A Little of This, A Little of That

ginghamandeyelet
Loving this combination of oversized gingham and eyelet. 

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Peanut Butter “Buckeye” Bars I made for Big Girls, Small Kitchen

(Edited to add one more thing!) 

If you are a mother of daughters, please check out my friend Dana’s magazine, Modern Motherhood Magazine. It’s digital, short, and free, perfect for mommas, but it gets into deep subjects of raising Godly daughters and discipling them. Dana blessed me by including Good Girl Style in her August issue about Beauty. Check it out here

and something fun for YOU, too! I’m thrilled to have some free codes to take Sally Hogshead’s “How to Fascinate” personality assessment. The test is normally $37 so take advantage of this free code for sure. I love personality assessments, and this one is FANTASTIC. It gives great insight into how the world sees you, rather than how you see the world. You’ll find tidbits to help you be the BEST you and to work to your strengths in all areas of life. 
Me? I’m The Connoisseur…always in-the-know, powered by passion, high standards, and a whole lotta something special. 
Wanna give it a shot to see what YOU are? 
1.) Go HERE.
2.) Enter code: BL-goodgirlstyle 
3.) Come back and share your results in the comments! 

I can’t wait to hear!
xo
Natalie

#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.

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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

Lemon Bars with Almond Crust

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Gooooooooooood Monday morning! How are you on this beautiful, fresh start to a new week? How about some cheerful, bright-yellow, deliciously summery lemon bars to whet your palate? (Also, I am in love with this photo. It looks like a snowglobe and I could look at it for hours. And yes, they really ARE that yellow in real life, thanks to the technique of using a baked lemon curd on top of the crust…more about that in the link below!)

You can find my delicious recipe for gluten-free lemon bars with an almond crust over on Big Girls, Small Kitchen today. Don’t mind me while I eat one with my tea for breakfast-dessert #duh.

Sunshine-y gluten-free lemon bars with an almond crust for breakfast? Yes, please! —–> Tweet This!
Bonus? You can use the topping as a plain-old lemon curd to slather on muffins, scones, waffles, crepes, a spoon straight out of the jar…#justsayin.  

Reese’s Eggs on Big Girls Small Kitchen

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New recipe for Big Girls Small Kitchen (BGSK) today: Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs! Anyone would be more than lucky to get these tucked into an Easter basket (and I definitely just ate one for breakfast, so there’s that). Click here for the recipe!

Unless you follow me on Facebook, I haven’t been sharing these amazing recipes with you, and for that, I offer my apologies. Here are a few of my favorite delicious (gluten-free!) recipes I’ve had the pleasure of creating for Cara over at the wonderful BGSK.

Here are some of my favorites!
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Starting from the top, going clockwise: 
Enjoy!
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

Friday Catch-Up

Hi friends! I’ve been missing you all something fierce lately. Let’s have coffee and chat for a bit, yeah?

God has completely stolen my heart, in the best way possible, lately. He has brought me into such a spacious, beautiful place with Him. He has been giving me the desires of my heart and making my heart desire more and more of Him, every day. #blessingsbacktopraise
There are so many little happy blessings, too, like: 
My advent wreath for 2013 with beautiful beeswax candles in a Swedish wooden heart-and-greens candle holder I dressed up a bit. 
Living in a snowglobe lately!
Beautiful special gifts to brighten my heart from someone I really-really-really-really like 😉 
Blessed to be able to share gluten-free desserts over on the lovely Big Girl Small Kitchen site, such as this Frozen Hot Chocolate and something even fancier coming soon 🙂 
Sharing poetry on my heart over at Darling Magazine…where they take such good care of my words. 
These are just a FEW of the many, many wonderful things in my life right now. I can’t wait to keep sharing with you as we prepare for the coming year. 2014 is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER, I’m pretty convinced 😉 
xoxo
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

Cherry Almond White Chocolate Biscotti {with King Arthur Flour}

If there’s anything Scandinavians like, it’s coffee.
And if there’s anything else they like, it’s any almond-flavored baked good. 
Really, any baked good in general, considering most traditional coffee parties have seven dessert options served. No need for seven different desserts, just give me seven of these biscotti!
I’m a good Swede at heart, and I take my coffee strong and black, sometimes with a bit of sugar. Or, in this case, a Cherry-Almond-White-Chocolate Biscotti with a lot of pearl sugar on top.
These are addictive. Oh yes, very, very addictive. One is not enough, so don’t even try to tell yourself it is. 
Nibble one of the broken bits for breakfast. Dunk one in your  mid-morning coffee. Have one for lunch-dessert. Take an early Fika (coffee time) break. Relax in the evening with a biscotti and a mug of hot tea and your favorite reality TV show (obviously, it’s Bachelor Monday!)
If anyone questions, just tell them it’s Swedish and Natalie told you to; I’m happy to be your excuse.
If you’re feeling generous, offer them a biscotti.
Cherry Almond White Chocolate Biscotti
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup white chocolate
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Beat butter and sugars together. Add the eggs, beating well. Stir in the almond extract. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Reserve one teaspoon of the dry mixture and sprinkle it over the cherries, chocolate chips, and almonds. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and then fold in the cherries, chips, and almonds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The dough will be sticky, but empty it onto the parchment and form it into a long rectangle (using plastic wrap to help form it without getting your hands sticky if necessary), about 16 inches x 4 inches. Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees F. When the baked loaf is cool, use a serrated knife to cut it into strips crosswise about 1″ wide. Then turn the pieces on their cut sides, and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes.
In a small bowl, microwave the remaining 1/4 cup white chocolate chips at 10-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Watch closely as white chocolate burns extra quickly, and you often need to stir it a bit to realize it is fully melted. Remove from microwave and stir in 2-3 drops of orange oil. Drizzle over cooled biscotti. Sprinkle with pearl sugar. 

New Nordic Ginger Chocolate Orange Brownies

This is the first of a few New Nordic recipes I’m creating in collaboration with King Arthur Flour. Brownies are all-American, but I’ve incorporated Scandinavian flavors of ginger, orange, and traditional Swedish pearl sugar. My friend who lives in Sweden says that these could also be baked in a round tin and called Kladdkaka, an unleavened chocolate cake with a gooey center. If you follow me on any social media platform (you totally should, I’m hysterical on Twitter and sappy on Facebook), you’ve seen me raving about these brownies. And discussing techniques for cleaning frosting off my keyboard. 
Uffda. These brownies. 
They are incredible.
They are rich, chocolatey, gooey but not underbaked, and they have a nice crunchy crust and firmer edges.
I honestly think they are the best brownies I’ve ever had, gluten-free or not. 
The frosting?
It tastes exactly like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
Good enough to eat by the spoonful, followed by a gulp of ice-cold milk.
I think it’s the next “Nutella.” 
As if Nutella would ever be “over.” But seriously.
The frosting recipe makes just enough extra for a few spoonfuls (I think of these things. Aren’t you glad we’re friends?).
If you didn’t watch the King Arthur Flour ingredients video, you might be thinking I’ve gone crazy and added giant crystals of kosher salt to my brownies. Fear not, it is actually Swedish Pearl Sugar! This texture switch really makes these brownies knock-out. The fudgy brownies, the whipped frosting, and the crunchy sugar. Orange, chocolate, ginger, and pearl sugar? A match made in New Nordic heaven.

New Nordic Brownies
{Ginger Chocolate Orange Brownies}

Fudgy Ginger Brownies

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (Dutch-process preferred)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Note: This is a unique technique, but don’t let it scare you off! It works, I promise! 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line with parchment paper a 9″x13″ pan. Beat the 4 eggs with the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and ground ginger. This will be a very thick concoction. Now, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar. Heat until thoroughly hot but not simmering, being careful not to scorch the mixture. Combine the two mixtures, adding only a little of the hot butter to the egg mixture at first to temper the eggs. Then stir in the rest of the mixture. Stir in the flour and fresh ginger until just combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Chocolate-Orange Frosting (by Good Girl Style)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Orange Oil from King Arthur Flour
2 Tbsp. milk
Swedish Pearl Sugar from King Arthur Flour
Beat the butter. Then sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, and mix, scraping down sides frequently. Add the orange oil and the milk and beat until whipped. 
Cut and frost brownies when cool, and sprinkle with Swedish Pearl Sugar.
*Ingredients provided by King Arthur Flour. Thank you, KAF!