Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Vanilla Cupcakes- Gluten Free

After 231 days of the global pandemic, I found a sense of quiet. Not the kind of quiet that makes you shudder with anxiousness, but rather the kind of quiet that carries with it a sense of serenity. I have no explanation for this unexplained magic, yet that didn’t concern me. As I took the dog on his evening walk, I listened to the nothing-ness abound and absorbed this uncharacteristic sense of calm. It made me miss this space, this place where I come to meet you intermingled with my thoughts.

Despite my lack of blogging, my recipe development has not ceased. I do find that as much as I love to cook and write, the pandemic has also brought with it excessive screen time. I now find it difficult to unwind here as much as I used to enjoy doing so, and I conversely miss being here beyond measure.

When speaking with a friend today, I realized that not only are the emotions of those around me running high, but my emotions, often pushed down, are also quite amplified. With Halloween now in the rear-view mirror, I am forced to admit that I am nearing the point that I almost don’t care about any holidays any longer. The pandemic lifestyle has ruined them all. That’s not to claim that there have not been good outcomes from this locked-in/locked-down abyss. There have been times of great laughter, happiness and joy. It’s just all so stale, and still no true end in sight. I miss being a global citizen of the world, and the fun spent with those friends and family that live far away. I find the less I am out in the world, the less I do in my free time. I am confined with my thoughts, without reprieve. I continue to focus on living in these moments, keeping those around me happy, and helping each of us find moments of joy.

Oddly enough, as expansive as time is, I find that I resist making plans. With an intense work schedule, I crave unstructured time – last minute plans and wishful thinking that someone will serendipitously be nearby and come by to surprise me and say hello. But in this seemingly post-apocalyptic world, that doesn’t really happen.

I focus on my creative vibe – I continue to love to cook. This recipe is one that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is one I created for some of my favorite gluten-free loves, and to me it is a treasure from its light and airy texture to its pleasant flavors. Added bonus, it is refined sugar free. Hold onto this recipe, you are going to want to set this on your repeat list.

Vanilla Cupcakes- Gluten Free

Ingredients

2 cups blanched almond meal

1 cup canned coconut milk

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup rice malt syrup (or honey)

¼ cup coconut flour, lumps removed

4 eggs

1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.

In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, coconut flour and baking powder. Mix with a whisk to combine.

In a small bowl add butter and syrup, beat with a mixer on medium speed until combined. Then add the eggs, vanilla and coconut milk and continue to mix. Batter will appear slightly lumpy.

Add wet mixture into the dry mixture and gently stir by hand until combined.

Pour mixture into the cupcake liners, fill to the top, and bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool, they will slightly deflate.

Note: Cupcakes can also be frozen for a later treat if you can resist finishing them off.

Plum Cardamom & Strawberry Swirled Sweet Bun Fillings

Month five of lockdown, or is it locked-in? I’ve lost track. The weeks somehow manage to fly by and the weekends crawl at a much slower pace. I’ve abandoned counting the days since this all began, but I can tell you that as I write this post, we are about 28 weeks in (or 195 days!). With 52 weeks in a year, that seems like a significant amount of time to remain virtually isolated.

We remind ourselves that we are lucky. We could not really want for anything, but yet something still does not seem right. Our lives are changed, and the Continue reading ‘Plum Cardamom & Strawberry Swirled Sweet Bun Fillings’

Authentic Dutch Apple Pie

Sometimes friendships find you and then happily take you through the years. When you reflect, suddenly you realize that the memories appear to be more abundant than you realized.

This past October, my friend Lisa organized an intimate housewarming party. Our small group decided that we would each bring something for the celebration. The evening was lovely beyond words, as we passed the hours away with a delicious dinner (thanks to our hostess Lisa, a.k.a. ‘Cupcake’), fantastic bubbles and wines (thanks to our resident sommelier John, a.k.a. the ‘Wine Ninja’), and great company (all of the above plus Leon, Ursula, Eric, and Zara). The hours flew by as we chatted, laughed, and shared stories al fresco. To close out the already perfect evening, the featured dessert was a stunning homemade pie. Or, as I like to think of it, my very first introduction to Dutch Apple Pie- made by the lovely Ursula. Since that night onward, I’ve chased this recipe. I am no stranger to apple pie, but this was beyond compare. Continue reading ‘Authentic Dutch Apple Pie’

Apple Cherry Pie

After the world was turned on its head, the world then stood still….for a very, very long time.

