Due to popular demand, I'm putting up this recipe which is an oldie I found through the Food Network website and have made it again and again. These days we are limiting gluten and refined sugars but I make exceptions when I'm baking for others or just as an occasional treat. Believe me I don't go wasting that 'quota' just on anything. I have to tell you, these shortbread cookies are well worth it.Read More
If you love a little pucker with your sweet with a little tropical twist, you'll go mad for this tart!Read More
Every celebration cake I make feels special, of course. But this one was exceptionally so, because I made it for my daughter's 6th birthday according to precise specifications ('white cake with chocolate frosting and those crunchy yellow things on top'). It was also extra extra special because we decided to suspend all dietary restrictions (primarily, grain and dairy) to thoroughly enjoy the celebration and all the trimmings that a young girl's birthday celebration should have, including a little magic and a damn good birthday cake.Read More
In my previous post, I wrote about my family's (temporary) grain-free and dairy-free diet. Since then, we had our follow up visit with the naturopath and received an 'okay' to consume rice, oats and quinoa in small amounts. I won't pretend to understand naturopathy at all. I don't. As a fairly science-based household (my husband is an intellectual property lawyer with a specialty in biotechnology and medical devices, while I worked nearly a decade at a global pharmaceutical company in a Finance capacity), this venture into alternative medicine is a giant leap of faith. A leap we had not choice but to take since traditional medicine failed to help my daughter beyond full-body topical steroid cream applications to treat her eczema and absolutely nada to diagnose or treat her mild but persistent, daily stomach aches.Read More
Being prescribed a grain-free diet by my daughter's naturopath just before the holidays is like getting sick right before vacation ... or scoring free drink tickets only to get bar rail liquor ... or finding a hole in your sock the moment you take off your shoes at someone's house ... or dripping yellow mustard on your brand new sneakers (that stuff's like dye and never completely comes off!) ... or getting an unexpected visit from Auntie Flo when you're totally unprepared OK THAT IS GOING TOO FAR.Read More
These scrumptious, sultry, uber chocolate-y cookies with just a touch of citrus (from orange or bergamot) have instantly become a favorite for me. The fact that it is made with buckwheat flour and hence, gluten free, makes it a further win in my book. Because so many people are gluten intolerant or sensitive, including one of my daughters, I love a treat that can be enjoyed by everyone and doesn't taste like a compromise - and I can tell you these definitely don't.Read More
A cycle that repeats. Healthy, healthy, healthy all week long then BAM the most indulgent of treats to celebrate the weekend! Like these pear frangipane tarts topped with salted caramel sauce & earl grey ice cream I made two weekends ago. Supple pear slices atop a moist and nutty frangipane filling baked inside a crunchy tart. That's an impressive dessert right there. But why stop there? For an off-the-Richter impressive dessert, top it with salted caramel-y love and homemade Earl Grey ice cream because what pie or tart didn't get 1000x better with the a-la-mode treatment? None, that's what.Read More
When Autumn rolls around, I love going bloody bonkers for all the pumpkin-y things for about four weeks straight! I indulge in homemade pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin waffles (I made some with my friend Natalie check out her site for photo evidence ;)), pumpkin scones and some pumpkin even sneaked into my morning smoothie which was absolutely delicious!
This year I opted for a pumpkin chiffon tart for Canadian Thanksgiving instead of the traditional pumpkin pie. I made a hybrid oats & gingersnap crust because I wanted the oats for healthier bulk and the gingersnap for the flavor and crispness needed to balance the pillowy filling. I really enjoyed this lighter version, so much so, I may go chiffon every year forward! Add to that a dollop of maple whipped cream and toasted pecans...you'll be happy you wore stretchy pants for Thanksgiving. And by you, I really mean me!Read More
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they say, and yet it seems rather over-represented with not the healthiest options involving bread, fatty cheese and salty meats. When my first born was around 2 years old, I somehow got away with serving her oatmeal cooked in unsweetened almond milk with a sprinkling of raisins (no sugar) every single day for an entire year! Then she got wise.Read More
Okay Fall, you win. I guess you're coming whether I'm ready or not.
