Archive for October, 2008

On Halloween, pumpkin is mandatory. This cake is easy to make. Rather than using a fat-laden icing, I spread the top with pumpkin butter (no dairy in there!) and topped it all off with toasted walnuts. It made a beautiful and mouth-watering presentation. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long! Enjoy!

Pumpkin cake with pumpkin butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup pumpkin butter

3/4 cup halved walnuts, toasted on tray in toaster oven at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, til aromatic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 9″ round baking pan or dish.

Place the sugar, oil and eggs in the large bowl of your mixer and combine. 

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, and mix well.

Stir in the pumpkin puree and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and cake tester comes out clean from center.

Cool on rack and remove from baking pan. Slather on your pumpkin butter on the top of the cake, and decoratively arrange the walnuts. Makes 8-10 servings.

Happy Halloween!

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I’ve never made ravioli from scratch, but this recipe inspired me. I didn’t really make it from scratch; I used the wonton wrapper method for my pasta, but the filling is definitely handmade. Most ravioli have either a cheese or meat base filling.  Which is why this filling appealed to me so much: with shallots, garlic, and arugula mixed with bread crumbs and parmesan (in my recipe, soy parmesan), it’s an unusual and eclectic way to savor these little pillows of pasta. Enjoy!

Arugula ravioli with marinara sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces arugula, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1/3 cup finely grated soy parmesan

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg yolk (reserve egg white for sealing)


1 package wonton wrappers

1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water (to seal the ravioli)


your favorite marinara sauce

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and saute for 10 minutes until they are soft and translucent. Add the arugula, stirring and turning frequently, until it has cooked down, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, then add the bread crumbs and soy parmesan. Season with salt and pepper as needed, then add the egg yolk.

To make the ravioli, line two baking sheets with heavy aluminum foil and apply non-stick spray. Place 4 wonton wrappers on a work surface and brush entire surface of each wrapper with egg white. Spoon 1 generous teaspoonful of arugula filling into the center of each wrapper. Fold wrappers in half diagonally, forming triangles. Press the edges firmly to seal. Arrange the ravioli on the prepared sheets, and repeat the process using up the rest of the filling.

Immerse the ravioli into a large pot of boiling water, and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes until pasta is done. Drain the ravioli, arrange on plate and spoon your heated marinara sauce over the ravioli. Makes 4 servings.

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Food and Wine had a good sounding recipe that I only minimally adapted with the addition of spicy Italian chicken sausage. And, of course, dairy-free cheese. It was the first risotto recipe that I had seen that utilized beer along with chicken broth to help the arborio rice achieve its creamy texture. The results were quite good. I do wonder if beer is a common addition to making risotto. But I don’t question its efficacy – very delicious. Enjoy!

Creamy risotto with edamame and spicy Italian chicken sausage

1 pound spicy Italian chicken sausage (or the sausage of your choice), cut cross-wise into 1/2″ coins

1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium shallots, chopped very finely

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 cup arborio rice

3 cups chicken broth, warmed

1 cup lager beer, like Budweiser

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup grated soy parmesan cheese

Heat a large skillet and saute the sausage until well-browned. Set aside.

Cook the edamame according to package instructions. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until softened. Add the risotto and cook, stirring, until slightly translucent, about 2 minutes.

Mix the chicken broth with the beer, and season with salt and pepper. Add one cup of the beer broth to the rice and cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue adding the broth, one cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding the next cup. The rice is done when it is al dente and the texture is creamy. This will take about 17 minutes total. Remove from heat and add the edamame, the sausage, and the soy parmesan cheese. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

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The world’s greatest pasta festival is going on right now at Once Upon a Feast, and this week’s edition is simply wonderful.

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One year old!


It’s been exactly one year ago today that I started this blog. What began as an attempt to catalog recipes has turned into a passion for cooking combined with an evolving love of photography. I have “virtually” met a lot of interesting people along the way, in addition to meeting some very good cooks!

