Gingerbread Cookies

Monday, December 12, 2016 Alanna Figueira 2 Comments

Tis the season!  This holiday season is already blowing by, I just want to stop time and slow down the days.  The parties, the street shopping, the lights... I just want it to last forever.  This holiday season had an entirely new feel in our house, as the kids are getting older and really enjoying all the little things.  Their little faces lighting up every night as the neighborhood houses light up and each morning springing out of bed to find that awful little elf. My son watched The Polar Express for the first time this year and I was so happy we was able to understand it in his ripe old age of 6.  I just want to bottle up all of these moments and hope they always feel the genuine joy that I can see in their eyes each day.

As they get older I find it more important to build traditions and of course baking is one of them.  Last year we made tons of sugar cookies and pies and this year I tackled the gingerbread cookie which I was able to get perfect on one try!  I based it off of my sugar cookie recipe.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to compile my recipes and have a place where my kids can find the recipes they grew up on.  Also a place for me to find my recipes, of course!

So the real question...Soft and chewy or hard? Well, I personally like a nice hard frosted G man like the glutinous, delicious Trader Joe ones but I also like a soft and chewy cookie.  Luckily this easy recipe can be made either way just by rolling the dough a little thicker for soft and thinner for hard.  I like to make half the batch soft and half hard... Perfect for dunking in coffee!  This dough is exactly like traditional gingerbread dough if you're familiar with that "needs to be rock hard or sticks to all the things" dough.  It must be chilled to harden, freezing will expedite this. It must also be used in about 4 batches, as it very quickly softens.
For the icing, you can use a traditional royal icing made from confectionary sugar, egg white and water or if you're avoidingrefined sugars, try coconut butter melted and sweetened with a tad of honey, it makes a nice icing.  To be honest, I don't need the icing and I like to just "decorate" them with a toothpick before going in the oven by drawing on their faces.  The kids were equally impressed with this.

On to the recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do and please tag me Instagram when you make them.  I love seeing your creations!  And for the record, I am the worlds worst cookie decorator.  I usually pass off the plate at a party with the forewarning "the kids decorated" so that no one will know I was involved, hahahah.  Not joking though.

Gingerbread Cookies

Servings: 16-20 medium sized gingerbread cut outs
Time:  2 hours 15 mins *2 hours chilling time


1 cup Ottos Casava Flour, packed then leveled off with a knife (164g)
2 tbsp coconut flour
tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp butter (1 stick), softened to room temp
3/4 cup coconut sugar


In a medium mixing bowl add cassava flour, coconut flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.

 a small mixing bowl, whisk together molasses, egg and vanilla extract.

In a large mixing bowl, hand mix on low the butter and coconut sugar until creamed into a mass or a creamy ball.

Add the egg/molasses mixture to the creamed sugar and hand mix on low until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the large bowl in 2 parts, mixing to combine into a smooth batter.

The batter will be sticky and soft.  Use a spatula to push it all he the center into somewhat of a ball.

Chill for 2 hours or until hardened.

Once dough is hard, preheat oven to 375F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Don't take dough out of the fridge until you are all set up and ready to roll!

Take out 2 pieces of parchment paper to use to roll out the dough.  Add a generous amount of cassava flour to the parchment paper and take out about 1/4 of the hard dough.  Sprinkle a little flour on top a droll between the 2 sheets of paper.  Cut out your cookies.  The fatter the softer and the thinner the harder.  If the scraps get too soft and sticky, return to he fridge to harden.

Transfer cookies to parchment lined baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked to a golden brown.

Allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooking before icing, if icing.



Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets with Easy Dairy-free Ranch

Tuesday, May 03, 2016 Alanna Figueira 15 Comments

These nuggets are the closet thing to frozen nuggets I've gotten and the kids love them!  They reheat well too.  Paprika is a bit spicy so you may want to cut it in half for picky kids but these are not too spicy for my kids.  I've been enjoying them over salads with my favorite ranch dressing.  Feel free to make the ranch the original way obviously, but this is an easy way to make with from mayo since these days there are excellent clean mayo choices like Sir Kensington's   Their latest mayo is avocado oil based and tastes amazing.  This way, no emulsions or oils are necessary!  This is plenty ranch for dipping the chicken, but I like to double the recipe to have some on hand for salads.  Please let me know what you think of these nuggets by tagging me on Instagram! 

Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets with Easy Dairy-free Ranch


1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into nugget sized pieces 


1 large egg
2 tbsp mayo 


1/2 heaping cup cassava flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder 
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried turmeric
Cooking spray (I use avocado oil in misto bottle)


Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and top with a baking rack.  Spray baking rack with cooking spray.  

