Naked Banana Nut Caramel Cake

imag0883Earlier this week I made brownies with bananas, but I have really, really been wanting to make a naked cake. I kind of attempted last month with a cake for my friend Kelly, which tasted amazing, but it did not live up to my vision. And so I have been picturing more cakes in my mind (plus we make cakes daily at work and I observe a lot).

I don’t know what it is, but I like the raw, rustic appeal of the naked cakes, decorated with fruit or flowers. They seem more natural. Less high maintenance. The frosting doesn’t have to be perfect. The caramel can just drip down the sides. I think maybe I like them because it relates to me and my personality. Food I’ve learned can do this. Even the way we season things, says a lot about our personality. I think these cakes draw me in because I see myself as a low maintenance and slightly untamed kind of girl. A nature seeking, raw beauty kind of girl. I prefer my hair a curly wild mane and to be outdoors. I am not a very conventional girl. Straight lines and super structure are not my style. My flow is softer and easy-going and free and artsy and organic. Not fondant and perfectly smoothed buttercream and pearls and glitz. Continue reading

Banana Brownies

img_20161020_184851My husband loves some bananas. I made him a banana cream pie last year at this time, before we were even dating. Naturally, when a recipe pops up on my Pinterest with bananas, I pause, and usually pin.

A month ago I saw a recipe for banana brownies. Clearly a no-brainer, they were also undeniably pretty, which further had me yearning to tweak the recipe. Finally, a month later I have made them! This living between two cities, and five days in a frat house has been challenging for me to experiment in the kitchen. I have equipment and baking materials scattered between the two cities. And the fact that it is not like baking at home. That is my happy place. An idea will pop into my head or work or Pinterest will inspire me or a walk will fill my head with deliciousness, and I will just go in the kitchen and make it. Not as easy lately, plus planning a reception and writing thank you cards. Life has had my attention and my business has not been on the forefront of my thoughts.

But wedding things our done. We have guidance and direction. We are going to be moving into a new apartment in November. Our dogs will be here. I can bake whenever I want. I can shower without Zach standing guard. Our stuff won’t be in boxes and will be in one place. And I will be able to focus here, on my baby, my P3. It is my creative outlet and I miss it. I miss writing. I miss creating. Not to mention being able to make a little space feel like ours. To fill it with good vibes and positivity and love. I look forward to the privacy and freedom again of having something of our own.

Since I finished thank-you cards on Sunday, I promised myself this week, no matter what I would post something. That I will make new recipes. And that I will share them here. So I hope you enjoy, and keep checking this week for more recipes and thoughts to come! These were fudgey perfection! I made the mistake of baking them in little bite-size portions too, which made them a little too easy to pop.

Banana Brownies

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 pasture-raised, local egg
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla or banana extract
  • 4 oz. white chocolate (check out the Civilized Cavemans recipe for this)
  • ¼ cup ghee

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Grand Adventure

And sometimes the grandest adventure is not where you go, but who you are with.

This past summer, my husband and I went on what we called Grand Adventure #1. This took us across 9 states, to 10 National Parks and over 4500 miles. We saw bears and wildlife. We grabbed the chains at Angels Landing to make it all the way to the top for 360 degree views. We waded in the waters at the base of the Grand Tetons. We stood in complete awe at the Grand Prismatic Spring (which we nicknamed the GPS). We drove around twisting mountains, reaching high peaks, and overlooking long drop-offs. We climbed mountains. We saw the sun rise over the Badlands. Ziplined across Moab’s rocks and once again had stunning 360 views. We slept in beautiful campsite, after beautiful campsite. We stopped and waited on buffalo to cross the street. We had a fox dance around us. We saw breathtaking view, after breathtaking view. We spent hours upon hours in the car together. We slept on top of the car under the stars just outside of Zions. We watched the sunset over Arches and laid on a blanket to watch the sky become lit up by billions of star, and he looked over to ask me to marry him.

And we have a Grand Adventure #2 planned, which goes further north and further west and doubles the amount of National Parks we have visited together. And next weekend we are going camping at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. In November we plan to head to the Great Smokey Mountains. And next Fall we are going to visit his brother in Portland, Maine, and scope out Acadia National Park.

But what if this is not the main adventure?

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Cabbage Rolls with Mashed Cauliflower


Living in two places makes eating challenging sometimes. Truth. When we do go home on the weekends, I feel like I am preparing to come back to Champaign. I want to see everyone. Do everything. Sometimes I prep meals. Sometimes I don’t (here lately it has been more on the don’t side).

A reminder that we are living in a frat house. So  Monday through Friday we work in Champaign, staying in the space provided by Zach’s job. Lacking my own kitchen space, I feel bad using the houses. Therefore, I try to prep food on Saturday or Sunday to take with and heat up, like this delicious meal I am about to share. But like I said, sometimes I am good, other times I am not.

