Wednesday, February 29, 2012


         What a yucky day :[ Last semester, I went through a lot of drama. With the finding of my Celiac Disease, my cat died, my grandma went through some major gastrointestinal issues as well, and then drama like no other with some girls, it just never ended. It almost got to the point where my boyfriend and I broke up because it was hard for me to find happiness in such a chaotic world. And just when I finally thought I took out all the negativity in my life, it is beginning to come back again. 
          These girls I'm dealing with honestly are some of the caddiest and drama-filled girls I've ever met. I have never been in such drama in my life- and the sad thing is they created this entire scenario that didn't even exist and turns out I'm the bad guy. They expect me to support them in their troubles, when all of last semester they did nothing but bring me down with my troubles. When I yearned for support, they alienated me. When I confided in them, they talked behind my back. When I thought I was being understanding in my decisions to try to better my health, they claimed that I was only doing it out of spite of them. And now all this is coming back. And this excessive rain isn't helping to settle the mood either.
          It really upsets Bill, because he hates how I let a bunch of girls get to me like this. It just really hurts, because I've been nothing but nice, tried to resolve all our issues by trying to see a better light in them, and all I have gotten was taken advantage of. And what also hurts is that I felt so lonely throughout this, that I gained back my freshman 15 I worked soo hard to lose. The one thing I was proud of came back to haunt me. I need some guidance right now and more willpower because I feel like I've been trapped. 
          My diet today didn't help very much, because I decided to treat myself to those leftover pancakes from State Patty's Day! Topping them off with some vegan butter and powdered sugar with agave syrup, I felt like this was much needed..YUM <3 
           Also, after a long, much needed nap, I made these AMAZING crispy, delicious, chocolate & caramel cookies. I love crispy, credit-card thin cookies, and I finally concocted a recipe for the PERFECT credit card cookie! My taste tester Bill said they were amazing, so I am so proud :]
          However, I'm not going to share this recipe- because it's my little secret recipe O:] tehe. And I just needed to make this post to vent a little, because every girl needs a little wallowing every once in a while "/ However, I found the most perfect saying by *shocker* Will Smith:

Monday, February 27, 2012

State Patty's Wrap~Up

2:21PM "Studying" 
          Studying? More like recooperating my body for the weekends festivities. Usually, I'm not a hardcore partier, but State Patty's is a totally different story, especially when I am with my brother. It was a memorable weekend, but I definitely slacked off on my diet. This week= GYM TIME. 
My sunday evening constituted of Chinese Food and Sleep. I have so many helpful tips when it comes to chinese food! The hardest part about getting takeout from chinese is the soy sauce- which is not gluten free. However, through a superfluous amount of trial and error, I found a chinese place that not only will prepare my food gluten free, but actually know me well enough and are avid about making sure my meals are gluten-free! It is very helpful to get to know places you either dine at or get takeout/delivery from, because the hardest part about the Celiac Disease is the contamination and communication with people who might not have as much of an understanding as you do about your diet. Not only that, but they also will avoid using fish sauce and chicken stock!! Makes my little heart smile :] It's also soo nice to be able to get fried rice and..get this...GENERAL TSO TOFU! how UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME IS THAT? :]<3
oh sweet looks like chicken! AH! and get this- all the veggies I made at home to save a couple bucks and get more tofu in my order!
      So with that, here are some helpful tips when ordering out or dining in:

1. It is going to take trial and error, but when you find the right place get to know the people!
2. NEVER be afraid of telling them about your special needs- the employees will help you and that is how you know it is a good place!
3. Try new things! You need your taste buds to explore new horizons :]


