Fresh Mint Hot Cocoa with Matcha Marshmallows

Creamy-smooth hot cocoa laced with fresh mint, vanilla bean, and homemade matcha marshmallows – whiskey is optional!

Fresh Mint Hot Cocoa with Matcha Marshmallows

It may just be our new political climate, but lately whenever someone wishes me Merry Christmas, it really rankles. I’m always tempted to trill “Happy Hanukkah!” in response, which would seem equally ludicrous to them, or burst into a full on rant about how not everyone in this country is exactly the same as you, bro. But I usually just settle for a tight smile and mutter “Happy Holidays.”

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Rosemary, Pomegranate, & Grilled Meyer Lemon Vodka Sparklers

Hangar 1 Vodka, grilled meyer lemon juice, and fresh rosemary add a wintry kick to these celebratory cocktails.

Rosemary, Pomegranate, & Grilled Meyer Lemon Vodka Sparklers

I’ve never been as glad to live in California as I am today, with its diverse culture, temperate weather, abundant produce all year round, and loads of breweries, vineyards, and distilleries. It’s a pretty special place.

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Peanut Butter Granola with Cacao Nibs and Bittersweet Chocolate {gluten-free, vegan}

Sarah Kieffer’s crisp, gently sweetened granola tastes like a chocolate peanut butter cup in breakfast form. Adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book: Recipes for Irresistible Everyday Favorites and Reinvented Classics.  

Peanut Butter Granola with Cacao Nibs and Bittersweet Chocolate {gluten-free, vegan}

This has been a crappy year in too many ways to count, and (aside from today’s victory at Standing Rock), it just seems to be getting worse and worse. As difficult as it feels to sit down and write about a bowl of oats right now, I know that part of what will *actually* make America great again is supporting our fellow artists.

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Chocolate Crusted Chèvre Cheesecake with Earl Grey Poached Pears & Pomegranate {gluten-free}

A cocoa almond flour crust makes an addictive base for fluffy cheesecake kissed with goat cheese and sour cream and smothered in Earl Grey tea poached pears and ruby pomegranate arils. Gluten-free and adapted from Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours. 

Chocolate Crusted Chèvre Cheesecake with Earl Grey Poached Pears & Pomegranate {gluten-free}

Today’s post is extra special as it features not only a dessert loaded with CHEESE, but also because I’ve teamed up with the lovely folks at Rodelle and KitchenAid to give away a KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Stand Mixer, a box of delicious organic baking ingredients, and a copy of my book! See below for details.

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Cheesy Sweet Potato Kale Galette {gluten-free, whole-grain}

Flaky gluten-free pie dough wrapped around sautéed kale, roasted sweet potatoes, and oodles of cheese makes a spectacular vegetarian main dish (or side dish, or appetizer) for any holiday table. 

Cheesy Sweet Potato Kale Galette {gluten-free, whole-grain}

I usually get excited for Thanksgiving mainly for the food – pie, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet potato pie… and right now, I want all the comfort foods. But this year, I’m feeling extra thankful for the kind, gentle, loving family and friends in my life. This Thanksgiving, I won’t only be appreciating dessert.

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Gluten-Free Oatmeal Teff Chocolate Chip Cookies & Cookie Mix Gift in a Jar

Malty teff and hearty oats add toothsome texture and flavor to these chunky chocolate chip cookies. Layer the ingredients in a jar for a pretty gift. 

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Teff Chocolate Chip Cookies & Cookie Mix Gift in a Jar

Here’s a recipe that just barely made it into Alternative Baker – the variation listed under the Teff Oatmeal Cookies with Whiskey Currants. Jay’s favorite ever cookies are oatmeal chocolate chip with walnuts, and I couldn’t not include a recipe for them (especially given the 1 million dishes he did during the making of the book). But time was running out. (Er, technically, it had run out long ago, to the chagrin of my editor who kept getting emails from me begging to add more recipes into an already-too-long-manuscript.)

Luckily, the cookies won.

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