Recipe: Coconut Almond Fat Bombs (Keto, Paleo, Dairy-Free)

Keto Coconut Almond Fat Bombs | Freckled Italian

Can you believe Valentine's Day is just a week away? Rob and I don't usually do very much to celebrate, but I always like to make a little treat and maybe some dinner.

This year I decided to try my hand at some keto fat bombs--they only take a few ingredients and they're packed with healthy fats so they make a really great treat when you're trying to cut out sugar. Some people sweeten them with a bit of honey or any other natural sweetener, but I don't think they need it.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed butter (optional but delicious)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Several tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut, for topping

Instructions: 

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt coconut oil and whisk together with almond butter until combined. Add cocoa powder and butter. Continue to stir until combined. Add the salt and remove from heat.
  2. Pour the mixture into baking molds--I use silicone cupcake liners, but you could find cute little heart ones or some other shape.
  3. Pop them into the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until they've hardened enough to handle. Store in the fridge!
Paleo Coconut Almond Fat Bombs | Freckled Italian

Cherry Blossoms and Babies and Avocados

I got home late on Friday night after what should have been a quick couple hours of travel turned into delay after delay and I ended up spending most of the day waiting for my flight to board in the Palm Springs airport.

The past few times I've flown home from a trip, I've gotten a bit disoriented, feeling like I should really be traveling back to Charlotte, not San Francisco. I don't always know why it happens, but I usually end up sitting on the plane, picturing our South End apartment that we loved so much--the one we lived in when we first moved to Charlotte, the first place we ever brought Ender home to, and the neighborhood where we never needed a car because we could walk everywhere, including to the light rail station. It really was home.

When I landed at SFO, it was rainy and chilly and for a quick minute my Queen City homesickness subsided. I waited for my ride on the sidewalk, breathing in the cool air and feeling more and more anxious to be done with the day. I had such a great time in Palm Springs, but I was really excited to get back to Rob and Ender. They're my home, no matter where we are.

But it still hits me out of the blue--a deep daydream of Charlotte, usually in the spring. I think about morning walks to Atherton Market for coffee with Rob and Ender on Fridays, when the grass is still a little wet and the sun hasn't made its way through the clouds yet, but the buds on the trees are blooming and the air around us is perfumed and damp in the best, most subtle way.

One of my best friends had a baby last week and I was surprised by how sad I felt to not be there to visit her in the hospital, or bring her a breakfast casserole, or walk her dog, or just generally be there to share in the excitement of a brand new baby. I've made friends here, sure; but none of them have shown me their pregnancy nipples yet. (If that's not #squadgoals then I don't know what is.)

I love a lot of things about California. Yesterday we went to Rob's aunt and uncle's house for brunch and sat in their beautiful kitchen drinking mimosas as the gluten-free waffles they had made for us from scratch cooked in the waffle maker. It was a warm morning, and the little buds on the cherry blossom trees are blooming and the air around us on the way out of our house and into theirs was perfumed and damp in the best, most subtle way. 

After breakfast, as we walked to our car, Rob's aunt handed me a white paper bag of avocados from her neighbor's yard. We drove home with the windows down.

My mom is visiting later this week and I'm so excited to have her here. I keep thinking I'm going to show her around, forgetting that she lived in the Bay Area for much longer than four months (she moved here from Argentina when she was eight years old and didn't leave until I was five). Is California my place to share? Minneapolis felt that way. But the Bay Area, while varied and vast and beautiful, feels like a place where I am still very much a visitor. But I think that's okay.

With every flight and every rainfall, I am learning more and more to be content exactly where I am today--wherever that may be.

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.
— Frederick Buechner

Photo by David Coe.

Recipe: Crab Louie Salad

Crab Louie Salad Recipe | Freckled Italian

One of my all-time favorite salads is definitely the Crab Louie--it is so decadent and feels totally fancy! I only ever eat it when I'm on vacation at the beach somewhere, so the other day I thought, why not make it for myself at home? Crab season is winding down, so Rob and I ran to the market in our neighborhood and picked up some Dungeness crab meat and threw together these beautiful salads (as well as a couple fresh crab sandwiches) and had a really lovely weekend lunch together.

Crab Louie Salad Recipe | Freckled Italian

Butter lettuce is one of my favorite lettuces ever--it's crisp but soft in texture and has a really nice silkiness that I can't get enough of. I like to leave it whole on the plate and cut it up as I go. Crab Louie salads really incorporate all of my favorite veggies (radishes, tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado) with hard-boiled eggs and crab meat, two of my favorite proteins.

You could also add some lightly steamed asparagus if you wanted, but I like mine without, especially when I'm pairing it with white wine. As usual, we reached for a bottle of La Crema--the Monterey Chardonnay is perfect with this dish (and the crab sandwich, too--find the recipe on the La Crema blog today).

Crab Louie Salad (serves 2)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 small head of butter lettuce, washed and removed from stem
  • 1/4-1/2 pound of Dungeness crab meat
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 medium Roma tomato
  • 1-2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
  • 2-3 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 of a large cucumber, quartered
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 dash of hot sauce (Tabasco would be best)
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions: 

  1. Divide and arrange lettuce, vegetables, hard-boiled egg, and crab on two plates to your liking. 
  2. In a small bowl mix mayo, ketchup, hot sauce, paprika, chili powder, and some salt and pepper. Serve overtop or on the side of the salads. Serve immediately.
Crab Louie Salad Recipe | Freckled Italian
Crab Louie Salad Recipe | Freckled Italian

This post is brought to you in partnership with La Crema