Day 23: Dessert for Breakfast

I’ve recently stumbled across Family Fresh Cooking and I am in love. Not only are her recipes healthy, fresh but some are gluten free and vegan. Oh and did I mention that she photographs all her own food. She reminds me of another amazing local foodie-chef, Ashley Rodriguez.

Marla from Family Fresh Cooking had me at “dessert for breakfast.” This Chocolate Bread Pudding Breakfast Cake” is the recipe I’m making next…minus the raspberries. I’m willing to have this go to my hips but I’d rather enjoy it first before dying of my allergic reaction. Just saying.

Family Fresh Cooking chocolate-bread pudding breakfast cake- ecipe

Photo Credit: Family Fresh Cooking

Chocolate Oatmeal Pudding Breakfast Cake by Fresh Family Cooking

Yield: 6 servings


Optional Toppings
  • Seasonal Fresh Fruit
  • Toasted Nuts
  • Unsweetened Toasted Coconut Flake
  • Carob or Chocolate Chips
  • dusting of Powdered Sugar or Cocoa Powder
  • Whipped Cream


    • In a medium bowl whisk together coconut flour, oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix together coconut milk and water. Pour the coconut milk and water into the flour mixture. Combine well, it will be thick and pasty. Mix in stevia and adjust to taste. Melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add batter and heat mixture for 5 to 6 minutes stirring constantly, scrap down sides and bottom throughout. A silicone spatula spoon is very good for this. Stir in chocolate chips.
    • Spray a 9 X 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer batter to the baking dish flatten with the back of your spatula. Let cool in the fridge for about one hour. Gently loosen the edges of your chocolate cake with a spatula. Carefully flip out onto a plate or leave in the pan for serving. Top with fresh fruit or any toppings you desire.
  • You will need to adjust the sweetness of your pudding cake according to what kind of chocolate you use. I like unsweetened baking chocolate with 4 droppers full of vanilla stevia drops. If you use sweetened chocolate, make changes according to taste. You might not need any additional sweetener at all.
  • Serve at any temperature, but it is extra wonderful when warmed with cool berries and whipped cream.
  • This does not have the texture of a traditional cake ~ it has more of a creamy, oatie, slightly grainy pudding texture.

Day 1: Surviving your spouse on an international trip
Day 2: Never order flowers online
Day 3: Bucket List
Day 4: Pet Peeves
Day 5: Biggest Fear
Day 8: A little honesty goes a long way
Day 10: A voice from the past
Day 11: Confessions from a wanna-be-cook
Day 13: Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel
Day 14: Hi my name is Jackie and I am addicted to Senor Taco.
Day 17: Daily Life in the Ostlie Household…in Rhyme

Day 19: Superpower = Life without pain
Day 20: The Beautiful Life
Day 22: The Kullbergs


Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.

Day 11: Confessions from a wanna-be-cook

I like to think I’m a great cook. But who am I kidding? Organizing the food calendar and monthly meals don’t compare to the creative juices that flow from the hubby. Kyle has a knack for foods that compliment one another and that are equally delicious. He’s also not scared away of terms like “balsamic reduction sauce” when researching recipes. I on the other hand sprint in the opposite direction when I see something I don’t know. Well, that or I jump on Google and then get immediately distracted by the myriad of other recipe options….or adorable Jcrew sweater.

Kyle’s a better cook than I am. So much so that now all of our recipes we eat are his. Here’s a sampling of what we had for dinner tonight. BTW,  you might remember the Glazed Mahi-Mahi from a previous post we did while we were on our food allergy diet a few years back. We’ve swapped out the Kale Salad for a Barley and Sweet Potato Salad and let me tell you, it’s far more complimentary than the former. Oh! And I have to make a second confession. I started to eat my dinner and then realized that I was supposed to take the photo first. What can I say? It was delicious?

Glazed Mahi Mahi with Barley and Sweet Potato Salad

Glazed Mahi Mahi with Barley and Sweet Potato Salad

Glazed Mahi Mahi


  • 4 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.
  3. Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately.

