An eat free! Cookie Exchange

By Miranda

The Eat Free Trio & Friends
Pictured left to right: Miranda, Jaclyn, Cheryl, Sharon, Irene

Yup, that's right; this year the Eat Free Trio had a cookie exchange filled with gluten free, IC friendly, and of course, vegetarian delights! I have to admit, we didn't focus much on weight management, because, hey, it's the holidays! (Read about Jaclyn's approach to holiday eating here.)

My mother-in-law was kind enough to host this gathering at her home. We each brought at least two kinds of cookies, and as you can see, we had plenty of variety!

Pictured above:
Jaclyn's fabulous Coconut Macaroons (Gluten Free),
Perfectly Peanutty Peanut Butter Toffee Chip Cookies (Gluten Free),
and World Peace/Korova Cookies

Pictured above:
Irene's delicious Russian Teacake Cookies
and Gingerbread Cookies (IC Friendly)

Pictured above:
Cheryl's Iced Pumpkin Cookies (IC Friendly)
(she also made unbelievable Shortbread cookies and Pumpkin Bread, not pictured, but both IC friendly)

Pictured above:
Sharon's Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry Thumbprints
and Nutella Cookie Sandwiches


As for me, I made two kinds of cookies as well:

Miranda's IC Friendly White Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

3/4 cups organic sugar
3/4 cups packed organic brown sugar
1 cup organic butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure organic Madagascar vanilla extract
1 organic egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag (12 oz) Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, stir sugars, butter, vanilla, and egg until well blended.
3. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt (dough will be stiff).
4. Stir in white chocolate chips and toffee bits.
5. Drop dough onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Press down lightly with hand so cookies come out round.
6. Bake for 4 minutes, turn pan 180 degrees. Bake for 4 more minutes.

Yields 3 dozen cookies.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Two Ways (Candy Cane Flavored & Frosted)

3 cups sifted organic all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons organic baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup organic butter (softened at room temperature)
1 organic egg, lightly beaten (egg should be at room temperature)
3 tablespoons organic milk
2 teaspoons pure organic Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 cup crumbled candy canes

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter and blend with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
4. With a fork, stir in lightly beaten egg, vanilla and milk. Blend well with fork.
5. Add candy cane crumbles and mix with your hands to ensure thorough blending.
6. Chill for 15 minutes in refrigerator.
7. Drop dough onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Press down lightly with hand so cookies come out round.
8. Bake for 3 minutes, turn pan 180 degrees. Bake for 3-4 more minutes.

Combine 4 cups organic powdered sugar, 1/2 cup shortening, 5 tbsp organic milk, 1 tsp pure organic Madagascar vanilla extract in a large bow. Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Add food coloring if desired and decorate!

Yields 2 dozen cookies


Overall, the cookie swap was a great success and proof that dietary restrictions don't have to get in the way of fun around the holidays!

Happy New Year to all!


Hot Beverages to Get You Through the Holidays Without Chocolate

By Miranda

A couple nights ago my husband and I were going to help some friends decorate their house for Christmas. I knew everyone else would be drinking hot chocolate, which I something I desperately miss, especially around the holidays. Instead of letting it get me down I decided to create my own festive hot drink to enjoy for the evening. I enjoyed it so much that I am having some again right now!

Peppermint Vanilla Tea

1 teabag Traditional Medicinals Organic Peppermint Tea (it's caffeine free, of course!)

1 tbsp Flavorganics Vanilla Syrup (purchased from the IC Network)

6-8 oz. hot water

Your favorite holiday mug

Another incredibly delicious holiday drink is White Hot Chocolate! Jaclyn actually posted the perfect recipe for it recently on her own blog. I get a shout out in the post and she mentions IC! Read the post and get the amazing recipe here: White Hot Chocolate



Zippy Egg Tacos

By Jaclyn

As an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I eschew meat, but I do eat eggs and consume dairy. And I'll tell you what. I absolutely LOVE eggs.

Since I do a lot of weight training, I have to be sure to get adequate amounts of protein and beans and tofu are great, but nothing is easy, wholesome, or cheap as eggs. I love eggs because they're insanely versatile; you can just do so many different things with them--fry them, scramble them, boil them, bake them, poach them--really, the list could go on and on. I eat eggs several times a week and I try to switch it up, but this is my absolute favorite way to cook scrambled eggs; the cumin and red pepper give the eggs some real zip, the vegetables give a nice depth of flavor, and the corn tortillas make the dish extra-comforting and satisfying. Best of all, it's filling, nutritious, and delicious in your mouth.

Zippy Egg Tacos

Recipe serves 1

2 eggs
2 corn tortillas, fajita size, warmed (wrap in a paper towel and nuke for 15 seconds)
1/4 cup chopped zucchini and onions (sometimes I add red pepper or mushrooms too)
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 cup shredded jack cheese
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat and saute chopped vegetables for 1-2 minutes until slightly soft and the cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add beaten eggs and move the eggs around with a spatula until curds start to form. Add cheese and continue moving eggs around. Once the eggs have set up, put half of the egg and vegetable mixture on each corn tortilla and salt and pepper to taste and eat it like a soft taco!

This can be served with spicy salsa and reduced fat sour cream for extra zip and it's awesome for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!