This is by far the easiest gluten-free dessert I’ve ever made! Almost easier than opening a prepackaged mix. You only need two dishes to make this; a mixing bowl and a baking pan and you are ready to go. Start to finish, your cake will be ready in under 45 minutes!
I tried to cut down on the sugar since 1 cup seemed like a lot. I started adding it 1/4 cup at a time. I’m not sure if it was the cocoa powder or the gluten-free flour, but found that I definitely needed the whole cup. This cake is extremely rich and chocolatey. I ended up freezing about three-quarters of the loaf (I made mine in a loaf pan, not a cake pan). The slice I’ve defrosted since was just as good as the freshly baked. I think making this recipe into cupcakes, might make freezing a bit easier.
My girlfriend Kelly made this absolutely amazing asparagus appetizers (I love alliteration!) for our last book club meeting. They were delicious! And so simple. I made them at home for a little Monday evening aperitivo. These are definitely a great bite for a last-minute wine and cheese party and definitely worthy of sharing with guest. Next time I have a dinner party, these will be on the menu. I’m actually kind of looking for any excuse to make these again.
You can use any soft, spreadable cheese. I would avoid cream cheese, but any other soft cheese should work. I think Boursin would be amazing.
Making this appetizer into a side dish would be very easy to do. I would leave the prosciutto slice whole and wrap it around 3-5 pieces of asparagus and cook them the same way (maybe a minute or two longer). I think it would make for a really tasty side dish, but I really like how the individual spears of asparagus and prosciutto get super crispy.
Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Wrapped Asparagus
Asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
Soft goat cheese, at room temperature
Prosciutto, each slice cut into 3 pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 400F degrees.
Spread the goat cheese on each slice of prosciutto.
Wrap each asparagus spear in a 1/3 slice of prosciutto and goat cheese.
Bake for 6-8 minutes, until warm and starting to crisp.
I doesn’t look like much, but I cannot even begin to put into words how amazing this is. Amazing! That’s all I can say. I was faced with the awkward situation of having a whole bunch of cheese, but not enough to make a legitimate cheese plate. You know that awkward spot where you’ve had a wine and cheese night and there is some cheese leftover, but not really anything worthwhile. It’s always a dark day. There are just tiny bits of that, something with a bit of a rind, some soft stuff that was kind of sad looking, a tad of blue begging to find a second chance. I poked around the internet for a bit and thanks to the magic of Google, I discovered the most glorious way to save the cheese! Fromage Fort! You can’t really go wrong with the combination of cheese. I used some blue, Boursin, goat, brie and parm. Delicious.
Serving wise, baguette, crackers, even some crudités would be great to serve with this. I used toasted gluten-free bread. If I had been by myself, I probably would have just used a spoon.
A couple pats of butter, if using mostly firm cheese varieties
1-3 small clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
1/2 to 1 cup leftover white wine
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary or chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Blend cheese, butter (if using) and garlic in food processer until combined. Drizzle in wine with the motor running until you get your desired consistency — some like it completely smooth, others prefer chunks. Add herbs, pulsing the machine until just combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fromage fort can be used right away, or kept in the fridge until needed. In the fridge, it will thicken and age a little; the flavors will mingle and deepen. Let sit out for a few minutes to slight soften and make serving easier.
The Crab Louie has been a San Francisco classic since the early 1900s. Since there has been no crab around this kitchen since the infamous crab cake incident of 2011, I substituted the only shellfish that has yet to make an attempt on my life, shrimp! I’ve never actually had a shrimp/crab Louie before, so I don’t have basis for comparison, but this salad was delicious. It made an extremely enjoyable and beautiful lunch. It might seem like there are a lot of ingredients, but it came together very easily. I definitely plan on make it again. I think it would be perfect for a fancy luncheon or if you have guests.
