eat well, travel often, dream big!

Ka’ab Gazelle Recipe and Photo Tutorial

One day before we moved to Morocco I was sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for my appointment and decided to make a list in my phone of things that I wanted to do at some point while we were in Morocco. It was a way to pass time and I really didn’t think I would do many things I listed. In fact until a few weeks ago I forgot about the list completely.  I was cleaning up my notes app and came across this;

My Living in Morocco Bucket List

I was really surprised to discover that I’ve done almost all of the things I had dreamed up to do after forgetting my list! So here you are today where I’m sharing the fruit of one of my big ambitions, to learn how to make the intricately shaped Moroccan cookies. Along my friends Heidi of Aromas & Sabores and Kate of Mosaic Road we enrolled in a cookie class offered by the Amal Women’s Training Center and Restaurant. The class happens over four Saturday’s. We specifically wanted to make the more intricate cookies instead of simple ghriba or fekkas. They offer cooking classes regularly that are a great value. If you’re passing through Marrakech on a Saturday you can get in on cookie making as well. Visit their website and send an email for more information on dates and pricing.

Now onto the cookies!

Our first class we learned to make ka’ab gazelle and a Moroccan pouch cookie. I’m going to be making up the names for some of these cookies as they don’t have individual names. Ka’ab gazelle are iconic. They’re the most well known Moroccan cookie and a wedding isn’t a wedding without platters of these. They look deceivingly simple but once you bite into one you see how complex they are to make. The pastry is very thin with a stuffing of almonds that tastes like a floral marzipan.

To begin you’ll need to make the pastry. There aren’t measuring cups here, but regular kitchen staples like bowls and cups. It’s a bit of guess work!

Tools needed:

  • Pastry brush
  • rib edged pastry cutter
  • Pasta rolling machine (you can use a rolling pin but it’s difficult to get pastry thin enough)
  • baking sheet

Ingredients for Ka’ab Gazelle Pastry

  • 2 bowls flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tea cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons butter softened
  • 1/2 tea cup orange blossom water

Directions for Ka’ab Gazelle Pastry

Begin by mixing the flour, powdered sugar in a bowl with the softened butter and eggs. Use your hands to mix everything. Slowly pour in the oil while continuing to mix everything together. Once incorporated the dough will barely hold together when squeezed. Very slowly add the orange blossom water while kneading. The final dough should be pliable and elastic, somewhat similar to a pasta dough.

Filling for Ka’ab Gazelle

(the ingredients here were a little more precise!)

  • 1 kg almond flour
  • 150g butter
  • 250g powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp orange blossom water

Mix all of the ingredients together to form a paste that sticks together when squeezed.

Before you shape the pastry you’ll also need to crack an egg to serve as an eggwash.

Eggwash seal for Kaab Gazelle

Start by running the dough through the pasta machine to create a long sheet of pastry approximately 4″ wide. Keep running it through the machine until the dough is almost transparent – as thin as you can get it before it breaks. Pinch a ball of the filling weighing about 10grams and roll to a thick log (see picture). Place on the dough strip with equal space between them. Brush eggwash to seal the dough directly above the filling.

Fold over for Kaab Gazelle

Fold the dough in half and make a small crescent or crown shape.  Continue for all of the filling balls.  Do not pull the dough too tight as you will need a little wiggle room as you continue to shape the cookies.

Shaping kaab gazelle

Very carefully and slowly beginning at the bottom of the filling work the filling up into the dough on top. It should be close to 1″ in height when you are complete. As you raise the height of the cookie you also should gently pull the cookie in towards you to create the crescent shape. Take your time as the dough can break and then you’ll have to cut off that portion and start again.

Finished Kaab Gazelle

Once the cookie is high enough, use the rib edged pastry cutter to cut off the excess dough. Leave a small amount of dough at the base of the cookie but not much. Place the cookies on an oiled baking pan and put into a 350F/175C oven for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will be a very pale brown when cooked through. They should not be crunchy.

That’s it!

Don’t worry if your first few attempts at shaping the cookies are not successful, it takes some time and practice to get it right. Be sure to come back next Monday where I’ll show you another way of shaping cookies using the same pastry and filling.

How to Make Moroccan Kaab Gazelle

Pin for Later!