Barley & Sweet Potato Salad
(by the awesome Amy Pennington, author of Urban Pantry)


  • 1 c. uncooked barley
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh herbs (we used parsley, chives, and basil….and we added about 1 cup instead of the 1/4.) adjust to your taste.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or a squeeze of lemon)


  1. Place saucepan over medium-high heat. Add dry barley and toast until fragrant, 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 50-60 minutes, until tender but al dente. Drain any leftover liquid, cool to room temperature and set aside.
  2. While the barley is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and showing ripples, place a single layer of the sweet potato cubes in the pan and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring only occasionally, until all sides are golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.
  3. In a serving bowl, gently mix together the sweet potato fries and the barley. Stir in the fresh herbs, olive oil, and champagne vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the olive oil and herbs to your liking. Serve at room temperature.

Day 1: Surviving your spouse on an international trip
Day 2: Never order flowers online
Day 3: Bucket List
Day 4: Pet Peeves
Day 5: Biggest Fear
Day 8: A little honesty goes a long way
Day 10: A voice from the past
Day 12: Recovery


Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.

Day 9: Made with love….Earl Grey Tea Cake.

Funny, little known fact. I have no idea how to bake “regular” baked goodies. I only know how to bake gluten-free, vegan goodies. Crazy I know. They’re delicious and many folks can’t even tell there’s a difference between the “healthy” stuff and the “yummy” stuff.  Here’s a fabulous recipe from one of my favorite GF, vegan books. It’s a hit here at home as well as in the office. Sandra and Todd, you can make this while in China. It will soften the cravings until you come back home!

Earl Gray Tea Cake by Flying Apron

  • 4 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 TBSP baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups canola oil
  • 3 cups brewed Earl Grey Tea (this is three tea bags for my version)
  • 3 cups real maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup currants

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine the brown rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, combine the canola oil, tea, vanilla, and maple syrup. Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the canola oil mixture until thoroughly combined. Mix in the currants.

3. Spray the bottom of a 9×13 inch glass pan with PAM (or line the bottom of your dish with parchment paper). Pour the batter in and bake until the cake springs back when you press the center with your finger, 45 minutes to 1 hour. After the cake has cooled, run a knife along the inside of the pan to aid in turning the cake out for serving.

VOILA. Easy as pie. Actually, a lot easier.

Day 1: Surviving your spouse on an international trip
Day 2: Never order flowers online
Day 3: Bucket List
Day 4: Pet Peeves
Day 5: Biggest Fear
Day 8: A little honesty goes a long way
Day 10: Memory


Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.

papa was right.

breakfast is the most important meal of the day.   too bad no one told him that in this day and age, time to cook up breakfast from scratch is practically non-existent. i barely have enough time to get myself out the door and at work by 7!

i am however getting a bit smarter. it could be attributed to my recent breakfast routine or the fact that i’m starving by the time 9:30am hits and i’m complaining to my intern about how famished i am.  but i think it’s more about my continued fondness for babycakes recipes.  we’ve tested a few here over the last couple of weeks and want to share some of our new favorites over the next couple of days. like with all the recipes i share, they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, and at times vegan. anything from babycakes is 100% vegan and we are sure to cook/bake it that way.

waffles: (courtesey of babycakes covers the basics)

  • 1/4 c. melted refined coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 c. bob’s red mill all purpose gluten free baking flour
  • 1 c. brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. xantham gum
  • 2 1/2 c. rice milk
  • 3 T. agave nectar
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. vegan chocolate chips (optional)

preheat waffle make according to manufacture’s instructions. brush iron with oil or spray.

in a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xantham gum. add the rice milk, 1/4 cup coconut oil, agave nectar, vanilla, (chocolate chips) and stir with a rubber spatula.

pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter into the waffle griddle and bake to desired wellness.  repeat with remaining batter. i love a bit of agave with fresh fruit or just plain almond butter. kyle slathers his with almond butter and maple syrup. these are delicious and can be paired with any other amazing concoction you come up with! even powdered sugar or plain vegan butter will do!