Thursday, February 23, 2012

State Patty's

          Hey y'all! Sorry, me and Bill have been watching a good amount of Paula Deen lately and her accent is catching onto us. But anyways! we started our state patty's day strong- with some green pancakes. YUP. green pancakes. And I sneaked in some cinnamon, nutmeg and flax seeds and they were DELICIOUS. The first batch I made me and Bill had blueberries, but we ate them too fast and I forgot to take a picture. So this batch here is my freezer batch, and lemme tell ya they almost didn't make it to the freezer!
          So for the pancakes- easy peasy lemon squeezy! I used King Arthur's Pancake Mix- I love King Arthur almost as much as I love my boy, Bob's Red Mill *kneeslapp*. The recipe for the pancakes are on the back- but instead of using 6 tablespoons of melted butter I used 4 tablespoons of canola oil and for the 2 eggs I used 1 mashed banana and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. For the 2 cups of milk, I used vanilla Almond breeze and added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. But of course, regular pancakes aren't gonna cut it, so I added some blueberries (which tasted soo good with the mashed banana) to one batch, some flaxseeds to another and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to another batch! And if you wanna make them green? Find some organic (and make sure it's gluten free!) food coloring and add like 4 drops of it to get that vibrant green! Now, I'm not a big fan of food coloring, but I did this for good ol' state patty's weekend :] And these are a great recipe for the real St. Patrick's Day morning! 
          Stay tuned- because it's only Thursday, and state patty's day is Saturday (me and bill like to start our festivities a little early ;)). So I'm sure you will be looking at some more delicious, gluten free, irish friendly, hangover foods and galore! yummmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'Snow' Day :]

          Decided that today was going to be a personal snow day :]. It's not like I stayed home and did nothing- I just didn't go to classes but I did a little study ^.^ I wasn't feeling too well- I was exhausted all day today. I think it was because of the surgery yesterday that really knocked me out. I woke up at 7 this morning, realized I couldn't even get out of bed I was so tired, and fell asleep until 10. I got myself up, started to walk around, but by 12 I was so tired that I fell asleep until 2PM! Sheesh! And get this- I'm still exhausted, and I've been laying low all day.
         I went to one class- my country club management class- it's my favorite class! Then I went to the library and when I got home from the library made myself a little treat- my homemade nutella and some vegan cream cheese on a GF baguette and I sprinkled it with some flaxseed. YUMM. I love the GF baguettes- they are so easy to toast up! And they taste sooo delicious with the homemade Nutella. I'm telling you people- try to make the homemade Nutella! I made it a few days ago and it never goes to waste (why would anyone waste chocolate!)
        Speaking of chocolate, I ALMOST convinced myself that I was going to give it up for Lent, until I realized that in no way I would be able to do such a thing. I'm still trying to contemplate what to give up for Lent...and I need help!!
         This weekend is state patty's weekend- a huge party the entire weekend at Penn State. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the student-run holiday since I am not a hardcore drinker, but it's an excuse to get to see my friends from home and my brother, who are coming up to visit! :D Plus, it gives me a good excuse to make some irish pancakes and whatnot!! WOOOHOOO!! luck o the irish babayyy. I don't have any recipes for this post, but I have much to say! tehe. But I'm sure after this weekend I'll have oodles of state patty's recipes for here so stay tuned! xoxo

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nutella + Brownie + Cookies = Fat Tuesday Heaven

        Today I had to go in for my endoscopy, so I didn't really get a chance to enjoy or create a delicious fat tuesday meal :[ WAH. But I did go out to eat with the momma luzzz- where we decided to go to a creole new orleans restaurant (yup...they have one in state college!). They had a gluten free menu too- I celebrated Fat Tuesday with a vegetable jumbalaya that tasted like beef stew without the beef delicciousss. My mom told me I acted like such a LooneyToon when I woke up from the endoscopy. Lolz. It was my first time being put to sleep and boy was I scared (thank goodness my mom didn't take any pictures of me- I looked like a mess!)
        So when I got home, I made these DELICIOUS cookies. At first, I was planning on making brownies, so I basically whipped up a batch of brownie mix, but then I decided that I wanted to make cookies, so I made brownie cookies! 
          For the nutella, I made my homemade nutella..basically it is toasted hazlenuts, almond milk, and cocoa powder and vanilla with powdered sugar. Here is a recipe that is similar to my homemade Nutella: Better Than Nutella . I love this blog and I follow her religiously, so I'm sure her recipe is divineee! 
Nutella Brownie Cookies makes 18
1 1/4c GF AP Flour (I make my own, but Bob's Red Mill is good too!)
1t Baking Powder
1/2t Kosher Salt
2/3c Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2c Canola Oil 
1/2c Cane Sugar
1/2c Brown Sugar
1t Vanilla Extract
1/2t Hazlenut Extract
1/3c Homemade Nutella (or if you don't want it vegan, store bought works!)
1/3c Milk (I used Almond Breeze Vanilla)
1/2c Semisweet Mini Chocolate Chips

