:
Animals in the backyard from Cindy’s Petting Zoo:
On the dessert table there was birthday cake, chocolate chunk blondies, and my mom’s brownies. The cakes were from Pint Size Bakery, this delicious and adorable St. Louis bakery. The cakes were designed to match the invitation; the finished product exceeded my expectations for looks and taste! Gavin’s smash cake was white velvet vanilla with vanilla bean frosting. The large cake was one layer of chocolate and two layers of white cake, alternating.
The party favors were Barnum Animal Crackers with tags from InkyInvite:
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and celebrations. We spent 3 days in Los Angeles for a good friend’s wedding, followed by a drive up the coast to Santa Barbara for 2 nights. After California, we attended another wedding in Chicago, my niece and nephew’s birthday party, and then hosted my family in Saint Louis for my son’s 1st birthday party. These occasions have been nothing short of amazing, and I’m so sad that these fun trips and get-togethers are over. Although I haven’t haven’t had a home-cooked meal in 3 weeks, I get to share with you all the fun from our travels:
Brunch at Gjelina
The infamous spicy tuna on crispy rice at Katsuya
Multi colored raspberries at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market
Beautiful Cali scenery
Coolest personalized place settings on terra cotta slabs at the wedding
Balsamic Martini at Olio Crudo Bar in Santa Barbara
Bike ride down the coast to Montecito
Afternoon quest for tacos