Morning Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Coconut

Morning Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Coconut on http://www.theculinarylife.com- Whole lotta baked oatmeal lovin’ here -

There’s no way around it – I’m a huge breakfast fiend. There’s nothing I love more than big plate full of fluffy blueberry pecan pancakes, tender French toast, or a hearty cheese and avocado frittata alongside hash browns and bacon. And of course, I can’t forget about my favorite coconut-lime waffles with a hint of vanilla. Dammit, now I’m hungry for breakfast and it’s almost dinnertime.

These days, I’m looking for breakfast recipes that are not only delicious, but take care of my body. Notice I didn’t use “healthy” there? Personally, I’m not a fan of the word. There are so many stigmas at play when it comes to healthy eating, and “healthy” means different things to different people. Half of my family thinks that boxed Tater Buds are perfectly healthy, while I’d have to disagree 1000%.

So instead of using the word “healthy,” I’m going to call this recipe real. It’s real food, and it’s good for you.

Morning Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Coconut on http://www.theculinarylife.com

This baked oatmeal recipe is more like a breakfast bread pudding, only it’s full of the stuff your body wants more of – namely whole grains, nuts, fruit, and healthy fat – without sacrificing any of the incredible flavor you want for your first meal of the day. It’s got rolled oats (good for your gut), fresh berries (super nutrient bombs!), toasty pecans (yay protein…), and shredded coconut (healthy fats FTW!). It’s got a supporting cast of ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and a generous dose of BUTTER.

Because, you know, everything is better with BUTTER. So much so that it warrants ALL CAPS. [Read more...]

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, Gluten-Free

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, Gluten-Free on http://www.theculinarylife.com/2014/chocolate-peanut-butter-cookies-gluten-free

- Gluten-free chocolate chip peanut butter cookies never had it so good. -

Some time back I was playing with a gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe that I’d developed over the years. I was happy with it, but I can’t help but get annoyed by the mixing of flours and the occasionally interjecting flavors of the standard array of gluten-free flours. There are some very good mixes on the market – and I’ve got a good recipe here, on my own site – but still, I often ache for gluten-free recipes that don’t require a lot of fuss. [Read more...]

An Unfortunate Affinity to 70s Soft Rock, and Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potatoes Biscuit Recipe on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Mmmm sweet potato biscuits… /homerdrool

Here’s an annoying fact: I get music from my parents’ generation stuck in my head. All. The. Time. Perhaps it’s because my mom listened to music constantly when I was small, but regardless of the cause, the end result is the vast majority of the 70s soft rock genre has wormed its way into my subconscious like an earwig on a coke bender. Air Supply, Chicago, Bread, the Carpenters, the entirety of the Yacht Rock canon. It’s all very good music, to be sure, but it’s little out of context in the land that is Steph’s Brain… And it’s become one hell of a distraction. [Read more...]

Death Warmed Over and Amish Funeral Pie, by Lisa Rogak

Death Warmed Over and Amish Funeral Pie, by Lisa Rogak on http://www.theculinarylife.com

- Amish Funeral Pie, not just for funerals -

Today I’ve got a quirky little guest post from friend and colleague Lisa Rogak. She recently released a fascinating ebook called Death Warmed Over, which was originally published in paperback in 2004 but became a hard-to-find cult classic after it went out of print. Lisa recently re-released it as an ebook which was subsequently and enthusiastically reviewed by Food News Journal, Chicago Public Radio, Neatorama, and other national media. You’ll find more details about the book at the bottom of the post. Until then, enjoy this classic Amish Funeral Pie!


An elderly man was at home, dying in bed. He smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies baking. He wanted one last cookie before he died.

He fell out of bed, crawled to the landing, rolled down the stairs, and dragged 1himself into the kitchen where his wife was busy baking cookies. With his strength waning, he made it to the table and was just barely able to lift his withered arm to the cookie sheet.    

As he grasped a warm, moist, chocolate chip cookie, his favorite kind, his wife suddenly whacked his hand with a spatula.

“Why?” he whispered. “Why did you do that?”

“They’re for the funeral.”

[Read more...]

Traditional Shortbread Recipe (Mürbteig)

Traditional Shortbread Recipe (Mürbteig)
I’ve been searching for the ultimate traditional shortbread recipe for ages now. I love shortbread, but a lot of the recipes I find are too crumbly or too fatty for my taste. Ideally, shortbread should be a lesson in tender luxury – light and gently sweet, without leaving a fatty feeling on your palate. Finding the perfect shortbread was turning into an exercise in futility, and this lack of a decent recipe was a particular bummer around the holidays. [Read more...]

A Brief History of Christmas Cookies

A Brief History of Christmas Cookies - A Brief History of Christmas Cookies -

Today I’ve got a special treat for you–a guest post by fellow cookbook author Brette Sember. Besides her insanely prolific publishing history (with over 40 books to her credit!) Brette’s most recent project is a fascinating ebook called Cookie: A Love Story: Fun Facts, Delicious Stories, Fascinating History, Tasty Recipes, and More. If you’re at all interested in cookies and want to expand your knowledge of this delicious global tradition, I highly recommend this book.

Please welcome Brette, as she shares with us a brief history of Christmas cookies. She can also be found on her food blog, PuttingItAllontheTable.

A Brief History of Christmas Cookies

Why do we eat cookies for Christmas? For lots of people, it’s not Christmas without cookies. Our kids leave cookies out for Santa, we spend weeks baking and decorating our cookies, and there’s always a cookie plate at any party. The gingerbread man has become synonymous with Christmas. But how did cookies come to be such an important symbol of Christmas?
[Read more...]

Keys to the Kitchen: Pistachio Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting

Keys to the Kitchen: Pistachio Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting

- Keys to the Kitchen: Pistachio Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting -

 It’s no secret I’m a huge cookbook fan. There are many cookbook reviews on this site, and at home, I have literally over one thousand cookbooks in my collection. And my books add up to just that: a collection. People may gawk at my expanse of Ikea shelves, lined with row after row of compelling, colorful spines, and mouth the words hoarder or the phrase compulsive cookbook problem, to which I balk and get slightly defensive. These books are a huge part of what I do every day of my life, and having such an incredibly complete reference library in my home has proven useful on more occasions than I can possibly count.

And, I’d like to think that I’m discerning about my cookbooks. I don’t accept just any new additions to the fold; I’ve passed over many a [Read more...]