Cherry-bottom Cheesecake (Pie)

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Happy Father’s Day 2014!

My dad loves to garden and has several fruit trees and veggie plants. With the produce that he harvests, he often asks me when I visit, “Can you make a pie or a cake with this?” My dad has a cherry tree and since it is cherry season, I did what he asked! Made a delicious cherry-bottom cheesecake (pie)Continue reading

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Noodles and Salad, Part II

UdonPalabok16 Very excited to share these birthday recipes! They turned out really well and my husband really enjoyed them! As I mentioned in the last post, I made Cobb salad, my husband’s favorite salad, and pancit palabok with udon noodles and smoked salmon. Why noodles and salad?  We always celebrate birthdays with pancit! As for salad, my husband loves to eat salads. Get ready, this post is picture heavy!  Continue reading

Doughnut Day!

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 Happy National Doughnut Day 2014!

Every year, we celebrate this day dedicated to doughnuts! Remember celebrating with me last year with vegan baked donuts? This time, I’m at my parent’s house for a week and I think we are avoiding fried food, so this year is another baked version. I don’t have my donut pans here so we had mini donut muffins filled with apricot jamContinue reading

Chicken & Waffles B.L.A.T.

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Been busy in the lab trying to help get some data for a grant that the professor (who I work for) is submitting by the end of the month, hence my lack of wordpress activity. This post has been saved as a draft for about a month! But here it is, in time for Memorial Day! Maybe you are having a picnic, brunch, or other get-together this holiday. A waffle sandwich might hit the spot!

Recently, there seems to be a resurgence in waffle popularity. Nowadays, people are coming up with new dishes using waffle irons. Sorry, the wonut is a bit too over-the-top for me. Nevertheless, I am down to try my hand at waffle sandwiches, as kooky as that may sound. A couple of weeks a go, on a bus ride home, I was thinking about chicken and waffles and craving it. I thought to myself, how about a chicken & waffle B.L.A.T (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) sandwich with sourdough cheddar and chive waffles!? Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Mini Cupcakes…

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…with bacon! Yes, there’s bacon in these cupcakes. As you may know, if you are a regular reader, we don’t shy away from bacon here, especially the high-quality grass-fed variety. A big reason why I don’t fear bacon is that there is actually good fats such as monounsaturated fats and phosphatidyl choline that has antioxidant power superior to vitamin E (for more science-geeky info on bacon, check out this article by the Naughty Nutritionist). But enough about the science, lets get back to the cupcakes!

I made these bacon dark chocolate mini cupcakes for my mother-in-law last weekend on Mother’s Day. She loves dark chocolate so I though that that she might enjoy these cupcakes. You could also leave out the bacon and you’ll get a really nice intensely chocolate-y cupcake!  Continue reading

Kale-nola?!

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Sometimes you can’t help but be angry or irritated. It just happens. Some stupid little mistake can make you blow a gasket. You just want to scream! There have been times where I have reached for that bag of chips or box of cookies when I am upset about something, but I’ve found another cure for the bad mood — kale-granola aka “kale-nola”Continue reading

Walter Mitty’s Clementine Cake

WalterMittyClementineCake1 A subplot within the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, is the clementine cake. I won’t say too much about it if you haven’t seen the movie and are planning to watch it, but ever since I saw that clementine cake on the big screen a couple of months ago, it’s been on my mind. I think it was the star of the movie for me and maybe other food nerds.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is a flour-less (almond meal) cake based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe. Read more about this cake and the movie from Cathy Merenda’s blog, who worked in the Walter Mitty studio.  Given that this cake is a no-grain sweet treat, my husband and I enjoyed this cake last week for Easter and Passover. A perfect dessert for celebrating both holidays and any occasion for grain-free and gluten-free eaters.

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(Image credit:  waltermittymovie.tumblr.com)

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) brings some swagger to this cake. He makes it look cool to carry cake around. Maybe we should try and take his lead and do the same? Wouldn’t it be fun? Continue reading

Happy Easter 2014!


