Sunday Biscotti

Sunday Biscotti


So I did what my ancestors have done for centuries: I cooked everything in the house.
In the past, when life reached flash flood status, I would do the other thing my ancestors have done for centuries and drank a bottle of wine solo.

But I don’t do that anymore, so the overwhelming discouragement and back alley beat downs of last week magically transformed into applesauce, Zuppa Giovedi, and tangerine biscotti. Little victories, praise Jesus.
Sunday nights in college used to be cooking nights too, way before ‘mealprep’ was an Instagram hashtag. My family has been doing that for generations. We just call it ‘Sunday’ and it usually smells like roasting garlic, and sounds like a lot of people yelling (they're happy, its just how we talk). Even now, my 25-year-old brother spends his weekends baking artisan breads, making stews and soups, and finding new ways to incorporate Asiago into breakfast. Welcome to the life of people who smell like oregano, and kiss strangers hello.

When I was in college, I was working two part-time jobs, taking six classes and participating in four academic clubs. I was a frazzled 20-year-old lunatic trying to graduate early because I was too poor to stay an extra semester. But on Sundays, the cloud of chaos settled onto a kitchen counter strewn with bits of citrus zest, dark chocolate chips, eggs, sugar, and flour.

And today it’s the same. I’m still working two jobs, but these ones are full time. It turns out the things I thought I wanted four years ago are not at all the things I want. They're not even close. God has given me new dreams and opportunities that are so out of my league, but are within His. I’m being confirmed and affirmed where I shouldn’t be, and shot down where I’m strong, which is tough gristle to chew on, I promise you that. New doors are swinging open, and the old ones slamming shut and I’m just trying to keep my fingers from getting pinched…

And avoid scraping my knuckles on the grater as tangerine rind flutters into the mixing bowl. The rind lands softer than the criticisms of last week, the callous words peppering off like a malfunctioning rifle leaving buckshot buried in my soft places. The eggs and sugar beat easier together than all of the broken life pieces I’m trying to whip into some kind of sense because my calling is taking a 180. And when I form the batter into a rectangle, and pat it into place….why can’t everything just sit so nicely? Bake for 35 minutes. I have less than 35 weeks. Scratch that: GOD will do it in less than 35 weeks.

Andrea Bocelli is singing ‘Caruso’ in the background like he has since I was four-years-old. My soup is simmering; its called Zuppa Giovedi, or Thursday Soup, because shopping is on Friday, and whatever is left on Thursday night goes into a pot. It’s amazing how mismatched leftovers and random bits become beautiful when you boil them down and add grated parmesan.

I’m tired of letting people treat me like a mismatched leftover. God has never treated me like a leftover. Not even once.

Even in the midst of the hurt, exhaustion, and biting my tongue while sitting in the cage, He’s teaching me to sing. He’s teaching me to wait with peace on the promises, because the promises are promised and they’re coming. If they’re not here today, its because they were not meant for today, but they’re coming.

In college, I would have put chocolate in the biscotti. Tonight, it needs to be simple. Something has to be simple. I drop the tangerine oil into confectioner sugars and it shines like golden dew against snow. I don’t have to prove my worth to anyone; its inherent. They don’t have to see it for it to be real. They don’t’ have to understand the promises for the promises to come. They don’t have to be likeable for me to show love. They can take those back alley punches, but compared to the blessings that are coming...

I drizzle the glaze over the golden cookies and wait. You never eat Sunday biscotti right away.
It’s always better to wait until Monday morning.

Sunday Biscotti
Preheat oven to 350°F
Sift together
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
In a mixer, beat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbs. almond milk
  • 2 tbs. citrus rind grated
Add dry to wet, and mix until firm dough forms. If dough is too wet, add more flour. If too dry, add more almond milk.

On a greased cookie sheet, shape the cookie dough into an oblong-shaped loaf. Bake for 10 minutes or until the bottom of loaf starts to turn golden. Remove from oven, and cut loaf into diagonal slices. 

