Frosted Spiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts {gluten-free}

date11.30.14

Spiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts

Spiced Persimmon Cookies

The holidays seem like the best time of the year to pull out cherished family recipes. In addition to my great grandma’s candied walnuts recipe my mom pulled out last week, she also passed her mom’s persimmon cookie recipe on to me – typos, butter stains, and all. I’m not exactly sure what my grandma meant by “add water and raisens” when she didn’t list water in the ingredients. Also, what kind of nuts, grandma?? And apparently the rest of the steps after you beat the eggs are just implied.

Since I can’t ask her, I’m imagining my grandma looking down at me, “If you can’t figure it out, you shouldn’t be making cookies.”

(Hang tight for your chance to win some hand crafted wooden kitchen tools at the bottom of this post)

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No Bake Caramel Cheesecake Mousse with Candied Walnuts

date11.25.14

No Bake Caramel Cheesecake Mousse

No Bake Caramel Cheesecake Mousse

One reason I love when my mom visits (besides the dishes, of course:), is that she helps me brainstorm recipe ideas. And the holidays are her specialty. When I told her my idea for these no bake caramel cheesecake mousse cups, she added “and you can top them with grandma’s candied walnuts.” Then she went on and on about how my late great grandma made THE BEST candied walnuts every Christmas that she’d put in jars as holiday gifts.

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Ginger Miso Acorn Squash with Toasted Pistachios

date11.20.14

Ginger Miso Acorn Squash

My mom’s here for the week hanging out with me (and doing dishes) while Lucas is in China. I’ve been spending my days jumping between meetings and stretches of dissertation writing, so when I popped over here to tell you about this Ginger Miso Acorn Squash dish, I was stumped. I turned to my mom for inspiration, “tell me a story mom.” And that’s when I realized, that was my story.

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Apple and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing with Sage {gluten-free}

date11.17.14

Apple & Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

Sausage Apple Cornbread Stuffing

Even though I’ve dreamed of city life since I was just a kid hoping to one day make it big in the movies, I’m a small-town country girl at heart. I like to think I’ve learned a bit of city street smarts over the years since I moved away from home, but it hasn’t always been that way and it’s certainly taken time. There are things you take for granted when you live with your parents that slap you in the face as soon as you’re on your own – subtle but more vital things than laundry or dishes.

Things like changing the oil in your car, for example. How are you supposed to know that your dad’s been changing your oil all these years? Hopefully not by your car overheating and your radiator cracking during your first year in college like me.

Or things like how much liquid to put into homemade cornbread stuffing. That one’s from today and we’ll come back to it.

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Gluten-free Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

date11.13.14

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

A couple of weeks ago, I invited my friend Dane over for chili and cornbread, but instead made him cook the whole meal himself. I’m an excellent host.

Let’s back up. You see, that night, Angi and I let her boyfriend Dane crash our weekly dinner date while Lucas was in China. Nine times out of ten, I have no plans for what to cook and I’m not even wearing real pants when Angi shows up for dinner. (You know it’s become a thing when Angi says “you’re wearing pants!” when she sees you wearing jeans.) Anyway, this was one of those days, and when Angi got here, Dane and I were already 15-minutes deep in a youtube marathon…not planning dinner.

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Food Lover’s Guide to Kyoto

date11.12.14

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Let’s look past the fact that I’ve been sitting on this Kyoto jewel for exactly a year. I will flash Kyoto’s beauty to distract you from my tardiness. The fact of the matter is that Kyoto was so incredible that it took me this much time to take our photos from a bazillion to a shareable set. We spent three and a half days of our honeymoon last November taking in Kyoto’s treasures and I’ve spent the past year thinking about how to describe all of it to you beyond “it was our favorite” over and over again.

Because that’s exactly what it was. Our favorite.

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Homemade Gluten-Free Chickpea Pasta

date11.10.14

Homemade Gluten-free Pasta

Gluten-free Chickpea Pasta

Back in August, I fortuitously met Phi of Princess Tofu at a Bay Area food blogger’s picnic on the very same day I’d decided to make a pot of silken oboro tofu at home without a recipe (more on that to come). I selfishly prodded with questions of tofu-making, while scarfing down the gluten-free corn cakes Phi brought to the potluck. She told me about the eternity she spent grinding the recipe’s split pea flour by hand, and the unfortunate fate of her broken hand grinder to boot. This somehow meant the cakes were made with extra love and were decidedly more delicious.

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Cardamom Pear Crisp

date11.06.14

Cardamom Pear Crisp with Oats

All of the women in my extended family gather around the dining table for a rowdy game of Taboo over dessert every Thanksgiving. Picking your team is serious business – my mom has two sisters and between the three of them, the odds are high that you’ll end up on a team where the entire sand timer is spent hysterically laughing with a bit fat zero on the scoreboard. As a competitive Taboo player, I spend the afternoon gauging their silly score (this is totally a real measurement) and tallying glasses of wine. Game face. You guys, I kick butt at Taboo. My secret power?

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