Pear and Buckwheat Muffins w/ Coconut Crumble

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIf I walk into a coffee shop, chances are I am not going to choose the muffin. They never seem interesting enough for me and there is always another pastry that looks way more enticing. If I had my own bakery, cafe, cool coffee shop, awesome-hangout-kind-of-spot, I would want every pastry to be this interesting. My co-workers have said they would come to my store for the baked goods and especially for these muffins, so that is enough incentive to make them, right? Dreaming of a bakery and space where delicious and interesting pastries live and I get to eat them all the time.

Pear and Buckwheat Muffins w/ Coconut Crumble

Makes 12 large muffins


1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup buckwheat flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar

¼ cup coconut sugar or raw cane sugar

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

4 tbs unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup Greek yogurt

¼ cup half and half

½ cup + 2 Tbs milk

2 ripe pears, cut into small chunks (I used D’anjou)


1/ 4 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped

¼ cup shredded coconut

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut 12 squares of parchment paper into 5X5 inch pieces and set aside. Take out two 12-muffin tins and set aside.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (both flours, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, coconut sugar, melted butter and melted coconut oil. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. In a small bowl combine the eggs, vanilla, Greek yogurt, half and half and milk. Whisk until well blended.
  5. Add the milk mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk until well blended.
  6. Fold the chunks of pears into the wet mixture and then fold in the dry ingredients until well combined and set aside.
  7. Make the crumble in a small bowl by mixing the seeds, hazelnuts, coconut, cinnamon, oats, and brown sugar. Set aside.
  8. These muffins are big for a normal sized muffin tin, so spread out the muffins so that no muffin is next to each other. In a 12-muffin tin, there should only be 6 muffins total, so you use 2 muffin tins. Push each piece of parchment paper into the muffin cup and crease it into the sides so it doesn’t fold inward. Spray each piece with baking spray and evenly distribute the batter among the 12 cups. Next add a large spoonful of the crumble to the top of each muffin.
  9. Immediately TURN DOWN THE HEAT to 375 and bake muffins for 24-27 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  10. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove and let cool on rack for at least 15 minutes.



In My Kitchen: Superfood Smoothie

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI have given you Chocolate Stout Brownies and Rosemary Focaccia lately, so to even it out, I am giving you this smoothie recipe I have been making at work. I put it on the menu as “Superfood Smoothie”, but one client has renamed it to “Life-Giving Smoothie”! Whatever you call it, it is healthy, filling and starts your day off right. I make this as an individual serving, but it is easily doubled or tripled!

Superfood Smoothie


1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana, cut into chunks (you can use an unfrozen banana if you don’t have frozen. Frozen bananas have a creamier texture, so I like to keep a bunch in the freezer.)

1 heaping Tbs of hemp, cacao and maca powder blend (such as Navitas Superfood blend) *this should only be 1 Tbs TOTAL of the combined powder

2 tsp of unsweetened raw cacao powder

1 small handful raw cashews

1 tsp agave

3 ice cubes


1. Put milk in blender first.

2. Add frozen banana, superfood blend, raw cacao, raw cashews, agave and ice.

3. Blend well. The cashews and banana should be fully blended into the smoothie.

Rosemary Focaccia

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetRemember when I told you about my hesitation to attempt yeast breads? Well, focaccia helped me get over my fears of making bread. I have made this recipe several times now and I use different toppings while keeping the same base recipe of this wonderful Rosemary Focaccia from The Kitchn. They clearly outline the steps and make you feel more at ease. I love using The Kitchn as a resource for recipes, inspiration, tips and tricks.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOnce I have made a nice batch of focaccia, I use it to make our snack plates and cheese plates at the office. The one below has roasted artichoke, wine soaked cheese, truffle cheese, rosemary raisin crackers, asian pear, green apple and crumbled blue cheese. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Rosemary Focaccia from The Kitchn

Makes one large focaccia or two 9″ x 13″ small focaccia breads

What You Need

1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 tablespoons (approximately) good extra virgin olive oil, divided
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Several pinches of Maldon salt (or other flakey sea salt)

* My notes: I like to add small fresh mozzarella balls or cherry tomatoes on top. If you using mozzarella, squeeze out some of the liquid so it is not soggy and bake until golden brown.

