10.17.2014

Gluten Free Black and White Cookies


I have never been to New York.
There was a time in high school were my plan/wishful thinking was to go to NYU and enter the Clive Davis music program and live happily ever after as a fancy music person. Then my dad decided to open a recording studio (read:mid-life crisis) and I was forced to move on to new better dreams. Its not cool if your dads doing it. That and I, for the last ten years have had a new master life plan every week. Its really quite a talent, dreaming up different lives...is there a career hidden in that somewhere? 


New York is famous for a variety of things, and many different food trends romp the streets--one of which is the black and white cookie.
I have never eaten a New York Black and White cookie, and unless there is a gluten/dairy free bakery there somewhere making them-I never will.
With this realization, my hand is forced. I must make them myself. My hand will then be forced once again to shove them in my mouth. Because thats what you do with cookies. 



According to the information I have gathered off of the internet, a black and white cookie should involve the following:
-cookies should be soft and sponge like, as it is really more of a cake batter then a cookie. Slightly shortbreadish, with a hint of lemon.
-One half is chocolate, the other vanilla. Traditionally both sides would be fondant. But most are made with chocolate ganache, and vanilla fondant. The messier ones use buttercream for the vanilla or both sides.
-It should dome slightly in the middle, while still remaining soft on the thinner areas.

That all I guess. I thought I learned more facts then that...oh well. 


This gluten/dairy free version had all of those qualities! I experimented with different sizes/thickness and my favorite version was definitely the larger/flatter ones. Mostly the smaller ones were not as good because I cooked them too long, and they got a little bit dried out. So pay close attention when cooking! You want them to stay moist and delicious!
For the frostings, I kept it simple and light with a vanilla glaze and melted chocolate. I didn't want to add too much more sugar, and also cannot use corn syrup for a traditional topping. You can top them with any variation of vanilla/chocolate you'd like though! 
Then eat three and feel okay about it, because really its cake and three cookies equal one slice of cake. Makes sense right?


Also, because this.


Here is the recipe printable!

Enjoy! xoxox







10.16.2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread




This post must be started with a disclaimer.
Every fall, women and children alike (I'm pretty sure not much of the male population is included in this) get incredibly excited for the arrival of pumpkin flavored goods.  The day Starbucks rolls out their pumpkin latte, everyone knows about it whether they care or not by the influx of social media attention. Really....I don't need to see another picture on Instagram of a Starbucks cup. Seriously. Stop it.
They get excited to buy cans of pumpkin and use it in every possible baked good they can think of, eat as many slices of pie as they can fit in their mouth, and light candles with the scent of the favorited orange squash.
The one woman-child that does not give a hoot about pumpkin flavored anything,would be this one right here. Yup. I really couldn't care any less about any of it. Actually thats not true, because saying I  couldn't care less gives the implication that I am indifferent to the whole thing, when in actuality I really quite despise it all. 
I said it, I do not like pumpkin.
I cannot stand pumpkin pie, I do not like the smell, the texture or the taste of any pumpkin goods I've come across. Maybe somethings just wrong with me, I dunno. 



That all said, I don't mind the once a year slice of chocolate chip overdosed pumpkin bread fresh out of the oven.
So this year, I was on a mission to create a fantastic loaf that even I would enjoy. It needed to be moist, chocolatey, and sweet. Annnnd to top it off, wanted to make it without white sugar, in addition to gluten and dairy less.


So last week, I started on the pumpkin bread making process. I whipped up the batter, loaded it with Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (and I mean loaded) and popped it in the oven. The timer rang, the toothpick came out clean, and it had a beautiful browned top. Perfection. I let the loaf cool in its pan for a little bit, before plopping it out on a cooling rack. I turned the pan over, gave it a little tap and the loaf fell out nice and easy. Trouble came as I went to turn the loaf over. I picked it up and the whole bottom came off in my hands, then then out of nowhere gooey batter started spilling everywhere. Like a baking ninja, I tried to maneuver the cooked top and bottom together to keep the uncooked middle from spilling everywhere. ugh. So back in the oven it went! For another two stinkin' hours on top of the original one. It finally cooked through...resulting in a extremely heavy brick with a burnt top. I wish I could say that it didn't still get eaten, but.....


