Hi Friends,

When Rhubarb comes into season, I find myself terrified of it. I know dramatic right? I have this push pull relationship with it, I want to try it but I don’t... is it a fruit or a vegetable? Not sure if it’s the long stalks that resemble celery? Wait, it’s poisonous?

Lately, I have been trying to FACE the scary things in life and the kitchen. One of the most pressing fears I’ve been avoiding like the plague, is cooking with ingredients I’m unfamiliar with. The ingredients look scary or hard to work with, I tell myself that I can’t do it, and freeze up. That mentality has me stuck, and I don't want to be stuck anymore. HENCE facing The RHUBARB FEAR. It’s weird as it sounds that cooking could be fear based, but sometimes that’s how things comes up. These days I find I learn most about myself through cooking, can you relate?

Part of the journey in facing the scary thing, is to Acknowledge the FEAR - “RHUBARB scares the shit out of me!” Recognize, checking in with yourself and asking, is it a thought or Story I’m telling myself? What’s the truth here? My Truth, ‘I felt that If I fucked up cooking with rhubarb on the first try I would be a failure”. After sitting with those questions, I realized I told myself a STORY. WHAT a STORY I told myself indeed, and why do I need to put that pressure on myself?

NEW MONTRA, GIRL you’ve got this, COOK the damn thing and GET ON WITH IT.! You may fuck it up, but WHO cares it’s no big DEAL. Here is the thing, the best part of cooking is the failure, trying new things, it’s not about PERFECTION but the journey in getting to the destination (or final dish in this case) I realized that sometimes scary things aren't as scary as you thought they were. It’s that simple.

What are the stories you’re telling yourself right now about cooking? Or about life? Keep going friends. x

Now let's COOK!



Tips for cooking with RHUBARB;**

-When picking your Rhubarb, don't skimp. Make the extra trip to the farmers market, they have the good stuff. Look for deep tones in the stalks, deep red + pink. If they are pale they were picked too soon, they won’t be rich in taste.

-DON'T eat the LEAVES, they are poisonous. Clean the stalks and discard the leaves.



For the filling;

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb, cleaned and leafs discarded
  • 2lbs cleaned and chopped strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg ( add one ½ tsp if like spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of pink salt

* For the topping;

  • 3 cups gf rolled oats
  • 1 stick of vegan cashew butter COLD (I use MiyoKo’s brand)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4th tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup gf flour

TOOLS YOU WILL NEED: Non stick spray, a 9x9 or 9x8 baking dish, bowls for mixing the topping.


  1. Chop your strawberries and rhubarb set aside. Measure out all your ingredients and set aside. Pre- heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium dutch oven or saucepan put over medium heat, then cook your rhubarb with ¼ cup sugar. Until they are tender, turn your stove off and add in your chopped strawberries, lemon juice, pinch of pink salt, spices and vanilla. Give it a good stir. Set aside.
  2. Prep a baking dish with non stick spray, (9x9 or 9x8 works great). Make sure its deep. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add all your topping ingredients EXCEPT the VEGAN BUTTER. Give a light mix with a spatula.
  4. With your hands break up the cold butter into your topping ingredients bowl. It doesn't have to be perfect, and you're looking for a small chunk type texture. Do this until all the butter is mixed in.
  5. Pour your filling into the baking pan. Then sprinkle your topping on top until it's coated evenly.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-35 min at 350 degrees. Let cool on a cooling rack for 15-20 min and then serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, yogurt or creme fresh!


gluten free oatmeal cookie recipe

Hi there,

In my opinion Oatmeal raisin cookies are never going to live up to the ooey gooeyness of the chocolate chip cookie. At first glance one may mistake the raisins for chocolate chips, you get excited, you reach for one, take a bite. Then the moment of utter disappointment sets in as you realize those are NOT chocolate chips at ALL. You may be scratching your head on why in the world I would be sharing this recipe? Well Grandma, that’s why. Which is ALL the reason to make, share and eat oatmeal raisin cookies.

Grandma was the center of my childhood, she had a huge part in raising me, and she gets me. One year we even lived with her, just my sister and I. She always had a stash of cookies, candies or other treats in “hidden” places around the house. One day I asked her why she did this, she snapped back with “I don’t want your uncle’s friends to take them.” My uncle lived with us too, her house was always filled with people coming in and out. BUT despite the cookie thieves, by far her favorite treat is oatmeal raisin cookies. Especially the ones with the icing on top, what are those called? If she really felt fancy she would by the jumbo ones. And when I bake these cookies I can’t help but think of her.

