Holiday cheer (and recipes!!!)

Happy Holidays!!!!
Can you believe Christmas eve is TOMORROW!

Are you stockings hung?
Is your hall decked?
Are the presents perfectly wrapped under the tree?
Is your holiday meal planned and now your’e just sitting on the couch sipping hot cocoa?

Of course you answered YES to all of those, right? I mean the holidays are supposed to be “all is calm, all is bright”, right? 😉

I got most of my holiday shopping done while we were up in Blairsville, so it was just a matter tackling the project of wrapping it all!



Mission accomplished!

In all of the craziness the holiday brings, I hope you have found a way to savor the beauty of the season. The lights, the togetherness, the spirit of giving, and the joy in the eyes of those who receive- especially those in need. The sweet thoughts of our loved ones who are here with us in spirit, the hopes and goals of a brand new year right around the corner.

I’ve always loved the holidays, so much that once they were over, I would dissolve into an awful sadness, yearning for just one more sprinkle of glitter, or one more Hallmark Christmas movie. Luckily in the past few years I’ve learned to appreciate every single day. Understanding that every day is special- not just the ones covered holiday cheer.

Living a full life is such a gift. A gift so large it could never fit under a tree, or be stuffed into a stocking. And that is the type of gift I have learned to cherish all year long. 

In the spirit of giving, and togetherness I have spent some time with my nearest and dearest celebrating the season. 

My chicas and I got together last week for our annual holiday dinner. 


And on Sunday I hosted our annual cookie swap! 




10882200_10152997303897474_1175828563132902648_nThe smell wafting out of my house was enough to induce a sugar high, for real! It was SUCH a blast, as usual! In between the bites of sweet treats we also had some savory snacks to munch on including this delicious a cheesy squash dip that was to die for (recipe below)!

And while I tasted ALL of the goodies (those Jamaican Plantain tarts were ridic!), I was really saving up my sweet tooth for something in the fridge I had made earlier that morning:

10385570_10152996388057474_6052073305451556421_nOn the last day of school my co-teacher presented us with beautiful mini-trays of her signature dessert: tiramisu. I had been hearing about this concoction, but had never tried it. She got the recipe from her host mom when she studied abroad in Siena. Let me tell you- it was SOOOOO good. So of course, I needed to play with the recipe to see if I could whip up a reduced carb, grain free, refined sugar free version that was JUST as delicious and satisfying.

And I did. And it’s amazing. And I need you to make this ASAP. And it would be perfect to take to your holiday dinner. And it’s awesome. And make an extra tray to hide in the back of your fridge so at midnight when you’re craving a slice and it’s all gone, you’ll thank me when you realize that you have an untouched tray all for yourself. 

You’re welcome. I love you too.

Serves 8
Made with almond and coconut flour lady fingers, and sweetened with raw honey, this tiramisu will NOT disappoint!
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. For the filling
  2. 4 egg yolks
  3. 4 egg whites
  4. 16oz marscapone cheese
  5. 1/2 cup raw honey
  6. bowl of brewed espresso (I used TJ's coffee concentrate)
For the ladyfingers
  1. 3 large eggs (divided)
  2. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  3. 1 cup almond flour (
  4. 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  5. 1/4 cup raw honey
  6. 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  7. Topping
  8. 1/2 cup Enjoy life chocolate chips
  9. 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa flour
For the filling
  1. Beat egg whites until they form and hold stiff peaks. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl stir egg yolks and honey until well combined.
  3. By hand, mix in room temperature marscapone cheese into the egg and honey mixture until smooth.
  4. Carefully fold the egg whites into the marscapone mixture until just combined.
For the ladyfingers
  1. Pre-heat oven 375 degrees.
  2. Divide eggs into 2 separate bowls. Beat egg whites until egg whites form stiff peaks. Set aside. 3. In a separate bowl, beat yolks with the honey. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Fold almond flour and baking powder into the bowl containing the creamed egg yolks.
  4. Add coconut flour 1 tbsp. at a time
  5. Carefully fold in the egg whites. Make sure to not over-mix.
  6. Put the batter into a gallon zipper bag. Using scissors, snip off one corner of the bag and pipe the batter onto a greased baking sheet into cookies the shape of lady fingers.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown.
Building the tiramisu
  1. Spread a layer of filling on the bottom of an 8in x 8in sized tray (or 9 x 9).
  2. Dip cooled lady fingers into the espresso and gently place them side by side on top of the layer of filling.*the cookies will be a bit dense. I soaked mine in the espresso for a minute or so to get a stronger coffee flavor in my tiramisu.
  3. Repeat this process until all of the filling is gone, making sure to end with a layer of filling, not cookies.
  4. Sprinkle with a dusting of cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Refrigerate and enjoy later- the longer it sits, the better it gets!
 And about that cheesy squash dip….unnamed

Hot cheesy squash dip
Warm, gooey, cheesy- what could be better?
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 2 roasted acorn squashes (seeded and diced)
  2. 8oz marscapone cheese at room temperature
  3. 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp. salt
  6. 1 tsp. black pepper
  7. 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  8. 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  1. Combine cooled roasted acorn squash with the other ingredients. Mix until smooth (I used my Kitchen Aid with a paddle attachment).
  2. Place into a greased pie dish or pan and smooth to even.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
  4. Serve with veggie sticks, crackers or anything you'd like!
Wishing you a joyous (and fun!) holiday season! 

Love, Steph