Category Archives: holidays

Monday, January 4, 2016

Date Pecan Pie

coverMy husband Scott LOVES pecan pie!  He loves all dessert really – he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to sweets, but there is something about pecan pie for him…ha ha, let’s be honest, it’s all the sugar…and that yummy pecan flavor of course. Traditional pecan pie is basically sugar, butter, pecans, and eggs.  The two main sugars used are corn syrup and brown cane sugar.  So it’s not a stretch to modify the recipe and swap out the sugars, for example, instead use honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, etc.  I wanted to make a pecan pie recipe that was similar to an original recipe but with my own special twist and dates came to mind.  I made this pie over the weekend for family visiting.  Ah ha!  The perfect opportunity to snag some recipe testers.  And I’m so happy to report that everyone really liked it!  I was afraid it would be too “datey” or too sweet or not “pecany” enough.  But everyone genuinely liked it.  And Scott LOVED it.  He was very excited about it.  Yay. I used this original recipe as an inspiration.   Continue reading

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Labels: dessert, fall treats, gluten free, holidays, thanksgiving desserts.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Easy Homemade Candles

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Hello Friends.  The Holiday season is upon us…are you feeling the stress yet (ha ha).  Personally, the process of purchasing gifts totally stresses me out.  So to simplify life and decrease that pesky stress, I like to do homemade gifts for family and friends.  Hands down, it’s always so appreciated and well received.  I start by making a list of family, friends, and “other” (school teachers, co-workers, piano teacher, childcare, etc) and then decide on what I am going to make.  This year I am doing a gift bag with a homemade candle, jar of homemade spiced nuts, tea, mandarins, and small jar of honey.  I might also add my favorite Raw Pepperminty Nutty-Roons  – we will see how motivated I feel.  The last two years I made my popular homemade granola which you should definitely try.  It’s soooo good!!  This year I making something new…candles!  I have wanted to make candles for years.  Last year I bought a bunch of supplies but never got around to testing them out.  And you know what, it’s ridiculously easy.  I have both beeswax and soy and started with the soy (it’s so pretty and white).  The process is easy as well as fun and not to mention fast.  I’m super excited about adding a sweet little homemade candle to my gift bags this year.  Yay!  xo, -Amber Continue reading

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Labels: holidays, homemade gifts, how to.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

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Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.  In this post I have included the recipes I make each year for Thanksgiving.  I have also included two recipes (from fellow friend bloggers) that I include in my Thanksgiving feast.  I hope that this time of year finds you well.  I hope that you are able to find moments of calm and peace.  I hope that you are surrounded with friends and family who make you feel special and loved.  Find the joy and laughter in each day.  Choose happiness and always…find gratitude.  xo,–Amber  Continue reading

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Labels: holidays, Thanksgiving, thanksgiving desserts, thanksgiving side dishes.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

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I was so excited to finally make some pumpkin bread last week!  It’s been so darn hot here that baking felt quiet unappealing.  This year I made my own gluten-free flour mix, and it worked great for this recipe – yay!  If any of you fine folks out there have been following me since I started blogging four years ago, you will know that baking has been a journey for me.  I have been experimenting for a couple of years now and I’m happy to say that baking no longer feels like a burden or chore, rather, it’s something I enjoy.  It goes to show you that practice makes perfect, err, practice makes comfortably okay.  Ha ha.  Baking is never perfect, right.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I’ve made it several times with both my gluten-free mix and the suggested flours in the notes section of the recipe.  It’s been well received by family and friends.  So enjoy…and happy fall. Oh and it rained today!  So cozy and wonderful.  So happy.  xo   Continue reading

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Labels: Breads, fall cuisine, fall treats, gluten free, holidays, Pumpkin, Thanksgiving.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Healthy Halloween Treats the Whole Family Can Enjoy

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Yay!  It’s almost Halloween!  My favorite holiday.  There is something about Halloween I’ve always loved.  And it’s not all about the candy and treats (as you might know, I’m not a huge sweet tooth). Truth be told… I’m a big ole’ scaredy cat and don’t even believe in ghosts, but man I love the spirit of Halloween.  It’s so fun to dress up and I remember how exciting it was as a kid walking around in the dark gathering candy with the anticipation of being scared out of my Princess Leia buns any minute.  My kiddos participate in Halloween, but they agree to eat mommy’s healthy treats and they turn in their trick-or-treating candy for a gift from the “Great Pumpkin” (who comes the morning of November 1st).  I’ve done this for years now (since my daughter was 2) and my kids love it.  We usually come in early from trick-or-treating and I make some popcorn and other favorites like caramel apples and ginger cookies (via Ricki Heller) and we snuggle up on the couch and watch a low-key Halloween cartoon.  And I’m the nerdy neighbor who does NOT give out candy (I know…booo to me) please don’t egg my house.  I hit up the dollar store for festive stickers, pencils, erasers, and other little trinkets and that’s my “treat.”  It’s nice to have some variety, right.  