11-cup (or larger) food processor (See Recipe Notes for other mixing options)
Measuring cups and spoons
Medium sized bowl
Large sized bowl
1 baking sheet (16″x12″ or similar size)
Wire cooling rack


1. Dissolve and proof the yeast. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a medium bowl. Wait a few minutes for the mixture to start to foam up. This isproofing the yeast. (You can skip this step if you are confident that your yeast is good and strong.)

2. Make the dough. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flours and salt to combine. Add the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pulse until a rough ball of dough forms, about 1 minute. Remove from the dough from food processor. It should be moist but not too sticky. Form it into a ball. (See Recipe Notes, below, for instructions on making dough without a food processor.)

3. Leave it to rise. Add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a large bowl. Put in the ball of dough and turn it so it is coated on all sides. Cover with a tea towel and place it in a warm place to double in bulk, about 2 hours.

4. Put the dough into the pan. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto the baking sheet and rub it over the bottom and sides. Punch down the dough and place the dough on the baking sheet. Using your fingertips, coax and stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan; it may not reach all the way to the edges. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rest, about 30-40 minutes.

→ You can also divide the dough in half with a sharp knife to make one smaller loaf for smaller gatherings, and freeze the other half of dough for later. Smaller focaccia breads can be baked on a quarter-sized baking sheet (9-1/2″ x 13″) or in the center of a regular baking sheet. To freeze the second half, place the dough in a freezer bag, squeeze out the excess air, seal, label, and freeze.

5. Preheat the oven and prep the rosemary. While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Strip the rosemary leaves from the stems. If the rosemary leaves are large, chop them with a knife. You can leave a few of the smaller, softer leaves whole. You should have about 2 scant tablespoons.

6. Prep the focaccia for baking. When the focaccias have puffed up in the pan a little, sprinkle the rosemary evenly over the surface. Using your fingertips, dimple (make shallow indentations) the surface of the focaccia all over. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the loaf, so the oil pools in the indentations here and there. Use a little more if needed. Sprinkle the loaf with 2 or 3 pinches of the flaky salt.

7. Place in the oven and bake. Place in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 375F. Bake about 20 – 25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. The focaccia is ready when it’s golden-brown.

8. Remove from oven and cool. Remove bread from oven. Using a hot pad or spatula, remove the bread from baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool slightly. Focaccia is best eaten when warm, but perfectly fine at room temperature. If the crust gets too soft, try popping it back in a 350°F oven for a few minutes to crisp it up.

Recipe Notes:

Make Focaccia in a Mixer: Knead the dough in a standing mixer fit with a hook attachment for 5-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Make Focaccia by Hand: Mix the dough in the bowl with a sturdy spoon until it is as smooth as possible. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes.

Make Focaccia Rounds: To make 4-8″ round focaccia, just divide the dough in half and bake in two 8″ cake pans.

Additional Toppings: Add any of these toppings before baking — very thinly sliced lemons, olives (whole or sliced in half), thick slices of fresh garlic or shallots, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, a few chopped sundried tomatoes, cubed pancetta. Instead of rosemary, try using fresh thyme, chives, or oregano. If you want to use fresh basil, sprinkle it on after baking.

Working with Refrigerated Dough: The dough can also be held overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator, which will retard the yeast and result in a slow rise and extra flavor. Pick up the instructions with step 4 above. No need to warm the dough before using, but allow extra time for it to rise before baking.

Working with Frozen Dough: If you are using frozen dough, let it defrost in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. When you are ready to bake, take it out of the refrigerator and stretch it in the pan, as directed in step 4 above. Continue to follow instructions from there.

