Mochi and Red Bean Bundt Cake for Thanksgiving+The Constancy of Gratitude

Mochi Red Bean Bundt Cake Photo Styling | fit for the soul

Isn't it funny that certain foods have meaningful memories attached to them? 

It's true. Take bundt cake as an example.  It's not just the fact that it's cake that makes me so giddy inside, though I have to admit the cake part doesn't hurt one bit...and it's not the fact that it looks fancy either.  I think the oh-so-perfectly-round shape of it alone brings some memories that I know I'll treasure forever.  Though seemingly small they may be, they make bits and pieces of what my beautifully God-orchestrated life has become.  

Baking was never a part of my life until my teen years, and the only times I recall being exposed to it as a child was on a random weekend when I'd mosey on over to my neighbor's house--who also happened to be my best friend for some good years.  Little did I know that my fascination with cake would soon be taken to another level by way of bundt cakes.  The  aroma of liquor and sugary batter is as real right now as it was back then!  

There's also another childhood favorite of mine and it's probably somewhere within my top 5 dessert choices:  red bean paste paired with rice cakes or bread.  Even though mom didn't bake, like at all, she did have a knack for buying me the most amazing breads ever!  Peanut streusel bread (soboro in Korean) filled with red bean paste, fluffy rolls filled with more red bean paste, Taiyaki of the Korean variety, and...you get the idea.  So I think it's safe to say that this combination of cake, mochi, red beans and walnuts is without a doubt one of the best ideas I've ever had.  All the best ingredients and flavors packed into one recipe makes me feel like I just walked on the moon.  It may look complicated and complex in taste, but I assure you that every component pairs up so perfectly when put together.  It is more fuss free than it seems, and the flavors won't shock your taste buds like the combination of granola and chicken.  Ew, right?  This cake is chewy, slightly sweet, crunchy, and moist.  And best of all? It was Selah approved and was a hit with everyone at work today, yay!

Now, to top my love for the bundt even more, it just so happened that right when I was {probably} creating this recipe back in my kitchen, one of my best friends, Susan, was busy getting engaged!  And soon after she gave me the honor of being her bridesmaid and I couldn't feel more special.  My friends, I think all of this goodness calls for a celebration.  I've been debating on whether to include this Mochi red bean bundt in our Thanksgiving menu, or a homemade pie instead.  Or a rustic galette of some sort? And perhaps this bundt can make its way onto your Thanksgiving table if you want to surprise your loved ones with a non-traditional dish.  What are you cooking up this Thanksgiving?


Mochi and Red Bean Bundt Cake

Makes one large cake

Ingredients for cake batter

2 large eggs+1 egg white

3/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt (or regular)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup honey

1 stick+2 tbsp very soft butter (1/2 cup+2 tbsp)

1 cup whole milk (or partly substitute with whipping cream)

confectioner sugar for dusting

Ingredients for mochi batter

1 cup mochi flour (sweet rice flour)

1 cup water

1 cup canned red bean paste

1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees (191 C).  Lightly oil or butter a bundt cake pan and set aside.  In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they become foamy.  Add sugar and beat for about 45 seconds.  In a separate large bowl, stir together the two flours, baking powder, and salt.  Then slowly add the flour as you fold it into the egg mixture with a spatula.  Fold in the vanilla extract, honey, softened butter, and milk.  Use a whisk if you have to in order to incorporate the butter thoroughly.  Make sure to be as gentle as possible and whisk just enough but not too much. 

In a separate medium-large bowl, mix together the mochi flour and water until it's become glutinous.  Finally mix in the red bean paste and chopped walnuts. 

Pour the cake batter into the bundt pan and follow with the mochi batter.  Stick a snick into the two batters and start swirling to make random swirls.  Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes depending on your oven. 