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Gluten Free Caramel Cashew Brownies

Gluten Free Caramel Cashew Brownies

One of the steps we had to take to complete my registration for a national ID card was a trip to Rabat for a background check. The appointment itself was less than thrilling but we also were able to meet up with my friend Allison and her family.  Allison and I have known each other online for many years, when we were going through the immigration process of bringing our spouses to the US. Then within a few weeks of each other we announced our plans to relocate back to Morocco! She and I had never met in real life until we moved to Morocco but now any opportunity to visit each other’s cities is welcome.

Fish Lunch

After we finished the paperwork we were picked up by them and went to their home for a really delicious fish lunch prepared by their housekeeper. (Yes, we have these, and I plan to post about it later, but please don’t think we’re incredibly wealthy or lazy – it’s just possible here). This was an incredible meal and we were happy to have great conversation in a super relaxed atmosphere -plus get to play with Allison’s kids!  

We were taking the last train back to Marrakech so we didn’t have a lot of flexible time, but decided to take a drive to see the Hassan II Mosoleum (which neither of us had seen). Within minutes of walking in we were told that they were closing and we weren’t able to go inside the actual mosoleum.  Bummer. Next time.


But what does all this have to do with brownies? After we were kicked out we headed back to the train station and sat in a cafe (Venezia Ice) to wait until our train arrived. A quick browse through the menu and I spotted brownies and ice cream. Could it be?? Allison and I both enthusiastically ordered this and crossed our fingers not to be disappointed. I’m happy to say we weren’t!

Since then I had been craving brownies.  I knew they weren’t hard to make, but hadn’t ever experimented with gluten free brownies. I also have had serious cravings for nuts and caramel so I topped the brownies with this.

I cheated with the caramel and bought some here.  You can use this recipe I posted last month for slow cooker caramel, or try this salted caramel from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Gluten Free Caramel Cashew Brownies


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cream of rice
  • 2/3 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
  • Cashews
  • Caramel


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, and butter.
  • Slowly add cocoa powder stirring well to combine evenly.
  • Add in vanilla extract and salt.
  • Then, whisk in 1/4 cup cream of rice powder.
  • Finally stir in chopped chocolate.
  • Pour into a a parchment lined, or greased 8x8 pan.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center has set.
  • Allow to cool completely and remove from pan.
  • Cover brownies with caramel.
  • Toast cashews in a pan on the stovetop until they start to slightly brown and release oils, you should be able to smell this.
  • Roughly chop and cover the top of the caramel with the cashews.
  • Eat!
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Elf-Inspired Christmas “Grams”#SundaySupper

Christmas Gram Quote

I am so excited about this recipe! This weeks’ theme for #SundaySupper is Holiday Music and Movie Inspired Dishes.  I thought, and thought, and thought some more about what I could make. I knew which movie I was going to use, because it’s a family favorite. But what to make… There was of course the obvious answers – food directly out of the movie -but I wasn’t feeling inspired. Then when re-watching the movie it came to me….Christmas “grams”.  You remember this scene;

So this brings us to Christmas Grahams!!! Homemade graham cracker/cookies.  I thought Buddy would totally approve of these for a few reasons.

First, I used maple syrup in them. Which is one of the 4 elf food groups.

Second, they’re in Christmas shapes.

Third, they have sugar in them.

A Buddy approved snack.

I had never made graham crackers, and we can’t buy them in Morocco so this was going to be a treat no matter what. I had hoped these would come out a little thinner but I don’t have a rolling pin here and could only get them so thin without one. Truthfully, they still have a graham cracker texture but are a little bit softer – so a graham cookie? What I like the best is that they aren’t overly sweet.  My boys liked them better once they were frosted but that’s up to you. No matter what – you’ll enjoy these. Don’t forget a big glass of milk.

Christmas Grams

Elf-Inspired Christmas “Grams”#SundaySupper


  • 2 1 /2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Icing
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  • In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.
  • Add cold, cubed butter and mix into the dry ingredients using your fingers, a pastry cutter, or pulse in a food processor.
  • In another bowl whisk together syrup, water, and vanilla.
  • Slowly add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until a dough forms.
  • Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out 1/4 of the dough as thin as possible. For more of a cookie 1/4" thickness is good. For a cracker roll even thinner.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place onto a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.
  • Repeat until you've used all of the dough.
  • Preheat your oven to 350F. While the oven is heating pop the cookie sheets into your freezer. This will help them from spreading.
  • Place into the oven as soon as preheated and cook 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack,
  • To Make Icing
  • In a bowl whisk together powdered sugar with vanilla and water until a thick icing is formed.
  • Transfer to a piping bag or plastic bag with a decorators dip on the end.
  • Once the cookies are completely cool pipe onto cookies as you would like.


