Gluten Free Blueberry Waffles - Saturday Breakfast


Saturday Breakfasts are somewhat of a staple around here. Saturdays are for sleeping in, big breakfasts and being lazy. Right?  Here is a simple gluten/ milk free recipe, that takes no time to make and honestly tastes like the real thing ( filled with Gluten). Recipe below images! 

Happy Tuesday Friends! 

-Cheers 

Nicole 





Recipe for Gluten Free Waffles ( makes 8)  

INGREDIENTS: 

-  3 Bowls, whisk , ladle, measuring cups, waffle iron

- 1 1/2 cups Gluten Free All purpose flour ( BOBS REDMILL IS THE BEST! )

- 2 tsp Baking Powder 

- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda 

- 1 Tbsp RAW Honey or RAW SUGAR 

- 1 tbsp Oil 

- 3/4  Soy, Almond, or coconut milk depending on preference 

- 4 Eggs Separated 

- tsp Vanilla Extract 

- 2 cups Blueberries 

- 2 cups bananas 

To Make :

- Pre heat waffle iron

- In one large bowl place all the dry ingredients together set aside

-In the other bowl place 4 egg whites and the vanilla, whisk this together until it forms into a fluffy form, making stiff peaks. 

- In another bowl, combine the dairy free milk, yolks, and oil. Whisk these together. Then add in the dry ingredients to this mixture. Once combined fold in the fluffy egg whites with a spatula. Once combine, you can add in blueberries, chocolate chips bananas whatever sounds good to you! 

- Place mix on the waffle iron using the ladle and should finish in about 3- 5 min. Golden brown is what you are looking for. 

- Place the finished gluten free waffles on a place lined with parchment paper to soak up the grease, also the parchment paper will keep the waffles warm while the others cook. 

Top with powdered sugar and enjoy! 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner for two - Charleston food photographer Nicole Mendicino



Date night.  I am having trouble digesting the date night concept. What is date night? Is it shared meal, dress up, putting your best foot forward to please one another for one night only? Why can’t relationships be as simple as doing life together, walking side by side with each other? Maybe always being your best self all the time instead of once a week during date night.

Call me crazy, but I kind of hate the idea of “date night”. The pressure to come up with something adventurous, find a baby sitter, go out, to then end up at a restaurant that is so loud you can’t here yourself think, which leads to pressure of coming up with something interesting to chat about. In the end you sit across from your partner on this forced evening both thinking “we should have stayed home, made dinner and watched Zombies attacking each other on the T.V. I just think the idea of one night a week to make sure to connect with your partner seems odd. Why not be connecting all the time? It doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking hour with one another. But there has to be more than date night to a relationship.

Relationships feel as though they are based off fairytales and sometimes I think that this whole date night thing is right along side it. Do you know what I am talking about?

The prince, the night in shinning armor, saving the girl, the damsel in distress. The prince rescues the princess, his one true love. Disney did a great number on me with those stories. Now it seems all of us women and men have certain expectations on how the other should be, should look should act like. Then what? I mean after prince charming rescues you, because as women we sure can’t rescue ourselves. (“Right”)  Now what? What do you do after the prince rescues you? Fairytale Wedding, Fairytale love, so on and so on. Then you have a wonderful few months. All of a sudden the birds stop chirping. The music fades. Shit gets real. The prince doesn’t seem like a prince anymore, the damsel doesn’t need rescuing, so now what are you supposed to do?

Have kids? Go on date night to spice it up?

Lets take a few steps back now from all the pink lace and tool. Lets take a break from Date night. Lets start at the beginning. It’s a very good place to start. (Cue Julie Andrews from the sound of music.)

What attracted you to that person in the first place? How did you act when you first met them? Did you poop in front of each other? I’ll bet you didn’t. You were the best version of yourself! Everyday. You wanted the other person to like you. You thought his jokes were funny and laughed. Like REALLY Laughed. He didn’t open the doors for you or maybe he did either way you didn’t mind. Date night wasn’t a thing, hang outs, road trips just fun being together, enjoying each other. That is where the love is. So what gives? Lets say you go back to that and do those things all the time. How would that change things? Maybe give being your best self a chance, EVERYDAY. What does that look like? No excuses here, the kids aren’t getting in the way, the job isn’t. It’s a choice.

