Raspberry Peach Olive Oil Cake


Hey everyone!

So, I think it’s time we made something sweet, right? It’s a complete myth that gluten-free baking can only be done well by a professional. There are some things you can make with no flour at all like cookies, fudge brownies, and oatmeal bars. But what happens when all you want to do is have a nice fork-full of cake? All you need is to get a really good gluten-free flour blend. (A little tip: the more unknown the brand, the higher the likelihood that the flour blend will be better. Try to steer clear of the big brands trying to embrace the gluten-free craze.)

This recipe is not entirely mine. I was on a farm in Spain when I first tried it. One of my hosts made it to have with coffee, and I could not stop eating it. So, I obviously begged her for the recipe. The best part is, it’s incredibly simple! My addition to the recipe is the flavors, which can be altered to your liking as long as you stick to the basic recipe proportions. 

The secret to making this cake is one thing: a personal-sized yogurt. Not only is the yogurt used in the recipe, but the container is your measurement tool for everything! Amazing, right?

You’ll need:

  • 1 Personal-Sized Yogurt (peach)
  • 3 Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend (or regular flour for those who can tolerate wheat)
  • Baking Powder
  • Raspberry Preserves
  • 3 Peaches

Preheat the oven to 350.

First, dump the contents of the yogurt in a bowl. Rinse out the container and dry it.

In a separate bowl, mix together 3 room-temperature eggs and 2 containers-full of sugar. 

Then, add the yogurt and 1 container-full of olive oil. Mix together well.

Finally, stir in 3 containers-full of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. 

Now that you have your mixture, line a 9-inch circular pan with parchment paper. Pour your mixture into the lined pan and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes (but check on it after 20 and do the toothpick test to see if its done.)

While it’s cooking, slice your peaches in thin crescents.


When it is done, let it cool. Then, spread the raspberry preserves generously over the top of the cake. Finally, layer the peaches on top. When you’re ready to serve, take the parchment paper off the cake and enjoy! Goes best with tea or coffee, and good friends or family. 

Happy baking everyone!



Coconut Cream Pie Recipe

From the crunchy graham crust to the creamy custard filling, this coconut cream pie recipe is a classic that will keep you going back for another slice.



3 cups of flour
1 tbsp of vinegar
5 tbsp of water
1 egg
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of sugar


Custard Filling:

1/3 cup of Sugar
1/4 cup of All Purpose Flour
2 1/4 cups of Half and Half
3 Egg Yolks
2 Tbsp of Butter
1 ½ cups of Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 tsp of Vanilla


Whipped Cream:

1 ½ cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ cup of Sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of toasted coconut
3 tbsp of toasted sliced almonds

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Italian Cuisine: Risotto with apples and speck ham

Risotto is a very common food in Italy, especially during the winter. Risotto is a different way of thinking the rice – rather than a side dish, it makes an amazing main course.

It is very important to find the right white rice to make risotto. The principal varieties are Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. Once you have the rice, the limit is the sky! In fact, once you get the feel for the basic steps of making the risotto, you can add almost any combination of flavors.

Here I’ll present one of my favorite: risotto with apples and speck ham. It is made up of typical ingredients from north regions of Italy. Speck ham is a type of prosciutto which is similar to bacon, and it is a very tasty ham. This risotto has a very delicate and unusual flavor, where the sweet taste of apples is exalted by the strong taste of speck ham.

Here are the ingredients for 4 serves:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 apples
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 4 oz speck ham
  • 2 cups white or red wine

Cut the speck ham in small pieces.

Speck ham

Cut the apples and put them into a pot with a cup of wine, and let them cook for about 15 minutes.

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Mission Chinese: Sichuan Cuisine Survives on the Lower East Side

Mission Chinese Food, which opened in 2012, serves spicy Sichuan-inspired cuisine; the restaurant has had lines out the door pretty much since opening.

And then in 2013, the restaurant was shut down due to sanitation issues.

But it’s been a while since then, so I cautiously ventured down to the Lower East Side with a friend to indulge in some chili-doused chicken wings. We hadn’t made a reservation, and at first it seemed we would have to wait. But there was an area in the front where they serve the whole menu, and we’re not picky sitters.


