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

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When Summer meets Autumn: Zucchini Bread Pancakes & Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash

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With windows wide open and summer skin rests,
Fall pulls back his bow and aims at the crest.

Its cool thin arrow cuts through thick air,
It glimmers like silver and tickles the pear.

Slicing through wheat and brushing the sparrow,

It stirs up the hay that lay in your barrow.

Into the window and onto your breast,
Through thinly spun linen it kisses your chest.

Despite the dream and amongst it all,
You know you’ve been kissed by the coming of Fall.

 –Randy Holden, “A Poem:  When Summer Meets Fall” in Chronogram Magazine

Late last month, my husband remarked that it feels more like fall than summer where we live (SD).  I like the weeks in August (and in other months) that is sort-of in-between seasons. But I do have to say that fall is my favorite season. Since getting married in the fall almost two years ago, I like it even better. Now that I think about it, it’s interesting how the seasons and the weather plays such important parts in our lives. In the food world, it is definitely a tremendous influence.
But I’m still enjoying summer and still enjoying the summer bounty of vegetables and other seasonal fare. Many home gardeners like my dad are having to find ways to use up certain fruits or vegetables that grow like weeds. Zucchinis are notorious for that. I think my mom makes 20-30 loaves of zucchini bread every summer. I visit my parents often and was thinking of ways to use up them up and one way is to make… 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

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?

Continue reading

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