Red bean and mochi bundt cake for Thanksgiving--wheat and lower in fat | fit for the soul
Mochi Red Bean Bundt Cake for Autumn | fit for the soul
Mochi Red Bean Bundt Cake for Autumn or Thanksgiving | fit for the soul

The Constancy of Gratitude

It's no surprise that Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  As with any special holiday, I am not only reminded to proclaim the blessings in my life but I'm also more motivated to take a step further in loving others--be it through intentional acts of love or just naturally (hopefully) oozing with joy through a warm smile.  Somehow by God's grace, I'm learning that gratitude truly is a state of mind and not a state of circumstances.  Positive thinking can only go so far in my opinion, but when I see the full picture of God's promises to me (and to all of us really) and tack on optimism to it, I can't help but gain so much hope in the fact that all is well

I'm grateful for material blessings, yes, but I'm even more thankful for the relationships He's bestowed on me and most importantly, my relationship with Him.  I seriously don't know how He can pursue me so relentlessly when I, knowing that I could love Him more fervently, allow my love to grow cold at times.  That's the kind of gift we've been given and I hope to share it with you all more in the coming days.  And also...thank you always for being a part of my life!  I hope you can feel some gratitude through every word and recipe I share on this little space. 

So let's not forget about the constancy of gratitude.  Thankfulness with God as the center makes us unwavering.  It makes us faith-full individuals who can soar on "wings like eagles" with no shackles holding us back.  Have a super happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!


What life changing lessons have you been learning?

Which dish are you most excited to try or make this Thanksgiving?

Autumn Shrimp Bisque with Candied Pistachios

Shrimp and squash bisque with candied pistachios | fit for the soul

Bisque (/bisk/) is one of those dishes that I dearly label as an "in-between".  It is more or less in-between creamy soup and a bowl of hearty seafood dip (hello lobster dip!) in my opinion.  In my experience it isn't the most common dish on a restaurant's menu so I often contemplate making it at home.  Yay!  I mean, who doesn't love a comforting bowl of soup, right? 

So whenever that inspiration hits I hold on to every bit of valiant determination within me, and with that same determination I wind up determining that I feel to lazy to make soup.  I know it doesn't make sense, given that I often go out of my way to make yeasty carbs for the whole family. But not this time, my friends.  This time I'm as diligent as ever with soup and perhaps it's my body's way of demanding food that warms my soul!

Shrimp and squash bisque recipe with candied pistachios | fit for the soul

For this recipe I was aiming for bisque of the sweeter variety, and why don't we make it Autumn friendly while we're at it?  Kabocha squash as the base rends a wholesome flavor without packing on unnecessary calories.  The shrimp perfectly complements the nutty tones of the squash, and the pistachios that have been caramelized with orange marmalade and rosemary will {maybe} make you wish it was Fall all year long.

You can definitely "let your hair down" and add lots and lots of cream instead of whole milk! But I always try to balance out the lighter and heavier ingredients if the recipe allows. My suggestion is that--should the liquid become a bit gritty depending on the type of dairy you use--you have the processor washed right after working with shrimp.  Then pulse the whole mixture one last time before serving.  The higher fat your dairy of choice contains, the smoother the bisque will turn out.

Autumn Shrimp Bisque with Candied Pistachios

Makes 2 medium servings

Ingredients for bisque

1 cup baked kabocha squash***

12 raw shrimp, peeled

1 tbsp butter

1 whole shallot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 stick cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp ground)

2 1/4 cups whole milk

3 tbsp heavy cream

1/2 sea salt+pinch pepper

3 tbsp grated parmesan (or any sharp cheese)

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp chopped green onions for garnish

Ingredients for candied pistachios

1/2 cup raw pistachios

1 1/2 tbsp orange marmalade (or 1 tbsp honey+orange rinds)

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp dry rosemary

pinch of salt

Directions

***Try to bake the kabocha squash ahead of time to cut down on work.  Broil about one fourth of a kabocha (without seeds) wrapped in foil for about 30 minutes.  Scoop out the flesh and there should be about 1 cup in total.  Alternatively, canned squash like butternut can be used as well.***

Process the squash flesh until it's smooth and silky, and then add the raw shrimp and pulse until shrimp is finely chopped but it doesn't need to be pureed.  Set aside.