Chocolate Stout Brownie w/ Salted Caramel Whipped Cream + Espresso Vodkatini

IMG_8460All I ever ask for on Valentine’s Day is chocolate. I could do without the flowers, fancy dinner or card professing love for me. Tell me you love me by giving me the most intensely rich and chocolatey thing you can find. And I will love you back. But in a platonic way because I already have Daniel :)IMG_8393To honor this holiday, Daniel and I collaborated to make our version of the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert for our friends over at Richer Poorer. Go check out our guest blog post and find out what we did on our first date together!IMG_8492

Chocolate Stout Brownies w/ Salted Caramel Whipped Cream
14 Tbs unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, cold
1/2 cup stout beer, such as Guinness
1/2 cup + 3 Tbs all purpose flour

1. Postion oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of an 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, pressing in the corners to make a crease and pressing over the sides of the pan. There should be an overhang on two opposite sides of the baking pan.

2. Combine the butter, sugars, dark cocoa, dark chocolate chips and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set it over a sauce pan of simmering hot water (there should be a light boil). Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate have melted and the mixture is smooth (it will be a bit gritty or granulated looking due to the sugar, but will smooth out once the eggs are beaten in). Remove the bowl from the sauce pan and let cool for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Next add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the stout beer and fold in gently until it begins to absorb into the mixture. Continue to fold until the beer is fully incorporated. Next, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes. Spread batter evenly in the parchment lined pan.
4. Bake at 325 degrees for 27-30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out mostly clean. Let cool completely on rack.
5. Pull the brownies out of the pan by the two ends of parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.
Salted Caramel Whipped Cream:
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup caramel
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1. Place heavy whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium/high speed for 2 minutes then check to see if the cream forms stiff peaks when you lift the whisk attachment. If not, continue to whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
2. Fold in the caramel and sea salt until well blended.
3. Place a dollop on each brownie, drizzle with extra caramel and serve!
Espresso Vodkatini made by Daniel
1 part coffee liquer
1 1/2 part cold espresso
1 part vodka
1. Mix all ingredients in a Boston shaker with ice.
2. Strain into a martini glass.
3. Top off with a few espresso beans to make it look pro.

Fried Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Fried Egg Breakfast Sandwich copyYou see, in our house, there is sleeping in, there is coffee and there is a hearty breakfast sandwich to look forward to. At least on the glorious weekends there is. During the week I stay in bed until the last possible minute and then stumble my way through my 5-minute morning routine and race to work. That’s why I look forward to the weekend so much; I take the time to make myself and Daniel a nice breakfast instead of catering to other people. Daniel is in charge of the coffee. Always. Bless him for that. Then we jointly tackle our breakfast sandwiches. They are always different. It depends on what is in the fridge or whether we purposely purchased new ingredients when we want an extra special breakfast. This particular sandwich is actually from three years ago! We made heart shaped biscuits…. and I was kind of blushing because this was BEFORE we even said I love you… so there were hearts just staring at us, but they were cute and delicious and we gobbled them up! BTW it took us three or four more months to say I love you.

Back to the breakfast sandwich. Our general recipe goes like this: good bread + delicious cheese (cheddar, gruyere, provolone) + protein (bacon, turkey bacon, tofu, you name it) + greens (kale, arugula, or spinach) + fried eggs in coconut or olive oil + pan-fried veggie (mushrooms are our favorite) + sauce (garlic aioli, spicy sauce) + DEVOUR IT 

Fried Egg Breakfast Sandwich: makes 4 sandwiches


4 eggs

3 tbs+2 tbs olive oil

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

6 slices turkey bacon

4 biscuits, English muffins or slices of toast 


  1. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Salt and pepper to taste and then reduce heat to low and cook an additional 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender. Set mushrooms aside.
  2. In two different skillets start your turkey bacon and eggs. For the turkey bacon, I don’t use any oil. So turn on that skillet to medium heat and cook each slice of turkey bacon a few minutes per side. Next heat 3 tbs of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Crack 4 eggs directly into the pan. Salt and pepper the tops. Spoon hot oil over the top of the eggs around the yolk to cook the egg white. When your egg white is no longer runny, sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and turn the heat down to low. You can take your eggs out whenever you like, depending on how you like the yolk to be cooked.
  3. Assemble the sandwich. Egg on bottom, chop the turkey bacon and place on top of egg. Spoon the mushrooms on top. Add any hot sauce or spread that you like.