Now, I’m not saying you have to fall in love with the oatmeal raisin cookie. Just commit to the raisin for what it is, and let’s stop trying to make the oatmeal raisin cookie into a chocolate chip and enjoy them for what they are. Maybe, just maybe they will grow on you??

Now lets get baking, xox Nicole

gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie recipe

oatmeal raisin cookies allergy friendly


GF Spicy oatmeal raisin cookies:


1 cup gf flour bob’s redmill ( 1 for 1 blue bag is what I used)
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp fresh ground nutmeg
¾ cup brown coconut sugar
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 egg
¾ cup oil ( ¼ evoo + 2/4 melted coconut oil)
2 cups gf old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins
1 cups nuts if desired


NOTE: You will need a free standing mixer or hand held and Cooking spray.

*TIP: POP your cookie dough in the fridge for 25 min, this will enhance flavors and the dough will settle. If your feeling free with time, bake them the next day.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, make sure your middle rack is in the oven.
  2. Measure out all your dry ingredients and set aside, measure out all your wet ingredients and set aside.
  3. In your free standing mixer, add your sugar, maple sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until a creamy mixture forms. Turn mixer off push down the sides with a spatula, and scrape the bottom. Turn your mixer back on and add your egg, mix for about a min.
  5. Add in your flour, soda, salt and spices. Mix until a dough forms.
  6. Pour in your oats and with a spatula mix by hand, then add your raisins.
  7. Once dough is finished let the dough sit in your fridge for 25 min, or freezer for 10-15.
  8. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 16 min, at 8 min take out flatten and bake for another 8 min. If you want a chewier cookie bake for 10-12 min. ENJOY!

gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie recipe

oatmeal raisin cookie recipe

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Hi Friend,

This was one of those recipes that ALMOST got the best of me. The pie dough was trickier than expected and it fell apart numbers of times. BUT I persisted and after many failed attempts I finally succeeded. The final results were well worth all the trouble I went through. The base for this recipe was inspired and adapted from Joy the Baker’s pie method. I am a huge fan of Joy and HONESTLY we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about PIE if it wasn’t for HER and HER pie method! There is something about the milk and butter combo that really worked with the gluten free flour, it held together and really behaved itself. Joy uses butter and buttermilk as part of the pie dough recipe, since I don’t use dairy at all (except eggs) in my recipes I had to come up with an alternative to both. So instead I used vegan butter sticks which work great, and after some experimentation coconut milk with ACV equates to buttermilk beautifully. When this tart comes out of the oven about 20 min after cooling dollup with your favorite vanilla ice cream (vegan or not) and dig in.

Now let’s get baking.

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2 sticks (8oz) vegan earth balance soy free butter sticks (cold)
2 ½ (12 oz) Bob’s red mill gluten free flour (blue bag mix)
1 tsp xanthan gum
Small pinch of salt
1 can full fat COLD coconut milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup cold coconut milk( full fat) mixed with ACV (see notes in directions)
Unbleached parchment paper
Large cheese grater
Medium / small round tart pan
1 baking sheet
1 lb of dried beans

6 organic apples (golden delicious work great)
Lemon juice as needed (about 1- 2 tablespoons)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
¼ cup organic coconut sugar
¾ tsp organic ground ginger
1 tsp organic ground cinnamon
Egg wash, (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of cold water )


PREP AHEAD; Put your can of can of coconut milk and butter in the fridge overnight. Put About a half an hour before you make your dough stick it in the freezer with wrapper on.

  1. Take your cold can of coconut milk and add 1 tablespoon ACV (apple cider vinegar) to it and whisk until smooth, put back into the fridge to keep cold.
  2. In a large wide bowl, whisk all your dry ingredients, your flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum, pinch of salt.
  3. With a large cheese grated grate your frozen vegan butter over the bowl of dry ingredients, then with your fingers gently mix together and once incorporated you should have pea sized flakes, don’t worry if they aren’t all even its okay if its wonky!
  4. Grab your coconut milk avc mix, measure out ½ cup, make a well in the middle of your mixture and dump in the mix and continue to fold together until combine. It's going to be a bit wet so on a clean work surface dust out some GF flour and place your dough over it, gentle need into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour or 24 hours if your making later.
  5. After dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. We are going to BLIND bake a pie crust.
  6. On a clean work surface, toss on some GF flour and GENTLY roll out your dough. Be sure to have your tart dish ready next to you. Roll out the dough and gently place over your tart dish. IF it breaks use your fingers to mold it back together, its okay just go with it. If it does need putting back together after you mold it, pop in the freezer for 10 min.
  7. Grab a baking pan and some parchment paper. Take out your pie crust, poke with fork all over. Then completely cover and wrap with parchment paper and place on the baking sheet. Take one more sheet of paper and put it over the pie fill with your dries beans.
  8. Place in the oven for about 12-15 min or until the bottom of your crust sets and does not bubble. Take out the beans and paper.
  9. LOWER the OVEN to 350 degrees Let cool. Meanwhile make your pie tart filling.