A traditional Louie salad involves hard-boiled eggs, but since cannot stand the sight or texture of egg yolks, I left them out. They definitely were not missed. I also used kalamata olives instead of regular black olives, mainly because they were what I had on hand, but they also provide way more flavor. Every other ingredient was fresh and crisp. Living in Southern California, we get amazing produce year round. Tomatoes and avocados are at their prime and we are still lucky enough to find great asparagus at farmers’ market.
The dressing is similar to 1000 Island dressing, but not quite. I read at least 20 different Louie dressing recipes and in the end just picked the ingredients that sounded best to me. I like my dressings on the tangy side and most of them sounded like they would be pretty sweet. I used chili sauce, which I think is super sweet to begin with, so I did not add any extra sugar. I also used dill pickle relish and more lemon juice than most called for. This helped to cut the sweetness (it still had some, but not too much) and thinned out the dressing. Gloopy dressing is never a good thing. I also added Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and paprika for color and flavor.
Shrimp Louie Salad
For the Louie Dressing:
1 cup high-quality mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup or chili sauce
2 lemons, juiced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons dill pickle relish
1 Tabelspoon Worcestshire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Shrimp:
12 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tail removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped (almost shredded)
1/4 pound asparagus, blanched
2 fresh tomatoes, cut into quarters,
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced lengthwise thinly
1/4 red onion, finely diced
For the Dressing:
In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in fridge while cooking shrimp and assembling salad.
For the Shrimp:
Heat oven to 400F. Combine shrimp and all other ingredients in a small bowl or plastic bag. Toss to coat. Place the shrimp on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 6-7 minutes, or until shrimp are nice and pink. Let cool slightly while you assemble the salad.
For the Salad:
Divide lettuce between two plates. Divide the rest of the ingredients between the plates of lettuce. Serve with dressing on the side and enjoy!
I started the fall semester yesterday morning. In order to recover from the trauma, I’m taking a long weekend trip (can 6 days really be considered a ‘long weekend’?) up to San Francisco to visit some friends. What better excuse that to share some tried and true San Francisco favorites.
This dish is a San Francisco classic. It originated in the 1930′s at Original Joe’s. Even though the dish is a classic, I had to put my own spin on things. I substituted extra-lean ground turkey for the ground beef. I used a ton of garlic (10 cloves, but they were all pretty small) and fresh basil and oregano from my garden. I have to admit that I like the fact that the eggs are not the main focus of this egg dish. I feel like the egg is just there as a loose binder rather than the main feature. It makes for a nice change from a traditional Quiche or frittata. It also makes the dish much more adaptable to meals outside the morning hours. In true San Francisco style, Joe’s Special is traditionally served with sourdough. I have yet to discover gluten-free sourdough, so I served my scramble with a couple slices of gluten-free toast (Canyon Bakehouse is my favorite at the moment). Not quite the same as sourdough, but it did the job.
I made Joe’s Special for Sunday Brunch over the weekend and this morning I heated up the leftovers for breakfast. It was even better! This would be a great made-ahead meal for brunch or for anytime you want to have a meal that you can reheat in a hurry.
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and add the Tabasco, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to brown. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in ground turkey; cook, stirring, until browned and all moisture evaporates, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften. Add spinach; cook, stirring, until wilted. Add eggs; cook until eggs are cooked and mixture is slightly dry, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with bread.
My wonderful friend Zack sent me this recipe last week and told me to “stop what I was doing and make this”. Zack and I have fairly similar palates, so I had a feeling that I would like this salad. I didn’t just like this salad, I loved it. I have yet to find a combination of cilantro and lime that I dislike, so I might not be the most neutral judge, but this salad was pretty close to perfect. Chickpeas make a really great neutral base, which allows the other flavors to really shine through.
I ended up accidentally doubling recipe. I was trying to use up some use it or lose it spinach, which ended up being way more than the originally suggested four cups. It turned out to be a fortunate accident since I had leftovers for days. I upped the amount of garlic and took it easier on the olive oil. I also omitted the sugar the original recipe called for, but that’s just a personal preference. I never add sugar to any type of dressing.