70 percent or better.

i’ve become  a dark chocolate fanatic. i live for a hint of salt and almonds or a combination of chilies and cacao.  i love how the complexity of flavors and the darkness of the chocolate forces me to sit back and enjoy the moment.  it also helps that it doesn’t melt as quickly as milk chocolate does.

now, don’t get me wrong. i do enjoy a good milk chocolate bar. who can ever turn down lindt? or a reese’s peanut butter cup? but our food allergy test forced me to realize that milk chocolate doesn’t sit well with me.  so i began to search out some other options for a severe chocolate craving and found that quality dark chocolate doesn’t contain milk.  score. some brands are also gluten free, vegan, and dairy free. bonus. and thought these are a bit more expensive., these chocolate companies care about environmental sustainability, fair trade, organic and healthy food, and community development. who can argue with that?

living in seattle (ahem, even sammamish), has many positives. being green and healthy doesn’t just pertain to our health rating by american fitness. it has a tendency to trickle into products retailers purchase, services and products offered, and ultimately what the demand is from consumers.  as a local, we’re also privy to some of the best dark chocolate around. it helps when a favorite chocolate factory resides in your backyard, theo chocolate.  if you ever come to visit seattle, this is a must have local favorite. the tour is eye-opening, educational, multi-sensory, and leaves you with an endless supply of ‘tastings’ of all their local chocolate bars.

a few other awesome chocolate bar companies have creeped up on my radar. like theo, they too are organic, environmentally conscious, and are proponents of fair trade.  alter-eco is an awesome company that doesn’t only work with farmers throughout the world for some of the best chocolate, but they have some of the most some combinations i, personally, have never heard of. dark chocolate cacao with crunch roasted nibs or dark chocolate quinoa.  not only do they produce some amazing chocolate, but they also provide products like fair trade rice, quinoa, and sugar.

our Alter-Eco selections! all are delish!

also, taza chocolate is a new brand that’s becoming well recognized. it’s all fair trade, environmentally sustainable and community focused. you might mistaken the taza chocolate discs for mexican drinking chocolate, but it’s not. it’s actually something you eat not drink and they come in the most amazing flavors. taza was actually the first brand that i found who made dark chocolate salted almond. even theo didn’t make it at the time. taza’s combinations are unlike any i’ve ever had. and i’ll be honest; i haven’t tasted a bad chocolate combination from them yet!

Taza samples at PCC

there’s a few others like dagoba chocolate, who make amazing bars and drinks. my favorites from dagoba are the lavendar blueberry, becoup berries, and new moon. one thing you may notice immediately is the price. though these are all relatively pricey in comparison to your regular hershey’s bar, the knowledge that i’m supporting local communities & farmers through fair trade practices; eating good, quality, organic food; and supporting and encouraging generations of skills and knowledge that might otherwise be erased; and supporting strong environmental and ecological practices assure me that it’s the best $4 i could have spent to subdue my sweet tooth.  i hope you do as well.

from one chocolate lover to other, enjoy!


perfect cupcake.

i am a cupcake fanatic. i love cupcakes. who doesn’t?! they’re a bite size dream with perfect ratios. i equate it to reese’s peanut butter cups.  yes, i am obsessed with those too. but that’s besides the point. any meager attempts to replicate the reese’s cup are a waste.  they have nailed the ratio with peanut butter to chocolate and no one can mimic that same goodness.

the same goes for the cupcake. the amount of frosting coupled with the moist, yet cake-like bottom has to be of equal proportions. there’s few cupcake places in seattle that i love. cupcake royale is one of these. not only did they do our wedding cakes for us but they rock the customer service and authentic seattle vibe.  trophy is another well known cupcake shop here. but snobbery along with mile-high frosting is what they’re known for. i’m fans of neither. i will be honest though.  there’s a slight part of me that wants cupcake royale’s cake to just be a bit more moist and not so dense.  so with that itty bitty desire, i’ve been testing out a bunch of cupcake recipes.

