Sweetness in a glass: The date shake

April 17, 2015

Date shake

When I stumbled across this recipe on Epicurious last year, I immediately ran out to buy the ingredients to make the date shake. I guess I was craving something sweet and refreshing, because normally reading about what is basically a vanilla milkshake made with almond milk wouldn’t have been something that would have prompted an “I must have it now!” response from me. Whatever the reason, I’m glad it did, because this is now one of my favorite sweet pick-me-ups to have in the middle of the day.

I decided if I were going the route of almond milk, I might as well make this recipe dairy-free, so I picked up a pint of Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island instead of opting for the vanilla gelato called for in the recipe. (more…)

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Payasam Oatmeal

June 10, 2013

Payasam Oatmeal

For years I was more than a bit persnickety about my oatmeal. Cooked with water, flavored with a pat of butter and a large spoonful of brown sugar, I was a happy camper. If I really wanted to get fancy, I might have the Quaker Oats Apple Cinnamon insta-packet. This may have been born out of the fact that at the time I wasn’t a big fan of dried fruit, having lost my taste for raisins. Or it may have been that my idea of flavored oatmeal was the aforementioned insta-packets. Either way, when I first heard of people cooking their oatmeal with milk, I thought that odd and unnecessary. However, as I started to discover my breakfast needed a protein component with the carbs if I wanted to stay full for more than 30 minutes, I decided to start playing with my ingredients. Thus, payasam oatmeal was born!

Payasam is a traditional Indian dessert that just happens to be one of my favorites. Payasam is the South Indian name, so you may have heard of it as kheer, its North Indian name. It’s a rather simple dessert of rice boiled with milk, jaggery (a type of sugar), ghee, golden raisins, almonds, and a dash of cardamom. (more…)

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