Gluten Free | Dairy Free | Apple Strawberry Muffins

I think it’s finally safe to say that I can bake now. I used to really suck at it because I hate following directions and I like improvising, which isn’t really allowed in baking.

I think I’ve finally learned when I can and cannot improvise and have since had several successful baking experiences. I got really into baking when I started working with North Coast Organic. Baking with apple products like sauce and apple cider vinegar adds interesting flavor and texture. (Keep in mind that I AM one of the weirdos who thinks apple cider vinegar cures everything.)

I was inspired to bake muffins and had a bunch of fresh strawberries from Oliver’s Market so I baked!


3/4 cup chopped strawberries

1 cup softened butter (I bake with Earth Balance)

1 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

3/4 cup North Coast Cinnamon Apple Sauce

1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour

2 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp salt


-Pre-heat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with papers.

-Heat chopped strawberries in a saucepan on medium and stir occasionally until berries break down. About 5 min.

-Beat sugar and butter, then slowly beat in each egg.

-Add strawberries and apple sauce and beat a bit more.

-Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to wet ingredients until batter is smooth.

-Fill paper liners almost to the top. Add thin slices of strawberry to the top if you’d like.

-Bake for 15 min. Makes approx 15 muffins.

*North Coast Organic is an organic, nonGMO apple products company made from US grown apples, based in Sonoma County, CA. North Coast is a social media marketing client. This is a Sponsored Post. 

Meatless Gluten-Free Homemade Ramen

I was inspired to make ramen after a late afternoon craving that I wasn’t able to satisfy. There’s a really popular Ramen House near me that I can never get into. It’s always at least an hour wait when I get there and I’m usually too hungry to wait. The next day I was feeling defeated and thought, “How hard can it be?”

The answer is “not hard at all!” The ramen I made was a huge hit and I can’t wait to make it again. The ingredients list for this dish is long, but don’t let that fool you. The recipe is easy and is so worth it. I have become such a fan of cooking with miso so I was excited to make this.

The broth recipe takes a little time, and a lot of chopping but once I tasted it, I knew I had found a hit. The recipe I followed is William Sonoma’s Homemade Ramen Broth.


  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups (64 fl. oz./1 l) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) mirin
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) white or yellow miso paste
  • 2 pieces dried kombu


In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the lemongrass, green onions, garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Stir in the broth, mirin, soy sauce and miso until combined and bring to a simmer. Add the kombu and continue to simmer until the flavors deepen, about 15 minutes. Strain and discard the solids before using the broth as directed in your recipe. Makes about 8 cups.

As far as ramen ingredients go, it’s completely up to you. I chose to make mine vegetarian and gluten free by using rice noodles. Ramen noodles are easy to find at any grocery store. I used bok choy, shitake mushrooms, both fresh and dried, green onion, and 6-minute eggs.

Practice this PERFECT 6MIN EGG recipe while your broth is simmering.

Boil rice noodles separately in their own pot. Drizzle lightly with oil and set aside while you finish the rest of the recipe. Chop plenty of fresh green onion and remove the larger white portions of the bok choy. Let the mushrooms simmer in the broth for at least 10 min. When your eggs are peeled and sliced in half, you are ready to assemble your ramen. Place a heaping handful of rice noodles in a large soup bowl. Ladle broth and mushrooms (and some of that kombu, if you like it) over noodles. Add leafy parts of the bok choy and green onions and give it a quick stir. Add a few squirts of sriracha and enjoy!

Interested in more fermented and pickled recipes? Visit! 

The Fluffiest Gluten-Free Pancakes

It was one of those Sunday mornings when all you want is pancakes! It’s often difficult to make super fluffy gluten-free anything but with pancakes, the trick is Apple Cider Vinegar.



If you add 2 tablespoons of ACV to 3/4 cup of milk or milk alternative and let it sour on the counter for about 10 min, you are sure to have fluffy cakes. I use North Coast Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. I also use a blend of all-purpose gluten-free flour, almond flour, and coconut flour.



My recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free and takes about 20 min.


