Healthy Mini Tarts with Fresh Berries

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The last week of May in San Francisco is absolutely my favorite time of the year. Today is a warm and sunny day that signals the coming of summer. Audrey and I will be going back to China to visit my parents when school breaks.  She will also be playing my character on screen in the flashback scenes.  We went shopping for summer clothes for our upcoming trip.  In a little boutique on Union Street, I saw the prettiest skirt in the whole wide world but they didn’t have my size. “I’m so fat,” I lamented. Audrey stopped me right there and said, “Don’t ever say things like that about yourself.  You are beautiful.” Did I sense some sort of a role reversal? She totally sounded like the mother between us when she said that.

After we were done with shopping, we came home and made these simple and delicious tarts with patriotic colors to celebrate Memorial Day.  They are healthy and quite guiltless to enjoy. For those of you who are allergic to gluten, They are also gluten free!

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Healthy Mini Tarts with Crispy Almond Flour Crust & Fresh Berries

Ingredients for the Shells:

1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup oat bran

1 1/2 tablespoon honey or molasses

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

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Ingredients for the Creamy Filling:

1/2 cup nonfat Fage or other Greek yogurt

1/2 cup 1/3 less fat cream cheese

3 tablespoons xylitol or sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Fresh berries to top it off

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Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 325.

Grease muffin pan well with coconut oil (grease only 8 cups and not all 12 cups)

Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl. Fold wet into dry and knead until well mixed.

Separate the dough into 6 to 8 equal balls. Press into 8 muffin cups to create the shape of the tart shells. If you make 8 mini tarts, the shells will be thinner and shallower. If you make 6, the shells will be thicker and deeper.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

Cover the muffin pan with a cutting board and flip them over. Pat the back of the muffin pan with your hands to loosen baked shells from the pan.

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Skinny Lemon Bars

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When I called my mother in Shanghai today, she told me that my father was out buying roast peanuts in Cai-Zhi-Zhai.  I know exactly the kind of peanuts he was buying.  Cai-Zhi-Zhai is a snack store about four blocks away from where my parents live.  They sell a kind of peanuts that are first boiled with special spices and then roasted to perfection, for only 20 yuan (about a little over 3 dollars) a kilo — the best 20 yuan anyone could spend.  I have never had any peanuts that tasted better.  My father walks to the store every few days to buy snacks for TV watching.  He must snack when the TV is on.  It’s amazing how snacking while watch TV or reading is a genetic trait that passes on from generation to generation.  His father did that and now I also do that. 

Peter and I have been binge watching a TV show call Bosch this weekend, and we both indulged on three pieces of the lemon bars as we watched the series.  It’s a good thing that they are relatively guilt free.

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Skinny Lemon Bars

Ingredients for the Crust:

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup xylitol or brown sugar (I used xylitol)

1 pack Stevia

3 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tsp grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp coconut oil,

2 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt

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For the filling:

1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup or honey (I used Joseph’s sugar free maple syrup)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tsp grated lemon zest

5 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp powdered sugar, for dusting on top (I made the powdered sugar with xylitol by grinding it in a coffee grinder.)

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Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Generously grease an 8-inch square pan. 

I skipped the following step from the original recipe, but I include it here in italic for your reference:

Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lightly spraying the inside of the pan with baking spray before lining it with 2 long sheets of aluminum foil folded to fit inside and placed perpendicular to each other in the pan.  This is so you can get the bars out after they are cooked, so don’t skip this step.

Cut the sheets long enough to hang over the sides to use as handles to lift out the baked lemon bars before cutting into squares.  Spray the inside of the foil lined pan with baking spray.

For the crust: In a food processor combine the flours, xylitol, cornstarch, lemon zest, baking powder and salt and process until well combined.  Add the coconut oil and yogurt to the flour mixture at once and pulse at least a dozen times before turning out into the prepared pan and pressing into an even layer.  I used a piece of parchment paper to press it because the dough was very sticky.

Bake until evenly browned about 20-22 minutes.  Cool the crust on a metal rack for at least 15 – 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Prepare the filling by whisking together the eggs, sugar free maple syrup, lemon zest, coconut flour , corn starch and the salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and pour over the cooled crust.  Bake until filling is set, about 22 minutes. 

Let cool completely before cutting it into 9 squares.  ( I let mine sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes before I cut the bars.)  Dust with confectioners sugar.