1. Whisk together your dry ingredients (Flour, BP, Salt, Cocoa Powder, Cane Sugar) and set aside.
2. On Low-Medium Speed, beat your brown sugar and canola, until creamy.
3. Add your vanilla, hazelnut, and nutella to the brown sugar mixture and mix together
4. Add your flour mixture and milk alternatively (I did 3 parts flour and 2 parts milk)
5. Mix in your chocolate chips. Once fully incporated, put the dough in the refridge for 15 minutes.
6. While the dough is in the refridge, preheat your oven to 325 F. 
7. Take out dough and scoop out mighty balls onto a baking sheet with parchment paper (I did 3 batches of 6)
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes- these cookies are best when they are nice and gooey!
9. Let cool for 10 minutes, and dig in!

Monday, February 20, 2012

46-for the cure!

          It's been a longgg weekend. 46 hours of dancers standing and for me 24+ hours of working to set up Penn State's largest student run philanthropy, THON. Why do we do this? We do this FTK [for the kids]- those kids that suffer through cancer. Results? We raised $10.6 million dollars! It is unbelievable what we do. But the hours of work really is an offset to my diet, especially since I usually choose to sleep in between my shifts than eat! And at the Bryce Jordan Center- where this dance maraTHON (get it?) is held, there aren't many healthy choices, let alone gluten free and vegan friendly! So, when I'd get home I would have to strategically plan my eating patterns.
         For one, as I alwayss stress this, and will throughout the blog, always always always pack healthy snacks from home. For me, I would pack a granola bar, a bag of nuts, and sometimes I would pack a little salad and then dressing on the side. At the BJC, they had a subway, so I would always buy some of their apple slices (which are prepackaged, hence no contamination!) and either add them into my salad or, if I packed a side of peanut butter, I would eat the apple slices with some peanut butter! So when you know you are not going to be in an environment that is vegan and/or gluten friendly, always find out what is available to satisfy your diet and bring the condiments to jazz up your meals!
          Now, for my in between shifts where I had plenty of time to be able to eat, digest, and get some sleep, I would make a good meal! You probably are looking at this wondering how I might've had the time to make this. WELL it only took me 5 minutes! This method is a common method I use when I am on-the-go, whether it is in between classes/meetings/studying. What I do is I buy some really yummy Microwave Meals and then steam up some frozen veggies! These two are staples in my freezer. I always have a huge bag of spinach and a stir fry veggie mix stashed in my freezer. As for my microwave meals, my favorites are from Amy's Bistro and Helen's Kitchen
          The one above is Helen's Kitchen Yellow Curry with Basmati Rice and then I steamed Spinach and a Vegetable Mix of Snow Peas, Broccoli, Peppers, and Water Chestnuts- DELICIOUS. Then, I just incorporated soy sauce into my steamed vegetables, added some red pepper flakes, mixed it into my microwave meal (after it was cooked) and BOOM I have a meal in 5 minutes! 
           For the one below, for a heartier meal I used Amy's Stir Fry Bowl (the original), then I steamed up some spinach, added some flax seeds to the top of it and mixed in some balsamic dressing to both my microwave meal and spinach and topped it off with GF baguette which was toasted under a broiler for 3 minutes. simple! And this took me 5 minutes as well! And lemme tell ya- these meals taste GOURMET (for microwave meals and frozen veggies!)
          The only thing you must be wary of is the sodium content; I trust Amy's and Helen's Kitchen because they have lower sodium, but you shouldn't add any extra added salt! I usually would rather make my meals with fresh vegetables, but sometimes when you are on the go like this, a healthy microwave meal with some fresh veggies is the better way to go! For me, I know that if I have a busy day and I don't do this method, I'll either 1. starve myself until I get home late at night or 2. eat fast-ish food. The problem with this is that if I eat late night, I'm eating late, and eating a LOT more since my sugar levels are lowlowlow. And, if I eat "fast-ish" food, I'm eating larger than my portion sizes- and also risking myself of any contamination with gluten and/or any extra additives! Even if it's a salad- they put sooo much more salad dressing than necessary! So I honestly say, try this method- jazz up those microwave meals and you'll find yourself in a much healthier situation than you think!
"When they say 'We are Penn State' this is what they are talking about"- Joe Paterno 1926-2012. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentino

oh sweet valentine's day! Personally, I've never really enjoyed valentines day-it's way too cheesy for my taste. But ya knowww, the best part about it is the CHOCOLATEEEEE (Amara would love this since I'm reenacting Spongebob). And of course- I made Bill just a bunch of chocolate recipes! He LOVES truffles so I decided to create 2 types for him and then used the remaining white and dark chocolate for the strawberries :]. FUN FACT! did you know white chocolate isn't really chocolate?! Chocolate is from the cocoa bean and although white chocolate has cocoa butter in it, it doesn't have that brown color from the bean that makes it chocolate! I really don't enjoy white chocolate, but it is Bill's favorite thing in the world so I always conform and make him anything white chocolate.

      Anywayssss... for these recipes I'm not gonna go too in depth- it's kind've your favorite Red velvet cake recipe with a cream cheese frosting and then a simple chocolate chip cookie dough recipe (one that you'll want to omit the egg since you're eating it raw!!!)
    Red Velvet Truffles
-Chocolate cake mix (I used a GF cake mix!)
- 2-8oz packages of cream cheese (for bill I used philadelphia, but I would use a vegan sub!)
-3 cups powdered sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-1 bag of white chocolate chips

1. Follow the recipe instructions to bake the chocolate cake mix
2. While your cake is baking, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy and slowly incorporate the powdered sugar in batches. Put in the refrigerator until your cake is cooled
3. Tear your cake apart (I know this was so hard to do!) and mix it in with your cream cheese frosting. 
4. Scoop out little balls with an ice cream scooper and put it in the refrigerator.
5. While your truffles are in the refridge, melt your white chocolate- either 30-second intervals in the microwave or the double-boiler*
6. Take out your truffle-cake and dip it into your melted chocolate. Put them back in the refridge for at least an hour!
*If you have extra white chocolate-save it and use it as a drizzle for strawberries :]

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
-Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe of choice (OMIT/SUBSTITUTE EGGS)
-1 bag of white chocolate chips

1. Follow the recipe instructions for your chocolate chip cookie dough (this doesn't have to be baked)
2. Scoop your dough on a baking sheet with wax paper and put them in the refridge for 30 minutes
3. Melt your dark chocolate (make sure to melt it closer to when your dough is almost at the 30 minute mark!)
4. Take out your cookie dough and roll them into perfect little circles
5. dip them into your dark chocolate and put them back in the refridge for at least an hour!
*once again save your dark chocolate to dip into extra strawberries-- too good to pass up!

so simple, right? YUP. Don't go too crazy with your desserts- you want to at least enjoy spending time with your special someone and they better like whatever you make them! :P. I think these little recipes are perfect- they are so simple and you can make them the day before so you have all of valentines day to prep for whatever your plans are! Me and Bill are just staying in- he's going to make dinner....*crickets*. This is gonna be good. <3xoxo

