When we were moving our stuff out of our old rental, I happened to find my Fitbit One Wireless Activity Tracker ($93.49). I didn’t use it that often when I first got it as a gift, since I tended to use the pedometer app on my phone. However, since finding it during the move, I started using it on a regular basis. And I’m in love! It even worked on the treadmill, for keeping track of my steps. It’s small and lightweight so you hardly notice you are wearing it. The battery has such a long life, that you barely have to charge it, and the fitbit app on the iphone can show you in real time your steps increasing.
The app also keeps track of your miles, calories burned, floors, and active minutes. Basically, the active minutes times your workout, so you can set goals not just for steps, but also how long you want to work out per day. Even as a much as a half hour can give huge health payouts. I was really impressed with this feature. It could tell the difference between a low intensity workout and me walking around at work during the day.
One of my goals this year, is to go back to good habits that I’ve let slide. That includes long walks, which are gentle on the body and great for stress. Walking has always been the best way for me to relieve my nerve pain and I couldn’t be happier walking with my fitbit.
Disclaimer: I am not associated with the fitbit company, nor have I accepted payment, or even a free product for this review.
This is the first recipe I made in my new kitchen. Our first night at the apartment was Christmas Eve, and I desperately wanted some homemade Christmas cookies. I tried to stay as close to Nonni’s recipe as possible, so I only substituted regular flour for white rice flour to make them gluten free. This was the first time I tried this type of flour and although it wasn’t grain free, it made for a seamless and easy gluten-free substitution. I also split the batter in half and used a tsp of vanilla extract in one half, and a tsp of anise extract in the other. I like both flavors, but my husband, and generally most people prefer the vanilla. You can also sprinkle some confectionery sugar over the top to make it look pretty, but that’s optional.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, canola oil, and sugar.
Then slowly add white rice flour, while using a hand mixer on a low setting to mix in flour.
Divide batter in half, and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract to one half, and 1 tsp of anise extract to the other.
Follow directions on pizzelles iron. Spoon batter (about 2 tbsp) onto iron and do a test to see if it is the right amount of heat and browns pizzelles just a bit, and if you need more or less batter to get a nice looking circle.
Place finished pizzelles on a cookie rack to cool. Do not stack pizzelles when warm or hot, let them cool completely first, and get crispy and firm before stacking.
I wanted to apologize to my friends and followers for the long hiatus. My husband and I bought a duplex that has been consuming our lives since October. First, we needed a tenant in the upper unit asap, to help us with our mortgage. Then, we renovated our unit, which needed a lot more love than we anticipated. We still have a bit of work left to do, as you can see in the picture. We need some open shelving and to install the cabinet handles, but we’re finally moved in and cooking again.
Since we were staying at my mother-in-laws, and I didn’t have my cooking tools (and we were crazy busy), I gave myself a break on my normally pretty strict diet. I still stayed away from dairy, since I know it makes me sick, but I wasn’t careful about anything else. Ironically, less time spent in front of the computer and cooking was great for my pain level. I did have issues with some of the food I ate, but it was trial and error. I’ve never been completely 100% paleo, since I want to maintain, not lose weight, but I did start to eat rice, and rice based carbs, on a regular basis. Since most dessert involves dairy, I had to stay away from it, unless it was dairy free. (Rising Hearts Bakery in Culver City was amazing for my gluten and dairy free sugar cravings. I highly recommend it.) After months of slacking, it’s a new year and a new kitchen, and I’m ready to start being healthier in 2016.
I wanted to apologize to everyone for not posting in a crazy long time, but I have a good excuse. My husband and I recently bought our first place and we are in the process of moving out of our rental. I didn’t want to post anything about it online until it was official. So, our entire life, including my kitchen, is in boxes. We don’t plan to unpack anytime soon, since we need to do renovations on our place first. We’ll be staying with my mother-in-law, Tazmin, until everything is fixed up, so here is a big THANK YOU for letting us crash with you!
My diet has been a disaster without my kitchen, but I’ve decided not to stress about it. I’m still avoiding dairy, because of my allergy, and I’ve been mostly avoiding carbs, with the exception of white rice, and rarely eating dessert. (Unless it’s a vegan restaurant, dessert always has dairy anyway) It’s not ideal, but I’m letting myself off the hook until we get our kitchen back. So please be patient with me, I promise I’ll be back posting recipes again before you know it!
This dairy free coffee “caramel” ice cream is an easy vegan recipe made with coconut milk, dates, instant coffee, and vanilla extract. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the top, for a salted “caramel” flavor, or add some chopped pecans for some crunch. The dates make a healthy caramel flavor substitute, and are also used to sweeten the ice cream. I kept the coffee flavor mild (although feel free to make it strong), since this was my first time experimenting with instant coffee. I used Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee and I’m very happy with the way it dissolved. The amazon reviews also say it’s good for baking, which is great for bringing out the flavor of chocolate in dessert.
Although I wouldn’t consider coffee a health food, I do love the flavor of coffee in dessert. However, this recipe would taste just as delicious without the instant coffee, but I do think it adds another layer of flavor. I made the ice cream extra sweet to combat the bitter flavor of the coffee, so I’d reduce the amount of dates if you aren’t going to use the instant coffee.
I love Italian sausage with red bell peppers and onions, so I decided to make it into a summer chili with shredded zucchini. I bought spicy Italian sausage, but it can easily be made with sweet Italian sausage instead. Everything cooked up very quickly so it was a nice meal that took only 15-20 minutes to make. Plus, it made a lot of food, and I’m always a fan of leftovers! This turned out to be an easy one pot meal that I can definitely, see myself repeating in the future.
(optional) 1 tbsp of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Shred zucchini in a food processor, and chop onions, and bell pepper.
Saute diced onions in coconut oil in a large dutch oven for a few minutes.
Remove sausage from casing, and add to dutch oven.
Stir until sausage is cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add diced red bell peppers when sausage is mostly cooked. This is added towards the end, so that the bell pepper stays firm and crisp. (The way I like it) If you like them soft, add them earlier with the onions.
When sausage is cooked, stir in the shredded zucchini, and serve.
(optional) add some chopped fresh parsley for garnish