The Best Carrot Cake Ever

We all have our own favorite carrot cake recipe, but now you’ll have a new one:)  I made this for a crowd at the St. Helena Farmers’ market and it was a huge hit.  Super moist and rich, yet light.  The recipe comes from Fran Costigan’s “More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts, Naturally which has an abundance of healthful sweets that are not only delicious, but also vegan.

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Lemon Curd

I hit the trifecta this week!  Two friends indulged me with fresh eggs from their chickens; my shipment of ghee arrived; and I received a large shopping bag full of Meyer lemons.  The citrus crops seem to be a bit late in ripening this year (from the cool growing season)…but after hanging on the tree for an extended period of time, these lemons were screaming to perform in a homemade batch of lemon curd…

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Egg Nog Panna Cotta

egg nog panna cotta

There are times when you just NAIL it in the kitchen.  This is one of those times!  I dare say this dessert is by far one of my favorites to date, and if you like egg nog, you will LOVE this creamy creation.  Plus, it’s super simple to make!  So be sure to plan just one more trip to the market and get the goods for Egg Nog Panna Cotta.

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Pumpkin Mousse

p mousse with spoon

It’s officially pumpkin season. It seems everything I am cooking lately incorporates it somehow.  And since I roast up a fair amount at one time, I am always looking for different ways to use it.  The recipes can range from sweet to savory, and in this case I am offering one which is a little lighter than your average pumpkin pie, but with that same creamy goodness we tend to crave this time of year.

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Raspberry "Cream" Pie with Cashew Crust

rasp pie

I had fully intended to post this earlier but a few ‘details’ last week diverted my attention.  My husband, Jay, had a partially torn retina and needed surgery; our dog broke his foot; my sister had a medical procedure, and we learned Jay’s mom has lung cancer. You could say we dedicated our time (and resources) to wellness, albeit not yet related to food.

But, alas, a holiday weekend is upon us and what better way to celebrate than with dessert!  Seasonal and healthful, of course…fresh from the farmers’ market.  Sure to make everyone feel better.

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Apricot Blueberry Clafouti

ap blu clafouti

If you blinked, you might have missed apricots at the farmers market this season.  They got hit hard by late rains this spring which all but decimated the crop.  Luckily I scooped up a few pounds and poured them into one of my favorites dessert recipes: clafouti.

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The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

choc chipsAs discussed last time, baking has its challenges.  Baking gluten free takes that challenge and raises you by ten.  Gluten is the ‘glue that holds flour products together.’  It is elastic by nature and is present in all derivatives of wheat, such as bread and pasta.  To refresh, I am not gluten intolerant; I just feel better when I eat less of it.

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Baking Now and Then

marycookies

There are chefs and then there are bakers.  I happen to be both.  I believe the way I came into baking was through my insatiable cravings for dessert, and growing up with the woman who mastered that category: my grandmother.  Edna Christmas Knight (so named for her birthday on Christmas Day) was the queen of crème brulee and the richest, most decadent  chocolate mousse you could ever wrap your tongue around.

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Chocolate Coconut Pudding

choc pudding

Who doesn’t love pudding?  I see no one raised their hand…which brings me to the ultimate comfort food and life’s simple pleasures.  This recipe came about from my favorite of all food sites: 101Cookbooks.  Heidi Swanson not only creates the most wonderful combinations of seasonal, wholesome flavors;  she is also a master photographer.  Whenever my husband asks me to credit my source, for hers I simply say: “it’s another Heidi.”

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Pear Almond Torte

pear almond torte

I  received pears in my CSA box yesterday which was a bit of a surprise, as I tend to focus on them more in the fall.  But I’m always game to put produce to new uses, and I love the combination of pears and almonds.  This recipe was adapted from a friend who was in my chef program.  Its flour-less and therefore gluten free.  The result was light and decadent (if that makes sense) – and just in time for Valentine’s Day…

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