This meal above, however is by-far my favorite thing I have made to bring yet. It was incredibly easy to make. AND it made a ton. I had enough to eat some every day. It tasted freaking delicious. The only downfall, may be, that it smelled a little bit when heated (blame the cauliflower). It also reminds me of my childhood and the pigs my grandma used to make on New Years morning. Waking up in a house full of cousins. Snow outside. Pleading to go sledding or thinking we were going to ice skate. Lots of loud talking and personality. And the beautiful people who are a key part of my upbringing and self. Plus, cabbage is also one of my favorite foods. I used to eat it almost everyday!

Cabbage Rolls with Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

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My Favorite Gluten-Free Pie Recipes

Happy Thursday, wonderful people!

I hope you are all having a marvelous day and week!

I adore making pies. I don’t know what the affinity is, but it started at a young age. I have always been an artist. And now as my art has morphed into pies, there is something about the fluting, topping and flavor creativity that sucks me in.

Last Monday I wrote about refining my vision to make just pizzas and pies. Wednesday I posted my favorite pizza recipes (feel free to click the links to check them out). Today I give you my favorite pie recipes!!!

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My Favorite Gluten-Free Pizzas

Hello beautiful people! If you remember, on Monday I did a post about refining your vision and doing fewer things better. For me, I have been applying this to my business goals. I was spreading myself too thin trying to cover EVERYTHING gluten-free, when all I really want and love to do is to make pizzas and pies. Here I have compiled my favorite pizza alternatives I have ever made. Note since this is fall the butternut is a great option. Last year my dear friend Heather and I went and picked our own, then came home to bake, mash and pizzafy it! Add some apples on top and caramelized onions, you are set!

My favorite probably overall is the plantains. Since my first bite with plantains two years ago, I have been a dedicated fan. I like to use them for tortillas. For chips. I like to fry them in a skillet with coconut oil and sea salt. And I really enjoyed weaving some bacon on top and making it a pizza. Ask my girl Tab, she still asks me about it and puts not so subtle hints that she would like some.

There are also some sweet, fruit varieites. As always, the best thing about making or selling just the crust, is that the new owner, has the creative freedom to top it to their own personal liking and preferences.

Click the links and enjoy!!


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Goal Clarity

img_20160818_124707I am in the process of refining and redesigning my brand and the direction I want to head in the future. This little sketch above is kind of where my thoughts are going, as well as selling and growing. When I trained kettlebells, one of our principles to training was: DO FEWER THINGS BETTER. Sounds easy right? It is easy in life to get overwhelmed and overloaded with dreams and goals and ideas. We can be a little scattered sometimes and all over the place (myself included). Bombarded with options and obligations. That is why I think it is essential to go back to this principle. To narrow it down, dig deep, and get real. What do I really want to do in life? With my life? What brings me the MOST joy? Focus on that. Close the gap between wanting and living it. I have this beautiful Thoreau tattoo on my arm: Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. Make your life so freaking awesome that it is better than your dreams. So that when living moment to moment, you feel this. You feel alive and invigorated.

I have also found out that pulling away and looking at your life so far, it is amazing how set up I have been for where I am now. Connecting all the dots. The journey wasn’t necessarily graceful or even embraced and it hasn’t been without challenges. But it all lines up.Before I was born my dear mother was craving and digging into Italian food while pregnant with me (possibly why I make so many pizzas?). I distinctly remember a week when I was around 10, when I made a pie EVERY day, just for the mere pleasure of making them. When our kettlebell business was fading, I turned to a bake sale to earn funds for a move to Colorado. While in Colorado, while hiking up Pikes Peak Highway through the changing Aspen trees, I was stopped by my vision for my future. A gut feeling that stopped me in my tracks, and I looked up to those snow-capped mountains and cried with the certainty of it all. I wanted my own business. Something authentically me. I wanted to cook. I loved doing cooking classes when we had our business, and clearly all my life I had a knack for baking. When I came back to Indiana I applied for the farmer’s market and started my gluten-free business (granted they turned me down twice, don’t accept NO’s, just realize that maybe the timing was off). My first job in a kitchen was at a pie company, where I made 100’s of pies. Pies just like pizzas, are my thing. I am an artist. Growing up everyone asked me if I was going to be an artist. Now food is my art and pies are one of my favorite ways to express my creativity. Last week I was pumped to make pies for the boys at the fraternity my husband works for. Racking my brain for flavors. Taking my time to braid the edges. Every ounce of my creativity and energy going in to those pies. I was on a high, yet wiped by the end of it all! So as I pull back, my life has led me to today. To this vision of a gluten-free pie and pizza company.

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