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Moroccan Chocolate Cake #TeaTimeTraditions

Gluten Free Moroccan Chocolate Cake

I recently found a new monthly cooking themed blog hop called Tea Time Treats and I am so excited!  Even though I don’t have little girls, my boys have grown up drinking tea. It’s a HUGE tradition in Morocco so it probably would be more strange if they hadn’t. I think this is really funny because before I had met MarocBaba I’d never had a cup of tea – never.  Now I know there’s nothing better in the afternoon than a big mug of tea and a few little snacks to nibble on.  I’m longing for the day I can be in London and have a real English tea time.  For now, my little at home experience will have to do.  So here’s my offering to this month’s theme of CAKES!  This is a Moroccan Chocolate Cake that my sister in law shared with me. I changed the flour to make it gluten free and had to reconfigure the measurements as in Morocco things are measured with tea cups and harira bowls.  It turned out excellent.

Tea Time Treats

Moroccan Chocolate Cake


  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • scant 1/4 c coconut flour
  • scant 1/4 c almond flour
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp dry buttermilk (or regular dry milk)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • **not gluten free? Use 1/2 c all purpose flour, and slowly mix in. You may need a little more or a little less. The end result should be a consistency the same as any other cake batter.


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a bowl whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup water. After mixing add 4 tsp cocoa powder and 2 tsp dry buttermilk. You can also use dry milk. If using buttermilk the overall flavor will be a little more tart.
  • Reserve half of the mixture and set aside.
  • To the remaining liquid add 3 eggs and 2 tsp baking powder. Whisk well.
  • Finally slowly add the coconut flour and almond flour, mixing as you go.
  • Grease an 8" round baking pan and pour in mixture.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and place on a baking rack to cool.
  • To Make the Glaze
  • To the reserved chocolate liquid add 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt.
  • Whisk until all of the yogurt has been combined.
  • Poke several small holes into the cake using a skewer, toothpick or other small thin object.
  • Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, adding as much or little as to your liking.
  • Finally, the cake can also be dusted with powdered sugar before serving or topped with fresh fruit.
  • Storing the cake: If you have any cake leftover, store in the refrigerator.

Happy First Birthday Tea Time Treats!  I’m looking forward to participating throughout the next year.  Make sure to visit Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked co-founders of the event.  You also can visit this page to see all of the recipes submitted this month.

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Messy Monster Cookies for #SundaySupper

 Halloween is not a holiday we throw ourselves into. We dress the kids up and take them trick or treating but we’re definitely not your creepy neighbors with tombstone decorations and spooky music playing on the door step all October. When I was growing up my parents weren’t those people either.  But, my mom was the most amazing Halloween costume creator.  She also was a very awesome treat maker.  Let’s face it she’s just plain awesome! I never remember having a store bought costume, in fact I know how my mom looked down at such things in disgust and horror (ok maybe not that bad). She always made us a great costume.  One year my sister and I were MnM’s, another Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and as we got older they were made in part by us and our ideas but mostly by her.  She also always managed to make sure they were sized so that a snowsuit could fit underneath.  Hey that’s what happens when you live in Northern Wisconsin!  I’m nowhere near as talented as my mom in that department and I admit in shame that my kids wear store bought costumes.

To get ready for this week’s #SundaySupper theme I wanted to use one of my mom’s cookie recipes. As I mentioned not only was she super awesome costume mom she also was always involved at our school parties for holidays. She made some mean punch and cookies.  This is a “monster” recipe but you can easily cut it in half. When I made the “half” I ended up with 30 really large cookies.  So if you’re baking for a crowd, this is the perfect recipe.

Messy Monster Cookies for #SundaySupper


  • 6 eggs
  • 16 oz brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 12 oz chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 18 oz peanut butter
  • 9 cups quick cook oatmeal
  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 16 oz MnM's
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, peanut butter and eggs.
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients. You can use a mixer but it works just as well to use your hands.
  • Refrigerate the dough for 30-45 minutes, returning dough to the refrigerator after scooping.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, baking spray or silpat.
  • Scoop the cookies with an ice cream scoop leaving 1-2" of space between them. On a large cookie sheet you should be able to fit 6 cookies.
  • Bake for approximately 12 - 15 minutes until the cookies are brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. If you move the cookies too soon they will fall apart.

Enjoy with a big glass of cold milk!

I’m not the only one sharing a Halloween inspired recipe.  Stop by and visit the other #SundaySupper bloggers with their take on Trick or Treat Halloween theme!  Special thank you to Leslie of La Cocina de Leslie for hosting this week!