Since it’s Sichuan-inspired cuisine (Sichuan is the province with the spiciest cuisine in China), we figured we had to order several spicy dishes, and balance it out with a couple of milder dishes.

matcha noodles

The first dish we got was the green tea noodles. This was probably my favorite of the things we ordered; the bitterness of the matcha contrasts spectacularly with the savory noodles and sweet hoisin sauce. The crunch of the thinly sliced radish adds a textural contrast in comparison to the soft ramen.

rice cakes with thrice-cooked bacon and tofu skins

Mission Chinese seems to have textural components of their food down. Chewy, starchy rice cakes, crunchy cucumber, fatty, soft bacon; all doused in a super-spicy, umami, garlicky sauce. Top it with raw scallions and cilantro and you have a winner.

chicken wings
chicken wings

The chicken wings were so good, but they were far too spicy for me. I had one; my friend had five. Imagine: delicious chicken wings, with a nice crispy skin; then imagine dumping an entire container of chili flakes on them. Wonderful, but dangerous.

pork belly and radishes
pork belly and radishes

If pork belly is on a menu, I can’t not order it. This was the other non-spicy dish; I thought the mint didn’t go so well with the pork belly and radish, but besides that the dish was excellent. A light, sweet sauce cut was with the slight bitterness of greens. The pork belly was soft, and the radishes added a nice crunch.

And then—a complimentary treat!


These were not spicy, and they were a perfect bite at the end of the meal. Spinach, egg, and (I think) tapioca. An interesting combination, but it worked.

The bathroom is in the basement. One must walk past the kitchen in order to get to it. The kitchen was filled with shouts of “hot!” “order in!” and “yes, chef!”

There’s nothing like a fast-paced, energetic kitchen to get the blood pumping and get a diner looking forward to a meal. Go to Mission Chinese. Even if there’s a wait. You won’t regret it—though your mouth might after a couple of chicken wings.

Mission Chinese,

171 E Broadway

Atmosphere: Young, hip, upbeat.

Noise Level: Loud.

Recommended Dishes: green tea noodles, pork belly and radishes

Price Range: $$

Hours: 5:30–12, Tues-Sat; 5:30-11, Sun–Mon.



Your Neighborhood Bakery

With the cold winter months quickly approaching, now is the time to soak up the mild weather and take advantage of the spots that are easily accessible from campus.  After a long day full of classes and other commitments, I find myself in need of a way to unwind, without paying subway fares or venturing too far away from Barnard.  A walk to the local Silver Moon Bakery & Cafe, located on 105th and Broadway, provides an opportunity to explore the neighborhood (and the exercise to use as an excuse for buying many pastries).

The exterior of the bakery
The exterior of the bakery

The blue awning and outdoor seating of the bakery provides an inviting welcome to the space, and you feel right at home before you even step inside.  Once I walked in, the excitement of being in a new bakery hit me once again.  I immediately walked straight to the pastry display case, to drool over the wide variety of pies, cakes, and pastries, with everything from apple pie to chocolate mousse and blueberry ginger muffins.  I was so focused on choosing the perfect dessert that it took me a few minutes to see the shelves piled high with breads of every shape and size.

Pastries on display
Pastries on display

From baguettes to boules to rolls, Silver Moon Bakery handcrafts all of its breads, ensuring freshness and variety.  Though I knew an entire loaf of bread was a strange item to take back to my dorm room (Editor’s note: is it, though? ), the appeal of the sourdough boule convinced me that it was worthwhile.  A feeling of contentment spread over me as I left the bakery, now armed with a berry tart and my very own sliced loaf of bread.  Paired with a hazelnut spread I bought later, the bread was the perfect combination of a crunchy outer crust and a chewy inside and just what I needed to get through the rest of my homework.

My bread in all of its glory
My bread in all of its glory
My delicious fruit tart, reminiscent of summer days
My delicious fruit tart, reminiscent of summer days


Hiker’s Grub: Comfort Food in the Argentine Andes

The north of Argentina boasts some of the most magnificent natural beauty of the country. One minute you are driving through lush green mountains, and then you find yourself surrounded by arid rock formations, salt flats, and gigantic mountain ranges. Hiking in this region is a must, but what is perhaps even more important than the hike, is the meal of champions you treat yourself to at the end of the hike. In the province of Jujuy, we stopped in a small town called Tilcara, right by the Hill of Seven Colors.

