• Posted by Califia Suntree on April 10th, 2014, 9:05 AM

    20140410-090211.jpgFor coffee addicts like me who haven’t graduated to café negro, it’s the worst to realize late at night that you’ve run out of milk for the morning. Such was my situation last night, and I resolved that I’d have to just stir some ice cream into my coffee this morning (uh…darn). But then I recalled an interview with Dr. Andrew Weil that I’d recently heard on The Splendid Table, about milk alternatives, in which he says he favors cashew milk, made at home “in minutes.” I happened to have a cup of raw cashews in the cupboard, which I set to soaking. This morning, I simply blended the rinsed, drained cashews with 4 cups water, a pinch of salt and some vanilla, then strained it through very fine mesh into a pitcher. It really did take minutes, aside from the overnight soak (an important step as it leaches out any tannins and makes the protein and nutrients more accessible to our bodies). It doesn’t separate in my coffee like almond milk, and has a natural sweetness akin to milk. If you like a sweet creamer, it’s easy to tweak with agave or sugar. When I win the lottery, I’m going to try macadamia milk. But cashew is today’s hero.

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  • Posted by Califia Suntree on October 8th, 2012, 5:33 AM

    I like sweets for breakfast, mostly because I drink coffee, and there’s just nothing like a sweet with a cup of coffee. So I’m always seeking ways to indulge my cravings while still getting a shred of nutrition to start my day and balance out the caffeine. I’m new to coconut oil, the healthy fat du jour, and have mostly been using the jar I bought as body lotion. (It’s FAB as body lotion.) Could it compete with butter in a batch of banana muffins? Combined with honey, ginger, pecans, and a handful of coconut chips, the coconut oil not only competed, it beat butter at its own game. These muffins are damned delicious.

    Makes 12 large muffins. Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 17th, 2011, 9:08 AM

    Once November rolls around, I find myself looking for as many ways as possible to use cranberry sauce. It’s my favorite part of holiday eating–I consider turkey a cranberry-sauce delivery system, and pile it on accordingly–and I’m always thrilled to come across unexpected uses for the stuff. (Cranberry-sauce margaritas are a tradition of mine–I’ll post that recipe soon–and I’m trying to perfect a cranberry-sauce-based tea cake…) So I was pretty thrilled when, at a recent breakfast at Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park, I was served delightful fresh pumpkin pancakes topped with maple syrup and, yes, cranberry sauce! The pancakes are standard-issue whole wheat, studded with diced, cooked pumpkin. And the sauce is your typical canned variety, all bursting berries and oozy red syrup. But the overall effect was surprising, not too  sweet, and totally comforting. Forget the holiday rigmarole–serve these tasty cakes with some turkey bacon and a persimmon-rosemary bellini, and you’ve got a Thanksgiving brunch!

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on August 12th, 2011, 8:10 AM

    It’s true that I’ve expressed a good deal of skepticism in these pages about the gluten-free mania that has swept the nation in a tide of rice flour and potato starch. I still see it largely as carbo-phobia in sheep’s clothing, but since I’ve been on a doctor-mandated “allergy free diet” for the past few weeks, I will humbly grant that it can sometimes be an actual health issue. I will also grant that I’ve discovered a few rays of culinary sunshine in an otherwise dark world of atrocious gluten-free toast and endless tortillas. This allergy-free diet also has me off soy and dairy (no cheese is so much worse than no bread), which has required me to get creative in the kitchen, particularly at breakfast. These dairy- and gluten-free blueberry corncakes are inspired by a New York Times recipe, and go gorgeously with maple syrup and bacon. (Gotta get my kicks where I can…)

    Serves 2
    (Can be doubled) Read on… »

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