November 2017 - Simply Samantha
allergy friendly

SnickerDoodles - Gluten Free and Dairy Free

8:00 AM

I must have a subconscious SnickerDoodle craving because that is definitely been the trend in my baking recipes lately.

This recipe is super simple if you have a measure for measure GF flour on hand. I stocked up on my personal favorite (King Arthur) right before the holidays. Makes baking this holiday season a lot easier.

I also have learned pressing down on the dough before baking makes them a tad thinner and less dense. If you want to make the ball/dome shaped like mine just be prepared to have them be a bit dense.

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SnickerDoodles - Gluten Free and Dairy Free
The easiest gluten free and dairy free snickerdoodles you'll ever make
  • 1 cup, softened Dairy Free Butter*
  • 1 and 1/2 cup sugar (regular white/cane)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups Gluten Free Flour blend (with xanthan gum)*
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Also, prepare two baking sheets with parchment paperIn a bowl that you can either use a hand mixer in or is attached to an electric mixer, place butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute till smoothAdd in eggs and vanilla and continue mixing In a different bowl, combine flour, starch, baking powder, salt, and cinnamonSlowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Mix till everything is blended together. Once mixed, form dough into small balls. Once formed, roll in a cinnamon sugar mixture (1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon) in a separate bow. Then place on cookie sheet.Space evenly on cookie sheet and press down if you don't want them in the dome shapeBake for 12 minutes until cookies are cooked through. Let them fully cool and enjoy! (they taste better cooled)*Butter - I used Earth Balance Butter Sticks *GF Flour Blend - I used King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure with xantham gum
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24 cookies

Happy Baking Friends!


Healthy Recipes for the Holidays

12:43 PM

Life has been pretty crazy around here! I always falsely assume the end of the year will mean a slow down for the Riley's. Nope. It's the opposite.

However, I am going to TRY my best to knock out some recipes for you guys in the next couple weeks. The holidays always make me more inclined to bake and cook so I can't wait to do some of that and share what I make with y'all.

Until then. I thought I would share with your some of my favorite holiday recipes. Some aren't very festive but would make a great dish for that holiday party you are attending! 

My go-to holiday dessert. It's simple and easy to make. And oh so TASTY! You bet these will be made as soon as possible - RECIPE 

I made this for a holiday party last year and it was a huge hit! Those that typically have dairy LOVED it!It'ss a great party pleaser - RECIPE

Another great little recipe I created a while back! You could easily sub peanut butter for the almond butter but regardless it would make a tasty holiday treat - RECIPE 

I love a good Chines Christmas Eve! Years ago we used to do it every Christmas Eve. People would bring their favorite Chines food and we'd create a Chines Buffet. While we haven't done it in years, I could see this being a big hit!  - RECIPE 

SnickerDoodle Cupcakes - Gluten Free + Dairy Free
While these were fall inspired, you could easily christmas-fy these for the holidays! Maybe a little green and red icing? - RECIPE 

Have any holiday recipes you are ready to make for the season?

Have a great Thanksgiving Friends! 


Simply Samantha's Christmas Gift List 2017

8:00 AM

Christmas will soon be upon us friends!
It's time to get those wish list's written for not only yourself but for others too! 
These are just a few of my favorite things I think would be perfect to add to your own Christmas list or to add to a loved ones!  

For the Daily Snackers in your life - Love with Food is the snack food subscription service that brings unique, all- natural and organic snacks that are free of artificial coloring, flavoring, and MSG (they even offer a gluten-free version!). This month they have partnered with blind contestant and MasterChef Winner, Christine Ha for its Holiday Snack Box! The box is filled with SO MANY GOODIES. A subscription from Love with Food would make a great gift and With every purchase of Christine’s box Love With Food will donate at least one meal to Houston Food Bank! How cool is that!
You can save $10 for 6 months(or longer) plan + Earn up to $30 in free snacks! Use the code JOLLY by 1/1!
I was sent a Love with Food box in exchange for review - opinions are 100% my own

For the Eco-Friendly Friend - LifeFactory -  I love this company and their products. I have 3 of their water bottles sitting in my kitchen cabinet right now as I type this. They make great gifts that will last forever. They are just so cute while also beig Eco-Friendly!
Image result for lifefactory

For the Old School Friend - Mason Jar Accessories - Have someone that's obsessed with Mason Jars? They are going to love the crazy amounts of accessories that Ball has for their jars. I'm a personal fan of the sip and straw lids. Perfect for drinking out of any mason jar

For the Fixer Upper -  Hearth and Hand - I think any Fixer Upper fan is going to have this on their gift list. You can't go wrong with a little Joanna Gains in your life. I'm so impressed with this collection when I went to go check it out last week. High-quality products for great prices. Her christmas stuff is to die for! The mugs are also super cute for any home!

For the pet lover - Burts Bee's Pet Products - I love these products. They've helped Bruno get through the horrible summer allergies. They are made with simple and natural ingredients that work.
Image result for burt's bees pet care
For my amateur Chef - Air Fryer - These have intrigued me so much. Mostly because in the summer I HATE running my oven but I love baked fries or fried food. I feel like this would solve so many issues! Has anyone else used one? I also think the Ninja blenders need to be one peoples list as well. I can only imagine how smoother my cashew sour cream would be if I had one! :o

Avalon Bay Air Fryer, For Healthy Fried Food, 3.7 Quart Capacity, Includes Airfryer Baking Set and Recipe Book, AB-Airfryer100B
For the book lover- Amazon Kindle - For YEARS I've said I would never ask for one because I love a good physical book. But I've found it harder and harder to read because I don't have the time or room to carry books around. Well, I think along with it being a great gift idea, I may ask for a Kindle myself. It's time for a change friends! 