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Happy Easter Sunday dear readers! Also, Happy Passover too! I whipped up some spritz cookies for this spring holiday season. Last year I made Easter Biscuits, and wanted to try something difference, hence the spritz! They kind of look like Christmas spritz they way that I made them, but oh well! Since my husband is observing Passover and is not eating grains (chametz) or anything else labeled as kitniyot, these spritz are Kosher for Passsover and gluten-free too! How? The wheat flour is replaced with coconut flour! Continue reading

An unorthodox cream cheese?

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Cashew cream cheese? I’ve been eyeing this type of non-traditional cream cheese for several months now, but have finally have gotten around to making it! Cream cheese is pretty tasty to many people and also my family, especially my little sister, as we have fond memories of large blocks of Raskas (another word that’s fun to say out loud! I’m a fan of those) from Costco.  Nevertheless, it can be fun to try an alternative and be “outside the box” sometimes. Things can get dull under a restrained modus operandi. Being adventurous with food is the passion behind food flavor fascination–embracing both the traditional foods and non-traditional, orthodox and unorthodox. Keeping your cultural roots and comfort foods close, yet going on taste adventures as well. Instead of ordering your regular dish at a restaurant or cooking the same thing for dinner, live on the edge a bit and try something new.  Maybe try this unorthodox cashew cream cheese and a couple of ways to feature it in your next meal! Continue reading

Mexican Chocolate Pie with Almond Crust

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Yay! Here’s the post that I promised yesterday on Pi(e) Day! Even though I got home a little late yesterday after a day in the lab doing science-ythings such as concentrating proteins and SDS PAGE , I was devoted to coming up with and making a pie! Every year we celebrate Pi(e) Day no matter how busy it is! Inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil‘s True Food Kitchen, one of my favorite San Diego restaurants, I made a Mexican Chocolate Pie with an Almond Crust. At True Food Kitchen, the motto is “Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure.” Their mission is that “every dish served must not only be delicious but must also promote the diner’s well-being.”While the focus is  fresh, nutritive dishes that highlight organic fruits & vegetables, grass-fed meat & wild-caught fish, there is something for everybody whether or not you are a health nut, are a vegan, or eat gluten-free. My in-laws like the restaurant too! You feel content after eating there. Satisfied, but not heavy. I even feel energized enough for a workout. Everything we’ve had is delicious, from the beverages, appetizers, entree to dessert. I’m a big fan of their desserts, especially Dr. Weil’s signature flourless chocolate cakeContinue reading

Happy Pi(e) Day 2014!

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Finally got this pie out of the oven! After a long day in the lab (+ busy long week) and trying to finish up some chores, I was able to bake a pie, specifically it is a Mexican chocolate pie with almond crust. Last year we had pizza with a gluten-free crust. I love Pi(e) Day! I had a bit of a snafu while making this pie and accidentally doubled the amount of eggs, so it is more souffle-like. I’m waiting for my husband to come home to taste a piece. Anyways, gotta go finish up cleaning the kitchen, so I’ll post more tomorrow! So we hope you had a ….

Happy Pi Day!

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Bidding farewell to the 2014 Sochi Olympics with Khachapuri

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Today I was a bit sad that it was the last day of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. I always look forward to watching the olympics and keeping track of it. It doesn’t matter what sport or event is on, I just enjoy watching it! It is a worldwide tradition! The athletes are inspiring as they are dedicated to their sport and also dedicated to their health. That’s something I admire. This year’s olympics, even though amidst controversies, was pretty good, in my opinion. Do you have a favorite winter olympic sport? I think I got into watching the skiing competitions more this time. I wish I could go watch the olympics in person sometime. Today while the last events were on the TV, I made khachapuri, a Georgian dish that I hear is a Sochi staple. Continue reading

Beet Red Velvet Æbleskiver (pancake puffs)

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Happy Belated Valentines Day!

