INFUSED WATER

I am a water snob.  I like to drink water that is refreshing and unique… I get bored {and, therefore, dehydrated} when I try to consume enough basic water.  The best way I’ve found to make myself drink water {and lots of it} is by infusing it.

Start with bottles of water encased in glass.  You can buy these at the store or put purified water in mason jars {or other glass containers} at home.  Put combinations of fresh, organic, local {if possible!} ingredients into the glass jars and refrigerate anywhere from an hour to overnight {depending on how potent you want the infusion to be}.  My favorite water combinations {because they are light and refreshing} are mint & cucumber and lemon & mint.  I also love to put berries, citrus, and watermelon in my water.  What are your favorite combinations?

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RECIPE – THE BEST GUACAMOLE

One of my favorite things to do in Santa Barbara is to host outdoor dinner parties {basically, a slightly upscale version of a barbecue}.  We’ve been fortunate enough to have had beautiful weather as of late, so I was able to host a dinner in January and February.  Without hesitation, I knew I’d be making guacamole to keep people happy before the meal was served.  Each time, the guacamole was gone… every last bit of it.  This is my very favorite guacamole recipe… I hope you love it as much as I do.

RECIPE FOR BLONDER AMBITIONS’ VERSION OF THE BEST GUACAMOLE

  • 5 ripe Hass avocados
  • 3 limes
  • 1 red onion
  • Bundle of cilantro
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • *I like to get all of the ingredients from the local Farmer’s Market
  1. Halve all of the avocados and remove the pits.  Scoop the avocado out and place it in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut all of the limes into quarters.  Squeeze all of the juice on top of the avocado halves in the mixing bowl.
  3. Chop the red onion into small pieces.  Place the chopped onion in the mixing bowl.
  4. Chop the cilantro into fine pieces.  Place the chopped cilantro in the mixing bowl.
  5. Using a fork, mash the avocado and stir in all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl.
  6. Add the salt and pepper to taste.  Give a final stir to the ingredients in the mixing bowl.
  7. Transfer guacamole to a serving dish with fresh tortilla chips and enjoy!

GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN MUFFINS


Looking to do something with the plethora of canned pumpkin stacked in my cupboards {I had over-purchased just in case the zombie apocalypse hit us before Christmas}, I searched for a gluten-free pumpkin recipe.  When I stumbled upon a recipe here, I thought it sounded delicious.  I adapted it slightly and ended up with a gooey, not-too-sweet muffin that is a great holiday breakfast or snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1.5 cups cooked pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1.  Stir together all dry ingredients
  2. Use a hand mixer to combine all wet ingredients until smoothly incorporated
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients using a hand mixer
  4. Line a muffin tin {for 12 muffins} with cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

GLUTEN FREE THANKSGIVING {HOW TO HOST A GLUTEN-FREE HOLIDAY}

Russ Parsons’ Dry-Brined Turkey {a.k.a. The Judy Bird}

As I walked through Santa Barbara’s Farmers’ Market and collected some stunning decorative kale & gladiolas to adorn the Thanksgiving table, it struck me that this will be my first gluten-free Thanksgiving. As opposed to being discouraged, I scoured Pinterest for gluten-free alternatives to classic Thanksgiving staples.  I’ve gathered my favorites here {all linking back to their original source} for you to enjoy.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Gluten Free Stuffing

Sweet Potato Casserole

Balsamic Roasted Carrots

Ginger & Citrus Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Potatoes Seasoned with Homemade Za’atar & Aleppo Pepper

Coconut Pumpkin Pie

RECIPE TO TRY – BUTTERFINGER CAKE


It was my task to make a birthday cake for a very untraditional birthday boy… so I followed this {oh-so-easy} untraditional recipe that I found on Six Sisters’ Sweet Stuff and it was a complete success {judging from the fact that not a single piece was left in the pan by the end of the meal}.

RECIPE TO TRY – REESES CHEESECAKE BROWNIES


I am a girl with a serious sweet tooth.  Anything that has sugar in it tends to make me happy.  When I saw a brownie that combined three of my major loves {chocolate, cheesecake, and peanut butter} I knew I had to try it.  I found the recipe through Pinterest and it led me to the recipe on Pip & Ebby.  I tried it. I loved it. Confession: I ate half the pan. Second confession: I didn’t regret it for a second.