Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Kayleigh here. Today's recipe came out of a happy mistake. Jason had his heart set on some rich chocolate cupcakes for dessert one week, so I made a grocery list from my go-to chocolate cake recipe and set out to the store. Sadly, the star ingredient of this particular baked good was grated zucchini, and the produce section had only two battered, dejected looking squashes on the shelf. When I got back home and started racking my brain to figure out what to substitute, I realized that the cake recipe would have made quite a bit more than a dozen cupcakes, so I gritted my teeth and began to improvise on the fly.

 These chocolate cupcakes are beautifully moist, dense, and rich. They are not quite as sweet as store bought cupcakes, so adjust the sugar to your preference, but we found this made them a perfect match for a sweeter cream cheese frosting. We tried them with some pear and blueberry butter as well, and found that to be deliciously unique.

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe


1/2 Cups Butter, room temperature
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cups Applesauce
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup White Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Sweet Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Ts Xanthan/Guar Gum
1 Ts Baking Powder
1 Ts Baking Soda
Optional- fillings such as chocolate chips or walnuts, and toppings such as a berry jam or frosting


1) Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. In a bowl, beat butter and sugar into a creamy mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients one by one, mixing thoroughly, then fold in any fillings.
2) Line 12 muffin tins or grease them, then distribute the cupcake batter evenly amongst them. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
3) Place the cupcakes onto a rack to cool as soon as you can handle them, but wait until they are room temperature before putting any frosting or toppings on them. Unless you want to end up with a melty glaze instead, of course. Unfrosted, these should stay moist and tasty for two weeks if refrigerated in a sealed container, but with frosting they should be eaten within a few days- a week at most.

Jason here. Sometimes I like to make up some desserts for friends, and Kayleigh is always there to help me out. This time I was in the mood for some cupcakes. When Kayleigh mentioned we use apple sauce, I was pretty skeptical. Kayleigh often likes to substitute recipes, and I’m happy to report they almost always turn out successful. In this case, Kayleigh really saved the day with the apple sauce substitution and the cupcakes have entered our regular rotation of desserts.

The applesauce gives the cupcake a much denser and moist texture then a normal cupcake would have. It lends itself very nicely to the sweet cream icing mentioned above, but also fruitier toppings as well. If you don’t want to make your own topping, you can always substitute jam or jelly. There is still some sugar in the recipe, but these recipes are about as close to healthy as I’ve seen for cupcakes that still taste like cupcakes.

So next time you find yourself missing an ingredient, experiment a little. You never know what will come of it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Spinach Crepes Recipe

Kayleigh here. As the summer winds to a close, I find myself wanting to make it last a little longer however I can. Making cool but satisfying meals that can only be enjoyed this time of year have it feeling like there might be another week of sun and blue sky yet.

These spinach crepes do heat up the kitchen a little bit, but they cook fast and quickly cool down to room temperature when you start adding the cold fillings. It's the perfect light dinner to keep you satisfied without weighing you down.

We tend to have these crepes with basil pesto, sliced mozzarella, and an assortment of raw vegetables. Chopped leafy greens and tomatoes are a must, and others like mushrooms, zucchini, cucumber, or even boiled and diced beets can make a lovely addition. Just grab whatever looks nice!

Spinach Crepes Recipe

(Serves 6)

1 Cup white rice flour
1/2 Cups Potato Starch
2 eggs
1 ts salt
1/2 Ts Xanthan/Guar Gum
1 10 oz package frozen Spinach, thawed and drained of liquid
1 Cup Milk


1) If you have a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients and pulse until smooth. If not, then chop the frozen spinach extra fine and combine with the other ingredients. The larger the spinach pieces, the more fragile the crepes will be.
2) Heat up a large pan on medium-high heat and add some butter to grease. Dollop on a portion of the crepe batter and use your spatula to spread it around as thin as you can. If you do it right, it should have cooked all the way through by the time you are done, and then you just need to flip it to lightly brown the other side. All told, it takes roughly a minute (or less) per side to cook.
3) Transfer onto a serving plate and line up a buffet of pesto, mozzarella, and raw bite-sized vegetables. Let each person add the fillings to their liking.

