Cinnamon Apple Cake Recipe with Sour Cream

 Cinnamon Apple Sour Cream Cake Recipe

– For this little birthday, as apple cake recipe that takes 15 minutes to prepare. –

Guess what? My 8th year blog birthday just passed! That’s right — back on February 4, 2006, I wrote my very first post, about vegan cupcakes. The photo is ridiculous and I didn’t even include a recipe. Wow, things have sure changed.

For one thing, this website was called “Wasabimon” back then, a weird nickname I’d picked up on BattleNet, an online gaming community. (Long story… I eventually became “NachoBiznatch” after that – another long story.) For years people thought I was either concentrating on Japanese food or a mommy blogger writing under the name “WasabiMom.” Neither was true, and for a long time I was actually posting gluten-free baking recipes while I tried to figure out some health stuff. To quell the confusion and give myself more flexibility, a few year later I changed the name to The Culinary Life in 2009.

I started this blog because friends were always asking me to share recipes, and it’s grown into so much more than that now. Soon I’m launching a new site that is currently under development, and it’s going to be a whole new world of food and cooking where I take folks of all skill levels and turn them into kitchen ninjas. I can’t wait to share it with you, but it’s not quite ready yet. For now, I’ve got a lovely apple cake recipe for you. Because what’s a birthday without a birthday cake?

[Read more…]

Winter’s Bounty Breakfast Cake Recipe

Winter's Bounty Breakfast Cake

– A quick breakfast cake recipe for those snowy winter mornings –

As anyone with a CSA membership knows, winter can be a season of consistency; when you open your weekly winter produce box, you generally find a rotating cast of kale, beets, fennel root, carrots, celeriac, parsnips, and other cold-weather goodies. I’m 100% pro-hearty greens and root vegetables, but even I can only make so many root-based soups and creamy gratins. After a while, I get bored and need something else to do with all of these starchy roots… I need a recipe compelling enough to curb my winter veggie box ennui.

This breakfast cake recipe is an ode to my January/February CSA produce box. I needed a dish that would put all those carrots, beets, and parsnips to good use, along with anything else that has been languishing in my root cellar (read: forgotten in the bottom drawer next to my refrigerator). Born of necessity desperation, I’m hoping this quick loaf will help you use up the roots you’ve been hiding for weeks because your family threatens mutiny at the mere mention of one more roasted beet or carrot. Veggies for breakfast? Who would’a thought? [Read more…]

Ricciarelli, Italian Almond Cookies, and Tips for Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies

Italian Ricciarelli Christmas Cookies on

– Ricciarelli are the perfect gluten-free Italian almond cookies. –

In kitchens across the world, holiday revelers are digging out worn cookbooks and faded recipe cards, clipping recipes from the newspaper, and scouring the Internet for tips. Ovens are being preheated, and houses are filling with the warm scent of caramelizing sugar and browning butter. Everyone, get ready! It’s time! It’s cookie season.

When I was little, I swore that I could gauge how many days were left till Christmas by how intensely my neighborhood smelled of baking cookies, or by how many hours my grandmother spent in the kitchen mixing, rolling, and frosting. For many folks, my family included, making Christmas cookies was (and still is) the best part of the holiday season. We enlist loved ones young and old to cut and decorate. We grin like madmen at the mess of sugar and clatter of cookie cutters. We’re positively giddy at the prospect of packing colorful, tissue-paper-lined gift boxes with the results of our labors, to be delivered on Christmas Eve or shipped across the country to aunts and uncles who flew the Christmas coop.

Not everyone can enjoy traditional floury cookies. If you’re gluten-free, the Christmas-cookie season can be a challenge – but it’s certainly not impossible.

[Read more…]

Christmas Candy Cane Cream Puffs Recipe

Candy Cane Cream Puff

Have you had your fill of colorful, sprinkle-covered Christmas cookies yet? I’m beginning to long for something a little different, something that curls my toes like a decent pair of elf shoes (bells included). Something I can face plant into from a standing position, a mega-pillow of cream and sugar that will captivate my every waking thought until I get a second bite. Cookies are a great sugar-delivery device, but their generally diminutive nature makes it hard to get your fix quickly and efficiently. (Ok, clearly I’ve fallen off the wagon in my crusade to avoid holiday sugar overload.)

Solution: the monster Christmas candy cane cream puff. Not necessarily a holiday staple, cream puffs go sadly unnoticed this time of year. It’s a shame, really, because cream puffs can be just as festive as any sparkle-flecked, snowflake-shaped, frosting-painted sugar cookie. And they’re easier to make than you might think. Seriously, you don’t need a culinary degree to make a puffy choux pastry. [Read more…]

A Miraculously Simple Cherry Coconut Vegan Scones Recipe and My Jiffy Lube Assault

Miraculously Simple Cherry Coconut Vegan Scones on

– A superlative cherry vegan scones recipe can fix even the most f—ed up day –

I consider myself a very fortunate person. As lives go, mine is pretty damn good. I’m very lucky to have an abundance of blessings that outweigh any drama that may come my way, though I occasionally have a day where I keep pressing CTRL-Z in my head, praying for an existential UNDO feature.

Despite how senselessly random life can be, there are a few things I’m pretty sure will not happen during any given day. I expect a safe will not fall out of the sky and smash me into the sidewalk; I am fairly certain I won’t turn a corner to discover I’ve been zapped back in time to a Victorian-era coal mine; and I most definitely expect I will not be assaulted by the manager at my local Jiffy Lube while getting the coolant changed in my car.

I’m grateful there are still no flying safes or slave-labor mines in sight. As for the Jiffy Lube assumption… well, what do they say about the word “assumption?”

[Read more…]

Morning Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Coconut

Morning Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Coconut on– 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

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

– 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…]