more than a cupcake

image

I posted this on my Instagram (@emvalerioti) a few weeks ago.  It was a huge moment for me, one that I am still proud of.  It also is so prominent because Melissa Hartwig, Whole30 headmistress herself, gave me positive affirmations on my food freedom story, and approved of my selection of cupcake with the “proper cupcake to frosting ratio.”  Love. Love.  Love.  I don’t have celeb crushes really, Robert Downey Jr. aside, but I do have some serious author/blogger crushes.  Melissa being one of them.  Keep reading to read my original post on Instagram, word for word and see a pic of when I met Melissa two months ago, eep! Continue reading

dark chocolate rum cupcakes

dark chocolate rum cupcakes | Journey for JessiI know I never did my Whole30 wrap up… it’s in the works y’all.  Actually that’s kind of a lie… It’s in my drafts folder, but not much progress has been made writing wise.  My apologies, but this recipe must be shared ASAP! *Note: these are NOT Whole30 approved ;)*  Alright, enough beating around the bush, I made these babies for my friend’s birthday.  Of course I made some healthy-ish improvements, but there’s also booze in them so… there’s that… and here’s the recipe! Continue reading

chocolate pomegranate smoothie

chocolate  pomegranate smoothie--Journey for Jessi The weather has been foggy, rainy, dreary and “cold.”  Well, cold for Houston.  This always seems to happen when I come home.  I expect a break from the cold and the snow and want to come to the warm and sun, but here I am… oh well.  I am not letting it ruin my fun!
Continue reading

rum truffle macaróns

rum truffle macaróns--Journey for JessiMy favorite thing in the world to make?  French/Italian Macaróns.  I am definitely not talking about the coconut macaroons most Americans think of.  These delicate confections are made with a light almond flour (making them gluten-free), fluffy egg whites, and some kind of cream or filling between.  I first fell in love with this dessert when I went to France in 2009.  My first bite of a macarón was pure heaven–chocolatey, crisp, yet gooey on the inside, and filled with all different textures and flavors that just seemed to kiss my palette.  Every since then, I have been receiving macaróns for birthdays and holidays, but a a few years ago, I embarked on a journey to make these splendidly tricky desserts. Continue reading

not-so-texas-sized texas sheet cake mini cupcakes

not-so-texas-sized mini cupcakesI am finally satisfied with this recipe!  I have been working on it and perfecting it for a week now, and last night’s batch was the winner!  I am so excited with how these turned out!  They are soft, light, chocolatey, and very moist for being gluten-free.  This experiment first began as a Texas Sheet Cake (which I still want to make), but I was lacking ingredients for a full cake.  Then, I decided to cut down the recipe and make a small loaf of “sheet” cake.  I was trying to make this recipe gluten-free and healthier as I always do too.   Continue reading

summer mornings

summer mornings--Journey for JessiDespite the fact that summer usually means sleeping in late for most college students, I cannot bear the notion.  Why waste the most beautiful part of the day?  The promise of a fresh start every morning with the whole day ahead of you.  I think my body knows this and that is why I cannot sleep in past 9 am–and that is still pretty late for me.  I average around 7:30 am unless I set an alarm to go for a run.  In Houston, the day heats up pretty quickly, and if I have not hit the pavement before the sun makes its appearance, I am in trouble. Continue reading