Come see what everyone else made! No matter what your favorite holiday song or movie is, there’s a good chance one of the #SundaySupper team have it covered.

Party Appetizers & Snacks:

Oven-Roasted Applesauce Scented with Rosemary & Vanilla-Inspired by the song
“Christmas in the Trenches”- Shockingly Delicious
Roasted Chestnuts Inspired by the movie “The Christmas Song”Food Lust People Love
A Popcorn Trio
Inspired by the song “Let it Snow” - Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
Chai Tea Abominable Snow Buddies
Inspired by the movie “Rudolph”Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Raisin Bran Muffins for a Crowd
Inspired by the movie
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” - In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
Icicle Candy and Reindeer Snacks Inspired by the movie “Snow”Treats & Trinkets
A Christmas Carol Plum Pudding
Inspired by the movie “A Christmas Carol”No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Yukon Mashed Potato Cakes
Inspired by the movie “Rudolph” - Cookin’ Mimi
Christmas Pudding
Inspired by the song “Over the River and Through the Woods” - A Kitchen Hoor
Pumpkin Pudding
Inspired by the movie “Nightmare Before Christmas” - Basic N Delicious
Elf-Inspired Christmas “Grams”
Inspired by the movie “Elf” - MarocMama
Inspired by the movie “The Nutcracker”Happy Baking Days
Chai Spiced Roasted Nuts
Inspired by the song “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” - Take A Bite Out of Boca

Festive Main Dishes

Maple Syrup Spaghetti- Inspired by the movie “Elf”- Momma’s Meals
Who Hash Inspired by the movie “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” -girlichef
Ginger Orange Glazed Cornish Hens Inspired by the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” -Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
NY Hot Dog with Sabrett-style Onion Sauce Inspired by the movie “Die Hard” - Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Classic Caesar Salad Inspired by the movie “The Santa Clause”The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Individuals Meatloaves & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes for Mommy’s Little Piggies - Inspired by the movie
“A Christmas Story”The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Christmas Waffles Inspired by the TV special “A Claymation Christmas Celebration”Curious Cuisiniere
Filthy Animal Pizza
Inspired by the movie “Home Alone”Foxes Love Lemons
Chicken Orzo Soup
Inspired by the song “12 Days of Christmas” - Family Foodie
Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes
Inspired by the song “Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You’ ” –
Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Sweet Holiday Treats:

Gin and Tonic Cupcakes Inspired by Adam Sandler’s ” The Chanukah Song” - The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars Inspired by the movie “Love Actually”Magnolia Days
Gingerbread Marshmallows Inspired by the song “Marshmallow World”Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Inspired by the movie “The Gremlins”Killer Bunnies, Inc
White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Inspired by the song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”Alida’s Kitchen
Snowball Cookies - Inspired by the movie “White Christmas” -The Foodie Army Wife
Penuche Fudge
Inspired by the movie “Elf” Pies and Plots
Hot Chocolate Cookies
Inspired by the movie “Santa Clause” - Mess Makes Food
South Pacific Coconut Tres Leche Cake
Inspired by the movie “South Pacific” -The Ninja Baker
Cookies & Cream Fudge
Inspired by the movie “Elf”The Messy Baker

Cozy Drinks:

Toasted Coconut Hot Cocoa- Inspired by the song “Let It Snow”- Chocolate Moosey
The Christmas Gram Inspired by the movie “Elf”An Appealing Plan
Eggnog Hot Chocolate Inspired by the movie “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” - Peanut Butter and Peppers
Vermont Hot Cocoa
Inspired by the movie “White Christmas”Kudos Kitchen By Renee
Spiked Hot Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Floats
Inspired by the song “Holly Jolly Christmas “ -NeighborFood

This is Christmas; Wine Pairings for Holiday Themed#SundaySupper RecipesENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here ? Sunday Supper Movement.


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Slow Cooker Caramel and Salted Ginger Cheesecake

MarocBaba looooves caramel. It’s his favorite sweet topping.  Honestly, I know very few people who dislike it! I’ve shied away from making my own because it scares me. A year ago I attempted to make it from sugar and well let’s just say what I ended up with was a hard, sugary mess. So I gave up. Then my mom told me she saw a way to make caramel on Pinterest (of course!) and we should try it.


