GF SPICEY OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE RECIPE || PHOTOS + RECIPE BY NICOLE LEE


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

Recipe:

GF Spicy oatmeal raisin cookies:

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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.
  4. DON'T OVER MIX.
  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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"POP UP" WORKSHOP with WEST ELM PHX || FOOD + LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


Hello Friends, 

Come hang next week! Details below,

-Cheers, xx Nicole

PS FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW IF YOU'D LIKE TO ATTEND! 


We’ll bring the drinks! 

Come join us for an evening of messy fun. We've partnered with West Elm PHX  to host a “POP UP” Workshop. We'll be preparing a simple dish, style food scenes, photograph and edit beautiful shots with our IPHONES. 


 March 8th, 2018
  4pm-6:30pm

         West Elm PHOENIX        
Cost: $25

We'll be learning;
IPHONE Photography   
                               Styling Tips + Tricks
                                
                                                                                                                                                                                            
 BONUSES;
PDF Guide of recipes, IPHONE photography + editing,
Styling + Prop TIPS! 
Swag bag + Potted Succulent   
                                    
Bubbly drinks + food to nibble on during the event!                                                               

Number of spaces are limited so Grab your seat! 


GUACAMOLE 2small*.jpg


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EASY LEFT OVER CHICKEN SOUP RECIPE || FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


CHICKEN SOUP


Hello Friends,

Sometimes the best recipes stem from only what is stocked in the fridge at the moment. You know, when it gets bare and you can’t bring yourself to do another weekly shop. As my kids are growing it seems I am constantly running out of food! So we barely have leftovers, but I do have staple ingredients lying around. Garlic, ginger root, onions, carrots, celery, fresh herbs, always cilantro and basil. In the pantry, canned beans, tomatoes, chicken bone broth and veggie broth stock the shelves. That way when I am in a pinch, I can easily throw something in a pot and walk away, while I  to tend to the chaos of after school activities. Inspired by the classic the many leftovers in the fridge after hosting our first “classic” thanksgiving meal a beautiful hearty soup was born.


Leftover Chicken Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cooked Cornish Hens (or 1 fully roasted chicken)

2 sweet onions

4 celery stalks

2 carrots (I used my roasted carrots from the night before!)

2 cloves garlic

Fresh Ginger (about half the size of your pinky finger)

2 - 16 oz chicken bone broth (free range organic is my preference, I like Pacific Brand or you can make your own stock) White wine (you actually like to drink, I love Sauvignon blanc)

2 cans of cannellini beans (eden brand is great, they pressure cook and Soak them, so they are great on your digestive system)

2 -3 cups of fully cooked mixed potatoes, Japanese sweet, white, red… you get it! (roasted from night before, or boiled then add them to the pot, don’t add raw potatoes to your soup, it will soak up all your broth)

Herbs:

1 bay leaf

fennel leaves

fresh oregano, thyme leaves, sage, rosemary

Salt

Fresh ground pepper

Other things you may need:

Olive Oil, or avocado oil for frying your veg

1 large stock pot, with wide bottom (Dutch oven work great too)

1 wooden spoon

Chef’s knife

Cutting board

Directions:

First chop all your onions, carrots, celery, place in one bowl set aside. Take two garlic cloves with the peel on, place one on your board and with your knife smash down, take off the peel and set aside the garlic. Repeat.

Place your stock pot on the stove, turn on the stove to medium-high heat add in your Avocado oil, when its good and hot add in your onion carrots and celery mixture to the stock pot. Then add in salt and pepper to taste, (small amounts at a time here if you aren’t experienced). Add in your whole garlic. Then Add in ½ cup of wine while the pot is good and hot, then bring the stove down to medium heat. Cook until the onions are clear, then add in both smashed garlic cloves. While that is making magic, roughly chop your herbs and add those to the pot. If things are good and cooked, turn the heat to low.

TIP: Be sure to stir your saute every few min so it will not burn, I like to feel things out when cooking, smell also helps so be sure to use your senses as a guide in the process!

Pull apart the chicken meat and bones, add them to the pot, and set aside the carcass for other use or discard altogether.

Open your cannellini beans, thoroughly rinse and drain beans and put them in the pot. Add in the fully cooked potatoes from last night's roast, ( or pre boiled potatoes). Cut about 1 inch long of fresh ginger root, toss this into the pot whole. Add in your Bay leaf as well.

