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.
We are just cruising right along through the first week of October. Seriously, how do the days go by so quickly? Ugh.
So what are your thoughts about Halloween? Personally, I find the entire month of October rather terrifying. I’m a big scaredy-cat when it comes to all things associated with ghosts, zombies, clowns, etc. In fact, I can’t even stand to watch the previews for Halloween movies, let alone sit through an entire 2 hour horror film. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up just thinking about it. Eeeek!
Probably the only thing I like about Halloween is all the candy. Just being honest.
Anyways, let’s talk about something less scary. Like kale. And mushrooms. And quinoa. And all sorts of other yummy vegetarian things.
So, I was looking at the recipes that I’ve been making lately and a common theme emerged: everything seemed rather orange. From squash to sweet potatoes to carrots. It was all similarly hued.
Orange is actually one of my favorite colors. But it still all seemed a bit too much. So I got motivated to make something green (or at least partially green). And hence, the recipe for these Kale and Quinoa Salad Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Apples and Pecans was born.
Stuffed mushrooms seem like they would generally be a healthy choice. But often times they are not. That’s because they tend to get loaded up with cheese, breadcrumbs and butter. Which are all delicious things, of course. But not always the best for you or your waistline. So I try to keep my stuffed mushrooms on the lighter side by filling them with seasonal salads.
This salad of apples, pecan, baby kale and quinoa is pretty gosh darn good all on it’s own. And you could certainly serve it as is. But I think it’s even better when paired with these roasted mushrooms. The contrast of flavors and textures is spot on.
I like to buy baby kale leaves, because they are really tender. But if you can’t find them, just thinly slice some regular (grown up?) kale leaves into thin ribbons. Easy peasy.
Oh and I almost forgot that it’s 30 Minute Thursday! Scroll down below the recipe to find links to some other great dishes that can all be made in 30 minutes or less. There ain’t nothing scary about that!
Turkey, Apple and Brie Panini by Pumpkin ‘N Spice
5 Ingredient One Pot Pasta with Chicken Sausage by Kristine’s Kitchen
Cheeseburger Macaroni: 30 Minute Thursday by My Kitchen Craze
Mediterranean Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner by Sweet Peas & Saffron
One Pot Turkey Mushroom Tortellini by Bake.Eat.Repeat
One Pot Teriyaki Chicken Zoodles by Life Made Sweeter
One-Pot Basil Sausage Caprese Pasta by Whole and Heavenly Oven
One Pot Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Bacon Pasta by Savory Nothings