3/4 cup of almond milk

2 tablespoons of ACV

1/2 cup of GF flour

1/4 cup of almond flour

1/3 cup of coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 egg

butter for cooking


  1. Combine milk and ACV and let sour on the counter for at least 5 min.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients, stir in milk and ACV and let sit on the counter for at least another 5 min, preferably 10.
  3. Heat griddle or frying pan, on medium heat, add butter, let it melt, then add 2 tablespoons of batter. Wait until you see bubbles (about 2 min) then flip.
  4. Dust with a little cinnamon and top with butter and syrup.

Sunbasket Meal Delivery is the GREATEST!

We finally caved and decided to jump on the meal delivery train and we’re so glad we did. This week’s meals have been awesome. I actually noticed that I felt stress-free at the end of the day, knowing that dinner was already decided and in the fridge. I have developed this really bad pattern where I stop at the store almost every day on my way home and wander around the aisles trying to come up with something creative to make. I end up spending 50-100 dollars, buying stuff I don’t need, and then food gets forgotten about and spoils in the fridge. It’s a vicious cycle.


We looked into Blue Apron and Home Chef and both companies did not have enough options for our allergy restrictions. Sunbasket was recommended to me because you can choose paleo meals! We aren’t paleo people by any means, but we end up eating paleo on accident because I’m gluten-free and Joe is dairy-free.

This has been so fun! I can’t believe we waited so long to try this. The only thing I don’t like about it is that there are no leftovers!

Social Media Content For Realtors

If you’re in real estate, you ‘re engaged on social media.  However, coming up with original content ideas for your editorial calendar can be challenging and time-consuming. There are many online sources for sharing content that is available to you, but there is no substitute for sharing original content.

Here are a few ideas to keep on hand for those rare moments when you have time to fill your bank of content.


  • Selling Tips: Provide your followers with tips on how to improve their home before they put it on the market. You can also share ideas on how to style during open houses. “Showing your home this weekend? Improve your aesthetics by hiding everyday items like remotes, litter boxes, and toys. Add houseplants and fold blankets neatly to make your home feel welcoming.”table-white-home-interior


  • Tour the Area: Help showcase the city you live in to entice buyers. Show them the lifestyle of your town using video and photos. Take a flattering foodie photo while you’re at your favorite restaurant in the area or talk about the school districts. “Just one of the perks of living in the Napa Valley: gourmet food on every block!”pexels-photo-64208


  • Welcome Newcomers: Congratulate new buyers on their purchase and welcome them to the community (with their permission of course). “John and Terri just got the keys to their new house. Welcome to town, we’re glad you’re here!” pexels-photo-173430


  • Be a Community Leader: Did something exciting or important happen in town? Let your followers know. Notify the community of a new local business opening or a local school’s achievement. “Have you been down to Contemporary Clothing, the newest shop in town? The owners are big city fashion designers turned small town business owners. Come support local business this weekend!”  pexels-photo-26549


  • Share Homeowners’ Tips, DIY project ideas, and Pinterest hacks: Provide your followers with useful tips on how to improve their home. “Add a few teaspoons of vanilla extract and a cinnamon stick to an oven safe dish and heat on low for a couple hours. It will fill your home with a delicious fragrance!”  pexels-photo-213162


  • Share Local History: Give your followers a quick history lesson about your area. You might even provide locals with something they didn’t know! “Did you know that the first business to open on Main Street was a seamstress shop in 1902?” pexels-photo-111147

*Use your own images and video content, unless you are sharing and giving credit to someone else’s work. If you are in need of a stock photo, make sure to check the licensing on the photo for permissions.

A Naughty Chili Recipe For Craft Beer Lovers

If you don’t like chili, there is something wrong with you.

Veggies…good, beans..good, meat..GOOD! ( That’s a Friends joke. If you don’t like chili or Friends, just leave.)

