Summer Reading + Flourless Nut Free Brownies

A few great books that I’ve read recently and a recipe for Flourless Nut Free Brownies from the new cookbook Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry.


I am currently reading (and loving) a touching memoir about an American woman, who while living and working in London, gets eliminated from her very corporate job only to clear her savings and move to Paris to enroll in the infamous Le Cordon Bleu. The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry is a feel good book that has made me stop numerous times and ask myself what it is I really want. And would I have the guts to do what it would take to make it happen. A great summer read!

King Makers Daughter,

Phillipa Gregory books sucks me in every time. I’m a sucker for anything she writes. If not a tad slow in the first half, I still enjoyed it. The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker”, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. Full of drama and more drama, this historical fiction novel does not disappoint!

Up Island by Anne Rivers Siddons,

The first Anne Rivers Siddons book I’ve read, this is legit chick lit. A tad (ok, a lot) cliche but sometimes a mindless read is just what I want. A southern women gets dumped by her husband so she heads up to Martha’s Vineyard to “find herself.” Which is exactly what she does. She learns that family doesn’t necessarily mean blood but rather a group of people who come together to care for one another. Up Island is a feel good, fun summer read.

Amst_Paleo Cooking from Elanas Pantry-1

Though I’m far from Paleo (hello pancakes and muffins), I have been playing around with a diet that is is lower in gluten and dairy. When Ten Speed Press sent me a copy of Elana’s Pantry new cookbook, Paleo Cooking from Elanas Pantry I was thrilled to go through it and find some inspiration. The recipes are easy, family friendly and many are classic dishes redone in a Paleo friendly way.

PCEP Flourless Nut-Free Brownies image p 116-1

I made Elana’s Flourless Nut Free Brownies when my cousin came to visit last week. He is gluten and dairy free and thought they were fantastic. He single handedly took down most of the pan. Fudge like brownies without all the guilt- I can get behind these! I didn’t change a thing though I didn’t have a square baking pan, only a round cake pan and they still turned out brilliantly!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Flourless Nut-Free Brownies


  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup Spectrum all-vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with shortening.
  3. In a medium sauce pan over very low heat, melt the chocolate chips until very smooth.
  4. Remove the pan from heat, then mix in the shortening and coconut sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth and combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
  6. Let the brownies cool in the pan for 1 hour. Cut the brownies into 16 servings.

Reprinted with permission from Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry: Gluten Free, Grain Free Dairy Free Recipes by Elana Amsterdam (Ten Spreed Press, 2013). Photo Credit: Leigh Beisch.

*I was sent a copy of Paleo Cooking From Elana’s Pantry from Ten Speed Press though all reviews, opinions and thoughts are my own.