My Favorite Winter Treats

December seems to be flashing before my eyes! So, to keep you filled in on the amazing treats that flashed by in November and December, I’m going to share with you My Favorite Winter Treats. Hopefully this helps you figure out a few breakfasts, snacks, desserts and gifts! 


My Honey Apple Cake with Salted Vanilla Bean Cashew Frosting is a real showstopper! You’d never guess how simple it is! 

Honey Apple Cake (



Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread is like grits souffle! This is a simple, throw-together side dish for your dinner table. 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 2



Pie but WAY easier! Apple Galette with a buckwheat crust is a sweet and beautiful gluten free treat!

Apple Galette ( #glutenfree #apple


Hot Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter Nightcap! This drink will totally blow your love of hot cocoa out of the water. Maybe it’s the bourbon… 

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap ( If you need more drinks (who doesn’t?!) then I have a roundup of the internet’s best hot drinks too. 

Pecan Pie Banana Bread is like when pecan pie and grandma’s banana bread collide! So crazy good. 

Pecan Pie Banana Bread 1




Need some pancakes? Just for you? Persimmon Pancakes for one are the solution! Cardamom and vanilla highlight that beautiful slice of persimmon cooked right into the pancake. 

Persimmon Pancakes 4


I made you LOADS of oatmeal cookies! With a joke built into the name. Because I’m funny. Kinda. It’s my “Today Is…” Cookie, and it’s loaded with currants, dates (get it?) and peanut butter chips! 

Today Is... Cookie ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking



I die for pie! My Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust is super simple (I’m pie inept, trust me), thick, sweet and so perfect for your holiday table! 

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 2



Then I made you these Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies because I love you. Remember? Good. They’re loaded with peppermint bark AND those gluten-free Peppermint Joe Joe’s you tend to shovel down around this time of year. Oh, and sea salt. You’re welcome.  Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies 2


I hope this helps! I’ve loved making these wintery treats and I can’t stand that Christmastime is already almost over. I can’t wait to share with you all of the thoughts I’ve been having about 2015. No, not resolutions. Those suck. Just you wait. 

Need another super simple gift idea? Check this out. High fives for that. 

What is your FAVORITE treat to eat this time of year? Which of these would you like to try the most?! May I suggest: the Persimmon Pancakes for breakfast (greedily, while your hubby sleeps…), then snack on the Pecan Pie Banana Bread, then my Today Is Cookie for a dose of fiber around snack time, and then Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies for dessert while you’re baking your Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie. There. Best day ever. 


Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust is my new favorite way to enjoy the classic pumpkin pie, with updated flavors! The gingersnap crust is gluten free and so simple! It’ll be on your holiday dessert table in no time. 

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking #pumpkin

I hope you all took a nice rest from the pumpkin overload that came during October and then for Thanksgiving and are ready to give it a go again. I know that pumpkin pie makes a second appearance on the Christmas table for so many families, so I have a spin on it that will be a new favorite for sure! Did I mention it’s gluten free? Of course it is! Dig in!

I made this pie at Thanksgiving and it went over really well with my whole family. I love pumpkin pie, but I wanted one with a gluten free crust. Because the holiday cooking can get to be too much (a thousand dishes being baked and prepped at once), I wanted a VERY simple crust, so I turned to a cookie crust!

The gingersnap crust is perfect with the pumpkin filling! It adds a sharp spice yet it’s so buttery and subtly sweet that it doesn’t overtake the whole flavor of the pie. I love it. (And I’m not even a gingersnap fan!) I found these cookies at Trader Joe’s but I’m sure there’s a brand in other stores that works just as well (and the 8 ounce bag is the perfect size, resulting in one crust per bag of cookies).

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 4

There’s a secret ingredient in my pumpkin pie, besides the maple syrup! I added ½ of a sweet potato! It’s crazy, because I’m not a huge sweet potato fan either (I know, I know), yet the silky and thick texture and natural sweetness only enhance this pie without needing to add extra eggs or use heavy cream! Brilliance. You can leave it out and your pie will cook up just as fine, but I promise, if you include it you won’t be sorry! Just bake up a sweet potato a day or two in advance and have it in the fridge waiting for when you’re ready to make the pie!

