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Penne alla Vodka [GF, DF, SF]

A Nod to My Sister's Penne alla Vodka Recipe

My sister has one of THE BEST Penne alla Vodka recipes around. It's a 'lick the bowl clean' kind of awesome. And a dish so good, I never dared to order it at a restaurant because it always paled in comparison. That creamy pink sauce of hers is...was....divine!

These days, however, I'm kickin it dairy free. But that doesn't mean I still can't enjoy Penne alla Vodka. I love taking old recipes and recreating them with a new twist. 

And to be honest, this recipe wasn't that hard to recreate. The sauce contains minimal ingredients - it's a mixture of tomatoes, heavy cream, red pepper flakes and of course, vodka. 

So the only thing I needed to make a swap for was the dairy. Seems easy enough!

And since I've cut dairy out of my kitchen for quite some time now, I've learned a thing or two about the awesome alternatives. There's plenty of options! You've got cashews - which work like a charm but don't always...

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Santa Hat Cheesecake Bites [GF, DF, SF]

Santa Baby, Hurry Down the Chimney Tonight 

With a gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free chocolate and vanilla, cheesecake for me.

Sung to the tune of Santa Baby, in my best Eartha Kitt voice. 

Okay, these were an absolute hit at Christmas Eve dessert table! Kids and adults alike loved them and no one seemed to care that they were missing the gluten, dairy and refined sugar typically found in regular cheesecake. Not to mention, they're vegan.

Yes it is possible to make a dessert that ALL your guests will enjoy no matter their dietary preferences!  

Note: Map out your circles across the top of your chocolate layer. Save the scraps. 

To make these Santa hat cheesecake bites you will need a chocolate cheesecake with a coconut pecan base (I made it in a springform pan but you might consider using parchment paper cupcake liners), vanilla creme cooled in plastic baggies for easy squeezing and strawberries. That's it!

A few notes to keep in...

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The Spicy Sister, Corn Chowder with Heat [GF, DF, SF]

The Spicy Sister, Corn Chowder with Heat

Okay, so I was in the kitchen the other day making one of my favorite soup recipes - my Spicy, Summer Corn Chowder. It's a little taste of summer, with a touch of fall and soooooo good. As I was gathering the ingredients, I realized I was a little short on celery. So I decided to see what else I could add in place. I looked around and found two poblano peppers and a bunch of yellow potatoes. Perfect! 

I didn't think it would change the recipe that much, but it kind of did! It was still similar to the original corn chowder recipe but, now it was even spicier - and I loved it! Plus I added potatoes this time, which I purposely left out of the original because white potatoes can be inflammatory to some people, myself included. 

However, they are traditionally part of corn chowder, so in they went. This added more density to the soup. And the next thing I knew, a spicier, heartier version of my original corn chowder was born. The...

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