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

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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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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

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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Sorghum Flatbread (Jowar ki Roti/Bhakri)

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As you probably know, I love experimenting with and eating gluten-free foods. I’ve had some sorghum flour that I wanted to make something with and was excited to try making Jowar ki Roti or Jowar ki Bhakri. This is a flatbread made with only sorghum flour and without the help of any gums or other common gluten-free binding agents. To make this flatbread you need just the sorghum (jowar) flour, salt, water, and oil which is optional. 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

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