I hope this pie becomes a secret weapon in your holiday pie arsenal! I know it’ll be in mine for a long time to come. Plus, pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas is a MUST for my family (it’s my husband’s favorite pie ever), so having a spin on it keeps things fresh and fun.

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking #pumpkin

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 1

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 2

[let it be noted that every single time I tried to type “pumpkin” I wrote “punkin” …because I’m a slang-slurrin’ girl during the holidays apparently]

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust
Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust is my new favorite way to enjoy the classic pumpkin pie, with updated flavors! The gingersnap crust is gluten free and so simple (as is the rest of the pie!)! It'll be on your holiday dessert table in no time.
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  1. 1 (8 ounces) bag of gluten free gingersnap cookies (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  2. 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  3. 1 Tbs. raw or coconut sugar
  4. pinch of sea salt
  1. 1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin puree
  2. ½ cooked sweet potato, without the skin (optional, see Note)
  3. ½ cup coconut sugar
  4. ¼ cup maple syrup
  5. 1 egg
  6. ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or any nut/alterna- milk)
  7. ½ tsp. salt
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  9. ½ tsp. cinnamon
  10. ¼ tsp. allspice
  11. ¼ tsp. cloves
For the crust
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pie dish (9”) with nonstick spray.
  2. Use a food processor, high power blender (I used my Vitamix), or your strong muscles to crush the cookies into fine crumbs (don’t worry if there are a few pea-size pieces, I won’t tell anyone).
  3. Transfer crumbs to a bowl. Melt your butter, and add your butter, sugar and salt to the cookie crumbs. Stir until completely combined.
  4. Pour the crust mixture into your pie dish. Use your hands to press it into the dish and up the sides creating an even crust.
  5. Bake for 9 minutes. Set on a wire rack while you finish preparing the filling.
For the filling
  1. In the bowl of your mixer (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the pumpkin and sugars (and sweet potato if you’re using it; see Note). Beat together on medium speed until smooth, then add the egg and beat until combined. Turn down the speed, and slowly add the milk while mixing. Finally add all of the spices and mix until smooth.
Prepare your pie
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pour your batter into prepared pie crust. Bake for 15 mintues. Then, lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and continue to cook for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle. If the crust seems to be getting too dark as it’s baking, I like to form a piece of foil into a ring (I snip the center with scissors then manipulate it until I have a hollow ring, mimicking the size of the pie dish I’ve used) and place it on top of your pie so just the filling of the pie is visible (just the crust is covered).
  3. When the pie is done, place on a wire rack to cool before cutting and serving. I like to serve mine with a dollop of whipped cream (or rice whip or whipped coconut cream) and a sprinkle of pomegranate arils for a pop of color.
  1. The sweet potato is my secret ingredient here. Adding ½ of a cooked (baked or steamed) sweet potato to the pie gives it an unrecognizable depth of flavor and adds to the thick, silky texture. I highly recommend it, but it’s not 100% necessary.
Treats With a Twist
What’s your family’s favorite pie during the Christmas and holiday season?

Apple Galette

Apple Pie can’t be overdone in my book, so I’m throwing in my 2 cents with my Apple Galette, a super duper simple, no-pan version based on my very own buckwheat crust, and filled with thinly sliced and slightly spiced apples.  

Apple Galette ( #glutenfree #apple

Hey haaaayyyyy! Apple Pie Dayyyyy!

Yup, that’s right. I made an Apple Pie. But more of a Galette. So, let’s call it Apple Galette Day! I’m fancy like that.

Or lazy like that, because I refuse to summon the patience to put a pie crust into a pan and crimp the edges. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Side note: at this very moment I’m rocking some killer deep oxblood red nails AND lips. Yesssssss.

Back to it. My parents came to visit us this weekend, hence the Galette. Because my dad loves pie and I happen to have sent an article to my mom on how fabulous Ina Garten is because she uses only good ingredients and grows her apples in her yard. Galette. Make any sense? Hope so.

My mom and I raided the Sephora 20% off sale. I think I won. If by winning, the definition is to buy the most beautiful stuff, outdoing my load from the year before, then yes, I did it. Holy shnikes that’s a big hit to the wallet this close to Christmas.

