Fudgy Avocado Brownies (GF, dairy free)

I LOVE avocados.  I always try to have avocados in our home.  My dream one day, is to be able to have an avocado tree in my backyard.  Wouldn't that be something? :)  For breakfast, I enjoy spreading a half of an avocado on a piece of toast with a sprinkle of salt.  It's delicious and I feel good about eating it. For lunch, I would throw it on a salad or in a sandwich.  The smoothness of avocados make it a perfect substitute for butter in any baking recipe.  And it pairs well with chocolate.  What more could you ask for?  First, you will need a ripe, tender avocado.

I made these brownies for a friend that will be coming over tonight that is trying to eat clean.  It's tough to make completely clean desserts…but these come pretty close.  I'm hoping that she will enjoy them and that they will satisfy her chocolate craving and sweet tooth, all in one bite.  I hope these do the same for you!


1 Ripe Avocado

5 oz. of dairy free, soy free, nut free Chocolate Chips (or regular chips if you eat dairy)

2 Eggs

1 Cup of cocoa

1/3 cup of turbinado raw can sugar

1 tspn Vanilla

dash of salt

1 tbsp of Almond/Cashew/Soy milk or Cow's milk if you prefer



1.  Preheat oven for 350 degrees.  Grease a 8x8 brownie pan and set aside for later.

2.  In a food processor, mix your avocado, egg, vanilla and choice of milk until smooth.

I used my Nutribullet for this and it worked great!

I used my Nutribullet for this and it worked great!

3.  Melt 100g of your choice of chocolate chips and mix into the avocado mixture.  I melt mine in the microwave for short increments and stir.  You can also use a double broiler.

This is the brand I like to use for dairy, nut and soy free chocolate chips!

This is the brand I like to use for dairy, nut and soy free chocolate chips!

Texture should be similar to a pudding.

Texture should be similar to a pudding.

4.  Transfer chocolate avocado mixture to a bowl and add the cocoa, salt and baking soda.  Mix until thick.  I also added another 1/3 cup of chocolate chips to the batter.

Turbinado sugar is less processed than white granulated sugar.

Turbinado sugar is less processed than white granulated sugar.

Extra chips for good luck ;).

Extra chips for good luck ;).

5.  Spread the batter into your greased brownie pan.  Bake for 22-25 minutes.  A toothpick will come out clean when done.

Sprinkled some extra chocolate chips on top!

Sprinkled some extra chocolate chips on top!

6.  Cool pan and transfer to the fridge until ready to serve!  ENJOY! :D

How rich and decadent!

How rich and decadent!

Recipe adapted from: http://www.southerninlaw.com/2014/04/grain-free-healthy-fudgy-avocado-brownies-recipe.html

Apple Cider Apple Donuts

Fall is my favorite season.  I love the turning colors of the leaves, I love all things pumpkin, I love the cooler weather, I love fall fashion, and most of all, I love making apple desserts.  I have yet to go apple picking this year, and it's almost over!  =T  My husband and I have been traveling, and so I feel like I've missed most of the fall already.  Let's face it.  In Chicago, you can't blink too hard or else you will just miss fall altogether!  

In light of this, I decided to make a batch of soft, warm, apple cider apple donuts!  It's the first thing I usually purchase at the apple orchard anyways.  But since I won't be able to make it this year, I'm bringing the apple donuts into my own kitchen! 

These are exceptionally moist, and not too sweet surprisingly.  I know my husband will enjoy these.  They are pretty simple, but you will need a donut pan.  If you don't already have one, I would suggest buying one.  You can't make baked donuts without them!

I also think next time I make these, I will add a salted caramel glaze…that would make them even yummier!  Enjoy!  And happy fall friends! :)


1 1/2 cup of apple cider

1 stick of cinnamon

2 cups of all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 large egg (room temperature)

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup of dark brown sugar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup of buttermilk (room temperature)

1 apple diced into small cubes


1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon



1.  Pour apple cider and cinnamon stick into a small saucepan on high.  Reduce liquid to 1/2 cup.  Cool in the refrigerator until room temperature.

