6 Ingredient Pumpkin Bread

I know pumpkin tends to be a flavor typically attributed as being autumnal and/or of the Thanksgiving nature.  However, as someone who is passionate for pumpkin and eats it any chance I am able, I believe firmly that surely we can stretch the ingredient as being applicable and apt for baking well into the winter months as well.  Pumpkin is homey, comforting, healthy, and its great in both baked goods and savory dishes alike.

With the colder months making it far easier towards packing on a few extra pounds, I thought something desserty, comforting, but healthy and low in calories would be the perfect thing.  This pumpkin bread is gluten free, dairy free and without refined sugar.

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Pepper and Pancetta Piperrada

Hi all!

Get excited for this special feature guest post, written by Maxx, my partner and equally creative force behind the new weekly column: Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts.  As an aside, to sample our mouthwatering, fudgy, decadent, showstopper of a chocolate cake, check out the link here.

Without further ado though, his enticing entrée and posting:

Fresh bell peppers shine in this recipe, a Spanish-influenced dish fitting for any meal.  I fixed this for Sunday brunch; the savory flavors working nicely in pairing with the velvety eggs.  If your knife skills are sharp, you can whip this up in 30 minutes, an easy preparation for sure.  The recipe is derived using this original for inspiration.

I had been seeking the opportunity to put Brooke to the test after I learned that she is somewhat picky about her Bell peppers.  I myself had never appreciated the subtleties in their flavor over the range of colors in which they are available.  A fortuitous family pack of peppers at the grocery store afforded me the opportunity to buy a quartet of them; green, red, yellow, and orange.  When preparing the dish, I reserved samples of each and administered a blind taste test.  Brooke correctly differentiated her least favorite, the green pepper, at first, before being swayed by the flavors of the orange.

Ultimately, she identified the similar tasting peppers: orange and green, and yellow and red, only she reversed her selections within those two pairs.  I was impressed overall after being skeptical in her ability to distinguish the peppers by color.

So, onward with what you’ll need to make this breakfast dish:

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Foragingly Festive Mushroom Cheese Bake

Hi all!  Happy winter, eh? 😀

In the taking advantage of a recent grocery shopping mishap on my end (accidently getting maitake mushrooms instead of cremini- I know, I know, how does one make such a mistake?), I decided on whipping up something healthy, loaded with veggies, but with a touch of comfort foodie goodness to it.  With the weather having made a nosedive up here in New Hampshire, in terms of the brisk factor, it seemed a fitting entrée for the frigid air outside.

This one is gluten/grain free and sugar free, though it does have some dairy with the addition of the cheese.  If you wish, use dairy free cheese instead and you’ll have a delectable, healthy vegan side dish.

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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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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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