Pumpkin Spice Gingersnap Cheesecake

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone 😀

Its been about one year since I began Sweet. Raw. Free, so yippee to it being a year of delicious desserts and enticing entrees (at least, I hope so), provided for both your tasting and viewing pleasures.  I have certainly reveled in cooking, baking, and photographing up a storm in hopes that others will enjoy the fruits of my creativity and passion.

Additionally, also close to one year ago I posted a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake, as both cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite, most loved desserts, and pumpkin being an ever adored ingredient of mine (for both sweet and savory things).

That pumpkin cheesecake from a year past was pretty good.  The spices in it were especially awesome.  However, it wasn’t sweet enough.  I knew this back when I made it (and totally spaced on altering the recipe to reflect such!), and recently a close family friend reflected a similar sentiment, reminding me of this.  So with that said, I set out to create a new and improved version of my pumpkin cheesecake.  With Thanksgiving seeming like a fitting time for such a venture.  Here is the result: the new and improved Pumpkin Spice Gingersnap Cheesecake.

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Mouthwatering Matcha Tiramisu

Hi all,

For column #3 of Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts, we decided something with Matcha to be striking our sweet tooth fancy this week.  Deliberating between Matcha chocolate bark, Matcha brownies, or this green tea twist on Tiramisu, we went with the latter.

This dessert doesn’t use refined sugar, though it does have coconut sugar.  So technically its outside the perimeters of the Sweet. Raw. Free. concept, but its well worth the cheat.  This dessert takes minutes to whip up (the waiting required afterwards is the hard part, requiring the two of us nearly sitting on our hands in anticipation).  Just a hint of sweetness coupled nicely with the subtly bitter green tea taste, the cream is light and airy, the lady fingers spongy and moist.  Making for a dang good dessert, dangerously easy to inhale.

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Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Frosting

The perfect wintery dessert.  Lightly spiced and sweet, but without all the sugar, flour and dairy that a typical treat has.  I attempted another version of this months prior, which came out awesome.  I actually prefer the frosting on my first version (maple mascarpone, certainly not dairy free)…but this one was yummy as well.

This sheet cake of sorts takes mere minutes to make.  Just some chopping and grating.  The only long part is soaking the cashews overnight, but then you just pop them in the food processor the next morning and you’re good.

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Grain Honey Mustard Marinated Salmon

Happy Monday, all!

For recipe #2 on Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts, we decided on a honey mustard marinated salmon accompanied with a side of sweet potato fries.  Our attempt at going semi healthy and lightening things up after the swan dive taken into wholehearted consumption of the sweet stuff over the last few weeks 😉

This recipe may be really good for you but it tastes awesome.  In Maxxs words, “fun to eat” with the tiny, almost bead-like texture of the grains atop tenderly cooked salmon.  The zest of the mustard playing well with the subtle sweetness from the honey added to it.  Sweet potato fries, the perfect of sides for this simple but comfort foody, totally satisfying plate.

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Spaghetti Squash with Kale & Sundried Tomatoes

Hi all,

With autumn well under way, and really, winter just on its heels, something in the squash family seemed fitting for an entrée choice.  This is also a great one because its easy to make, and its ultra healthy.  Finding foods that fit under the comfort food umbrella while not wrecking havoc on your waistline can be a challenge feat during the colder months.  This dish is just the ticket for that elusive eating experience.

Recipe #1 for a reoccurring weekly post titled: “Brooke and Maxx: Culinary Crafts.”  What is this exactly?  The joining of two culinary forces, a meeting of the minds (as well as hands and creativity) in the kitchen.  Both bananas about food, recipe experimentation, the sampling of new dishes, discovering interesting restaurants, and perfecting personal favorites, as well as eating all things sweet in (too much) abundance.  It seemed a fusion of these two personalities and passions was a no brainer.

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Blackberry Gingersnap Mascarpone Cake

Not only is this one perfect for autumn with its mixture of tart berries in combination with the zing from ginger, but its incredibly easy to make.  Though certainly not dairy free, the recipe uses coconut sugar in place of refined sugar, and can be gluten free if one chooses to use gluten-free gingersnaps (available at the grocery store).  You could likely even sub out the coconut sugar for honey, making it truly free of refined sugar.

Without further ado, this autumnal, subtly spicy, slightly tart, totally delicious dessert.  Gingersnap cookies sandwiched between layers of sweet blackberry cream.  Man oh man, so good.  An easy one to eat half of in a sitting ;-).

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Cranberry & Chocolate Autumnal Pancakes

Autumn is officially here, and with it, you’re looking at an especially happy camper.  I’ve lamented my love of and romance towards this particular season in several blog entries on Travels and Trdelnik, so I wont go into too much depth here.  For a list of enticing, awesome seasonal activities though, here you go.  A recent entry listing several hopefully interesting and inspiring ideas for readers (in addition to waxing on about my adoration of this time of year).  In the meantime though, these pancakes.

Gluten/grain free, dairy free and sugar free.  Loaded with cranberries and pumpkin, two ultra healthy ingredients.  To name a few fun facts…apparently cranberries lower your risk of cancer, help increase urinary tract health, reduce inflammation, and are great for dental health.  Pumpkin, don’t even get my started on this one.  I love it.  A couple of the supposed health benefits: pumpkin is great for joint health, reducing inflammation, helps protect the eyes, and is great for your skin- giving it a glow and preventing premature aging.

Back to the pancakes and how to make this mouthwatering dish.  Its an easy one.  I eat these several times a week (in varying flavor varieties).  I’m willing to bet after sampling them, you might be tempted towards doing the same…;-)

As a side note, for LOADS more brunching food porn, recipes and stellar spots to eat breakfast, look no further.  This article has it all.

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Special Feature: The BEST Chocolate Cake You’ve Never Had.

Hi Everybody,

In light of the weekend which just wrapped, thought Id gift you with a pretty sumptuous sweet treat.  Get excited for this one.  Super psyched.  It might just be one of the best chocolate cakes you ever sample.  The full name, which was too much of a mouthful for the title line, is: “Maxxs Mouthwateringly Fudgy & Brookes Bombastically Moist, Nearly Death by Chocolate Cake.”  A dangerous one for sure, on more than one level 😉 which only my sidekick will understand in full.  All joking aside though, get ready to have your socks knocked off upon tasting.  Might not even bother wearing any when sampling this baby.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

Hi all,

Long time, no post, I know.  With the ushering in of autumn and the beginning of October, I thought something with sweet potato would make for the perfect autumnal entrée.  This dish can wear many hats, from sweet snack, to breakfast for dinner or dessert, to one of many platters scattered across the table in a weekend brunching extravaganza.

Super easy to make, filling, lightly sweet, grain free/dairy free and healthier than your typical pancakes.  However, still just as scrumptious.

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Crash course on Paleo

This particular lifestyle has begun to receive a fair amount of hype over the last couple years, while just recently exploding into major trendiness.  Both receiving lots of good as well as bad press.  Is there any meat behind the supposedly life changing claims?  What are the benefits along with the potential pitfalls?  While not personally following a Paleo diet (though I do dabble), enough of my recipes fall under the umbrella of this particular lifestyle that make it fitting to post a short and sweet descriptor of what Paleo is and why it seems loads of people are jumping on the bandwagon.

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