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Yesterday, for our Valentine’s Dinner we had a wonderful 3-course meal, made by my husband and I. He makes a mean steak, especially filet mignon. Sorry, don’t have pictures of the first two courses, but here’s the dessert:  Beet Red Velvet Æbleskiver with cream cheese filling. Continue reading

Ottolenghi-style lamb rib chops and some fun-sized sweet treats

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In my last post, I mentioned that we had lamb for New Year’s Eve as well as desserts. I wasn’t sure about posting about them, but decided to anyway. These are double-cut lamb chops (from a Frenched rack) with a cilantro and honey sauce from Ottolenghi:  The Cookbook. Yotam Ottolenghi is the chef “known for being the champion of vegetables at the same time as eating and loving meat”(to quote wikipedia). With his cookbooks and eponymous restaurants, he is also known as “the man who sexed up vegetables.” I do not yet have Plenty, his cookbook dedicated to vegetables and vegetarian cooking, but will probably soon get it as well as JerusalemSo far, I like the bold, vibrant Middle-Eastern flavors in his recipes. See more of his recipes and food commentary in his Guardian column. Ottolenghi pulled pork recipe? It’s on my cooking to-do list and maybe I’ll report if this recipe is “bringing sexy back” to pulled pork. Continue reading

Apple-Honey Challah with Craisins

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Happy New Year! Rosh Hashanah started on Wednesday evening and the celebration ends this evening. It is a time to welcome and celebrate the new year with sweets, traditionally apples dipped in honey. Round-shaped challah, symbolizing continuity, is also a staple for this holiday. A couple of hours ago I finally baked some apple-honey challah with dried cranberries! Continue reading

Birthday Peach Pie

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Turning a year older, to me, is an exciting thing. More things to learn and explore!…and more time to celebrate life. Doesn’t hurt to celebrate a little, right? With a dessert of course! I love what Zen Master Edward Espe Brown writes in The  Tassajara Bread Book about sweet treats,

“A good dessert is a celebration of any occasion. Not that we have to treat ourselves royally every day, but offering dessert with generosity and warmth, we can appreciate the bounty of our lives and celebrate a moment of our aliveness…But I am not also going to scold people for eating a dessert that is really a dessert. Every moment is a gateway to the truth. Which way is in? Which way is out? Are you entering or leaving?…May all beings be healthy, happy, free from suffering. And may desserts celebrate our wondrous nature. Fully.”

Today is my birthday and I’m going to raise my glass, eat a dessert and say “Cheers to the world!” LOL. It’s fun to be a bit kooky, especially on such a day! Despite being a chocolate lover (who always has a chocolate stash!), if there was only one dessert in the world that I would pick, it would be this peach pie made with my dad’s homegrown peaches. Continue reading

No-bake Goat Cheesecake

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Don’t worry, the creative juices are still flowing! Still cooking and working on recipes to post! A couple of weeks ago for Father’s Day, we were driving through Southern California for some family celebrations. It was a bit of a busy time, but I made some mini no-bake goat cheesecakes that came along for the ride, in a cooled container of course. I think that my dad’s favorite animal are goats, hence the goat-themed dessert. Continue reading

Happy National Doughnut Day 2013!

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Yay it’s Doughnut Day!

Every first Friday of June is a great odd holiday of National Doughnut Day. We’ve been celebrating this holiday for years. I think it was my husband who brought it up first when we first started dating. Since then, I always keep it in my mind to remember the day and to make some doughnuts. These round bread-y pastries  have always been popular, but in recent years it seems like it’s popularity has skyrocketed. There are even pretzel doughnuts, muffin doughnuts, and I still have to try those “cronuts!” Or maybe if you want to try a new type of doughnut, try some of the pao de quiejo donuts that I made a few weekends ago. With donut maker electric appliances and doughnut baking pans, no wonder these have become more popular, especially homemade. This year I tried a baked version from Official Hungry’s “Eat My Vegan” recipe. I have been eye-ing this for some time and adapted it to a gluten-free recipe. Continue reading

Brunching on donuts de pão de queijo com bacon…Happy Memorial Day Weekend 2013!

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone! We hope you all are getting a chance to spend time with family and remember those who served our country. Though this holiday is synonymous with grilling and eating outdoors, I think it is important to remember why this holiday is significant and why we get together and celebrate. Thank you to all who have served. We appreciate it today and everyday. Cheers to you all!