I made these in an attempt to use up some summer fruits that were rapidly approaching their use or lose stage. There are endless summer fruit combinations you can use, so go wild. I think strawberries and peaches go together amazingly, but I could imagine raspberries, blueberries, pluots, apricots and all sorts of other fruits working perfectly.
These pancakes are perfect for brunch! If I was making these for a weekend brunch, I would definitely add a glug of bourbon to the pan when you add in the peaches, just to give it an extra decadent, boozy, brunchy feel.
I will say, I had a hard time getting these pancakes to cook through, hence the crispy looking edges. I think I was being slightly impatient with heating my pan (there really is only so long a girl can wait for breakfast after spin class…), so I had to sacrifice give a few utter failures to my official tasters (aka the pups). The crispy edges did not have a burnt flavor, which was lucky, just a different texture.
I usually don’t like tuna salad. I feel like every tuna salad I have had is a horrible combination of mayo, celery, and sweet relish. The thought makes me cringe. Luckily this salad can erase any prior memories of tuna salad gone wrong. This salad is light and refreshing. There are so many amazing flavors. Using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, not only lightens up the salad, but really adds a nice, creamy base that lets all the different flavors shine through. I really liked that nearly every bite had a little tangy bite from the capers and a little bit of subtle spice from the bell peppers. I served this salad on a gluten-free Chebe roll with a tomato, olive and balsamic salad.
At the beginning of my summer break I managed to squeeze in a few quick trips to visit some friends. A long, relaxing weekend in San Francisco and a quick cross-country jaunt to Washington, DC. I first had this salad at Granville Moore’s on H Street. It was a delightful start of a delicious meal.
DC was hot and humid (aka gross), but the muggy weather helped to make this salad even more enjoyable. The icy cold watermelon is perfect anytime during the summer, but paired with the peppery arugula and crunchy pickled onions it was even sweeter and more delicious.
Watermelon & Feta Salad with Pickled Onions & Dill Vinaigrette
For the Pickled Onions:
1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced
For the Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
3 cups arugula
3 cups of baby spinach
2 cups cubed watermelon, well chilled
1/2 cup pickled onions (drained)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, or more to taste
Start preparing the onions. Whisk first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and chill. Drain onions before using.
Next prepare the vinaigrette. In a food processor, combine the oil, vinegar, dill weed, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard and pepper. Blend until smooth, cover and refrigerate until chilled.
When the onions and vinaigrette are ready, prepare the salad. Arrange the arugula and spinach on a serving platter. Scatter the pickled onions over the top, followed by about half of the crumbled feta, then the watermelon cubes, and finally the remaining feta. Use a spoon to drizzle dill vinaigrette over the salad immediately before serving.
I think this salad is a perfect for any 4th of July picnic or barbecue. Not only are the colors fun and spot on for the holiday, the ingredients are absolutely fantastic together! The salty blue cheese, earthy quinoa and sweet blueberries each bring great flavors that manage to complement each other perfectly.
I used balsamic raspberry vinegar, which unfortunately muddled the color of the quinoa and blue cheese a bit. I know if I used a little vinegar (white wine, cider) the color would be perfect. I also found the raspberry balsamic to be a bit too sweet for my personal taste. The tangy blue cheese helped tone it down slightly, but I think I would try a less sweet vinegar next time.
Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad Adapted from here.
For the Dressing
s5 Tablespoons balsamic raspberry vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
1 cup uncooked red quinoa
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
1 pint fresh blueberries
8 ounces fresh raspberries
8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
3 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
Before cooking the quinoa, soak it in some cold water (about 20 minutes) to rinse off some of its natural bitterness.
Add quinoa and broth to small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes).
While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing together and set aside.
Add the blue cheese, chives and place this in with all the blueberries into a large bowl.
Once you drain the quinoa, cool it off till it is slightly warm or room temperature and pour the raspberry vinaigrette and mix that through.
Let the quinoa cool down some more before mixing in the cheese, blueberries and chives (otherwise your blue cheese will melt.)
Gently fold in raspberries before serving, being careful not to smush them.