Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gluten-Free, Vegan Marbled Sweet Potato Muffins: A Halloween Treat

I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity to share this recipe with you.  Moist, slightly sweet, seasonally spiced to warm the palate and soul, with a festive marble swirl of orange and dark brown.  And with Halloween lurking just around the corner, what better time than now?

I won't pretend that these cute little muffins would make good treats for the costumed kiddos knocking at your door.  Not that they wouldn't enjoy them, but the high probability of them being smushed to the consistency of cat-food amidst the lollipops, candy bars, and caramel apples could make them impractical.  But serving them at a party, bringing a batch or two to the office, or baking them in the morning to have the aroma rouse your family or roommates better than any alarm clock and draw them to the kitchen - they could be awesome for that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free in the Philippines: Finding Fresh Perspective

I'm finally back.  

After three amazingly fulfilling weeks in the Philippines, here I sit in front of my computer, almost recovered from jet lag, and ready to start writing again.  As you might imagine, I was in no rush to get back to the States.  I'd found a sense of "home" with my family, my grandmother, and my cousins overseas that I'd never experienced before.  For the most part, the pace of life there was so much less harried and stressful - people took care of each other and looked out for one another.  And making time to eat as a group, sitting outside drinking beer or fresh coconut juice in the shade of a mango tree, and singing karaoke at any given opportunity would always trump stacking one's day with obligations and appointments.  It was the epitome of bittersweet to leave that life and my loved ones behind.

And the food.
There is absolutely no way to speak of the Philippines without speaking of the food. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Unplugged, But Still Connected

Sometimes leaving the ground is the best way to find your footing.

When I first embarked on my vacation to the Philippines, one of the thoughts at the forefront of my mind was: "How am I going to keep the blog up?"  It would be an understatement to say it was a source of stress.  But while visiting my father's side of the family in Pangasinan, a province in the north, one of my aunts said to me, "Don't work too hard, Jonathan.  You can earn all the money or get all the promotions, but at the end of the day, you won't be happy.  So choose happiness."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ratio Rally! Gluten-Free, Vegan, Grain-Free Tartlettes with Cashew Cream & Fig Puree

Talk about "seat of your pants." Or "skin of your teeth." We might as well say, "The skin of your pants," because they both applied here. For all intents and purposes, you shouldn't be reading this post because it shouldn't exist. In preparation for my trip to the Philippines, baking experiments and writing this post were pretty far down on a lengthy, lengthy to-do list. But whether you attribute it to the experience and know-how I've gained through previous Ratio Rally challenges or just plain stubbornness and an unwillingness to give up without a fight, here we are.