I’m very excited to see this in print!  Photos by yours truly, food styling by Jason Schreiber in this month’s Fitness Magazine.  MANY THANKS to Toby & Karina at Fitness!!!


I recently photographed an original piece for Woman’ with the wonderful Donna Rickles and Corey Belle.  A huge thank you goes out to both these ladies for making the day so fun!  Lil Sofie was our fabulous model that day and is super excited for her first 15 minutes of fame!  Check out the full piece: 10 Surprising Human Foods Dogs Can Eat Too.  


James & I finally had the chance to join our neighborhood CSA this summer.  The morning of June 16th was the first day we were to pick up our first round of vegetables, fruits, eggs and flowers.  That morning, James woke me promptly at 9am.  “It’s time to start waking up!” he told me softly.  “We have to go pick up our CSA!”

“Ok, give me a few minutes,” I replied with my eyes closed, too heavy to open.  I was not quite ready to wake up.

A few minutes passed and James attempted waking me up again.  I opened my eyes to him bright-eyed and smiling.  He was as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning – minus the giddy screaming and jumping on the bed.

We enjoyed the morning walk to McCarren Park where we were to pick up our veggie/fruit/egg/flower share and returned home with two large bags filled with fresh produce.  We had to clean out the fridge to make room for all the wonderful goodies!

greenpoint wiliamsburg csaWe’re now almost three months into our bi-weekly CSA pickup.  It has become a Saturday morning ritual.  Though the excitement of waking up early on a Saturday morning has worn off, we definitely have come up with a routine that consists of setting our alarms, getting all our bags ready and taking the walk over to the pickup area at the park.

We scoured the internet for fun and interesting recipes to make with our yummy produce.  Some were amazing and others… well… not so much.  Below are some of our favorites:

For weeks before my birthday I scoured the internet trying to find a cake recipe that I could eat.  Carrot cake, yellow cake, spice cake, banana cake, coconut cake, blah blah blah.  They all sounded quite yummy but none of them stayed with me.  Really, the only thing my mouth watered for was the chocolate cake that James’ mom makes for his birthday.

And then one day it hit me… Why not take that chocolate cake and turn it into carob cake?  I was a little wary about the idea at first but decided to give carob another shot. The last (and only) time I had utilized carob as a chocolate replacement was in a cookie recipe.   I used carob chips instead of chocolate chips and the end result were cookies that were quite messy and had a raisin-y flavor.  It wasn’t my favorite (or tastiest) baking experiment but — needless to say — all the cookies ended up being eaten!

I turned this recipe into cupcakes instead of one massive cake mostly because ‘carob cake’ doesn’t sound nearly as enticing as ‘carob cupcakes’ now does it?  Not to mention they come in convenient single-size portions!  (Though if you’re anything like me, the single-size portion idea — or one portion at all — is thrown right out the window with baked goods.)  I iced the tops with whipped coconut cream and threw in some maple syrup and vanilla for a little bit of flavor and then sprinkled the tops with unsweetened shredded coconut.  They turned out to be a huge hit!  I’m definitely happy I decided to give carob another chance.

I must say that most people wouldn’t know the difference if they weren’t told of it but I have a feeling James will be paying more attention to the cake the next time his birthday comes around!

carob cupcakes gerbera daisies cup of coffee

Carob Cupcakes

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup carob powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Combine maple syrup, oil and egg.  Mix in flour, carob, soda and vanilla.  Add boiling water and stir until combined.  Divide batter equally into cupcake tins.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 12-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Let cool on wire rack and ice!

My family and closest friends know that I am absolutely obsessed with chocolate and basically anything that contains it.  Unfortunately for me, I am restricted from chocolate of any kind on the Candida diet.  I was devastated at first but it turns out after a couple weeks of being chocolate-free, the cravings had subsided.   <Insert random story here>  Around Halloween I had a bag of chocolates in the office – for my co-workers, I swear!  On occasion, I would stick my head in the bag and get a big whiff of the chocolate emanating from all the little wrapped packages.  Weird?  Yes.  But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do in times of crisis!


A few days ago I started craving the chocolate pie my mother used to make for my family and I (but mostly for me) during the holidays.  It was always the first dessert to disappear in our household.  I would often find myself going to the refrigerator for the very last slice only to realize that one of my older brothers had already eaten it for breakfast.

the pancake girl ghirardelli dark chocolate chopped

Chocolate Cream Pie (from Mrs. Fields’ I Love Chocolate! Cookbook)

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

1. In a large saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, cream and milk.  Mix dry ingredients with whisk before adding to liquid.  Bring to simmer over medium heat stirring constantly to dissolve sugar – about 12 minutes.  Remove from heat.

2. In a small bowl, beat the yolks and eggs.  Whisk 1/4 cup of cream into eggs to warm them.  Transfer eggs into cream.  Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until it is of pudding texture – about 6 minutes.  DO NOT BOIL!  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir until chocolate is all melted.  Add vanilla.  Spread custard onto pie and cover pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 4 hours.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving!  I certainly did!

I have to admit, I was a little worried as to what I could eat for  Thanksgiving dinner seeing that most of the holiday staples include ingredients I can’t have.  James and I visited my parents in Tennessee for the holiday and luckily for me, I have the best mother in the world.  She scoured the internet and found a bunch of Sarah-diet friendly recipes!

Here’s what my Thanksgiving dinner looked like:

thanksgiving dinner, turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce

Starting clockwise from the top: roasted brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes (dairy-free), coyote corn, maple cranberry sauce, turkey and a corn muffin right smack in the center!

thanksgiving dinner maple pumpkin pie

Of course, my favorite part was dessert!  Pumpkin pie sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar in a whole-wheat crust with dairy-free maple flavored “whipped cream.” (Thank goodness for MimicCreme!)  I had two pieces for Thanksgiving dessert, one with lunch the following day and one after dinner.  I probably shouldn’t have admitted that but a little bit of gluttony is okay every now and then, right?

About 6 months ago some friends took James & I to a restaurant in Brooklyn called Brooklyn Star for dinner.  It was some pretty tasty and interesting southern comfort food — most notably the fried pig tails (yes… bones and all) and cornbread with bacon and jalapeño.  The cornbread ended up being the talk of the meal.  It was fantastic.  So fantastic that I took the taste home with me and came up with my own rendition!

Below you’ll find my interpretation for a gluten-free, savory, spicy and slightly sweet corn muffin.  They go well with chili, sloppy joes and your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner!

corn muffins with bacon and serrano peppers

Brooklyn’s Star Muffins

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 5 slices of bacon, cooked (4 slices chopped, 1 slice chopped fine for topping)
  • 2 small serrano peppers chopped fine with seeds! (if you’d like a slighly less spicy muffin, try the seeds from one pepper or replace use jalapeño peppers instead)
  • 1/4 cup corn chopped fine (for topping)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.*

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.  Add bacon, peppers and seeds to dry ingredients and mix until bacon and peppers are coated with flour mixture.  Mix maple syrup, eggs, canola oil and rice milk in small bowl.  Add liquid to dry mixture and fold ingredients together until just combined – lumps are OK!

Pour batter into muffin tins.  Sprinkle tops with chopped corn and bacon bits.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  ENJOY!

*You can also bake the cornbread in a skillet (see below) this is how it is served at Brooklyn Star.

cornbread with bacon and serrano peppers in a skillet