Archives for June 2015


Love Always Wins

And when we do not know what to pray for, as we ought,
the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Romans 8:28

There are times in life, so overwhelming with sorrow, that prayers can not be uttered.
You’re at a loss for words, with no answers for unimaginable acts of evil.

That’s been me for the past 5 days.

I can’t figure out how to pray because I am so stunned that in the year 2015, an American would desire to start a race war. Really? It’s easy to feel that we are back to square one when it comes to racism.

But more than that, there are 9 families, friends of those families, a church community who is in the throes of deep grief and anguish. And my heart just wants to give them a hug. Just wants them to know how loved they are. And just how sorry I am that someone with the same skin hue as myself did this to them. It makes me want to shout to the families of the 9 victims that the vile creature from Wednesday does not represent white people. That we love them and we stand with them, united together, to support them, honor them, and serve them.

And how the community of Charleston has responded in the past 5 days is mind boggling.

Source: Post & Courier

Church bells tolling united throughout the Lowcounty at 10am Sunday morning

A hands-held together unity chain with more than 10,000 people over the Cooper River Bridge

Hands held high in unison worshipping God at Mother Emanuel AME Church just days after the tragedy

Knees bowed low in unification in Charleston and across this country in prayer vigil after prayer vigil

As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”.

Love endures long.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes.
Love never fails.

I Corinthians 13

To the black community, in Charleston and throughout this country, I love you and I am so deeply sorry for your loss.



Chocolate Chip, Hazelnut, Toffee Cookies {Gluten Free}


Before my days were tallied by how many dishes washed or just how long that 5 year old’s tantrum could last, I counted my days down making call after call, tracking minute by minute of phone time.

I was in software sales and we had to spend a lot of time on the telephone. By the time evening rolled around, I just wanted solitude. And for me that meant baking cookies. There is something therapeutic in creaming butter with sugar, pouring in more vanilla than called for, and eating more than one person’s share of raw cookie dough.

My favorite cookies I’ve ever made are Giada’s Chocolate Chip, Hazelnut, & Toffee Cookies.
Hands down, they are the best!

But then…

I found out it was gluten that had caused year’s of abdominal pain and I wasn’t interested in gritty tasting cookies that would spread out over the entire baking sheet. After countless attempts that stretched out over years, I thought I would never again have a cookie just as good as Giada’s recipe.

But fortunately, I kept trying and have finally crafted a gluten free version that is just as delish as the original!
Tips & Tricks
Gluten free baking can be very tricky when it comes to using butter. Gluten free flours just do not soak up the fat in butter the same way that wheat flour does. For this reason, do not cream the sugars and butter using a stand mixer. Simply whisk together as indicated below.
If the gluten free flour blend you use already contains xanthum gum then you do not need to add the xanthum gum called for in the recipe.
This recipe is very versatile when it comes to the mix-in’s, if you would rather not have toffee or hazelnuts then use 1 cup of just chocolate chips, or try whatever your heart desires. I have used m&m’s in place of the chocolate chips and those turned out great as well.
If you are lucky enough to not have issues with gluten, then you can try substituting normal all purpose wheat flour in place of the gluten free flour blend.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip, Hazelnut, Toffee Cookies

Yield: 24 Cookies


  • 8 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 1 cup old fashion rolled gluten free oats
  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour (purchase or create your own with a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped English toffee candy {such as Heath toffee}


  1. Melt butter in microwave using small glass bowl, set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine oats, oat flour, gluten free flour, xanthum gum, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk well.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together melted butter, and both sugars. Whisk until very well combined. Whisk in egg and vanilla.
  4. Using a large spatula, stir in flour mixture until well combined and then stir in chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and toffee.
  5. Place a dishcloth or plastic wrap over the bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Place parchment paper or a silpat liner on top of an unrimmed baking sheet. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, portion out cookies approximately 1 1/2 TBSP size onto baking sheet and then flatten down slightly with your fingers.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating baking sheet half way through baking time.
  9. Transfer silpat or parchment paper to a wire rack so cookies can cool off and set.


I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!