Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

img_3806When I say hazelnut, do you think Nutella? Hazelnuts have recently gained a well-recognized and fashionable status thanks to the famous Italian hazelnut-cocoa spread. But despite the great popularity of Nutella (and the popularity is indeed substantial!), hazelnuts do not have a prominent presence in American cupboards or baking repertoires. Almonds, yes. Pecans and walnuts, of course. And even cashews, sure. But where’s the love for the hazelnut? Continue reading

Banana Maple Walnut Scones

Gluten-Free Banana Maple Walnut Scones

March is National Nutrition Month, and I think it’s time to correct a common misconception. Many people believe that a nutritious diet is a restrictive one – that in order to qualify as “healthy” you have to completely cut out this food or that nutrient. But a healthy diet needs to be a realistic one. And let’s be honest, we all like a treat now and then. But when an afternoon craving hits, there are better ways to manage it. This could mean consciously paying attention to portion sizes, such as choosing to savor one square of chocolate instead of mindlessly downing the whole bar. Or it can mean selecting a food that’s similar to the one you’re craving but is a little lighter on calories and bit more nutritious – like these Banana Maple Walnut Scones! Continue reading

Fresh Orange & Thyme Tartlets

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Winter is often associated with rich comfort foods, but it’s also the season of bright citrus fruits. Navel oranges start appearing in California around mid-November with their peak season occurring in February, March, and April, when they are the sweetest and most vibrant. And they couldn’t arrive at a better time! When you’re still recovering from the heavy holiday fare, a refreshing orange is a welcome treat indeed. And here are a few tips for enjoying fresh oranges this season. Continue reading

Spiced Apple Oatmeal Cookies

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For a baker, the annual Christmas cookie exchange is a highly anticipated event. Not only is it an excuse to whip out your mixer, it’s also the perfect occasion for trying out a new recipe. After all,  you’re guaranteed a large group of hungry test tasters! Since the Christmas season is typically filled with rich, supremely sweet desserts, I like to take a healthy twist on a classic cookie for my exchange contribution.

This year, oatmeal cookies made with applesauce do the trick! Continue reading

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Cheesecakes

Gluten-Free Strawberry Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

Happy Independence Day!  Nothing says July 4th quite like grilling.  But while grills are firing up all across the country, parts of the East Coast are taking a rain check due to some unfortunate wet weather.  Yet even when the grill plans fall through, there are still plenty ways to whip up some patriotic fare–like these red-and-white Strawberry Greek Yogurt Cheesecakes! Continue reading

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