Recipe: Healthy & Free Pumpkin Cookies

For all those dreading Halloween because of the deliciously naughty temptations, I have a quick fix.  However, you may like it so much that this recipe could be one for the long haul.  It contains pumpkin, one of my all time favorite flavors!  But this recipe is gluten free, dairy free and sugar free!  It seems all my other pumpkin dessert recipes on here are naughty indeed! Thankfully this has redeemed me from myself! Continue reading

Recipe: Woman Crush Wednesday

Today is the 63rd Woman Crush Wednesday episode. It is hard to believe how many amazing female chefs I have honored and how many delicious recipes we have all gotten to try. As always, it is a recipe I have never made, and I recreate it live on Snapchat (username blissbakery). Today’s honoree is April Bloomfield. She was born in the U.K but now makes New York City her home. With several of the most successful restaurants in town, it is no wonder she has two Michelin Stars! Continue reading

Recipe: Soup Scentral

While today is indeed Tuesday, January 3rd, in many ways it is the official beginning of 2017. Most people are back to work, back to school and have their New Year’s Resolutions in full speed mode.

One of the biggest New Year’s resolutions has to do with food.  Let’s face it, the holidays are all full of temptations and indulgence is standard operating procedure.  But what if there are those of us that don’t want to go on a diet?  As I have said before, I for one try to avoid things with the word DIE in it. So instead of DIET I like to LIVE it!  Continue reading

Recipe: Honey Mustard Apple Chicken

Recipes this time of year are usually related to festive fare. Yet we still need food to eat beyond the Christmas table. Unfortunately most people are so busy with shopping and parties, meal time is the last thing on their list.  So quick trip to a take away or pizza delivery suffices.  We could use a recipe that is quick and easy and still relatively healthy. Because we will have enough indulgence for the month of December, right? Enter the Honey Mustard Apple Chicken. Served with a nice rice pilaf and green beans sauteed in shallots and this could become your go to dinner for 2017! Continue reading

Recipe: Woman Crush Wednesday

I’m back in London and ready to fire up the oven for another edition of Woman Crush Wednesday!  My fav day of the week. Another female chef is going to be getting the love and we are getting an amazing recipe recreated live on Snapchat (my username is blissbakery if you’d like to come watch). With this being the last Wednesday before Christmas we have to make something festive.  But with all the temptations looming, it would be nice to have a not so naughty option. Enter the ever fabulous healthy eating expert Amelia Freer.  She is the British nutritionist that not only has two best selling cookery books but has helped umpteen celebs get on the right track with a passion for good, clean food. Continue reading

Recipe: Woman Crush Wednesday


I’ve decided to start a weekly post dedicated entirely to my female foodie infatuations.   And why not?  No offense to the lads, but the food industry is dominated by them.  It’s time the ladies get the spotlight.  And though my little blog may only be a tiny flashlight sized spotlight, nevertheless, I will highlight one of my heroines each week.  Plus, I will attempt to recreate one of their tantalizing treats!

And my first installment is none other than Sara Jane White.  I love her wit, her quirkiness and of course her amazing food.  While I toe the line in my own kitchen between the naughty and nice recipes, she is a straight up self described “Health Geek” and rightly so.  No sugar, no dairy, no wheat etc. etc. She suffered for years with food related allergies and through sheer determination and steadfastness came out the other side.

She has just published her second cookery book called The Virtuous Tart.  Whilst I don’t own either, I have purchased both for a friend for her birthday.  In fact my friend’s birthday was just last week.  It coincided with the timing of Susan Jane’s second book launch.  Since last birthday I gave my friend her first book,  Extra Virgin Kitchen,  I thought this would make the perfect book end, getting the new book as this year’s gift.  But since I live in London now, I couldn’t just pick it up at the Blackrock Organic Market in Dublin (where I got her book last year) and take it to her personally.  I tried ordering it through Amazon but they said it would take well over a week!