Turn slices onto their sides, and return to oven for 10 minutes. When the slices are golden, flip, and bake another 10 minutes. This seals in the moisture, and keeps the biscotti from being too dry.
Remove from the oven and cool. Glaze with frosting (confectioner’s sugar and fresh citrus juice is what I use), or dip in melted chocolate.


  • Orange and chocolate – use orange zest for the flavoring, and chocolate chips in the mix. Can be dipped in chocolate or glazed with orange frosting
  • Key Lime and White Chocolate: Use Lime Vitality Oil and zest in the dough, and white chocolate chips.
  • Boozy Biscotti: Use one cup of unsweetened baking cocoa in place of one cup of flour. For the flavoring, use 1/3 cup of Kaluha liqueur or Baileys. Add chocolate chips to the dough, and glaze with a frosting of confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and liqueur.
  • Chocolate Mint: Use one cup of unsweetened baking cocoa in place of one cup of flour. Use Peppermint Vitality Oil for the flavoring and crushed mint candies in the dough. Decorate with frosting (confectioners’ sugar and mint extract), and sprinkle crushed mint candies on top.

Orange Goji Coconut Bark

Orange Goji Coconut Bark


But when I do, its usually like ‘I need it NOW or somebody’s gonna lose a limb.’

Here’s the problem. Candy bars are full of refined and bleached sugar, chemicals, dyes, and corn syrup. When we decided to add corn product to chocolate is beyond me, but whatever…its nasty for our insides, no matter how good we think it tastes.

…………and I’m still over here wanting chocolate and trying not to kill nobody today, lawd.

Solution. This bark has no sugar because it is made with Lily’s Chocolate Chips - vegan, stevia sweetened, no junk, and you can get them on Amazon. I also include a few drops of Young Living’s Vitality Orange Essential Oil for all of the immune support, plus chewy goji berries and coconut. 
See? Chocolate crisis averted. And nobody got hurt ;)

Orange Goji Coconut Bark
In a double boiler, melt together your chocolate chips and coconut oil until smooth and melted. Take off of the heat and stir in 3 drops of the orange oil. If you get more than 3, don’t panic. Just aim for 3.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spread your dried gojis and coconut. Keep them kind of close together, don’t spread it all over the paper. Pour the warm chocolate over the berries and spread with the back of a spoon until the chocolate is evenly covering the mix.

Chill overnight, and break or cut the next morning into small pieces.
Mangia ;)

**Please do not ingest any essential oils except for oils from the Young Living Vitality line. Young Living has gone through the required processes with the FDA to ensure that the oils in the Vitality line are generally regarded as safe (GRAS) for human consumption. If you see a recipe on this blog that includes the use of essential oils in a food product or recipe, it will only ever be from the Young Living Vitality line. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Coconut Milk Chocolate Truffles

Coconut Milk Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate….chocolate’s your friend. 

I love Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chips. They don’t pay me a dime to say that, but if they want to, they can pay me in chocolate. Vegan, ethically sourced cocoa, no added sugar, and absolutely delicious, I add these chips to my protein shakes or throw a couple together with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Ohhhh…MY SPIRIT!
Truffles sound decadent, but with no added sugar and coconut milk as the base, these truffles are so not going to throw you off your healthy lifestyle. And they are so beautiful they can easily be added to a holiday cookie platter. I added Vitality oil to my truffles for flavor, and recommend the orange or peppermint. Holla!

Coconut Milk Chocolate Truffles
  • 1 1/2 cups of Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips (stevia sweetened)
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 4-5 drops of Young Living Orange Vitality Essential Oil
  • Optional: chopped pistachios, finely shredded coconut, cocoa powder, sprinkles :) 
In a saucepan, warm the coconut cream over medium heat until its just starting to simmer. Stir it regularly so it doesn’t burn. Pour your chocolate chips into a bowl, and pour the warm cream over the chips. Cover with a dish towel and wait for a few minutes.

Gently (and I do mean ‘gently’) stir the chocolate and cream together. Add in your Vitality Oil and stir a bit longer until completely mixed. Cover the bowl and let cool in the fridge overnight. 