If you are using the foil, cool completely before lifting the bars out of the pan with the foil.  Cut into 9 squares and dust with confectioners sugar.

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Adapted from: skinnytaste.com

Smart Soup and Gluten-free, Low-fat Cornbread

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We received a FedEx package from Smart Soup today.  Smart Soup is a family owned business that makes healthy flash-frozen soups that are vegan, low-sodium, low-fat and American Heart Association certified.  Our family has been invited to try the soups because we have been sharing and advocating healthy meals through our blog.

There were five different flavors of soup in the package and we tried Santa Fe Corn Chowder today together with my healthy cornbread.  They were absolutely delicious together!  The hint of sweetness from the cornbread nicely complements the slight spiciness of the soup.  As I tasted the flavorful soup, I imagined that the soup would go well with many of my recipes, such as Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Quinoa Chickpea Avocado Salad or Salmon Burger

Receiving these healthy soups gave me the idea that I should stock up the freezer with them when I am away on location.  They are made of ingredients that I can trust.  The girls can just make a salad or bread and pop a pouch of soup in the microwave.

Oh yeah, and I can stock up Angela’s freezer with the soup packages when she goes to college.  I can’t believe I just wrote that.  How is this even possible — my big-headed baby is going to college in just over a year! 

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Gluten-free Low-fat Corn Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup corn meal (whole grain)

1 cup almond meal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

1/4 cup Xylitol or sugar (I used xylitol)

4 oz organic no sugar added apple sauce

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 tsp guar gum (optional)

Fresh corn kernel from 2 ears of corn

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Preparation:

Pre-heat oven at 380.  Grease an 8×8 baking pan. 

Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly together in a mix bowl.  Add all the wet ingredients and the fresh corn kernels in and mix.  Do not over mix.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Happy Happy “Mother Days!”

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Audrey’s idea of a Mother’s Day treat for me was to feed me full fat dairy products, refined flour and lots of nuts — all that good stuff that the hungry empress has been trying to avoid.  When she was 4 or 5, she couldn’t say “Mother’s Day.”  She would say “Happy Mother Days” no matter what you’d tell her.  I thought perhaps it was the concept of Mother’s Day that stumped her.  She must have believed everyday should be Mother’s Day, or at least there were more than only one.  Today, I’m sure glad that there is just one Mother’s Day in a year.  Or I’d have a blocked artery very soon.

Angela and Audrey walked together to Safeway yesterday evening.  When I offered to drive them, they said no.  Now I know that they had gone to buy the Mother’s Day treats for me. 

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Knowing I usually get up early, Audrey made the effort to rise before I did.  I was prohibited from entering the kitchen this morning while she prepared my surprise breakfast.  Nothing in the world was sweeter than the bowl of Brown Cow Cream Top yogurt with the heart shaped strawberries that Audrey prepared for me. 

Later on, while I was cooking lunch, I got a text from Audrey with a picture of herself holding a message for me to meet her and Angela in the garden at 2pm.  

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Audrey made the afternoon tea sandwiches with the forbidden ingredients of full fat cream cheese and white buttermilk bread. And there was a bowl of nuts on the table — something I had vowed not to see for a while without much success.  Tomorrow, the gyms around the country will be full of mothers.

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Audrey used 8 oz. cream cheese with 4 oz. smoked salmon, dill weeds and 1 cucumber to make the sandwiches. They were delicious, but they really don’t belong on this blog.

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We stayed in the house instead of going to the garden because it was a little cold outside.  We ate and watched old footages of the girls’ younger years and laughed about how in some ways people never change.  The dynamics between them remain the same.

Audrey Mommy

Of course we took selfies

Roast Fennel with Parmesan and Lemon

Ingredients:

24 oz fennel bulb (2 large), stalks and fronds removed

Extra virgin olive oil spray

kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon, juice of

1 oz Parmigiano Reggiano shavings

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Preparation:

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. 

Leaving the core intact (which helps keep your slices intact), stand the bulb and cut the fennel in half vertically from top to bottom. Cut each half into (4) 1/4-inch thick slices to give you a total of 8 slices.

Spray each side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Spray a baking pan with olive oil and line the fennel slices in pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until tender and soft.

Set aside on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, top with the parmesan shavings and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve warm.