My friend Christine Aluia makes the most incredible chili using 101 North Brewing Company’s Naughty Aud Imperial Stout. Christine is the event coordinator for the Sonoma County Home Brewers Competition. The SCHB invite craft beer enthusiast to try their hand at brewing at this annual event. Each year, the winners get to brew their beer commercially with the help of 101 North Brewing Company’s brewmaster, Joel Johnson. This year’s competition will be at the Sonoma-Marin on Oct 7th, 2017. To learn more about the events visit Petaluma Downtown.

Want to try Christine’s recipe? Here it is:







  • 2 pounds extra lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound Applewood smoked bacon – cut into small pieces
  • 1 poblano pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 Tb Spice Queen BBQ rub (or other favorite bbq rub season mix)
  • 2 Tb chili powder
  • 1 Tb cumin
  • 1 Tb paprika
  • 1 ts cayenne
  • 1 14oz can red kidney beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 14oz. can black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 24oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 24oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 22oz. bottle of 101 NORTH NAUGHTYAUD IMPERIAL STOUT for chili, and the rest for the cook!

~In a dutch oven, cook up beef and pork until lightly pink. Drain and set aside.

~Cook diced bacon in the same dutch oven on medium heat. When bacon is close to done, add onion, bell pepper, poblano and cook until softened.

~Add garlic, bbq rub, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne.

~Add in beef/pork to bacon mix. Add in all beans, all tomatoes with juice, and 101  North Naughty Aud Imperial Stout.

~Cover and simmer for 2 hours stirring every 20 minutes or so.

Taste to salt n pepper. Serve with sour cream & shredded sharp cheddar.

Champagne Is Always The Answer | Sparkling Wine Tasting at CIA Copia

When you truly have a love affair with sparkling wine, like I do, there is nothing better than the warm fuzzy feeling after your first few sips, the bubbles, the flutes, the colors. It’s like magic.

But it’s not magic, it’s fermentation, which happens to be one of my favorite things to talk about. If you want to know more about my obsession with fermentation, visit my fermentation foodie blog at Spoiled In Sonoma.


I’ve been having a blast attending tastings and classes at the new CIA Copia, but it will be hard to top this most recent one: Global Champagne Day Tasting.

The host of this educational tasting was Domaine Chandon’s winemaker, Pauline Lhote.


Pauline grew up in Champagne and lives and breathes sparkling wine. She is a true advocate for drinking sparkling at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with steak, chicken, fish, and dessert. Lhote got her hands on experience at world famous Champagne house, Moet & Chandon.

Pauline then wanted an international experience and set her sights on Domaine Chandon in the Napa Valley, the first French-owned sparkling wine house in California. Pauline has been working at Domaine Chandon since 2006.


She was a captivating host for this tasting. They way in which she described Méthode Traditionnelle made it seem truly romantic and it didn’t hurt that we were tasting some fantastic wines while she spoke.

We tasted four wines from both houses:

Chandon Sparking Rose-Non Vintage-fruity, fresh, and light

Chandon Étoile Brut- Aged 5 years-toasted bread, baked apple, cream

Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut-Aged 1-3 yearscitrus, minerals, floral

Moet & Chandon Champagne Brut Grand Vintage 2006-Aged 7 years-toasted bread, pastry, cream

Check out the most recent Moët & Chandon commercial:

I find the process of making Champagne truly fascinating.  While this video isn’t quite as romantic as the one Pauline showed us, it’s a fairly accurate depiction of what happens in Champagne houses.

Interested in attending an event at CIA Copia? Click here to see the schedule.


Amanda Freitag at CIA Copia | Napa Valley

On Tuesday, September 22nd, The Culinary Institute of America at Copia, in Napa, CA, christened their kitchen demo theater with a demo and book signing with Amanda Freitag. I was fortunate to score an invite, meet Amanda and take some behind the scenes photos. It took all my self-control not to completely fan out! I think celebrity chefs are so much cooler than other celebrities and it was a bucket list honor to watch her cook and to eat her food! 


For those non-foodies, Amanda Freitag is an award-winning New York chef, a celebrity chef on several Food Network shows including my person favorite, Chopped, and now a cookbook author. 

