#allthelove

There’s so much to tell you in this post!

First of all, I’m an Auntie for real! It’s so exciting to welcome Avery Kate to the world, the first daughter of my brother and his wife, Stephanie! Isn’t Miss Avery cute??? My brother and Steph ain’t too bad lookin’ either 😉 Love you guys!

{yeah. I’m related to them. #boom} 

Stephanie just so happens to be the amazing photographer/baker/writer behind Girl vs. Dough. Be prepared to drool once you head over there. But you should definitely head over there today becauseI’m sharing an amazzzzzing recipe. I’m more than happy to bake delicious things so they can snuggle Avery extra for me.

caramelapplecake2

Caramel Apple Crumb Cake. Say no more. I swoon thinking about this cake. Even the smell of it is highly intoxicating, not to mention its depth of crumbs and caramel-y goodness. Oooo, you need to make this! Just in case that photo doesn’t get your mouth drooling, how about a video of the caramel drizzle:

Yeah, that oughtta do it.
I present to you: Caramel Apple Crumb Cake. #makeitnow
Now Stephanie doesn’t sit still for long! While pregnant with Miss Avery she also created her eCookbook Quick Bread Love. Woahhhhhhh are there some good-sounding recipes in here, ya’ll! Let me further entice you: Coconut-Chai Tres-Leches Muffins? Yes please. Or perhaps Roasted Blueberry-Basil Corn Bread for those of you with a salty tooth. That’s just the beginning. There are 30 tasty recipes in all, plus Steph’s tips and tricks. 
Quick Bread Love eCookbook
*affiliate link 🙂 
I can guarantee you’ll find something you canNOT live without in this e-cookbook of Stephanie’s! 
So there you have it: #allthelove. Baby love, family love, caramel-apple love, and Quick Bread Love. 
So much love!
xo
Natalie

Chocolate Chai Oatmeal

I know this doesn’t look like anything special. But the flavor, oh-my-goodness the FLAVOR
Chai + Chocolate = Genius.
I got the idea from Chocolate Covered Katie (love her site) but fiddled with the recipe a bit.
I also had a Chocolate Chai Latte at Starbucks not too long ago so you can bet I’ll be making a version of that for ya’ll soon!
Chocolate Chai Oatmeal for One
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk
3/4-1 cup boiling water (depending on how you like your oatmeal)
1 1/2 tsp. loose chai mix or 1 chai teabag
Pinch salt
2 tsp. sugar (adjust to your liking/needs…obviously I wouldn’t recommend this EVERY day…but you might want to lower the cocoa powder amount if you do this because the cocoa can be bitter)
2 tsps. cocoa powder
Steep the chai in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes to get some good flavor in there. Remove the tea mix or bag and add the brewed chai to the rolled oats and milk in a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and the sugar. Microwave for approximately 3 1/2 minutes. Let stand in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder and top with a few chocolate chips if you have them handy. Enjoy! 
xo
Natalie

Revitalize Part 2

{This week I’m giving you my tried & true, tested, specific ideas for getting out of a slump!}
Tuesday:
Overnight Oats//Solid Breakfast

{overnight oats with banana, sunflower nut butter, and chocolate-covered cacoa nibs for the win!}

A solid breakfast in the morning consistently really helps me when I’m feeling out of sorts. It takes a teeny tiny bit of effort, but the results are so worth it. I actually enjoy the routine of making my overnight oats at night and relishing the fact that I will have a refreshing, healthy breakfast to grab while I read my #HelloMornings. I wake up, start my tea water, and check in with HelloMornings. Then I top my oats, make my tea, and settle in to read scripture for awhile. Such a good way to bring light back to your heart. To get in the habit of making my oats, I made a fridge chart and made them every weekday for a week. Then I did it the next week. Now it’s second nature!
Overnight Oats

In a bowl combine: 
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (gluten-free if need be)
1/2 cup yogurt (I like banana or raspberry)
1/2 cup milk (I’ve been doing coconut milk or almond milk)
Glug of maple syrup
1 tsp. flax seeds
Mix well, cover, and refrigerate overnight. It’s that easy, and it uses one measuring cup and one spoon. In the morning, top it up! I usually do banana, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and sunflower nut butter, but I switch it up sometimes. Try adding jam or dried fruit, fresh berries, or anything else you can come up with! I fiddle the first week with several overnight oats recipes with different ratios, and this was my personal favorite. But feel free to add more or less liquid as you please.
Enjoy!

xo

Natalie

Tea Cakes {with Coffee}

These little tea cakes are just so adorable. They are happy, and that makes me happy 🙂 And they taste about 1000 times better than they look. 

I know these are technically meant to be eaten with tea in the afternoon. But I say, Why not with coffee in the morning? I’m an adult, I can make that call, right? 

Besides, the light was landing on that one in the back, illuminating it and saying, “Pick me! Pick me!” 
Eat dessert first! And by first, I mean, for breakfast!

Oh. Yeah.
I also ate an egg for breakfast because, y’know, adults have to make the tough decisions.

These would be brilliant to have in a pretty basket down on the kitchen counter by the coffee maker for early-rising Christmas guests. They’ll feel like royalty in a 100-diamond hotel. Which is way, way, way better than a 5-star hotel. Duh!
This is the marvelous Gesine’s recipe, which I made gluten-free using Bob’s Red Mill GF flour, added some almond extract, and used my mini-mini bundt pan from Nordicware. Show her the love for this amazing recipe!
 Enjoy! 

