Rustic Cardamom Cake with Pear and Honey

~ A cake with all the flavors of Fall ~

Simple and rustic, with a moist crumb. Pair it with black speckled vanilla bean ice cream and/or warm stewed pears.

The original recipe for this cake uses apples, so feel free to use any winter fruit you have on hand.

Rustic Cardamom Cake with Pear and Honey 

                                                                                                      inspired by Tartelette
at least 3 regular sized pears
1 cup plain yogurt (full fat)
1/2 cup sugar (I used maple sugar, muscavado would also work nicely)
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
zest and juice of one organic lemon
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used a combination of brown rice, buckwheat, almond meal and arrow root)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nine inch cake pan or line with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl mix the yogurt, sugar and eggs until combined and smooth, add the lemon juice and zest and the coconut oil and mix until well combined again. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth once more. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and top with thinly sliced pears and an extra dash of cinnamon or brown sugar if desired. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm and drizzled with honey.

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Carob Chip Cookies with Poppy Seeds & Pink Sea Salt

A little bite of heaven….

On a whim these cookies came into existence last week. Light and airy they were exactly what I was hoping for. Due to my lack of baking sheets these were made in a muffin tin…If you dolloped them onto cookie sheet however they would stay soft in the center ~

Carob Chip Cookies with Poppy Seeds & Pink Sea Salt

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup millet flour

1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup + 4 tsp almond meal

1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp  tsp sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup olive oil

1 egg

2 tbsp dark muscavado sugar

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp apple sauce

1 tbsp poppy seeds

3/4 cup unsweetened carob chips

Pink sea salt for topping

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the wet and dry separately, then stir both together. Once you have a smooth batter fold in the poppy seeds and carob chips. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown, top with a sprinkle of pink sea salt after removing from the oven to cool. Cooking times will vary.

A Very Hearty Cookie

It has been way too long since I’ve written on here. Way to long.

And the thing is that I have been concocting new things, from hummus to smoothies, but getting it all on here is the extra step I have skipped lately. Living in a post graduation world can be difficult, back home with all of my possessions in boxes, I day dream of new places as the job applying continues on. I am very optimistic about the fall, however. My imagination gets the better of me as I picture thousands upon thousands of fresh graduates storming the job market in June  like a pack of wild animals. With that in mind, waiting till the fall seems like a very smart idea.

During the summer wait I decided to get out of the 110 degree Georgia heat index and visit a friend in Canada. To no surprise I arrive at their hottest point of the season and didn’t see a temp below 90. Needless to say my story begins at the airport returning from my warm escape. I never have very good luck in airports, I hear it is hereditary for my Uncle has similar issues. My all-star moment was when returning home from studing abroad in France but I’ll leave that story for another time.

You can go ahead and guess I had lots of spare time on my flight home from Canada and was finally able to read Molly from Orangette ‘s memoir ‘A Homemade Life’. It was amazing. In every way a book centered around life and food can be. What I loved most would have to be the addition of ginger and dark chocolate in so many of her recipes. I have become quite a ginger snob lately, in my pantry you will currently find organic crystallized ginger, powerful natural ginger ale, ginger chews, mango ginger chews, the list goes on. When you need a boost though, or even as an after meal treat, the warm and spicy zing of ginger does the job nicely.

So when a cookie became in high demand a crystallized ginger and dark chocolate cookie was the highly approved result.

Personally I feel these lovelies should be called mounds instead of cookies. Thick, bready, not that sweet, and almost scone like they can be eaten as a snack, dessert, with peanut butter for breakfast……I can’t tell you the shelf life because they haven’t lasted more then a day and a half before my mom asks when I’ll be making another batch.

