Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten Free!)

I will share a secret with you. I have the biggest sweet tooth known to man. Like really, I couldn’t win a hot dog eating contest, but I’m pretty convinced I could win a gluten-free Oreo eating contest. Since I had to go gluten-free a few years ago, and more recently lactose-free and soy free, my options in fulfilling these sweet cravings have dramatically dwindled; so every now and then I’ll bake. And recently, I came across a gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe that made my holiday season oh so bright.

I can’t take credit for it, because it’s not mine. But bakers everywhere just need to know about it, so here it is.

1) In a large mixing bowl, beat together the following until well-blended:

● 4 eggs

● 1 1/2 cups of sugar

● 1/4 teaspoon of Stevioside powder

● 1 1/2 cups of canola oil

● 1 can pureed pumpkin (16 ounces)

2) Add in the dry ingredients and mix well

● 3 cups (gluten free) flour mix

● 2 teaspoons baking soda

● 2 teaspoons baking powder

● 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

● 1 teaspoon of salt

3) Add in 1-2 cups of chocolate chips (this varies depending on how chocolatey you want your muffins to be)

4) Fill 24 muffin cups

5) Bake at 400 for 16-20 minutes

6) Enjoy!

This recipe was taken from ‘gluten freely frugal.’


5 Holiday Recipes With A Twist

We’re all familiar with the traditional holiday recipes — the sweet potatoes and stuffing, cranberries and turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. These classics have made Christmas dinner one of the most anticipated meals of the year that has us coming back for seconds (and thirds).

But what if you wanted to take these traditional dishes to the next level, carrying them to soaring heights of culinary delight? Here are five easy recipes that will take your holiday meal from normal to bougie.

Red Wine Cranberry Sauce

Your basic cranberry sauce made magical by the simple addition of red wine and a touch of cinnamon and citrus.

Recipe: Alexandra Cooks 

Maple Butter Sweet Potatoes

The hints of maple goodness take this dish from ordinary to out of this world extraordinary. I made these for Thanksgiving and could not stop enjoying it. I told my boo that if I could marry these sweet potatoes I probably would.

Recipe: She Knows

Brown Butter Green Beans

Say goodbye to green bean casserole. This super easy recipe makes seemingly boring beans glam with butter, pine nuts and a hint of garlic.

Recipe: Food Network

Chiffon Pumpkin Pie

Gingersnap crust and a rum laced filling that’s as smooth and light as silk chiffon. Need I say more?

Recipe: Simply Recipes

Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie

There is only one thing that could possibly make apple pie any more comforting and delicious—the rich flavor of bourbon. This special addition accentuates and draws out the flavors of caramel and vanilla.

Recipe: A Beautiful Mess


4 Ways To Eat During The Holidays… With Food Allergies

Having food allergies is a major pain but can be especially difficult during the holidays. You either end up feeling left out of the fun or have to awkwardly dance your way around the issue when you’re invited to parties. While the holidays may force you out of your regular food habits, there is no need to despair of enjoying the season.  We’ve  put together a quick guide for not only surviving, but thriving during the holidays with food allergies.

1. Speak up. If you’re invited to a party or get-together, don’t be afraid to gently remind your host or hostess about your allergy. If he or she is truly a friend, they will graciously accept the reminder and go out of their way to make sure your food needs are met. Also, don’t be afraid to ask what when into a particular dish when you show up. It could save you a lot of grief.

2. Party up. If you’re very allergic, or just worried you won’t be able to enjoy yourself thinking about all the potential food traps, host your own party. You don’t have to go out of your way to make it an extravagant celebration, but inviting friends to come to you can make sure you’re in control of food prep. Also consider roping in your friends to help cook. Not only will they’ll learn what kinds of things you can eat, but also how to prepare them.

3. Cook up. Indulge in your favorite dish. Whip up a batch of your favorite allergy friendly food and bring it with you to social gatherings. Its a chance to share part of your life with those around you while gently making them aware of your needs. And chances are they will love being introduced to your special dish.

4. Live it up. Don’t become preoccupied with the constraint food allergies might put on your holiday adventures. Christmas and New Year’s are about so much more than that. Have fun with family and friends: go ice skating or sledding, have fun making decorations and crafts, celebrate with dancing and music and laughter. At the end of the day, your memories aren’t going to be built primarily on what you ate for dinner.

Where to shop: 

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have an array of products and foods that are compatible with most common allergies such as wheat, soy, dairy and nuts. Although, Trader Joe’s chocolate is not soy allergy friendly. My friend B. who is soy/dairy allergic suggests trying Vivani chocolate which you can buy on


3 Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes

It’s that time of the year again! The smell of baked goods are starting to fill every home as the Holidays approach and fires are stoked. Soon, Santa’s going to want his milk and cookies, but what recipe do you make??

Here are three simple, fun, delicious recipes that my sisters and I bake every Christmas.

1. Soft Christmas Cookies


3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 cup margarine, softened

1 ½ cups white sugar

2 eggs

2 tsps vanilla extract


Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside. In large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover dough, and chill for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease cookie sheets On a clean floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.


2. Spritz Butter Cookies


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

½ tsp anise or almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sit together the flour and salt; set aside. In  medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg yolks, anise/almond extract. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients. Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 ½ inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles at this time.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven.


3. Gingerbread Men


1 (3.5 oz) package cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix

½ cup butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon


In a medium bowl, cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets. On a floured board, roll dough out to about ⅛ inch thickness, and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. 

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks.