baking makes you a crazy person

Since it’s currently eleventy-billion degrees in San Diego, no sane person would be gleefully contemplating turning on the oven and spending a day basking in cookie-fueled heat. Clearly I have the crazy, because the next few days look like they’re going to be a baking marathon and I couldn’t be more excited!

Two projects I’m tackling are treats to pack up and send on a guys get-away weekend, and making another round of gluten-free vegan cupcakes.

First, I’ve been itching to make these Peanut Butter M&M Bars from The Gonzo Gourmet.

Gourgeous, right? Thinking that they will be the perfect send-along treat. Maybe I’ll mix things up and make a few with Reese’s Pieces for my fellow peanut butter fiends. Can’t wait!

As for the cupcakes, I love making things for my friends with dietary restrictions. Sure, it’s easy to whip up a batch of flour-butter-egg goodies, but a little extra time and effort can often yield a batch of deliciousness that’s all the more meaningful to someone seldom able to indulge in treats. I’ve been playing around with some recipes and resources to make gluten-free, vegan cupcakes for a special occasion. My first batch yielded these dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate filling, topped with “butterscotch” mousse, caramelized sugar, and smoked sea salt.

The flavor was great, but (as usual), I didn’t write much down so need to re-make it a few times to check quantities and technique for the big event. And I always figure that, as long as I’m making another batch, I might as well tinker with it a bit. I originally used a GF mix (with some tweaking) for the cake, but I’ve been eyeing this slightly more complex chocolate cupcake recipe from Gluten Free Girl. So dark. So chocolate-y.

Next step: to the ovens!

Advertisements

pasta with shrimp, feta and sun dried tomatoes

Today’s recipe for Pasta with Shrimp, Feta, and Sun Dried Tomatoes is outstanding for three reasons: 

First: Everything you need for the standard version can be purchased at Trader Joe’s for about $20 – that’s one-stop shopping at around $3.50 a serving.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby (my condolences), most well-stocked grocery stores should work.

Second: This recipe is hard to screw up, but looks quite advanced and is dang tasty.  If you are trying to impress a date with a home-cooked meal but just barely know how to boil water, YOU CAN DO THIS!  If you don’t know how to boil water, go here first, then come back and follow the instructions below.  You can also do all of your prep work up to a day ahead of time so you only have to quickly assemble the sauce and cook the pasta when it’s time to serve. 

Third: This recipe adapts well and easily to many uses and dietary restrictions, including low-carb, low-gluten, and vegetarian (more on this below).

 And, okay, Fourth, take a look at this – it’s gorgeous!

 

   Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: