My friend, acupuncturist, and wholesome foodie Emma recently introduced me to the wonders of quinoa flakes and coconut flour thanks to her recipe for these super healthy breakfast cookies – which I’m officially hooked on. I should first preface this by saying I’m not gluten or lactose intolerant and often find myself skeptical of baked products that claim to be free of what I believe to be essential ingredients. So with that being said, I love these morsels of protein packed goodness. And for someone who never seems to find enough time to make myself breakfast on weekday mornings, these hearty cookies are perfect to grab and go.
Emma uses coconut flour, coconut sugar and quinoa flakes in this recipe – all of which I bought and used for the first time. And if you are just baffled as I was, here is a brief rundown. Coconut flour is made from coconut pulp and is wonderfully fragrant. It also gives your baked goods a nice fluffy texture. Coconut palm sugar, made from sap of the coconut palm that has been extracted and then boiled and dehydrated, is very similar to brown sugar but with a slight hint of caramel. And quinoa flakes are made by rolling quinoa (my favorite grain!) into a thin flake, making it quick and easy to cook into hot cereal or as a substitute for oats. Ok, now that you’re in the know – let’s get baking . . .
You know I’m a sucker for shrubs. And while I certainly enjoy making my own, sometimes it’s best to leave the dirty work to the professionals. That’s where Shrub & Co comes in. I first heard about Shrub & Co from my friend Amy Hamilton from Just Relish catering who works out of a neighboring commercial kitchen space here in Berkeley. One sip and I was hooked. I immediately went out and bought every flavor I could find. Even though the holidays are in the rearview, I just can’t stop sipping the cranberry shrub with douglas fir. I find it goes perfectly with a little St. George terroir gin. Although, here I kept it non-alcoholic with just a splash of sparkling water and a candied cranberry garnish.
Last year Karen, Erica and I were invited to attend an intimate event hosted by Woodford Reserve. we got to the chance to meet/drink with a number of spirit journalists and enthusiasts, in addition to Master Distiller, Chris Morris. Woodford was debuting the latest from their Master’s Collection: Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Finish – a mature Woodford Reserve bourbon finished in Pinot Noir barrels from Sonoma-Cutrer Winery. Needless to say, it was a fabulous evening of wine and whiskey, but most of all, friends. You see, despite our proximity here on the site, Karen and I are a whole golden state apart. Sure, there are trips back and forth, but we’re both pretty settled in our hometowns. So today for happy hour, I busted out a bottle of this splendid whiskey, along with a few pairings (aged gouda, chocolate covered cherries, and smoked salmon to name a few) and toasted the memory of that warm summer night in beautiful San Francisco.
While we’re all hitting the obligatory refresh button this first week of the new year, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share my recipe for delicious cashew nut milk, which is jam packed with nutrients like Vitamin K, iron, magnesium and essential fatty acids. It’s so unbelievably decadent tasting, it almost feels wrong enjoying it first thing in the morning. I mean, it’s that good. The addition of spinach and kale reduces that unnecessary guilt . . .
Cashew nut milk is one of the easiest nut milks to make. No nut bag or straining required. All you need to do is soak the cashew long enough and blend them with water. Then watch them magically turn into a creamy liquid. I love adding dates to sweeten and a pinch of sea salt to enhance the subtly nutty and creamy sweetness.
I will say I’m happy to be done with the constant indulgence of the holidays. I’ve been obsessed with making these bowls that I’ll call Quinoa Vegan Bowls, but really, you could make a variation of this with any whole grain. They’re incredibly filling and satisfying for something labeled “vegan.” The key is to get a variety of flavors and textures in your bowl, but the recipe I have here today has all my favorites. The whole thing comes together with a creamy tofu sauce that is highly addictive. You’ll be licking the jar clean!
These are my favorites not just for their flavor but their health benefits. Quinoa is high in fiber and protein. Kale also has lots of fiber and protein and vitamins A, C and K.
It’s been quite the year. Twelve months ago we had just found out that we were expecting our first child. Fast foward to today, and our daughter Fiona is four months old, is a giggling machine, and already has her two bottom teeth! I guess that’s what happens when Mom’s a dentist and Dad’s a food blogger. So in honor of a truly unforgettable year, a special drink is in order. Thank you so much for stopping by the site this year, for all your kind words, and for giving our recipes a try!!
Kir royales are a classic way to ring in the new year, but as always, I had to put my quirky spin on things. So instead of the typical champagne with a splash of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur), I created crème de cassis caviar pearls!! This process of spherification, or turning a liquid into solid spheres, can be easily done using chemicals such as sodium alginate. However, I decided to keep it simple and use gelatin sheets – much more accessible, and frankly, less intimidating.