Healthy Carrot Pineapple Muffins

Morning! Last night, my hubba hubba husband was on HSN (Home Shopping Network) again representing Natori and selling perfume. Check it out here. Bravo!!!! And now, to the post…..Gwyneth Paltrow wins again! Her recipe for carrot pineapple cake (or muffins) is a champion winner. Hot dog, she sure knows what she is doing. These refined sugar-free and gluten-free carrot pineapple muffins are incredible — perhaps my favorite dessert recipe to date! Do me a favor and make these tasty desserts (or breakfast) today!

 

Final product.

Final product.

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GP’s Lalo Cookies

Thumbprint cookies (I used blueberry jam and lingonberry jam).

Yep, another Gwyneth Paltrow recipe. I can’t help myself!!!! I love her recipes and ingredients so much!!! Plus if I eat like her, I will look like her, right? These cookies are the bomb (yep, used that word, say what 2003). They are dense, sweet, healthy, and hit-the-spot. They are more like a granola bar than a cookie. But healthy snack trumps oreos anyday.

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Dang Coconut Chips

Hope everyone had a nice weekend….I ended up getting the stomach flu on Friday….and let me tell you it was SO

 

UNFUN. Beyond unfun. Horrible. Horrific. Nightmare. Barf. Gross. Gulp. NEVER AGAIN. Oh My Goodness. Luckily, I had a devoted and loving husband; understanding and caring children; and wonderful, supportive friends. And I was better in no time at all!

 

I woke up to these beautiful flowers from the flu. These of course put a smile on my face.

I woke up to these beautiful flowers, which of course put a smile on my face.

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Gooey Butter Cake

Officially sweets-obsessed, nothing makes me happier (and sugar-drunk) than eating Gooey Butter cake. This little piece of heaven was first introduced to me by my fabulous friend, Heidi-ho, a native St. Louis, mother, lawyer, *AND* an amazing chef and baker.  Heidi grew up eating this cake, which is traditionally made in her hometown. It is the perfect combination of a brownie and a flourless chocolate cake… but without the chocolate.

Yep, folks, this is for reals. SO RIDICULOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS.

Yep, folks, this is for reals. SO RIDICULOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS.

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Best Babka in NYC!

True story: On Saturday night, a friend brought me a loaf of babka (jewish sweet bread) form a new bakery (Breads Bakery).  By Sunday, I had eaten the entire gift (with the help of my husband) and was so in need of the another loaf that I traveled 46 blocks to get my fix on Monday. Yep, a babka junkie. Because OH MY GOD, this sweet delicious amazing ridiculous cake slash bread is to-die-for. I literally had one hour free of time between a work commitment and my kids waking up from nap, but I had to HAD TO go get another loaf.

Or four.

babka

This heavenly piece of cake is from Breads Bakery, an Israeli bakery in Union Square that opened in February 2013. Israeli (Danish trained) Uri Scheft is a seasoned baker with a store in Tel Aviv and now in NYC. The bakery carries a variety of savory breads, cookies, rugelachs, and most importantly, babka.

breads

This babka is worth the calories and the travel time. You want (and will) eat every crumb. The babka is made with cultured butter from France, and then a mixture of Nutella and Belgian dark-chocolate chips. This sounds amazing, right? But then it is topped off with sugar syrup that gives it a rich, crisp crust with a moist, soft inside. Holy crap, that good (thank god I am not diabetic). The babka lasts several days, and tastes good defrosted (so if you stock up like me and want to hoard them, they still taste good!) During checkout, my first question to the cashier was whether or not they deliver (answer: not currently).

Old time bakery feel.

Old time bakery feel.

Everything about Breads Bakery looks and smells delicious. They are dedicated to producing artisanal, handmade breads using traditional baking techniques (and many made with whole grains). Being in the bakery makes me want to run away and become a baker. But since that is not going to happen, the next best thing is eating a loaf of babka every week.

The cashier asked me if I was throwing a party (when I bought 4 babkas and 8 rugelachs). OOPS! Party in my BELLY!!!!!

The cashier asked me if I was throwing a party (when I bought 4 babkas and 8 rugelachs). OOPS! Party in my BELLY!!!!!

Some more sweet options on the menu.

Some more sweet options on the menu.

Three of the four loaves.

Three of the four loaves.

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Passover Traditions

Morning! For those of you who celebrated Passover last night — or who are celebrating it again tonight (and even for you NON Jews who want a special treat!), my lovely friend Heidi-ho (nickname) made an AMAZING treat for all us Josie Girls (Jews, Christians, and all religions alike)! Since I am solo in Florida with the kids, and therefore being a bad Jew and eating bread, more bread, and MORE bread, AND not having a seder or two or ten to attend….. I am thrilled Heidi-ho is riding to the rescue with a great post on the tradition of Passover .and the food that comes with it! (And come back for another guest blog on Friday on Easter traditions from Georgia Frasch). Without further ado, my lovely friend and guest blogger Heidi will take it from here:

Heidi. Don't you just LOVE her already? So fitting (jew special post) that we met each other in 1996 on an Israel Team Tour. She didn't know Oregon had jews, and I had no idea someone could be so fun. (Good trade off, huh?)

Heidi. Don’t you just LOVE her already? So fitting that we met each other in 1996 on an Israel Team Tour. She didn’t know Oregon had Jews, and I had no idea someone could be so fun. (Good trade off, huh?)

Does your kitchen smell like brisket today?  Ah, mine does!  The sweet celebration of Passover is upon us and, while we may lose out on bread and some other fun carbs for eight days, we do okay with some Passover specialties.  Favorites like matzo ball soup (this is the version simmering on my stove this year!), matzo brie (trust me), matzo bark (the kosher-for-passover version of this) and I haven’t even started on the real desserts yet.  Stay with me – it’s coming.

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