Like many people out there, we like to spend Memorial Day Weekend relaxing and spending time together. We eat good food and play with the dogs. I think we do this for many other holidays as well. Earlier this weekend I made a brunch dish that would be perfect for this holiday to make you feel happy and in the mood for going outside and/or grilling. Doughnuts of course! Well pão de queijo shaped into doughnuts with bacon added in. Also with a maple bourbon Hollandaise “glaze.” Continue reading

Caramel sweet treats on a relaxing and surprise-filled Mother’s Day

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This was a really fun Mother’s Day weekend! Relaxing and yet surprising! We hope you all had a nice Mother’s Day! As for the surprise, on Saturday, my husband, I, and the two dogs Pipi and Nutter drove up to “the Valley” at my husband’s parent’s house. His mom did not know at all that we would be there and she was so surprised and happy that we came up to spend Mother’s Day weekend with her. You should have seen the look on her face when we got in the door! A happy shock! It’s always a great time visiting them. Pipi and now also Nutter love visiting too!

We took her out for dinner at a cafe not far away from their house and had a great time. The only thing that could make it better is if the dogs could come along to the restaurant too, LOL. After dinner and walking with the dogs, I baked some alfajores, a sweet treat of caramel sandwiched in between two British biscuit-like cookies. I baked some at their house and then finished baking more at my parent’s house on Sunday evening. Lots of alfajores! This time it was alfajores–two ways:  whole wheat and a gluten-free variation. Continue reading

A weekend with the dogs and some chocoflan

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How was your Cinco de Mayo weekend? We celebrated with some festive foods such as tacos and I also baked some gluten-free chocoflan. We stayed home most of the weekend because on Saturday we brought home a doggy! We are watching him for the week and if he meshes well with us and our dog Pipi (who has made some appearances in previous posts), then he can stay! He is a 7 year old Pekingese named Nutter. Continue reading

Green Smoothie Muffins and Pistachio Milk

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I’m feeling mean green today. In sixth grade, my friends and I would do silly things and one of the things that I did (among other crazy kid things) was perform rap songs. To my friends, I was once “The Mean Green Rapper Crapper” because I was a wannabe rapper and my favorite color was green. So silly, but those were the days of being crazy kids. I was influenced by those times as I was developing a new muffin recipe and an accompaniment to it. I was thinking of using green things that are good for your insides so that they do their job well (LOL yes, alluding to my former rap name). I love zucchini bread and muffins, but wanted to use a different green veggie. Cruciferous kale is big nowadays, so I decided to try it out in a muffin recipe along with banana, apple, and pineapple, which are often found in green smoothies. When I wanted to stop my coffee and caffeine addiction a couple of years ago, I started having tea or a green smoothie instead, often with kale and a few fruit pals. Moreover, I love matcha green tea in green smoothies so I added it here in this recipe. The pistachios are a nice addition as well. Going with the green theme, I also made pistachio milk, which, when paired with these green smoothie muffins, is a mean & green, yet delightful combo. 😀 Continue reading

Happy Easter 2013!

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Happy Easter to all my readers! It’s a beautiful day to enjoy our family, friends and good food. I hope you all are having a good time! What are your Easter plans? For Easter 2013, it will be a relaxing day for my family and I. We (including our Papillon-mix dog) are going out to eat! There are a number of restaurants in my town that allow dogs in the outdoor area. Can’t wait! Since I am not cooking, of course I had to bake something! 😀 I read an interesting post over at Lois Elsden’s blog (be sure to check out her blog!) on her Easter treats and saw a recipe for Easter Biscuits that fascinated me.

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Matza Lasagna with Greens & Mushrooms

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Since it’s Holy Week and Passover at the same time, I had to cook dinners with no meat and also Kosher for Passover for both my husband and I. During Holy Week, there are days when Catholics abstain from meat. I always follow these traditions. My husband always follows his Jewish traditions too. So for a dinner that had no meat and was Kosher, I was reminded of some ideas I found last year, while perusing Pinterest. I saw some pins on lasagna using matza as the noodles. So, I decided to give it a go and made matza lasagna with greens & mushrooms. Continue reading

Passover Popovers

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Popovers for Passover? Never heard of them until about a year ago when my Grandma-in-law gave me a recipe for it after we were all full from eating the really good food that she made for Passover seder last year. After getting that recipe, a few days later, I tried making them and they turned out to be delicious. Actually, they are “delectable” as Martha Stewart would often describe the food she was tasting on TV. This recipe is from a Martha Stewart episode on Passover years ago. These popovers are made from matzo cake meal, which I also used in the mocha brownies. The procedure is pretty straightforward. It’s like making choux pastry. Continue reading

Mocha Brownies for Passover

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As the sun sets, I would like to wish you all a Happy Passover! I know that many of you are busy  preparing for the holiday and festivities. I hope that your seder dinner goes well and you have a great time!  Though I am not Jewish, my husband is following the traditions and that means food for him has to be Kosher for Passover. So, for something sweet to enjoy, I made Mocha Nut Brownies for Passover.

