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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Gluten-Free Pear Custard Tart + Mulled Wine Poached Pears

With a cocoa almond crust, vanilla crème fraîche custard, and mulled wine poached pears, this gluten-free pear custard tart makes a showstopping holiday dessert. Thanks to Bi-Rite Market for sponsoring this post!

Gluten-Free Pear Custard Tart

I’m a total sucker for specialty grocery stores, and I’ve been a fan of San Francisco’s legendary Bi-Rite market since I moved here in 2004. At the original location on 18th street, Bi-Rite packs an enormous selection of goodies into their tiny 2,000-square-foot space: uncommon seasonal produce, local cheeses, exquisite chocolates, and sweet treats from their creamery across the street. I always find new-to-me local, artisanal, organic treats to try, making it well worth the effort of navigating narrow aisles and joining my fellow SF foodies in line.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Bundt Cake

This gluten free chocolate bundt cake gets its fudgy interior and fine crumb from nutrient-rich teff flour plus loads of butter and crème fraîche, all crowned with dark chocolate ganache. Thanks to Vermont Creamery for sponsoring this post! 

Gluten Free Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe

I’ve always felt a bit intimidated by bundt cakes. They’re just so BIG, and they bring with them so many opportunities for things to go wrong. They can come out dry, burn on the outside while staying raw inside, or stick, cement-like, to the interior of the pan. I’ve baked and styled my fair share of bundt cakes for NYT over the years (in fact the very first recipe that Sarah and I styled for them was this tunnel-of-fudge cake baked in a bundt pan!) But nine years into this site, I thought it was finally time to embrace the bundt.

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Creamy Grits and Mushrooms

A vegetarian take on the Southern favorite shrimp and grits, aka Shrooms and Grits! Creamy grits loaded with cheddar cheese support meaty king oyster, shiitake, and maitake mushrooms seasoned with tomatoes, peppers, and a splash of cream. 

Creamy Grits and Mushrooms

This pillow of creamy grits on which rest a mess of meaty mushrooms in buttery tomato sauce is winter comfort food at its best. I adapted this dish from a recipe that Sarah and I styled for The New York Times last year. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I slipped a spoonful of ultra cheesy, creamy grits and tomato-based sauce into my mouth. Since I’m mostly vegetarian these days, I vowed someday to try the recipe with seared mushrooms swapped in for the shrimp.

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16 Gluten-Free Pies, Tarts, and Galettes to Sweeten the Holidays

Going gluten free doesn’t have to mean going without dessert! These gluten free pies, tarts, and galettes go beyond traditional pumpkin and apple, and they’re delicious enough to offer up at any holiday table, whether or not your guests are gluten free. The recipes use whole grain flours, nuts, seeds, and fruit for an added nutritional boost, and no gums ever.  

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Cream Pie

With a buttery shortbread crust, creamy pumpkin pudding, and billows of whipped cream, this gluten free pumpkin cream pie is sure to be a win at any holiday gathering. 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cream Pie

Checking In

It’s been a rough week here in the golden state between a mass shooting and some of the worst wildfires in history. My heart is breaking for all those affected. It is my hope that we can use our ingenuity to halt climate change and create sane gun laws, and that starts with our elected officials.

This year, desperate for change, I set aside my social anxiety and tried phonebanking and canvassing at the encouragement of activist friends. Action is indeed the antidote to despair, and canvassing is one of the best ways to win elections, so it was a win-win. Not only did I feel like I was making a difference, I also bonded with fellow canvassers. Though exhausting, it felt mentally like better self-care than any spa day or yoga class. If you’re interested in getting involved, this website has good info on efforts all around the country.

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