Heirloom Tomato Frittata

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetRemember when I made my sister, Nikki of Sorella Muse Photography a birthday brunch way back in April? Welllllll I’m finally getting around to sharing this recipe with you! Frittata is something I have come to rely on for an awesome breakfast/brunch. It never lets you down. Ever. And it is SO versatile. I am constantly making different versions depending on what produce I have on hand and I pretty much love them all. So here is a gorgeous vegetarian version.

Heirloom Tomato Frittata


½ yellow onion, diced

1 tbs olive oil

12 eggs

1 tsp dried basil

¼ tsp black pepper

½ tsp sea salt

¼ cup half and half

1 cup shredded cheese (Gruyere, Swiss or White Cheddar)

¾ cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 12-inch tart dish w/ olive oil spray.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds. Sauté onion in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Remove from pan and let cool.

3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add basil, pepper, salt, and half and half. Whisk the eggs for 1 minute.

4. Pour the eggs into the tart dish. Sprinkle the onions over the eggs. Place the tomatoes cut side up on top of the eggs (they will sink in a little bit. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the eggs and tomatoes.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until the center is set and doesn’t jiggle. The top of the frittata should be lightly browned.

6. Let cool for 10 minutes and then slice into 8 pieces and serve.

Cherry Almond Gluten Free Cookies

GF cookie 6January is a HARD month for me and I think for many people. The holiday cheer is gone. The guilt about holiday weight gain sets in. The weather leaves a little something to be desired. You DON’T want to leave bed and go to work, because bed is sooooooo nice and cozy and inviting. These are my thoughts. I want it to be February already.GFCookies2This is what happens when I walk into the kitchen to experiment. Feel free to sub the dried fruit or mixture of nuts to your liking, but I would stick with the measurements I have used. These are pretty healthy, chewy and surprised me when they came out of the oven. The first time I actually left them raw and they definitely work as a raw bar, BUT when  you bake them and they come out of the oven warm, they feel so much more indulgent and satisfying, trust me.GFCookies5Hope everyone has a good weekend. I plan to have a restorative weekend filled with lots of relaxation, yoga, cooking and reading. Happy Friday!GFCookies

Cherry Almond Gluten Free Cookies: makes 18 cookies


1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw almonds

½ cup raw cashews

½ cup raw or toasted macadamia nuts

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

3 tbs coconut oil, divided

1/4 cup golden raisins, divided

½ cup dried cherries, soaked in warm water for 2 minutes, patted dry and divided

¼ cup cacao nibs

1/3 cup shredded coconut

3 tbs honey


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Process almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, cinnamon, ginger, 2 tbs of the coconut oil, ¼ cup of the cherries (patted dry), 2 tbs of the golden raisins in a food processor for about 1 minute. You want the nuts and the overall mixture to remain a little chunky, so I leave my food processor in the middle of the thin to thick scale. If you don’t have that on yours, stop every 20 seconds to see what the texture looks like. It should break down nicely, but should not be smooth. Scrape down the sides and process for another 30 seconds.

3. Add the last tablespoon of coconut oil, the other ¼ cup of cherries, ¼ cup of cacao nibs, the shredded coconut, 2 tbs of golden raisins and honey. Process until the mixture begins to clump together. It is done when you can press the mixture firmly and it sticks together.

4. I used an ice cream scooper (3/4oz) to scoop out these cookies. Fill the scoop and press down firmly. Gently release the mixture onto the parchment paper. I prefer not to press them firmly because I like the way they look when they aren’t perfect. I put 9 cookies per baking sheet.

5. Bake for 10 minutes. Let them cool down slightly and then enjoy!