Thursday, September 22, 2022

Applesauce Snack Cake (Gluten Free)

 Johnny Appleseed Applesauce Snack Cake 

     This applesauce snack cake was one of the only cakes I remember my mom making when I was little. She would make us elaborate birthday cakes with homemade buttercream, or this simple but delicious snack cake. I'm sure she made other cakes, but this one stuck out in my memory. I was always excited each fall when she made her first apple cake of the season. As a child I remember sneaking into the kitchen and sneaking little bites. The ingredient list is small and the cake tastes even better the next day. I hadn't had it in years, but recently my sister mentioned it and I knew I had to make a gluten free version. I also made it dairy free so that more friends could enjoy it. I always loved the name too, I have fond memories of reading stories about Johnny Appleseed as a child. 

Applesauce Snack Cake


1/2 cup refined coconut oil ( refined so it doesn't taste like coconut, or butter) melted

1 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 

1 cup granulated sugar 

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

2 cups of Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour

(optional 1 cup of raisins, I leave these out usually)


1) Pre-heat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray or coconut oil.

2) In a large bowl add the melted coconut oil, applesauce, and sugar and whisk well to combine. You will want to make sure to use refined coconut oil so that it doesn't have a strong coconut taste. Trader Joe's and Simple Truth brand from Kroger carry this.

3) Add the cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, salt, and gluten free flour. Stir well to combine all ingredients. If adding raisins gently stir in at this point. 

4) Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.


This will keep at room temperature for 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months so you can grab a piece when you are craving it!

I think the cake tastes even better the second and third day as it becomes more moist as it sits with all the applesauce in it. 

Friday, September 9, 2022

Smoky Paprika Chicken and Veggie Bowls

 Smoky Paprika Chicken and Veggie Bowls

     This is my new favorite meal to make. It has tons of flavor, and is so easy to put together. The warm spices on the chicken make it a perfectly cozy fall meal. You can switch up the roasted veggies based on what you have on hand or your preference. I like the combination of a sweeter veggie like sweet potatoes, carrots, or butternut squash paired with a more savory vegetable with cauliflower. When I'm not in the mood to cook diner I usually put a sheet pan meal in the oven. I love that you can put the ingredients in the oven and come back later and have a delicious hands off meal ready! If you use parchment paper on your sheet pan a bonus is that clean up is easy also! No pans to wash, which is always a bonus. 

Smoky Paprika Chicken and Veggie Bowls

Serves 4-6


Smoky Paprika Chicken 

2 pounds chicken breast

3 TBSP olive oil 

1 TBSP smoked paprika 

2 tsp cumin 

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp cinnamon 

1 garlic clove finely minced

1 TBSP honey

2 TBSP lemon juice

zest of one lemon

1/2 tsp salt

Roasted Veggies

1 head of cauliflower broken into large florets

2 medium sweet potatoes cut into 1/4 inch rounds

2 TBSP olive oil 

1 TBSP sesame seeds

salt to taste 

store bought or homemade hummus to top bowls with 


1) Pre-heat oven to 400 and line two sheet pans with parchment paper

2) Place the cauliflower florets and sweet potatoes on one of the sheet pans and drizzle with the olive oil. Salt the vegetables generously and use your hands to make sure the veggies are evenly coated. Spread the vegetables out on the pan leaving room in between so they will roast without steaming. 

3) Place the sheet pan with the vegetables in the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes. 

4) Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the ingredients for the chicken rub and stir to combine. If your chicken breasts are thick place in a ziplock bag and pound to make them even and thinner. I have found this really helps to get juicy and evenly cooked chicken in the oven. 

5) On the second sheet pan place the chicken breast. Using a spoon coat one side of the chicken breasts with the paprika mixture, flip, and then coat the other side. 

6) When the timer for the veggies goes off take the vegetables out of the oven, stir them to make sure they are evenly roasting and sprinkle with the 1 TBSP of sesame seeds. Return the vegetables to the oven and place the sheet pan with the chicken in the oven also. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and reaches a temperature of 165 and the vegetables are starting to brown. Depending on the size of your vegetables in may take longer or shorter so take them out before the chicken is cooked if they are getting too dark. 

7) Remove the sheet pans from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before cutting. 

8) In each bowl add sweet potatoes, cauliflower, sliced chicken, and then top with a spoonful of hummus! I think the perfect bite has a little of each of these in it. Adjust salt as needed, I always like to finish my dishes with a little sprinkle of salt.  


* You can mix up the veggies in this meal I like the combination of a sweeter veggie like sweet potato, butternut squash, or carrots paired with a more savory vegetable like cauliflower or brussels sprouts. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Chocolate Pastry ( Gluten and Dairy Free)

 Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Pastry 

     I discovered Schar gluten and dairy free puff pastry last Holiday season and I was so excited to experiment with it. Years ago I would make easy appetizers and desserts for family and friends all the time using regular frozen puff pastry. It always made me feel like a pastry chef. I recently saw a post for an easy dessert using puff pastry and knew it would be the perfect ending to our Lord of The Rings Rings of Power viewing party. I needed it to be gluten free so I could enjoy it and I knew there would be a guest at the party with a dairy allergy. I knew the delicious pastry could easily be adapted to meet both of those dietary requirements. The chocolate pastry was so good there was only one small piece left and even the guests who did not need to eat gluten and dairy free went back for seconds and thirds! If you have been craving chocolate croissant this is the next best thing. 

Gluten and Diary Free Chocolate Pastry 
Recipe for 1 pastry 
(you can double and use both pastries in the box)

Serves 4


Schar brand gluten and dairy free puff pastry defrosted

Dairy free chocolate bar or Enjoy life chocolate chunks

1 egg for egg wash

1 tbsp almond or coconut milk for egg wash

1 tsp sugar for dusting

extra chocolate for garnish


1) Pre-heat oven to 400 and place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan.

2) Carefully roll out the puff pastry on the parchment paper. Place the chocolate bar or an even layer of  chocolate chunks (about the size and shape of of a chocolate bar) in the middle of the puff pastry. 

3) Cut the corners off the top and bottom of the puff pastry and cut the long sides into strips. See picture below for example.

4) Fold the strips of pastry over each other overlapping over the chocolate. 

5) In a small dish beat the egg and almond milk. Using a pastry brush apply the egg wash over the top of the pastry.

6) Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is a golden brown color and crispy. 

7) Remove from oven and sprinkle on the tsp of sugar. When the pastry has cooled for at least 10 minutes use a microplane to shave chocolate over the top. 

Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap at room temperature. It is best served the day it is made.


Recipe inspired by