Give everything a good stir, turn your heat up to high, now it’s time to to add in the bone broth to the stock pot. Let it boil for 5 min on high, when you see it bubbling, give it a good stir and bring your heat down to low and let simmer for min of 45 min - 12 hours depending on when you will be eating. The longer it sits the more time the flavors have to melt into each other. After the 45 min on low heat, you can taste if it needs more herbs, salt or pepper.

Serve with crusty bread and salad to make a glorious dinner!

Cheers

-Nicole

CHRISTMAS BRUNCH IN JULY || BRUNCH TIPS || FOOD+LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



Hello Friends,

Can you believe it’s Wednesday already? In my last post I spoke about how we get to move back into our home this Friday. It’s been a wild journey with the storms of the house. Officially we have been out two months, and two-ish weeks. That would make us staying at 4 different airbnb. The last place we stayed at felt like we were living in a Wes Anderson Movie. Deserted hotel, we were the only ones on the grounds at times. Anyway, we are getting really excited to finally be moving back in. The status of the house, we have walls, and currently are doing some extra remodeling ourselves. Painting, bathrooms the kids rooms and a few odds and ends. The goal is to make it feel like home again. But after all that has happened it’s time to put on some fresh coats of paint and make new memories.

Best way to do that, make a big meal gather around the table and have some laughs. Our go to favorite meal  brunch. Sunday mornings, bacon, eggs, maybe some double chocolate muffins. Or just whatever we may have in the fridge at the moment works too. Here is how we usually brunch on Christmas morning…. 

“Team Lee” Brunch (Christmas Morning Style) : 

Put everything in the middle of the table and enjoy!

Cheers Friends,

Nicole



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GLUTEN FREE STRAWBERRY TOAST RECIPE || EASY FOOD | FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



Hello Friends,

This quick recipe for gluten free strawberry toast is all about getting in some nutrients while also making sure your meal is tasty. No one likes cardboard. Lately, I’m into easy food, yet I don’t want to just grab those fries each time. Food can be fuss free, taste good, and make you feel great. Give it a go; this toast will change your life.

Cheers and happy cooking

Nicole x





GF + DF STRAWBERRY TOAST RECIPE || NICOLE LEE

Ingredients:

-1 loaf of gluten free bread

-Raw honey (2 – tablespoons)

-Nut Butter (mixed, almond, peanut)

-Chia Seeds

-Fresh Strawberries (1-2 pints)

-Toaster

Directions:  Clean and roughly chop your strawberries, removing the stems. Set aside. Toast your bread to your hearts desire. Spread with a decent layer of nut butter, and honey. Place the strawberries on top. Finish with a sprinkle of chia seeds. Repeat for as many pieces of toast you’d like to make. Enjoy!



CHOCOLATE GRANOLA RECIPE || GLUTEN FREE+DAIRY FREE || FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE





Hello Friends, 

Chocolate seems to be at the top of my food list, it is only fitting that I would try to add it to almost everything. One of my fondest memories of chocolate was when we used to live in the PNW; we would walk and get a coffee from our favorite shop. I’d order a hot double short latte and on the top they would serve it with a piece of dark chocolate. The chocolate would warm from sitting on the cup. You would have to eat it quite quickly, the melted chocolate followed by sipping your espresso left the most heavenly taste it your mouth.

Lately, I am yearning to recreate moments of food heaven each day. It looks different now. Instead of walking to the coffee shop, I walk into the kitchen. Back then I cooked, but was still getting my bearings down. Lots of burning, lots of undercooked chicken, and lots of baking, I could do that. The baking was easy. Maybe its because the control of the ingredients lead as a guide of safety and comfort. “ Actual recipe development, seemed scary as you had to move with the food, no rules, just feelings. Food makes you feel. It’s instinctual. You are forced to do a dance, taste, smell, and engage with it. Or else you get a burned hot mess; this took me years to sort out. I just kept cooking, and trying. Lots of repetition, as I was learning I would cook the same dish every night until I nailed it! Ryan would ask “ what’s for dinner, I would say – roast chicken and veg! He replied without grumble, SPLENDID! Along with my encouraging husband, the other helper I had was “the naked chef” (AKA JAMIE OLIVER) he taught me how to: boil eggs, make curry, make soup, homemade pizza, what herbs were, and even nail a good granola. Once I sorted out how simple cooking could be, it all came together. Recipes became effortless. 

So, I want to share my take on good ole granola, it’s easy and the best part it takes 15 min to prep!