So, last week she and I decided we would do holiday baking early as I won’t be here this holiday season. At the top of our list was attempting to make caramel.  I was skeptical – she was too – but we trusted the good people who pin on Pinterest to not lead us astray.  So how do you make it?

Get ready to have your mind blown!

Crockpot Caramel

This is so so simple.  What you need;

  • clean glass mason jars with lids
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • slow cooker

How do you do it?

Wash and dry the mason jars. Fill them, leaving a little space at the top, with sweetened condensed milk. Wipe off any dribble on the jar and put the lid on. Add about 1″ of water to the bottom of a slow cooker.  You don’t want to submerge the glass jars. If your jars are too tall, you can tip them on their side to cook.  Then set your slow cooker on low and forget about it for 6-8 hours.  You’ll know the caramel is done when it turns light brown.  Remove from the water and place on the countertop to cool. You want the caramel to cool down before opening it, otherwise you will end up with chunky caramel instead of smooth. After it’s cool then you can stir and use as desired!

Not only would this make a great gift for someone but is a delicious topping for Saffron Road’s Salted Caramel Mini Tarts.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

These little guys are really tasty.  There’s 12 in a box and come frozen. Just thaw for 30 minutes and dig in.  I added them to my holiday buffet along with the other three flavors; chocolate coconut cheesecake and Kashmiri lemon ginger. You’ll want all of them because it’s too hard to just eat one.

Disclaimer: I am a paid ambassador for Saffron Road. All opinions are my own. 
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Easy Holiday Entertaining Dessert Bar

After spending 3 weeks in the US, it’s safe to say I’ve gotten my fill of “holiday stuff.” Everywhere I went there was Thanksgiving decorations/food/music at every turn and then plastered in front of it all was the looming Christmas panic. I seriously wondered why every year this happens earlier and earlier.  I came at the end of October and there was Christmas decorations out before Halloween! My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday that has really nice memories for me and I do love preparing all of the dishes for a traditional meal. Whether you’re entertaining for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holiday a dessert bar is a fun and easy idea.

Holiday Dessert Bar

What’s a dessert bar?

Just what it sounds like – a buffet that’s full of desserts! I love using this idea for later evening gatherings or mid-afternoon. It’s easy to put together, and most everyone is happy. You can easily please any of your guests by adding a variety of options for all diets. I mix homemade goodies with store bought items as well as some fresh options. Having a few drink options is also nice.  Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, juices, and water are inexpensive and easy to have on hand.

Gingerbread Cutouts

What to include on a dessert bar:

Here are some of the things I included;

  • Homemade caramel sauce
  • pre-made frozen gingerbread cookies (that I baked!)
  • Spritz cookies
  • Pistachio Bites
  • Saffron Road Dessert Mini Tarts
  • Assorted Chocolates
  • Macarons
  • Fresh berries
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Toasted coconut

Really whatever you think fits the bill for dessert can be included. Having a cheese plate, with cheeses, dried fruit, and nuts would also be a delicious addition. Over the next week I’ll be sharing some of the recipes for items listed above as well as my thoughts on Saffron Road’s new dessert mini tarts.

Dessert Buffet

So, what would you include on your dessert bar?

Disclaimer: I am a paid ambassador for Saffron Road Foods. All opinions are my own.
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29 Birthday Cakes for My 29th Birthday

Specialty Birthday Cakes

Some years I’m counting down the days until my birthday, it can’t come soon enough. Other years the day creeps up from behind me and then it’s here. My mom always made a big deal out of our birthdays.  She had a different theme every year, making food and snacks that matched. We got plenty of gifts and always had two parties; one for our friends and one for our family. Having these memories has really been a very treasured part of my childhood and always made me feel special and loved.

This year, I’m away from my husband and kids so there’s something a little bittersweet about my big day (it’s on Sunday).  I’m also entering the last year of my 20’s. Wow. I just need to sit on that for a little while.  There are so many days I feel like I’m still just a child.  There’s something about leaving this decade of life that I know I can’t escape the adult label. This year to celebrate I decided to post 29 special birthday cakes, one for every year of my age.  These cakes are for those of us who have special diet needs, the ones that can’t pick up something at the bakery but want something delicious for the special day. Some are gluten free, or vegan, or paleo, or sugar free, or well there is something for everyone!  If you’re celebrating a special day soon I hope you find a delicious dessert here.