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St. Patrick’s Day inspired cupcakes

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I couldn’t help myself. I jumped on the bandwagon and baked something with chocolate and stout! Luscious cakes. Gotta live a little, right? 😀 In recent years, there has been an explosion of chocolate and stout desserts especially for St. Patrick’s Day and last year I made chocolate stout cupcakes from Nook & Pantry. Those were really good. This year, I baked another chocolate stout cupcake, but with different ingredients based on the butternut squash, carrot, and hazelnut muffins I recently made. Using that recipe and a recipe from Cannelle et Vanille as motivation, I came up with St. Patrick’s Day inspired stout and chocolate cupcakes with Carolans cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free dark beer. Continue reading

Greek Greens Pie with Cornbread Crust (Hortopita)

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Those that know me know that not only do I love to cook, but also that I like to spend some time watching cooking shows. I was watching PBS one morning and came across a show on Greek cuisine called The Cooking Odyssey hosted by Chef Yanni Mameletzis. It was an episode on Trikala, a city in Northwestern Greece, in Thessaly.  I enjoyed watching the show. Every time I see Greece on TV or some sort of media, its so beautiful it just makes me feel like in awe, like I would want to be in that world. I’d be staring at the beautiful scenery with my mouth open, my eye muscles relaxed and softened to a gaze as if in a trance. Haha, anyways, most of the PBS cooking shows I like, in contrast to Food Network. What do you guys think about PBS or Food Network? PBS shows appeal to me more, though there are some shows that I like on FN. On The Cooking Odyssey, a particular rustic-type pie called hortopita caught my eye. It is a cornmeal pie with a wild greens filling. I never saw cornmeal used as a pie crust, or if I did, it did not catch my attention then. I’ve eaten phyllo based dishes such as spanakopita, but didn’t know that Greek cuisine included cornmeal much. So…since I was fascinated, on a nice and sunny day  in San Diego while yearning to be in Greece, I made Greek Greens Pie with Cornbread Crust. Continue reading

Carrot and Hazelnut Muffins…with a hidden ingredient

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“The rule is flavor, and flavor rules.”

-Master Breadmaker Peter Reinhart

Okay, I won’t keep you in suspense, the hidden ingredient to these carrot and hazelnut muffins is…butternut squash! These muffins have another secret too…they are gluten-free! But they taste really good! That’s no secret 🙂 A year ago I never thought that I would cook gluten-free foods. I’m not on a gluten-free diet, but I love the challenge of cooking gluten-free, especially in baking, where baked goods usually depend on the chemistry of gluten. I enjoy science, and gluten-free baking is like a science experiment for me, in addition to cooking in general. I realized that even if dishes are gluten-free–if it tastes good and makes you feel good, what’s the harm in that? Thus, I wholeheartedly subscribe to Peter Reinhart’s “Flavor Rule” where flavor determines what I enjoy in a dish, not labels–whether gluten-free or otherwise.

Now, back to the muffins. These butternut squash, carrot and hazelnut muffins were inspired by a recipe I found in Whole Living magazine. It is a great all-around muffin recipe with a nice soft and moist texture. They taste even better the next day, or days later. Makes for a great post-workout snack, after-work/school snack, or even as part of a quick breakfast (though I prefer more savory foods in the morning). I decided to use carrot instead of apple in the original recipe and it was definitely yummy. I think you can pretty much sub or add in ingredients like you would in a normal muffin or quick-bread recipe. Zucchini, banana, and chocolate, you’re next!