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Gluten Free Buttermilk Quick Bread with Cheese, Onion and Herbs

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup + 3 tablespoon oat bran

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of salt

A pinch of sugar

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon onion Powder

1/4 teaspoon dill weed

1 teaspoon fresh fennel fronds (optional)

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)

1 large egg

1/2 red onion, sliced and sautéd in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft

8 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for sautéing the onion

2 artichoke hearts, sliced (optional)

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Preparation:

Pre-heat oven at 350 degree.  Grease a bread pan.

Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Sauté sliced red onion with olive oil until soft and let it cool for 5 minutes.

Mix the onion, milk, olives and egg with the dry ingredients.

Pour the mixture into the bread pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into he center comes out clean.

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Roast Fennel recipe adapted from skinnytaste.  If you like fennel, try my fennel salad!  And if you like the savory gluten free bread, try my zucchini bread!

Scones & Chili

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Breakfast Scones

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Turkey Chili

There is a good reason why Peter usually does the dishes.  I just cut my finger quite badly washing the knife given to me by renowned chef and cookbook author Martin Yan.  And I’m typing in pain.  With my finger wrapped in bandages, I can now truly attest to the sharpness of his knife.

What I made today were variations of the recipes that I had posted on the blog before.

For breakfast, I made the gluten-free, dairy-free scones from my earlier recipe.  I switched the dried fruit and the nuts.  You can make endless variations on the combination of dried fruits and nuts with this scone recipe.

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For dinner, I cooked turkey Chili.  I used a can of organic diced tomato instead of fresh tomatoes and the marinara sauce and I used the whole can of kidney beans instead of 1/2 can.  I also added 1/2 a red bell pepper.  It was as delicious as I remembered it to be.

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Grain-free “Sugar” Cookies

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With cherry frosting

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Angela took three SAT subject tests on Saturday, and will take three AP tests this week.  And when all that is done, there is still the finals week looming in the horizon.  Being a perfectionist who asks a great deal from herself, Angela is understandably stressed.  Audrey has always admired her sister’s academic strength.  And having had her first three-hour-long practice SSAT in February, she knows what kind of pressure Angela is under.  These cookies are her way to show Angela support and solidarity.

Audrey even created her own pink frosting by squeezing drips of cherry juice from fresh cherries in the powdered “sugar” from yesterday.  With a hint of cherry flavor and fragrance, it is as delicious as it is pretty.  It will boost anyone’s morale anytime. 

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Thinking back to my own childhood, I am almost glad that I grew up during the Cultural Revolution in China, when schools stopped teaching academics almost entirely and the students just went to different factories, farms and army bases to “learn from the people.”  No exams.  Kids then wished that school would never end, for when it ended you could be sent down to the remote countryside forever.  I guess it was a different kind of stress. 

Though Angela doesn’t believe it — she never does — I know she will be fine. She has always done exceptionally well in all her academic and standardized tests in the past. It’s as if she is convinced that if she is not worried and stressed out, calamity will occur.  So, let me not jinx it by bragging.  Let me stay worried and stressed with her until it is all over and it is June.

Thank God for cookies!

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Grain-free “Sugar” Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour

A little over 1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp pure maple syrup (She used sugar free substitute)

2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pure almond extract (optional)

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Preparation:

Combine all liquid ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir very well. Now mix wet into dry and keep stirring, breaking up clumps as you mix—it may seem dry at first, and you can add a teaspoon of milk or oil, but do not add any more liquid than the recipe calls for. It will eventually form something that can either be squished into a ball with your hands or put into a plastic bag and smushed from inside the bag (the less-messy option).

Freeze the dough for 20 minutes.  Roll the dough into a tube on a smooth and clean surface and cut into 16 pieces.  Roll them into balls and lay them out on the parchment paper lined baking pan and press flat.  Bake for 10-13 minutes (depending on desired crispiness) at 325 F on a greased cookie sheet. Let cool another 10 minutes before even attempting to remove cookies from the sheet.

Audrey baked it for 13 to 14 minutes and the cookies turned out crispy when completely cooled.

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Adapted from Chocolate-covered Katie

Gluten-free Vegan Almond Apple Breakfast Mug Cake

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Baked

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Microwaved, with crumbled pecan

Nothing is better than a leisurely breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning .  You start with your coffee or tea, then you peel some ripe fruit and contemplate what to cook while eating it.  You look at the Sunday paper or surf on your favorite food site until you feel inspired to move out of your chair and saunter into the kitchen. 

