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Showing posts from August, 2015

Gluten-Free Pannekoeken

Yesterday we added dairy back into our lives as Jake decided he's going to continue gluten-free but wanted to ease back into dairy and see how it goes. First up: the boys asked for pannekoeken with whipped cream. Yes! The gluten-free flour made the pannekoeken a little bit more gummy than ususal, but it still puffed up nicely. I simmered some almost-ready-to-turn apricots into a quick sauce. Delish.... Ingredients 2/3 C milk 3 eggs 2 T salted butter, melted 1 t apricot brandy (or pure vanilla extract) caviar from one vanilla bean 1/4 t baking powder 2/3 C gluten-free flour (blend your own or I used Glutino*) whipped cream, for serving apricot jam, for serving Procedure Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a baking dish and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla caviar, and apricot brandy. Blend in the flour and baking powder. Whisk for a full minute. Pour the batter into your prepared dish and bake until the

SRC Tailgate Reveal: Baked Mac'N'Cheese Balls

The Secret Recipe Club has started a new - fifth Monday - event that blurs the lines between the groups. You can be assigned to any other participating blogger in groups A through D. Naturally, I jumped right in. Our theme this month: Tailgate Eats. I was assigned to Burnt Apple , a blog written by Traci. This is a totally new-to-me blog. Woohoo. I chuckled aloud at her story about why 'burnt' is part of her blog name. She shares: "Twelve years ago, my husband threw one of my muffin creations at the wall of our apartment and made it go right through the wall. ...I couldn’t cook to save my life. I hated cooking and we ate out at least three days a week." I love that she is an admitted master recipe manipulator, making recipes healthier and still great-tasting. That is an art! I feel I should admit that I don't tailgate. I'm not a big sports fan. But I can always get behind any gathering that involves food. So, I imagined what I would want to eat h

The Science of Cooking with a Food Writer & an Engineer

One of the benefits of having a best friend whose kid attends school with my kids: we can co-teach a class! Our boys' school has 6-week elective courses that are volunteer-led called SEMs or Schoolwide Enrichment Models. I've taught several through the years; Jenn is new to the SEM world since this is the first year that G can take one. So, she wanted to teach together. Perfect. Naturally it has to involve food...and science. To include all three of our kids, this is going to be an all grades class. Yikes! I've never had the span of 1st graders to 8th graders. This will be a culinary adventure. We are still working on our syllabus, but we plan to cover emulsification, fermentation...not sure what else. It's a good thing we have till February to plan. Stay tuned.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

What do you need to make a great pasta dish? Great tomato sauce! This is the sauce I used in my Spaghetti and Meatballs for Brian and Jakey . I love making homemade tomato sauce. I sometimes make a super quick version, but this one has more complex and developed flavors. It's worth the two to three hours if you have the time! I also love that the tomatoes can be a little bit battered. If you have some ripe, but bruised, tomatoes, this is the perfect things to do with them. Ingredients 6 ripe tomatoes 2 to 3 T olive oil 1 onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 C fresh basil, chopped 1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped 2 t fresh oregano 1 t fresh thyme 1/2 C red wine 2 bay leaves brown sugar to taste Directions Chop all by one of your tomatoes. Puree them in blender until smooth. Chop the last tomato and set aside.  In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in olive oi

Cashew Cream Alfredo {Dairy-Free}

As Jake's gluten-free, dairy-free experiment continues, I am having to do some experimenting of my own. Earlier this week I decided that I wanted a creamy alfredo penne with my roasted salmon. As it was, I told the minis it was gluten-free and dairy-free; it was received with a roll of the eyes. Had I not told them, I'm not sure they would have made a peep. It was good...and easy! Actually, making this dairy-free alfredo was easier than making a regular alfredo. Ingredients 1 C raw cashews 1 C water 2 T dairy-free butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 C grated parmesan cheese dairy-free topping + more for sprinkling cooked pasta (I used gluten-free) freshly ground salt freshly ground pepper olive oil Procedure Soak the cashews in water over night. Drain. Place soaked cashews and 1 C water in a blender. Blend till completely combined and smooth. In a large, flat-bottom pan, melt the butter and cook the garlic until softened. Pour in the cashew cream and stir t