Relationships are actually quite simple but yet we complicate them by putting pressure on the other person to get what we want. That’s messed up. Or forcing things like date night so I can feel like my partner is pursuing me like Prince Charming pursuing his damsel. Say WHAT?

I have a crazy Idea. Do life together. Be partners to each other. Find what it is you liked about each other in the first place. BEE YOURSELF! I’m no expert here. I am a little awkward, maybe a lot awkward at times. I’m not an expert on love. But what I do know is He is No prince Charming, I am no Cinderella and we don’t need date night. Normal boring life is much more exciting, I’d take dinner for two at home watching Zombies attack anytime over a forced anything.



MENU :

Black Rice With Garlic and Cilantro 

What you will need: 

Wild Black Rice - You can find this at your local grocery store. Cilantro, Garlic about 1 clove. Salt. 

Follow directions on package for rice, use a rice cooker or stove top to make . It will take the longest so make sure to throw the rice in the pot first before prepping the other food. Also add salt to the rice while it cooks. About a 1/2 teaspoon is enough. 


Alaskan Salmon with Garlic, Lemon, Olive Oil and shallots.  

What you need:

- 2 Wild Alaskan Salmons Fillets, 1 lemons, 1 bunch of garlic (4 cloves or 5 depending on how much you like garlic), High quality Olive Oil, 1 Shallot, salt and pepper. 

-To Make :

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees 

Prep a baking pan with Olive oil or Non stick cooking spray. Clean the Salmon Filets, smash garlic (keep shells on) with a knife, slice lemon, and shallots. Place the Salmon on the baking sheet, place smashed garlic, lemon, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper on top of the Salomon Filets. 

Then bake for 10 min. You will know when the fish is done by placing a fork over the top, if the salmon piece are sliding off, the color has gone from bright pink to pale its done. Also Fish cooks very fast and will keep cooking once you take it out of the oven. Over done the fish will be gummy or tough when you are eating it. 


Radish Spinach Salad with Goddess Dressing  

What you will need :

-3 0r 4 Radishes, Fresh Spinach , Lemon, Cilantro, Garlic, Olive oil , Lemon, Lime, Bragg Liquid Aminos, Vegenaise or Mayo works great. Salt and pepper. Ground Ginger or Fresh. A bowl, whisk, knife. mortar and pestle. 

For the Dressing: Roughly chop the Garlic, Cilantro, place in the mortar and pestle add a pinch of salt, and ground ginger to the mix and grind up until combined into a paste. Set aside. 

Cut the lemon and lime in half. Set aside. 

In a bowl Mix together about a tablespoon of Olive oil, tablespoon Vegenaise, teaspoon liquid Aminos, Squeeze in the cut lemon. (use the whole thing, then add in about Half of the lime) Add in the cilantro, garlic mix. With a whisk throughly mix all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. As well as more olive oil, lemon juice if too acidic. 

Slice the Radishes and Place in a bowl with the spinach. 

Add Dressing and toss together. 


That is simple meal Dinner for two. Enjoy. 

Cheers, 

Nicole 


not so perfect gluten free / dairy free chocolate chip cookie recipe



 Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

Today I had a plan for having an amazing blog post about how I succeeded in making some really awesome gluten and butter free cookies. (I was saying Dairy free butter guess eggs are dairy.) The problem is I lost my CF card reader, which means all the rad images are on my CF Card and not on my computer. The plan failed ha. But instead of just blowing off the blog post I really wanted to push through my frustration and perfectionism, still giving you the recipe.

Lately life has been a bit of a roller coaster, making grown up choices and juggling working on my photography business and 3 kids, and food allergies. 

What’s been the hardest at times are not my food allergies or even the children. Its finding out I have thyroid problem and is acting up not doing its job. Leaving me depleted and difficult at times. Lets just say its a vicious , vicious cycle. If you stress then your body reacts. Then your tired and so on. 

Instead of going to the dark side, letting fear and anxiety control my every waking breath. I have been choosing something else. New tools if you must. I realized that instead of let something like the fact that I couldn’t find my CF card reader really get the best of me I take a few steps back and think how can I make this work. How can I push through and problem solve.