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day, this Sunday (October 28th) during #SundaySupper.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about all things Halloween.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your favorite Halloween recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

 Bewitching Brews

Ghoulish Gruel: 

Haunted Snacks: 

Spooky Sweets: 

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My Sicilian Roots: Pistachio Gelato and Brioche

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A little while ago I was researching breakfast recipes.  I’ve always struggled with finding breakfast dishes that everyone would eat. MarocBaba and the kids like to eat traditional Mediterranean breakfasts that include bread, cheeses, sliced meats, olives, and other spreads like fresh butter, honey or chocolate cream. I began going through my cookbooks to see what made up a Sicilian breakfast. There wasn’t much.  Then I turned to the internet, again little turned up. Except for one thing.

Granita and Brioche

I knew I came from some seriously smart stock.  Any group of people who find bread and frozen confections a solid breakfast choice are clearly intelligent. Emeril Lagasse includes a gelato and brioche recipe in Kicked Up Sandwiches that reminded me of Sicily.  The brioche recipe I made was quite large (enough for 2 large loaves) so I divided it in half making one loaf of bread and 12 brioche buns.

I couldn’t help but think this would make a great Eid dessert.  French brioche rolls often are topped with a small round of dough, I offset mine so that they look like heads. I think they look like a little flock of sheep!  Emeril includes a recipe in the book to make your own gelato – it’s easy and well worth the time to put it together.  Simply freeze, scoop and fill the brioche rolls for a great dessert!

This is the end of my #SimplySandwiches journey.  I’ve had a great time cooking through Chef Emeril’s new book and getting to know the other bloggers.  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these sandwiches as well.  Which was your favorite?

Garden Burger with Cranberry Chutney

Crab Louie

Grilled Manchego Cheese with Quince Paste, Pears and Walnut Butter

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Date and Walnut Pockets

Brioche Loaf and Stuffed French Toast

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Date and Walnut Pockets

These tasty cookies are better known throughout the Middle East as ma’amoul and they are delicious. This isn’t a recipe I thought I would find in a “sandwich book” but when you look at it they really are just like a sandwich. Dough on either side with a filling! In Kicked Up Sandwiches, Emeril uses walnuts as his nut of choice however I opted to go with pistachios.  I love how dates, cardamom and pistachio come together. The exterior of the cookie is similar to shortbread with an ingredient you won’t find in any Middle Eastern versions (if you want to see how the original recipe comes together check out this post from my friend Holly)

You can but these neat little molds throughout the Arab world.  They are how the intricate patterns show up on the cookies. As you can see from my picture I don’t have one of these lying around, so instead I just crimped the edges with a fork.  These are a really great recipe to have for Eid. I really think the most important part of this recipe is the powdered sugar. I placed all the cookies in an air tight container and sprinkled in about 1/4 c of confectioner’s sugar. Then I (carefully!) tipped the container upside down and sideways until the cookies were coated. Because MarocBaba can’t eat these I had to test them out. It just so happened I was cooking for our mosque yesterday and decided there was no where better to do a trial run than in a roomful of Arabs who grew up eating these cookies.  I received many compliments and most people came back for seconds!

If you’ve been enjoying my posts from Kicked Up Sandwiches I’ve got a treat for you! One reader is going to win their own copy of the book!!  

To enter to win follow the directions in the Rafflecopter form.  The giveaway will be open until midnight on October 23rd so don’t wait!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however I did receive the Kicked-Up Sandwiches Cookbook for free in order to participate.  I will not be sharing the complete recipe for each sandwich as this compromises the integrity and intellectual property of the cookbook author.  If you would like the complete recipe for this sandwich, cookbooks can now be ordered. 

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Red Velvet Whoopie Pies {#SeriousSandwich}

In my family there’s a long history of red velvet cake. One of my dad’s sisters makes THE best version I have ever had.  Seriously, I wouldn’t even order a piece of red velvet cake from a restaurant or bakery because they never were the same. When I was younger this aunt lived in Texas so on the few occasions she might be home in a year we always asked for a cake. It was several thin layers tall with creamy white frosting between each and then covered in frosting.  The best part was that the cake was always moist. It didn’t have the dry taste many cakes get.  I don’t know how she did it and to this day I can’t get it to turn out the same.  I gave up. So every now and then I have the chance to eat a piece and am satiated for another year.

When I first flipped through Emeril’s Kicked Up Sandwiches this recipe immediately caught my eye.  I knew that it wouldn’t be the same as the cake I pine for but they still looked delicious. At the outset I thought that this recipe would take a lot of time, but was surprised at how quickly it came together. I opted to make small whoopie cakes. Each cake is about the size of a ping pong ball. It’s easy to adjust sizes depending on what you like – just pipe more or less.  There are two things to keep in mind. First, make sure that you have two cakes that are the same size because they need to sandwich together. Emeril gives a great tip to wet your finger and smooth out the top of the batter once you’ve piped it – made a huge difference! For the size I made, the baking time was only 6 minutes a pan.  So in under 15 minutes I had baked 40 pieces.  Make sure to let them cool completely before frosting. The recipe Emeril gives for this is a cream cheese frosting but also includes marshmallow fluff.  This is great for us as marshmallow fluff has no gelatin. The flavor of the cream cheese is really subtle and helps balance the sweetness.

