Category Archives: Recipes

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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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!


Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

If you’re a fan of chocolate and mint, these are the cookies for you. They’re golden and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, and the cool hint of mint balances out the gooey chunks of chocolate. These are perfect for the upcoming holiday season!



½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp pure mint extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup bread flour (highly recommended, as the the higher gluten content is what makes them so chewy!)

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup Andes Crème de Menthe Thins, chopped

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Ascolane Stuffed Olives

After having talked about the quintessential Italian food, I feel ready to get personal, and to talk about a food which is typical of my city.

Piazza del Popolo - Ascoli Piceno
Piazza del Popolo – Ascoli Piceno from the website of Ascoli Piceno

I come from a small and nice city in the center of Italy, called Ascoli Piceno. It is a medieval city where it seems that time has stood still. Its People Square is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

The city is not well known even inside Italy, but its name sounds definitely familiar to all Italians because of the Ascolane Stuffed Olives (Olive all’Ascolana in Italian). They are a perfect appetizer food, and they are normally eaten as antipasto or side dish during important occasion, like Christmas or  Easter lunch.

The Ascolane Stuffed Olives are olives which are stuffed with three kinds of meat: chicken, beef and pork. They are breaded and then fried.

Ascolane Stuffed Olives
Ascolane Stuffed Olives – from Giallo Zafferano

This is how they look like. They are just amazing.

Unfortunately, they are not very easy to make, but not impossible as well. To explain you the recipe, I’ll introduce here a very special guest: my Grandma Anna. She has made Ascolane Stuffed Olives all her life long, and some years ago my sister and I decided to record this precious piece of information. Here you can see my Grandma Anna making stuffed olives, with translation in English:

This is a challenge for you: do you feel ready to try to be a real “Italian Grandma” in order to taste this amazing appetizer??

If you don’t feel ready yet, you can find a (kind of) stuffed olives at Eataly NYC, in 200 Fifth Avenue.Eataly Stuffed Olives

But my Grandma’s olives (and yours) will definitely taste better!

Buon appetito!

Sushi Made Simple

Welcome back to the blog!

We’re going to jump right into it and play a little game. Answer the following questions:

  1. What do I pick up at the Diana Cafe when I don’t have time to wait online for pizza, but still want something filling and delicious?
  2. What do I grab at m2m sometimes when I don’t have any dinner?
  3. What is a naturally gluten-free, balanced meal, that I love to get when I eat out? (other than chipotle…)
  4. What is… okay it’s sushi.

IMG_6978Sushi! We all love it, and we all think for some reason that we can’t make it. But listen up, it’s really really easy! Just takes a little practice, but I’m going to give you some tips that will help.

Today we’re going to make a version of Futo Maki, which is typically a combination of vegetables and egg. We’re going to stuff ours with some of the traditional ingredients, and some that are equally as delicious, but easier to find at the store. I also make mine with brown rice, to make it just a bit more healthy. Here’s what you’ll need:

-Nori- Sheets of dry seaweed, can be found at most super markets or asian food stores (m2m!)

-Sushi Seasoning- This is a combination of sugar and rice wine vinegar sold in a bottle. (also m2m!)

-Brown Rice




-Shitake Mushrooms


-Soy or Tamari Sauce (Tamaria is a gluten-free alternative to soy)

Here’s your FIRST TIP. Make extra of everything. Sushi is all about preparation. So if you prepare a lot, you’ll be able to keep the ingredients and make rolls for days. So make as much or as little of any of the below as you want. 

To make the rice… Cook rice on stove top or rice cooker. Brown rice takes 2 times as much water as rice, so 1 cup of dry rice will need 2 cups of water. It will take 30-35 minutes to cook. Stir occasionally if cooking on stove top. Once finished cooking add about 2 tablespoons of the sushi seasoning. You can taste it as add more if you like the rice to be very flavorful.

To make the mushrooms… In a sauce pan, add about a cup of soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free alternative). Place shiitake mushroom caps (cut of stems) top-down in sauce and bring to a boil. Let the mushroom soak up the sauce for about 5 minutes. Then, flip the mushrooms and soak the other side for 5 more minutes. Once done, take them about, let them cool enough to tough, and slice them in thin strips.

To make the egg… Scramble eggs in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste in the mixture. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a sauté pan on low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the egg mixture. Cover the pan to let the omelette set. Should be about 2-3 minutes depending on how many eggs you use and the size of your pan. Once cooked, slice omelette into thin strips.

