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Smoked Almond, Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookies

July 23, 2015

Back in May I had the opportunity to attend a food blogger event for the launch of Safeway’s Open Nature Super Premium Ice Cream. This post is a recap of the food and fun that led to the creation of these Smoked Almond, Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookies!      Smoked Almond Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookies | Fake Food Free

It’s not everyday that you get invited to taste ice cream. Well, okay. It probably happens a little more often for a food blogger than the average person, but that makes it no less exciting. 

Back in May I got invited to hang out with a great group of food bloggers to learn about the launch of Safeway’s Open Nature Super Premium Ice Cream. I’ve been really curious about the Open Nature brand and I was completely sold on checking out Safeway’s commercial kitchen so I took the short drive to Pleasanton for an incredibly fun few days. 

I have to be completely honest. You know I make a lot of things. Many things from scratch that most people buy at the store. But after several years of my from-scratch lifestyle there are a few things that I’ve voted best made by the professionals. Ice cream is one of those for me.

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Lentils with Curry Turkey Meatballs and Lemon Spinach

July 8, 2015

In this recipe, slow cooker lentils are topped with turkey meatballs and then brightened with a sprinkle of fresh spinach for an easy one-bowl meal!
Lentils with Curry Turkey Meatballs and Lemon Spinach | Fake Food Free | Slow cooker lentils are combined with turkey meatballs and topped with fresh spinach in this one-bowl meal!

I tend to eat in earth tones. It’s something I didn’t realize until I began photographing my food.

Think about it. The occasional leafy green aside, many healthy foods are pretty much a big bunch of off white, beige and brown.

Lentils, beans, chickpeas, cauliflower, oats, onions, garlic, meats, mushrooms — all pretty much the same boring color. It’s unfair, too, because they can be pretty darn delicious. 

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Apple Peanut Dog Treats Recipe

August 2, 2014

This post continues my series on peanut flour. If you’d like to read more, check out the Peanut Chile Rubbed Pork Chops and the Nectarine Coconut Peanut Flour Scones

Apple Peanut Dog Treats |

As soon as I read that peanut flour would make a nice addition to dog treats, I knew I couldn’t leave the pugs out of my recipe experiments. I hadn’t made homemade treats in a while and I got the feeling they were missing them.

They had no idea that what was going on in the kitchen had anything to do with them. I mixed, I baked, but then, I got ready to photograph.

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Fat Replacers: Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

October 12, 2010
When I say fat replacers, you probably know by now that I’m not talking about taking fat out and replacing it with a filler. No, I happen to like fat; real, healthy fat. Such as the kind that comes from coconut oils, grassfed cows, pastured pork and chickens, olive oil and nuts. 
I find I no longer identify fat by types, but rather, by source. As a result, I rarely think of saturated, monounsaturated and other long terms I learned in school. Instead, I think natural, healthy fat from an animal or plant, or processed, crap fat (or fat substitute) from a laboratory. 
So when it comes to replacing fat, I’m usually replacing one fat for another. In some cases, the new recipe may even have more fat in it than the original. Either way, it all comes down to playing with my food and my recipes. Something that I love to do!
Last week I found myself faced with a variety of ingredients that desperately needed to be used up before they far exceeded their prime. 
On the list? Bananas, Greek yogurt and coconut milk. 
I first decided on banana chocolate chip bread, and then I decided to replace the butter with yogurt. Then I thought, what the heck, why not add a little coconut milk instead of cow’s milk to the mix. 
What resulted was an incredibly thick batter. I didn’t have high hopes that this creation would even be edible. 
But guess what! I ended up with some the best quick bread to come out of my kitchen. It baked up and browned nicely. The inside was tender with a slightly chewy crust. The banana, small amount of sugar and yogurt contributed to a slight sweetness that worked pleasantly with the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate
The only downfall is that this bread takes some serious baking and careful watching to make sure it is cooked through. But once it is done, you’ll be ready to make it all over again!
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
1/3 cup demerara sugar
2  eggs
½ cup honey Greek yogurt
1 banana, mashed
¾ cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ cup dark chocolate chips (I used 60%)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs . Stir in the yogurt, banana, coconut milk and vanilla.
 Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet batter just until everything is combined.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, de-pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 1 loaf, about 12 slices.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I wanted to draw your attention to the two new badges on my right sidebar. One of my favorite bloggers and health professionals, Michelle at Find Your Balance Health is offering two new web-based workshops at the end of the month. I gladly agreed to help her promote the classes. 
Healthy, Happy Family is a teleseminar for busy, overwhelmed moms, and Building a Baby Ready Body is for hope-to-be or soon-to-be moms.
Michelle’s workshops focus on real food and achieving health and wellness naturally through the foods we eat and the way we live. If you are interested in the workshops, you can click on the badges to find out more.

Washington DC Recap

May 15, 2009

I’m back once again, however, still on the road. I had a wonderful trip to DC with my parents and brother and now I’m in Kentucky catching up on some things and with some friends while my husband attends a conference.

I say this because I have a great food recap from DC, but the recipe posts will still be slim until I return to a kitchen. I’ve got some reviews and health focused material though so I hope that will keep you interested until I return to making my own food.

We stayed in Alexandria, VA which has quickly become one of my favorite cities in the US. I just love its historic, quaint feel and there is so much to do and so many places to eat there! The local restaurants around every corner and the fact that it is such a dog-friendly community really draw me in.

The highlight of our trip when it comes to food was definitely our dinner at Chadwicks. We got the recommendation from our shuttle driver and he definitely knows good food. The restaurant overlooks the water and inside has the cozy feel of a pub meets family restaurant.