Making our way through the town, we heard the sound of live music and thought we should check the place out. Tierra de Colores was the name of the restaurant. We sat down at a beautifully set table. Immediately we were served with bread and pickled egg plant (one of my favorite snacks from the north of Argentina). In the corner a solitary guitar player/singer was playing folkloric “norteña” music from the region. Those songs have themes that range from love to, well, love. They all express a lover’s betrayal and the unbearable suffering that ensues. Albeit repetitive to a foreigner like me, looking around, I saw Argentinians singing along and responding with such expressive emotion to each note uttered by the singer. I couldn’t help clapping, swaying my head, and trying unsuccessfully to sing along.
By the time the waiter came over asking me to make up my mind on what I wanted to eat, I had already stuffed my face with half of the bread basket and two plates of eggplant. Embarrassed, I asked what the “mozo” recommended, and he instantly told me I should order the locro. So I ordered locro, the traditional stew of the north of the country, also found throughout the Andes region.
The stew was absolutely delicious, truly a meal for champions. It had a tangy tomato base, and was filled with sausages, beans and corn, always a delicious combination. It also had tripe in it, which I normally don’t like, but this was salty and perfectly chewy. I would have to reconsider my dislike for tripe. So the locro overall was salty, sweet, and tangy all in one. What it was missing was some spice, something that is severely lacking in Argentine cooking.
I left the Tierra de Colores restaurant feeling satisfied and still humming to the norteña music that accompanied my meal. I’ve already started looking for the best locro served in New York. I just feel like this is going to become part of my regular diet from now on.

Try Thai!

One of my dreams is to go to Bangkok, a known food capital of the world. I remember the first time I tried Thai food (of course I was having Pad Thai), I immediately loved the fresh flavors and the mix of savory and sweet found in each bite. I try to seek out traditional and delicious Thai restaurants, but I know none can come to close to anything I would have if I were to visit Bangkok. So hopefully one day I will be able to visit, and even write a blog on it!

Thai food is very aromatic and full of spice and flavor. Each dish usually incorporates a blend of at least three taste senses: sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and bitter. Each of the four regions of Thailand has their own kind of cuisine. Thai food also shares similarities with the cuisines of its neighboring Southeast Asian countries. In fact, many dishes in Thailand came from China, but, over time, Thai cuisine has developed its own unique flavors and preparations. Today, Thai cuisine is one of the most popular around the world.


Thus, it is no surprise that I found an abundance of Thai restaurants while in Hell’s Kitchen. I do not at all regret my choice to go to the cozy Pure Thai Cookhouse. The delicious meal is very much worth the 15-minute wait. We began our meal with the daily steamed dumpling special. They were stuffed with chicken, crab, and shrimp. They were delicious with a firm filling that kept the taste of the shrimp and crab (the chicken helped to keep the filling together) and the dipping sauce to dip them in was even better – a salty and vinegary sauce with chili flakes to add spice. Along with the dumplings we ordered fried tofu with a peanut and tamarind dipping sauce. The tofu without the sauce lacked a bit of flavor, but the sauce with its crushed peanuts made the dish worth ordering. This dish was the only one that we ordered that was subpar, but the sauce is definitely worth asking for on the side. It has the characteristic mix of salty, sweet, and sour that is typical of many Thai dishes. Unfortunately, I did not manage to get any pictures of these two dishes, because we were to eager to begin.


Next, we ordered wok curry paste with pork, pad see ew with beef, and ratchaburi crab and pork dry noodles. Each dish had its own blend of flavors and each was better than the next. The wok curry paste with pork included a spicy sauce that was not spicy at first, but lingered and became spicier over time. It included a variety of different textured vegetables (bamboo shoot, thai eggplant, and string bean) that balanced well with the pork.


The pad see ew was a sweet and salty compliment to the curry. The flat noodles were drenched in the brown sauce with pieces of scrambled eggs and broccoli, cauliflower, and beans. The crunchiness of the cauliflower and broccoli countered the softness and slipperiness of the noodles so that it did not become too overwhelming. Cauliflower is not often added to pad see ew dishes. It was a nice addition, but the broccoli does a better job of absorbing the sauce.


The ratchaburi crab and pork dry noodles had the simplest flavor, mostly sweet, but were made with delicious homemade noodles. It included big pieces of crab and pork loin. It was hard to eat these together with the noodles, but all of individual pieces were so good.


Overall the meal was absolutely delicious, and I will definitely go back to Pure Thai Cookhouse sometime soon!


Peacefood Cafe: Any Vegan or Non-Vegan’s Paradise

Everyone loves dessert, and luckily, Manhattan is home to numerous bakeries for all of us dessert lovers in the city. The problem is that it is almost impossible to find a good vegan bakery, even in Manhattan. I made it my mission to find a good vegan bakery and I found the Peacefood Cafe, which is both a vegan restaurant and vegan bakery.


The cafe is a nice, casual, and cozy spot to have a meal with a friend, while enjoying their many vegan options. It is definitely a stress-free atmosphere! It is located in the Upper West Side on Amsterdam and 82nd, so it isn’t too far from campus. They also have another location in the Village.