After my second cup of tea and a mango, I decided that I wanted to make something special, but not work too hard.  After all, it’s Sunday.  I found a mug cake recipe on skinnytaste.com and tweaked it.  These healthy vegan mug cakes were simple and quick to make — you can literally make them in five minutes.  And they are absolutely yummy!  

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Gluten-free Almond Apple Breakfast Mug Cake

Ingredients for the Cake:

3 tbsp almond flour

3tbsp oat bran

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

4 oz no sugar added apple sauce

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

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Ingredients for the topping:

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 tsp brown sugar or xylitol

4 tsp apple sauce

Tiny pinch salt

4 tsp coconut oil

A pinch of corn starch

Crumbled pecans or walnuts (optional)

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Preparation:

Grease 2 small mug or 4 small ramekins and set aside. In a small bowl, combine all cake dry ingredients, then add all cake liquid ingredients and stir. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared mugs or ramekins, then spoon the streusel evenly on top.

Either bake at 350F for 14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean OR cook in the microwave until a toothpick comes out clean. (Microwave times will vary depending on wattage.)

I nuked mine in the ramekins for 70 seconds each while Audrey baked hers in the toaster oven.  We tried each other’s cake and they taste quite the same.  If you use a small mug instead of a small ramekin, you will probably need 90 seconds to 100 seconds.  Start with a shorter time and poke a toothpick in the cake to see if it’s done.  If not, add another 10 seconds or so.

If you don’t want to eat the cake directly from the mug or dish, allow it to cool completely. Then run around the sides with a knife and it should pop right out! Eat plain or topped with sugar-free icing (see note).

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I enjoyed eating it piping hot right out of the ramekin.

Note:

I blended 1 cup of xylitol into powdered “sugar,” and used the powdered sugar with a tiny bit of milk to make the icing.  You can also use a little bit of plain yogurt to make a yogurt icing.

Store the powdered xylitol with a 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to prevent clumping.

Banana Snacking Cake with Cashew Coconut Cream

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When I went to the library to return a book for Audrey, I browsed the isles and chanced upon a book written by Maya Angelou, called Letter to My Daughter.  The first essay was titled Home.  I was immediately drawn to it because the word home is the most beautiful word that I have ever known. 

Home — not just a warm place where one can take off one’s stinky socks and plunk down without apology, but also where one feels completely free and unencumbered in a spiritual sense — is everything I have ever wanted.

No one has defined that sense of belonging more eloquently and poignantly as Angelou did in her essay: 

“Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant. Parents, siblings, and neighbors, are mysterious apparitions, who come, go, and do strange unfathomable things in and around the child, the region’s only enfranchised citizen.

I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.

We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.”

And home, of course, is also where we bake.

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This moist banana cake is gluten free, vegan and delicious.

BANANA SNACKING CAKE WITH CASHEW COCONUT CREAM

Ingredients:

1 Cup Almond Meal

1/2 Cup Spelt Flour

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 Cup Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

2 packs Stevia

1/2 Cup blackstrap molasses

1/4-1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, plus extra for finishing

Few pinches of Fresh Grated Nutmeg

2 Large Extra Ripe Bananas

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, warmed to a liquid

2 Eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

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Ingredients for Cashew Cream:

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews, soaking in water for an hour

1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

1 Tbsp. Honey or Maple

1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

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Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350′.

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, smash the bananas really well, breaking down the chunks. Add the oil, eggs, vanilla and mix. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients.

Grease an 8×8 glass baking pan and pour in the mix. Bake on the middle rack for about 22-24 minutes. Being sure the center is just set.

Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, cover it with a dish towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour as it re-absorbs some of the steam.

For the cream, drain the cashews and put them in a food processor with the coconut milk, honey and lemon juice. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. It will have a bit of texture to it. The cream will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Add a bit of the cream to each piece of cake. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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Adapted from: sproutedkitchen.com

“What About Something Sweet? Baked Goods!”

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These delicious cookies are deceptively healthy. They are gluten free, dairy free and packed with nuts.