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Hamantaschen

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Have you ever heard of Hamantaschen? It is a Jewish pastry that is part of the Purim festivities. It is a tender, crumbly, and buttery-tasting cookie shaped in a triangle and has a filling. I never knew about these cookies until about 3 years ago when my husband and I started to go to D.Z. Akins, our town’s Jewish-style deli. My husband especially likes that place when he is craving for Matzo ball soup and a good corned beef sandwich. I really like their barley soup.  Their bakery is really good too! Their hamantaschen are very yummy! I guess that when I heard that Purim is this weekend, I got a sudden craving for Hamantaschen. So I made some! Continue reading

St. Valentine’s Day Pop Tarts—something for the kid in all of us

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The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.
—English nursery rhyme, Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1784)

Love is in the air as St. Valentine’s Day is approaching (on Thursday) 🙂 The history of this holiday and it’s origins is rooted in the martyrology of Valentine, who was said to have illegally performed weddings to soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted during the Roman Empire. Then, by the time of Geoffrey Chaucer (known as the “Father of English Literature“) in the High Middle Ages, Valentine’s Day became a day to celebrate romantic love full of flowers, sweets, and valentine cards.  Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash, Onion, and Cashew Pizza

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Who doesn’t like pizza? I guess it is rare to encounter someone who  isn’t into pizza. It’s a very customizable dish, which makes it fun for everybody. Even gluten-free pizza satisfies many, myself included. I like all types of pizza! From salsiccia (sausage) to spinach and goat cheese (my husband’s favorite), there are so many types of pizza to shkoff! I always wondered why Chicago-style fans and New York-style fans butt head over which pizza is better. I think, the more the merrier! Why not enjoy more than one type? The only thing that gets to me with pizza is when it is too greasy. I get a sickening feeling seeing an oil slick, often with the reddish hue, on my slice. One way to circumvent that problem is to make your own pizza!

How about an unusual one? A little while ago, I wanted to make a weird pizza. In the kitchen, it’s not a rare occurrence for me to make something that I think may be unusual. I have a fascination with such things 🙂  So… here is what I thought up:  a Spaghetti Squash, Onion and Cashew Pizza. This is the type of dish that you can just throw together without following a recipe, as are the case with most pizza. So here is a step-by step tutorial of sorts with comments. Continue reading

Eggnog Tea Cakes

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After making Swedish-style Meatballs with Eggnog last week, I still had some eggnog leftover. I should have made a double batch of them, but was also curious on what would happen if I baked with it. So, to appease my curiosity, last Friday I baked some Eggnog Tea Cakes. Continue reading

Happy New Year 2013! + a New Year’s Pizza

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As much as I wanted the holiday season not to end, I am happy that it is 2013! Looking forward to this new year and all that it brings. We had a nice, laid-back New Year’s Eve celebration that included our tradition of watching a Planet of the Apes (from the late 60’s and early 70’s) marathon , setting out 13 round fruits for a Filipino tradition, and of course eating good food. How did you celebrate New Years Eve and/or New Year’s Day? Continue reading

A quirky cookie, an Allergy-free version of Costco’s Aussie Bites

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A part of me wishes that the holiday season won’t end. It’s a time of fun with family and good food. Probably the reason that I don’t want the season to end is because I’ve been battling the stomach flu since Christmas Day and wasn’t able to enjoy it as usual. Nevertheless, I am better now and am itching to get back to cooking and blogging. Last week, I promised to post a recipe of one of the holiday treats that I made and gave to friends and family, so here it is…..a post on Aussie Bites! Continue reading

Better Than Sex Cake

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Christmas is almost here! It’s been a bit hectic with all the holiday preparations so I haven’t had much computer time. I love getting ready for the holidays and I always get ambitious with my holiday baking. This year, I think I made about 7 different holiday treats to package and give to friends and family. I’ll do a post on one of the treats in a day or so. I love giving homemade gifts 🙂  Last year, I think I did 10 different holiday sweets. I don’t bake or make so much sweets during the year because my husband and I don’t like to eat sweets often so I like to really go all out during the holidays to take care of my baking itch.

