Pineapple Salsa

I have been in the kitchen a lot lately, and it has made me very happy! Baking, preparing meals, having get togethers with friends--and rather than feeling like a chore as a lot of cooking can often feel, my kitchen has been a place of happy days for me.

I have lost a good bit of weight over the last year, and cooking healthy, light meals is a priority for me and my husband. Before my diet, I very seldom ate fish. I didn't really care for fish, and only ate it when absolutely necessary. Fast forward to today, and I eat fish an average of 3-4 times a week. "Fishy" fish is still something I avoid; mild, flaky fish is my top choice. Tilapia and mahi mahi are my favorites.

Since I eat fish so often now, I am always trying to think of new ways to prepare it. Pineapple is so good right now, so I came up with this salsa to go on the tilapia we had this weekend. It is so delicious--it really tastes like something you would have in a restaurant. I encourage you to try it! This recipe, like most of the ones you see on this blog, is simple and fast--so easy to prepare! And this one is naturally gluten-free--always a plus.

Pineapple Salsa
1/2 cup finely diced pineapple
2 Tablespoons finely diced red pepper
1 scallion, sliced
2 Tablespoons pineapple preserves
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon juice from pineapple (if you have it; if not leave it out)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients. Serve over fish, chicken, pork tenderloin, or anything!

(In case you're wondering, I seasoned tilapia with salt and pepper, lightly dusted it with gluten-free flour, and sauteed it in a pan lightly coated with 2 teaspoons of olive oil until done).

If you read my blog and enjoy it, please let me know by leaving a comment. I would love to hear if you try any of the recipes!

Also, I am adding a feature on each post that will allow you to print out the recipes. Just click on "Printable Recipe" and it will allow you to do just that.


Printable Recipe


Chocolate Toffee Espresso Cupcakes (Regular or Gluten Free)

I have been in a baking mood lately. There is so much inspiration from blogs and Pinterest. Recently I came across a blog post from Kevin and Amanda for Caramel Toffee Latte Cupcakes. I cannot tell you how amazing these fun cupcakes are. Not only are they over-the-top delicious, they are beautiful as well!

Even though I followed the recipe exactly, I felt that these cupcakes needed a new name. Since they are chocolate cake, I thought the name needed to tell you that. And because I thought the toffee and coffee flavors were more distinct than caramel, I decided on Chocolate Toffee Espresso.

I made these with a King Arthur Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix, which I buy at my local Fresh Market store. These are readily available in supermarkets everywhere, and also online. This cake mix bakes up beautifully, and I use it all the time. All the gluten eaters in my family love it! And it is delicious with all the added ingredients from this cupcake recipe.

These cupcakes taste as good as any I have ever eaten, homemade or from a specialty cupcake bakery. I encourage you to get in your kitchen and bake! Have you made any yummy things lately? Please leave a comment and share what you've been up to!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

I love to bake. I love to cook most anything, but I especially love to bake. (Rather ironic, considering that most classic baked goods I can't have anymore since my diagnosis of celiac disease in 2007). There are so many great ideas on the internet, especially on Pinterest, for the most creative cakes, cupcakes, cookies, candy, etc. I am so appreciative of all the wonderful bakers out there that so willingly share their talents on their blogs so all of us can make fabulous creations.

One such creation is this beautiful Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cake shared by Something Shiny. I often try to make the cake that my family member wants for their birthday (sorry, Sarah--I know you didn't get one last year. Promise I'll do better this year!). About a week before my daughter Maggie's birthday I asked her what kind of cake she wanted, and she said chocolate cake with chocolate icing. A bit of a departure for her, since she is not a huge chocolate lover, but I began scouring my recipe files and the internet to see what I wanted to make. Then I came across the aforementioned beauty on Pinterest. With excitement, I shared it with Maggie because she has always loved cookie dough, and thankfully, she was sold.

As far as technique, I pretty much did everything the way it is described by Kelly on Something Shiny, with just a few changes. I baked three 8" layers; if I were doing it again I would do two 9" layers. I decided to only put cookie dough balls between the bottom two layers, with just icing between the top two. Instead of putting chocolate chip cookies around the top, I put balls of cookie dough; I liked that since it is a "cookie dough" cake. I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe recommended, but if I made it again I would use my cookie recipe found here because everyone said my cookies are better (which of course made me happy!).

The finished product was beautiful, definitely one that will be remembered. And I don't know first hand since I couldn't eat any, but everyone seemed to enjoy it very much. Definitely a keeper for the recipe file and Pinterest board.