Good Morning!

Gooooood Morning! It’s Friday! 
Sooo…I’m wondering. How did donuts ever manage to get the “breakfast food” distinction, while just-as-sweet treats like cakes, cookies, etc. were snubbed and called “dessert only”? I’m not sure who decided that. Give me a banana, cheese stick, and piece of chocolate cake for breakfast, and I can power through the day. Granted, I do NOT indulge for breakfast very often, and do not think it is necessarily the best way to start my day, but being an adult does have its advantages. Like eating cake for breakfast.
 I just remembered: this was Kate Spade’s adorable advertising/motto earlier this year! 
Amazing and so much fun. How cute are those outfits?!
Have a great day!

I Heart Rhubarb

There are a lot of really good things in life.
Like fair-trade certified “Heavenly Chocolate with a Heart” in gold packaging.

And a scalloped yellow bowl full of organic strawberries & rhubarb from a friend. 

The sunlight streaming in to illuminate a round of scones, bursting with happy flavor, ready to be baked.

Again, natural light to illuminate the golden-brown of some irresistible baked goods.

And sometimes, when you take that chocolate, and drizzle it over the scones, it’s like, EVEN better. 
This is my pretty new Kate Spade heart ring that I’m loving! It’s been on my list for awhile to “up” my gold jewelry stash. I seem to have fallen into a definite silver-only jewelry rut.
One of my best friends and I have been fiddling with a gluten-free scone recipe, trying to get it to mirror the glory days of our regular, gluten-involving past baking (sigh). These are definitely yummy, but too dense for a traditional scone. Alas, we haven’t nailed it yet, but here is my most recent iteration, which you’re welcome to try.
Gluten-Free Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Scones with White Chocolate Glaze
by Good Girl Style 
3 cups Pamela’s Baking Mix (almond/gluten free flour mix)
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. xantham gum
8 TBSP.s butter
3/4 cup light cream
1 egg
1 1/4 -1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries and rhubarb
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in the butter. Mix the cream and egg, and toss it with the dry ingredients until it all comes together. Fold the fruit in gently. If the dough is too dry, add a splash more milk. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and turn it over once before patting into a round. Cut or score into triangles, and transfer to baking sheet. These held together better for me when I just scored the circle and cut post-baking. Bake at 350 for 15-20 mins. or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. 

Glaze:
 I used the Divine White Chocolate with Strawberries pictured above (melted), a splash of cream, a pinch of salt, and a bit confectioner’s sugar. I’m sorry I didn’t measure, but just fiddle until you get the consistency you like, then drizzle away!
Soooooooo how many scones do you think is TOO many for breakfast? Three?
😉
xo



Friday Morning

Goooooooooood morning, loverlies! I was up and at ’em early this morning, something my heart delights in in the summer. Though I wouldn’t call this chilly, windy morning “summer” quite yet. What better morning treat for a Friday than a creamline Orange Creme organic yogurt made with milk from 100% grass-fed cows, along with some “hippie” cookies I made last night, spread with the leftovers of the maple cream cheese. Then there’s my newly thrifted 1970s Norwegian mug over on the left. Some local half and half, and a french press of coffee waiting in the background…

“Cookies” for breakfast. Hey, they have applesauce & raisins in them! And millet! And chia seeds! Whatever those last two things are! (just kidding…I know what they are, that’s just the coffee talking.)

And some morning encouragement…



Have a beautiful day, you lovely readers with beautiful hearts! 

xo

Friday Morning

Good Friday Morning, lovelies! How are you? I am coming down with a bit of a cold, I’m afraid. Anywhoo, I know I usually share my Friday morning tea, but this morning (along with my tea), I’m having some toast and beautiful, lovely, cold, organic local milk from a glass bottle. I LOVE milk in glass bottles.  I’ve gotta admit, I’ve always been a bit of a milk ‘snob.’ I can’t stand milk that is even slightly warm or slightly old. And I’ll tell you a secret…milk from glass bottles gets COLDER. 
Living in New England, I love to support local, family farms.
Plus, how cute is this glass bottle in my fridge with my coordinating Gluten-Free bread? 
Makes a girl happy. 
The little things–it is, yes, the little things. Have a great one!
(PS. I’m scared to post another outfit because I love my last one so much, I’m not sure I can ‘top’ it! Ha.)

Baked Grapefruit

{Pick the perfect grapefruit from your lovely bowl in the fridge. Goodness I love a bowl of citrus in the fridge!}
This is pure winter sunshine. Straight from Florida. Or California. 

{Wash it.}
Via the grocery store. Y’know. Organic if you gots a few extra dollars to drop. 
{Cut in half and drink in that gorgeous color. Gah!}

Citrus is in season in the winter, and what a boon that is! A shot of delicious summer and some great Vitamin C to combat winter illness and blues.

{Place on a baking sheet and drizzle liberally with honey}

And honey is great for you in winter, too. Has so many natural healing properties!

{Sprinkle with a heavy hand of cinnamon, too.}
Cinnamon is such a great spice for your system, too. Helps combat diabetes, warms you up, eases a cold, and helps with digestion!
{350 degree oven for 15 minutes while you get ready for the day. Just make sure you set the timer!}
This is great by itself with a cup of tea, or a slice of toast, too. 
But I’ll share another morning recipe soon that it goes especially well with 🙂
Enjoy your dose of morning sunshine!

Have a great one, beautifuls!

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