Would a toast by any other name taste as sweet? French toast, much like French fries, is not really from France. Or as far as historians can tell. The now famous concoction of egg- and milk-soaked bread has gone by many names throughout its history. In Spain, it is known as torriga; in Germany, arme ritter; and in England, Poor Knights of Windsor. Some have called it Spanish Bread; others, German Bread; and yes, even American Bread. It seems that every country wants to lay claim to the invention of this wonderful breakfast item. But where did the internationally-renowned dish actually originate? Continue reading
Baking is a science. I’m sure you’ve heard, and perhaps said, the saying before. It’s the excuse we use for our tragic dessert failure and the bragging right we claim for our amazing baking success. Love it or hate it, the saying is the truth. Each ingredient in a baked good serves a very unique function, from providing structure and leavening to contributing moisture and color. Eliminate or drastically change the quantity of a particular ingredient and you may just end up with a sad excuse for a cake. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? But that doesn’t mean you throw in the towel and completely give up the experimentation of baking. Definitely not. It does, however, help to understand the rules of the game before you start trading out the players.
And that brings me to my latest baking project. While studying for the food science portion of the RD exam, I ran across an interesting tidbit of information: in muffins, the primary ingredients that provide structure are 1) flour (a.k.a gluten) and 2) egg. Does that mean that it’s impossible to make a well-structured gluten-free, vegan muffin? That’s two strikes right there: no flour and no egg. In the game of baking, does two strikes mean you’re out?
There’s only one way to know. It’s science time! Continue reading
A little over a month ago, I was graciously nominated by FeedMeColor for the Sunshine Award! I first started blogging because I wanted the ability to share my experiences and resources with the gluten-free and baking communities. So a recognition from a fellow blogger is wonderful to receive! It reminds me that every effort, no matter how small, can have an impact on others.
Typically, my blog is focused on recipe development, baking tips, and gluten-free resources. There isn’t too much about my personal life (unless, of course, you count the occasional rants about school projects and stress!). But I’m going to do something a little bit different in this post. The Sunshine Award gives its nominees a chance to tell their readers more about themselves through 10 questions. So I hope you enjoy this get-to-know you post (and don’t worry, there is still a recipe at the end)!
Happy National Nutrition Month! I’m not surprised if you did a double-take at that greeting. Surely the month of March is better known for St. Patrick’s Day, the NCAA Tournament, and the beginning of spring. But even in the midst of these exciting events, it might be wise to set down the pint of Guinness and NCAA bracket for just a moment to acknowledge the value of nutrition. Why is nutrition so important? Today, the American population is facing an increasing number of debilitating and life-threatening diseases. According to the CDC, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, and hypertension rank among the top 15 causes of death in the United States. Not only are all of these diseases preventable, but they are all preventable through proper nutrition. Seems simple, doesn’t it? And yet so many people still have a problem eating healthfully. Why?
One reason may be simple: taste. Consumer research has shown that taste frequently overrides nutrition as a factor in determining food purchases. Sure, it cannot be denied that we all have our guilty food pleasures. We adore chocolate cake for its rich sweetness and idolize pizza for its cheesy goodness. But we must not forget that nutritious foods can be tasty as well! That’s why the focus of this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” It’s a reminder that adopting a healthy lifestyle does not mean living a tasteless life. Quite the contrary! Nutritious foods can be delightfully satisfying. And these cookies are one fine example. Continue reading
Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day when chocoholics everywhere (single or not) can rejoice. Love may be in the air, but it is chocolate that is on the shelves! As a self-diagnosed chocoholic, I can admit that February 14th is an exciting time for me–because it gives me the excuse to make a new chocolate creation! After all, chocolate isn’t so bad, is it?
Not at all! Chocolate actually possesses some great health properties. The Incas considered cocoa to be a drink of the gods, and the Aztec Emperor Montezuma, who supposedly drank up to fifty cups of chocolate a day, described it as a “divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue.” Actually, Emperor Montezuma was on the right track–maybe not with the fifty cups a day, but certainly with the health-promoting qualities. Continue reading