Cookie recipe: Gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you’re still reading this after seeing “gluten-free” in the title, then welcome. Many people don’t make it this far when “gluten free” is included. During my food allergy food cleanse, I discovered that I’m gluten sensitive. I’m not celiac or anything serious but post ripping into anything wheat-based, I get bloated and feel crappy. So I started eating as gluten free as I can. And that ain’t easy in our culture. As a former pastry chef who studied and used gluten for a living, it has been a tough, lonely road. But I’m learning to bake GF (as it’s called in this world and you’ll see on labels) while trying to avoid the scary sounding ingredients like xanthan gum, which acts as a thickening agent in the absence of gluten. It’s easier than you might think and you might even feel more comfortable after scarfing a few of these down.

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Recipe: Easy pumpkin roll

Pumpkin Roll

Besides the seasonality of this vegetable, I’ve always wondered why we relegate pumpkin dishes to the fall. It comes in a can year round — which is far easier than spearing a fresh gourd — so we could be enjoying its comforting, smooth and rustic flavors all the time. It might be the cinnamon, nutmeg and other fall-tinged spices which contribute to pumpkin’s autumnal reputation. I can’t really talk… I practice the same prejudice but perhaps it’s time for a pumpkin revolution. Go ahead… make this pumpkin roll in the summer. I dare you. Your family and friends will love you for it. That, I guarantee… it’s a fantastic recipe.

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Real sweet treats: Brownie and cookie recipes using sugar alternatives

As I continue to be in love with the world of eating clean and using better, whole and natural ingredients in cooking, I’ve been elated to find a wealth of ideas for swapping real ingredient sugar and sweetener alternatives in place of the less-healthy staples we’re so used to, particularly in baking.

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Sweet recipe: The return of hot chocolate and cocoa

Hot chocolate; a single sip can bring forth a flood of buoyant memories. The mere mention of the steaming elixir creates mental images of warming yourself near the fire while watching snow fall gently through partially frosted windows. Hot chocolate is the king of comfort foods that is enjoying a renaissance.

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Sweet recipe: Oatmeal, walnut and apple crisp

In the front yard of my rental house in Santa Rosa, California, we have a Golden Delicious apple tree. Having lived in Florida for the last 17 years where apple trees would likely cringe at the thought of 95 degrees, 90% humidity, this fruit tree has been a bit of an oddity for me. And a source of glee. But then the prolific tree began producing fruit. So I started to bake.

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Cooking and recipe lesson: Let's grill some fruit

The seasons are changing and it’s time to get outside and grill. For those looking for something a little different, try this. Look inside your fridge and pull out your favorite, delectable and naturally sweet treats: fruit.

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Recipe: Chocolate ganache for glaze, filling or dip

Sometimes something so delicious can be really, really easy. This recipe, accomplished in under 30 minutes, can turn something mundane into the mmmm. Use it for a chocolate fondue, chocolate dipped strawberries or as a glaze or filling for a moist yellow cake.

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Recipe: Grilled Bananas with Chai Syrup

Everyone loves bananas, right? This recipe provides an alternative to eating them raw – grill ’em and drizzle with this syrup infused with exotic cardamom, anise and cinnamon.

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