Hot Mama Cocoa

imageThis week, I have not been feeling so hot.  We’ve battled and won our first round of seasonal sickness, hormones are fluctuating, and I’m just not feeling like myself.

Can you relate?

I know what my problem is: Chocolate.  I’m not eating enough of it.  I read an article on the internet that said chocolate is a superfood.  (So is champagne, but coffee and red wine are more my speed these days.) And since the internet is never wrong, I was able to self-diagnose my biggest issue and root cause. I ran out of my favorite dark chocolate bars and they’re too pricey to buy when they’re not on super sale. And here’s the reality of my life: It’s not worth living without that chocolate at the end of the day.  Or in the middle of my day.  Or to start my day.

I’ve also been needing a little pep in my step. I don’t know if it’s the weather, lack of chocolate, the pitch dark that sets in at 4:00pm sharp, or what, but I also need a little more help with energy and, uh, sex drive.  Yep, I’m going there. Sorry.

After working long days taking care of a toddler and working from home, cooking up a storm, and just doing life, getting busy is pretty much the last thing I have energy for, TBH. So, adding spices to actually spice up my life and boost my mojo?  Okay.  Let’s do that.

Maca is a natural hormone booster, and cayenne pepper is wonderful for digestion and circulation. Cinnamon is warming and curbs sugar cravings.  So, this is my cocoa cocktail to get my hot mama mojo back.  Plus, it’s damn delicious.


  • 2 cups milk of your choice (I use coconut milk)
  • 1 Tbsp honey or sweetener of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a tiny dusting of cayenne pepper (a tiny bit goes a VERY LONG WAY)


  1. Combine all of your ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on medium low.
  2. Whisk continuously until hot and well blended. (5 ish minutes)
  3. Pour into your favorite mug or thermos and sip.

So hot right now!

Salted Sunbutter Cups with Raw Chocolate {Paleo}

Sunbutter Cups Bite
Joy comes in a new, creamy, salty, sweet form.

Friends.  I’ve done the unthinkable.

I’ve given up refined Sugar for the summer.

No Salt & Straw.

No Petunia’s.

No sweet treats from Cascadia Bakery.

Because I have a problem.  Sugar means too much to me.  I can’t resist it right now.  I need to give it up for a while until I can use it responsibly.

Which might be never.  But I’m giving it until September, just to be sure. Because I don’t want the diabeetus.

One of my favorite treats is chocolate and peanut butter, but because of FPIES, we can’t keep peanuts in the house.  I love sunflower seed butter (aka sunbutter) as a substitute for peanut butter.  It’s safe for peanut and tree nut allergy peeps, and gives a comparable, creamy taste.  I don’t miss it peanut butter at all.  In fact, you can pretty much always find me with a spoonful of sunbutter in my hand when I get too busy and forget to feed myself.

I’m also pretty committed to using raw cacao nibs when possible.  Raw cacao is full of antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and can help fight heart disease and lift your mood naturally.  With a little bit of coconut oil for good measure, these treats aren’t just freaking delicious, they’re also super healthy for you.

Sign me up.  Twice.

I shared these with some of my best friends who are also trying to leave that jerk, Sugar, behind.  The consensus? We can no longer live without them.

Sunbutter Mini Cups

Ingredients for Chocolate Layer:

  • 1/2 cup ground cacao nibs (I use my nutribullet, but a coffee grinder would work, too.)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey, or erythritol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Sunbutter Fudge Filling:

  • 3/4 cup sunbutter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey or erythritol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for Chocolate Layer:

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients until fully incorporated.
  2. Pour into lined cupcake or mini-cupcake molds, filling about 1/3 of the way.
  3. Pop in freezer for 15 minutes until solid.

Directions for Sunbutter Fudge:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Pour mixture on top of frozen chocolate.
  3. Freeze or refrigerate until firm.
  4. Remove from refrigerator or freezer for 3 minutes, add flake salt on top, and devour.

These stay good forever in the freezer, and several weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  But good luck.  The sunbutter cups haven’t survived 24 hours in my house.  Maybe ever.

Open your heart and let the sunbutter in,


Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Grain-Free}

So, call me crazy, but I don’t feel like chocolate chunk cookies really need much explanation.  Because chocolate.

These are some of my faves, though.  They are chewy, salty, sweet, and gluten-free.  How awesome is that?

I typically make these for my mom, who has a little condition called diabetes.

She’s a total cutie.

Since Mother’s Day is coming up, these are a perfect way to share the love with my mom and still respect her limitations. I want her to be around to see my kiddo graduate from high school in approximately 16 years, so I’m committed to supporting her in any way I can.  This includes making enjoyable food she can eat.  And as a mother, I would love to have someone make these for me (I’m looking at you , dear husband).



  • 1 cup blanched almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, or erythritol for a low-glycemic option
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz  85% cacao dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tsp kosher-style sea salt or fleur de sal
  • a tiny dash of nutmeg


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine almond meal, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, then stir.
  2. Add eggs, oil,  vinegar, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly with almond meal mixture.
  3. Add chocolate chunks.
  4. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon batter (which will be slightly runny) into half-dollar drops.  This will spread quite a bit during baking so be sure to leave plenty of space between cookies.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Because of the almond meal, they will brown on the top slightly more than traditional cookies.  It’s okay.  :)
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  They will have delicately crisp edges and soft centers before you store them, then they are all soft after that.

Consume within 3-4 days, otherwise they’ll get stale.  But good luck with lasting that long.  These are HIGHLY addictive!