Note- In the wintertime, swap out the fresh fillings for sautéed mushrooms, peppers, and onions, then top it with a fried egg and a drizzle of cheddar cheese sauce.

Jason here, the fresh vegetable crepes are one my favorites healthy meals. They make for a great quick meal once you have all the ingredients laid out. Plus it’s to scale the meal up to multiple guests as they can each put together their own crepe just how they would like it.
My favorite crepe is basil pesto, lettuce, mushrooms, slices tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella slices. Kayleigh likes all kinds of other vegetables, but I tend to stick to those basics. It’s a simple blend of ingredients, but I like how the strong basil pesto accents the fresh vegetables.

Since I tend to load my crepe up, I eat with a fork and knife to handle the spillover.

Good luck to all your crepe making adventures, and I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bombay House Review

Jason here. Recently we went out with some friends on a whim to Bombay House in Bellevue. Bombay house is an Indian restaurant located in south Bellevue. It was on our list of places to check out, so we knew it had gluten free options, as well as fantastic reviews online. Well I definitively say it earned every single one of those positive reviews. This place was fantastic and hits every mark of a great gluten free restaurant.

I want to start with the service. Normally I skip over this part, but I want to really highlight how fantastic a service we got. Not only did our waiter crack a joke that had our whole table giggling, but later on I noticed they got a second table laughing and conversing with the staff. Everyone here just seemed to be in such a jovial and happy mood, it was infectious.

Next, the number of Gluten free options is outstanding. How many you ask? So many that rather than listing the items on their menu gluten free, they instead choose to list only the items which have gluten. Nearly all of those items with gluten are restricted to their flat breads menu and even there existed a gluten free option. I’ll get to that in a bit though.

Not only did the menu clearly call out which items had gluten which had me feeling safe at the start, but the waiter was very careful to let me know which items had gluten when the items were brought out. Specifically my table ordered a variety of flatbreads, so even though I already knew those contained gluten it was nice to be reminded and reassured. It was clear the staff deals with gluten intolerants like myself fairly often.

For an appetizer the table ordered the onion pakora. These are effectively sliced onions, super battered in chickpea flour, spiced, and deep fried. They came with two sauces, which I used the one that tasted sweet almost like an extra sweet duck sauce. Wow, these things were amazing. Ridiculously crunchy and over the top flavor. I’ll be ordering these every time hands down.

My main meal consisted of Saag Paneer (medium), which came with a side of rice. I also ordered some Chana Roti, as a flat bread option to give it a try and compliment the main dish. For my drink I ordered the Bombay Lime, which consisted of lime juice, club soda, and some spices I could not identify.

To start, I will say the drink had a lot of spice in it. It was not spicy as in heat, just spices that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I enjoyed it, but think I would order something a bit less intense next time. Perhaps one of the yogurt drinks the whole table seemed to really be enjoying.

The Saag Paneer was excellent. Lots of paneer, and the right texture of blended spinach. It tasted how I like it, which is cheesy, creamy, garlic, and just a hint of salt.

The real surprise winner though was the Chana Roti. This flat bread came out thin as most flatbreads, but also crunchy while maintained a bit of flexibility. It was downright delicious. This whole meal really opened my mind up to the possibilities of chickpeas which I have traditionally not liked. Scooping up some of the Saag Paneer with rice onto the Chana Roti was the perfect blend of textures and flavors.

To cap off everything, Bombay House delivers. Previously our options consisted of some fairly expensive pizza places nearby, so the number of times we have ordered out in the last 2 years can be counted on one hand. With Bombay House as an option it makes ordering out a much more appealing option.

Kayleigh here. I do not know how much I can add to Jason's glowing review of this place, but everything from the atmosphere to the food itself was fantastic. The Strawberry Lassi was a perfect foil to a spicy entree, and even the rice was wonderfully fluffy and worth mentioning by itself. It was my first time trying Matar Paneer, and I am really looking forward to finishing off what little leftovers I have of it.