It’s been a while since I did one of my massive roundups. That epic road trip really knocked my schedule off for a number of reasons. I’ve missed my roundups though. I hope you have, too, because here’s one for you, plus a kickoff of a special event here at gfe over the next several days! This post is a busy one, so skim until you find something of interest.
As I shared on Facebook, Mr. GFE and I got to dance around a famous elephant recently. My company’s post-holiday party was held at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. It was a fabulous event. There’s nothing quite like wining, dining, and dancing in that incredible environment … being in the midst of dinosaur skeletons, jewels, rare butterflies, and much more, for an entire evening. Try as I might, I could not get a good photo of said elephant, but I did snap a few others that might be of interest.
My Meal: Grilled Salmon, Caramelized Onion Dip, Roasted Veggies, and Terra Chips
Triple Chocolate Terrine–One of Three Gluten-Free Desserts
Hope Diamond Reset by Harry Winston
T Rex–Head Alone Is Scary
Stunning Orchid from Special Orchid Exhibit
Another Stunning Orchid
My Bag Was So Apropos for the Butterfly Exhibit
If you haven’t heard, my dear friend, the indomitable and delightful Stephanie O’Dea, has launched Gluten-Free TV as part of her new WebTV venture. I was beyond honored to be the first person interviewed in this vlog series. You can check out the episode here. If you hadn’t already figured it out from my frequent mentions of her, Stephanie is one of my absolute favorites! I always love checking out what she’s up to. You can always find Gluten-Free TV, her three blogs (A Year of Slow Cooking, Totally Together Journal, and Totally Together Reviews), and her message board via her main site, StephanieODea.com. She stays so down to earth and true to herself despite looking so adorable when she’s hobnobbing with the likes of George Stephanopolous, JuJu Chang, and Robin Roberts on ABC’s Good Morning America. Did you see Steph’s GMA segment sharing chili recipes (including Chicken Enchilada chili) when she was promoting her new book, More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow?
Oh, and Steph, is also doing another WebTV series, Real Moms Making Real Money at Home in Their Pajamas. Don’t you love that title? And, I’m sure many of you want to get the info shared in that series so you can do exactly that. Hey, me, too! (Even if I’m officially an empty nester.) Stephanie has three episodes up already. The latest is with my gluten-free girlfriend, Mir Kamin, of Want Not and Woulda Should Coulda. Mir is an amazing writer. Oh, and she even made a peach pie using my crustless apple pie recipe; it was beautiful. (Check out the Crustless Peach Pie recipe.) Be sure to check out Steph’s interview with Mir.
Debi (Hunter’s Lyonesse) gave me the Memetastic Award. (You may remember Debi from her personal story shared here in December.) This award is an irreverent, offbeat one. The awardees must tell 5 things about themselves, with 4 out of 5 being outright lies. The awardees must also pass the award on to five others … okay, that part is pretty standard for blog awards. Okay, it’s not in my nature to lie, but in the spirit of the award here goes. If you are a faithful gfe reader, you’ll probably be able to easily tell which of these are untruths.
Note: To follow the rules and not be “hunted down” by Debi, I’m awarding it to five other bloggers (excluding any that Debi awarded and Debi herself). Unlike Debi, I don’t expect anyone to follow through though. Oh, and Debi explains that the award badge is purposely goofy. Thanks, Debi, for choosing me (I think …)!
- I love fermented foods.
- Nothing pleases me more than spending hours in the kitchen to make a fine meal.
- I’ve never been outside the U.S.
- I’m in a BBC documentary with Michael Palin called Hemingway’s Adventures.
- Motorcycles scare me.
I’m doing a Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts feature this week, but obviously starting later and ending later than one would expect for Valentine’s Day, since that’s coming up on Monday. But, you see, I’m on a slightly different timetable because we’re holding our Valentine’s Day Party next weekend. It’s an every-other-year bash that we always hold on the weekend of Presidents Day. That way all of our out-of-state guests will have the extra day for traveling home. That extra day also benefits us as we clean up, return furniture to its proper spots (almost all our furniture gets moved to accommodate the band and dancing), and just recover in general. The truth is I’ve never been too hung up on celebrating on the actual date of an holiday or special day. Can’t get together on my birthday? No problem. Let’s get together a month later and to make up for the delay, we’ll celebrate my birthday for a whole month, okay? 😉
Do you see where I’m going with this? With our Valentine’s Day party next weekend, I’m just kicking into gear for Valentine’s Day and this special celebration here at gfe—the triple S, Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts. I hope you don’t mind the timing as I think you’ll still enjoy the event very much. Last year, for the SSS event, I shared my gfe recipes. This year, I’m giving you one of my recipes today, but then the rest of the time I’ll be sharing some sweet recipes from some of my favorite web folks/bloggers and their cookbooks. You know what that means, right? Yep, there will be some giveaways. Then at the end of the week, everyone who commented throughout the week will be entered into another giveaway of an array of goodies. A little of the giveaway package will be revealed each day, with the complete ending giveaway package revealed at the end and all comments during the event counting as entries. Does that sound good, dear Valentine?
Today’s recipe is a healthier version of those no-bake cookies that you might have made growing up. You know the ones that contained peanut butter, cocoa, oatmeal, butter, milk, and sugar? You boiled some ingredients for a minute, added more, and then dropped the cookies on waxed paper to set up. Well today’s version features almond butter, cocoa, coconut, quinoa flakes, coconut oil, almond milk, and palm sugar. That means these cookies are gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free and give you a nice protein boost, too. You can make these cookies and almost be eating one faster than your family members can see that you are cooking something and ask, “hey, what’s cooking, mom?”
No-Bake Almond Chocolate Double Coconut Cookies Recipe
- Mix palm sugar, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and almond milk in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium to medium high heat, stirring constantly. Boil one minute only.
- Remove from heat and stir in almond butter, vanilla extract, shredded coconut, and quinoa flakes until well mixed.
- Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with wax paper.
- Chill a few minutes in refrigerator or a very cool area. Serve.
I used vanilla almond milk and omitted the vanilla extract.
I used sweetened shredded coconut because that is what is available to me. If you use unsweetened coconut, you may want to add slightly more palm sugar.
Certified gluten-free purity protocol oats can be substituted for the quinoa flakes.
Even after chilling, these cookies remained somewhat soft; I loved that. (Using the original recipe, the cookies often hardened too much.)
Mr. GFE said these taste like “chocolate dough balls.” If you’re a cookie dough fan; that’s a high recommendation, but I think that shows that these cookies are soft and delicious.
Come back tomorrow for the continuation of Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts with a recipe and a giveaway, as well as info on the first part of the final giveaway!