Specialty Cakes 1

  1. Naturally Red Velvet Cupcakes by Guts by Nature
  2. Grain free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by The Skinny Pear
  3. Mini Raw Vegan Carrot Cakes by Good Girl Gone Green
  4. Sweet Potato Cake with Paleo White Chocolate Frosting by Paleo Fondue
  5. Lemon Potato Cake by Strands of My Life
  6. Carrot Cake Bites with Cinnamon Kefir Cheese Frosting by Loula Natural Specialty Cakes 2
  7. Chocolate Muffin in a Minute by DJ Foodie
  8. Pumpkin Carrot Harvest Cake by Soundness of Body & Mind
  9. Banana Brownie Cupcakes by Popular Paleo
  10. Double Chocolate Muffins by Butter Nutrition-
  11. Grain-Free Individual Cheesecake Swirl Brownies by Girl Meets Nourishment
  12. Paleo Yellow Cupcakes by A Girl Worth SavingSpecialty Cake 3
  13. Chamomile Honey Cakes with Orange Cashew Cream by The Dabblist
  14. Double Mocha Layer Cake by Healthy Living How To
  15. Ooey Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Cake (with Peanut Butter Frosting) by Scratch Mommy
  16. Plantain Skillet Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce by So Let’s Hang Out
  17. Orange Cloud Cake by The Sour Path is the Sweetest
  18. Coconut Cloud Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle by Real Food Outlaws Specialty Cake 4
  19. Chocolate Ganache Cake by Just Enjoy Food
  20. Spice Cupcakes with Maple Marshmallow Frosting by The Gluten Free Doctor
  21. Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes for Two by An Edible Mosaic
  22. Strawberries and Cream Layer Cake by Ricki Heller
  23. Mini Vegan Chocolate Chip Berry Pies + Coconut Milk Whipped Cream by Jew Hungry
  24. Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake with Olive Oil by Cooking on the WeekendsSpecialty Cake 5
  25. Gluten-free Golden Fudge Cake by Cupcakes and Kale Chips -
  26. Vegan Peach Cobbler Cupcakes by Hezzi D’s Cooks and Books -
  27. Gingerbread Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting by Keeping Busy in Brooklyn -
  28. Gluten Free Smores Cupcakes by Beyond Frosting -
  29. GAPS Banana Cake by Gutsy
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Gluten Free Blueberry Galettes

“When I was 17 my mom and dad took the train west to visit family.  They left me home with my baby brother who was maybe 2 years old. At that time I didn’t think anything of it, I had helped my mom from the time he was born. We lived on a farm and every morning I’d get up before my brother to take care of the chores around the house.  Then some days I would put him in the backseat of our car. There were no baby seats, and I was driving, so I just put him in the back and told him to stay put.

There was a big blueberry patch a few miles down the road and so every day when the chores were done we would make our way there.  I spread out a quilt for him and I picked blueberries until all the buckets were full. He sat on the blanket, playing with sticks, or whatever he found around him. I’m sure there were ants crawling on the blanket and who knows what else but back then no one fussed about that stuff. 

When we’d get home at night I would make the blueberries into preserves and can them. It had to be done right away or the berries would have gone bad. By time my parents got home I was able to have picked and saved 50 pounds of blueberries. If I would have waited until my mom came home they would have all been gone. You know I didn’t even think about doing this, it was just a part of life, the way things were. Every summer my husband, kids, and I would go pick berries – all kinds – to put up.  My husband still makes a couple hundred gallons of blueberry wine. We’re lucky to get a few bottles after we give it to family and friends. It’s a good thing they’ve made blueberry bushes now, I don’t know if my back could take bending over to pick off those little bushes on the ground.” 


Before we moved we had a garage sale to get rid of all of our extra “stuff”. In a way that I’ve come to discover is quintessentially Midwestern my mom struck up a conversation with an older couple.  The man was a World War II vet and wore his Navy pride on his VFW hat. Somehow the conversation turned to a discussion about the best place to pick blueberries, and the giant bucket my mom and step-dad picked a few days earlier. Then she told us the story that she always remembers when she thinks about blueberries. As she walked away I smiled and told my mom, those stories just capture a moment of someone’s life, a piece of the past. It’s too bad they aren’t shared often enough and just disappear.