But I win too, because Fall means apples and pumpkins and pumpkin pie spice in everything. In this case, there is pumpkin pie spice in both the egg mixture for the french toast and the apple compote (like I said, pumpkin pie spice in errrrthing). This french toast is served with a scoop of luscious apple compote and a good drizzle of warm salted caramel over top because apple + caramel are the original bff's. How Fall vibe-y is that?
I guess Fall isn't so bad.Read More
Today is the last day of August. The hazy warm days of summer are still with us but there is no denying the trend of shorter days, fading summer blooms and a mounting dread of what is to come.
Winter is coming. Pleck.
The only solace is the few months of Autumnal pleasures we get to enjoy before that, like pumpkin spice everything, over-the-knee suede boots, crisp cool days and good-bye to the summer bedtime debate with the children why they have to go to bed before Mr. Sun does.Read More
This is a gold star muffin recipe! I adore this recipe because it begins with walnuts and rolled oats ground into a coarse flour which gives the muffins substance, keeping you full longer because of the healthy oils in the walnuts and the heartiness of the oats. Buckwheat flour is used which happens to make this gluten-free. Muffins have a bad rap as the evil breakfast food loaded with hidden fat and sugar, but it doesn't have to! I hope you like this one.Read More
This to me is a quintessential summer dessert that celebrates summer's bounty of berries and fruits! I love all the components: a lightly-sweetened creamy custard offset with sweet tart fruits inside an almond tart crust that I absolutely adore because (1) it uses almond flour in addition to all-purpose flour which adds a lovely nuttiness not to mention a little nutrition boost from almond's heart-healthy properties if you are looking for any justification to eat these (you're welcome) and (2) it is a press-in dough which means you simply push it into the tart pans with your fingers. No rolling. No mess. Easy peasy!Read More
I just discovered this dreamy flavor combination of blueberry + lavender + honey and I want to share! I made two blueberry pies this past weekend and honey lavender ice cream to top it. I had been searching for recipes and ideas to use the dried culinary lavender my in-laws brought back for me from their trip to Provence. Can I tell you, my eyes literally rolled to the back of my head when I tasted the ice cream. As if that wasn't ecstasy enough, add it to a warm slice of blueberry pie...bliss.Read More
Golden french toasts, crunchy oat crumble, warm peaches spiked with maple syrup and bourbon and a luscious fried egg. I call this a perfect weekend indulgence!Read More
This recipe was loosely inspired by a popular beverage served in Hong Kong cafes which combines HK-style milk tea (strong brewed black Ceylon tea + evaporated or condensed milk) with a smaller amount of strong black coffee. It is called 'yuan yang' in Chinese - the name, a nod to the Chinese philosophy of balance & harmony or 'Yin Yang' i.e. the bitterness of coffee balances the creamy roundedness of the milk tea.Read More
Like, am I even allowed to call a double chocolate muffin 'healthy' when it is this chocolate-y good? But truly, these muffins are naturally sweetened with dates and ripe bananas (no processed sugars), are gluten-free, has fiber and heartiness from rolled oats and has only healthy oils from ground up pecans and extra-virgin olive oil. The chocolate-y goodness comes from a combo of raw cacao powder and melted dark chocolate. Because sometimes we just need a little chocolate at 7am, don't we?Read More
Sweetened black sesame paste is a mega-superstar in desserts. This is well known in east asian countries like Japan and China where it is a quintessential staple in sweet treats like ice cream, pastries, cakes and glutinous rice balls. In western culture we know how well nuts like pistachios, almonds and pecans work in all sorts of sweet applications, too many to list really. Black sesame lends a similar nuttiness to desserts although for some reason has not enjoyed the same ubiquity. The color maybe? Perhaps now is the time to give yourself to the Dark Side!Read More
Here is a little twist on a classic mild and creamy panna cotta by serving it with fresh blood orange segments, drizzle of blood orange syrup spiked with Campari, and garnished with bits of candied ginger and savoiardi (aka lady fingers).Read More