In a medium pot over low-medium heat, cook shallot, garlic, and cinnamon stick in 1 tbsp of butter until shallot is slightly translucent.  If you don't have shallot then you can use onions!  Add milk, cream, salt and pepper, squash, shrimp, and cook over low heat for about 12 minutes while whisking it once in a while. Add parmesan, lemon juice, and sprinkle the cornstarch in as you continue to whisk.  This way it doesn't clump up in the liquid.  Cook for about 5 minutes or so and set aside.

For the candied pistachios, simply mix all the ingredients in the listed order and cook over medium heat on a skillet.  About 3 minutes and when it cools down it will have that crunchy texture.  Keep in mind that this is an optional topping!  Sprinkle on top of bisque along with the green onions.

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Shrimp and shallots and squash for a bisque recipe | fit for the soul

Alongside a garlic infused slice of bread or my Pancetta and Camembert corn muffins, this will be yet another fun twist to this year's Thanksgiving!

Shrimp and squash bisque for this year's Thanksgiving sides | fit for the soul
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Corn Muffins With Rolled Up Pancetta and Camembert for Thanksgiving

Corn Muffins with Rolled Up Prosciutto and Camembert Recipe | fit for the soul
Prosciutto and Camembert Corn Muffins Recipe for Thanksgiving | fit for the soul

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who opt out of tradition in hopes of novel and unforgettable adventures, and those who stick to the good old classic.  In this case, we're talking about classic dishes that grace a traditional Thanksgiving dinner table, and one of them is corn bread.  I truly apologize if we the {American} people are talking your ear off about this wonderful holiday. But we kind of love this day!  Especially if we're food bloggers.

So going back to my previous point.  By classic food I mean, butter, sugar, corn meal, buttermilk, oven, and voila!  But not me.  I like to "mess" everything up, so to speak, and show the world that just by adding one unconventional ingredient or two, we can transform a classic dish from good to infinitely memorable.  Sweet, savory, moist, tender, golden, mmmm what is that taste that makes me want to do cartwheels but I can't seem to pinpoint?  Ladies and gents, may I say that these corn bread muffins fit those descriptions just perfectly?

Applegate Farms prosciutto and Marin French Camembert Cheese for Thanksgiving | fit for the soul

These corn bread muffins have been topped with Marin French Cheese's wonderful Camembert rolled up in a slice of Applegate Farm's pancetta.  A simple combo like this adds the perfect savory touch to this otherwise sweet side dish.  Pancetta is more or less the Italian counterpart of American bacon, in case you haven't tried it yet.  While some folks love the ultra smokiness of bacon, I much prefer pancetta as it tastes just like Argentinean salami.  It brings me back to the good old days...Those days when I would go to my friends' homes after school, and we'd end up indulging on Argentinean Salami and bizcochos (butter biscuit like crackers) smeared with dulce de leche.  And before I get even more nostalgic, let's move on to the recipe!


Corn Muffins with Rolled Up Pancetta and Camembert

Makes 10 large muffins

Ingredients

10 slices of pancetta

10 slices of camembert cheese

1 cup corn meal (aka corn flour)

1 cup+2 tbsp all purpose flour

1/2 tsp sea salt+pinch of black pepper

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs

1/4 cup softened butter

3 tbsp virgin olive oil (or other)

3 tbsp honey

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup sour milk*** (or buttermilk)

Directions

***First start with the sour milk if that's what you're using.  In a measuring cup, mix 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice and 1 cup of milk of your choice.  I used cow's milk. 

Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees (191 C).  Cut cheese into slices of 2 inches in length and 1 inch thick, but this doesn't have to be accurate.  Roll it with a slice of pancetta, repeat the process, and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk corn meal, all purpose flour, salt+pepper, baking soda, and baking powder.  Then whisk in eggs, butter, oil, honey, sugar, and whisk until eggs and butter are somewhat mixed in.  Add sour milk and whisk briefly so there aren't many clumps.  Do not over mix. 

