Monday, December 31, 2012

Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle (gluten Free)

The week between Christmas and New Years is so bittersweet. Reflecting on the triumphs and tragedies of 2012 all the while trying to nail down my hopes and thoughts for 2013. I still have yet to write a complete and clear goal list for 2013, but it is coming along. 

2012 was an exciting year for me. In June I let go of my reservations and fears of starting this blog and I jumped feet first into writing the Lean Gourmet Kitchen (LGK.) For six months I've been reading, writing, recording, photo snapping, editing, and chronically my food and fitness journey. I thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts and comments with me. Your words and questions are fuel to my fire. I love to be helpful and share my health journey with you. I pray that I have inspired and challenged you these past six months.

Here is to you dear one wishing you a happy, healthy, and extraordinary 2013!

Stay strong & carry on,


Today's recipe is a light treat that won't derail you on your healthy journey this year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nana's Potica (Gluten Free Nut Bread)

This year was the first Christmas without my Nana. She passed this last June after a 15 year battle with Alzheimer's Disease. It slowly took her away from us. Today's recipe is inspired by my Nana's traditional Christmas potica. Nana would bring a loaf of potica ,a nut bread, to my parent's home for Christmas Eve. Potica (poh-tee-sah), derived from the Slovenian word poviti, which means "to wrap in,"is a yeasted dough that is rolled very thin filled with sugar, cinnamon, and ground walnuts.  The dough is rolled up like a jelly roll and baked.  I would eat slices of this heavenly treat slathered with a pat of fresh butter every Christmas; oh heaven! 

Nana & my sister Meredith Christmas morning 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Workout Clothes then, now & PV Body

I don't believe I have ever fully expressed my obsession love for cute fashionable gym clothes. I used to go to the gym looking like this wearing a frumpy shirt and baggy shorts. 
I didn't workout as much then as I do now. This picture was from summer 2006 right before Rich & I were engaged and I started pharmacy school. Do not ask me what the thumbs up was for certainly not my taste in attire.

 This is what I rock my workouts in now; cute and sport workout clothes.
 My favorite brand is Lululemon, but I also have workout clothes from Target, TJ Maxx and various other places. I even created a Pinterest board for my love of gym attire. This picture is me showing off my first order from PV Body.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Morning & German Apple Pancake (gluten free)

I have been off the grid all week. It has been a whirl wind around here since our trip to Pennsylvania to visit my family over Thanksgiving through Christmas. I am impressed I blogged at all, kept up with my workouts, and didn't get sick (until now.) I decided to look through some shots of Christmas morning. Here are some of my favorites of my family opening gifts.

Isabella LOVED her finger paint set!

Roxy's favorite gift was her squeaky duck ( God help us!)
Rich was excited about our new Blue Ray . We have sadly been using a n old play station to watch DVDs the first 5 years of our marriage; no more!

My favorite gift was a tossup between my new pull-up bar with bands and my new Dooney and Bourke purse. I was so excited I forgot to ask Rich to take a picture out of the blue bag!
I have been searching for a new Christmas morning breakfast tradition. Growing up my mom would make fluffy Belgian waffles with whipped cream and raspberries for breakfast on Christmas morning. I have been searching for a gluten free cinnamon roll recipe to make for my family on Christmas morning, but have yet to find one that suits my fancy. I did find this great recipe for a gluten free German Apple pancake.

The directions were hard to follow ( the #2 step is missing from this post?!)
First I prepared the batter as directed because it has to sit for 30 minutes. Next,
I peeled, cored, and slice two apples. I sauteed them in my buttered cast iron skillet with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 2 TBS of coconut sugar and a dash of fresh grated nutmeg. After the apples were caramelized I spread them evenly over the pan and gently poured the batter over the apples. I baked the pancake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. We enjoyed this with some maple syrup and organic bacon.

What is your favorite Christmas breakfast?

Stay strong and carry on,


Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookie Fail & Thumb Prints

I had full intentions of making these beautiful chocolate cookies that I pinned on Pinterest. Isabella and I had picked out cookie cutter shapes of a beautiful reindeer and Christmas treeVisions of sugar plums and beautiful pipped royal icing danced in my head; a short lived dream. It was an epic fail learning experience. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Spice Cake

I hate bananas. Passionately. The smell,the texture,the act of peeling it all initiate my gag reflex. I blame this on my great grandma sweetie pie. Her real name was Edith. Her nickname "Sweetie Pie" came about from her calling my Aunt Kim, "my sweetie pie." My Aunt started calling her Grandma Sweetie Pie. Sweetie Pie was my great maternal grandmother and would occasionally babysit me. I do not know if she had a potassium deficiency, but God she loved to feed me bananas. I have this clear memory from when I was three or four sitting on her knee watching her peel yet another banana for me to eat. I pushed the horrid fruit away and exclaimed, " I hate bananas." I haven't eaten one whole since. Oddly enough I enjoy banana bread and I will add half a banana in with my protein shake to make it thick, but you will never catch me peeling and eating one.

A few weeks ago I posted this picture on facebook of this elf on the shelf my daughter was gifted asking for name suggestions. My Aunt Debbie, the gifter, suggested Sweetie Pie. I was smitten. I am one for nostalgia and so my elf will be called Sweetie Pie.

Sweetie Pie the Elf
Now onto today's recipe.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sexy by 8

Today marks the the eight year wedding anniversary for our friend's the Clarks. Congratulations Matt & Megan!
Today was the day eight years ago, Rich, decided it was time to ask me out on our first date after 2 & 1/2 years of constant flirtation  friendship.
 For our first date Rich took me to this great little restaurant, Tides, on Palm Beach Island. We went back there a few times and this is a picture from our second visit during summer 2006.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fig & Fauna Farm

My family and I are back from an incredible place. We spent the morning touring the Martin Family's  Fig & Fauna Farm located thirty minutes from our home in South Florida. The farm is located in a rural area  of Jupiter, Florida. I am a bit dismayed that I was not able to capture the visit with my Nikon, the camera I use to shoot all my recipes, as the battery has been a miss all week.
I did manage to take some photos with my iphone. Let me share them with you. This video is from the "about" page of Fig & Fauna blog. It truly gives you the experience of what it is like to be in this naturally beautiful place.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Aunt Kim's Shallot Dressing

Rich and I have begun to plan our vacations for this upcoming year. It got me thinking about our summer trip to Port Republic, Maryland for our fifth wedding anniversary last year. That trip happened before I started to blog. We stayed in my Aunt Kim and Uncle

Monday, December 3, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract & Clean Eating for 2013 Free Kindle Book

I  first heard of making your own vanilla extract when Rich and I were vacationing in in Port Republic, Maryland this past summer on the bay. We had a stopped to visit this local historic tourist attraction and the gift shop had a vanilla extract kit for sale. I thought the idea rather clever at the time and tucked the idea back in my mind for a rainy day.

I had to split the beans in half length wise to expose the seeds

See the tiny vanilla bean seeds on my finger?

A few weeks ago while shopping at my Meca Home Goods store I found the same extract kit for half the price! Yes it landed in my shopping cart.

If you don't want to go out and buy a kit you can always make your own extract at home.
I also scoured the web to find other ways to make homemade vanilla extract.
I found a recipe for alcohol-free vanilla extract from Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.

 This is another extract recipe is from The Traveler's Lunchbox that uses alcohol.

Clean Eating for 2013

I found this free kindle book by Daisy Williams, Clean Eating for 2013. I downloaded it and will be reading it between now and the new year. It is fairly short. Click on the icon below to get your free copy.


Stay strong and carry on,