Blogging has turned into an almost daily occurrence for me, and I have certainly learned more than a thing or two about finding, creating, and improvising on recipes. Living without milk has not always been easy, but I like to think that I have met this challenge with an enthusiasm and a can-do attitude that not only serves me (and my family) well, but may also stand as a hope and inspiration to all who suffer from lactose intolerance.

As always, thanks to all who read and visit my blog. I appreciate your comments and input, and I look forward to many more enjoyable meals to share. Living without milk is healthy, delicious, creamy, scrumptious, and can be done, and done well.

Enjoy! Kitchenetta

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I really like the idea of this salad as an autumn dish. The slow-roasted tomatoes impart a deep and slightly smoky flavor, and provide a subtle sweetness that is nicely balanced with the fennel and the lemony dressing. I altered this slightly from the original, using soy mozzarella in place of the real thing. It’s all good. Enjoy!

Edamame, slow-roasted tomato, and fennel salad

1 1/2 cups edamame beans, cooked and cooled

1/2 cup slow-roasted grape tomatoes (slice in half and mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, baking for 3 hours at 250 degrees F.)

4 ounces soy mozzarella, cut into small dice

1/2 cup fennel, finely chopped

small handful of shredded basil leaves


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

zest and juice of 1 lemon

small pinch of coarse salt

pinch of red pepper flakes

Combine the salad ingredients, whisk the dressing ingredients, and toss together. Makes 4 servings.

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This recipe appealed to me upon first read because I am a real minestrone fan. As usual, Martha‘s recipes do not disappoint. The colors are vibrant and inviting; sautéing the vegetables imparts a deeper flavor to the whole dish, making this a really great fall salad. I altered this only slightly, including doubling the recipe. Enjoy!

Minestrone pasta salad

1-2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning

16 ounces penne or rotini pasta

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 small onions, cut into 1/4″ dice

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice

1 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ dice

1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2″ dice

8 ounces green beans, cut into 1″ pieces

2 cups frozen corn kernels

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 15-ounce can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

1 pound grape tomatoes, quartered

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until they begin to soften. Add the carrot and cook until it softens, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, and corn. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally (10 – 15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, beans, tomatoes, and pasta. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.



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Walnut honey cake

This amazing cake recipe from Martha has no oil and no margarine. And it is as moist and dense as a cake can be. The secret? Applesauce and honey. A dark and delightful cake, with a glistening honey coating on top. The candied pansy on top is my addition. Enjoy!

Walnut honey cake

3/4 cup walnut halves

non-stick baking spray, with flour, for the pan

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup honey, plus 3 tablespoons more for the glaze

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, rack in the center. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast until fragrant, tossing occasionally, 5-7 minutes. Cool, then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped.

Apply non-stick floured spray to an 8 1/2″ springform pan. In a large bowl, combine the honey and applesauce; whisk until the honey is mostly dissolved. Add the eggs, and whisk until fully combined.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into the honey mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown on top and cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan, about 15 minutes. Unmold onto a serving plate. While still warm, gently spread the remaining honey on top. Serve warm. Makes one 8 1/2″ cake.

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From the currant-studded meatballs to the beautiful dark golden broth to the bright green and vibrant escarole, this soup was so enjoyable to make and behold. And to eat. Every ingredient and flavor worked perfectly together. Next time, I’m doubling this one – it’s a keeper. Enjoy!

Escarole and turkey meatball soup

2 slices of bread (I used whole grain, but white is fine), crusts removed

1/4 cup warm water

1 pound ground turkey

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup dried currants

2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cups chicken broth

1 head escarole (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 15-ounce can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

a pinch or two of crushed red pepper

Soak the bread with the water in a small bowl for 2 minutes. Squeeze excess moisture from bread, and tear into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the soaked bread, ground turkey, onion, garlic, currants, and oregano until well mixed; season with salt and pepper. Roll into 1 1/4″ balls.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs, turning often, until browned and cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Bring broth to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the meatballs, escarole, beans, and crushed red pepper. Cook until heated through. Season, as need with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.


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Here is a very chocolatey sorbet, made with a coconut milk base. Very rich, and, topped with toasted coconut, very good. Shout out to David Lebovitz’ The Perfect Scoop for a dairy-free creamy delight!

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