Winter Citrus Salad with Walnuts, Dates & Rose

An ombré of winter citrus – grapefruit, orange, tangerine & kumquat – is sprinkled with the Mediterranean flavors of rosewater, honey, olive oil, cinnamon, walnuts, dates, and mint. This citrus salad works as well for an appetizer as it does for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.

Winter Citrus Salad with Walnuts, Dates & Rose

California Citrus & Sunshine

Some days I feel so lucky to live in San Francisco. This weekend the city was bathed in winter sunlight, sparkling clean after a rainy week, the air crisp and fresh. On Thursday I went to the Mission for a comedy show hosted by a friend. There we watched another friend get proposed to by her girlfriend before the entire audience. The next day I had lunch at Slanted Door in SF’s legendary Ferry Building with a handful of blogger friends. Then in the evening, I sipped wine at a new spot in the Dogpatch with Emma over crispy fries, grilled mushrooms, and felafel.

Over the weekend I attended a salsa dance festival with two friends, dancing salsa, son, cha cha, and rhumba until my legs begged me to stop. The next day we all went to soak our sore muscles at Imperial Spa before meeting another blogger friend for an upscale Indian dinner.

On weekends like these, I never want to leave this city.

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Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Tart with Tahini & Caramel

This vegan chocolate tart in a gluten free almond flour crust gets a flavor boost from sesame tahini, flaky salt, and a swirl of coconut whipped cream, all drizzled with vegan caramel sauce. A decadent vegan & gluten-free chocolate dessert everyone can enjoy! {Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post!}

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Tart with Tahini and Caramel

Baking with Gluten Free Flour

I grew up on weird flours, my health nut mama always stashing bags of buckwheat and whole wheat in the freezer so they wouldn’t spoil in the hot SoCal climate. I wasn’t a fan at the time, but fast forward a couple of decades to when I published an entire cookbook all about wacky gluten free flours.

If you ask any cookbook author about their book making experience, you’ll see their eyes shift. Staring off into the middle distance, a haggard look will overtake their face, shellshocked like a battle-scarred war veteran or parent of a newborn. I’m no different. I became an absolute crazy person while working on Alternative Baker. To stay on schedule, I had to develop and shoot 3 recipes per week in addition to other work. Gluten free baking recipes with uncommon flours often required four or five recipe tests. Add to that grocery shopping, dish washing, writing, sending the recipes out for testing by a kind army of volunteers, and hand weighing each flour to ensure accuracy, and I barely had time to be a person.

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Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake (all-natural with beets!)

This fluffy, tender gluten free red velvet cake gets its burgundy hue from pureed beets in the cake. Beet powder tints the ombré cream cheese frosting pretty shades of pink. 

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake without Food Coloring

I never got the point of red velvet cake until a few years ago when my niece requested one for her birthday. Determined to skip the bottle of red food coloring, I researched natural ways to tint the classically colorful cake. I found a blog called SophistiMom (which sadly doesn’t seem to exist anymore) that detailed blending pureed cooked beets into the batter. Keeping the batter as acidic as possible preserved its rich burgundy hue. I whipped up a batch, brought it to the party, and took a taste. Earthy cocoa-beet cake melded with bright cream cheese frosting and I was hooked.

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Milk Tea Rice Pudding

This ultra-creamy rice pudding gets a flavor boost from arborio rice cooked in black tea, all topped with a dollop of sweetened condensed milk. Recipe adapted from A Common Table. 

Tea-Infused Creamy Rice Pudding Recipe

In case you hadn’t noticed, I have a major soft spot for spoonable desserts. Puddings, more puddings, flansfools, haupia, pots de creme, crème brûlée – anything soft and creamy and eaten with a spoon. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love rice pudding any more than I already do. But this recipe combines one of my favorite flavors – strong black tea – with the creamiest rice pudding recipe I’ve ever made. I’m hooked.

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Savoring Winter with 40 Vibrant Citrus Recipes

When January rolls around, I’m always grateful for the bright orbs of juicy, sweet citrus fruits that fill the market. Clementines, satsumas, blood oranges, cara caras, grapefruit, meyer lemons, kumquats, and bergamots refresh the palate after the decadence of December. When life gives you a rainbow of citrus fruits, indulge in these vibrant gluten-free and vegetarian winter citrus recipes. From citrus salads to citrus desserts, they’re sure to bring edible sunshine to your kitchen.

Grapefruits, blood oranges, lemons, tangerines

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Chocolate Pudding {vegan option}

This silky, creamy, dark chocolate pudding gets its luscious flavor and texture from an unlikely ingredient: sweetened condensed coconut milk. Optionally vegan and dairy-free. From Extra Helping by Janet Elsbach. 

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

According to the dictionary, the definition of the Yiddish word “mensch” is “a person of integrity and honor.” That uptight definition doesn’t even begin to do justice to my friend Janet, author of the blog A Raisin and a Porpoise, the book Extra Helping, and this glorious chocolate pudding recipe.

Closer is this definition from ThoughtCo:

A mensch is someone who is responsible, has a sense of right and wrong, and is the sort of person other people admire. A mensch shows up for her friends. In English, the word has come to mean “a good-hearted, dependable, solid person.” Menschlichkeit is a related Yiddish word used to describe the collective qualities that make someone a mensch.

But my definition of “mensch” is simply: Janet.

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