Tag Archives | Bay Area

Weekend Wonderland

I have to admit that I look forward to family events like a little kid on Christmas Eve, and luckily for me this past weekend was my dear Auntie’s birthday party.

The Queen’s Jubilee celebration if you will.

Oh what a night.

We celebrated with a stylish catered dinner party in her beautiful backyard which turned out to be a mini family reunion with champagne toasts & heartfelt speeches, pink nail polish comparisons, pets, pets, pets. Oh, and an enthusiastic dance party on the patio.

When the camera came out my cousins made jokes about needing to smile and look their best for pictures since they could end up on this blog. They kept shouting “blog” instead of “cheese.”

Gotta love having such an accepting & supportive family!

As it turned out all of the cousins all wore dresses to the event. From left to right: an embroidered cream strapless midi-length dress, a brightly patterned one-shouldered dress belted at the waist, and a sweet purple sundress paired with a white lace jacket.

And pink toenail polish.

Quite the stylish group of ladies if we do say so ourselves. 🙂

I wore a black & white floral Anthropologie top tucked into a black pleated Zara mini skirt, a cropped Aqua blazer, patent leather Oxford booties, and tons of gold necklaces & bracelets.

Do you like to be social over the weekends or just kick back and relax at home? If you enjoy the occasional outing, do you like to get dressed up or take advantage of being away from work to relax your personal style?

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The cookies that passed the test!

I’ve been struggling to find the ideal cookie recipe, one that would be healthy and non-vegan (i.e. boyfriend) approved. Not always an easy feat, let me tell you!

My first attempt at vegan cookies turned out fine. Not awful, not great. My first attempt at vegan, gluten-free cookies was… Not so good. At first they wouldn’t stay together, then they were too dense. It was quite a balancing act to get the right level of sweetness (I balked when I saw a recipe that called for 2 WHOLE CUPS of refined sugar), oil and flour. The coconut flour smelled divine, but the cookies fell apart when you touched them, while the spelt flour with just oil was too cake-y and not light enough.

Finally I had my Goldilocks moment and they came out juuust right.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3 tbsp cocao powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar (brown rice syrup will also work quite well)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup carob chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut shreds (unsweetened)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Combine dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt & coconut, and stir until well combined
  • Separately, combine syrup, agave nectar, vanilla and coconut extracts with the apple sauce and stir until well mixed
  • Combine mixtures, add carob chips and stir lightly
  • Spoon batter onto lined baking sheet (these cookies spread so keep this in mind when you’re spacing)
  • Top with raw grain sugar and/or more coconut shreds if desired
  • Bake for 13 minutes & immediately remove from oven
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy

These cookies are soft so be sure to let them cool or they’ll crumble around the edges. And if you want to save some for later, they’re great frozen. The flavor is chocolatey and rich, with a barely detectible hint of coconut .

Good luck mon petits chefs!

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