Saturday, February 22, 2014

Officially...I'm a Radio Co-host!

I just got the most amazing phone call from my darling Jan D'Atri! After I stop crying tears of joy I can finish this post...

I've been Jan and Momma's "unofficial co-host" on the radio show for about a year, but today it is official. Jan asked me to be on the show every week as Chef Tess! It will be every Saturday from 3-5 PM Arizona Time. We'll be talking about fresh local farming, healthy food, cooking ideas and having an all around giggling happy time! You won't want to miss it!

Saturday 3-5 PM AZ time or listen to it online at

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Almond Flour Macadamia Fudge Brownies

For his birthday, my now eleven year old son {ask me how I feel about my baby being that old}, wanted something healthy, sugar-free, and made with almond flour. I can't help but think I'm doing something right when he wants that for his birthday. Not that there's anything wrong with having cake, but he's become such a healthy guy.  I first introduced him to these about a month ago and he's asked for them every day maybe it isn't even so much a "birthday wish" as it is an "every day of the week wish".  I don't even feel guilty making them. They're a good source of vitamin E, high in protein and fiber...and sugar free, gluten-free, and very high in vitamin Chocolate {Don't mock vitamin is real}. . I use Almond flour because it is just almonds. It doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar and because it bakes just beautifully in these brownies.

  I also opted for the granulated erythritol because of how well it does in baking sugar free without the aftertaste of a lot of other sugar-free products.  Erythritol occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. It has all the benefits of table sugar without all the harmful side-effects. This sweetener is almost 70% as sweet as table sugar and is also non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar and does not cause tooth decay.
Sugar Free Almond Flour Macadamia Fudge Brownies

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup granulated erythritol or  Truvia Baking Blend
2 eggs
1T vanilla
1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup Dutch Baker's Cocoa
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 cup fine minced macadamia nuts (optional)

Directions: Cream together the the coconut oil, erythritol, vanilla and eggs. Combine the dry ingredients and fold into the butter mixture.  Spread into a greased 8 x8 baking pan.  Sprinkle with macadamia.  Bake at 325 degrees 25-30 minutes until outside edges are almost dry.  Remove from oven. Allow to cool 1 hour before cutting.  

Nutritional information (without macadamia nuts):
Yield 1 dozen brownies:
 125 calories, 10g carbohydrate (5 net carbs), 5 g fiber, 10 g fat, 6 g protein

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What Happens to a Mommie Blogger When The Kids Grow Up?

Confessions of a lonely mom-blogger.  

Maybe it is just me, or have any of you other moms noticed a perfect lack of blogging geared toward moms of teenagers? There's a ton for moms with small kids. I was there. I did it. I miss it. Seriously though, go back and see all the ideas. I think we did some brilliant stuff!

This week, my youngest turned 11.  I've been here on the blog for 5 years. I realized he wasn't the same kid of a few years back when instead of asking for cake, he asked for sugar-free gulten-free protein brownies

..and take-out artichoke pizza.  
The easy way was okay (actually delicious)...I just miss it all being "Just Mommie's homemade Stuff". 

He didn't want a birthday party. He wanted to go shopping with me for his latest hydroponic science project supplies.  

He also didn't want to hold my hand at the store. Even though I'd been holding those hands since the first time we met.
I didn't like all...(insert sniffing and emotional blubbering here).

I miss posting about the cute kid mixing brownies wearing a homemade apron.

I miss Droopie diaper photo-shots...Though truth be known, I don't miss the inside mess of those diapers.
I miss posting about the adventures with our one-on-one play-dates.

I miss photo shots of gatherings of giggling adorable faces when friends came to cook. 

 Though truth be known, I don't miss cleaning up all the extra chaos.  Okay. Maybe cleaning up the brownie bowls was okay. 

I miss posting ideas for their birthday parties.  I miss making the clever crafts and nifty-do-dads.  I don't miss...the sleep I deprived myself of to keep up with the other gals in church who were doing the same.