  1. Clean, core and thinly slice your apples. Place in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to them. It’s your choice if you want to leave the skin on, for this recipe I did. (if you take the skin off you can make a crumble for the top)
  2. In a small bowl whisk your sugar, pinch of salt, ground cinnamon and ginger.
  3. Take your sugar mix and mix it with the apples, add in your vanilla and combine.
  4. When your crust finished place the apples inside with skins up and smoosh together side by side lining the whole tart. Break up 1 tablespoon of vegan butter and place it sporadically around the top of the pie.
  5. Take your egg was and wash all the crust edges with a brush. Wrap in parchment paper once again so the crust does not burn. Bake for 30-45 until the apples are soft. And about 25 min in you can take off the paper and bake the remaining time without.
  6. Once finished baking place on a cooling rack for 20-30 min, serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!






ASHER CAKE small.jpg

The First time I made a cake it was a disaster. Barely working ovens, lead to a burnt cake, that somehow resulted into a frosting with a side of CAKE.  Instead of CAKE with some frosting. At the time, I didn’t have a domestic bone in my body, so of course I used a pre-made Boxed mix and pre-made frosting because why not? After the cake didn’t come out as expected,  I even avoided making all birthday cakes for a LONG time because I was so embarrassed from my first offensive. I was certain I couldn’t bake. Fast forward 10 years later, and my kids are finally begging for cakes on their birthdays, so I accepted their challenge, faced my fear of cake baking and got to it!

It was Asher’s 8th birthday, he requested a vanilla cake, with blue frosting, and berries on top! So we made cake, with blue frosting and berries on top. And it was heavenly.

Happy Cooking Friends,

x Nicole


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Gluten free Vanilla bean Cake, with Blueberry Cream frosting


2 ½ cup bob’s red mill gf flour (1 to 1 blue bag mix)
¾ cups organic sugar
1 cup vegan organic earth balance butter blend
½ cup organic coconut milk
4 large organic eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 organic vanilla beans
2 ½ tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt


Note: You’ll want all your ingredients room temp.

  1. Measure out all the ingredients and set them in front of you. You’ll need 1 medium to large bowl for the dry ingredients, and your mixing bowl that attaches to your free standing mixer. Sift all the dry ingredients into the medium bowl, set aside.

  2. Cream your vegan butter and sugar on low speed in your freestanding mixer for about 1-4 min, or until it resembles a slight mayo texture. While that is going, crack your eggs into a small bowl. Then stop your mix press down all the sides of your cream and the bottom of the bowl ensuring everything is mixed well. Start the mixer on low and while it's going add in one egg, at a time. Stop mixer, and scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

  3. Slice your vanilla bean pods lengthwise,and scrape out the beans with your knife add them to the mixer. Then start the mix again, add in vanilla, coconut milk. Keep the speed low to ensure you don’t over mix.

  4. While the mixture is going, add your dry ingredients in 3 sections. If need be, stop in between and scrape down the sides again. This just gets everything mixed together without the dough lumping.

  5. Once batter is made, divide it into your prepared cake pans. TIP: spray with nonstick spray, and cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 25-35 min until a few moist crumbs cling to a skewer.
  7. To cool, place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
  8. Ice and decorate your cake.

Blueberry Icing:


8 oz Vegan Almond Cream Cheese (kite hill is the brand I used)
4 oz organic Coconut milk (cream only, you’ll need to refrigerate for 12 hours beforehand)
1 cup confectioners sugar (sifted)
1-2 tablespoons organic blue food coloring
1 tsp organic vanilla extract

Directions: NOTE: All ingredients must be cold before starting. You will need free standing mixer with whisk attachment. Also, you can freeze your metal bowl beforehand, this really helps the process.