Rhubarb Tart {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

Rhubarb tart is pretty much my family's favorite dessert of all time. I don't know if it's because rhubarb season is so fleeting that this tart is something they dream about for the rest of the rhubarb-less year - or if it just really is everyone's favorite. There's the puckering tartness of the rhubarb, the toothy bite of the crust, and the slightly caramelized crisp of the brown sugar on the top. It is pretty fantastic. So, when Jake decided to do a gluten-free, dairy-free experiment and the boys and I found rhubarb at the market, they whined: "You can't make rhubarb pie because Daddy's gluten-free and dairy-free!!" I assured them that I could certainly try to make one. Making the shift to gluten-free and dairy-free baking has been a lot of trial and error for me. But, with this, I think I got it! Ingredients Gluten-Free Crust 2 C gluten-free flour (blend your own or I used Glutino*) 1/2 C ground almonds 3/4 C dairy-free butter (I u

Spaghetti and Meatballs {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

Earlier in the summer, Brian and Jakey embarked on a culinary adventure of their own - to find the best spaghetti and meatballs on the peninsula. I offered to be the last stop. La Cucinotta di Camilla . Last night was my night. I initially planned to make everything from scratch, but I had stripped the gears on my pasta maker earlier but, my new one didn't show up until two hours after they left. Boo. I guess that means that I'll have to have them over for another round. Soon. Let's just start with this, though: 'spaghetti and meatballs' is not an authentic Italian dish. Spaghetti would be served as a primi piatti while polpetttine would be served as a secondi piatti . So, yes to spaghetti and meatballs being Italian...just not served together. That said, it's a favorite dish on our table and obviously is with the Garneaus as well. I did have to adapt the recipe so it would be gluten-free and dairy-free for my Jake. Ingredients makes

Fresh Khalal Dates

Some people when faced with a new-to-them fruit or vegetable will run the other direction. The Manns? Nope. We scoop it right up and wonder how we're going to eat it. I'm on the email list for a website - Local Harvest - that assists in my desire for culinary adventure. This week, I ordered some fresh khalal dates from Pato's Dream Date Gardens . Check these out! They're gorgeous. These Mariana dates - in the Khalal stage - are raw, fresh, and not fully ripened. They will soon enter the Rutab  stage as they deepen to a deep gold color. And by the time they reach the Tamar  stage, they'll have a firm chewy sweetness.  I only hope that we can stay away from the bunch long enough to see it through all the stages. Or, I'll have to order more!

Nutty Pumpkin-Ginger Loaf {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

I know, I know. I just made a snide comment about pumpkin recipe in about having to eat my words. But I have an explanation: I found a can of organic pumpkin puree that I must have stashed as an emergency back-up in case I ran out of fresh pumpkin puree last autumn. And I wanted to use it before we get back into pumpkin season. I know canned goods are meant to last. But, really, how long do they last?!? I try not to have an entire year go by with a can in my pantry. And, as Jake is on a gluten-free, dairy-free regimen, I decided to try my hand at a gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin bread. Success! We shared a slice with a friend who was recently diagnosed with Celiac and she loved it, too. Woohoo. I will get a handle on this gluten-free, dairy-free baking thing. I will! Ingredients 3 C gluten-free flour (You can blend your own and I will eventually. For now, I use Glutino.*) 1 C organic dark brown sugar 1 t cinnamon 1 t nutmeg 1 t cloves 2 t baking so

Rockridge Food Tour

If you're reading my blog, you know that I love food. I love adventures. And I especially adore any adventure that involves food.  I became a food tour convert after writing this piece for Edible Monterey Bay years ago - Local Food on Foot: Two Unexpectedly Intriguing and Delicious Adventures . Since then, we've done a Walking Chocolate Tour in San Francisco , the North Beach-Chinatown Food Tour that included a Tea Tasting in Chinatown , and many, many more. Food tours are both tasty and informative.  So, when the  Rockridge Food Tour  entered my radar, I scooped up four tickets and looked for a good weekend to head up to the East Bay. This past weekend was it. Here's my silly crew... I enjoy how each tour guide infuses his or her own personality and interests into the talk. Claire ran the tour yesterday and shared fun stories about the historical players in the Rockridge area, including architect and first female civil engineer Julia Morgan and c

Rockridge Food Tour: Market Hall's Cheese Shop

We love cheese. It's not just a summer fling. It's a persistent, passionate affair. So, when I saw the Market Hall was on the Rockridge Food Tour , we were more than a little excited. My Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf, who adores cheese almost as much as I do, squealed, "Do you think they'll let me try some bleu cheeses?" I'm sure you can , I assured him Market Hall is Rockridge's version of a French marché . Like European markets, it's a veritable feast for the senses. Things are open and aromas waft through the air. It's colorful and chaotic very unlike our staid American markets. I love it! You can get libations from Paul Marcus Wines, beans from Highwire Coffee Roasters, fresh seafood from Hapuku Fish Market, and so much more. But our stop - for the tour - was the Pasta Shop. Pasta and cheese. You know we were in culinary bliss. Cheesemonger Jane Lyon spoke to us and had us try several different cheeses. Lyon was one of the top ten fin