It’s not too hard for me to find something sweet to enjoy but the real test is the kids. I gave them each a piece of the cake when it was right out of the oven. M’s first reaction was “Mom, you’ve got to blog about these!  They’re so good!” Picky K gobbled his up and asked for more.  This morning as we packed their lunches they both requested one for their lunchbox.  Success!!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however I did receive the Kicked-Up Sandwiches Cookbook for free in order to participate.  I will not be sharing the complete recipe for each sandwich as this compromises the integrity and intellectual property of the cookbook author.  If you would like the complete recipe for this sandwich, cookbooks can now be ordered. 

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Chocolate Chip, Pistachio, Fig Cookies

Who doesn’t love cookies? Better yet, who doesn’t love a cookie challenge? A few weeks ago Kurt from Livefire (one of my fellow Verizon Savvy Gourmets) challenged all of us to a cookie showdown.  OK it’s really not a showdown but just a fun cookie challenge.  First I was going to do gluten free, but realized I already did that.  Then I thought about making them spicy but it just didn’t work out.  But in the bulk food aisle at the grocery store I had an epiphany. Pistachios and Figs.  Yes that was it.  We never (or very very rarely) get fresh figs here but dried figs are easy enough to find. With my ingredients in hand I set out to bake.  Sadly they came out a bit more flat than I was hoping, though I do love how chewy they are.  Just goes to show I need to step back into the non gluten-free baking ring more often. I used my Xyboard to snap this picture and as I try to do when cooking jot down a few notes in Evernote to  remember for next time. 

Chocolate Chip, Pistachio, Fig Cookies


  • 2c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1c semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 dried figs chopped finely
  • 1/2 c chopped pistachios


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets, or line them with parchment paper or use a Silpat.
  • Sift the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
  • Mix the sugars and butter just until thoroughly mixed, then add egg, yolk and vanilla and mix until creamy. Add the sifted ingredients and mix until just blended.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips, figs and pistachios. Drop the dough by the teaspoon on a cookie sheet, about 3 inches apart, and bake for 15-17 minutes. Leave them on the cookie sheet to cool a bit when removed from the oven - they will fall apart if you move too quickly. Allow to cool a few minutes and eat immediately. (Or save a few if you have to..)

Don’t forget you’ve still got 2 days to enter for your chance to win a Verizon hotspot and $150 giftcard! Hurry and enter!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however I am a part of Verizon’s Midwest Savvy Gourmet program and am receiving complimentary product and services.

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So Long Summer, Save Me Some Indian Spice Krispies!

Today for the first time, I dropped off both of my boys at elementary school. I’ve been dreaming about this day for at least the last 5 weeks.  We have had a REALLY full summer and for someone like me, who thrives on having a routine and schedule I’ve been gritting my teeth and holding my breathe for the weeks leading up to today. When we pulled up to school my baby hopped out with his big brother, blew me a kiss, grabbed big brothers hand and walked as fast as he could to the playground.  I stood on the sidewalk crying and he never looked back.  I guess they were ready to be done with summer too.

What A Summer It Was!

This was my first summer working from home and having the kids with me.  They went to their grandparents in June but came home for a few weeks in July before our BIG trip. At the end of July we packed up and drove to New York City via Niagara Falls Canada.  That’s 20+ hours in a car.  I am incredibly grateful that my kids are excellent travelers, maybe because they’ve been traveling long distances from the time they were babes in arm.  Each kid had a list of things they wanted to see and do in New York, some of which were a little surprising to me.

Visiting the United Nations

Visit the Statue of Liberty

Noodles in NYC Chinatown

There were so many other little things that we did but overall MarocBaba and I learned two things.

1) We love the Midwestern town we live in.

2) Our kids really do have a solid multicultural base.  They were excited to try new foods and they were not phased for a second when they heard someone speaking another language, dressing a different way or who simply looked different. They were so excited to be in a place where there were so many different kinds of people, food, and cultures!