To prepare the rest of the veggies…slice the carrots and cucumbers into long, thin strips (like matches.)

Now you’re ready to roll!

1) Place a sheet of nori on a hard, flat surface. 

2) Add about half a cup of rice, and spread it evenly over the sheet. SECOND TIP: Leave an inch long strip of nori empty on the top of the sheet. This will be your seal. Dampen that strip of nori with some water.

3) Add some of each filling to the center of the rice horizontally. Try not to overstuff or else cutting the rolls will be a nightmare.

4) Roll the sushi as tightly as possible, using your fingertips to tuck the fillings in and keep the roll in tact.

5) Use a sawing motion to cut the sushi in inch-thick pieces. If you try to press the knife straight down, you’ll smash it down and your lovely coin-shaped rolls will look deflated. 

Pair your sushi with some steamed spinach or kimchi! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines Recipe

Soft, warm, and buttery, Madeleines are French tea cakes that are known for their distinct scallop shape. Spice up your madeleines this season with this autumn appropriate variation.


2 whole eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp lemon zest

3 ½ tbsp pumpkin puree

½ cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or make your own with ½ tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground clove)

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

¼ cup butter, melted

3 tsp powdered sugar for dusting


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Trick to Making Great Italian Pizza

Italians take food very seriously. We don’t make jokes about food, we consider it almost a sacred subject. There are some things that you cannot say to an Italian without making him or her explaining how the risotto you have just eaten is not the real one and what the real lasagne should look like. That’s why when an American friend of mine told me that she once “made a pizza” by buying a Pita bread and putting cheese on it, I couldn’t accept the fact the she believed to have made a pizza. I knew I had to do something, and there was only one thing I had to do: to make a Pizza.

Pizza is the most famous Italian food in the world, so famous that it is not even necessarily associated with Italy anymore. But in Italy, it is crystal clear that pizza is our creation, and therefore we feel like the only ones to have the right to talk about it.

In Italy, young people usually go to a pizzeria to eat pizza once a week, as the most normal social event you can imagine. It’s cheap and good, so why not? But a lot of people are able to make their own pizza as well, especially when you realize how easy it is. So, are you ready?

The first thing to do is the pizza dough. Here is what you need:

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Ultimate Green Smoothie

The sun’s out, birds are chirping, the world is blooming and for healthy foodies this all means one important thing: smoothies are back!

Personally, the emergence of spring is not only an opportunity to spend more time outside, but also an excuse to break out the blender. Nothing beats a cool, refreshing, nutritional boost on a warm spring day.

I’m giving you my all-time favorite smoothie recipe today AND three different ways you can use this delicious blend. Yes, three! 

But first, here is your recipe:

  • 3 Leaves of Kale
  • 1/2 Orange (or a whole one if its tiny)
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 2 Dried Dates (for sweetness)
  • 1 Cup of Coconut Water

BLEND… all these ingredients in a blender, and add extra coconut water if the mixture isn’t moving smoothly in the blender.

Voila! Smoothie done.

Now, the first variation is the standard, drinkable form. It is perfect for anytime of day to accompany meals or serve as a delicious snack. I top mine with chia seeds for an extra boost of Omega-3s and fiber. 


The second variation, is a good mid-day snack. It’s a fruit topped smoothie bowl! For this, all you need to do is pour the smoothie into a bowl, and cut up a bunch of fruits or berries to put on top. This gives the smoothie a little more substance, and it’s also just fun to eat! Sometimes drinking a smoothie doesn’t completely satisfy your cravings, but adding a bite can make you feel like you’re eating more. Sometimes we just need to chew! However, remember that this is best to eat in the middle of the day or later. It’s not quite enough to get you going in the morning.


The last variation, and my personal favorite, is the breakfast smoothie bowl! You can add fruit to top this one too, but the most important additions are nuts, seeds, and oats. Seeds are more nutrient dense than budded and grown plants and will make a smoothie into a sufficient meal, especially to kick off your day! I use walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seed shells, chia seeds, and raw oats (pssst, that homemade granola from last week would be awesome here too!) This bowls fills you up, and keeps you full. If that’s not enough, it tastes amazing!!


Try one, try them all! Let me know in the comment section below what your favorite variation is! Happy blending!