- My brother was in town (though miraculously he avoided all of my pictures) and he makes everything more fun.
- Sweet tea parties are more fun when you make custom Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka cocktails for everyone.
- Little favors (tea bag and sweetener) go a long way
- Babies make parties hilarious.
- There is nothing better than singing happy birthday extremely loudly and watching someone you love blow out the candles.
- Spring is finally here and it makes me so very glad.
- I drove about 3 miles with more balloons in my car than should reasonably fit but I made it.
- Grandpa takes the most hilarious pictures (hiding behind napkins and making faces).
- It rained on Saturday but we played lawn games on Sunday instead.
- I really love my friends and family.
- Sometimes mom and I like to be tourists in our own city, so we did just that after we dropped of Kevin at the bus.
- Miemo’s macarons were the most delicious Mother’s Day present. My mom went nuts over the lemon flavor!
It has no gluten, no dairy and it’s DELICIOUS. I promise.
I’ve been trying to eat really healthily (aggressively so) since March 13th. Sound fairly arbitrary but our engagement shots are on April 13th so the one month mark made me think I should eat more veggies and less bread. 🙂
The thing is though, I love bread. So when my mom asked me to bake Irish Soda Bread, a la Barney Stinson, I said, “Challenge accepted!”
I hunted around for recipes for an hour or so online. Pinterest and Google really helped a lot but some of the ingredients the gluten-free recipes called for were just odd. I’m sure Xantham Gum is fine but no thanks food named like a super hero.
The recipe I made turned out really well. It’s darker than bread made from wheat flour but it is still crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and has a texture exactly like wheat bread. Of all the gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo things that I’ve made, this is my favorite.
So put on your green, if you’re in DC enjoy working from home on this snow day, and put a loaf of bread in the oven. 15 minutes of prep and 30 minutes in the oven and it’s delicious and healthy.
Healthy Irish Soda Bread (Gluten-free and Dairy-free and I think it’s Paleo too!)
Modified from Elana’s Pantry
- 2 3/4 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
- 1/4 teaspoon course salt (I use Real Salt for everything)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar (I used Raw Organic Agave Nectar from Whole Foods)
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons of caraway seeds
- 1 pinch of caraway seeds (to top)
- Heat the oven to 350 and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, salt, baking soda and raisins in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine eggs, agave, and vinegar.
- Stir both bowls individually, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir vigorously.
- While stirring add in the 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds and continue to mix.
- Once the dough is all mixed (it will be gooey all over), transfer the whole ball of dough onto the parchment paper.
- Using your hands gently shape and flatten the sticky dough ball onto the parchment paper in the center of the baking sheet. It should be a cylinder (flat circle) about an inch tall and 8 inches in diameter. Don’t measure just eyeball it. 🙂
- Take a knife and score the top of it slightly in an X, don’t cut all the way through, just leave a mark.
- Sprinkle a pinch of caraway seeds on top of the dough.
- Put the whole thing including the baking sheet in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and let sit for 10 minutes in the oven as it cools.
- Take bread out, marvel at your work, and let it cool for 30 minutes.
- Serve it and do a victory dance at how healthy and skilled you are.
Meg also has a delicious Irish Recipe on her blog, Write Meg today for our Lucky Link-up! How are you celebrating St. Patty’s day. Link-up below to share your favorite Irish recipe, book, song, green clothing, etc.
Green Pig took the dinner to the next level. I thought the apps were good but the main course was sooooo good! I had the rock fish, and it was very good, however it was the veggies underneath that were the real treat. The entire meal was served over creamed cippolini onions. I’ve never had them prepared this way and it was out of this world! On top of that was brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes cooked with pork belly. THE FLAVORS WERE UNREAL!
We will definitely be coming back to this little piggy and I recommend that you do too!
The walk home was slower than the way there as we were so full but Thor (my coat from undergrad in Chicago) kept me warm.
We even walked our initials in the fresh snow. Valentine’s date success!
Note: This post wasn’t sponsored in any way. I just really liked the food. 🙂
I was incredibly blessed in 2013 and now that I’ve taken time to look back on all of the beautiful memories I created, I also wanted to carve out time to reflect on my resolutions from last year and set some goals for 2014 as well. Oh and to of course share some pictures of New Year’s Eve. Duh.
I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.
I will prioritize singing in the choir in the 6pm mass.
I will let myself relax.
I will document my life in a reasonable and non-pressured way.
I will do good things for my body.
I will love myself.
Twas two days before Christmas and stuck here at work,
Maureen was still stewing, she felt like a jerk.
“How could I be so behind this year?” she was thinking.
“No wrapping, no boxes, no labels with inking!
I’ve been so busy shopping but not ready yet,
For each present is purchased but, wrapped… man, forget!”
There she sat and she scowled while her muffin she chewed,
Loading the car in the rain, now she looked like a dude.
“Why bother?!” said she as she muscled her hair.
With the rain and the wind, she no longer cared.
But just then as she stared blankly right into space,
God put a thought in her heart and a smile on her face.
“My presents are ballin’ that can’t be denied,
But Christmas is really about what’s inside!”
Newly committed to the thought of spreading good cheer,
Maureen found the love she’d been craving all year.
Her thoughts drifted to her brand new fiancé,
He made her laugh so hard when he danced like Beyonce.
And Mom, Kev, Kathy, Mr. Lee, Grandpa to boot,
They were all more exciting than any Christmas loot.
The Delahuntys and Goldmans would all share a meal,
And Maureen would stuff herself silly, she already could feel
A food baby starting in anticipatory joy,
And heck, after Christmas she’d see Rachels’ new baby boy.
She’d hug Dad and Patti and kiss Julia’s sweet cheeks.
Her heart would be so full, she’d feel love for weeks.
Coming back to reality, she felt a soft tear
And realized with gratitude Who had brought her here.
“Thank you Lord,” she prayed (quite softly while crying),
“For reminding me that Christmas is not about buying
All the gifts in the world but rather to remember
The people you hold dear through your life in December.
Thank you for Your son, and the promise of heaven,
For my family and friends, and Lord even for Kevin.
Just kidding, he knows that I love him, don’t worry.
But seriously, thank you for calming my flurry.
I am blessed beyond measure and I’ll strive to make clear
That each day is a blessing and year upon year,
I will cherish each Christmas and while I give presents,
I’ll make sure I don’t get so stressed I turn into a menace.”
Blessing herself, she looked and saw the rain shimmer
And she felt with her gratitude the most subtle glimmer
Of hope that her loved ones would feel this joy too.
Merry Christmas to all, may your love for mankind be ever made new.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (or muffins)
Makes 4-5 dozen muffins (depending on how large you want them) or 2 loaves
Adapted from this recipe.
Labels c/o Tiny Prints
1 cup real butter (salted)
3 cups sugar
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup water
2 cups real pumpkin (from a pumpkin… this is my secret ingredient!)
1 regular-sized bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Mix wet ingredients with electric beaters in a large bowl – butter, sugar, and eggs. Note: The other ingredients will eventually be added to this bowl, so this one is the biggest you’ll need.
2. Put all the dry ingredients into a separate, large-ish bowl and mix lightly with a spoon – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves.
3. Add half of the dry ingredients, 1/3 cup water and 1 cup of the pumpkin to the wet mixture and beat it together.
4. When that is mixed, add the rest of the dry ingredients, the last 1/3 cup of water and the remaining 1 cup of pumpkin and beat till completely combined.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips (whole bag!) with a spoon.
6. Pour into lined muffin tins or greased loaf pans and bake at 350.
7. Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes. Bake loaves for 45min to an hour.