There used to be a time in my life where I trained myself to cope a certain way, and well I have been through a lot of life situations where that may have been necessary but now what I am realizing more than ever is I don’t need to cope anymore. I don’t need to put on a shield of armor ever day and go out to battle.

I honestly never thought that day would every come.  Its not as easy as saying ‘I had a come to Jesus Moment” Or The Lord Saved me”.  Over the past few years I have been dealing with “My crap” My past, my baggage whatever you want to call it. Facing it head on, teaching myself through therapy new tools. (Yes I said Therapy.)  Which has been the best thing since the invention of Pizza. I mean Its beyond freeing and wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t done it. Or still doing it from time to time.

Learning to let things go, being my best self through love and kindness. Digest that for ten seconds. It sounds easy but I don’t think I actually knew what the definition of actual kindness was.  Do you? 

So here we are back at the start. I was certainly excited to say the least about these cookies. They are chocolaty, gluten free goodness that every once in awhile it’s good to spurge and have one.

Give them a try, if you have any gluten free tips leave a comment I am still new at all this Gluten free baking!

(These images were with my iPhone and made some minor adjustments in Photoshop)


For the Recipe:

What you will need:

Pre- Heat the oven to 375 degrees

(a toaster oven works great too! )

2 large mixing bowls

Either an electric mixer, or hand mixer ( ex. Spatula works great)

A pan lined with Parchment paper, or a mat

Timer

A Knife to Chop the bar of chocolate

Ingredients:

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp gluten free / corn free baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon (or more or less to your liking )

2 cups gluten free organic rolled oats

3 cups Gluten Free Flour (I use bob’s gluten free 1/1 mix )

1 package vegan Chocolate chips

1 bar 65% cocoa organic chocolate (dairy free)

2 eggs (room temp)

1 cup Earth balance soy free vegan butter  (room temp)

1 cup raw honey (semi melted, melt in microwave if needed)

1 tbsp organic molasses

1 tsp Madagascar Vanilla

Method:

In one bowl Mix all of flour and baking powder and soda together and set aside.

Then in a separate bowl cream together the butter eggs, honey, molasses, vanilla , until smooth and creamy.  When it looks smooth and creamy add in your flour mixer at low speed.

Cut up the chocolate bar into chunks big small however you choose.

When the flour is no longer visible you should have a dough, this is when you add in the 2 cups of Gluten Free Oats, Make sure to mix it in by hand and take off the kitchen aid stand if using one.

Then add the chocolate chips. I usually taste it by now, see if It needs more of something.

Place a about a tablespoon amount onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 min, I flatten them down right when they come out of the oven. This way they aren’t just round puff balls.

Remove and let cool on a stand for about 10 min.

Also If you don’t want to make the entire batch I freeze the dough in the freezer or bake all the cookies and freeze those!

Enjoy! Happy Baking Friends.

-Nicole


Saturday Morning Breakfast - Rituals and Family time



Mornings are becoming my favorite part of the day, especially Saturday Mornings. This wasn’t always the case because we had little one’s waking up multiple times in the night to nurse, or they needed something because you know they were babies. By the time the morning would roll around I defiantly resembled something looking close to a Zombie.

Now fast forward. The kids are older and sleep amazingly which means as parents we are sleeping and the only time I resemble a Zombie is when I have an allergic reaction to food.

Each morning we have our family rituals, get up, get any chores out of the way, make breakfast and lunches sit together as a family and ask each other about our dreams from the night before, talk about how exciting the day ahead will be and seeing friends or teachers. These small moments are my favorite and it’s interesting that it naturally happens around the table. These are the moments to hold onto and treasure. During the week we make it a point to gather each morning together take time and, do these rituals, then we head off to school and start work.

Saturdays are my favorite because when we do this we get to linger a bit; we maybe make something like gluten free waffles, (still in the midst of testing new recipes from scratch) Or Make Van’s frozen waffles. These are defiantly our favorite store bought brand. The point isn’t just about some elaborate menu, but cherishing the time we have together. It goes quick and going even quicker. I thought I would share a glimpse into our morning breakfast time as a family, the time we cherish and love and all look forward to partake in.

What are the rituals that you love and do each day? Whether that is alone, with your family or anything else that tickles your fancy?

Cheers Friends, 

Nicole