Happy National Bean Day!

Our leftovers from last night are helping with celebrating National Bean Day.

Yesterday I made Chili in the crockpot and Quinoa Black Bean Soup (aka My No-Nightshade Chili) for dinner. Along with some corn bread.

I have started buying dried beans and making them in my pressure cooker. For the black beans for the quinoa soup I put about 2 cups of beans in the pressure cooker and covered them with water about two inches above the beans. I then cooked them for 25 minutes on high pressure. I let it depressurize for 30 minutes then spooned then out into mason jars and covered them with the cooking liquid.

Making the Chili helped me check one thing off my January 2019 Wish List. And the rest of the black beans will be made into brownies!


January 2019 Wish List

Here is a list of some of the things I want to do in January.

I made the list short and many of the things are something I would do anyway. I hope to check everything off my list by the end of January.

What I Read In 2018

This past year I had the idea of opening a second Goodreads to track all the cookbooks I read since they always put mover on my reading challenge.  Instead I just adjusted the number of books I wanted to read.  I guess I need to adjust it again for next year.  I still have a few books to add.  So my ending number of books read for 2018 will be more around 85.

I learned so much from these books.  I read lots of cook books and may up my number for next year to include all the ones I have at home that I continually use in meal planning.  I continue to blossom into the home cook I want to be and will one day be the gluten-free baker I dream of being.  Searing meat and main dishes still tend to be the hardest to reproduce for me when trying a new recipe.  My list of 100 things is always full of cooking techniques and dishes I want make, for 2018 I made liver pate but did not perfect a poached egg (thing has lingered on my list for a few years!)

I learn more about organizing, productivity, and coaching.  I love helping people with organizing and productivity.  I feel that when being diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac (or any other diseases that the only treatment is diet change) the change in productivity is the hardest part.  Change is hard.  Transitioning to a whole new way of eating/living is very tough.  Having someone to help you through the transition, like an AllerCoach (TM) can ease some of the anxiety.

Happy Reading! – Susan B.

You have read 79 of 50 books in 2018.
  • The Art of the Party by Kay Plunkett-Hogge
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
  • Super Loaves and Simple Treats by Melissa Sharp
  • Find the Good by Heather Lende
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō
  • Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
  • Gather & Graze by Stephanie Izard
  • Pumpkin, a Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year by DeeDee Stovel
  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
  • Autumn Gatherings by Rick Rodgers
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  • Fermented Foods at Every Meal by Hayley Ryczek
  • Rise and Shine by Katie Sullivan Morford
  • The Shift by Wayne W. Dyer
  • Niki Jabbour's Veggie Remix by Niki Jabbour
  • Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss
  • My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space by Lisa Scottoline
  • Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley
  • A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones
  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
  • The Summer Table by Lisa Lemke
  • Mostly Magnificent by Geneen Roth
  • Unlocking Potential by Michael Simpson
  • Be the Miracle by Regina Brett
  • Austenland by Shannon Hale
  • The Great Little Book of Afformations by Noah St. John
  • The Family Cooks by Laurie David
  • Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison
  • Pack a Lunch! Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook by Celine Cossou-Bordes
  • The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama XIV
  • Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine
  • The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
  • Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
  • The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide by Francine Jay
  • A Year of Picnics by Ashley English
  • Kale & Caramel by Lily Diamond
  • Simply Ancient Grains by Maria Speck
  • You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
  • Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope
  • The Disorganized Mind by Nancy A. Ratey
  • Wheat Belly by William  Davis
  • Dont Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer by Susie Martinez
  • Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford
  • Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell
  • Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
  • How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath
  • Kombucha Revolution by Stephen Lee
  • Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
  • The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio
  • The Lavender Gourmet by Jennifer Vasich
  • The Law of Attraction by Esther Hicks
  • All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith
  • Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
  • The As If Principle by Richard Wiseman
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • How to Hear Your Angels by Doreen Virtue
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • The Scandinavian Kitchen - Over 100 Essential Ingredients wit... by Camilla Plum
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • The Real Girl's Kitchen by Haylie Duff
  • Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
  • The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
  • The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson
  • Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread by Nicole Hunn
  • Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
  • Homebrewing and Fermenting by Eric Childs
  • I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
  • The Matters at Mansfield by Carrie Bebris
  • North By Northanger by Carrie Bebris
  • The Now Habit at Work by Neil A. Fiore
  • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
  • Hip Pressure Cooking by Laura Pazzaglia
  • Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Sweet Cravings by Kyra Bussanich
  • The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
  • Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
  • Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott
  • Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Victor-Antoine D'Avila-Lato...

Morning Hygge – Dairy-free Coffee

I’m starting my morning with a hygge moment. I added some Penzys Hot Chocolate to my coffee this morning.

One of my goals for 2018 was to start drinking coffee black. I accomplished this pretty early in the year and it wasn’t too hard for me. I still get a nondairy latte sometimes when I go out for coffee, but at home I always have black coffee.

Hygge moment for this evening.

I’ve been trying to add a moment of hygge to my day this holiday season. I’m trying to slow down and enjoy the holidays instead of just spin from one thing to the next.

Tonight I have my favorite Cardamom tea in my favorite winter mug. I have a small loaf of orange honey bread to munch on while listening to a Spotify playlist made by a friend.

I am still trying to find my vision word for 2019. My 2018 word was Blossom and I have been reflecting on some of the things on this years vision board.

I had pictures of breakfast food since I wanted to cook special breakfasts for my kids more often. I did make breakfast more this year and would like to do even more breakfasts in 2019.

What would you put on a vision board?

Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Peanut-Free & Nightshade-Free)

Today is National Brownie Day!  And I may be making Brownies later, but I am finishing up these yummy soft cookies I made the other night.

I usually top them with Candy Cane bits, but they have been hard to find this season.  I could try to break up some candy Canes, but the last time I did that it was not pretty.

I use chocolate chunks in these cookies, but they would be just as good with chips.  The teaspoon of peppermint oil gives it a nice holiday taste.  I have made these at other times of the year and left the peppermint out and they are just as good.

One of my goals for this winter is to add more Hygge to my life.  To slow down and enjoy the holiday season.  To be thankful for my snuggly cats and the warm blankets.  To listen to Christmas music and turn the lights on on my tree whenever I am home.  Some coffee and the soft cookies were a great Hygge addition to today.

Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Cookies

  • Servings: 24 large cookies+
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Print


Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Cookies
  • 1 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups Namaste Flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1-2 cups chocolate chunks or chips
  • optional Candy Cane bits



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In the bowl of a mixer cream together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and peppermint extract
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt
  4. Add dry ingredients slowly to running mixer until combined.  The batter will be extremely thick.
  5. Mix in chocolate chunks
  6. Using a medium scoop or a large soup spoon make 2 inch diameter cookie balls and place on silpat lined cookie sheet.  I only had room for about 8 cookies per sheet
  7. IF adding candy cane bits sprinkle them over the top.  You may need to add some pressure to get them to stick.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes
  9. Cool before moving to a rack to cool all the way.  Although we enjoy them hot and melty and often reheat them in the microwave!
  10. Enjoy!