So this week, I tried it again...with a few minor adjustments and it was perfection.I mean that. The best pumpkin bread I've ever had. Sweet and super moist (even the next day, which is rare for gf bread!) It could've used a little more chocolate, but I went easier on the chips this time just in case this one also failed. (I used EL Dark Chocolate chips for this one)
This loaf was also to being a made with sweet potato instead of pumpkin, because I couldn't find another can in the cupboard and am way to last to go to the store just for a can of  pumpkin. Auto correct just tried to correct pumpkin to pupmkin. Thats a little backwards. Anyway, it would have made for a really interesting loaf, considering the sweet potato I was considering using was actually several little jars of baby food. Yup, I almost stole food from a baby. Sorry Ems. 
That would have been an all-time low in my cooking career, so thankfully I had a can of Libby's in their. Seriously what is up with this auto correct, its really stupid? Since when does blogger even have autocorrect?!


So without further ado, here is the super awesome gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, pumpkin bread printable recipe

Just don't expect any other pumpkin flavored things on here in the future, it probably won't happen.



Enjoy! 
xoxox

10.10.2014

Currently






Watching:
Netflix show of the week is The Blacklist. And can we talk about Once Upon A Time for a minute, and how not big of a fan I am of the Frozen story line. Anna and Elsa bother me.

Reading:
The Maze Runner, which I have been "in the middle of" for several months now. Really, I'm still on page 3.

Wearing:
Booties. Really into them as an everyday wear right now. These Enzo Angiolini's especially. I love them more then one should love a shoe. I wish I could say I am wearing big cozy sweaters, but its 90degrees outside. Stupid weather.

Eating:
Anything and everything. No but really...I'm into having a little green apple/nut butter snackeroo situation right now. I tried to make a pumpkin bread the other day, which didn't work out well enough for a post, but I did eat it.

Listening:
The Scripts new album: No Sound Without Silence. They are one of my all time favorites so I've been listening to it nonstop since it came out last week. Also I just hopped onto the One Direction bandwagon a week or so ago, a little slow I know. But I've been listening to their new single all week. Also I'm obsessed with this Labrinth song . And this one by Jessie Ware. Ohhh, and this one from MisterWives. annnnd this little guy from Hozier. (he's been a favorite for a couple months now, must be good:)
I go through weekly phases of listening to the same songs over and over again until I can't stand to look at them again for a year or two. Then I move onto to a new set of songs.

App-ing:
My Fitness Pal is a great calorie counter app I've been using the last couple of weeks. I also discovered this Music Video app that saves youtube videos to watch offline later. YOU GUYS. I have only needed this forever! Not because I watch a lot of music videos, but because I refuse to spend money on music that I will only be into for a week  (see above statement) so, I listen to a lot of music on YouTube. This app makes it so I can listen to my favorite tunes in the car, without an internet connection. Its great! Another exciting app, Spotify now does not require you to purchase Spotify plus to listen on you phone. Which is great, but it does require wi-fi, so i only use that one when i have internet connection. (I don't like to waste my data on things like listening to music, ya know. important things.)

Craving:
Rain. This October heat is killing me.

Drinking:
Water, all day everyday. Also, Vega protein drinks for breakfast.

Googling:
London. I've decided to move there next year. My dream of moving to Italy keeps getting sidetracked as I am incredibly lousy at speaking foreign languages, so an English speaking country it is! Really this should have been an obvious choice, all my favorite bands are from the UK, I love cold rainy weather, and I have a houndstooth print desk chair for crying out loud.
So, that's happening.
As soon as I'm not poor, and am permitted to go on a plane. (those stipulations will be met eventually)

Coloring:
Burnt orange and burgundy.

Shopping:
Searching for a good suitcase set and a new camera bag. Any suggestions?

Playing:
Attempting to play guitar for reals. I somehow think that if I ignore my guitar for a year, then pick it back up I will miraculously know how to play it. then my finger tips feel like they are going to fall off, and I stop playing- starting the whole cycle over again. Also learning this song on piano, with only my right hand and left pinky finger because my left fingers are unusable. see previous comment.

Crafting:
A knit infinity scarf. I don't know how to knit (I do know how to crochet) so I am going to try to make one on a knitting loom, which I've only used for hats before. I'll keep you tuned in as to how this turns out. (also you should not be surprised that it is to be burnt orange.)

Remember to follow along on various social medias for other exciting musings! As hard as 140= characters is, I do occasionally have something good to tweet (twitter:carina_dee) .... and a few lovely pics on the gram (IG:carinamcreations)! So link up in the sidebar there >>>

xoxox









10.06.2014

Easy Homemade Gluten Free PopTarts



Once upon a time, Carina and her brain wanted to eat her favorite pizza, of which requires a bag of Gluten Free Mama's pizza crust. This pizza mix you see, is the best that Carina and her brain have found so far in the world, between both pre made and homemade recipes. So, because that mix could no longer be found anywhere in the county; Carina and her brain decided to order a box full off of the internet. However, Carina forgot to use her brain when she placed the order, and instead ended up with a box full of Mama's Gluten Free Pie Crust mix. There was a lot of tears and rude words exchanged between Carina and her brain when this was discovered. 
But all was made right when a new, correct order was placed for the needed supplies.
The only problem was that Carina was now left with several bags of pie crust mix, and therefore needed something to do with them. (and by problem, I don't really mean a problem)
And here we are, with the first recipe to come out of this not so tragic mistake.
Homemade gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, pop tarts. 



This recipe is incredibly easy, and creates a tasty hand pie. I made these pies with two different fillings, one with strawberry jam and the other with a brown sugar/cinnamon mix. Both of which were my favorite flavors within the real pop tart repertoire.
All you have to do to create these, is make the crust (super easy) roll it out, scoop in some filling, bake it, top with frosting, then stuff it into your face. Try to avoid injury within each of those steps.


When rolling out the crust, make sure to roll them as thin as you can. I made them a little thicker than I should have, and while still delicious they were a very heavy treat.
When frosting, (the more frosting the better!) you can also top with sprinkles if you desire, or a light sprinkle of brown sugar like I did on the brown sugar/cinnamon flavor. I opted not to use colored sprinkles, as they are full of food coloring and corn, both of which I prefer to avoid in my life. Im colorful enough as it is, thank you very much. (that's actually kind of a lie, I live in a world full of neutrals)


Make them yourself today, with this handy printable recipe!



 Enjoy, and have as happiest of a Monday as you possible can! xoxox.

9.19.2014

Food Find Friday // Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies: Part Deux // and a GIVEAWAY



(*giveaway is now closed, winner notified via email.)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away... I reviewed Enjoy Life Foods Crunchy Cookies for the first time. Since then, Enjoy Life has done some sprucing on all of their packaging and requested that I review them once more. So here we are! 
There are four flavors in the crunchy cookie line, all using the same great recipe as before--just with a different outer look!
The flavors include: Sugar Crisp, Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate and Vanilla Honey Graham.
Each distinctive flavor is free of the eight common allergies (gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, shellfish and fish) and are also free of potato, casein, sesame and sulfates. They are made in a dedicated gluten free facility, and are free of artificial ingredients and GMO's. Pretty great right?!

Now that we got that business out of the way, lets talk about each flavor and what you can do with them. Obviously you can just eat each cookie as is, but I like to make  things more complicated for myself, and make them into other things. All of these recipes are incredibly simple, and only require a few ingredients. 
Click on over to my previous review for flavor breakdowns of each crunchy cookie flavor.


The Sugar Crisp cookie hass a pretty classic sugar cookie taste to it. They have great snap to them, and a delicious sugar coating.

With this cookie, I combined the magic of Enjoy Life's semi-sweet chocolate chips and a gluten free sugar cone to make this tasty Halloween treat.


You can get that printable recipe, here

If you have extra melted chocolate, and cookies left; dip half of the cookie in chocolate for a little black and white cookie situation.
see:



The chocolate chip cookie is in a gorgeous new blue box. 
It is nice and crisp cookie, with a hint of both sugar and salt-and the perfect ratio of chocolate to cookie. Who doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie?


With this one, I sorta made a allergen free cookie, full of allergens by adding peanut butter. oops.
But, you can certainly use a different butter if peanuts aren't your jam. Sunflower, almond, cashew or whatever else is out there these days.


Here is the printable recipe for these little peanut butter sandwiches.


Next, the Vanilla Honey Graham cookie. This one is like a new and improved graham cracker. The great graham taste, with a hint of vanilla bean all wrapped up in a shiny little cookie.
The possibilities are endless with what you could do with these. S'mores, graham cracker crusts, etc.
But I made them into a tasty holiday treat. The great cookie taste, with a little sugar crunch coating. 


See the recipe here.



Last but not least, the Double Chocolate Crunchy Cookie. As the name implies, it has double the chocolate with a chocolate cookie and chips. 


For this one, I added banana ice cream and melted dark chocolate to create a delicious ice cream sandwich.


Recipe can be printed from here.


Now that we have talked about each flavor, and fun new recipes; shall we have a little giveaway?

How would you like to have all of this:


Sounds good, doesn't it?!

Enjoy Life Foods has generously offered to send a package of their new crunchy cookies to one lucky reader!

Enter the giveaway here, for a chance to be the lucky winner!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


*winner will be chosen at random through rafflecopter giveaways. Winner will be contacted by email, and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen.
*This is not a sponsored post, and no monetary compensation was given. All opinions are my own.