Freitag was introduced at the event by Traci Dutton, the CIA’s Sommelier, who gave us some insight into what’s to come at their new downtown Napa location. The stunning building will host a full restaurant, with head chef Sandy Sauter, a retail shop with cookware and linens, cooking classes, an amphitheater for private events, public concerts, and weddings. The retail shop and restaurant will feature products made, grown, and produced by locals. 


Chef Freitag is a CIA Hyde Park graduate and was sincerely enthusiastic about being the christening chef in the new kitchen theater. Freitag is hands down, the nicest, most humble food celebrity I have ever met. And her teaching methods are so approachable and she puts beginners like me at ease much like Remy, the rat in Ratatouille who learns from Chef Gusteau that “anyone can cook!” She began her presentation by leveling the field, stating that cooking at home is hard and admitted it can be intimidating: “You have to shop, schlep, prep, cook, clean and serve! It’s a lot of work!” She also encouraged us not to shy away from foods that are ‘scary that you may not bring home from the grocery store. 


Chef prepared one of her favorite recipes from her book, The Chef Next Door; ‘Duck Breast with Pint Nut Relish’. I consider myself a brave home chef, yet I’ve never cooked with duck before, I was eager to observe and learn a duck recipe to try. I couldn’t believe how easy she made it seem! Needless to say, Amanda’s demonstration inspired me to go to my local fine foods grocer and find some really nice cuts of duck breast for some home experimentation. One of the coolest things I learned from Amanda was her tip on cooking protein. She showed us how to score the fat on the breast, the importance of starting with a hot pan, and the discipline to LEAVE IT ALONE! For some reason, many home cooks have a habit of shaking the pan around, stirring the sauce constantly, and flipping the meat on the grill over and over. According to Chef Freitag, this isn’t benefiting us in any way! Amanda told us to “use your senses for everything.” Your nose will smell when the fat is rendering, your ears will hear the sizzle calm down when it’s about time to flip and your eyes will see the edges begin to lift. 


I was relieved to discover that Chef Amanda eats throughout her whole cooking process like I do. And not just to taste test, but because we love to eat! Yes, tasting as you go is so important, but so is snacking. In fact, she even mentioned she used to eat straight mirepoix during her CIA classes because she was working so hard and starving! It is these personal human experiences she shares that puts her audience at ease.

After cooking the duck, Freitag invited her guest, Chef Vera Eisenberg to show the audience how to make her famous strudel dough. Eisenberg is the queen of strudel and even joked that on the cover of her first cookbook she wants to be “naked and wrapped in a strudel dough.” Her personality was magnetic and her sense of humor was well-developed. Eisenberg decided to change career paths later in life and went back to school to study Culinary Arts in 1999, where she interned with Freitag and the two became great friends.



I was able to sit front row and shoot some footage of Amanda and Vera stretching the dough paper thin “until you can read your recipe through it.” Everyone in the audience got to taste the Roasted Duck and Vera’s Hungarian Cabbage & Apple Strudel. There was a short question and answer portion at the end where audience members asked Amanda about tips on purchasing high-quality kitchenware that won’t leave you broke, and about her favorite moments from being a judge on Chopped. 

Everyone was able to purchase a copy of Amanda’s book and get it signed at the end. As the first event in the new location, it was a huge success. The lighting, acoustics, and seating are ideal for this kind of intimate food demonstration and it allows the audience to connect with the professionals. Personally, I cannot wait to attend another class at the new CIA Copia.

Lemon Ginger Cookies | Gluten & Dairy Free

lemon cookie pinterest

I hate baking. Probably because I’m terrible at it and I fail 9 times out of 10. But, for some reason I am really good at making chocolate chip and sugar cookies.

I didn’t want to make plain old sugar cookies so I added some fresh lemon juice and grated ginger. These cookies turned out SOOOO well. They lasted about an hour in my house. My only regret is not adding enough fresh ginger. The lemon was definitely the more dominant flavor. I added 1 tsp of fresh ginger, but next time I think I will add 2, so I’ve adjusted the recipe below.

