Sunday, January 29, 2017

Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread/Domestic Divas Blog
Who doesn't love pumpkin? What about pumpkin bread?

You've probably had many versions over the years. I had a craving so the other week, I set out to develop a gluten free recipe that used more natural sweeteners like maple syrup and coconut sugar. The flour mixture includes both coconut and almond flours, studded with spices.

Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread/Domestic Divas Blog
I added walnuts once and that was a nice touch, but they're not required. The bread is moist and delicious, makes your kitchen smell heavenly while it bakes, and it's filling and delicious.

Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread/Domestic Divas Blog
I heartily recommend eating your slice with grassfed butter.

Don't skimp on the butter.

Lots of butter.

Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread/Domestic Divas Blog
Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
Makes one loaf
Baking time: one hour
Gluten Free; dairy free (contains eggs)

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (organic canned is what I used)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut sugar (plus more to sprinkle on top)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the GF flour, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine well & set aside.

3. Then in another mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin puree, olive oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine (don't over beat). Fold in the walnuts if desired.

4. Transfer the mixture to a greased bread loaf pan. Smooth to distribute evenly and sprinkle the top with coconut sugar. Back for about fifty minutes to one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm with grassfed butter. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Roasted Kombucha Squash & White Bean Soup

Domestic Divas Blog Roasted Kombucha Squash & White Bean Soup
Right, so I got up early and got really inspired this AM.

I had leftover roasted Kombucha squash lurking in my fridge. I picked up the winter squash at the farmers market and let it live on my kitchen table for a few weeks. I finally sliced it up, doused it with extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. I roasted it at 425 degrees in the oven for about 20 minutes until it was tender and served it with dinner.

One squash = a lot.

So I had plenty of leftovers.

Domestic Divas Blog Roasted Kombucha Squash & White Bean Soup
That means soup time!

I learned how to make awesome pureed soups from Charlie Trotter's amazing cookbooks and continue to use a few of his tricks. The other key is my Vitamix, though a normal blender would work. I put this in my Vitamix—the meat from the roasted squash, one can of organic white beans (strained and rinsed), a finger of fresh ginger, two garlic cloves, dash of red pepper flakes, chicken broth and EVOO (this makes it creamy). I pureed it smooth then simmered over the stovetop.

I popped in a few cubes of frozen basil (optional).

The result ... insanely good soup.

Like how can this have no dairy?

And be so creamy?

Domestic Divas Blog Roasted Kombucha Squash & White Bean Soup
Don't ever let your leftover squash languish again in the fridge purgatory.

Like all of my recipes, the specific ingredients can be subbed based on what you have on hand. Pumpkin would work instead of squash. Sweet potato would be amazing. Use your imagination.

Domestic Divas Blog Roasted Kombucha Squash & White Bean Soup
Roasted Kombucha Squash & White Bean Soup
Serves 6 to 8 people
Cooking time: 10 minutes (for real)
Gluten free; dairy free

1 1/2 cups roasted Kombucha squash meat
1 can Cannellini beans, strained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 garlic cloves (peeled)
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh or frozen basil (optional)

1. Place the squash, beans, broth, garlic, ginger, olive oil, and chili flakes into Vitamix or other blender. Puree until very smooth using highest setting.

2. Transfer the soup to the stovetop and simmer over low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil if desired. Serve with drizzle of good olive oil. Enjoy!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Chicken Soup for the Soul (or the Mild Cold)

Jen's Special Bone Broth Chicken Soup

Divas, I'm back!

Sort of ...

I've had a whirlwind year with my two books publishing—The 13th Continuum & Return of the Continuums. I won my first book award (pinch me!). Did tons of readings and signings. Started teaching creative writing class for The Writing Pad. Needless to say, that's taken a lot of time and energy away from my cooking pursuits.

Slowly, but surely, I've been coming back to food. How can I stay away? I love it too much. I hope to start posting my recipes again, maybe once a month. I'll see how it all goes!

I made this chicken soup at the height of cold and flu season (doing lots of public events = lots of germs). I got requests for the recipe, so here you go! Keep in mind that you can throw in whatever veggies you happen to have on hand. You can also add beans (I love putting white beans in soups). You could add quinoa or rice. Really, it's whatever floats your boat.