Whisk egg and mayonnaise together in a medium mixing bowl.  Add chicken and mix to coat. 

Add all breading ingredients to a gallon sized ziplock bag.  Add chicken and shake until each piece is evenly coated with batter. 

Place each piece of chicken on baking rack, not touching one another.  Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray.  

Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 mins, or until cooked through, flipping each piece halfway through cooking.  

Easy Ranch


1/2 cup mayo 
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp full fat unsweetened coconut cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Fresh dill


Add everything to a food processor and process until combined.  


Best Buffalo Wings

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 Alanna Figueira 10 Comments

After you make these wings you will never order buffalo wings from anywhere again. Ever.  I'm big on buffalo wings, let's be honest they're the only good thing about football season, that and the free day drinking pass.  These are crispy and the super simple sauce is spicy and buttery and amazing.  I make them and leave them plain for the kids and they dip them in ranch.  Do NOT forget the ranch!  If you can't have blue cheese like me, make a batch of ranch, it's so necessary.

The procedure is very easy.  Just mix the breading mix up in a large gallon size ziploc bag, add the wings, shake shake shake until they're completely dusted.  They fry them in oil, remove from oil and transfer to a baking pan lined with a rack then bake them.  The baking step is not totally necessary, but it sort of dries them out, maximizing flavor by making them super crispy before tossing with the buttery hot sauce.

You can fry these guys in lard, ghee, coconut oil, even avocado oil or some combo of these.  I like to use half coconut oil and half something else.  If you use all coconut oil they will have that taste that some people can't stand.  Use a hot sauce you love!  I love Franks for this and the ingredients are clean.

Best Buffalo Wings


3 lb buffalo cut wings


1/2 cup cassava flour
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 cup frying oil (lard, ghee, coconut oil, or mixture of any of these)


2 tbsp butter or ghee
2/3 cup hot sauce


Preheat oven to 425F, take out a baking tray and place a wire rack on top of the tray.  You can use a cookie cooling rack for this.

Heat a large heavy bottom pan on medium heat.

Mix all breading ingredients in a large gallon sized ziploc bag by combining and giving a shake or 2.

Add wings to bag and shake until evenly coated.

Add half the oil to the heavy bottom pan.  Allow it to heat and then add wings.  Fry for 5 minutes on each side.  Oil should be bubbling and wings are done when golden and crispy on each side.  Transfer done wings to the wire rack using tongs. Wipe pan and use the other half of the oil for the next batch.

Place wings in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

While wings are in the oven, prepare the sauce.  Melt butter of ghee over low heat.  Add hot sauce to a large mixing bowl.  Add melted butter or ghee and mix to combine.

Remove wings and allow to cool for a few minutes before handling then add wings to the bowl of hot sauce and gently toss to coat with sauce.

Serve with celery sticks and ranch.  Enjoy!


Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

Tuesday, January 05, 2016 Alanna Figueira 6 Comments

I've been dying to create a paleo/dairy free potato au gratin because 1.  its delicious and 2.  I made a BOMBtatsic potato au gratin for Christmas with 9 lbs of cheese and heavy cream that was delicious but my face hates dairy so the aftermath was pizza face, or gratin face, or whatever.  Run on sentence anyone?  Anyway, I nailed this one in one try and it happens to be whole30 compliant too!  I'm not exactly doing a whole30 right now, but one of my goals for January is clean eating so I guess you could say I am on day 3 of a whole30, if I was doing a whole30.  I may be doing a whole30.  Anyway.  Here is the recipe.

Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin


5 cups thinly sliced russet potatoes (use a mandolin), about 3 large potatoes


1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp ghee
13.5 oz can full fat, unsweetened coconut milk 
1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 


1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp paprika


Preheat oven to 350F and take out a large baking dish, I used a 9X13 pan.

Slice potatoes using and mandolin and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the ghee.  Add the nutritional yeast and mix to combine.  Add the coconut milk.  Mix until combined and creamy.

Add mayo, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and creamy sauce to a blender.  Pulse until combined.  Add parsley last and pulse once to mix it in.

Pour blender mixture over potatoes in large mixing bowl and mix to combine and fully coat potatoes.

Pour potatoes into baking dish.  Mix almond flour and paprika together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle with topping on and cover with foil.  Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Remove foil and bake another 20-30 mins, until browned on edges and bubbling.

Remove from oven and allow 10 minutes to cool before slicing in.