Disclosure: I’m so happy to be able to give you all a peek into Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Thanks for letting me share this beautiful cookbook with you!
Little known fact about me: I spent almost 2 years cooking and baking exclusively gluten-free.
This was back in my California days. And it wasn’t for my own benefit. But for a man that I was with at the time. I was determined to be the “good girlfriend” and make him all the things that he had enjoyed in his younger years, but had to forgo since excluding gluten from his diet. So with the help of the internet and the local hippie-dippy market (which at the time was the best place to find gluten-free products), I armed myself with a pantry full of alternative flours and got to work. I spent endless hours in the kitchen. And we indulged ourselves in all my creations.
But those days are very far away now. That man is gone. And with his exit, so went the dozen bags of flours that had taken up residency in my kitchen. I returned to my usual baking ways (albeit for the occasional use of almond or hazelnut flour in a recipe). And eventually, all the other parts of my life returned to normal as well.
Truth be told, I did enjoy my walk on the gluten-free side of life. Sure, gluten-free baking can intimidating at times. But it can also open up a brand new world of flavors and textures. And recently, I’ve found myself kind of missing that. So with a copy of Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s new cookbook, Alternative Baker, firmly in my hands, I’m taking the plunge again.
Alanna is one of the sweetest blogging friends that I have. She is soft-spoken, silly, genuine and humble. And I knew I would love her before I even met her in person. Oh and let’s not forget to mention how amazingly talented she is in the kitchen and behind the camera. Like, I want to cry when I look at her beautiful cookbook and blog. It’s just too lovely to even process sometimes.
I knew right away when I spotted her recipe for this Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart that it would be the first thing I would make from Alternative Baker. I’m a big fan of pecan pie, but sometimes it can be too cloyingly sweet, even for me. Alanna’s recipe, however, hits just the right balance of tart and sweet. With enough chocolate to keep any chocoholic very satisfied. The gluten-free tart dough comes together easily enough. And Alanna gives lots of tips and tricks so you’ll be sure to nail it on your first attempt. This is definitely one dessert to put on your Holiday baking list!
Check out Alanna’s adorable trailer of her cookbook on over on her blog. And pick up a copy of Alternative Baker today!
Reprinted with minimal adaptations from Alternative Baker. Copyright © 2016, Alanna Taylor-Tobin.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of Maison Louis Jadot Wines via One2One Network. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that support Floating Kitchen!
Elaborate, formal dinner parties tend to be one of two things: (1) stressful for those hosting or (2) boring for those attending.
I hesitate to write that, at the risk of sounding overly negative. But I think we can all agree that I’m mostly right.
So in recent years, I’ve ditched the notion of fancy get-togethers in favor of more casual, relaxed entertaining scenarios. With the exception of a few times a year ( i.e. = Thanksgiving), I tend to keep my gatherings low key, with a few simple food and drink options. And I let friends come and go as they please, free from the restrictions of a hard and fast time dictating when we all must sit down at the table together to dine. It just seems to work out better for everyone this way.
Bruschetta has always been one of my favorite foods to serve at casual gatherings. It’s versatile, with a seemingly endless number of savory and sweet options. It’s easy to make. And above all else, it’s a total crowd pleaser. I don’t know many people that will turn down a little toasty piece of bread piled high with fresh, seasonal ingredients. I would (and have on many occasions) happily make an entire meal out of bruschetta alone!
These two Summer Bruschetta recipes highlight everything that I’m obsessed with right now. I used a slightly sweetened whipped goat cheese as the base for both recipes. Then I went either savory, with a combination of corn, adobo sauce and basil. Or sweet, with a combination of fresh cherries, balsamic vinegar, mint and a drizzle of chocolate. I served both versions at a little outdoor garden party I had this past week, and they were a big hit with all my friends. In fact, people had a hard time choosing which one was their favorite!
To complete my garden soiree, I paired my Summer Bruschetta with a couple of Maison Louis Jadot Wines. The clean, fresh flavors of their Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay went perfectly with the savory corn bruschetta that I created. While their plump, juicy Beaujolais-Villages nicely played up the flavors in my sweet cherry bruschetta.
Maison Louis Jadot Wine is the #1 brand of French wine in the United States. Their wines are versatile, pairing well with so many of my favorite foods. And they are available at a great price point. It’s a wine that I’m happy to have in my home and serve to my family and friends!