desserts

Chocolate Banana Bread with Flax and Whole Wheat

March 29, 2011
Thumbnail image for Chocolate Banana Bread with Flax and Whole Wheat

Do you associate banana bread with the 1970′s? I know I do. In that era of hippies and free love, there was a push toward eating healthy and that’s when natural food stores, macrobiotics and crimes against nature like carob came into vogue. But banana bread actually became popular in the 1930′s during the depression as a way to salvage over ripe bananas, along with a rise in the use of baking powder in recipes to create such things as “quick breads.” Regardless of association, banana bread is often thought of as healthy, though it can be loaded with fat and cholesterol and in general is not exactly good for you despite the addition of fruit.

Banana bread is not always my favorite because it’s usually loaded with walnuts (which I loathe). However, remove the walnuts and add chocolate and I’m a happy girl. I wanted to see if …

Read the full article →

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes

February 7, 2011
Thumbnail image for Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes

Sometimes recipes come from the strangest, most unexpected places. They can come from a flash of creativity connected to absolutely nothing, they can be inspired by eating something amazing or even by a location, they can be passed down from generation to generation or given like a secret gift from friend to friend. The recipe for this lemon pudding cake came to me from of all places, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Only in our digital age would it have found its way to me as it did.

In the Fall of 2009 I sent out a tweet, asking for lemon dessert recipes. Robyn Eckhardt, a professional travel/food writer who also writes one of my favorite blogs Eating Asia replied, asking if I’d ever made Lemon Pudding Cake. I said no and she emailed me a scanned page from an cookbook called Classic Home Desserts, one I can only presume made …

Read the full article →

Molasses Spice Cookies (Gluten Free)

December 14, 2010
Thumbnail image for Molasses Spice Cookies (Gluten Free)

I haven’t always had the best luck with gluten free baking. I bought all the right flours and starches, but my experience when trying to bake gluten free bread was less than positive; it was edible but not something I’d eat by choice. While I don’t need to eat gluten free I have friends and family who do and when it came time to bake some holiday cookies, I realized that everything I wanted to give had gluten in it. That didn’t really seem fair to me. Who wants to get a box of something beautiful they can’t eat?

I set out to find a decent gluten free cookie recipe, and was hoping to find something not just “good enough for gluten free” but simply “good enough to eat.” I’m happy to say I think I’ve found it and no surprise, it was on the well known Gluten Free Girl

Read the full article →

Apple and Cranberry Crisp

November 24, 2010
Thumbnail image for Apple and Cranberry Crisp

This post will be short and sweet because I know we all (at least here in the US) are getting ready for the biggest foodie holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. I simply wanted to illustrate that substitution can be the backbone of any good cook’s repertoire. When you find a good basic recipe, you can switch out ingredients and easily create something new to fit the season.

Case in point; this Apple and Cranberry Crisp. All you need is to do is take my Strawberry and Nectarine Crisp recipe and replace the nectarines with 4 pounds of apples (I used Granny Smiths and Fujis), peeled and sliced. Then replace the strawberries with 3/4 of a cup of dried cranberries and follow the rest of the recipe. That’s it! You could use fresh cranberries if you want, but you may want to add a bit more sugar if you do so.…

Read the full article →

Strawberry and Nectarine Crisp

September 15, 2010
Thumbnail image for Strawberry and Nectarine Crisp

Here in Southern California we are in that “sweet spot” of perfect weather between the scorching summer and our typically mild Fall; it’s a beautiful and sunny 78 degrees and should be for most of the week here. Even though people not originally from Southern California lament the “lack of seasons” here, as one raised here, I can tell you we have our seasons and Summer is coming to an end. I can tell the seasons are changing because the traffic gets worse when kids go back to school. Seriously though, my garden is gasping its last breath and I’m already looking forward to Fall soups and stews and more baking.

Last week my husband, an avid golfer, made a pilgrimage of sorts to play a nice course up in Ventura, CA. On the way home, he stopped at one of the many farm stands which dot the highway and …

Read the full article →

Arborio Rice Pudding with Caramelized Apples

May 5, 2010
Thumbnail image for Arborio Rice Pudding with Caramelized Apples

In keeping with the theme of Mother’s Day this week, I offer up the dessert I would be making my own mother to go along with this salad if she were in town this week. Rice pudding is one of her favorite desserts, but instead of having this with me on Sunday, she’s off gallivanting around the Italian countryside. Without me, I might add.

Most rice puddings are typically made with long grain rice. I made this one with arborio, a short grain rice with more starch in it, which is most often used to give the creamy texture to risotto. It also retains the character of the rice better and thus does not completely dissolve into mush when cooked.

The recipe for the pudding is really simple can be adapted to fit your needs and tastes. If you don’t want to take the time to make the caramelized …

Read the full article →