On Thursday last week, my husband had a holiday potluck at his work and he asked If I would like to make something for him to bring. My mom gave me the great idea to make the Better Than Sex Cake. When we were growing up, my Mom would make this for special occasions and birthdays. Her coworkers loved it when she brought it to work too. It was a hit with everyone every time. I didn’t know the name of this cake until sometime in my twenties since, as kids, we always called it “the chocolate cake with skor bar” or “chocolate caramel poke cake.” Continue reading

Holiday Side-Dish Inspired Pizza

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We all have our favorite holiday foods. Some of my favorite holiday side dishes are green bean casserole and brussels sprouts with apple and bacon.What are yours? Why not have those holiday dishes on a pizza? Using the skillet-broiler method for making pizza, that’s what I did recently and had some fun with holiday side-dish inspired pizza. Continue reading

Pumpkin Doughnuts

I hope you all had a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving! I know that I had a good time this holiday with my family. Even though I made a bunch of pies this Thanksgiving–pumpkin, Dutch apple, and cannoli pies; I still was in the mood to do some baking and for something pumpkin-flavoured. Call me crazy! Today I baked pumpkin doughnuts, and yes, of the gluten-free variety. I really have been bit by the gluten-free baking bug. 😀

If you wanted to, you can fry these cake-style doughnuts, but baking is easier and it tastes great!

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Quinoa Soda Bread

I am a big fan of Irish breads. Hearty, no-nonsense breads that go well with soups or as I sometimes like it with either Irish cheese or Irish butter. Irish soda bread is one of my favorite breads whether it is sweet  with raisins as in the Americanized version or rustic and dense in the traditional version. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Quinoa Flour Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti is one of my mom’s favorite cookies. Actually, probably a favorite of my whole family as it is often requested, especially during the holidays. Now that I am doing more gluten-free cooking, biscotti has been on my gluten-free baking list.

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Baguettes – Egg-less & Gluten Free

For a change of pace from what I normally eat, today I baked egg-less gluten-free baguettes, and I can say that I am not disappointed with the results. They really look and taste like bread! Although these GF baguettes do not have the same flavor and texture of traditional baguettes, they have a pleasing earthy flavor all their own. It is hearty, crusty, with a tight, soft crumb. Continue reading

Pão de queijo (cheese buns), a cheesy gluten-free bread

Pão de queijo is a popular cheese bun in Brazil. It’s made from tapioca (cassava) flour so it is a gluten-free bread. Not that I am on a gluten-free diet, but I think it is good to know. My husband wants to eat healthier foods nowadays. I’ve had some tasty gluten-free foods and it’s fun to experiment with it. I’ll be posting my gluten-free recipe experiments pretty soon.

A couple of years ago, I encountered pão de queijo at Fogo de Chao, a Churrascaria (Brazilian Steakhouse) in Beverly Hills. We were celebrating my grandparents-in-law anniversary and their birthdays. For many of us in the family, it was our first time at a churrascaria. After discovering the cheese balls that were almost hidden in the cloth-lined basket, I ate quite of few of them. So did my mom. The parade of meat  and the sides were great, but I really enjoyed the cheese buns probably more than anything that I tasted there. Chewy, light and densely cheesy. So addictive! Continue reading

Baked Brains and Halloween Bread

Happy Halloween! How are you celebrating Halloween? I don’t normally celebrate it too much and haven’t pranced around in a costume to do some trick or treating since I was a teenager. Nowadays I go out to eat, or like this year, decided to cook something spooky and traditional. This year I made Irish Halloween Bread (Barm Brack) from WineBarrelGourmet and Baked Brie Brains from Macheesmo. Head to their blogs for the recipes.

I was hoping to get some trick-or-treaters at my place so that I could give away the candy I bought, but we are left with a bag of Hershey’s miniature mix and a bag of fun-size pretzel M&Ms. Do any of you want them?

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Cook’s Illustrated Almost No-Knead Wheat Bread

Yay it’s bread! I love bread and I love baking it even more. You too can bake bread! This recipe is pretty simple as most of the work is done overnight while fermenting.

Sorry for the low quality pictures. Still using a cell phone camera.

Cook’s Illustrated Almost No-Knead Bread is one of my favorite bread recipes and one of the better tasting no-knead breads out there. There are both  white flour and wheat flour versions. Here, I’ve used the wheat version. Continue reading