Uncategorized · Vegetarian

Give It Another Chance

Have you ever heard of the spice mace? Even better, have you ever cooked something with it? Well, don’t feel bad if you’ve answered no to one or more of these questions. Last Christmas, we made an obscure turkey stuffing recipe which called for many spices that had us scratching our heads—the stuffing was a disaster in of itself, but that’s another story. One of those spices was mace. For the last few months, it has been pushed aside, knocked down, and flat out forsaken to the back of the cupboard. It seemed time to blow the dust off the lid and find another use for it. It may still be the summertime, but sweet potatoes are available year round. When you get a craving for them and the spices that make a perfect match, follow your instincts. Continue reading “Give It Another Chance”

Uncategorized · Vegetarian

The Lifesaving Side Dish

Tomato and Mango Chutney-The Duo Dishes

Let’s talk about ugly food for a little bit. We eat with our eyes, and we all know that. When food looks good, you want to eat it. Bright, luscious colors attract the eye, which probably makes your mouth water, and then you find your fork moving in that direction. When the food is just an image on a screen, it really has to look pretty, or you might not find any interest. Well please, please, please don’t turn away just because you see a brown patty above. Today’s recipe is not even about the brown patty, which was a lentil cake gone wrong. The recipe you need to know is actually for the chutney sitting atop the lentil cake–the chutney that saved this ugly lentil cake actually. Let’s focus on that one, shall we?

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Breads & Muffins · Uncategorized

Using the Same Trick

Blueberry Ginger Muffins 1-The Duo Dishes
Hopefully we’re not turning into one trick ponies? When something works once, sometimes you search for other ways to continue the streak. There was a batch of almond milk that resulted in lots of leftover almond pulp, which found its way into Banana Almond Bread. Well, there was more almond pulp that popped up, so why not try it in another bread? Well, actually a muffin this time. Blueberries are all over the markets right now. With bunches of berries and almond pulp in hand, it seemed like the perfect match.
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Uncategorized · Vegetarian

Ready to Spice It Up

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

It is perfectly chilly here in Los Angeles. But we are wimps about it. We are wimps about weather in general. During the summer, we’ll tell you it’s blazing hot, the air is dry, and we can barely go outside. Let the first and only drops of spring rain hit the ground, and we turn into maniac drivers and complain about getting wet. Come fall, the cool breeze that forces us into wearing a light jacket is rather upsetting. And don’t get started on winter. Once the temperatures reach the 40s at night, you’ll hear our teeth chattering, and folks are wrapped snug as bugs in a rug when it’s time to go to bed. We are weather wimps, and it’s time everyone admitted it. One of the best ways to stay warm right about  now is with soup. Soup is healthy, comforting, nutritious and, well, it’s warming. Especially if you make it spicy.

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Breads & Muffins · Uncategorized

Another Go Around

Coconut Pumpkin Bread 1

Pumpkin again. It’s back! Perhaps some of you are hoping it will not pop up here anymore. Well, if you saw this week’s first post, then you know that someone’s had a change of heart when it comes to pumpkin. That means the fruit will get one more time to shine this month. It is not so much the flavor of pumpkin that makes it awesome in baked goods; it’s the moisture that it adds to sweet treats. Yes, pumpkin has a distinctive taste, but it is fairly mild, which is probably why some of our pumpkin-hating friends did not have a problem eating muffins and breads laced with the big orange guy. They barely knew it was there, but they did remark how soft, moist and delectable the foods were that they got to try. For that reason alone, pumpkin has made these baking trials all the more fun.

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts · Uncategorized

Not the End of the World

Beet Cupcakes with Cinnamon Ginger Frosting

How many times have you been so focused on doing something that you miss a very important step? Like adding butter to your cupcakes. There must be lots of heads shaking right now–either because you agree that that was very silly or, hopefully, because you’ve done it too. Maybe Pandora was playing a favorite song that just begged to be belted out. Or maybe Oprah was emphatically yelling the name of her daily guest, and one had to see what was going on. It’s also possible to put the blame on the butter not being on the counter. But no, the butter was on the counter. Oprah was not on. Pandora was playing, but it wasn’t that loud. The butter was just forgotten–forgotten in all its room temperature glory. When they went into the oven, there was a small prayer said with the hopes that these cupcakes would survive 20 minutes of baking. Would they shrivel up into a dry brick of beet? Only time would tell.

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts · Cookies & Bars · Uncategorized

It’s Time for Recipe Testing

Tamarin Product Kit-Duo Dishes

We often receive emails about new products to try, and most of the time, we are game for the challenge. Recently, a representative of Tamarin shot an email our way offering a jar of the new product. This was a new product to hit the States after making its European debut in 2008. The thick spread is based on the popular Speculoos–a traditional Belgian wafer cookie flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger made especially for St. Nicolas Day in December. The same flavor notes appear in the spread, especially the scent and taste of spices. Due to the popularity of the cookie, it’s easy to find them year round. Having never tasted one of these cookies, it is difficult to fully understand how good they may be, so perhaps that’s where Tamarin comes in. It was time to give it a test in the kitchen.

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