Blueberry Almond Galette

As I was making these, I kept thinking back to the lady and her little brother. I wondered how time had changed them, if he admired his big sister and I would have the guts to leave my 17 year old in charge of a toddler for a few weeks (I wouldn’t!). I thought about the treats they made through the cold Wisconsin winter with the blueberries, bringing back a small taste of summer. I couldn’t save the blueberries and there’s none to be found here but if you happen upon some fresh berries, or even some frozen berries that have been thawed you’ll love this easy breakfast/dessert.

Gluten Free Blueberry Galettes


  • 2 cups coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 11/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 stick or 4oz of cold butter cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 c ice water
  • Filling
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp chilled butter
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • sliced almonds for decoration


    To Make the Crust
  • Add the coconut flour, almond flour, xantham gum, sugar, and salt to a food processor. Begin to pulse and add the butter and vegetable shortening. Continue to pulse until there are no large pieces left and the dough looks like bread crumbs. Slowly add water just until the dough comes together. Warp the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours but up to 24 hours. (If you do not have a food processor the ingredients can be mixed by hand)
  • To Make the Filling
  • Add washed and rinsed blueberries to a large bowl. Use your fingers to break apart the butter in to small pieces and combine with the berries. Mix in sugar, lemon juice, and almond flour.
  • To assemble Galettes
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Remove dough from the fridge and divide into four to five equal parts. Allow the dough to warm up a little. Lightly dust a cutting board with coconut flour or almond flour and press out the dough with your hands. You will want to create a round disc shape.
  • In the middle of the disc add a few teaspoons of the blueberry mixture. Fold up the edges of the galette. It WILL NOT cover the full top of the pastry, just a rough lip.. If the dough buckles or even crumbles a little bit it’s ok. This is a rustic pastry.
  • Slide each galette onto a baking sheet that it will not stick.. I like to use a silpat liner. A sheet lined with parchment paper will also work. Decorate the tops of the pastry with slivered almonds.
  • Once all galettes are ready to bake, place in the oven for 20 minutes and then check. The crust should be a toasted brown color and the fruit soft when you poke with a fork or knife. If they are not done at this point, continue checking every 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook.
  • These are often served at room temperature but I think they taste best when warm.


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Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars

For months we prepared to move our family and for months I planned just what life would be like. Everything would go smoothly, our bags would arrive, our apartment would be ready to go. In a day or two I’d have a phone and internet.  I would go shopping daily in the market and prepare meals that I knew we enjoyed. I would easily slide into life, it really wouldn’t be that different than what we were used to.

But, then I found out I was wrong.

So the first week wasn’t what I envisioned at all.  I was depressed.  I wanted to be alone, to have my space and digest what I had just gotten myself into. I really didn’t eat much, nothing tasted good to me. Even if I wanted to make something I was out of luck. No pots, no pans, no spoons, or forks. While I’ll admit it wasn’t terrible having someone else cook, my diet has changed so much I found a lot of things I just couldn’t eat.

In the midst of my depression, because yes that’s what it was, I knew there had to be something that would help. Emotional eating is usually not a good thing but in this instance I felt it was warranted.
Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
So when there’s a hodge podge of cooking implements and a freezer what do you do? Well you make chocolate no bake bars of course! I knew I could get a little nutrient boost from oatmeal and even though it looks like there’s a lot of chocolate here, it really wasn’t that much. I really want to share the recipe with you but here’s the thing – I didn’t measure it but I estimated. I’ve made them twice now never measuring. They came out a little different but delicious no matter what.

I melted about 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a pan on medium heat, stirring until I’d made a thick syrup (caramel would be delicious too!). In another pan I melted 1/2 cup of butter, with about 4 ounces of milk chocolate, and 3/4 cup of peanut butter. Once it was completely melted a teaspoon of vanilla, and the syrup.

How much oats (gluten-free variety!) do you use? Enough to hold together all of the wet ingredients. Add some nuts or coconut if you like. Then pour into a greased 8×8 pan and spread flat. You might want to eat a spoonful just to check. Finally slide it into your freezer to firm up. Once the bars are frozen they can be cut and stored individually in the freezer or refrigerator.

So now when I’m feeling a little lonely and just a little homesick, I know what’s waiting for me in the freezer to make it just a little bit easier.

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