Dusting the cookies with powdered sugar at the end was my favorite part because I usually don’t “decorate” my food. Not gonna lie, I got into it. It was cute.




These aren’t overly sweet and go great with fresh lemonade or tea! Enjoy!

Lemon Ginger Cookies | Gluten & Dairy Free

*All ingredients are organic, and purchased at Oliver’s Market in Sonoma County, CA


1.5 cups of all purpose gluten free flour ( If your blend doesn’t had xanthan gum, add 1.4 tsp )

1/2 cup of dairy free margarin

1 cup of sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp of freshly grated ginger

1 TBSP lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a Kitchen Aid or hand mixer, cream margarine and sugar together. Add egg, vanilla lemon juice, lemon zest and grated ginger. Combine, but don’t over mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet, scraping down the sides from time to time to make sure everything is well mixed.
  4. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 min.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Do not skip the parchment paper! I learned this the hard way.
  6. Grab a heaping TBSP of dough and flatten out onto cookie sheet with your hand or a fork. Repeat until sheet is full.
  7. Bake for about 13-15 min, Keep an eye out for browning edges, then take out.
  8. Allow to cook completely before trying to pull off from the parchment paper. Also learned that the hard way.

*Told you I’m a terrible baker. But these cookies rock! Please let me know how they turn out if you give it a try!


The Best Quinoa Salad Ever!

The Best Quinoa Salad ever!

My dear friend Monica introduced me to cold quinoa salad recently, and I’ve spent the last four months or so trying to create the ultimate recipe. I’ve come a long way from just tossing a couple veggies and whatever quinoa was on sale with some apple cider vin and olive oil.

My final recipe is a masterpiece. This is by far the best quinoa salad I have ever had, and possibly one of the best salad’s I’ve ever had.

The magic is in the dressing, which I can’t take total credit for. Jennifer Harris, local queen of fermentation and pickling, showed me how to make dressing with sauerkraut. The recipe here is my edited version.

The latest edit to this dish is the roasted brussels sprouts. It’s my go-to veggie that always pleases my household and takes 5 seconds to make. (That’s not true it takes like 20 min, but it can be done while multitasking.)



I started with roasting the brussels and letting them cool. Then I made the quinoa, transferred to a large bowl and then stuck in the fridge to chill. This recipe is NOT good if the quinoa hasn’t completely chilled so be patient.



While all be chillin’, make your dressing and chop your veggies.


This recipe makes A LOT of food so use your biggest bowl to mix. Toss all your ingredients and enjoy! This recipe is easily made vegan if you sub vegetable stock for the chicken stock when making the quinoa.

To make a meal out of it, cook up some chicken sausage on the side, and bam, happy and full household!




For The Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

-Approx. 20 Brussels sprouts

-1 TBSP olive oil

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp salt

dash of pepper

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Peel and quarter the sprouts, toss sprouts in oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for approx. 12-15 min or until golden brown around the edges. Set aside.


For the Quinoa:

-3 cups of quinoa ( I used 1.5 cups of sprouted quinoa because its easier to digest and 1.5 cups of red quinoa, strictly because it looks cool.)

-1.5 cups of chicken stock and 1.5 cups of filtered water. (sub vegetable stock to make this recipe vegan.)

Lightly toast the dry quinoa in a large skillet, stirring frequently so they don’t burn. You will start to smell a toasted, nutty aroma and eventually hear a bit of crackling. That’s when you know its time to add the liquid. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 15 min. Do not over-cook. Al dente quinoa is better than mushy, especially for this dish. Put in fridge to chill.

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup of Bubbies Sauerkraut ( I only use traditional, fermented sauerkraut.)
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp mustard (Any kind will work, but I like to use Dijon.)
  • 1 TBSP local honey
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

Blend dressing ingredients in a magic bullet or food processor until most of the kraut chunks are blended thoroughly.

For the Salad:

  • 1 small stalk of broccoli , chopped
  • 1/2 of a small head of purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • a handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • avocado, sliced to your preference

Throw it all together and toss well with a little S & P to taste! Test out the recipe and let me know how it turns out!