CHOCOLATE GLUTEN FREE GRANOLA RECIPE// (Makes about 1.5 gallon bag)

You will need: 2 baking sheets, unbleached parchment paper, mixing bowl, spatula, small saucepan

*INGREDIENTS: *

  • 1 cup nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut or no nutz)
  • 6 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 5 ounces high quality dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons high quality coco powder
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped almonds and cashews
  • 1/3-cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)

Directions:

Pre- Heat your oven to 300 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Measure out ingredients, and in a bowl place: gluten free rolled oats, cinnamon, ground ginger, chia seeds, coconut flakes, brown sugar, nutmeg, chopped nuts, and salt mix a little with a spatula. Set aside. Chop your chocolate, set aside.

Take your small saucepan and put on medium –low heat. Add your coconut oil, nut butter, raw honey, and 5 tablespoons of coco powder. Mix constantly, until melted and blended together. Take off heat, add in the vanilla paste and mix in. Pour mixture over the rolled oats mixture and thoroughly combine until the oats are completely coated. Add chopped chocolate, mix.

Finally spread evenly over the parchment paper lined baking sheets. Place both trays in the oven, Bake for 15 min. Let cool completely for about an hour. Store in gallon bags, or mason jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks!

To serve, you can enjoy with nut(or raw) milk, fresh berries like raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries. This granola, also tastes great over ice cream or just by it’s self!


CHEERS, 

NICOLE 








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AVOCADO TOAST, WITH FIGS, AND CILANTRO || GLUTEN FREE+VEGAN RECIPE || FOOD + LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



Hello Friends, 

Cooking with children can be a daunting task to some, but I find once you give them a chance it doesn’t take long for them to fall in love with helping out and be part of the process.  It feels only natural to invite them into what we are doing, whether it be flipping eggs, baking some cookies, or just making a simple toast. I tend to give them jobs like; letting them sprinkle on the salt or herbs, or crack the eggs, stir the pot. They love it, give it a try!  - Cheers, Nicole





Avocado Toast; with figs lime and cilantro recipe :

Ingredients:

-A loaf of gluten free (or none GF) bread

- 1 bunch of ripe avocados

- fig fruit (for the top or side)

-1 lime

- chopped cilantro

- salt, pepper, olive oil

- knife, fork, and bowls for mashing

Method: Cut and pit your avocados, in a bowl mash up avocados leaving them pretty chunky. Slice your limes in half, and squeeze over the avocado.  Chop cilantro, set aside.

Toast your bread to your liking, and drizzle high quality olive oil over the top of them. With a fork take your avocado and smash the rest over the toasted bread. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cilantro. Then enjoy!







I would love to hear from you! Just fill out the form below! 


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DAIRY+GLUTEN FREE ICE CREAM RECIPE || ARIZONA FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


Hello Friends, it has been wayyy to long since I have posted. With that I deeply apologize for the radio silence. I feel that I have neglected my little blog that honestly I have missed so much.

Over the last few months I have been busy, I had some more health issues come up and really just hit the wall of exhaustion. I could blame a lot of things but I would say mostly I chose to stop prioritizing, and made a huge mess of my personal life. If I am honest with you, I just kept saying yes to all the jobs offered, to the grind, to the over working, to the sacrificing and putting all that in front of myself, and my family even. Which as stubborn as I am, hates to admit I was doing too much.

Have you ever heard of the work smarter not harder mentality? Well I switched those around, and for sure worked harder not smarter. And when I fell flat on my face, instead of calling it quits I thought I would take a break until I knew where I was going.. When that didn’t happen, I realized I needed to take a harder look at myself, I needed to see how I could stop falling short, and start being the person I was preaching I was and “trying” to be. Which is ultimately my BEST SELF always.

Someone very wise recently told me this quote from Wayne Dyer:

----“When you squeeze an orange, you'll always get orange juice to come out. What comes out is what's inside. The same logic applies to you: When someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, or says something unflattering or critical, and out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, tension, depression, or anxiety, that is what's inside. If love and joy are what you want to give and receive, change your life by changing what's inside."----

Light bulbs went off, Shooting Stars in the sky! This quote changed my prospective immediately. Who was I on the inside? Does this quote mean I need to be perfect no, does this mean that I am a failure no. This simply means, what do you want the insides to look like? Is it possible to be your best self always?

All I know is I want to be the kind loving person always, in work, in home life, same inside and out.

So who do you want to be?

Thanks for listening friends, thanks for following my journey.

Until next time.

-Yours

Nicole 




Mint Chocolate Coconut Ice cream Recipe :

You will need :

4 cans coconut milk (full fat)

4 eggs

1/2 cup raw sugar or honey

1-tablespoon vanilla paste

2 – 4 oz. of good quality chocolate (I love Theo chocolate) they have minimal ingredients and some are vegan!