my family, friends and coworkers are gracious enough to be my taste testers. whether they know it or not, is a topic up for discussion.  but i have had no complaints thus far. side note: i will be the first to admit, i am not coming up with these recipes on my own. i just test ALOT of recipes.  coupled with my love for baking vegan-style sans wheat or gluten, i am have quite a bit of work cut out for me. that being said, i believe i found the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. i recently made it for some co-workers as a thank you for working so hard on some website deadlines and projects for me.  considering the fact that i have a tendency to make things without testing them and then serving them, i was a bit more nervous then normal. i should also note the chocolate frosting didn’t work as planned. you HAVE to follow the ingredients in the specific order it’s listed. don’t and you’ll regret it. but PTL, i had a vanilla f rosting in the fridge i had made recently to use instead. the results were unanimous. everyone LOVED LOVED LOVED it. so without further adieu:

special delieveries.

healthy hostess (courtesy of babycakes): makes 24

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup garbanzo-fava bean flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xantham gum
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup agave nectar
1 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot water

preheat oven to 325 degrees. line 2-12 cup muffin tins with liners
mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. in a separate medium size bowl, combine all the wet ingredients other than the hot water. slowly pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  batter will be thick. once mixed well, then add the 1 cup of hot water to the mixture. mix well, until batter is smooth.

pour enough batter into each liner til it’s nearly filled to the top. about 1/3 cup. bake for 24 mins. after 14 mins, rotate 180 degrees. finish baking. once completed, pull out of the oven and let the cupcakes sit in tins for 20 mins then move to cooling rack.

once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with chocolate frosting. though i used vanilla, i prefer the chocolate frosting. it’s not overly decadent where you have a massive sugar high. but the frosting is a perfect pair to the rest of the chocolate cake.

chocolate frosting/sauce (courtesy of babycakes)

1 1/2 c. unsweetened soy milk
1/2 c. drive soy milk powder
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/4 c. agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

combing all BUT the coconut oil and lemon juice in a blender of food processor. blender is easier to use and clean which is why use it. but whatever works for you. blend for 2 mins. once ingredients are well mixed, slowly alternate adding the coconut oil and the lemon juice until all ingredients have been integrated. pour the mixture in an airtight container. you can leave it out at room temperature for a week or refrigerate it for up to one month.  in order to get frosting, you must refrigerate for 6 hours to overnight. the latter is preferable.

my new favorite food: quinoa

i am addicted to this grain. not only is it a complex carb, but it doesn’t contain gluten or wheat and is high in protein. we used a lot of this when we were on our food allergy test as well as when i was on my vegan stint.

as i mentioned earlier, i got this awesome recipe book from costco, ‘quinoa 365.”   i’ve officially fallen in love with a new summer salad.  so much in so, i’ve made it twice and have double the recipe on the second try. it’s that good.

bocconcini and oregano salad
serves 4-6

3/4 c. quinoa
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. diced zucchini
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. diced red onions
1/2 c. frozen baby green peas, thawed
1 c. diced red bell pepper
1/2 c. diced yellow bell pepper
3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. dijon mustard
2 tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried oregano)
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
pinch of salt
pinch of ground black pepper
1 cup of halved mini bocconcini cheese pieces (or you can go vegan and use tofu)

bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 4 minutes. remove the lid and fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork.  set aside and completely cool.

combine the zucchini, tomatoes, onions, peas, red and yellow bell peppers in a large bowl.

whisk the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.  pour the dressing over the vegetables and thoroughly mix all the ingredients. add the quinoa and bocconcini and mix until evenly combined. serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

i’ve also tried a lot more of the recipes that have all turned out amazing. i’ll be sharing more in the future!