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Andrew Ly asked me via Facebook “What about something sweet? Baked goods!”  So, Andrew, here they are.  I feel like I am showing da Vinci how to paint a picture since Andrew Ly and his brother founded the Bay Area baking phenomenon Sugar Bowl Bakery.

Andrew and his family, along with another 140 refugees, braved pirates and sharks on a ride in a rickety hand-built boat from Vietnam to Malaysia with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  They were in a refugee camp in Malaysia for a year before coming to America.  They started a family bakery which grew into a 60 million dollar enterprise.  Their rags to riches story was singled out by President Obama when he came to San Francisco to give a speech about immigration a few years ago.

I understand the struggles of being uprooted and coming to a strange land.  I also understand the great opportunities that this land offers to all who are willing to work hard. 

I was not a boat person and I arrived US on a plane, but I also came to America with only the clothes on my back in 1981.  Though I was a movie star in China, I had no money.  I babysat, cleaned houses, and worked in restaurants to support myself through college. I, too, have come a long way.

Now, what about something sweet?  Baked goods!

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Walnut & Date Almond Meal Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 heaping cup almond flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 heaping cup chopped dried dates (I used very plump and gooey ones)

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or almond oil)

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (optional)

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Preparation:

Combine almond meal, walnuts, dates, shredded coconut, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a large bowl.

In a small bowl whisk the egg until it is uniform in color doubles in volume. Whisk in the coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined

Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and using your hands roll the chilled dough into two bite sized cookies and lightly press on the tops to flatten.

Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet until the edges begin to brown – about 12 minutes.

Yields about 12 cookies

Adapted from: Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

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These nutrition packed cookies and ice cream are perfect for after school snack.

Slow-churned Raspberry Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup 2% milk fat evaporated milk (or any milk)

1 cup fat-free Fage (or other Greek yogurt)

1 1/2 heaping cup fresh raspberries

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

5 tbsp xylitol

1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients except for raspberries in a large blender until smoothly mixed.  Add raspberries and pulse for a second.

Pour mixture into the ice cream machine and let it churn for 30 minutes or until the desired hardness.  

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I know it must feel odd and inappropriate to show my socks with my yummy cookies, but I promised yesterday that I would demonstrate what the Kondo way of folding socks is like.  It took me less than 15 minutes to un-ball the socks that looked like potatoes in my drawer, and to fold them in a way that they can relax and I can see each and everyone of them at one glance. I actually committed a Kondo sin by beginning to organize my socks before discarding of the clothes category is 100% completed, but rules are made to be broken.

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“Easy Minute” Almond Muffins

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I always get up early on Sunday mornings to read a little or to find an interesting breakfast recipe to make for Peter and the girls.  This morning, I brewed myself a tea and continued with my reading of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Yesterday I read only 18% of the book, and I was inspired to discard 8 trash bags of stuff.  I had a major shift of paradigm today when I read that it is not about deciding what to discard; it is about choosing what to keep. Keep only what “spark joy,” the author advised.  She also asks the reader to envision her ideal home and ideal lifestyle before beginning the process of this life-changing tidying up. 

I remember fantasizing about a clutter-free life whenever I check into an elegant hotel suite with my carefully packed suitcase.  Sometimes, I would stay for a few months with only what I had in that suitcase — each item meticulously considered — without missing anything.  Now I will contemplate all my possessions as if I were packing for a trip, except the hotel suite will be my home.

Peter got up when I was at 38% of the book, and I shared with him my vision for our house.  He looked a little dubious, but said, “Sounds great.”  He is the easiest person to live with.

In the mood to streamline, I made microwaved almond muffins for breakfast.  It is so simple and quick to make — literally just press the “easy minute” button.  They were fluffy, moist and yummy.

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Ingredients for microwaved Muffins:

1 1/3 cup almond flour

3 tbsp black molasses 

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

1/8 tsp salt

3 large eggs

1/4 cup almond milk or milk of choice

1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

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Preparation:

Add all wet ingredients into the blender, and then add all the dry ingredients on top.  Blend until smooth.  Pour batter into rinsed ramekin 3/4 full and microwave for 1 minute.  Instead of greasing the ramekins, I just rinsed them and left them wet.  The muffins came out from the ramekins very easily after microwaving.  You may need to test your microwave and decide on the time needed to make a perfect “mug pancake.” I simply pressed “easy minute” on mine.  If you use a real mug to make these, you will probably need 90 seconds.

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