The bakery part of the restaurant had many vegan desserts, which all look like they must be made with diary products. Upon walking in, I even wondered if their desserts were actually vegan! In place of the dairy products normally found in these desserts, the Peacefood Cafe uses healthier options, such as avocados. Not only are these desserts vegan, but also many of them are even gluten free.

From left to right: chocolate chip cookie sandwich and raw chocolate mousse pie
From left to right: chocolate chip cookie sandwich and raw chocolate mousse pie

I had a chocolate chip cookie sandwich and a slice of the raw chocolate mousse pie. The chocolate chip cookie sandwich was two large cookies with chocolate inside, which made them stick together. Without the chocolate inside, the cookies were some of the best I have ever had. The chocolate inside was so rich in flavor that it made the cookies taste even  better. The mousse pie was made with avocado, which made me a little nervous to try it, but it was amazing! The taste of the avocado was undetectable and if anything, it made the chocolate taste even richer in flavor. I will definitely be going back to the cafe to get both of these desserts again!

Mango Lassi
Mango lassi

I also had a mango lassi while I was at the cafe, which I was a little nervous about because it is a yogurt-based drink. The mango lassi was pretty good considering it was vegan, but it wasn’t as good as the non-vegan ones I have had in the past. The yogurt used in the drink tasted like regular yogurt, but the lassi tasted too much like yogurt and did not have enough of a mango taste. Overall, it was good, but I think I will try a different drink next time.

I look forward to going back to the Peacefood Cafe to try more of their vegan options! I definitely would recommend this cafe to anyone looking for a nice to spot to eat and hang out with friends or anyone looking for a good take-out place. This cafe is great for both vegans and non-vegans, alike!

Economical in East Harlem: Restaurant San Cristobal

In the thousands of times that I’ve visited New York City in the past, I had never spent time in Harlem. Now that I’m living here, I’ve made it a point to experience all parts of Manhattan.  So, when a friend from home came to visit this past weekend, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to charter new ground. Thus, we journeyed North-East, out of the Mo-Hi bubble, and into Spanish Harlem. While Harlem houses rich culture, it also houses rich food. After walking around a bit, we came across a notable gem: Restaurant San Cristobal, also known as Cafe Ollin.

Restaurant San Cristobal is a small  Mexican restaurant. Walking through their doors was like walking into Mexico. The quaint little restaurant is covered with Mexican-style ornaments and they play traditional music.

The decor was almost as amazing as the food (and their prices). We each  ordered our own tacos and shared one of their famous tortas (a kind of sandwich), all for under $20.


I had ordered the “chicken taco con todo.” What delighted me most when seeing this dish come out was how green the avocado was. All ingredients were fresh, which was reflected in the quality of the taste.


This is their traditional “cemita” with breaded steak. It is a sandwich filled with black beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, oaxaca cheese, and chipotle. The chipotle added the perfect bite to this sandwich, satisfying all taste buds.

So, he next time you’re in the mood for Mexican and are planning on getting Chipotle, consider Restaurant San Cristobal. It’s authentic Mexican food that will probably end up costing you less.


Pantry Shakshuka


The best thing about shakshuka is how simple it is to make. It’s pretty quick, completely satisfying, and can me made with just a few basic pantry ingredients and whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. I’ve made this one with spinach and bell peppers, and it was delicious! However, fresh tomatoes, kale, mushrooms, and squash would have all been great options too.

Here’s what you need from the pantry:

-can of diced tomatoes

-tomato paste

-Italian dry spices (oregano, basil, rosemary, & thyme would all work)

-garlic powder

-olive oil

-bread (I use gluten-free of course, Udi’s is good!)

Here’s what you need from the fridge:


-bell pepper (any color, but I used yellow)



First, dice half an onion. Heat olive oil is a frying pan. Once oil is hot, add the onions and cool them until they’re soft and slightly translucent. Add chopped pepper and spinach (or whatever vegetables you choose) and cook until soft.

Then, add the can of tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir thoroughly. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. 

Finally, make a dent in the mixture and crack in an egg. Cover the pan and let the egg cook for about five minutes or until the egg white is just opaque. Any additional cooking would affect the yolk. So, if you like it runny, definitely stop the cooking as soon as the white turns solid, but if you like it harder keep it going for another minute or so.

In the meantime, toast your bread. 

Add hot sauce for an extra kick!

Enjoy! Break into that yolk and scoop the mixture onto your toast. If you haven’t tried it before, you’ll be an immediate convert. It’s so savory and comforting, you’ll want to eat it for every meal of the day. Happy cooking everyone!