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Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales

I have to admit that I've always been a little leery of making tamales, I mean, leave it the experts right?  I'm fully confident of making desserts, pastries, and other main dishes but never once have I even attempted to make one of my favorite foods, the tamale. That is, until I was given the chance to check out a copy of Vegan Tamales Unwrapped: A Step by Step Guide to Savory and Sweet Tamales from Dora Stone of Dora’s Table. Then, as fate would have it, I also happened to catch an episode of Diners, Drive-ins & Dives which featured a lady making tamales!  It didn't look too hard.  SO with my new found confidence and ebook in hand, I committed to making Dora's Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales.

Rich & decadent chocolate cake, layered with sweet coconut icing & drizzled in chocolate ganache.

The most amazing Gluten free & allergy friendly German Chocolate cake around! Ummmm, chocolate!  I have always associated chocolate with the holidays. Chocolate chip cookies for Santa, hot chocolate by the fireplace, milk chocolate candies in pretty boxes, and then there is chocolate cake.  But not just any cake, rich & decadent German Chocolate Cake with that sweet & sticky coconut glaze to be exact.  Doesn't the sound of that bring a smile to your face?  And you haven't even had a bite yet.  Well, we're going to fix that! 

Looking for a quick treat to make your guests this holiday season?  Look no further because I have an incredibly easy, deliciously creamy, SunButter pumpkin pie  that you'll want to be making. 

  It actually started out as a non-peanut butter fudge that just didn't turn out solid enough.  But what it did have, was this wonderfully sweet and decadent flavor that I just couldn't resist.  Then that little light bulb in my head went off and all I could think of was remaking it as a pie filling!  And "wha-la" an allergy-friendly, top 8 free, gluten-free & vegan dessert.  Are you ready to get baking? 

Homemade stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving and should be eaten more than once a year.

This is truly something to be thankful for!  Our family favorite stuffing, made vegan & allergy-friendly

When I was younger, Thanksgiving was a big deal!  The entire family would gather together at my Grandparents house for a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings!  Mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade rolls, and best of all STUFFING!  Oh my goodness, stuffing was my favorite. That was, until I learned what was in it!  Sausage, bacon, giblets (including the liver and heart of the turkey) and all the pieces of meat that came off the bones from the turkey neck. Eeew, so gross!

But here's the thing, back then, it was so delicious!  All the flavors that melded together, all the layers of texture, it really did outdo any bagged stuffing mix.  Thankfully, after years of messing with my Grandma's recipe, I've recreated it to be completely allergy-friendly as well as vegan!  The texture is still there and the flavor.....amazing! This is absolutely the best Allergy-friendly Stuffing (without all those giblets) that you'll want to serve this Thanksgiving.

Papas Nachos- this is what would happen if french fries and nachos had a baby! 

  What better way to kick off Labor Day weekend, than with football games, end of Summer pool parties and Papas Nachos! What? You've never heard of Papas Nachos before?  Don't worry, I hadn't either until I went to Mexico. But if you like loaded nachos and you like french fries, then your taste buds are in for a treat.  

Satisfy your chocolate cravings and give yourself a little boost with these vegan & allergy-friendly protein bites.

  My kids are always asking me to make more protein balls.  Every time I make them, they get gobbled up.  I could totally complain about how quickly they burn through these little treats, but I really can't .  I mean, there could be worse things they want to eat. Thankfully, you can whip up a batch or two of them in no time, because no cooking is required.  Yesterday, I tried my hand at a different combination and OH MY  GOODNESS,  these are just so so good.  Rich, chocolatey, bursting with espresso and best of all, hidden inside these little gems, is protein.  Yay for SunButter & Arbonne Chocolate protein powder!  

Zesty, fresh & nutritious vegan Pad Thai. It’s a little bit of sweet, a little bit of sour, and slightly nutty without the nuts.

  Nut allergies suck!  There's no other way to say it. Although we have multiple life-threatening allergies in our home, this nut allergy is my least favorite for Xander to have.  I can avoid having nuts in my home, I can avoid baking with it, but it is so incredibly difficult to avoid coming into contact with it elsewhere.  Think of all the PB & J sandwiches out there! Or crackers, or cookies, or smoothies, not to mention the oil people fry their stuff in.  It's endless, especially when you include the variety of foods from other cultures such as Indian, African and Asian. Although I love the experience of trying these different global cuisines, but many are prepared in ways that are uncommon to us and if you throw in language barriers, then it can be even trickier.  Asian dishes (Korean, Japanese, Chinese & Thai) vary in ingredients but contain many of the top eight allergens, including peanuts.  Recently, I found out that fried egg rolls or spring rolls can be sealed with peanut butter!  I never would have thought that.  But of all the Asian cuisines, Thai food is heavy in peanut rich dishes. Nuts are incorporated for adding flavoring, thickening the sauce or garnishing, such as in Pad Thai. But don't give up hope! This Pad Thai recipe is to show you that you can easily recreate the dishes you loved without using nuts or any of the other top allergens.

How do you make an adult snow-cone? With coffee of course!

  Coffee,,, it's a pretty wonderful drink.  I can drink it hot or cold, but never lukewarm! Morning or late night or even somewhere in between.  It's by far my drink of choice. When I'm not drinking a cup of it,  I'm using it in my recipes!  Have you tried that before? Instead of using the liquid listed, substitute all or half of it with coffee or espresso.  It turns a morning smoothie into a protein packed perk-me-up!  Or a delicious cake into something spectacular.  It turns sweet icing into something decadent.  Basically, it turns great in to amazing! Do you know what else it makes extra special? ICE!  That's right, ice. Think of it as an adult snow-cone, and I don't mean the liquored up kind of sno-cone.  I mean the caffeine infused kind! A Coffee Granita.