Monday, December 23, 2013

Tender Roasted Brussels Sprouts

When I was younger, Brussels sprouts were not among my favorite vegetables.  They were mostly boiled whole until they were on the mushy side and their tightly wrapped green-yellow leaves began to turn slightly grayish.  And to get past the bitterness, I would often have to douse them with some kind of sauce, whether it be melted garlic butter, ranch, or mayo.  So, no, these "tiny cabbages" were not my favorite.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Beauty of Next

I know I'm a broken record, but I love cooking and baking in the Fall.   I honestly cannot say it enough.    From the beautiful seasonal produce in hues to match the foliage on trees, the comfort of a hot oven warming the kitchen aromatically as winds, rain, and snow swirl outside, to gatherings and reunions that allow us to see one another in a light of gratitude and blessings, there isn't another time of year that inspires me more.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gluten-Free & Vegan Granola Cookies: Now We're Talking...

According to my boss and mentor (she's the first to have coined me a "canary"), this is "a real cookie."  Not that she was saying that my other cookies haven't been "real," but that this was clearly a cookie, as opposed to a biscuit, and this was also clearly a dessert.  And when she went so far as to say that perhaps I should think about selling her the recipe so she could add them to the restaurant menu, I knew I had a winning recipe on my hands.

[commence proud papa dance]

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mulled Hibiscus Ginger Tea

I love hibiscus tea.  I love ginger tea.  So why had I never thought to put the two together?  Alas, it took a visit to the Philippines and meeting a cousin of mine for the first time over lunch to kindle the spark.  She has quite the reputation as a vegan chef there, so naturally we met at a vegetarian restaurant with beautiful food.  After exchanging pleasantries, hugs, and taking photos (of course), we sat down for an awesome family style gluten-free, vegan meal.  To drink, I had what they called a roselle cooler - a hibiscus iced tea with cardamom, lemongrass, and vanilla - and was instantly smitten.  Normally, I am not a shy consumer of liquids, but with this drink, so interesting, layered, and complementary to the many bold flavors of our meal, I was happy to sip leisurely, not wanting the experience to be over too soon.