1-2 tablespoons peppermint flavor

1 pot, a whisk and an ice cream maker

Prep: place your cans of coconut in the refrigerator upside down overnight.

-Open the cans of coconut milk and separate the fat and liquid. You can save the liquid for another project, such as coconut water. Put your pot on the stovetop and set to medium. Then add in the coconut milk, sugar or honey, vanilla and peppermint to the pot. Whisk together until you see little bubbles and the chunks of coconut dissolve.

-Taste to see if it needs more sugar, then set to the side. In another bowl whisk together the eggs until light and fluffy. Add into the coconut mixture. Then place the bowl in the freezer for about an hour.

-After the mixture is cooled pop into the ice cream maker and follow your machines directions. ! About mid way through of churning add in your chocolate chips, or fresh chopped chocolate pieces. Also, If you don’t have an ice cream maker to churn you can simply pour into Popsicle molds!

Enjoy!




Strawberry-Basil and Coconut Popsicle Recipe// Arizona food Photographer Nicole Lee



Hi! Lets start there. I wanted to take a moment and reintroduce myself. I’m Nicole. I am a photographer, home cook, Mother, jack  Jill of all trades kind of girl. Last year, I started pursuing photography full time, I had no idea “what” "where" or "how" I was going to get there. Becoming a Photographer that is. Looking back I was quite the hot mess, sometimes I still feel that way ha. But Over the last 6 months I have found some clarity in it all.

When you first start you have a hundred people chiming in your ear, which I am thankful for. They say words like branding, Marketing, Direction, Specialize, Who are you? What are you, how are you going to be successful? What do you charge? Can you do a headstand, then 100 jumping jacks, and snap a shot of me doing one to?

Then you have doe eyed me, blank faced and speechless…queue the crickets please…

I had no idea how to answer any of those questions. I just thought, well I have a camera, I like to take photographs, I like food, and I like people. It is that simple. (But it wasn’t) So many other creatives make it look so simple, truth is I wasted too much time focusing on how to ‘make it' I missed all the key steps to getting there. I just got in the way of myself! I’m sure you have been there.

Then Last April, I ended up taking the most amazing trip out to Seattle and attended the Survival Guide Workshop, by John Keatly. It saved me. I am not kidding around here folks.

He taught us how to market, do business, charge people properly, become a real sustaining brand, and he taught me how to take a risk, to start putting my feet on those stepping-stones. We also had killer food, and pop quizzes. It’s not your average workshop. Plus, I walked away connecting to some supportive friends, some game changers who being the new girl, and they didn’t stomp all over me, they embraced the underdog.

For the last year, I have been able to put myself out there, gain some confidence, say I’m the girl for you, (or not). I’m getting clear on who I am which; in fact you do need to know if you are a creative. What am I willing to say no and yes to, as well as be humble enough to do the odd jobs while I get my feet off the ground.

So where am I going with all this? Well I am saying, If you are struggling creative, don’t give up, figure out what you need to get better at and find someone, anyone, or you tube how to get from here to there. Second, I’m just so freaking excited that all the little steps are coming together.

Now go make some popsicles!!



Strawberry Coconut Popsicle Recipe

 

Makes 12 Popsicle molds

Ingredients:

4 cans full fat coconut milk (chilled in refrigerator)

2 lbs strawberries (fresh or frozen)

3 eggs

1-tablespoon vanilla paste

1 bunch fresh basil

2- 3 cups raw sugar

1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 trays of Popsicle Molds

 

Directions:

 

Clean and Cut the ends of the strawberries, set aside. Measure out the sugar, the vanilla. Open the cans of coconut milk and separate the fat. Measure the fat out to 2 cups. Set aside the coconut water from the cans. Prep the basil, cut off stems and gently chop up.

Put a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove, place a small tsp. of olive oil, and cook the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice together. You will want to stir frequently, until all the water comes out of the strawberries. (About 5-10 min) Add in the basil and vanilla paste. Cook for another 5 min.

You know it will be finished when the strawberries aren’t as tart, with a strainer take out the strawberry mixture from the pot, place in a blender and blend until smooth.

Set aside the left over liquid from the mixture.

Put the coconut milk into the pot, add in the strawberries, cook until everything is smooth and no lumps are shown.

Take the strawberry coconut mixture off the heat, stir in the 3 eggs, taste to see if needs more sugar, or strawberry, or even more coconut. You want a smooth creamy strawberry flavor to come through.

Once finished, add your mixture to your molds. Freeze for 6-12 hours depending on your freezer, and enjoy!!