Pain d’Épice Cookies for 18 Reasons Holiday Cookie Swap!

December 24, 2010

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I attended a couple of cookie swaps during the holiday season. In truth, I not only attended one, but also help volunteer/host another one at 18 Reasons, a community space run by the Bi-Rite Market earlier this month. It was their DIY Dessert night, a monthly event […]

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Ginger Molasses Spice Cookies and My Sister’s Wedding

December 16, 2010

My sister Natatia got married a couple of months ago. It’s still hard for me to think of her as married, but there it was on her Facebook page with a different last name staring at me when I logged in the week afterwards. My sister is four years younger than me (and my brother […]

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Honey Lemon Ginger Molasses Marble Cookies for a Cookie Swap with Food Bloggers!

December 12, 2010

It’s the holiday season and that means cookies! Insane amount of cookies! All you need to do is look around the web and see that cookies are what’s on everyone’s mind, with the holidays coming up. I’m a little behind on the obligatory cookie post, but don’t fear, there will be many cookie posts coming up as I’ve been to a couple of cookie swaps recently. The one that my friend Annelies hosted, had me developing (at the last minute) these Honey Lemon Ginger Molasses Marble Cookies, which I have to say, I’m pretty proud of.

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An Apple Slab Pie with Dried Fall Fruit, a movie called Kings of Pastry and an event with the Baker’s Dozen

December 9, 2010

Recently I brought baked four apple slab pies with dried fall fruit to an event thrown by the Bakers Dozen, a San Francisco Bay Area baking group. I had joined the Bakers Dozen, on a bit of a whim about a year ago. I was talking to my therapist about the aimlessness of my life (typical therapist conversation right?) and he suggested that I join a baking group, as baking was clearly the center of my passion (this was way before I quit my job). Coincidentally I had impulsively joined the week before that session even happened (leading me to question whether or not I even needed to be in therapy, which of course, lead to many other therapy sessions… it’s bit of a vicious cycle isn’t it?).

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What’s Thanksgiving without a Green Bean Casserole — that’s vegan and gluten free as well?

November 30, 2010

When SFoodie asked me to write about my favorite Thanksgiving dish, I was honored to be considered one of their “favorite food people of San Francisco.” But it took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to write about. My first inclination was to go with a dessert. After all desserts are what I’m all about – especially on this here bloggity blog. So it was a bit of a surprise (even to myself) to finally settle on the unassuming much maligned green bean casserole. Even more surprising was, through circumstances, I made it vegan and gluten free and ended up liking it even MORE than the dairy version!

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Gluten Free Maple Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Gingerbread Bottom and Sour Cream Marshmallow Topping

November 15, 2010

Pssst. Wanna do a secret baking challenge? Whispered Shauna over at Gluten Free Girl. Well virtually whispered, as she tweeted about it mysteriously and then said anyone interested should send her their email address. Mysterious baking challenge? I was up for that. My result: A maple sweet potato cheesecake with marshmallow topping and gingerbread base. Sweet Potato? Yep. Gluten free, of course.

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Quince, Pear and Dried Wild Blueberry Pie for an 18 Reasons event

November 9, 2010

Fall comes around sneakily here in SF. While the rest of the country is sweltering, our summers tend to be on the cool side, and this summer was no exception. I found myself wearing sweaters during the summer time, throwing on a jaunty scarf or occasionally turning the heat on while trying to warm myself as my fellow Americans were complaining about the stifling heat and horrible humidity. But then September and October comes around and when all the leaves are turning colors in the other parts of the country, we get our heat. Temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s and then, in a blink of an eye, the end of October comes and it plummets down. Fall has arrived (ever so briefly). Pumpkin, apples, maple syrup, and cinnamon come to the forefront in my mind even without down the sidewalk with the crunch of leaves under my feet (San Francisco sadly lacks deciduous trees, one of it few faults and one of the things I truly miss from St. Louis). It’s time for comfort food and for baking something warm rich and heavy that reminds me of grandma. Like a quince, pear and dried wild blueberry pie.

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Southeast Asian inspired vegan Apple Blackberry Pie with coconut crumb and coconut scented crust

November 5, 2010

Peter and Grant are the fanciest friends that I know. They are the only people I know that actually own not one but multiple tuxedos (one can only assume because one is never sure when one will have to go to back to back black tie events). They were the people I went to French Laundry the second time I went (remind me to tell you how I went the first time, it’s relatively amusing). And they are the only people I know who actually shop at Brooks Brothers, without any sense of irony whatsoever. And, of course, they are the ones that inspired me to take a simple basic all American dessert like an apple pie and make it all fancy. I present to you, the Southeast Asian Inspired Apple Blackberry Pie with coconut crumb topping and coconut scented crust.

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Daring Bakers Challenge: Salted Apple Caramel Bourbon Glazed Donuts.

