recipe

piña con tequila, limon y sal

I´m currently off the grid, on a lovely tropical lake, surrounded by jungle in the Southern Yucatan, Mexico. My posts will be very sporadic for the next little while... I´ve been experimenting with the wonderful fresh local ingredients down here - here´s a sweet little recipe:

One lovely (and simple) way to enjoy fresh pineapple (which is abundant in these parts) is this:

piña con tequila, limon y sal
(pineapple with tequila, lime, and salt)

cut a fresh pineapple into large bite-sized chunks
place in a shallow serving bowl (or plate)
sprinkle with 1 shot of fine sipping tequilla (choose a reposado, or añejo)
squeeze the juice of 1 small lime all over
sprinkle a bit of fresh sea salt on top
enjoy right away!

...and be sure to drink the juice that´s left in the bowl after. :)

Whole Almond Bread

Here's my new favorite protein-rich quick bread, made with whole ground almonds, eggs, and yogurt.

Recipe: Whole Almond Bread

It's a really substantial and dense loaf, having 2 1/2 cups of whole almonds. Grinding the almonds is pretty easy too: just pulse them in a blender or food processor.

I based my recipe on this one. It's taken me several delicious experiments come up with my own version of this satisfying bread - note the summer photo!  The last one I made domed very nicely on top - wish I took a photo - oh well. ;)

Great for slicing and toasting. You can also pan-fry slices in a bit of
butter, then serve topped with fruit and maple syrup "french toast"
style - yum!

This healthy satisfying (delicious) bread is wheat-free, gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, yeast-free, and sugar-free. (You could probably make it dairy-free by using soy yogurt.)

Enjoy ♥

Chocolate Chip Almond Banana Bread

After several delightfully tasty experiments, I came up with my new favourite banana bread:

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Almond Banana Bread

Made with freshly-ground whole almonds, natural sugars, vanilla, nutmeg, and dark chocolate (to mention just a few of the stellar ingredients) it's incredibly flavourful, moist, and heathy too. The almonds give the bread a satisfying bite, and lend their own natural sweetness. Speaking of sweet, I've tweaked the sugar (agave nectar) till it hit that wonderful sweet but not-too-sweet balance, which allows all the flavours and textures to shine. This recipe is dairy optional, wheat and gluten-free. Use high quality dark chocolate chips for a supremely delicious treat. I'm not one to push brands, but Ghirardelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips are pretty awesome!

Happy healthy baking :-)

(Wheat-free & Gluten-free) Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It's still chocolate and zucchini season, so after scoring a hefty dark green beauty, I stayed in on a Saturday night and made this delicious cake. (Really, I had every opportunity to go out, but I wanted to stay in and bake ;-) Like my Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake, it's a variation of my grandma's super-rich traditional recipe, which I've updated to be wheat-free (+ gluten-free) and lower in refined ingredients, sugar and fat. This version is moist, rich and airy with a delicate blend of aromatic ingredients + extra chocolate.

Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Enjoy ♥ 

(Healthy) Chocolate Zucchini Cake

In late summer and early fall, my mom would have giant zucchinis from her garden - they were often comically large and obscenely shaped. Us kids weren't really into veggies, especially giant green ones, so my mom would make these into rich chocolate zucchini cakes. The recipe she used was my Ukrainian grandma's recipe: a lovely moist chocolatey cake with a hint of spice. We loved it.

When I got older, I scored the recipe from my mom, and after looking it over, decided that it needed a bit of a (healthy) makeover. (Her recipe used 1 3/4c white sugar, white flour, and over 1c of fat - yikes!) Being the health-conscious sweet-loving young woman that I was, I altered the recipe to make it as healthy as possible, while still being loyal to the delicious flavours and texture.

The recipe I came up with uses whole ingredients, a lot less sugar and fat (over half as much! don't worry, the zucchini keeps things moist) - and more chocolate, spice and vanilla. I've had this recipe for years, and just remembered that I didn't share it yet, so voila!

Recipe Remix: Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

These days I'm working on a gluten-free version of this recipe. My current tastes are a bit richer than they were a few years ago, so the new recipe will have a bit more fat and chocolate...

Happy healthy baking :-)

PS - Do you have a favourite chocolate zucchini cake recipe? Gluten-free?