My dinner was fantastic! I debated a while because there are so many good offerings, but finally decided on the Fish Tacos. They are the best I have had by far. I missed the part on the menu where it said the fish was fried and while the healthy person in me would have preferred grilled, I will not lie – the beer battered rockfish was excellent and really made the dish.

The platter came with three grilled tortillas, three pieces of fish, shredded cabbage, a colorful homemade salsa, a chunky guacamole and the best part – a spicy red chili sauce. Everything went so well together. I couldn’t have made a better choice.

Other selections in the family included the grilled chicken sandwich with onion rings and marinated chicken with sweet potato fries.

On another night we went to the Capitol City Brewing Company. My husband and I stopped here on our last trip and I was an instant fan. I love microbreweries and this time I was thrilled to find that they had a seasonal Heifweizen on tap. It was light with a fruity aftertaste. It hit the spot after a long day of walking.

I enjoyed the grilled portabella mushroom burger topped with veggies and cheese with a salad and balsamic vinaigrette. Another great choice!

My dad feasted on the bratwurst sandwich which is what we had when my husband and I went the last time. A huge bratwurst on a hoagie bun topped with kraut and cheese.

Check out these little food carts called SmartKarts. They were several places around the city boasting healthy choices of 100% beef hotdogs and one cart had empanadas and tacos. They were so cute when they closed up to drive around the city. They looked like a mini panel truck.

We arrived back to the Louisville airport on Thursday and there were still a lot of things hanging around from the Derby celebrations. One of these things was Woodford Reserve Bourbon balls, but not just any bourbon balls. These were Mint Julep flavored.

I noticed them on our flight out and my mom surprised my husband and I with a box at the end of our trip! These little bonbons were full of minty, bourbon, chocolate flavor. The perfect end to a fun and food filled trip!
Just a reminder. Entries for the Mango Challenge are due on May 22nd! You’ve got less than a week left!

Lemonade Award

January 28, 2009

I have a feeling lemonade is the last thing on everyone’s mind in the US. I doubt ice, snow and power outages are making you think of summers on the back porch with a tall glass of the good stuff. I hope things are well where you are and you are staying safe and warm.

Daydream with me just a bit that those summer days are just around the corner because I have good news to share. Tangled Noodle honored me with the Lemonade Award! How cute is that?

If you haven’t checked out Tangled Noodle, put it on your list right away. She has a unique perspective on food and life and her posts creatively intertwine her family and ethnic background. You will learn a lot. Her post about The Faces Behind the Food really hit home with me. I love food history and appreciate those who hang on to those cultural traditions.

So now I get to hand out a little sweetness of my own. I’d like to give the award to one of my regular reads Eating Well Anywhere.

This was one of the first food blogs started reading. Laura is full of helpful kitchen tips, answers your most creative food questions and shares wonderful recipes made with fresh ingredients. How about some Chili with Wheat Berries? I bet she has one somewhere for amazing lemonade.

Nominate Your Favorite

January 8, 2009

I seem to be all about awards lately. This time it isn’t about getting or giving one, but about sharing the word so you can nomiate your favorites.
I was catching up on Twitter and found some information on the 2008 Food Blog Awards on the Well Fed Network. It looks like a fun contest with some cool categories. I just wanted to share the word so you can nominate your favorites. I’m planning to sit down tonight and nominate some of my must-reads. The deadline is tomorrow (Jan 9) at midnight US EST.

My First Award

January 7, 2009

I am way behind in posting this, but better late than never. Back in December Cathy at A Life Less Sweet honored me with a Fabulous blog award. I am happy to receive my very first blogging award. Thanks, Cathy!!

If you haven’t checked out Cathy’s blog head over there. She has such great information to share as her family works toward reducing HFCS intake.

The Fabulous Award Rules
1) You must pass it along to 5 other fabulous blogs. I have many favorites. Here are some of them.

A Good Appetite
Fit Bottomed Girls
Itzy’s Kitchen
Tangled Noodle

2) You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions.

Hmmm…I can only pick 5?

Travel, MTV reality shows, Sleeping in (I’m so not a morning person), Mystery novels, Bagels

Back to a Busy Week

December 23, 2008

First I want to say thanks so much for all the well wishes for my trip. We had an amazing time! I really had no doubts that we would. Jamaica is an amazing place from food to beaches to people.

I have so much to share with you regarding the food and even some thoughts regarding health that were sparked by parts of our vacation. I’ve been thinking, though, everyone is probably just as busy as I am this week. I have done zero blog reading with all my holiday preparations with family.
To top it off we are headed to Las Vegas for New Years. I hope it will turn into some great food posts, but it will also mean more time away from the computer.
So I’ve decided to save my travel posts for after the new year when things calm down. I haven’t had much time to go through any pictures yet.
Tomorrow I do have one last sweet treat to post about before Christmas officially arrives. I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and that the weather hasn’t ruined too many plans.

Merry Christmas!

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish with Breadfruit

10% Off at You Bar

December 5, 2008

I just wanted to share this good news for anyone who didn’t catch up on the comments. Ava, the co-founder of You Bar, is offering a 10% discount to Fake Food Free readers on orders until January 1st. Just put “Fake Food Free” in the coupon code.

I think it is great news and hopefully it will make them a little more affordable for those who couldn’t swing the original price. Also, if you are worried about not liking your creative selection no need to be concerned. They will remake the order and ship them for free if you are not satisfied.

In the comments Ava shared a little about the company. She started it with her son when they were looking for a bar without milk proteins due to an allergy.

Just go to if you’d like to take advantage of the discount. Be sure to stop back by and let us know how you liked them. I’d also love to know more about the total ingredient list. You know me and bars and limiting the processed foods.

Have a great weekend everyone!