Pumpkin Pasta with Hazelnuts (gluten-free & vegan)

20121226-104056.jpg What a wonderful Christmas! I still can’t believe it’s already passed us by! My hubby, stepson and I spent our holiday relaxing with family and eating TONS of food :) Honestly, I don’t think it gets much better than that.

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Winter Granola

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Merry Christmas Eve!

Yesterday, my hubby, stepson, and I drove to Houston to spend Christmas with my hubs’ family. Even though Houston is only 4 hours away, it felt so good to get out of Dallas for a change.

Anytime I go on a trip I always bring tons of food along with me. My husband’s family is so sweet and accommodating, always trying to prepare food that I can enjoy, too. But, like most families, all of their meals are centered around some kind of meat, dairy, and/or eggs, leaving me picking at what’s left on the side. As a result, I’ve found that it’s just easier for me–and for everyone else–if I prepare some food ahead of time to take with me. I look like a crazy lady arriving with my smoothies, pre-cooked quinoa, and bags of fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts. Thankfully, my hubs’ family is used to my special brand of crazy by now.

One of my favorite things to prepare is granola. It’s the easiest food to carry around in my purse for when I get hungry (which is all the time) and to munch on at night when my sweet-tooth strikes.
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White Chocolate Cookies with Cranberries and Macadamia Nuts

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The name is a mouthful, but these White Chocolate Cookies with Cranberries and Macadamia Nuts will be devoured so quickly that you won’t have time to say the name anyway.

When I first cut out gluten, dairy, and refined sugar from my diet, I was determined not to cross cookies off of my list of foods that I could still safely eat. For a while, I was on a mission to find the perfect cookie recipe that still tasted like authentic cookies–like the kind my Ma-Ma makes: decadent, melt-in-your-mouth, and sinfully delicious. I think I must have tried hundreds of different cookie recipes (or at least it seemed like hundreds). Some were a complete disaster and many were pretty darn good, but none of them tasted like the “real” thing. That is, not until these amazing cookies came around and completely changed my life. OK, that may be a slight exaggeration, but in all honestly, these are the BEST cookies I’ve had in a very long time–perhaps the best ever!!
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Cranberry Persimmon Sauce and My Holiday-Filled WIAW



20121219-101545.jpg The past few days have been packed with holiday flavor! It finally occurred to me–and just in time, thank goodness–that Christmas is almost here! I’ve been celebrating by eating (a lot), bundling up and watching Christmas movies, and spending hours working on gigantic Christmas puzzles. Yes, I’m 29 going on 80.

My favorite part of all has got to be the food. Hands down, holiday food it the best. Yesterday, I tried to cram as much holiday flavor into my day as possible. In addition to everything else I ate, I kept sneaking spoonfuls of my Cranberry Persimmon Sauce (recipe below) throughout the day.
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