UPDATE: Here's my Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

Fresh Fig & Blueberry Clafoutis


I LOVE figs, and lately I've been noticing fresh figs around town... somewhere it the world, it's fig season. Combined with fresh blueberries (which I love too) they're killer good. Luckily, blueberries are still in season here, because my favourite clafoutis combines the two - I guess I should call it a flognarde then? Nah ;-)

I made a variation of my new wheat-free (+ gluten-free) clafoutis with this stellar combo - fresh local blueberries and black mission figs:

Recipe:
Fresh Fig and Blueberry Clafoutis

Very yummy. Very pretty. Very easy.
Blueberries and figs are very nutritious too :-)

New Cherry Clafoutis

Clafoutis are one of my favourite summer treats. These baked fruit and custard desserts are absolutely delicious made with fresh local fruit (traditionally cherries), they look beautiful, and they're very easy to throw together. I discovered some interesting facts about clafoutis while searching the web and re-visiting the English wikipedia entry I started on the topic:

  • A "clafouiti" is more commonly called a "clafoutis" ("clafoutis" in the plural too)
  • When other kinds of fruit (plums, prunes, apples, cranberries, blackberries..) are used instead of cherries, the dish is called a "flognarde" or "flaugnarde" (I still prefer calling them clafoutis!)
  • Clafoutis originated in Limousin France and spread throughout the country in the 19th century
  • Baking whole cherries (with the pits intact) in a clafoutis imparts a wonderful flavour

Out of curiosity (and laziness) I made my first cherry clafoutis with whole un-pitted cherries. The result? The cherry clafoutis (+pits) had almond-like undertones from the cherry pits, totally delicious! You do have to spit the pits out while you're eating it, but it's totally worth it.

Since I'm off wheat, I experimented until I came up with a delicious nice-textured wheat-free clafoutis -
Recipe: Classic-Style Cherry Clafoutis + Variations


And here's a splendid variation with a slivered almond crust -
Recipe: Cherry Clafoutis with Almond Crust

Both of these clafoutis can be made with other fruit like blueberries, raspberries, halved fresh figs - mmm...

Please share your favourite clafoutis recipes, facts and tips in the comments!
xo Patty

Thanks Michelle for intoducing me to clafouits years ago - you're a great baking buddy. Thanks Crispin for the top photo, you really have a knack for making my baked goods look sexy ;-)

Spiced Peach & Almond Crumble

It's peach season here in Ontario, and I just scored a load of juicy, fragrant, ripe, local peaches from my neighbours - thanks Blair! Here's one of my favourite ways to enjoy the bounty - this one's for you Marisa!

Recipe: Spiced Peach & Almond Crumble

Health notes: Besides being super-yummy, this crumble is wheat-free, gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats), egg-free, and optionally dairy-free and vegan. It's sweet, but not as super-sweet as most crumble and crisp recipes - and you have the option of using natural sugars.

Lauren's Maize Cakes


Roasted Corn for Sale.   Photo: Lauren Classen

It's corn season here in Ontario! The perfect time for a guest post by my good friend Lauren Classen, who's currently working in Malawi Africa with local youth, finding out what their eating habits are. Lauren is also a very creative, resourceful, and fabulous cook! She wrote the following post and recipe in April, the start of Malawi's corn season. Enjoy :-)


Lauren with the locals, preparing food in Malawi, Africa

It's green maize season here. As everyone eagerly (and hungrily) awaits the drying and eventual harvest of this year's crops (due to start in May), their storage containers often empty already for quite some time, the availability of green (not-yet-dried) maize is a very exciting time!  Malawians love to give gifts of food and I think the hungry season is embarrassingly painful because they simply have nothing to give... so now that the maize has grown big enough to eat (though most of it will still be saved until it is completely dry and can be used to make a maize flour), I have been overwhelmed with generous donations. In an effort to make sure that these precious gifts don't go to waste in my glutinously well-stocked kitchen, I made up this appetizer the other day, modifying Costa Rican 'choriadas', a common Costa Rican treat in the green maize season there, thought I'd share. Our maize is sweeter than the maize here. Ideally, you'd actually use the maize that we, sadly, use for cattle feed in Canada. If the maize is really juicy, then you can do this omitting both the milk and the additional wheat flour - especially if you want to make the thin ones that I like for breakfast...

Recipe: Maize Cakes


Pretty Malawians Girls.   Photo: Lauren Classen

Thank you Lauren!

Wheat-Free Date Nut Scones

Not too long ago, I made a hearty date nut loaf inspired by quick-bread recipes from The Best-Ever Wheat and Gluten-Free Baking Book. My creation was really tasty, but a bit too crumbly - and then my lovely partner said: This would be great as scones... A few adjustments, and voila!

Recipe: Wheat-Free Date Nut Scones

These classic drop scones are delicious, filling, healthy, and easy to make: no rolling-out required. Packed with whole grains, flax, nuts, dates, and kissed with spice, they make a wonderful breakfast or snack. Superb hot out of the oven with butter, or with some fine sharp cheddar cheese...