We are only 60 days into lockdown and I vacillate from the feeling that every day is a blur to there are some really amazing great memories we are creating together. There is plenty of time for deep reflection and undeniably plenty of ups and downs as we all have our days where we feel a bit less positive. We are keeping focused on the long game, we know we may not get out anytime soon, but at least we are finding ways to enjoy ourselves with cooking, baking, binging shows, memes and long walks with or without our old hound dog. Continue reading ‘Apple Cherry Pie’

Seedy Chocolate Ginger Slice Bars & Other Musings

As I post this long overdue note, I am reminded how quickly life can change – and it has. Week One of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in my part of the world saw the initial lockdown expanded from local pockets in the Bay Area to all of California. It has us all looking for ways to stay connected. Virtual is the new every day- and respectful in-home space is a necessity for the new work and study from home evolving culture. I’ll be sharing more recipes and thoughts but for now, let’s get back to a day, not oh, so long ago when this Black Swan event wasn’t even a blip in our consciousness. Continue reading ‘Seedy Chocolate Ginger Slice Bars & Other Musings’

PB&R Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’ve been in hibernation mode. Taking a planned break to just have fun cooking and spending time with people I miss engaging with regularly. I remember as a child looking at my grandparents in awe of how many friends and acquaintances they had. The list of contacts seemed endless and my daughter made a comment over the weekend that reminded me of that feeling. I understood her perspective and the sheer awe of the network.

The last few years have taught me one thing loud and clear- spend time only with those that are worth your time. Laugh and smile and make everyday fun. There is a lot we have to be grateful for…don’t waste a minute of it wishing your life could be otherwise. Continue reading ‘PB&R Chocolate Chunk Cookies’

Noli Style Limoncello Tiramisu

When creating this summer dessert, I was transported back in time to last summer in Italy. The dreamy days spent in Sorrento with my mother were filled with sipping on endless cordials of limoncello as we traversed the Amalfi Coast in a surreal state of unencumbered happiness. It was a special trip to have this mother/daughter time together after surpassing so many of life’s hurdles. It was special beyond words. Continue reading ‘Noli Style Limoncello Tiramisu’

Lemonicious Blueberry Slab Cake

Calling all summer lemon lovers! I have to say, after having taken a much-needed blogging hiatus, YOU passionate dessert foodies have all inspired me to come back to share my adventures in the kitchen. Let’s get right to business. >I know, all this time away from blogging and I am suddenly robbing you of a story but maybe you are done with my insights and just looking for a good recipe “sans” deep thoughts. Maybe.<

This Lemonicious Blueberry Slab Cake recipe glows of summer and is the perfect refreshing crowd-pleaser to close out a good BBQ. Continue reading ‘Lemonicious Blueberry Slab Cake’

Put the Lime in the Koloa Coconut Rum Jell-O Shots

It’s your lucky day. No really, it is. St. Patrick’s Day carries with it the stigma of good luck and good fortune. There is no better way to celebrate than to skip the long story and go straight to the recipe. The clock is ticking and you need to get those celebratory Koloa Coconut Rum and Lime Jell-O shots chilling. Continue reading ‘Put the Lime in the Koloa Coconut Rum Jell-O Shots’

The Pops Special Sunday Breakfast Sandwich

It was just a simple sandwich. He was a simple man. He was kind-hearted and quiet, he is what many would call ‘the salt of the earth’. That was my paternal Grandfather, Nunzio Alioto. He was always there with a smile and a helping hand for family or someone in need. He to me was the embodiment of Continue reading ‘The Pops Special Sunday Breakfast Sandwich’