English Scones (gluten-, gum-, refined sugar-, dairy-free)

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I was browsing at food porn one morning and saw pictures of Devon cream scones. The photo made me salivate and I was determined to make them as soon as possible. I made two batches, one gluten-laden (for A.) and one gluten-free (for me). Unfortunately the gluten-free version (based on an online recipe) was not very good. The taste, texture and flavor of the scones made me want to hurl. I was so disappointed, especially after seeing A. devouring his delicious looking scones. I HAD to create a new batch. Continue reading

Coconut “Bacon” (gluten-free)

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I would never have thought that seasoned coconut could taste like bacon! Well, it’s true folks! The end product of this recipe really does taste like bacon. For the convenience of this entry, I will abbreviate Coconut “Bacon” as CB.

For people who no longer eat meat and are craving the salty and smoky flavor of bacon, this is the recipe for you. For people who no longer eat meat and are craving the crispness of bacon, this is the recipe for you. Heck, for people who do eat meat and crave the salty/smoky flavor and crispness of bacon, but want to cut down on saturated fat from animals, this is the Continue reading

All-Butter Flapjacks

butter flapjacks

Over the last few days, I’ve been craving flapjacks…  British flapjacks.  The ones made with butter, oats, sugar and golden syrup.  I guess to an American, I would describe them as a chewy granola bar, but with so much more flavour!

These flapjacks can be chewy or crunchy, just by changing the cooking temperature. I prefer the chewy version, but have given instructions for both below. They are perfect for packed lunches, afternoon tea, or general snacking. I also remember people putting raisins and/or chocolate chips in them, but I prefer the plain Jane variety – simple is the best! Continue reading

Rijstevlaai – Dutch Rice Pudding Flan/Pie

If you’ve ever been to the Netherlands, you’ve most likely stumbled over a shop that sells Dutch flans/pies, vlaai (pronounced “fly”). Vlaai originates from the Limburg province of the Netherlands, but they can be found almost everywhere. The variety of vlaai is a dieter’s nightmare, but I don’t really care for that! My favourite variety is the creamy rice version. These flans/pies are different from others that are traditionally known, the pastry case/shell is made from a lightly yeasted, bread-like dough, not a crisp short pastry.

There’s a warning that comes with this recipe: do not make this with soy milk. If you do, the filling is absolutely vile, Continue reading

Devonshire Scones

In the summer of 2005, I was on vacation in the West Country in the UK. To be honest, it didn’t really feel like a vacation, because I was living in the UK at the time, but it was a great getaway for a long weekend. There were a few things that I wanted to do during this trip, which was accomplished, including eating real Cornish pasties and having a cream tea.

I did wonder why a “cream tea” was so darn expensive. Only to realize that it contained tea, scones, clotted cream and jam. I remember it was rainy and dull, and the cream tea was welcomed with open arms. The scones are slightly dry, but go so well with a thick layer of clotted cream and strawberry jam. They were SOOOO good. It was funny because I thought that I could feel my arteries clogging up with every mouthful, but the taste, flavor and texture was so worth it! Continue reading

Taai-Taai – Dutch Chewy Spiced Honey Cake Dolls

It’s closing in on December 5th, and it’s this time of year when there are normally gifts and wonderful Dutch goodies in the house. Only this year, there are none. It was J who introduced me to these wonderful culinary delights, and for 10.5 years we had been together, I had never made taai-taai, speculaas or gevulde speculaas. This was because my mother-in-law would furnish us with a food parcel at this time of year.

Taai-taai aren’t exactly cookies, they are closer to gingerbread. They are spiced differently too, similar to that you would find in Dutch spiced biscuits (cookies), speculaas. They are soft, tough, chewy and incredibly moreish, made to be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee, Continue reading

Mango Ice Lollies (Pops)

There are many hours that I wile away dreaming about the foods I used to eat when I used to live in the UK. Two of my favorite factory-made ice creams were Magnum and Solero. Although I can probably buy something similar here in the US, I’d most likely be allergic to the ingredients. The older version of the solero had a mango fruit exterior, which encased a creamy vanilla ice cream. Oh, how I miss biting off the mango skin and exposing the vanilla-ry ice cream.

This weekend, I had leftover mango pulp from making a batch of mango cake. I simply Continue reading

Chinese Grass Jelly Pudding

You have to believe me when I tell you that this is not a bowl of thickened squid ink.

It’s a dessert/snack, which tastes like a grass jelly flavored Angel Delight (pudding). The creation was made purely accidentally. I had half a can of grass jelly left, and I wanted to make it into a drink with rock sugar syrup… only the amount of syrup I used was not substantial enough to make a drink, but a silky dessert/snack.

I thought it was pretty pleasant. However, if the black gelatinous mass doesn’t put you off, Continue reading

Chinese Grass Jelly with Rock Sugar Syrup

I’ve been going through a weird phase recently. I’ve been craving foods from my childhood… often the ones that I hated then. The most recent craving was Chinese grass jelly.

It was warm in Seattle for about a week, and all I could think about was a bowl of nicely chilled Chinese grass jelly with rock sugar syrup. Only I didn’t have any at home. The idea of this jelly normally disgusts me, Continue reading

Perfect Guacamole

I hate to say it, but I never tasted guacamole until I moved to the US. I used to eat avocados in the UK, but I never had guacamole. I can’t even remember when it was the first time I tried it. A few times after that, I used to purchase the guacamole kits from Trader Joes, which included a plum (roma) tomato, two avacodos, cloves of garlic, jalapeno pepper, shallot and a lime. I used to just pop everything into a food processor, season with salt and pepper and jobs-a-good-un.

That was until I made it very recently. My food processor had packed up, and my new one was on the way to me. I know you can make chunky guacamole, but I’d never tried it. I thought Continue reading

Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips

I try to make sure that we eat avocados at least once a week. There are many dishes I use avocados in, but I wanted a change. I decided to make homemade tortilla chips and serve them with salsa and guacamole. Yes, you read it right, our dinner consisted of tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa.

Originally, the tortilla chips were going to baked from homemade flour tortillas. However, since I now have very little time to go to such extremities in cooking, I opted for buying organic corn tortillas from PCC.

You’d be surprised how good Continue reading

Honey Roasted Peanuts with Hot Smoked Paprika


There’s something wonderful about the crunch and flavor of sweet roasted peanuts that make them irresistable. These peanuts are twice-roasted, flavored with honey, butter (or coconut oil), salt, smoked hot paprika, chili powder and tossed in sugar. They are sweet, smoky, lightly spiced and quite moreish. They have lots of flavor, but I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of honey flavor to them (I will try again with another recipe/adaptation later). However, they are perfect to munch on anytime of the day, especially when you’re pretending to be a couch potato. Continue reading