Lamb Tikka Masala {Dairy-Free}

Chicken Tikka Masala is a family favorite. I know, I know, we have a lot family favorites. But lamb, on the other hand, has really only been a favorite with the talls in the family. I'm not sure I can still call us that, given that our 13-year-old sprouted this summer and is taller than I am. But, you know what I mean. Recently, however, both boys have asked to try lamb from our plates. And both have liked it. So, this past weekend, we made a huge pot of Lamb Tikka Masala. Winner, winner, lamb dinner! Ingredients 2 to 3 T garam masala* (see recipe below) 2 t salt (I used some red Hawaiian salt) 1/2 t toasted, ground cumin 1/2 t toasted, ground coriander 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper 1 to 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1" cubes 1 C plain coconut milk yogurt (my husband is currently dairy-free, use plain yogurt if you wish) 1/4 C olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 T grated fresh ginger 1 t grated fresh turmeric

Cashew Café au Lait for #CrazyIngredientChallenge

I love the idea behind the Crazy Ingredient Challenge (CIC); we are assigned two ingredients to cook and create. This month, Kelly of  Passion Kneaded  and Lori of  Lori's Culinary Creations  are hosting. So, here goes... August's Crazy Ingredient Challenge = cashews and coffee I thought about all the possibilities and decided to use cashew nuts to make a dairy-free milk creamer for a New Orleans-style  Café au Lait . My husband has recently decided to cut out dairy. So I'm on a dairy-free adventure. It's all new to us. A café au lait is French pressed coffee to which steamed (or warmed) milk is added; it differs from a caffè latte  which uses espresso as its base. While I typically lean towards a latte , Jake prefers the au lait and he really appreciated the dairy-free effort. Ingredients  for the Cashew Milk Creamer 1 C raw cashews 1 to 2 C cold water 1 to 2 T maple syrup 2 t pure vanilla extract Procedure  for the Cash

Improv Cooking Challenge: Herbed Salmon-Tomato Bisque

It's time for August's  Improv Cooking Challenge  hosted by Lesa of  Edesia's Notebook . I don't know where the weeks are going. The idea of this challenge: we are assigned two ingredients and are tasked to create a recipe with those two things. August's assigned ingredients: tomatoes and herbs. Perfect timing! Summer tomatoes abound and fresh herbs are all over my son's garden. Since salmon is still to be had in our bay, I decided to pair them in a filling summer bisque. Bisques, after all, have to be made with seafood...otherwise, they are just soup! Ingredients 1/4 C butter 1 C leeks, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced 3 C fish stock 1 C clam juice 1 pound salmon filet, skinned, deboned, and chopped into thin strips 1/4 pound smoked salmon  2 C fresh tomatoes, diced 3 T chopped fresh parsley 2 T chopped fresh cilantro 3 T chopped fresh dill salt and pepper to taste Procedure Melt butter in a medium s

Rockridge Food Tour: La Farine

Another stop on the Rockridge Food Tour was La Farine — Boulangerie Patisserie. We crowded around a table and sampled their morning buns. Think buttery croissant dough rolled thin and spread with brown sugar and cinnamon, then baked in muffin pans for a portable decadent bite. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds! And, yes, I will be trying to replicate it as soon as possible. Almost as old as my husband - I'm allowed to write that because I'm older than he is! - La Farine was on an undeveloped part of College Avenue, had only a handful of employees, and served mostly people who lived in the neighborhood. Now there are three locations and nearly 100 employees. But, La Farine's roots remain. They serve high-quality French baked goods. And, in keeping with their commitment to the neighborhood, La Farine donates leftover products to area food banks and senior centers. Amazing baked goods with a generous spirit. You can't beat that.

Rockridge Food Tour: A16, VPN Certified Member #484

First stop on our Rockridge Food Tour :  A16. Named for Autostrada 16 - the motorway connecting Naples to Puglia through southern Campania - the chef explained that they had recently achieved VPN certification. Intrigued! I take pizza - real Italian pizza - very seriously. And, to be honest, there are very few pizzas in America that I think are worthwhile to eat. VPN is the acronym for Verace Pizza Napoletana, meaning "true Neapolitan pizza." What does the VPN certification mean? There is actually a lengthy list of requirements that you can read at the VPN Americas website, but the highlights are... Must use a wood burning oven. R used their infrared temperature gun to read the temperature of the oven which was about 700 degrees F. A16 uses almond wood. I asked. Must use 'proper' ingredients. Here's where the specificity seems almost laughable - to me. I would prefer the requirement of fresh oregano than that it has to be  Origanum vulga