Much of October has been about recipe-testing breads, cookies, and other carbs, furthering our journey with a grain-free (Paleo) diet in hopes to further improve Michael and Ely’s (my twin boys’) gut health as mentioned in my last post. This new venture of baking is challenging, to say the least – it’s a good thing I’m stubborn and armed with a good playlist ready to get my mixer in motion (cue the wonder woman music right about now).
The past few weeks have been pretty much about recipe testing without the use of grains, now that we are giving a grain-free diet a try, in addition to gluten, dairy, soy and some other foods free. It’s like starting all over again, reminding me of all the recipe testing in hopes to replace all the pantry staples we have clung on to, eight years ago.
With the cooler weather we were having a couple of weeks ago, and all sorts of squashes making their way onto the stands, I thought a braised chicken dish would seem fitting since fall has arrived. I served it over cauliflower rice, with a side of roasted carrots tossed in rosemary, and a new bread recipe (good enough for sauce-dipping) that was a hit (will share soon). It was a delicious Friday night dinner for the suddenly chilly weather we were having and one I will be making again soon. And the spiced applesauce bundt cake, that I am still thinking about. Surprisingly, dinner wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be, with an inch of room for dessert (there’s always room for dessert).
With the wide array of apples at the market now I couldn’t wait to make this recipe again.
Last year I made this recipe as baked doughnuts for Chanukah (twice in one week for obvious reasons), and a similar recipe to this one for the back-to-school apple pie cupcake. Fall is my favorite season for baking. I’m a sucker for the aroma of apples and spices lingering in the air, that and pumpkin spice, and gingerbread and … never mind … I just love this season. Time to get this warm and cozy baking season started — fall season has arrived!
And just like that, summer came and went, and we jumped into back-to-school mode. Michael and Ely were excited to go to their ‘big’ middle school. My teenage sophomore was somewhat excited but now especially thrilled joining the yearbook committee and being elected president of the tech club (he’s a pretty tech savvy dude and definitely didn’t get that from his mother). We eased into the routine nicely until Michael’s school nurse called to tell me he has rashes all over his body… exactly at the point I was about to add the flour blend to my pumpkin spice muffin batter (so good and coming to the blog SOON) as one does when one is itching for pumpkin spice. Panic!
Coming from a heritage stemming from the southern part of Russia, the cultural traditions set on my family’s table have always been similar to the foods of the Middle East – especially Israeli and Persian food. Halvah was one of them; my favorite Middle Eastern confection. My late grandmother would keep plenty of halvah, individually wrapped Russian chocolates, sesame seed candies, and sweet meringues in a big crystal bowl ready for the picking. That and hot mint tea was the final part of most family meal gatherings.
Zucchini usually makes its’ way into my pasta meals, fritters, or simply grilled throughout the year being that it’s so readily available, but when peak season arrives (July-August), when it’s most tender and sweeter than ever I can’t think of anything better than zucchini bread. Nothing better.
Caesar salad lovers rejoice!
Has it been way too long since you’ve had a caesar salad? A real caesar salad? Me too. This may not be the real thing but holy YUM is this close. You need this in your life, my friends.
If you think about it, there is really nothing original or unusual about a caesar salad yet it has been a popular starter since the 40’s. Some romaine lettuce leaves, dressing and cubed bread, yet when made with fresh garlic, crisp greens, and the right type of anchovy you have something extraordinary. This was one of my favorite salads way back when gluten and dairy were my so-called friends. And not something that can be made on-the-fly, you know. I tried. The catch: the dressing contains gluten, dairy, and egg. Oh right, that.
Growing up, my mother would often serve big bowls of porridge with plenty of sugar on top. Even during the summer in the Catskills, but with heaping spoons of freshly picked blueberries – my favorite way. In Russian, we call it mannaya kasha, which is basically wheat semolina based Cream of Wheat, made with milk. Not exactly a breakfast of champions. What did I know, I thought it was normal to get bloated and feel the need to pass out soon after. Needless to say, this is a better porridge option without the belly-aching, sugar-crashing side effects … what I like to call the ‘new and improved’ version of breakfast porridge. A whole lot healthier and I must say, a whole lotta DELICIOUS.