Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

30 December 2012

Golden Raisin & Fennel Seed Pinwheels

These yummy breakfast 'buns' are similar to a cinnamon roll, sans cinnamon. They're essentially a yeasted enriched dough, similar to brioche and rolled up with honey, butter, boozy raisins and fennel seeds. I mean honestly, how bad could that be?! I was inspired by a recipe for 'Chelsea Buns' from River Cottage. I changed the recipe somewhat as I wanted them to resemble the butter and honey basted 'escargot', which I so love.

I've made these rolls a couple of times. The recipe is easy and comes out great every time. Do make this on your next lazy weekend morning. Or, make them the night before and reheat in the oven for 10 minutes before serving.


Golden Raisin & Fennel Seed Pinwheels
Yields 12 rolls

For the dough:
8 oz unsalted butter, melted (1/2#/ 2 sticks)
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg
4 cups flour (2 cups brown rice flour, 1 cup quinoa flour, 1 cup almond meal)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 oz/ 2 packets active dry yeast (or 1 tsp instant yeast)
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp salt

For the filling:
4 TB unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 cup golden raisins, soaked for 10 minutes in 2 TB grand marnier
2 tsp fennel seeds

For the glaze & topping:
2 TB unsalted butter, melted
2 TB honey
sprinkling of fennel seeds

1) Melt the butter in the microwave and warm the milk to 105 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the active dry yeast and the warm milk. Allow the yeast to 'bloom' for about 5 minutes. Add the egg and butter to the milk/ yeast mixture and whisk to combine.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, xanthan and salt. Add the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Once dough forms, turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds. Place the dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3) Butter a 9"x 9"x 2" square baking pan. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a well floured surface and roll out to a 12" x 16" rectangle. Brush the melted butter all over the dough, leaving a 2" border on the upper long side. Drizzle over the honey, sprinkle over the raisins (and any extra grand marnier), and the 2 tsp of fennel seeds. Starting with the long side closest to you, roll the dough up, like a long 'sausage', pressing to seal the top edge. Slice into 12 equal pieces and place, cut side up, in the prepared pan. Cover with plastic and allow to proof until almost doubled in size again, about 40 more minutes.

4) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the rolls have proofed, baste them with 2/3 of the butter and honey glaze and sprinkle with a few more fennel seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden. Check the rolls at 15 minutes to make sure they're not getting too dark around the edges. If so, cover loosely with foil and continue baking. When still warm, baste with the remaining butter and honey mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store, tightly covered, on the counter for up to 3 days.

21 December 2012

Gayle's Spice Cake

Happy Holidays everyone!  May this season bring you good food, laughter, and lots of quality time with friends and family.

Over at my facebook page, , we recently had a little contest. Readers submitted their favorite holiday baking recipes during the first half of December and I picked one to test, photograph, and overhaul. Gayle Timmondy of Newport, Oregon shared her family's favorite spice cake recipe. It's great! I'm excited to share it with you.

This is a simple cake, perfect for keeping on the kitchen counter when people stop by for a quick visit and a cup of tea. It's not too sweet, full of holiday spices, and perfectly portable, no plates or forks required. I made this, as Gayle does, in a 9"x9" square pan but I think it would be lovely in loaf form as well... a great hostess gift.

1.5 cups Brown Rice Flour
1 cup Millet Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp  salt
1 TB fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup light molasses
2 large eggs
1/2 cup olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
Olive Oil Pan Spray
Confectioners Sugar for dusting

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 baking pan and line with parchment paper.

2) Dissolve the baking soda in the cup of boiling water. Set aside to cool.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugars, and spices. Set aside.

4) In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the grated ginger, molasses, eggs, almond milk, and oil. Add the flour and spices and mix to combine.

5) Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes. Cool in pan at least 15 minutes then use the parchment to lift the cake out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely to room temperature and dust, liberally, with confectioners sugar.