Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free Coffee Cake

I made this coffee cake on a whim today, and boy, am I glad I did! Coffee cake has always been kind of 'eh' to me, but this? Wow! It's that good. I promise, it's the only coffee cake recipe you'll ever need.

3/4 Cup Earth Balance
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Gluten Free, All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/2 Cup Almond Milk, Rice Milk, or Coconut Milk

3/4 Cup Earth Balance
1/3 Cup Gluten Free, All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon

Working from the first set of ingredients, add the Earth Balance to the bowl of your stand mixer, and cream together with the sugar. {Alternately, use a medium mixing bowl and hand mixer.}
Add eggs, beating again to combine.
Add flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum to your mixing bowl and beat again.
Incorporate milk, using a low speed to prevent the milk from splashing over the side.
Pour the batter into a greased 7x11 baking dish, and set aside. {You could also use a square dish.}

Working from the second set of ingredients, add Earth Balance, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a small mixing bowl.
Using a pastry cutter or a potato masher, cut the ingredients in until they're well combined.
Using your hands, spread the cinnamon mixture over the batter in the baking dish. Don't worry about covering the entire surface of the batter. Gaps are ok.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the center feels springy to the touch and the cake is set.

Single-Serving, Two-Minute Chocolate Chip Cookie {gluten free, dairy free, soy free}

I've really been on a chocolate chip cookie kick lately! Here is another recipe that you should definitely keep on hand. It's perfect for a late-night craving, or a quick treat while your littles are sleeping the afternoon away.

You'll Need:
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. Vanilla {just a tiny pour, really}
Sprinkle of Salt
1 Egg Yolk
1/4 Cup Gluten Free, All-Purpose Flour
Sprinkle of Xanthan Gum
2 Tbsp. Chocolate Chips

To Make:
Put Earth Balance in a small, microwave safe dish or ramekin, and microwave to melt. It takes 20 seconds in my microwave.
Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and a quick sprinkle of salt, and mix with a fork.
Add egg yolk, and mix.
Add flour and xanthan gum, and mix, again, stirring well to remove any flour lumps.
Stir in chocolate chips {more or less to taste}, and then use the fork to gently spread the mixture across the bottom of the dish.
Microwave your cookie for 60 seconds, let it sit for a minute or two, and then dig in!

Creative, Organized, and Inexpensive Jewelry Storage {what to do with a vintage dresser drawer}

I love jewelry. Vintage or brand new, inexpensive... or expensive, real, or "faux." It's all fun!

But--I confess. My jewelry is usually so tucked away that I seldom wear much of it. My other confession? I take off my three daily rings at night, and tend to leave them laying around the house. It drives my husband absolutely crazy.

So I set out to change both of those habits the other day.

I stumbled upon the perfect old dresser drawer {thanks to Kris at Artemis!!}, carried it home, and got to work. The steps were easy:

1. Wipe down or scrub your drawer, depending on the level of, ehem, age? 'patina?'
2. Fill holes that previously secured drawer pulls or hardware.
3. Sand the filled spaces, and anything else that needs a touch-up.
4. Paint, paint, paint! If you're like me, you've got a hearty stash of paint and won't need to visit the store.
5. Locate some hardware {hooks, drawer pulls, etc.} you'd like to use, measure, and pre-drill holes to secure the pieces. I had my hubby do drilling on this one.
6. Raid your house {or go shopping!} for a collection of tea cups, small bowls, and other containers.
7. Organize!

Small cups are great for bracelets and rings, and their edge provides the perfect place to hang earrings {earrings pictured above are from this shop}. The small tin star in the fore-ground of this image {see photo above for a better view} will hold those rings I take off every night.

Because I had most of the supplies on hand, this project cost less than $20 to complete. I'll bet you've got a lot of the supplies on hand as well! Give it a try.

Shared on... Whatever You Want Wednesday

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie {gluten, dairy, and soy free}

I've really been on a chocolate chip cookie kick lately. It's silly, I know, but whenever I'm away from home and missing my allergy-safe kitchen, I crave chocolate chip cookies. It happened in Europe. It happened at the beach. It happens everywhere.

So what's a girl to do? Satisfy that craving! In a big way.

