Last year I was walking around New York City and zeroed in on a sign in a restaurant window that said “Finally, A Rice Pudding That Doesn’t Suck” that cracked me up laughing. I then took a picture even though I had no idea why. Probably because the sign just made me laugh with its truth.
Rice pudding is a total comfort food that is pretty hard to screw up but often is because people use cheap or crappy ingredients or don’t give the dish the attention it requires. There’s no way around making a fantastic rice pudding except to use exceptional ingredients and to remember to always stir when the rice is cooking (just like risotto). Read more
When I started making baked apples with a crumble made of oats, walnuts, dates, almond butter, and cinnamon, I often had leftover crumble that tasted delicious sprinkled over oatmeal, muesli, and cereal. Then I found myself making the crumble in bulk and keeping it in an airtight container in the refrigerator because I used it so often.
Realizing that I was on to something, I then made variations (i.e. omitted the cinnamon and add dark chocolate chips) and then found myself with two different types of crumble always in my refrigerator, one with a cinnamon emphasis and the other filled with dark chocolate chips. Read more
Dates are often thought of as nature’s candy with the Medjool variety considered one of the finest there is. Large, sweet, and creamy, the Medjool is the perfect fruit to eat as is or in a recipe for Whole Grain Date Bars: a crunchy applesauce-sweetened cinnamon oat crust covered in cooked dates and topped with more crunchy oat crumble. There is no added sugar in this recipe because the dates add enough sweetness to the bars. With their soft and chewy texture between two layers of crunchy oat crumble, the dates are the star of the show and – as with most stars – they shine brightest in their simplicity. Read more
Dates really are nature’s candy with a super sweet flavor and a soft, creamy texture that given the chance, will become a family favorite because whatever dates lack in looks, they more than make up in flavor. Enjoy is as or simply pit, blend, and roll in chopped nuts to make a delicious date roll.
During the holiday season, when dates are readily available, date rolls can be purchased in most grocery stores or on-line but the best date rolls are the ones made at home with moist, chewy dates and crunchy toasted chopped nuts. Using toasted nuts as opposed to raw nuts gives more flavor and texture to the date roll (and the nuts are crunchier because they have not been sitting ton the date roll absorbing moisture for weeks). Read more
Several years ago while living in Switzerland, a friend gave my family a tray of dried fruits – figs, dates, and apricots – from the Middle-East where he often traveled. The jumbo sized dates formed my idea of what a date should be: sweet, moist, creamy and delicious. Unfortunately, the standard date available at grocery stores (and even Whole Foods) does not live up to the dates from lands far away, which led me to look for for a high quality date in the US. My search led me to a Indio, California which is about 23 miles southeast of Palm Springs, where Shields Date Garden is a major draw for locals and tourists alike. Read more
Brownies made without pure creamy unsalted butter and fresh eggs seemed impossible to imagine until recently. These were the ingredients – along with cocoa – that made brownies taste so decadent. But, when my daughter decided to lead a vegan life, I started to re-think several recipes because I wanted to make food that all of us would eat; otherwise, I would be chained to the kitchen making separate meals for everyone. Read more