Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons (Gluten and Refined-Sugar Free)

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I rarely buy desserts when I’m out and about, but when I see chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons, I need them. Neeeeeed them. Do not pass go, do not collect your things or walk away, just get your wallet out and pay for the damn macaroon. I’ve come to embrace my weakness…because embracing it means I get more macaroons.

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I love that most restaurants sell HUGE macaroons, because you can eat the whole thing and truthfully say, “I’m just eating one cookie!” (side note: this same logic also works for a large glass of wine). However, when I make macaroons at home I try to be much more responsible. Take this recipe, for instance, where the macaroons are not only a normal cookie size, but they’re also gluten AND refined-sugar free! What?! I know.

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Part of my inspiration for these little bites of heaven came from the honey in our pantry; I geek out at any opportunity to use our super flavorful clover honey from the Beast’s family farm in Wisconsin. No matter where your honey comes from, using a combination of honey and applesauce instead of white sugar keeps the inside of the macaroons chewy, soft, and without even the slightest hint of dryness. The chocolate coating is daaaark, silky smooth, ever-so-slightly bitter, and absolutely perfect.

Warning: you NEED to double, triple, or quadruple this recipe. 24 hours later, almost all of my macaroons were gone. Not only can I physically not stay away from them, but the Beast loved them, and even my mother, who always suspects that I put “weird” stuff in food, and hates baked goods without “real” (aka white) sugar, devoured the one I brought to her. Who even needs white sugar and gluten? Not me, and not even my mom, as long as we have macaroons.

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California Caprese Grilled Cheese

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You know those tasks that sit in the back of your mind, making themselves quietly comfortable until the most inopportune times? Then, when you’re doing something like falling asleep or driving, you remember that one thing (or those twenty things) you need to do, think “dang it!” momentarily, but then those responsibilities fade away away as quickly as they came.

There are several (SEVERAL) tasks that fit this description for me, ranging from paying my dental bill to organizing my closet, but the only one I acted on recently was making a Recipe Index page. I can’t even describe to you the satisfaction and pride I felt after completing that task on Friday.

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As I built the “Burgers/Sandwiches” section of the page, I came to the realization that I’ve never posted a sandwich recipe. Not a one! Plenty of burgers, but no sandwiches. You’d probably think this means I’m not a big sandwich eater, but you would be dead wrong. In fact, I’m obsessed with sandwiches. I eat them all the time, so why not share them with my internet friends?

To remedy this huge, HUGE issue, today I’m sharing my very favorite type of sandwich: tomatoes two ways (including a pesto!), creamy mozzarella, and rich avocado, all sandwiched between hearty, seeded bread. I literally eat something along these lines at least once a week. The Beast and I call it our “Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Night,” so it’s obviously a very adult, refined meal.

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If my grown-up grilled cheese needed to get ready for a fancy night out, it’d drench itself in this balsamic drizzle. It makes the whole delicious combination even more appealing; The tomatoes get sweeter, the subtle flavors of the mozzarella and avocado are heightened, and when the drizzle hits the basil you will INSIST that you’re eating bruschetta for dinner…and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
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