This pie is pretty intense. It's rich, it's chewy, and oh-so-delightful. I discovered that I like it even more on the second day after some time in the fridge. I'm funny that way though, and tend to like my desserts cold.

This was my first attempt at a true pie crust since giving up gluten, and I was feeling a bit intimidated. I found this recipe online and divided it to make only one pie. The instructions tell you to roll the dough like a traditional crust, but I knew as soon as I'd mixed the ingredients that it just wasn't going to happen. Instead, I pressed the dough into my pie plate and worked it with my fingers to spread it evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the plate. The crust was OK, but I can see some room for change. I'll work on that soon, and will update here when I do.

So--make your crust. Use your favorite recipe, or this one, or purchase a pre-made crust. Don't bake the pie crust before adding the filling.

Filling Ingredients:
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Gluten Free, All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Earth Balance {very soft, or even melted}
3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until they're a bit frothy.
Stir in both sugars, and then stir in flour. Blend thoroughly with a wire whisk to break up lumps in the flour.
Stir in Earth Balance.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour filling into pie crust and bake for approximately 50 minutes at 325 degrees.

I've shared my recipe on... melt in your mouth Monday, Allergy Free Wednesday

Southwestern Style Bean Salad {gluten free, soy free, vegan}

This salad happened as a result of a very large pot of cooked red beans and my sudden lack of interest in the planned meal--red beans and rice. I really thought red beans sounded yummy when I was plotting the week's meals, but when the time came to make them, it sounded like such a warm, heavy meal that I opted to revise my plan. I'm so glad I did! This is a yummy salad that I know I'll make again soon.

You aren't limited to the options listed in my recipe, either. Try adding other veggies you love, or a different variety of beans. You could sprinkle in some Daiya shreds. Different seasonings would give you a new flavor, too.

And by the way--do you make homemade tortillas? Because you should. They're SO simple, and the taste and texture are amazing. That's a homemade tortilla you see there in the picture, made using my favorite tortilla press and the recipe on my package of Maseca.

Anyway--that salad! Make this, soon. You'll be glad you did.

You'll Need*:
*measurements are approximate, as I used what I had on hand. Feel free to add to, or take away from, my list of ingredients to suit your family.

Cooked Red Beans {I cooked a 1 lb. bag of beans and used about 2/3 of the resulting pot of beans}
Diced Tomatoes {I used two}
Diced Avocados {I used two}
Thawed Frozen Corn Kernels {or Fresh off the Cob, about 1 Cup}
Diced Green Onions {1/2 cup or so}
Chopped Cilantro {2 Tbsp.}
Lime {one, juiced}
Cumin {to taste, I used about 2 tsp.}
Salt {to taste}

To Make:
Cool cooked beans to room temperature by letting them sit for a bit, or by rinsing them some under cool water. Combine beans and veggies, and then squeeze lime juice over the top. Stir to combine, then season with cumin and salt as you wish. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping, or with tortillas, like we did.

We ate our salad at room temperature, but it would also taste great after some time in the fridge.

Adopt a Blogger: Mary from Sweet Roots

I recently stumbled on a blogging event called Adopt a Blogger over at And Love it Too. It seems silly now, but I was a bit intimidated by the process when I first read about it. Dreamily, I posted about it on Facebook, where Mary, from Sweet Roots, joined in. Mary's commitment to participate--and her having chosen me!--motivated me, so I adopted her 'back.'

And so it was.

I had grand dreams of making several of her recipes, and you'd better believe they're still bookmarked, but time only allowed for one recipe this go 'round.

Mary's Refreshing Garbanzo Bean Salad jumped off the page at me. The bright, fresh-looking colors! the beautiful photography! I knew it would be the perfect fit with some Ridiculously Easy Grilled Chicken.

I'll be honest and say that my experiences in cooking with mint are very, very limited. I was unsure of how I would feel about actually eating mint leaves. Isn't that silly?? I was pleasantly surprised, though, and Mary's recipe title is right. The salad was refreshing! Perfect for the hot summer days we're having.

Mary, thank you for sharing such beautiful recipes! I'll be back soon to try your Hibiscus Tea and Carob Bars.