So I sent Susan Jane an instagram message asking if she had any suggestions, and she replied almost immediately!  Through her tips I was able to get my friend her birthday book! And Susan Jane endeared herself to me because now a days, so many people with blogs, books, twitter, snapchats, etc are either too busy or have no interest interacting with their followers.  This is why, besides her inspiring journey to good health and her beautifully creative food, I chose her as my first Wednesday Woman Crush.  Her accessibility and caring is so rare these days, but it is so very much appreciated.


I did a demo of her Healthy Breakfast Bars recipe on snapchat today (user name blissbakery).  I even wore glasses, but didn’t look quite as cool!   And I made a few tweaks to her recipe.  But judging from her own video on Food Tube, it seemed like my kinda recipe because it is adaptable to a person’s own tastes.  For example, she said you could add orange zest or ginger (which I didn’t, but I did add coconut chips since I am currently coconut crazy).  She uses walnuts in her recipe, because not only do they look like a brain, they are good for your brain!  But since I didn’t have any in the house, I used a mixed variety of nuts (pecans, cashews, and pistachios).  And she uses sunflower seeds, whereas I used, again, a variety of seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and flaxseed).  The only other thing I did differently was I replaced a a variety of dried fruits to the “two handfuls of pitted dates” since I only had one and a half handfuls of dates!  She kept a watchful eye on my process and ingredients! LOL!


I love the informative aspect of her videos, in fact she reminds me of a female version of Alton Brown.  But way prettier and with an Irish accent!  You don’t just learn how to cook something from her videos and books, but you get some kernels of nutritional wisdom too!  And on her blog, her photos are so rich you feel like you could lick the computer screen. Oh and I know this sounds totally random, but I love her font!

Finally, she wrote the most hilarious description of why she loves Ireland, and as we know, my blood runs green like the Hill of Tara.  So I had to check it out.  But it was so not what I expected (which is the greatest thing about her, the total surprise element).  It was so incredibly cheeky!  Here’s the link to check it out for yourself.  I didn’t mind the irreverence, in fact, since she has the most elegantly enormous dimples on her face, I think the more cheek the better!

I hope you take time to crush on her a little bit too!  And if anything, she will teach you, as she has me, that healthy food can also be hilariously fun!


While she watches the bars chill before they can be cut, here is her cool recipe:

Megawatt Breakfast Bars

makes 24

125 ml melted extra virgin coconut oil

125 ml good quality honey (or maple syrup for vegans)

2 handfuls of regular pitted dates (100g)

1 ripe banana, mashed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Freshly grated nutmeg, a pinch

Generous pinch of sea salt flakes

200g (7 oz) regular rolled oats and not jumbo oats (certified gluten-free for coeliacs)

100g (3.5 oz)walnuts, roughly broken

100g (3.5 oz)  ground almonds

Handful of sunflower seeds

(1) Fire up your oven to 170 Celsius / 325 Fahrenheit / 150 fan-assisted. A regular 180 oven is too hot guys, and will result in crumblie bars. We use a tin no bigger than a magazine page (around 8×10 or an 8×12 at a stretch).

(2) Using a saucepan, gently melt the coconut oil with your honey for 2 minutes.

(3) Chop the dates and add them to the party, followed closely with the mashed banana.

(4) Add any spices you fancy using – orange rind and cinnamon? Lemon zest and ground ginger? We’re using nutmeg and sea salt flakes today. The Boss.

(5) Once these ingredients are thoroughly socialised and gorgeously glossy, add your remaining ingredients. Mix well, and scrape into your pre-lined tin.

(6) Press down firmly with your fingers. Admire your brilliance.

(7) Bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden, but not darker in shade. Oats will turn bitter if you leave them to brown. Remove the tray from the oven. Resist cutting until they have cooled down. I like to let them firm up in the fridge for a few hours.


Ah, let’s just say that I’m drooling right now.  They turned out divine! Thanks Susan Jane.  I know my photo doesn’t do your recipe justice, but they are pretty darn delish!  And I don’t miss the baddies…like you say, you take the hell out of healthy.  You’ve taken an ordinary flapjacks recipe, which are laden with butter and golden syrup, and made them heavenly!  Good for you and tasty too!  That’s why you ARE my Woman Crush Wednesday! xo


Love Your Sweet Self Ms. SJW,



ps. My pretty Pit Stella wanted to get into the action too…