Oh crap! I have a Barnes and Noble coupon! Gahhhh.

Ok, let’s just get on to the pie before I get more squirrely.

Speaking of squirrely, I’m so frustrated with my pictures of this Galette. Because it really was gorgeous and delicious. But I didn’t realize until I was editing that I may have been watching a bit too much of The Affair and clicking without actually looking at the pictures! So blurry! So that’s why I have so few pictures. But trust, it was amaze. 

Oh, one more thing. My dad MADE us headboards for our master bed and extra bed. I am so lucky. And I haven’t had a headboard since my princess bed I had as a kid, so I feel like a grown up with a real bed now. Eek, thank you daddy. 

Apple Galette ( #glutenfree #apple

Apple Galette ( #glutenfree #apple

Apple Galette ( #glutenfree #apple

Apple Galette
Apple Pie can't be overdone in my book, so I'm throwing in my 2 cents with my Apple Galette, a super duper simple, no-pan version based on my very own buckwheat crust, and filled with thinly sliced and slightly spiced apples. (makes 1 large galette)
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  1. ¾ cup oat flour
  2. ½ cup buckwheat flour
  3. 2 Tbs. coconut sugar sugar
  4. 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, cold
  5. 6-7 Tbs. ice water
  1. 3 apples (I used Jazz apples)
  2. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  3. 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  4. 1/4 tsp. allspice
  5. 1/4 tsp. cloves
  1. 1 Tbs. butter, melted
  2. 1 egg, beaten
  3. coarse sugar (1-2 Tbs)
For the crust
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flours and sugar. Cut the butter into chunks and place them in the flour. Use your fingers (or a pastry blender) to quickly divide and combine the butter into the flour. Work quickly so you aren't warming the butter. Stop when the butter is well incorporated and pieces vary from pea sized to a bit larger.
  2. Drizzle the ice water, 2-3 Tbs. at a time around the bowl then quickly use your fingers to blend it in. As you get to the last 1-2 Tbs. add it slowly as to not add too much (and result in a wet dough). You'll want to stop when the dough is pulled together and only has a bit of extra flour left in the bowl. Turn out the dough and any extra flour onto a piece of plastic wrap (or straight into a ziptop bag) and wrap it all up tightly, pressing the dough into a flat disc. Place the dough in the fridge to set for 4 hours or up to 2 days (make sure to double wrap the dough or also place the disc into a ziplock bag so it doesn't absorb the funky flavors of your fridge).
Assembling the Galette
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place a large piece of parchment on your countertop and dust with cornstarch (or powdered sugar or a bit of gluten free flour blend). Turn out your pie dough and roll into a large oval (I am really bad at this! I just roll and rip off the edges and place them in new places and roll and do this until its the shape I want. So pro.).
  3. Core and slice your apples (pretty thin!). Fan them in the middle of your rolled out crust, leaving 1-2 inches of pie crust as a border all the way around. Pour your melted 1 Tbs of butter over the apples (just drizzle it over the apple portion), then sprinkle on all of your spices (I honestly just sprinkle them straight from the containers, until I like how much I've added).
  4. Use an offset spatula to help you lift and fold the edges of the pie crust over the edge of the apples. Work your way around the Galette carefully. (don't worry about it being covered in cornstarch!)
  5. Use a pastry brush to brush the crust, then use your coarse crystal sugar to dust the ENTIRE galette in sugar (edges and apples).
  6. Lift the entire parchment with the Galette onto a baking sheet. Bake for 30 min. Then, turn your oven up to 400 degrees F and bake for 15 more minutes, until the sugar seems crystalized and the apples tender (it's hard to tell, since the crust is so dark, but try not to burn the Galette!).
  7. Let it cool, cut it, and serve! Yum!
  1. Save your Galette for up to 3 days on the counter, covered in plastic wrap. Or in the fridge for a week.
Adapted from my Rhubarb Berry Buckwheat Pie
Treats With a Twist
Note: I linked some Amazon affiliate links to show you the colors I’m wearing today. 

