French Hot Chocolate

French Hot Chocolate (8 of 8)

I hate to be such a Californian right now but this gloomy February weather has me cooped up by the fire in my bungalow. And by gloomy, I mean dark, rainy and 60 degrees. I’m sure my friends back on the East Coast would chew me out right now if they weren’t buried in their abysmal arctic tundra.

Needless to say it’s cold, and this is a recipe to enjoy when it’s cold.

French Hot Chocolate (2 of 8)

This time last year, I was meandering the streets of Paris sightseeing and tasting the city to my heart’s content. My favorite stop on the foodie tour was Angelina’s cafe, the chocolat chaud was a decadent retreat from the frigid winter outside. Sitting in this lavish, gilded cafe; I quickly learned that you haven’t tasted true hot chocolate until you go to France.

French hot chocolate (or chocolat chaud) is thick and decadent; and coats your throat like some sort of warm elixir.  The best part is, it’s very easy to make at home with high quality chocolate and a blender or hand mixer. I have a feeling you’ll be tossing your Swiss Miss soon enough. Enjoy!

French Hot Chocolate (6 of 8)

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Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin Gnocchi (10 of 14)

While I was in New York with my husband over Christmas, we planned on hitting up one of my bucket list restaurants: the Spotted Pig. We braced ourselves for a cold evening spent waiting with our name on a 2 hour wait list, salivating over the ultimate burger while watching warm and happy diners through the window. No reservations…no mercy. I lasted a whole 5 minutes before finding a nice looking bar down the street.

Pumpkin Gnocchi (8 of 14)

I promised my husband, no nibbles – only some wine to warm up while we wait for the snooty looking hostess at the Spotted Pig to text us back. Two drinks later, I placed an order for pumpkin gnocchi. It was perfect meal for that moment in time: soul warming and life affirming. We made the right decision, eating here…We split the last pillowy piece of gnocchi when the host texted us back and asked for the dessert menu.

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Chocolate Caramel Molten Cakes

Chocolate Caramel Mollten Cakes (8 of 9)

Because nothing says “I Love You” more than an oozing caramel chocolate cake. These personal sized molten cakes are super easy to prepare, yet decadent enough for a Valentine’s Day night cap. Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Mollten Cakes (6 of 9)

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Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Thai Pumpkin Soup (5 of 5)  How are we doing on New Year’s Resolutions so far? I’m gonna be honest and say that Cheeseburger week in Pasadena has made it very difficult to stick to mine!

Anyway, as you may recall I’m dedicating the month of January to posting my favorite recipes from the Whole 30 Challenge. We started with my go-to breakfast and now I’m going to present my go-to lunch: a fantastic soup I adapted slightly from one of my favorite blogs, Love and Lemons.

This soup was everything during those 30 days; it was easy to prepare, could be made in bulk and was extremely satisfying. It’s creamy, spicy and warms you from your cheeks through your soul. You don’t have to be on a diet to love this soup, even now I still make it all the time and have been asked for the recipe by multiple people. I’m constantly tweaking this recipe to add more spice or veggies depending on my mood. I encourage you to do the same. Enjoy!

Thai Pumpkin Soup (3 of 5)

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Whole 30 Breakfast Shake

Whole 30 Shake (1 of 1)

Yes, I’m well aware that it’s a total cliche to post a green superfood smoothie at the top of the New Year; but this recipe, adapted from the fabulous Oh She’s Glows blog,  was the cornerstone of my Whole 30 experience. It tastes like a chocolate milkshake but with a host of different nutrients to power me through each morning. I know spinach and chocolate sounds dicey, but I promise you can’t even taste it. Even now that I’ve finished my Whole-30 challenge, I still find myself making this for breakfast most mornings.

It’s lot easier to throw a bunch of stuff in a blender each morning than cook the egg, veggie and sausage type breakfasts typical of the Whole 30/Paleo diet. When blending greens, veggies and seeds it’s important to have a high power blender. Some of my friends swear by the Vitamix but I’m not willing to shell out that kind of money. I purchased the Magic Bullet NutriBullet over a year ago and it still works like a champ.

Whole 30 Shake (1 of 2)

Depending on what I had on hand, I’d tweak and tailor the recipe to change things up – A few slices of avocado, why not?  Cinnamon, flaked sea salt, flax seeds, cashews, cayenne, vanilla, coconut milk, I experimented almost daily with this shake. I’ve discovered my new found love of protein/omega rich hemp hearts. And I finally figured out the perfect use of the latest superfood Maca powder. Of course, there were some fails too: ginger (does NOT go with chocolate!) spirulina (I attempted the ultimate super foodie shake and it was absolutely disgusting. Don’t do it!). Feel free to have fun with this recipe, adding any Whole-30 approved foods to the mix. Enjoy!

Whole 30 Breakfast Shake

Makes 1 serving

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1-2 very soft dates, pitted and chopped**
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1-2 tsp Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened Cacao Powder
  • 2-3 tbsp Hemp Hearts
  • 1 ice cube (optional)
  • Optional dash of cinnamon or sea salt

** If your dates are not soft, soak overnight otherwise they might not blend into the shake. If you’re not doing the Whole 30 challenge, you can also sub a drizzle of honey.

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender and Enjoy!

*Adapted from Oh She Glows

 

Whole 30 Shake (2 of 2)

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