That's all I got for now friends! I may keep updating this list as time goes on! 

Do you have any gadgets or healthy products on your list this year?? I'd love to hear!

gluten free

Questions and Answers

8:00 AM

The blogger writing block was real this week my friends. I'm going to blame the cold weather and allergies attacking my forehead.
I get asked a lot of questions about my lifestyle, from healthy living, to food, and even clothing that I wear.
I thought a question and answer post would be fitting for this week and maybe I'll answer one of the questions you've always had for me!

1. What is Simply Samantha?
Simply Samantha is exactly what it says. It is simply me. I consider myself a very simple person. I enjoy the very simple things in life. I hope that is reflective in my recipes and posts. I feel life is just better when it's simpler.

2. What made you start blogging?
I first started blogging about 5 or 6 years ago. I love the online community that comes with blogging. Back then I used to blog more lifestyle and random posts. Such as my Hunger Games fandom phase back in Spring of 2012. Starting in 2014 I started documenting my recipes that I made in my first year of marriage as I tried to balance being a newlywed and living/eating healthy. That turned into what the blog is now. I like to mix in a lifestyle post here and there, but recipe creating is something I just love to do.

3. Does your husband eat how you eat?
Yes. Right before we got married I had everyone telling me he was going to eat me out of and house and home (my husband is 6ft 5in - Captian American built). But that was not the case. We knew from the get-go that it was just going to be easier for us to eat the same (gluten-free) dinners. When we eat at home, he eats whatever I make. I try to make meals that I know he will eat. I wrote a post about this here. When we eat out though, he eats whatever he wants.

4. So what are your dietary restrictions?
Gluten - I CAN NOT have gluten. I am not Celiac (I have never been tested). If a piece of regular bread touches my salad it will not kill me. However, I cannot ingest any gluten. I've been gluten-free ever since April 2013 when I went to the ER with severe stomach pains that caused me to pass out. I took gluten out of my diet to see if it would help with some of the symptoms I was having daily. It helped and I feel better ever since.
Dairy - This is the newest one. I'm still trying to figure out where I am at with it. After our trip to Ireland where I had all the dairy daily (note: most of their dairy in Ireland is pasture raised and local), I came back and became sick after a weekend of heavy American dairy intake. I don't know if have a problem with raw dairy (like milk, yogurt) or just dairy in general. I'll keep you posted ;). I figured it's just best to avoid it for right now.
Pork and Beef - this is more of a preference but I do not eat pork and rarely eat any beef.

5. Some of your recipes are vegan... are you vegan?
No. I like the challenge of cooking vegan and sometimes vegan meals are easier, cheaper, and tastier. However, I am a big believer and supporting brands that ethically take care of animals (like Stonyfield, Applegate, Pete and Gerrys). I don't like to support companies that treat their animals unethically. No animal should be tortured just so we can have food.

6. Is Bruno vegan? Gluten Free?
Vegan. No.
He is pretty much a gluten-free dog. He doesn't eat beef or pork either (except for his monthly heart-guard which is beef flavored). He eats a grain free dog food with salmon and potatoes. His treats are typically grain/gluten free as well.

7. Any simple tips for gluten-free?
Always keep the house stocked with options. I always have salad in the fridge and some type of fruit. Healthy nuts and snacks are in the pantry at all times. My go-to snack is popcorn. And I always keep a box of gluten-free + vegan mac and cheese in my pantry.

8. You aren't vegan but do you have any favorite vegan brands that you love to support?
YES! I love Beyond Meat. Great products that are great for substituting for meat from time to time.
Follow Your Heart has the best sliced vegan cheese out there.
Silk and So Delcious are staples in our fridge for almond milk and coffee creamer.

9. Favorite recipe?
I'm always a fan of an Asian noodle recipe. Right now its a tie between Sticky Garlic Noodles or Pad Thai.

10. Any tips for traveling Ireland?
Oh dear Ireland. Take tons of pictures. The whole country is beautiful! Don't be afraid of eating over there. I have never been to a place where my dietary restrictions were never a problem.
Oh and don't spend more than a day in Dublin. And spend more than one day in Galway.

11. Where did you get that shirt!? 
I get this a lot since my instastories are shot mostly from the hips up ;). My favorite places to shop for clothes are TJ Maxx, H&M, and Old Navy. From time to time I find cute stuff at Target but I don't go there for clothes often. I live in Forever 21 $3 leggings on a daily basis.

12. Who's your Spirit animal?
OH, hands down Joanna Gains. My husband and I are literally her and Chip in a nutshell. Similar personalities. My husbands very much the goofy one and I am the quiet but sensible one ;).

13. A song you are loving at the moment? 
While I'm a country girl at heart, I love a good pop song - Havana by Camila Cabello is my jam right now.

I leave it at lucky number 13 friends!

 If you have any other question for me, comment below! I'd love to answer them!