Light Blueberry Coffee Cake Recipe – Starbucks Copycat

I promise we eat other things besides breakfast… and yet here I am sharing my super easy blueberry breakfast cake. The thing is…I love weekends. Especially Saturday mornings. We aren’t rushed to go anywhere and I have the time to make something as delicious as this blueberry cake that my whole family will enjoy.

Blueberry Coffee Cake Light Recipe -Starbucks Copycat

You all know how much I love Starbucks. I  get my caffeine fix from the little green place once a week (if that)… and once in a while I get a little treat. I also love their cranberry orange scones… but now I like my recipe better too.

One day,  I tried their reduced fat blueberry cake and all of us in the car were hooked. It’s moist, cake-y, has some blueberries and overall it tastes delicious.

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New Food Battles: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

Confession: I’ve been struggling with food.  Not in an unhealthy kind of way… but in the way that someone on a diet looks at a brownie and says… I can’t have it! It’s difficult to be tempted like that all day long; especially when you work around food, write about food, and cook food like it’s going out of style!

Last week, we figured out that Baby Gabriel is lactose intolerant (the cows milk/powdered milk ingredient in formula).  While he is still breastfed, I’ve been supplementing a couple of feedings to build a reserve and so I didn’t have to pump every 3 hours.  Before some of you La Leche League peeps get all over my formula feeding; read my recent post on having talked to lactation nurses to get help.

After trying a couple different formula varieties over a few weeks time, it was apparent that he projectile vomited an hour after a feeding when given one made with cow’s milk.  I haven’t tried soy because I don’t want him on soy based formulas.  So now, he’s on Similac’s version for “fussiness and gas” that is made with the milk proteins but not the lactose.  He seems to tolerate it well.

What does this have to do with gluten free and dairy free you wonder?  Well, just about when I had given up on breastfeeding all together (latching issues, let-down issues, over supply, painful all around… and horrible back pain from carrying breasts that are 3 sizes too big) I had to start pumping again to supply Gabriel with my milk to help him heal his intestinal tract.

So here I am, hungry as all could be and missing my freshly baked bread and cheese.  By removing gluten and lactose, Gabriel is supposed to tolerate my breast milk better and further preventing digestive issues.

The first day of a gluten free and dairy free diet was horrible.  I couldn’t come up with anything to eat for breakfast and missed my morning toast with peanut butter! Thank God I thought ahead and bought Lactaid milk at Target to have my morning coffee!

Lunch wasn’t so bad… a large salad with left over chicken breast and I made fish tacos (in corn tortillas) for dinner.  The rest of the week began with a struggle for breakfast (I’ve had fruit and oatmeal all week) and salads with protein for lunch or dinner.

Now, a week later I am feeling good and a bit more prepared.  Just like school lunches, the key to making a dietary change is to have a plan.  I still miss cheese and bread but I’m getting used to experimenting with oatmeal and I even bought a few different flours to make my own gluten free bread.  Gabriel seems to be less fussy and no longer has colicky cries or stomach spasms.  We will see where this adventure takes me for sure… and don’t be surprised if you see a gluten free recipe (or two) pop up in this blog or over at MOMables.

Have you made dietary changes that were difficult? If so, any tips?

**photo credit

Old Fashion Root Beer Cookies

20120227-115529.jpgBeing that I was born and raised in Spain, I don’t have a taste for root beer. I think the first time I tasted root beer was in my late teens, several years after coming to the States.

In a recent brand immersion trip as a Zatarain’s 2012 Ambassador, I was given a bottle of their original product: Root Beer extract. I had never heard of root beer extract before nor did I know what to do with it! I don’t drink root beer… so flavoring anything with it was out of my expertise. Then, I had my own epiphany… what if I swapped out the vanilla extract from my favorite sugar cookie recipe and replaced it with the root beer extract?

This sugar cookie recipe is my grandmother’s “plain” cookie recipe. It was her starter for many cookies, I just replaced the vanilla with the RB extract. The “old fashion” is my fancy term for “lazy” since I don’t roll out the dough like traditional sugar cookies (although you can do that) and cut them into your desired shapes. I use a table spoon to scoop out the dough. The result is an edible version of a root beer float. There is no need to wait for the cookies to cool off to eat them. As soon as you get them out of the oven, top them with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and enjoy! I know you’ll thank me later (printer friendly recipe).

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Root Beer Cookie Ingredients

  3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter -2 sticks (softened at room temperature)
1 egg, lightly beaten (egg should be at room temperature)
3 Tablespoons half-and-half
2 teaspoons Zatarain’s root beer extract

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You can smell the root beer in the dough #delish!

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)

2. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

3. Cut in butter and blend with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.

4. With a fork, stir in lightly beaten egg, root beer extract and half-and-half. Blend well with fork, then your hands to ensure thorough blending.

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Ready to rest in the fridge for 15min

5. Chill dough for 15 minutes.

*If you are rolling the dough, chill dough for one hour and then roll and cut into desired shapes.

6.  Scoop out with 1TB spoon and lay on a baking sheet.

7. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until lightly brown.

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Use a 1TB spoon to measure them out evenly

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Yummmm -makes 2 1/2 dozen

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You know you want to take a bite...