Dark Chocolate Brownies with a Peanut Butter Swirl


I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic. I will routinely purchase the over-priced pieces of dark chocolate at the checkout line because because I have always been a sucker for those little indulgent splurges.  And it is a splurge paying $1 for a quarter-ounce (??) piece of chocolate but since their sign actually says $0.99, clearly it’s high quality and must be a bargain.  At least that’s my thought process.  But really, (dark) chocolate in any form is a vice of mine.

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Soba Noodle Salad {with Kale, Brussels Sprouts & Tofu}


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These days, as most days since Noah arrived, getting things done takes much longer than usual.  Whether it be cleaning the kitchen (which is a NEVER-ending task), getting all the “fun” tasks around the house done or making dinner.  Or lunch.  And quite honestly I’ve just about given up on breakfast.  I thought the daily routine might get get a little easier as he got older, however a crawling, almost-walking, insanely curious toddler is a force to be reckoned with.  Yes, the day-to-day has gotten easier but simultaneously more difficult at the same time, if that even makes sense.

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Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers {with yogurt + cucumber sauce}


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Turkey Burger 4

Since moving to California about 3 years ago, my husband and I have slowly phased out the red meat from our diet, just for personal health reasons, and have really tried to incorporate more lean meats and fish.  Though it was it difficult to give up our favorite sausage & pepperoni Chicago-style pizza or the gyros and fries we loved so much, it’s actually tough to find those things where we live (however, we do have an In ‘n Out burger directly across the street from our house…so there’s that).

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Sweet & Spicy Mixed Nuts

Roasted, mixed nuts are one of my favorite, favorite homemade snacks.  Reason being is that they are completely customizable, free from preservatives or any unnatural ingredients and a great substitute for the chips we normally have lingering in our pantry.

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Bourbon Vanilla-Bean Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Bourbon-Vanilla Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

So this is one of the flavor combinations I was dying to try and I have to say, the result was fabulous.  There’s just a subtle hint of bourbon and it pairs so well with the muscovado sugar.  It adds a depth of flavor that I am really digging right now.  Along with bourbon, we add vanilla.  Now, I meant to add vanilla into the original recipe because, to be honest, I’ve never seen a chocolate chip cookie recipe without it.  However I forgot, so with this version, you can tell the difference.

Again, I do not have celiac disease nor do I live by a gluten-free diet but I do enjoy testing different flours in my baking. When I saw trial packages of Cup4Cup flour on sale at Sprouts Farmers Market, I couldn’t resist. Not only is the flour typically pretty expensive, but it was developed by Chef Lena Kwak of Thomas Keller’s, The French Laundry. Anything related to the French Laundry must be amazing right? I felt I struck gold with this find and promptly bought every bag they had. Each package is 2 cups, which is perfect for me since I will never use up a regular-sized bag of gluten-free flour.

Anyway, my substitutions as follows:

  • 2c Cup4Cup flour (or any GF flour blend)
  • 1/4c sunflower oil
  • 1tbs bourbon
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
  • Smoked Sea Salt for garnish.

All other ingredients remain the same. These do not spread out as much if you freeze them prior to baking, so you may be able to skip this step.


{For original recipe, see below}