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.
Valentine’s Day. It’s one of the most polarizing days on the calendar. And it’s almost here.
Are you celebrating with your sweetheart? Or are you hiding in your bedroom with a pint of ice cream?
No matter what your situation is, I think a cocktail is not only appropriate, but also highly necessary. You can shake one up for yourself. Make two and share one with the person that you love. Or take the third option: make two and drink them both yourself. This is a 100% judgment free zone.
I find a lot of Valentine’s Day stuff to be overly girly. Even for me. And I’m a girl! It’s like an undulating sea of big puffy pink glittery hearts out there. And frankly, it’s kind of overwhelming. So I wanted to design a cocktail that, while still color appropriate for the occasion, was a bit more masculine.
When I think of a “manly” cocktail, a Negroni always comes to mind. So I started playing with the ingredients in a classic Negroni, and eventually my taste buds landed on this Beet-Pomegranate Cocktail with gin and a splash of Campari. It’s not nearly as intoxicating as a Negroni (which is all booze, by the way). And it’s much more earthy and a little bit sweet. But the flavors are well balanced and this drink certainly hasn’t lost it’s bitter bite.
Oh and that deep red color. It’s sexy and fierce and totally screams “I’m undressing you with my eyes”. You got this.
If bubbles are more your thing, try my Grapefruit and Sage Champagne Cocktails. They are the perfect understated shade of pink!