Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

img_3840There’s no reason pumpkin pie can only be enjoyed at Thanksgiving. Personally, I love pumpkin in every season, 365 days year-round. But it’s true that there is something especially comforting about pumpkin in the cold weather months. And if you have some extra purée from your holiday prep or fall harvest, these Bourbon Pumpkin Pies are a wonderful way to put that supplementary squash to good use. In fact, if you’re as much of a pumpkin fanatic as me (and eating pumpkin pie once a year is never enough), these could even become a feature for your upcoming Christmas or New Year’s Eve menu! Continue reading

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

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