For this iteration, I did use my homemade chicken bone broth that I make in the slow cooker overnight. First, I make a whole chicken, one of my fave slow cooker recipes. Then I save the meat we don't eat for soup and return the carcass to the slow cooker, cover it with filtered water and a tablespoon or two of raw apple cider vinegar and cook it on low overnight. The next day, I strain it and BOOM—amazing homemade bone broth. My recipe has some fancier things you can throw in with the chicken bones, but it's fine with the extras.

Okay, so the next day I have 1) chicken meat and 2) chicken bone broth. Now we make soup! Yes, you can use store bought broth BUT it won't taste nearly as good. I buy my chickens primarily from a vendor at my farmers market that specializes in grassfed/pastured meat. I'll buy three or four at a time and keep them in my freezer. Yes, they're more expensive. But you can actually taste the difference.

Of course, store bought will work. Trader Joe's sells organic whole chickens at a very reasonable price point. A whole chicken can stretch to two or more meals easily.

Chicken Soup for the Soul (or Mild Cold)
Serves 4 to 8 people
Cooking time: about 25 minutes

2 cups chicken meat (cooked & pulled into pieces for soup)
2 cups red potatoes, halved or quartered
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups raw spinach
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
about 4 to 6 cups of chicken stock
fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary & chopped Italian parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
optional garnish: ground turmeric

1) In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until beginning to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the potatoes and cover with the chicken stock (about 4 to 6 cups depending on how much broth you like in your soup). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

2) Add the frozen peas, spinach, chicken pieces and herbs and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, recover, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the greens are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3) Serve with a dash of ground turmeric and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Book "The 13th Continuum" On Sale & More Recipes Coming Soon!

Divas, it's been a while since I've posted—and with good reason!

I've been in the trenches, writing my Continuum Trilogy books. I'm thrilled to announce that I just won my first book award! I also just sent off the third book in the series to my publisher and plan to come back with new recipes SOON now that I actually have some time. This Sunday, I'm off to a cooking and writing workshop at Julia Child's old house in Provence (yes, you read that right!). I'll be cooking and eating and reporting back here with photos and fun stuff. New recipes are coming soon. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, to celebrate the release of Return of the Continuums (Book 2) on November 1st, the ebook for my award-winning novel The 13th Continuum is on sale for only $1.99! The sale extends to everywhere ebooks are sold. The sale ends on 11/2/16.

Links to the ebook sale for The 13th Continuum ebook (only $1.99):

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Debut Novel THE 13TH CONTINUUM -- In Stores Now!

Me & Challen Cates (actress, Big Time Rush) at THE 13TH CONTINUUM launch party!


I haven't written here in a little while with good reason...

My debut novel THE 13TH CONTINUUM published last week!

It's been a whirlwind experience but super rewarding. The book is the first in a three-book series and we are working on putting together the film version. Publisher's Weekly featured photo and blurb on my launch party at Meltdown Comics last week. Check it out here!

One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the descendants of the chosen survivors take refuge in thirteen contingency shelters buried deep underground, at the bottom of the ocean, and in the far reaches of outer space. In the underwater 13th Continuum, sixteen-year-old Myra Jackson has heard rumors and whisperings all her life of a magical place called "The Surface” where people could breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of something called sunlight on their skin, and see things known as stars and trees and mountains. Myra has never dared to ask whether the stories are true, since the act of speaking such words aloud is an offense punishable by death. But after she discovers that the air supply aboard her underwater colony is running out, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to find this mysterious place. To get there, she must first recover the only guide to the Surface―the Beacon, an ancient device that also connects her to Captain Aero Wright, a dashing young soldier from one of the only remaining space colonies. With the fate of all humankind depending on them, Myra and Aero must escape the tyrannical forces that rule their colonies, journey through the black depths of the ocean and across the cold void of space, to find each other on the Surface that their ancestors once called home.




I'm reading at Book'd tonight in the NOHO Arts District. Upcoming events include The Mysterious Galaxy Birthday Bash in San Diego, Barnes & Noble Teen Book Fest (appearances at stores in Studio City and Rancho Cucamonga), BEA, Hollins University & more. For more details visist:

New recipes coming SOON.... (I swear)... ;-)