To make, pop all your wet ingredients(except food dye) in your free standing mixer with whisk attachment, on medium speed whisk until light and fluffy about 1 min. Add in your sifted sugar and 1tbsp of food coloring,(if want darker add 1 more tbsp). Whisk again until smooth and creamy. If its not coming together, add more sifted sugar one tbsp at a time, with an addition of 1 tbsp coconut milk.

Frost the cooled cake and enjoy!


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These past five weeks I immersed myself into a Baking Class, the idea being I wanted to learn more. But ultimately, face my fear of cooking school. Shamelessly, I have to admit I had this whole Julia Child Movie moment in my head, classrooms that are light and Airy with inspiration everywhere. This was far from the case.

The Culinary program at scottsdale community college, isn’t a “sparkly”setting. More lackluster, the room is small, filled with 6 working stations to host pairs of two, the equipment is scarce, and the kitchenaid mixers are run down. There is even a cockroach scurrying across the floor that has decided to flee the building because it would rather be somewhere else.

Enter my first day, I walk in I’m right on time 5pm sharp. It seems everyone has already arrived and set up, I baffled. I take note and realize on time actually means 15 min early. The teacher or CHEF, starts talking, telling us “we are diving right in First Mise en Place and then please DON’T start baking”. Everyone scurries to the shelves and I’m left standing there, dumbfounded. Already feeling behind, I tell myself to Focus! What is the girl next to me doing? DO the same, I tell myself to do the same. So, I go follow. With containers and digital scales in our hands we come back to the station, I turn to the girl next to me and ask “what the F is Mise en Place” ? “Everything in Place, she says”. Using her hands she waves them at her already weighed ingredients for the cream scones we were making. I hadn’t even started. I turn my scale on, it doesnt work. I go to get another one, they are all gone. Fuck. I take another breath, but somehow manage to calm myself. Savanah my teammate kindly offers hers when she is finished and we actually SCALE the rest of the items together. THANK GOD.

The rest of the class is smooth, but I realize It's been years since working in a bakery setting, or coffee shop and I can’t quite remember how to set up the 3 part sink but try hard to ignite the thought stored deep in my brain. Class consists of 4.5 hours of hands on baking, as well as rolling up your sleeves and doing mundane things like cleaning dishes, floors and equipment. Chef, makes the small unglamours room feel Big, Bright and full of life. Half way through class I’ve forgotten about the coacroah and found myself well on my way to scaling baking and having the time of my life! Once I realize that the fears of this class have subsided, I take a big deep breath and press on.

Below I have included the CIA ( Culinary institute of America’s Pie dough and apple pie we made in class!) Happy Baking friends,

x Nicole


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3-2 -1 PIE DOUGH


  • 3 lbs All purpose flour
  • 1 oz Salt
  • 2 lbs Butter, cut into pieces, chilled
  • 1 lb Cold Water



  1. Combine the flour and salt in a electric mixer (like a kitchenaid). Add the butter and blend with the paddle attachment on medium speed until pea size nuggets form, about 3 min. For flaky dough, you are looking for ½ to ¾ inch pieces of butter. For mealy dough you are looking for almost a coarse cornmeal consistency. Add the water all at once and continue to mix until the dough just comes together.

  2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling. ( the dough can be held under refrigeration for three days or frozen.



Apple Pie Makes one 9inch pie

6 to 8 apples, peeled and cut into 1/4inch slices
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt Egg wash (1 egg to 1 tablespoon milk, beaten)
Coarse sugar, as needed


  1. Prepare crust using the All Butter Double-Crust, bottom crust fitted in pie pan and chilled, top crust rolled out into a 11-inch round.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and set the rack in the lowest position. Using a pastry wheel, cut twelve 1-inch-wide strips of dough from the top crust. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Toss to combine. Immediately layer the apples in the prepared bottom crust, arranging and pressing them to eliminate gaps and air pockets.

  4. For the decorative top crust, watch THIS LINK step-by-step techniques to prepare.

  5. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with coarse sugar.

  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking until bubbly, 60 to 70 minutes more. Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Let cool for 2 to 3 hours. The filling will continue to thicken and set as the pie cools.




Summer is coming to a close. We are soaking up every last bit, and eating all the berries we can get our hands on! Asher came up with the SIMPLEST SMOOTHIE RECIPE so I thought I'd share it here as a final ode to the SUMMER SEASON. 



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vegan berry recipe
vegan smoothie recipe



1 cup ice
2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries
1-2 cups organic light coconut milk (from can or carton)
1 tsp vanilla extract,
2 bananas


In your blender place all the ingredients - blend until smooth- if not getting smooth add a bit more milk - blend more and enjoy! TIP: I put the leftover in popsicle maker to make popsicles.

vegan berry smoothie recipe

vegan berry smoothie recipe


vegan berry smoothie recipe

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HI friends! It’s been a while. My apologies for that, I hope you feel I  haven’t abandon you. We’re at the start of a fresh new season over here in our little “Team Lee” world. Which I’ve been talking a lot about on Instagram. I have also taken the plunge on going FULL TIME on, developing recipes, photographing, blogging, running this little business and diving into Culinary School. Whoosh that sounds like a lot but it's the best kind of BUSY I’ve had in a LONG TIME. The kind where you are tired but have SO MUCH energy. Which I really believe is from following your heart and not your head, being align to your universal path. Anyone with me?

One of the recipes I have been working on is Double Chocolate GF Vegan Waffles. (my sister advises I work on the name) Until, that happens we'll stick with it. When I made these waffles the first time, it was a Sunday morning, I was half asleep still sipping on coffee to wake me up. I nailed the recipe. Which was a miracle. But then when I went to make them later in the week I BOTCHED them because I didn’t trust the recipe I wrote down. So silly really. I'm remembering that going with your GUT is always a good idea! Recipe testing takes time, and I appreciate you waiting ever so patiently while I figured it all out!



Nicole x



INGREDIENTS ( plus tips) :

1 cup gluten free flour ( bob’s red mill 1 to 1 mix )
1 ¼ cup white rice flour ( sweet or reg works)
¼ cup organic cocoa powder
1 bob’s red mill vegan egg
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
⅓ cup swerve alternative sugar or organic raw turbinado sugar
⅓ cup of earth balance vegan butter ( or mix half light evoo + coconut oil together )
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ - 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup unsweetened dark chocolate chips


1.Measure out your dry + wet ingredients.

2.In a small bowl make your vegan egg, mixing 2 tablespoons of vegan egg dry mix with 1 tablespoon water and set aside. (If you are new to making vegan egg look at the package for directions).

3.On low heat melt your oil, add in the the sugar, vanilla and chocolate powder. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk until combine.

4. Mix in the almond milk so the milk slightly warms.

5. With a wooden spoon combine wet + dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. If the mix looks dry add 1 tablespoon of almond milk, or if looks wet add a 1 tablespoon of gf rice flour. Then add in the chocolate chips. Mix.

6. Preheat your waffle maker. Cook the waffles according to your makers directions.

TIP: Put the oven on warm and place the waffles that have finished cooking in the oven to stay warm while I cook the rest! Finally, serve with whipped cream and berries! Enjoy.




So what is GHEE you ask? Essentially, Ghee is clarified butter. During the cooking process the milk proteins separate from the butter leaving you with ghee. This stuff is liquid gold, it’s used for cooking veggies, baking, and of course adding to your bulletproof coffee. Packed with Vitamins, Ghee is really a superfood! It’s also the simplest thing to make at home.



NOTE: It’s really important to use high quality grass fed butter, this is key to getting the recipe just right. Also, if you are allergic to dairy stay away from GHEE. There are trace amounts of milk solids in it and may cause a reaction. If you are reintroducing dairy into your diet, this is a great food to start with. My only advice would be to go slow and small tiny amounts, over weeks or even months. But we can get into that another time!


1 pound grass-fed butter (at room temp)


Wide mouthed sauce pot
Metal strainer
Cheese Cloth
Metal spoon
Wooden Spoon
Jars with lids for storing


Heat your pot on low heat. Add the butter. Let the milk solids bubble to the surface. Skim the bubbles until there is just a layer of protein at the bottom of the pot. It will brown slightly, watch it carefully so you do not burn it. When the solids are fully separated turn off the heat. Put the cheesecloth over the metal strainer, then strain your melted butter through the strainer into your jars. If it looks cloudy strain again. Then put the lid on and store in the fridge. It will become solid and creamy. If you don’t wish to have it creamy keep it on the counter and in about 24 hours it should turn from oil into a thicker consistency.

Happy Cooking friends x Nicole


This recipe was adapted from the BULLETPROOF DIET COOKBOOK