2.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray donut pans with cooking spray.

3.  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.

4.  Mix together egg, melted butter, sugars, buttermilk, apple cider reduction.  Add in diced apples at the end.

5.  Add in dry ingredients.  Gently mix together, do not over mix.

6. Fill a plastic piping bag (or a ziplock baggie) with 1/2 of the donut mixture.  Cut tip of bag or corner of baggie and pipe mixture into the donut pan.  Only fill the cavities 1/2-2/3 full.  

7.  Bake for 10-13 minutes.  Mix cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.  Roll fresh donuts into the cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Allow donuts to cool before eating…if you can wait that long! :P

Cookie butter swirled Banana Bread

One food staple in our home is bananas.  I typically will buy 2-3 bunches on a weekly basis.  Jon used to eat 1-2 bananas everyday.  One for breakfast and then one when he got home from work.  But lately, we've been having crockpot oatmeal for breakfast and he no longer eats his morning banana.  Therefore, we had a bunch of over ripened bananas waiting to be made into something special.

I love making banana bread because it's so versatile.  You can make muffins, make mini loaves, add nuts, add chocolate chips, add blueberries, freeze it for a rainy day…there are just so many options!  And it's so moist and delicious…you can really enjoy it any time of the day.  I really like having a slice with a hot cup of coffee in the morning.  

I've adapted this recipe from Allrecipes Banana Banana Bread recipe..which has over 8 thousand reviews with 4.5 stars!  It's the one and only tried and true banana bread recipe that I really loved.  It's super dense and has a rich banana flavor.  It also calls for the most bananas that I've ever seen in a typical banana bread recipe.  I mean this is a dense, rich banana bread.  If you're looking for something light and fluffy..this is not the recipe.

To decided to spruce up this banana loaf and swirl in some melted cookie butter.  I am in love with this stuff.  

I eat it with bananas, pancakes, toasts…drop a spoonful in my oatmeal.  It's delectable!  This particular brand is by Trader Joe's, but I've also seen a Biscoff brand at Mariano's.  I haven't tried any other brands besides Speculoos Cookie Butter.  If you haven't tried it, it's basically those small Biscoff biscuit cookies that they use to give you on the plane.  Sort of like a cinnamon graham cracker cookie.  They would package them in two….but it just wasn't enough. Now imagine that cookie made into a peanut-butter-like paste.  Absolutely delicious!  I'm looking forward to incorporating this into my macaron adventures!

Hope you enjoy this fun twist on the classic banana bread!


4-5 medium over ripened bananas

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tspn baking soda

1/4 tspn salt

1/2 tspn cinnamon

1/2 c softened butter

3/4 c brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tspn vanilla extract

1/2 c cookie butter (melted in the microwave for 20 seconds)


1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a loaf pan.

2.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3.  In a mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar.  Cream until light and fluffy.  Add ripened bananas, eggs and vanilla.  Mix until bananas are well mashed and incorporated into batter.


4.  Pour flour mixture into wet mixture.  Hand stir with a wooden spoon until combined.  Do not over mix.


5.  Layer 1/3 of batter in bottom of prepared pan.  Drizzle melted cookie butter and swirl with a knife.  Repeat until all of batter is used, and swirl cookie butter on top layer.  Bake for 50-70 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean when thoroughly baked through.  Allow to cool before cutting.  Devour.

Vanilla Sugared Apple Chips

I was at the store the other day and waiting in line I grabbed a bag of organic apple chips.  It was an impulse buy…but I figured if I wanted to satisfy my snack craving, I mine as well do it healthily.  Even though the only ingredients were organic fuji apples and cane sugar, they still had this "factory" taste to them.  Maybe it was the sealed bag it came in… But I digress.  It made me want to try making my own apple chips.  I don't have a dehydrator but at a low enough temperature in the oven, you can dehydrate anything.

