Valentine’s Day

Flourless Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

February 5, 2015

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

I love to gather good food and friends around the table. It’s my way of contributing to and nourishing the relationships in my life. I think a cooked meal is the perfect way to say I care for you.

I recently made this cake for a small gathering. My Auntie V passed this recipe along to me. She is quite a cook and baker so I always trust her recommendations. But I thought I might be stepping out on a limb with a quinoa dessert for men. I know my husband would be disappointed with the discovery of quinoa replacing flour. However, when I was in the kitchen glazing this decadent chocolate cake he stopped to ask me if the cake was for photographing or eating! So, I think the quinoa can be our little secret!

The recipe for this gluten free chocolate quinoa cake can be found here. I made a couple slight modifications. I added a ½ teaspoon of almond flavoring to the wet ingredients and I used 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the recommended 1 ½ teaspoons. My Aunt mentioned that her cake fell in the center so I thought I would try adding a little more leavening agent, and to my surprise no sink hole. If you add extra baking powder let me know if it works for you too. Also for the chocolate glaze I made homemade whipping cream instead of using Cool Whip. I beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla paste. I then beat the cooled chocolate into the whipping cream and spread over the cake and refrigerated. I whipped the remaining cream from the pint and again added 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla paste. I removed the cake from the fridge and spread a little over the chocolate glaze and topped with raspberries. I refrigerated again until dinner. I had extra whipped cream so I froze a couple dollops for hot cocoas on another day.

What better way to say I love you then with a big piece of chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day! This flourless chocolate quinoa cake is a must try! Incredibly decadent and very German chocolate-esque.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberries (700x340)

Rice Krispy Treats with Melted Cherry Chips

February 12, 2014

Is it Valentine’s Day already? I have a feeling Luke would pose the same question?
Do you have a hard time buying for your significant other? Holidays like Valentine’s Day prove to be quite difficult for me since Luke doesn’t care for flowers, bath salts, or caramels. So typically I cook or bake because we all know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Last year I baked lavender and sea salt shortbread cookies accompanied with days prepping and piping French Macarons. This year, something a little more American. Rice Krispy Treats with Melted Cherry Chips!
This a treat my mother has been whipping up in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. They’re quick, easy and addicting. That makes it a family favorite. READ MORE

Lavender and Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies

February 25, 2013

My friend introduced me to this shortbread cookie. And she added buckwheat flour and lavender to make it even more delicious.


The original recipe calls these cookies Mexican Wedding Cakes. First image that comes to mind is a round, white flour cookie coated in powdery sugar. Right? But since many countries have their own variation on this treat perhaps this is just that. Another variation. Heart shape. Buttery. Rich with nuts. Sweet and salty. And suitably rustic with whole grains. But whatever origin or variation, this treat is most always rolled twice in powdery sugar after baking, very simple to make, and worth every crumb.




This cookie was one of two cookies boxed for my Valentine in days passed. The other, was a macaron. The kind your eyes would feast on in a French patisserie. We enjoyed this versatile cookie in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. But it most always was accompanied with chit chat and tea. And even though crumpets are the quintessential afternoon tea treat I manage to create a variety of niceties. This shortbread cookie with lavender and sea salt at the top of my list. READ MORE

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