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lazy Saturdays

         10am~ What is better than sleeping in? Waking up to my boyfriend in my onesie pouring us some grapefruit juice and preparing breakfast :P. He is the biggest goof ever but I love him for this- he definitely made my morning a little bit brighter... especially since we found out that my microwave may or may not be slightly broken-- it took us 6 minutes to cook oatmeal that takes 3 minutes!!
          Although the oatmeal took longer (we probably could've just put it on the stovetop!) it was made wonderfully and enjoying the FN Chocoholic special was definitely a good morning! Plus, the PARENT TRAP was on! Bill even put a little nutella in mine. I don't know if you are catching on- but I obviously love chocolate. Chocolate is life. can say that since I will probably end up becoming a Chocolatier! I need to really focus on studying because next week is my hell week :[ So I prepared my snack and lunch for the day!
Some helpful tips!
1. ALWAYS PACK A LUNCH! Almost anywhere you go...everything is going to have grains and wheat in it...and you need your carbs to stay focused when you have a long day of studying!
2. Put your dressing in a separate bowl! You don't want your salad to get soggy!
3. When you're going to be out for a long time...never underpack. Either way, you are going to be tempted with food and why not be tempted with food that you know won't have gluten in it/won't be contaminated AND food that is healthier?! :]
         When I got home from walking in the treacherous snow...I was freezing. So I decided to treat myself to some homemade treats I made :] They were surprising moist (for a gluten-free recipe!) and the agave really helped sweeten these. These can make a superb breakfast treat or an after dinner treat. I made 3/4 of my batter into a loaf and it was so YUMMY. If you would rather have a loaf, change your baking temp to 350 and bake for 30-40 minutes. Here's the recipe to my fabulous Sweet Agave Carrot Muffins!
Agave Carrot Muffins 
Serving: 24 Muffins
2c brown rice flour
1 1/4c garbanzo bean flour
2-3T flaxseed
1 1/2t baking soda
1t salt
2t cinnamon
1c canola oil
2c water
1 1/2T vanilla extract 
1 3/4c agave nectar
2c grated carrots (~6 medium sized) 
2c pecans or walnuts 
1/2c raisins

For the icing
3/4c soy powder
1t vanilla extract
1/4c hot water
Icing Instructions:
1. Add your soy powder and vanilla extract 
2. whisk your hot water into your soy powder slowly
3. Place in your refrigerator until needed at the end of the recipe!

Muffin Instructions: 
1. Preheat the oven to 325F and spray your muffin pan (I had only 1-6 muffin tin cup)
2. Combine your "dry"- brown rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine your "wet"-oil, water, extract and agave. In intervals, whisk in your flour mixture into your wet that way the flour has enough time to be absorbed into the wet mixture
4. Once your flour is fully combined, fold in your carrots, walnuts and raisins. 
5. Use an ice cream scooper and fill your muffin tin cups 3/4 the way with your batter
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes if you have a 6 cup muffin pan, and 20-25 minutes if you have 12 cup muffin pan.
7. Let it cook for 15 minutes. Once cooled, drizzle/dip/whatever you want your muffins with the vanilla icing and enjoy :]

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocoholic Frenzy Friday

7:30pm~ I was in such a chocolate mood today (probably because I just devoured the FN magazine for this month), that I decided to surprise my boyfriend with these delectable little desserts and jazzed them up a bit. Unfortunately, because of the Celiac's Disease I couldn't indulge in these, but my boyfriend said they were "ballin'" (he claims his accent is because he's from philly..even though I am too I don't say ballin'). 
Delishously Decadant Bailey's Chocolate Pudding
For the Pudding
1 packet chocolate pudding
2 1/2 + 12 oz milk (I used vanilla soy!)
5 oz evaporated cane sugar
3/4 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Bailey's Irish Creme

For the Dirt
1 package of Oreo's, taking out the cream
1 package of Gummy Worms
For the Pudding
1. Whisk the chocolate pudding mixture and 2.5 ounces of soy milk and let it "bloom"
2. Add the rest of the soy milk, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and bailey's in a saucepan over medium heat and mix until the sugar has dissolved
3. Add in the chocolate pudding mixture over medium-low heat and keep on mixing until it begins to become thick and it comes to a full boil probably around 8-10 minutes.
4. Pour into a heat-proof bowl and let it cool on your counter for approximately 15 minutes, then put saran wrap over top of it and place in the refrigerator overnight
The Next Day
5. Put your oreo cookies in a ziploc bag and smash the cookies until they are a fine consistency!
6. Layer your pudding however which way you want it! I put a ton of gummy worms on the bottom (sweet little surprise/reward at the end) and then layered between a heaping amount of cookie crumbs with more gummies and pudding- then enjoy! :]