Be sure to love your moms this week, and if this is a difficult holiday for you, be sure to take good care of yourself.

Yo Mama,

Almond Joy Bars

coconut barsI have a relatively new found love of coconut.  I really used to dislike it.  Then I realized it was always sweetened.  Like on a lemon meringue pie that my Nana used to make, or in a coconut macaroon usually at a church potluck.  It was perpetually too sweet, and tasted like sugary fibrous shreds of blech.  (And yes, “blech” is a word.  It ends on a k sound, not ch.  Otherwise, it would be ble(t)ch, and what is that?  Nothing, that’s what.)  Then I tasted the un-bastardized, unsweetened coconut and totally fell in foodie love.

As it turns out, coconut is an excellent source of fiber.  Fiber helps you feel full, stabilizes your blood sugar, and helps you go twosies.  (And yes, “twosies” is a real word, too.  Just ask Turk and J.D.  They’re doctors.)  It adds texture and a delicate sweetness to a variety of dishes. I’ve also started eating a spoonful of dry coconut flakes when I feel nauseous or have acid reflux from eating something I shouldn’t.  It works like a charm about 70% of the time.

Coconut is also a superfood, more specifically,  coconut oil.  I try to incorporate it as much as possible into my daily food intake. I blend it into my coffee, cook with it, and take it by the spoonful to help me sleep peacefully at night.  Coconut oil is great for my brain, my liver, my metabolism, and my mood.  I’m pretty sure it’s good for yours, too.

This is one of my favorite go-to recipes for breakfast, snacks, or my overactive sweet-tooth.  I like it because it tastes like a candy bar, I’ll be honest.  But it is so stinkin’ good for me that I don’t feel even a little bit guilty. These travel well, don’t need to be refrigerated, and are delicious treat for at least a week.

Ingredients for bars:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, or erythritol (if you’re looking for a low-glycemic option)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour (sifted)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1  tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 20 drops liquid stevia (optional)
  • a handful of raw almonds

Ingredients for chocolate drizzle:

  • 3 oz 90% cacao chocolate bar  (it’s super low in sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 15 drops liquid stevia (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions for bars:

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, including erythritol, and mix well.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients and stir.
  3. Incorporate wet ingredients into dry and pour mixture into 9×13 pyrex glass dish
  4. Evenly place almonds on top of batter
  5. Bake for 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the middle is firm.
  6. Cool completely then cut into bars

Directions for chocolate drizzle:

  1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter.
  2. Once chocolate and butter is fully melted, stir in cardamom, vanilla, and stevia
  3. Transfer chocolate to small ziploc bag and close.
  4. Cut a tiny piece of the corner of the bag off and drizzle over cooled bars.

This is my favorite way to get all the coconut goodness I can handle.  I hope you like it.

May your candy bar dreams come true,


Chocolate Chip Scookies

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a chocoholic.


I come by it honestly.  My oldest brother had a friend in high school who went to Belgium and brought back a 5 lb chocolate bar for him as a present.  My brother kept it in the freezer, woke up every morning, cut off a chunk and started his day with the world’s best chocolate for a few weeks.  My other brother, parents, and I would all look on with chocolate-lovers jealousy as we chewed our stale Cheerios in reconstituted powdered milk.  If we were lucky, we would get a taste.

We weren’t lucky very often.

In my adult life, I try to incorporate chocolate into my diet as much as possible.  In moderation, keeping it very dark, fair-trade certified, blah blah blah.  But there is something very satisfying about ending the day with a square of 80% cacao chocolate.  There is also something slightly indulgent about beginning the day the same way, too.

I had to give up grains entirely when my baby was small because many foods seemed to upset his stomach.  Almonds were always a pass, and so was chocolate.  THANK GOD.  Because honestly, I don’t know what I would have done to keep my milk supply up and my sanity intact. Dark chocolate made the busy days of exclusive pumping and caring for a baby while working 30+ hours a week mentally possible, and almonds made it physically possible. In fact, if I could give awards to food, almonds and chocolate would win the Food Oscar every time.

Breakfast has always been the hardest meal of the day for me to plan and prep.  I always crave something fast and healthy, with minimal effort. (Okay! I crave this every other meal of the day, too.  Breakfast is worst, though.)  So, I started experimenting in my little kitchen and came up with these simple and delightful breakfast treats. Really, they’re not limited to breakfast, and make a great snack as well. They fall somewhere between a scone and a cookie, so my midwife nicknamed them “scookies”.  The name stuck.  And then my clients started ordering them, offering to pay me way too much money for a dozen of these paleo breakfast treats.  Since I love cooking but lack the desire to become a full-time paleo baker and the Department of Health permits to do so, I gladly share this with those clients, friends, families, and now the Internets.


  • 1 16 oz jar unsalted almond butter (Raw is best, but roasted works, too.)
  • 3 large eggs  (I use duck eggs because they are super rich and my son is allergic to chicken eggs.)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp natural sea salt (I prefer kosher style)


  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, almond butter, vanilla extract and honey.  Stir well.
  2. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Combine thoroughly. (You can use a mixer, but I prefer using a sturdy spatula.)
  3. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
  4. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spoon dough in golfball-sized portions, leaving plenty of room to expand during the baking process.
  5. Sprinkle with a dash of kosher sea salt and bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven and altitude.
  6. Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool for 10 minutes before devouring them.


Eating a protein packed breakfast doesn’t have to be hard.  And it can even be full of things you like that fuel you, body, mind, and chocoholic spirit.

Peace, Love and Chocolate,