Below are my family’s favorite treats for Halloween. Continue reading

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Labels: candy alternatives, carob, chocolate, dessert, Halloween, holidays.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Grain-Free Apple Cinnamon Mini Muffins

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I wanted to make a fall-inspired snack for my kiddos this week…and they LOVE apple cinnamon anything, so some yummy apple cinnamon mini muffins fit the bill. I find that mini muffins are perfect for snack time – they are easy to pack and easy to eat.  I prefer to make muffins with almond flour, as one cup of almond flour has 20 grams of protein! I love that my kiddos are getting a good protein surge for their morning snack (not to mention all those good fats) to hold them over until lunch. I’m excited about more apple recipes in the coming weeks, especially this one from Ricki Heller. I hope everyone is having a great fall so far.  I’ve got my Halloween costume all set and ready to party.  Woot-woot.   Continue reading

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Labels: fall treats, grain free, holidays, muffins, Paleo, snacks, thanksgiving desserts.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Perfectly Whipped Sweet Potatoes

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Fall where are you!  It’s hitting the mid 90’s again this coming week (insert big eye roll here).  I am yearning to wear my sweaters and boots!  Soon…soon.  Around these parts it starts to really feel like fall at end of October, early November, so we have a few weeks yet.  But this hot weather is not stopping me from making some yummy fall inspired food. I made some absolutely out-of-this-world delicious whipped sweet potatoes on Saturday night for dinner. Seriously tasted like dessert. SO GOOD.  My kids loved it!  My daughter said, “Mommy, what’s in here…it tastes like pie.”  I made the sweet potatoes with this pork dish (sans the applesauce) that is so easy and always a hit and the two went together like gangbustas.  Anyway, if you are looking for a new way to eat sweet potatoes, try whipping them up.  I am totally going to make these whipped sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving and I’m so excited about it!  They are seriously delicious.  Look out fall…I’m coming for ya.  Continue reading

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Labels: ACD, AIP, GAPS, holidays, Paleo, sides, Thanksgiving, thanksgiving side dishes, vegan, vegetarian, winter cuisine.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Orange Kissed Apple Pie

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When I was a little girl I loved helping my Gramie make apple pie.  She did not play around when it came to the apples. She piled them apples a mile high in a huge mound and placed the crust on top.  When the pie cooked the apples settled and there was at least a 4 inch space from apples to the top of the crust.  I will always remember how cool it looked.  When she broke into the pie, the crust fell nicely onto the apples.  What I loved most about her apple pie, however, was the filling.  She made it thick and gooey. The liquid ran all over the place.  The apples were tart yet sharp with sweet cinnamon flavor.  I loved extra scoops of the apple pie liquid on my ice cream which was the ultimate flavor combo.  We remember those we love through food.  When I taste my apple pie it takes me right back to her kitchen – standing there next to her oven, smelling the cinnamon and drooling for that flaky crust.  I’m happy to say I’ve perfected my version of her apple pie with a dairy, gluten, and cane sugar free spin. It’s comforting to smell, taste, and physically enjoy a memory.  Food has a way of bringing us closer to those we have lost, and really, then, suddenly they don’t feel so far away. Continue reading

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Labels: allergy-friendly, dessert, fall cuisine, holidays, pie, summer treats.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

The Ultimate List of Healthy Christmas Cookies 2013


I have a treat for all you cookie lovers out there.  Sandra from Candida Diet Plan put together a great round-up of super healthy holiday cookies.  You’ve got to check out this list!!  There is something here for everyone.  Click here for the full post.  
Enjoy my friends and Happy Holidays.  


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Labels: cookies, holidays.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day To All You Chocoholics Out There.

(dairy free, egg free, cane-sugar free, gluten free, soy free) 
(vegan, dairy free, sugar free) 
(vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free)
(grain free, paleo, cane-sugar free, egg free, dairy free)
(dairy free, cane-sugar free, vegan option) 
(dairy free, cane-sugar free, vegan, egg free, soy free, gum free) 

(dairy free, cane-sugar free, vegan option) 
(vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free) 
(vegan, dairy free, caned-sugar free)
(grain free, paleo, dairy free, egg free, cane-sugar free, vegan option) 
(vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free, raw)
(vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free) 
(dairy free, sugar free, vegan)
(vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free)
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Labels: dessert, holidays.

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