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts are the ultimate fusion of your favorite Fall treats…did I mention they’re no-bake…and gluten-free…and vegan?! Holy smokes! They’re pie-meets-cookies and you’ll totally fall in love with them!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

So here we are, smack dab in the middle of September. I am wearing a yoga tank top and some running shorts (my usual uniform these days), my hair is frizzed out to Frankfurt because of the humidity, and I’m ordering my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. Well, to be honest, I made the drink order quite a bit more complicated than that, but that’s just my Starbucks style.

Anyhoodle. I’m forcing Fall. I bought sparkly pumpkins to go with my glass pumpkins from TJ Maxx  and a couple strands of fake Autumn leaves garland because I was feeling super cheesy. Décor, check.

And now, pumpkin pie. Oh, and s’mores. Because, duh, smores. I swear, people call them a Summer food, but don’t you start throwing up more fires in the Fall and needing sustenance in the form of charred mallow in the Fall? I think so. It’s a year-round food.

This is probably the most simple pumpkin pie I’ve pulled off because I didn’t have to bake it. And, totally vegan (until you top it with a marshmallow…but they make those in “vegan” too so you should totally hunt those down if that’s your game!), because I creamed up some cashews and a date for sweetness, then blended it with my day-glow orange veggie-from-a-can. Tah-dah!

I used the base from my no-bake S’mores Bars as the crust here too, because you shouldn’t fix what ain’t broke. {getting’ all Southern on ya because I mentioned bonfires earlier…} Except! I added some nutmeg and cinnamon, because in the Fall, we take pumpkin spice shots. Hiyah!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

When it’s all done, not only did I quickly toast the mallow under the broiler, but then I drizzled it in whatever chocolate sauce I had in my fridge (but you can totally make your own or melt chocolate to do the same thing). So easy.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Annnnddd…here ya go!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts
Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts are the ultimate fusion of your favorite Fall treats...did I mention they're no-bake...and gluten-free...and vegan?! Holy smokes! They're pie-meets-cookies and you'll totally fall in love with them! (makes 6 mini tarts)
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  1. 2/3 cup raw cashews
  2. 1 tsp. vanilla
  3. 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  4. 1 tsp. water
  5. pinch of sea salt
  6. ½ cup oats
  7. dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
Pumpkin Pie Filling
  1. ¼ cup cashews, soaked at least 20 min
  2. 1 date (I would soak it with the cashews)
  3. 2/3 cup pumpkin (I used Libby’s pumpkin)
  4. ¼ tsp. allspice*
  5. ¼ tsp. cinnamon*
  6. 1/8 tsp. nutmeg*
  7. 3 standard sized marshmallows
  8. chocolate sauce, for drizzling
  1. In a food processor (I used a mini food prep for the entire recipe), combine all of the crust ingredients except for the oats and spices. Blend until it becomes a thick, almost past-like consistency (there can be a few grainy nutty pieces throughout, but you want it pretty thick and pasty). Add the oats and spices then blend for a few seconds, until the oats are broken down but not completely blended away.
  2. Scoop 1-2 Tbs. of filling into each of your mini tart pans (6). Use your fingers to press the filling up and around the pans, making sure it’s even, adding more filling as needed. Place in the fridge to set as you prepare the filling.
  1. Drain your cashews and date from the water. Place them in your food processor (which you have cleaned quickly after making the crust in it). Start blending, and blend until well broken down. Add the pumpkin and blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Once it’s smooth, add the spices, and blend. Taste your filling, and if you like more spices, add them now. If your filling isn’t smooth enough for you (I blended for quite awhile), you can press it through a wire mesh strainer.
  2. Add 1.5 Tbs. of filling to each tart pan, smoothing the top and making sure each tart is full (nobody likes a skimpy little pie!).
  3. Cut each of your marshmallows in half. Add a half of marshmallow to each tart. Broil until golden brown (I placed all of the filled tarts on a large cookie sheet, then into the oven under the broiler). This happens quickly, so keep a close eye on them!
  4. Drizzle them with chocolate sauce!
  5. Enjoy!
  1. *taste and adjust to your liking after it’s all mixed together
  2. Keep prepared tarts in the fridge for up to a week (though I’d eat them after 2…but that’s just me) or in the freezer to eat whenever your pumpkin pie whim strikes you.
Treats With a Twist

Acai Bowl

An Acai Bowl is the perfect way to enjoy an antioxidant-packed smoothie! It’s thick, slightly sweet and topped with lots of fun toppings! What a perfect summer treat!