Crystallized Ginger and Dark Chocolate Mounds {Cookie}

Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp orange peel/zest

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup milk, or almond milk

1/2 to 2/3 of a small container of applesauce (roughly 2-3 ounces)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

splash of maple syrup

Large handful raisins

Large handful chopped crystallized ginger

large handful dark chocolate chips/ or pieces

I like to use a lot of dashes and handfuls when cooking. Exact measurements tend to be challenging because I will always want more cinnamon, oats, raisins or chocolate then any recipe will ever call for. So get a little creative when cooking and add something the recipe doesn’t call for! Cookies are great practice for this moment on the wild side. Once you have a basic dough the possibilities can be endless…

To start:

Mix the ground flax and water in a bowl and set aside (let this sit for a few minutes), I’m using flax instead of an egg, I’m sure either one would be fine. Then Mix all the dry ingredients together in a seperate large bowl except for the brown sugar. In the bowl with the flax mixture add the sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and milk then stir till combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir, then add your raisins, ginger, chocolate, applesauce, and splash of maple syrup and stir again. The applesauce helps add a natural sweetness along with making these ‘mounds’ extra moist.

Ignore the countless dirty bowls that now surround you

And scoop out the dough into roughly 12-14 ‘mounds’ on a sprayed cookie sheet.

Bake a 350 degrees for about 12-13 minutes. Let cool, forget your worries, then enjoy!

mmmmmm…ginger…

Dark Chocolate Raisin Graham Cracker Bread

~ Dark Chocolate Raisin Graham Cracker Bread ~

One of my favorite desserts of the summer, hands down, is THE s’more.  The combination of crunchy graham crackers, melty chocolate, and gooey marshmallows ……… is simply one of the best combos out there.  When I found a recipe for a graham cracker bread I knew I had to try it.  So as my last recipe before departing for France tomorrow I give you:  dark chocolate raisin graham cracker bread.

Marshmallows could have been added for a more authentic s’more treat but I enjoyed the subtle taste of raisins and dark chocolate.  This bread is sweetened with only applesauce and honey so it isn’t over the top on the sweetness scale.

Dark Chocolate Raisin Graham Cracker Bread
adapted from Sweet & Natural
1 cup flour of choice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup graham cracker crumbs [ground crackers of choice in food processor for crumbs]
1 flax egg [1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water]
1/3 cup honey
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup dark chocolate chips  [can use vegan or carob chips as well]
1/4-1/2 cup raisins
Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together then set aside.  In a large bowl mix applesauce and graham cracker crumbs until well combined.  Add flax egg and mix until well combined.  Mix in honey until well combined.  Alternatively mix in flour mixture and almond milk, then finish with mixing in the chocolate and raisins.  Pour into a sprayed loaf pan [mine was 9×5] and bake at 350*F for about 50 minutes.

This bread was so moist and had just the right amount of sweetness.  Absolutely delicious 😉

What is your favorite way to eat graham crackers?

~ Rosemary Olive Bread ~

Their is nothing better then the smell of fresh baked bread.  And when you make it yourself, I swear, the smell escalates to a whole new level of awesome.  This was my FIRST time baking bread.  First.  And I’m addicted.  I’m holding myself back at the moment from destroying the kitchen in my attempt to bake enough bread for the whole city.  In time 😉

As an olive lover this bread was number one on my list, and pretty easy to put together.

Welcome. Rosemary Olive Bread.

Fresh rosemary from mom’s garden, more people should hop on the grow your own herbs bandwagon.  Stealing a moment outside to grab what you need instead of going through the motions of the grocery store is a major plus.

~ Rosemary Olive Bread ~

3/4 cup warm water

1 T active dry yeast

1 T sugar

1 T salt [could use a little less]

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup chopped kalamata olives.

1 – 2 T chopped fresh rosemary

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Combine warm water and yeast in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.  Then add olive oil, sugar, salt, olives, and rosemary to the bowl.  Mix in the flour 1/2 a cup at a time until everything is well combined.  Move dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave it to rise for about an hour.  Pre-heat oven to 400.  Set dough on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes.  Rub flour on top of dough and place in oven to cook for 35-40 minutes.  Place on a wire rack to cool.

Love at first sight.