Saturday, February 12, 2011

LOVE: Cinnamon Pie Crust Cookies

Valentines Day is almost here, and so is spring in Salt Lake City.  Or at least I'm telling myself that.  When it's feeling warm enough to start thinking of sunbathing, I say spring. The night I made these quick and yummy little cookies was just the start of winter though, and our first snow storm of the winter.  I took a couple quick shots outside our house and loved the glitter of the snowflakes in my camera.  We brought these cookies over to Julia's house that night and when her 2 year old wanted another heart shaped cookie, she would ask for "love".  I REALLY loved that.  

These cookies are a lovely cross between cookie and cracker and are just barely, yet perfectly sweet.  They would also be great smeared with apple butter or drizzled with a little honey. You can find the recipe here at .  I made mine with spelt flour since I was on the nightshade free diet at the time, but the original recipe is both gluten and wheat-free.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I've been absent from my little blog for a few weeks now, as we've had lots of good friends visiting, and still many more to come.  A couple weeks ago I went with my blog designer friend Lisa, of My Little Buffalo, to a party at the beautiful Grand America Hotel in SLC for the Alt conference.  We got the guys to join a little in the crazy fun.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kyle, Joy, and Matt take on Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye!

I have a love for singing that runs pretty deep.  Growing up I would have chosen to be a singer over anything.  I mostly made choices back then from my logical brain, which didn't think my voice would make the cut.  Not that I feel any differently about my voice now, but there's so many more sides to being a good singer than just the sound of your voice.  One of my favorite sounds in this world is a large group of people singing together acapella. Individually they may be lacking, but together something magical happens and the result is melodic beauty.

So here's a little video my friend Nick captured...I don't participate in karaoke often, but we were on a cruise ship, it was our friends' wedding, and I love the guys I'm with (who are GREAT rappers).  Good family fun (actually you might want to preview before you watch with your kids!).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Holiday Food and Art Creations

A few pictures and recipes for fun and delicious things I made during the holidays.

Wine Cork Wreath 
Vegan English Toffee with Hazelnuts
Gingerbread House Dreams

 Fiesta Sangria

Christmas morning breakfast - Aebleskivers
Baklava Joy

Baklava Joy
1 Package Organic Spelt Phyllo Dough
6 1/2 Cups Soaked and Chopped Walnut/Pecan Mixture
1 1/2 Cups Turbinado Sugar
2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Melted Vegan Butter
1/2 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
3 Cups Honey 
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Finely chop nuts and soak overnight.  Drain water, then mix soaked nuts in a bowl with cinnamon, sugar, and salt.  Set aside.

Grease 13x9 inch pan.  Melt butter and coconut oil on low heat in a pan.

Cut phyllo dough sheets in half (approximately 13x9 inches) and cover with plastic while using.  They will dry out quickly if not used right away.  The sheets must also be defrosted according to instructions on box or they will stick together.

Place first phyllo sheet in the greased pan and brush melted oil mixture over it with a pastry brush.  Repeat 9 more times with phyllo dough and oil layers.  Sprinkle ~2 cups of the nut mixture over these layers.  Repeat 2 more times with oil and phyllo layers and nut mixture.

For the very top, place as many phyllo sheets as you have remaining, brushing the oil between each layer.  Using a sharp knife, score/cut the baklava into whatever shape you like in the pan.

Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours at 300 degrees until lightly browned.  Before the baklava is done, combine the honey and lemon juice in a pan over low heat until runny.  Remove the baklava from the oven and pour the honey and lemon juice combined completely over it. Let the baklava cool and then cover and let sit for a few more hours before you enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Eve and Mexican Fiesta Dip Recipe

One Christmas Eve, eleven years ago, at the Snug Harbor apartments in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Costellos and the Sandovals started a yearly tradition.  I remember the first night had lots of mexican food, family and close friends, and the gift of an electric back massager from Matt and Nick to me, so that I wouldn't have to ask for massages from them anymore.  The tradition has continued every year since, moving from Las Vegas to Portland to Salt Lake City.  This year we were missing the Sandovals for the first time ever, but got to spend New Years Eve with them instead.  And we added some new dear friends to the list, including Becky and Josh, who sweetly said they want to be a part of this tradition with us for the long term.  Really nice to have new close friends who want and plan to share life with you like that.

The tradition is Kyle makes chicken and vegan enchiladas and I make sangria and baklava.  The Sandovals normally make homemade tortillas and vegan taco meat.  This year Becky added homemade churros to the tradition's list.  We had about 28 people over, after an awesome worship service with Missio Dei, and the fiesta lasted late into the night. Because I am eating nightshade-free this year, I couldn't have the usual enchiladas.  So I decided to try my first attempt at a Mexican nightshade-free dish.  I came up with a delicious dip that turned out great, as did the whole night.  Very thankful to celebrate our Lord's birth together.

Fiesta Dip 
the layers (bottom up):
Shredded Cabbage
Pinto Beans
Shredded Rice cheese
Chopped green onion
Avocado Mashed with Lime Juice, Garlic, Onion, and Salt (2 avocado: 1 lime: 4 cloves: 1/4 onion ratio)
Chopped Cilantro
Serve with corn tortilla chips

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