Homemade Vanilla Wafers, Gluten Free

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I’m getting ready to make a new and improved take on Banana Cream Pudding but  first I had to bake my vanilla wafers. I made extra because I like a simple, plain cookie that I can nibble with my afternoon tea. My son likes cookies too, and these are something I can feel good about, without white sugar and loaded with nothing but goodness. Added bonus, they’re gluten free, made with oat flour. These would also make the perfect teething cookies for a younger child. My most recent obsession is Vanilla Rooibos tea from Le Palais Des Thes which recently opened down the street in Soho. As it turns out, Rooibos tea has many good properties, which is good because I have been drinking it like crazy. Continue reading “Homemade Vanilla Wafers, Gluten Free”

Sour Cherry Tart

Since red fruits have always been her favorite, I made this Sour Cherry Tart for my mother’s birthday.  She’s the person who always picks out the red gummy bears leaving the other colors behind.  We do share this fondness for red fruits-cherries, strawberries, red currants, raspberries, pomegranites. When I think about how relentless the heat can be at this time of year in New York City, sour cherries make summer worthwhile..

For this tart, I decided to make a Pate Sucree instead of my standard pie shell which is usually savory. Ordinarily I prefer baking with natural sweeteners, like maple sugar and palm sugar, because they’re less refined and have better nutrients in them, but here I’ve made an exception. Cane sugar yields an important subtle undertone of crunchy texture in the tart that is impossible to achieve otherwise in this case. Continue reading “Sour Cherry Tart”

Handmade Fortune Cookies

Fortune cookies are one of those cookies that no one ever seems to eat but you always open them to see your fortune, in case it’s a good one.   I always thought that if you like the fortune then you have a morsel at least, in order for it’s words of wisdom to ring true.  I recently made my own fortune cookies, because I wanted them to taste better, but also, it’s so much fun writing your own, customized fortunes. If you have writer’s block, you can always consult the I Ching or your favorite astrologer for some inspiration. I recently made this recipe for a home-made  fortune cookie segment on Better TV. Continue reading “Handmade Fortune Cookies”

Red Currant Bread with Almond Streusel

I spent my end of summer vacation in Burgundy, and was lucky enough to catch the end of the wild currants growing in my mother’s yard. They flourish somehow, even though they’re left untouched for a good part of the year. It amazes me how well plants grow there. We harvested an enormous bundle of rhubarb and sorrel too! It was a fun trip filled with friends, the quiet French countryside, vide greniers (flea markets) and good food. When we’re in Burgundy I cook almost every day and night, usually for several people, so I always come home with new recipes and even more cooking inspiration. Here’s a keeper recipe I made with the harvest from the garden. Thanks to my dear friends, who put their high boots on to trample through the weeds and stinging nettles to delicately pluck these sweet and tart perfect crimson berries from the branches, I came up with this recipe. Continue reading “Red Currant Bread with Almond Streusel”

Truffled Apples with Honey, Currants and Walnuts

I have always been a fan of truffled honey on a cheese plate. I think it’s the delicate play between savory and sweet that is so enjoyable. However, I had never  quite experienced the pairing of truffles, honey and apples until the night of my dinner at Terraza del Casino in Madrid. The restaurant is famed for the gastronomic delights of Chef Paco Rancero, disciple of the acclaimed Ferrnan Adria.  To experience a meal like this is decadent, much like being in a candy store; inspiring, indulgent and fun, but by no means a satisfying approach to everyday eating. Continue reading “Truffled Apples with Honey, Currants and Walnuts”

Sour Cherry Clafoutis

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My Clafoutis fixation began when a thoughtful dinner guest brought dessert. It was several years ago on a warm summer night in Brianny, a small village in Burgundy France. Our friends live in a big farm house and barn they’ve converted into a cozy sprawling home, where they welcome us. In this village, it’s not unusual to bring a pail to your neighbor and come back a few hours later for your fresh milk, still warm from the cow’s teat. It’s an incredibly magical place. Continue reading “Sour Cherry Clafoutis”