Banana Cream Chocolate Pudding
 I made this too! But it was actually really terrible- the banana cream pudding mix tasted like baby food :-\ But for this one I followed the instruction on the package, then Bill tasted it and said it was terrible. Then I tried to add a pinch of cinnamon and he said it did no good. Then I added the cookie crumbs into the mixture and he said it made it a little more edible, but he really didn't enjoy haha. So in my opinion- stay away from the banana cream pudding!! 
As for me, I enjoyed these DELICIOUS rice pops...chocolate flavored. They.Are.My.FAVORITE <3

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 9, 2012

      6am breakfast fest! Need to load up on my carbs before my AM workout! GF Oat Bran Porridge from Bob's Red Mill with some raisins and walnuts...I heated some almond milk up until it was simmering then added the oat bran and let it soak up the milk. DELICIOUS. And I can't get enough of the Mint Green Tea by Tea's's my favorite along with the lemongrass!
      9am~ I had to meet a dietitian today for my gluten free diet. It was really enjoyable because the dietitian and I have so much in common (since we both majored in Nutritional Science at Penn State University!). I learned so much about Celiac's Disease and everything that has gluten in it. I knew a majority of it, but it was good to learn that SO many additives may or may not have gluten in it. 
     The best part of today? My mom is here to visit :):) and we're going to get some asian cuisine  yummyy. My mom is probably the most supportive about the newfound Celiac's's tough to be a college student and pay for the expenses of gluten-it's rather pricey. But when she comes, since we are such foodies we really just surround our day with food. YUM :D
      I love my mom and I'm so happy to have her support...because if I didn't it would be a different story- I probably wouldn't have pursued my career in culinary!
        Welp, unfortuantely I'm off to study soon ... gahh. Gotta get my snacks ready- Soy Latte, Glutino sesame pretzels, raisins and almond butter with some blueberry jam!

xoxo aimee

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The CIA, Hyde Park NY

February 3, 2012

You might look at this and kind've wonder...the CIA? reallyy?? I'm talking about THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA in Hyde Park, NY. A different kind of CIA if you ask me. WELL. me and my mom had quite the experience that was beyond amazing. 
First we went to this cute little bakery- oh my goodness it was the bakery of my dreams! Although I was too enthralled by all the chocolate, I didn't ask about their gluten-free options. However, I settled for this cute little macaron :D. It was an apple butter filling with cinnamon sugar cookie. My mom couldn't stop laughing at me because every bite she said my eyes lit up! My mom got some Potato Leek soup with a multigrain THAT looked heavenly! My mom is definitely praying I get into this school! :P
I took these on our tour. The first picture is the view right off of the main part of the campus. It overlooks the Hudson River, which is a beautiful scene! The other picture is of one of the restaurants at the school, Ristorante Catarina de' Medici. I love this one because it's an Italian Restaurant and when I sent a picture of this to my dad he was so excited! So, I guarantee this is where my dad will be taking me when he visits ;]

 Dinner was next...and it was probably one of the best dinners I have ever had. Everything was perfectly proportioned, well plated AND they brought out gluten free bread! I was SO happy because all of their bread looked AMAZING. And also, since all of their food is cooked right on the campus by the students, it brought warm fuzzy feelings to me to know that they are making gluten-free stuff on campus! Overall, this day rocked my socks off.

I wanted to start off with this post because this is my FIRST post. I feel like after I experienced this adventure, I fell more in love with my future goal of becoming a Pastry Chef. I love food...and this blog definitely brings out a lot of my passion for it. But of course! you will definitely be seeing a lot of recipes I've made and whatnot so stay tuned!