With a melon baller or small ice cream scoop, scoop small portions of the chilled mix. Roll into balls. The mixture might be a tad bit crumbly, so you may need to use your hands to roll them. Toss in cocoa, chopped nuts, or sprinkles. Let chill for another hour or so.


Almond Cinnamon Biscotti (GF, DF)

Almond Cinnamon Biscotti (GF, DF)


You know, that one dish that brings you back to center when the world is ‘freaking the cuss out’ around you, and you need to remember where you came from. For some, it’s a dish their mother made when they were little, like mac n’ cheese or a casserole. For others, it could be something that stems from their ethnic background or cultural identity, like the British and their ritual of tea in the afternoon. 

For me, it was (and is) biscotti. When finals were chewing me out, or I was feeling out-of-place in a university that was 550 miles from home, there was a settling comfort in a pan of orange and chocolate biscotti. Now that I’m a bit more health conscious, I wanted to create a version that was gluten-free, low in glycemic index and safe for my anti-dairy friends.

Italian desserts are very dry and not overly sweet. We tend to let our Mediterranean-ripened fruit plates at the end of the meal be our dose of sweet because when you have fresh apricots and figs, who needs cake?! Now, technically ‘biscotti’ is an Italian word applied to ALL cookies, so its very American of me to be referring to the long, twice baked cookies you dunk in cappuccino as ‘biscotti’ but we’re just trying to get some healthy cookies made here, so no sweat.

This version is gluten and dairy free, and made without sugar. I hesitate to say it is Paleo-friendly because I did use erythritol to sweeten. Erythritol can be found naturally in some fruits and fermented foods, but it is very important that you use an organic version like Wholesome. If you prefer not to use a natural sugar alcohol, you can substitute the erhtyritol for 1 cup of organic cane sugar. Flour has been switched out for almond meal which is much fattier, so it will bake differently but still produces a crunchy biscotti.

Almond Cinnamon Biscotti
Preheat oven to 350°F  

Stir together
  • 2 cups of almond meal (not almond flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Stir together in a separate bowl
Add dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until the dough forms. If dough is too wet, add more almond meal. If too dry, add more almond milk.

On a greased cookie sheet, shape the cookie dough into an oblong-shaped loaf. Bake for 18 minutes or until the bottom of loaf starts to turn golden. Remove from oven, and cut loaf into diagonal slices. 

Turn slices onto their sides, and return to oven for 18 minutes. When the slices are golden, flip, and bake another 18 minutes. This seals in the moisture, and keeps the biscotti from being too dry. Now, the finished biscotti will come out of the oven a little soft. That is fine. Remove from the oven and let them cool. Within 15 minutes they will have hardened up. 

You can drizzle with warm almond butter if you feel so inclined but it really isn’t necessary. They are 100% delicious dunked in coffee.

Mangia <3

Bova PB Cookies (GF/DF)

Bova PB Cookies (GF/DF)


The layers of protein bowl and peanut butter are mine, but the cookie crumbles….those are all Bova. 
We got this recipe from our friends at Bova Health & Wellness in Upstate NY. Dr. Bova and his beautiful wife Allie are phenomenal advocates of clean living, and total wellness. They have changed so many lives through their wonderful practice. They also like good food, so this recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies was a stroke of pure brilliance.

These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are free of gluten and dairy. I have tweaked it very slightly to incorporate Vitality oils, and also to reduce the sugar from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup. 

I usually crumble the cookies up on a protein shake bowl, as pictured above, or I eat them before a workout with a cup of tea.

BOVA PB Cookies (preheat oven to 325F)
  • 1 cup chunky natural peanut butter - yes, it does need to be chunky. 
  • 1/4 cup light brown organic cane sugar.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life Dairy Free Chocolate Chips (OR I use Lily’s Unsweetened Chocolate Chips)
Mix together all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the chocolate chips. Stir those in last. Roll the dough into the size of ping-pong balls, and place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. The cookies will not expand or flatten. 
Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes and enjoy when cool! They keep very well if you put them in the freezer, but I don’t think they’ll last that long. ;)

Mangia <3

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