October 29, 2010

So I have to be completely honest. This post was going to be about something else entirely. I had every intention of doing a post to tie in with my guest post for Eating Rules – October: Unprocessed project. It was going to be a baked good that was completely unprocessed, with whole grains, vegan even. I had written it all out, and all I needed to do was tweak the recipe, when I realized it was the day before the Daring Baker’s Challenge was due. So I bounced over there with EVERY intention of posting in the forums stating “I won’t be able to make the challenge this month…” and then I SAW the challenge. DONUTS. I’ve always wanted to make donuts. Damn it. So I caved and made the exact opposite of a healthy whole grained baked good. I made a salted apple caramel bourbon glazed donut. Yep. I caved real bad. But what the hey, these suckers are worth it. The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

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Eating Rules: Maple Spiced Pumpkin Pie, Unprocessed

October 28, 2010

I recently did a guest post over at EatingRules.com for the October: Unprocessed project. For those who don’t know about the project, Andrew of Eating Rules challenged people to eat unprocessed food for the month of October. My post was for a Maple Spiced Pumpkin Pie. Go over there to check it out!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes and Don’t Forget the Homos! BlogHer Food 2010 recap

October 16, 2010

“Don’t forget the HOMOS!” shouted David Leite of Leite’s Culinaria during our first day of BlogHer Food. It’s true that nearly 93.7% of the attendants were women (I’m making that statistic up, but since it has three significant digits, I probably sound like I know what I’m talking about), and 5.6% were gay men (leaving the 0.7% straight men and “other”). We, the homos, were in danger of being overlooked. Gay men HATE being overlooked. Well, okay, I generalize. I hate being overlooked (which probably explains the ridiculous outfits I wore to the conference afterparties). Apparently David Leite does too.

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A Trip to Oregon and Back featuring Blackberry Peach Ginger Pie and Homemade Pizza

October 4, 2010

“You’re not talking smack are you? You’re really going to bake for us when you come up to visit?” This is my friend Sue, politely inquiring on whether or not I was being honest with my intentions when I visited her in Portland Oregon. I assured her that I was. In fact, AJ and I ended up making dinner for her, her husband, and a few of their friends. Two pizzas and a peach blackberry pie for dessert to be exact, our specialty “pie and pie” dinner.

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A Dessert Party with a Gluten Free Fig & Raspberry Mascarpone Tart & Local Honey, 17 other desserts and 100+ of my closest friends

September 27, 2010

I promised myself that after I quit my job, I would take ONE full week, SEVEN complete days, to not do anything. No baking, no blogging, no looking for jobs, no design gigs, no invoicing, nothing. I planned to sleep, eat, and maybe watch some Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD (I’m a big Joss Whedon fan). But then I realized that plan had a bit of a snafu because I had actually planned a big dessert party three days after my last day of work. Which meant I had to bake on those two days in between, to get ready for the dessert party. Bake things like a Gluten Free Fig and Raspberry Mascarpone Tart with Local Honey. Or, you know, the 17 other desserts that I made for the party.

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How a Peach and Strawberry Cream Cobbler is like Quitting My Job.

September 15, 2010

Two weeks ago I wrote a letter that I have never written in my entire life. It was a letter of resignation to the owner of the company that I worked at. Worked at, as in past tense, because I was giving my two weeks notice and today is my last day at my job. I wrote the letter the day before I was to give notice, panicked a little when I saw the stark black type on the extremely white screen, and was talked down from the ledge of insecurity by my wonderful partner AJ who has been telling me all along that I had to quit my job because I was so unhappy. And then, after taking a few deep breathes, I went and baked a peach and strawberry cream cobbler. Because that’s what I do to calm myself down. I bake.

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Triple Berry Curd at the 18 Reason’s Jam it Salon

August 30, 2010

I’m inherently a lazy person. Or that’s what I constantly tell myself, as I run around from food event to food event, baking 20 pies, or making cakes, running off to a dinner party, or going to get ice cream with drag queens, after baking three different types of petit fours because I wasn’t happy with the first two. But when it comes to make my own jams preserves, or say a Triple Berry Curd that I am making for the Jam It Salon hosted by 18 Reasons and Karen Solomon, I’m pretty content with making them on the fly, for consumption, and not for canning. Basically because I’m too lazy to sterilize and can the preserves, which is sad, as I’ve been told that it’s not that hard. The idea of eating my own homemade preserves in the wintertime is very Little House on the Prairie appealing, but oh to have to boil all those cans in water.

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A Day of Sweets – Berry Curd filled Petit Fours: a Daring Baker’s Challenge and the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck vs Humphrey Slocombe Mashup!

August 27, 2010

Another month goes by, and another Daring Baker’s challenge comes up. Sadly, last month I totally missed out on the daring baker’s challenge because I was busy baking 20 pies for a pie contest. Well, I guess it wasn’t that sad, as I won (whoo hoo!), but I really wanted to make some ice cream which was part of last month’s challenge. AJ and I were given an ice cream maker a few years ago, but we still haven’t busted it out. The baker’s challenge would have been the perfect excuse. But it turns out this months’ baker’s challenge was ALSO ice cream! Joy! The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”

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