Acai Bowl (

I had an AHmazing trip to Seattle this last weekend! I can’t wait to share with you everything I did. I don’t think I’ve been so happy since my Honeymoon!

We saw so many beautiful, natural sites and ate SO much good food, I had a stupid silly grin on the entire time.

Driving home from the airport was a bit of a terror, since we had to drive 5 hours (we fly in and out of St. Louis so my parents can dog-sit, which means we wake up at 3am and take the 6am flight) and a torrential downpour hit us with 70 (NO JOKE) miles-per-hour winds! It came down so rough and in sheets that you could NOT see through, that we had to come to a stop on the highway just to wait to see the lines on the road. Doesn’t take much more than that to wake you up!

Anyways! You may have noticed a little challenge I’ve been partaking in on Instagram. Thanks for not calling me a loser and unfollowing me, because I’m really a super cheesy person and it becomes SUPER obvious when I do challenges and have to explain my brain…which is why I tend to stick to artsy photos of things I love when I’m on Instagram. But, this one has been really making me focus on bettering myself. I love that it is very positive and about adding healthy habits into your life and making you feel more positive in general.

I resolved, after this crazy amazing birthday week, to cut down on sugar and do a sugar detox. I usually don’t have a problem, because a small treat here and there is usually plenty for me. Well, after all of the cake and treats from my birthday week and realizing that I tend to mindlessly chomp on anything chocolate-covered, I decided to make a conscious decision to scale back. I finished this last weekend feeling sick to my stomach, sluggish, grumpy, sick, worse skin than usual, and I’m pretty sure I have an ulcer (for serious). So, for the next few weeks, only deliberately planned treats, like wedding cake at an upcoming wedding or a special dessert date between my husband and me, are ok, which gives me balance and things to look forward to.

Acai Bowl (

Acai Bowl (
That being said, I’m replacing sugar (and honey drizzles and maple downfalls) with natural fruit for treats. So, my Acai smoothie Bowl really hits the spot for me. Hopefully this will keep the sugar withdrawls at bay.

An Acai Bowl is so packed with antioxidants and nutrients, with so many possibilities to add even more, that you’ll feel glowing, happy and bright afterwards. Acai isn’t a very flavor-rich or sweet superfood, so adding the toppings is the fun part! I love adding slivered almonds, fresh blueberries or bananas, some hemp seeds for protein, and coconut flakes along with a bit of crunchy granola. Really the possibilities are endless. I would normally add a good drizzle of local raw honey, but you can do that on yours and I’ll take mine without for awhile.

Acai Bowl (
Enjoy! And wish me luck on this crazy idea to sugar-detox! You can follow me on Instagram and see the other crazy things I’m getting myself into (like doing yoga poses in public, because in my head I am much more graceful than I actually am). 

Acai Bowl
Acai Bowls are antioxidant-packed smoothie bowls filled with the superfood Acai. The toppings are the best part, so don't skimp on those! Enjoy this summer treat all year long and you'll be glowing. (makes 1 bowl)
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  1. 1 packet of frozen Acai (Sambazon)*
  2. ½ banana, frozen
  3. ¼ cup almond milk
  4. Toppings: homemade or store-bought granola (no dried fruit**), hemp seeds, almonds, fresh fruit, unsweetened coconut
  5. Optional add-ins: spinach, spirulina, frozen berries, a scoop of natural protein powder (like Vega)
  1. Blend the smoothie ingredients together until smooth. Push down the sides in your blender so it all comes together. You want it "spoonable" thick.
  2. Add toppings! Enjoy immediately!
  1. Notes: you’ll want this to be super thick, so just keep scraping down your blender until it’s all blended together.
  2. *If you don’t have frozen acai packets and want to use dehydrated acai powder, add 1 Tbs of the powder to your blender, along with ½ cup of frozen blueberries and the rest of the smoothie ingredients.
  3. **dried fruit will only turn rock-solid on top of this smoothie bowl, so it’s best to stick with fresh fruit and granola made of just oats and sees/nuts
Treats With a Twist