I used Gala apples for added natural sweetness.  Granny smiths would work well if you like your apple chips tart.  I also added a sprinkle of Vanilla Sugar.  I just happened to have this on hand.  If you are looking for flavored sugars, I know that Spice House in Old Town (a great Chicago neighborhood) has a nice variety.  This particular sugar is from the French Chocolatier Jean Philippe.  It's smells amazing.  It's basically vanilla infused sugar with bits of vanilla bean.  I wanted to try out something different than the normal cinnamon and sugar.  Although, that would be tasty too!

Also, I hate using the mandolin.  In fact we got one months ago and I threw it out because I was so terrified that we were going to lose a finger slicing cucumbers that I couldn't stand to have in the house.  But really to get these apple slices evenly thin, you need a mandolin.  So I gathered up my courage and bought a new one.  A much simpler model that I felt that I could control better.  Success!  I was able to cut very, thin, even slices of apples.  The thinner the more crispy they will be.  I love to eat things with a crunch.  If you prefer your apple chips more on the chewy side, you can cut them thicker and bake them less, in which case you can just use a knife, very carefully.


These made my day.  There was a dark and cloudy thunderstorm that rolled through this afternoon and it was the perfect stay at home project while folding the laundry.  I imagine these will be a staple in the fall for us.  Hope you will enjoy this healthy snack!


2 large apples (of your choice, I used Gala apples)

Vanilla sugar (or cinnamon/sugar blend)


1.   Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees.

2.  Wash apples and cut off the top of the apple. (I cut my apples horizontally).

3..  Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut apple into very thin slices.


4.  Place apples in a single-layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

5.  Sprinkle Vanilla sugar on every apple slice.  

6.  Bake for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, pull each apple slice from the parchment paper and bake another 1 hour until no moisture remains.

7.  Cool for 15 minutes, at this time, the chips will become even more crispy in texture.  Enjoy with a cup of tea!

Farmer's Market Summer Squash bread

The Story

I had lunch with my friend Stacy last week in the Loop and the Farmer's market was happening.  I didn't think I was going to purchase anything because I figured everything would be too expensive.  I enjoy buying organic produce, and supporting local farmers, but I'm also cost conscious.  But I stumbled upon a great stand that had affordable greens and squash and I bought a couple of zucchini and a yellow squash for only 50 cents each!  My husband, Jon and I enjoy broiled squash as a side dish but this time around Jon used one of the zucchinis to make a flat bread pizza the other night.  So I had one zucchini and one yellow squash left.  

My brother and sister-in-law just had a baby girl today (Eek! I am SO excited to be an Auntie! :)).    Welcome to the world baby Abigail Darlene Mei Wong!!  We are visiting them this weekend in Michigan and I wanted to bring something easy that we could have with coffee in the morning.  I saw these guys sitting on the table this morning and they became my inspiration to make a couple of summer squash bread loaves.  I love zucchini bread and thought adding the yellow squash would be interesting and add a special sweetness to the bread.  The nice thing about zucchini bread is that their moistness allows them to be baked ahead of time and they freeze well!  Perfect for gifting and/or using up zucchini before they go bad and saving the bread for a later time (IF they make it to the freezer that is).  

I sometimes make these into muffins so they're a little more portable or even mini loaves so I can share with friends.  Either way, this is a great versatile recipe and I hope you can make it your own!  And an extra bonus, your house will smell amazing.  We're dog sitting and Tessy hasn't left the kitchen :).  


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tspn salt

1 tspn baking soda

1 tspn baking powder

3 tspn Cinnamon

1 tspn Nutmeg

1 tbs Chia seeds

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 c granulated sugar

3 tspn vanilla extract

1 c grated zucchini

1 c grated yellow squash

1 c chopped walnuts *optional


1.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans, set aside.

2.  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

3.  Whisk flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chia seeds until well combined.  

4.  In a mixing bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until creamy.

5.  Add dry ingredients to wet until combined, don't over mix.

6.  Grate zucchini and squash.  Hand stir into mixture.  Add nuts if you desire.  

7.  Pour into prepared pans and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool on rack before cutting.

Presentation or gift idea!

Presentation or gift idea!