The crazy-creative party this year was replaced with a quiet one-on-one lunch at his favorite restaurant with his publicly lame (unable to hold-her-hand at the grocery store yet still privately pretty cool) mom. 

In reality, I rarely see a single post on Pinterest about teenager birthday parties. Probably because nobody's kids want them to post them.  If it got back to any of their peers that they had a Lego-Batman party with a black-and-grey color scheme, it would kill their social life.  I'm okay with that. This year.  

Catching a glimpse.
Yesterday we went to a "joined birthday" for him and his 4 year old cousin.  It was such a blessing to have my sister-in-law just take over and plan it.  We showed up with pizza and soda...and one tween boy who I thought for sure was going to die of embarrassment.  Everything was decorated pink for his little girl cousin...and he didn't say a word.  I thought he'd be annoyed but he wasn't.  In fact, he sat really sweet and played really nice with all the cousins.  He had a great time.   He's such a doll.  I bawled all the way my mind.
Because somewhere in the middle of the chaos, there was still a moment of " Oh meee-gosh!!  Precious-cute"  There was still, sitting across the table from me, an adorable boy with a dimple...and a cake.  

Plus. I realized that someday, if I play my cards right and keep trying to be the mom who teaches this boy how to become a descent human being with values, character, and all the emotional stability of a gentleman...that someday, I will get to repeat the blogging, but with my grand-babies. 

 Hopefully later than sooner on the babies. I'm just trying to come to grips with them learning how to drive soon...and Little Man starting to shave.

So if it seems like I'm not posting as much about the kids, just realize that I'm now the mom of two little almost men who have grown into people who give-a-stink about what I post.  I'm trying to be their "safe place".  They want to make sure the pictures are not embarrassing. Note: I may never post a picture again of anything that mentions bodily functions or smell-bad socks.  Moms. You know I'm in the middle of all of that right? It just changed from diapers to deodorant. It changed from rattles and pacifiers to razors and pimple-cream. I don't know how it happened either, but I'm adjusting.  I think.

In all reality, though I knew in the back of my mind that it was supposed to happen, I just really have a hard time almost every single day, coming to grips with the fact that we're no longer this family...

That I'm not really living this reality anymore...

Or that life could ever really change as much as it has.

The one great joy in my life that will always be constant however, is the knowledge that we will always be a family.  
Bless my children's heart...they're stuck with me...No matter how weird that gets.

No matter what, I'll never ever regret what sacrifice it took to make those golden memories.  Even with an unsure future, there will always be memories of epic proportion. 
There it is.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Friday, February 14, 2014

A 33 Minute Video of one of my Preparedness Seminars.

At the Utah State University Prepare Fair in Utah, some adorable person filmed my seminar! Thank you so much!! Here you go darlings!!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My New Bread book on Pre-Order! Bread Art: Decorating and Painting Edible Bread for Beginners

 I have dreamed of being a published author for most of my life.  When I started creating Bread Art and edible decorative loaves with instructions so simple that anyone could make them, I had no idea how popular this idea would become. In my new book, there are extensive photo tutorials, easy recipes, and directions for taking any loaf of bread and turning it into a masterpiece! No baking experience required! You'll be shocked and amazed at how easy this craft can be!

That being said, this book is my first cookbook that hasn't been sponsored by a company.  I am completely excited...and nervous. I'm thankful for the faith this publisher has put in me, especially after the many who turned me down. It was a tear-filled day to get that letter of acceptance!

  So I'm asking for your help in spreading the word.  Please Pin the pictures. Post the link. Share it as much as you can via facebook and social media.  I don't have money to offer you as a reward. I don't have much, but my gratitude for your help in making this dream a reality. 

It is because of all of you, my friends here on the blog, that the joy of bread has spread far and wide.  My little family thanks you for that. I thank you for that.  
Here is the link for pre-orders:
Bread Art: Decorating and Painting Edible Bread for Beginners

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess