2 game changing gluten-free resources that you need to check out

gluten free dessertsI’m currently on month 4 of being gluten-free and by each day, it does get easier. I’ve tried a variety of gluten free alternatives and there are some things that are easy to find good gluten free versions of and others that there are not. Pizza = good. Bread and cake = not so much. So as someone who likes to bake, it kinda sucks! I’ve tackled a few dessert recipes (salted chocolate brownies and salted caramel cheesecake cupcakes) that taste just as good as the originals. But the problem with gluten-free baking is that you need gluten in order for baked goods to rise and bind the way they should. Brownies and cheesecake are both dense, so they can easily be substituted with other alternatives without sacrificing taste or consistency.

The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbookamerica's test kitchen gluten free cookbookBreads, cakes, cookies, and muffins, on the other hand, aren’t as easy. And that’s where America’s Test Kitchen comes in. Jack Bishop and Julia Collins Davison (of ATK) have already gone through the legwork involved with gluten-free baking and are now sharing their revolutionary techniques and groundbreaking recipes with us in the “The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook”.  They’ve tested different combinations of flours in muffins, cakes, and cookies to determine which work best. Unfortunately, they also say that there are some baked goods that are just impossible, namely phyllo dough and puff pastries. Cream puffs are one of my favorites. So disappointed.

You can find their recipe for flour (which works best for cookies and cakes) along with a chocolate chip cookie and a dark chocolate cupcake recipe (my next to try out!) here.

Gluten-Free Forever Magazinegluten free forever magazineI know it seems like everyone has a Kickstarter these days. Soon you’ll find me starting one to support this blog, right? Okay, not really. But between all those Kickstarters are those few that are actually really great ideas with great teams behind them. And that’s where the Gluten-Free Forever Magazine comes in. It’s aimed to be a quarterly magazine for “people who don’t want to compromise quality, flavor, or fun while enjoying a gluten-free lifestyle.” I’m totally in.

Behind GFF is a team of food media vets who will be bring recipes gathered from top chefs, authors, and bloggers. Gluten Free Girl has already announced that she will be contributing to the first issue and I’m sure there will be a lot of great recipes that even our gluten-full friends will enjoy. I’m really hoping that this Kickstarter reaches it’s goal so that I can take advantage of GFF so please help out and spread the word! You can take a look at more information on GFF and some of it’s pretty imagery (including the one above) at it’s Kickstarter page here.

Does anyone have any other great gluten-free resources, recipes, or tips? Let me know in the comments.

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the sassy prepster

layered dress by beauty and sassI always say that if something is mostly work appropriate, then it’s probably not going to make its way into my closet. And sometimes I contradict myself. I immediately loved the flattering silhouette of this Madewell dress with the pleats around the waist and the side panels. Although it can also be worn casually, for my style it is mostly a polished dress I would wear into the office. Since the dress is very simple, I’ve been layering it with a denim shirt underneath and pairing it with ankle boots. It adds a bit of edge to the preppy style and makes a simple dress more interesting. I can wear this to the office and also for some apres-work drinks.

Madewell dress (on sale!) // Topshop denim shirt // Rebecca Minkoff bag (get 25% off with the code INTHEFAMILY14) // rag & bone booties (also 25% off) // RumbaTime watch (find other colors 25% off here) // Madewell cuff (old, very cool one here) // Lanvin sunglasses (old, but great deal on the olive green  here) // BITE Beauty cashmere lip cream in Riojalayered work wear via beauty and sassrebecca minkoff pursemadewell dress and lanvin sunglasses via beauty and sassrumbatime watch via beauty and sasstexting via beauty and sasswork layers with a dress and denim shirtPhotography by Dan Johnson

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curried quinoa, lentil, and yogurt with mango recipe

curried lentil, quinoa, and yogurt with mango recipeOne of my foods is fresh mango and I’m so happy mango season is here.  A ripe mango is juicy, sweet, and just melts in the mouth. While I was visiting my parents over the weekend, my dad went to the local produce store and got me some fresh mangos that were exactly like that.

So I ate some of it fresh (because how could I not), then I used the rest for this recipe. It is inspired by my love of mango in Thai dishes – mango curry, mango fried rice, the list goes on. But I never attempt to make Thai food at home. There are just some things that should be left to the experts. And maybe I’m too lazy.

Quinoa is great for lazy people – you can make a lot at once and refrigerate to use in different recipes. Oh, and it’s nutritious and filling. Back when I first became obsessed with quinoa and was searching recipes, I landed on quinoa with mango and curried yogurt recipe on Epicurious. The curried yogurt reminds me of the flavors that you may find in some of those Thai dishes I love. Over the years, I’ve refined it to my taste and also added lentils to mix things up. It can be served warm and cold, and another great dish to make on Sunday to eat during your busy work week.

mangos via beauty and sass curried lentil, quinoa, and yogurt curried lentil, quinoa, and yogurt with mangocurried lentil, quinoa, and yogurt with mango and sriracha recipe

2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small lime
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup dry quinoa
1/3 cup dry red lentils
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 green onions, sliced into tiny pieces
Sriracha (to taste)

1. Whisk together yogurt, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
2. Rinse quinoa and lentils, then add into a large pot with 3 cups water.
3. Add red peppers and green onions to the quinoa and lentil mixture, and mix.
4. Place the pot on the stove and turn to medium heat. Cook until all the water is absorbed.
5. Mix the cooked lentils and quinoa into the yogurt.
6. Add the sliced mangos to the yogurt mixture.
7. Squeeze in the limes and add Sriracha to taste.
8. Serve warm or refrigerate to eat later in the week cold. I personally prefer it cold!

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splurge or save: the red statement envelope bag

splurge or save red envelope handbagA red statement bag has been on my shopping list for awhile now and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that I finally bought one! I love my new Rebecca Minkoff zipper trim envelope handbag. The hot red color puts a smile on my face, and the straps can be removed to convert the handbag into a clutch. I was doing some shopping when I saw a similar red envelope bag at Forever 21. It is slightly larger to fit your wallet, sunglasses, and the rest of your daily essentials. That in combination with the deeper red color with a fun floral interior makes it a great alternative, so I felt compelled to share. What do you think? Which do you prefer?

splurge: Rebecca Minkoff: $225 , save: Forever 21: $20

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day to night makeup in 3 easy steps

day to night makeup in 3 easy steps Image via Elle UK

It’s been unusually warm and sunny in SF these past few days. When the weather is this nice, I like to make plans to meet up with my friends after work. That usually involves at least some freshening up. Forget washing off all your makeup and starting from scratch. Taking the conservative and polished office makeup and translating it to an evening look is easier than it seems and can be done in 3 easy steps.

simple day to night makeup
Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Powder
MAC Penultimate Eye Liner
BITE Beauty Lip Cream in Crianza

1. Freshen up the skin with either blotting papers or touching up with some pressed powder.

2. Define your eyes with an eyeliner. A pen liquid liner works best to get that precise application that will widen your eyes. You can create a minimalist eye makeup look or even go for a cat eye.

3. Lastly, add a bold lip color to complete the look. A deep shade or orange shade is pretty and totally summer evening appropriate.

Do you have any other day to night beauty tips? I’m curious to know in the comments below. icon

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sasstress sale alerts

Early spring is usually not the best time to shop the sales. Typically you’ll just find expired trends, but as with everything there are exceptions. 3 of my favorite stores are having sales right now and are totally worth checking out — in particularly Sephora, which is having a very rare store-wide sale until April 10th!

I also added some of summer-ready picks. Very tempting!

Sephora: 15% off everything beauty insiders with the code “ticket”
Shopbop: a huge selection of designer clothes from 30-70% off
AllSaints: mid-season sale up to 40% off%

 best of sale via beauty and sassSephoraTria Hair Removal Laser // NARS satin lip pencil in Mandarin Orange (tempted to get another orange lipstick!) // Marc Jacobs nail laquer in magenta violet (color of the year!) // Bobbi Brown summer bronzer // Escada Cherry in the Air travel spray
iconShopbop: Michael Kors block sandals (one of my 4 spring shoe trends to shop now) // IRO.JEANS skinny jeans in pink
AllSaints: AllSaints python flats

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morning energy smoothie with peaches & raspberries

raspberry peach energy smoothieI had a great time at my triathlon training camping trip this past weekend, but I have to admit – I’m tired! There was a lot of preparing, road tripping, setting up and sleeping in a tent, and getting a few workouts in. After a weekend like this, I definitely need that extra boost of Monday morning energy with my newest smoothie recipe.

I’ve been wanting to use green tea in my smoothies for quite awhile but none of them tasted quite right. Green tea mixed with greens and low sugar fruits makes for a very tart smoothie, which I don’t like. I switched up the ingredients a few times until I landed on this recipe. I use my favorite fruits – raspberries and peaches and combine them with green tea for that energy boost and balance it with some vanilla protein powder. Not only is it a great morning energy drink (and a good replacement for coffee), it is delicious!

Ingredients (1 serving)
- 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 cup frozen peaches
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (it should be 1/2 the serving size – check the protein powder you’re using since it sometimes varies)
- green tea

1. Prepare 1 cup of green tea
2. Combine the raspberries, peaches, and protein powder in the blender.
3. Pour the green tea on top and turn on the blender to high speed. Allow it to blend until the raspberries and peaches are completely crushed.
4. Pour into a cup and serve.

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