Because I don’t have to go to an office to work, I was able to keep up with most obligations while we were traveling. Earlier this summer I mentioned that I was participating in the Verizon Savvy Gourmet program. Thanks to the Motorola Xyboard I was given and the unlimited data plan from Verizon Wireless working on the road couldn’t have been any easier. The Xyboard allows you to tether other devices off of it, so I could easily get on the internet with my laptop from anywhere – even when driving down the road! (Only when I was a passenger I promise!) I also had a lot of fun snapping pictures of our travels because heaven knows I couldn’t be anywhere without a) internet access and b) games for the kidlets – both of which my Xyboard provided!

The battery capacity on this tablet is awesome as well.  K hijacked the tablet on our drive from NYC to Washington DC and could watch his favorite streaming cartoons for much of that drive.  I was so grateful to have the Xyboard and wireless support of Verizon for this trip!

We had so much fun but were all very happy to be home. In honor of our great cultural adventure and in an attempt to hold onto our summer memories, I came up with a recipe for Indian Spice Krispies that were an instant hit with everyone who got the chance to taste them.  Just because we’re back home doesn’t mean the cultural exploration has to end! The boys and I sat down and surfed the Xyboard to find out what kind of spices were popular in Indian desserts and decided on the combination in this recipe. These are a no bake recipe, great for an after school snack and special enough to be included at any adult gathering.

Krispie Ingredients


  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp anise seeds
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 bag of marshmallows
  • 1/2  c crunchy rice noodles
  • 5 c rice krispies or other any puffed rice cereal
  • raisins
  • flaked coconut
  • Rubber Spatula and greased 11 x 7 pan


In a large pan, add the anise seeds and stir until they begin to pop.  Continue stirring and add the butter.  Once it starts to melt add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and cardamom powders.  Crumble the saffron threads with your fingers and mix into the butter spice mixture.  Add all of the marshmallows and continue to stir with a rubber spatula until the marshmallows are completely melted.

When the marshmallows are ready, remove the pan from the heat and immediately mix in the krispies and rice noodles. Raisins and coconut are also added at this point. I used a handful of each but please adjust according to your likes and dislikes.  Toss in more coconut if you love it or leave it out if you don’t – same with the raisins.  Pour out the contents of the pan into a greased 11 x 7 pan.  Smooth the with your spatula and allow to set for at least an hour.  Cut into squares and serve.

Indian Spice Krispie Treats

What do you think? I’d be ever so grateful if you’d leave me a comment to let me know what you think of this recipe and our summer adventure! Tell me about yours too – what did you eat this summer that you loved? Did you go anywhere special?


Disclaimer: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Gourmets program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

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Almond Peach Cobbler

When I first opened my foodie penpals box a few weeks ago I could smell the peaches. I’m sure that my penpal didn’t go to a peach farm and pick these however just knowing they were much fresher than what turns up in our grocery store.  The smell immediately brought me back to my favorite farmer’s market in Old Town Alexandria, VA. The first weeks in Virginia were a confusing mess.  I have to admit I was terrified to go almost anywhere because I was so afraid of getting lost.  We lived on a very long street that stretched miles – all the way to the Potomac harbor. I learned this street first.  Each trip I became more adventurous, going a little further.  Then, I stumbled on the farmers’ market.


With my boys in tow (because they were both still pretty small!) we wove our way around the booths.  I picked up zucchinis and felt a pang of homesickness for my Midwestern roots.  But then, I stumbled on the peaches.  PEACHES?!?!  Truth be told I hadn’t even thought of the different produce that would be available to us living in this different climate.  Let’s just say I bought a lot of them. Every week we went back and I would get peaches – we were all peach-ed out by the time the season closed.

So that first scent of peaches left me standing at my counter missing Virginia just a little.

Two of the peaches were a little bruised from their long travels and so I wanted to use them right away.  I decided to make a peach cobbler based off of a recipe I found in the Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen Cookbook.  It’s a beautiful book, that takes me back to the Southeast (and makes me wish desperately for a trip to Asheville, NC).

This is best eaten hot – I loved serving it on top of plain Greek Yogurt for breakfast.

Almond Peach Cobbler

Almond Peach Cobbler (adapted from Tupelo Honey Cafe)


  • 5 peaches, skin removed and cut into slices
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • t Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
  • 1/2 stick butter


  • Preheat oven to 325F. Mix 3/4 c water with 1/2 c sugar until well combined and then add all of the peeled and sliced peaches. Place into an oven proof baking dish and bake 10 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400F.
  • In another bowl mix the vanilla, 1/2 c water, cinnamon and almonds.
  • Drain the peaches, reserving the syrup. Mix the syrup with brown sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Pour this mixture over the peaches, along with the almond mixture.
  • Finally in a food processor add the butter and sweet rice flour and pulse until it looks crumbly. Add this to the top of the peaches.
  • Slide the dish into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top starts to brown and the liquid is reduced.
  • Eat hot as a dessert with ice cream or as breakfast with some yogurt.
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