French Style Green Beans…Quick and Easy!

Super easy, tasty and elegant.  A nice accompaniment to any meal!

Super easy, tasty and elegant. A nice accompaniment to any meal!

Everyone loves an elegant side dish and this one is sure to impress.  It’s quick, simple and delivers tons of flavor!

French Style Green Beans

1 pound haricots verts (fancy name for french green beans), ends trimmed

2 Tbsp. olive oil (or butter)

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the haricots verts and cook until just tender, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath, to stop the cooking process.  Drain and pat dry on paper towels.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil (or butter) over medium-high heat. Add the drained haricots verts, slivered almonds, garlic and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes, or until just heated through and crisp-tender.  Top with crumbled bacon and serve immediately.  Serves 4-6.

This post is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday

Pumpkin Spice Cakes with Pecan Praline Sauce

Pumpkin Cake with Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Sauce

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Sauce

Anyone that knows me knows that I love dessert AND that dessert really isn’t dessert for me unless it has some sort of ice cream in it or on it!  This recipe for Pumpkin Cakes with Pecan Praline Sauce was featured in the Paleo Magazine last year but didn’t list the recipe creator so I don’t have a link to the original recipe for credit, the only thing I changed was adding pumpkin pie spice rather than cinnamon and nutmeg.  I took the liberty of adding a nice healthy scoop of Homemade Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream to the top of this delightful holiday treat to help usher it into the “perfect dessert” category, the addition of the Pecan Praline topping is just enough to put it over the top!!!  These are equally good without the ice cream and even without the topping…but it’s dessert after all…just go for it!  You could even skip the cakes and just have the Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled with the Pecan Praline Topping!

Pumpkin Spice Cakes

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Lightly grease 6 ramekins and set on a baking sheet.  In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  With a hand mixer blend eggs, oil or butter, maple syrup, pumpkin and vanilla until well combined.  Add in dry ingredients and mix well.  Divide batter among the prepared ramekins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set and springs back when lightly pressed.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the cakes from the ramekins and cool completely.

Pecan Praline Topping

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients.  Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture thickens and reduces a bit, about 10 minutes or so.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Serve while still warm or refrigerate in a glass container for up to 10 days.  If storing in the refrigerator, warm the topping in the microwave or on the stove before serving.

No ice cream necessary...

No ice cream necessary…

This recipe is shared at:

 Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays

A Day of Silence…


Thanksgiving in Cancun!

Hi all!  I’m enjoying some much-needed R&R with my husband and family for Thanksgiving…so no cooking for me this year!  I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.  Remember to celebrate all you have to be thankful for and see you back here posting in December!  If you are in need of a “to-die-for” dessert recipe for Thanksgiving…here is what I would have been making, for sure, if I were feasting at home on Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Playa del Carmen

My Dad, German Chocolate Cupcakes & Two Great Cookbooks!

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! 

I love my dad, he is the kindest, wisest and most generous man I know. 

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Me & My Dad

Every year for Father’s Day, my dad’s birthday and Christmas I am at a complete loss for gift ideas for him…for one, he has everything and two, if there is something he happens to want or need it’s such a specific item that it’s nearly impossible to find the right thing or since it’s so specific it becomes not much of a surprise to buy it for him because he already picked it out!  So I have changed my approach to gift giving for him…now I just feed him!   This would seem like a simple solution (or cop-out) to most people but like me, my dad also has food restrictions.  No processed foods. No gluten. No refined sugar.

Challenging at times but NOT impossible.  Especially with people in the world like Elana Amsterdam.  I came across Elana’s food blog several years ago when I was searching for a recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting using agave nectar rather than refined sugar…BINGO, her recipe was perfect and over the years I have used her site as a great reference for gluten and refined sugar-free recipes.  Since discovering her site she has published two cookbooks that I really couldn’t live without, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook and Gluten Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour.  Elana’s recipes are all gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free, easy to make and totally delicious.  I have not made one item from the cookbooks or her food blog recipe archive that didn’t turn out right or that I didn’t completely love and want to make again.

I had been cooking from Elana’s first cookbook quite regularly when she announced the pre-sale for the new cupcake cookbook, I ordered it immediately and anxiously (not patiently) waited for its release.  When my cookbook arrived I read it cover-to-cover and couldn’t wait to make each and every recipe in the book!  One of the recipes immediately caught my eye, German Chocolate Cupcakes.  I can remember as a kid my dad always talking about how much he loved German Chocolate Cake although I really can’t remember ever seeing him eat it or having it in the house but I think my grandmother made it often…anyhow, I knew that this recipe was definitely the dessert for our Father’s Day menu!  And…oh boy, they did not disappoint!

German Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes were easy, fun to make and everyone really enjoyed them!  The chocolate cupcake was rich and moist but not too sweet, the ganache was the perfect smooth texture and the coconut-pecan filling tasted every bit as authentic as the original German Chocolate Cake frosting without the dairy or refined-sugar.  These will undoubtedly make an appearance again on my table, next time I think I will frost the entire cupcake with the coconut-pecan filling and leave off the ganache…just for something a bit more traditional.  Thank you Elana for this wonderful recipe!

About Elana Amsterdam…

Elana Amsterdam has been profiled in Fortune Magazine and the Wall Street Journal for her business ventures. When she and her son were both diagnosed with Celiac disease, she was inspired to develop gluten-free recipes. Elana launched the blog Elana’s Pantry in 2006. Five years later she continues to serve up at least one new gluten-free recipe a week. In 2009 she published her first cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook followed by Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour in 2011.  Elana lives with her family in Boulder, Colorado.

Welcome to my world…

Wow…I finally did it, I’ve started a blog. I have to be honest, I don’t really know where to start but I am confident that I will get there.  I do know that I have a lot to share and I hope through this site someone, anyone really, will be inspired to live a bit more simple, to eat a little healthier and see how easy it is to be happy.  I look forward to the days and posts to come…I hope you do too.

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