Not Quite Christmas Cookies

Tis the season of baking.

One downside of being gluten intolerant is that this is a time where I typically take a backseat. I don’t even actually really crave Christmas cookies. You know, the ones in the shapes of Christmas trees, candy canes, stars, reindeer with brightly colored icing on top. But I crave them in theory. Christmas treats of sort.

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To be really honest, I’m not a huge cookie person. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them. But with sweets, ice cream is my weakness. Except for Christmas time. Christmas time, I want cookies.

Since my friend Maia made the cookies I posted here, I’ve been itching to make some. But this time, I was craving pumpkin flavor, so I did some investigating, and came across this recipe.

I made it as is, so I’ll let you go check it out.

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Some caveats. They weren’t as good as the recipe I posted about before. The almond flour gave it a much more grainy texture that I didn’t enjoy. Maia suggested next time, I use butter instead of the almond flour to help with that. Plus, I bought creamy almond butter from Trader Joe’s, but it still had some grit to it. So I’d make sure to get real creamy almond butter next time.

Also, I added more pumpkin spice because I love the flavor of pumpkin and want to make sure the flavor comes through.

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The next cookie recipe I have on my list is….drumroll please….these. Just look at those! Seriously!

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Before & After

Let me preface this entry by saying that I never wanted this blog to be about weight loss. Not that there is anything wrong about weight loss blogs (I follow my fair share and love them!), but that’s not what I wanted my blog to be about. I want my blog to be about food and my exploration of food, and understanding how some kinds of food (aka gluten) can make me sick. Because when you’ve been sick for most of your life, and suddenly you aren’t, you want to talk about it. Or maybe that’s just me.

But because I have lost a lot of weight, I thought some of you might be interested in some before and after photos.  The photos got taken yesterday, and even I was surprised at the difference. I don’t see myself as this new different person – I see myself how I’ve always seen myself. And that means I have some work to do. But the core of who I am hasn’t changed, and that’s what matters to me.

I won’t tell you how much I weigh, but I will say this is an on-going thing. It’s work. It’s saying no to salted macadamia nuts, chocolate covered macadamia nuts and macadamia nut butter all in one day. It’s putting away the guacamole (seriously, guacamole and macadamia nuts and my new weaknesses!). And it’s looking at the before picture and thinking “Wow, getting dressed in the morning was a pain in the ass. I don’t wanna go back to that ‘Will this fit?'” And it’s a support system made up of friends and family who I love dearly and could not survive without.

So, here are the photos. I’ve lost 45lb and counting.  The quality of the photo of a scanned photo sucks. Sorry bout that.


Oh – and because this is a “food” blog, last night I made chicken fajitas with coconut oil, onions, multi-colored peppers, some bacon fat (adds SO much flavor) and guacamole. So delicious and so easy to make in my wok. Made for an even more delicious lunch. But seriously, I’m cutting back on the guacamole. Damn you avocados!

the joys of cooking

As I sit her typing watching amazing Monday TV (seriously – Monday is quickly becoming my new favorite night for television), my kitchen is smelling with the delicious scents of baked onions, sweet potatoes and thyme.

I have to thank my friend Karen for inadvertently introducing me to Gojee – a website where you type in ingredients you have or want and what you don’t like, and it gives you recipes.  And as we transition to fall, I hate the cold weather, but I love the food.  Nothing like pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash as forms of comfort food.  Did I mention my favorite color is orange?

So I picked a few recipes that stood out to me, went to the grocery store, and after picking up some beef stew from a family friend (thank you Mrs. Badanes!), I got started.

The first thing I decided to make was this because I’m a sucker for pumpkin and oatmeal.  I’m not sure if it will be my complete breakfast replacement, since I was turned on to adding spinach to smoothies by my mom.  I made a strawberry-banana smoothie with spinach, uncooked steel cut oats, orange juice, vanilla greek yogurt and protein powder.  Surprisingly delicious.

Anyway – back to the recipe.  Amazingly easy, and the results are delicious.  I can’t wait to try it tomorrow morning!

So I had leftover pumpkin puree and decided to make a pumpkin smoothie/ice cream of sorts.  Just blended the leftover puree, cream, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and ice.  Super creamy and a mild pumpkin taste.

So while the pumpkin oatmeal baked, I decided to make this, which is currently making my kitchen smell heavenly.  I’m not sure if will be quite as amazing as the recipe since I didn’t have the right amount of cheese, and the sweet potatoes were a little old, but it sure does smell amazing.

Can’t wait to see what this looks like/tastes when it’s done!

I even had a helper in the kitchen.

I think tomorrow I may try cooking this and this.