Carefully spoon batter into a lightly greased muffin pan (or one with paper liners), and place pancetta and cheese on top.  Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes depending on your oven.  Check with toothpick inserted in the middle so it comes out rather clean and the tops are slightly golden.


Prosciutto and Camembert Corn Muffins Recipe for a Thanksgiving twist | fit for the soul
Prosciutto and Camembert Corn Muffins Recipe | fit for the soul
Prosciutto and Camembert Corn Muffins Recipe drizzled with honey | fit for the soul
Prosciutto and Camembert Corn Muffins Recipe for Thanksgiving dinner | fit for the soul
Prosciutto and Camembert Corn Muffins Recipe for this Thanksgiving | fit for the soul

What are your plans this Thanksgiving?

-Dinner with the family will definitely take place, but we are also planning on serving somewhere like the rescue mission, fingers crossed Selah lets us!  Haha.

Favorite ingredients to make an old recipe more "interesting"?

French Recipe: Oyster Mushroom and Corn Crepes with a Wine Cream Sauce

Oyster mushroom and corn crepes with a cream sauce | fit for the soul

There are few things in life I'm certain I will never ever get sick of . 

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens/ bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens/ brown paper packages tied up with strings/ these are a few of my favorite things...when the dog bites when the bee stings when I’m feeling sad/ I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel sooooooo bad...
— Maria Sound of Music

Then add the film Sound of Music to that list--as if that's not apparent by now--and some classic {French} dishes that instantly transport me to another place, like say...France? 

Once upon a time in my life, French cooking was an enemy to avoid at all costs.  I think it's safe to say most of us subscribe to the notion that French food is for the elite and the wealthy.  But the more I play around with recipes and stay true to what I like, the easier it becomes to challenge myself in this endeavor.  Not that crepes are fancy like roasted duck or beef bourguignon by any means, but they still carry an 'intimidating image', I guess you could say.  In order to prove myself that I can create (or at least combine flavors) palatable recipes that are safe and accessible to everyone, I came up with these savory crepes last week.  Just because I'd been wanting savory crepes for months.  And I know myself enough to know that a craving will linger for years if I don't tend to it!  Yes it's crazy.  But I guess that's the extent of my fascination with food. :) 

As I mentioned last time, I took advantage of a Whole Foods gift card by purchasing copious amounts of oyster mushrooms.  Oyster mushrooms you guys!  So extremely tender, moist, chewy, and versatile.  I would say it's the perfect addition to any ethnic dish really, and I can only imagine how amazing it would turn out in Korean bean stew or vegan tacos.  Though the oyster part of the name might give you the heebiejeebies...just trust me in this.  They taste fantastic in this boozy creamy sauce, sprinkled with sweet corn, all wrapped up in a soft and chewy sheet of crepe.  I'm really not sure if crepes are considered a seasonal dish in France, but the earthy taste of this dish reminds me of Autumn.  So why not give it a try this Thanksgiving?  Or maybe Christmas? Or maybe always everyday forevermore? :)

Oyster mushroom and corn crepes with a cream sauce | fit for the soul

Oyster Mushroom and Corn Crepes with a Wine Cream Sauce

Makes 5 medium-large crepes

Ingredients for crepe batter

1 large egg+1 egg white

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp sea salt (or regular)

1 tbsp softened butter

more butter for cooking

Ingredients for filling

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup sliced onion

1 cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh)

5 cups oyster mushrooms

1/2 tsp sea salt+sprinkle of pepper

1 tsp dry thyme

2 tbsp water

1/3 cup wine of choice (I used white)

3 tbsp whipping cream

blue cheese for sprinkling

Directions

Start by making the batter ahead of time.  Blend the eggs, milk, and water in a food processor, blender, or Magic Bullet for a few seconds.  Add flours, salt, butter, and blend until liquified. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more.  After batter is chilled, very lightly butter a large skillet over low-medium heat.  The skillet should be big enough to make crepes of 9-10 inches in circumference, and then quickly pour batter as you spread it out gently.  It should be very thin but not see through so it ends up pliable without ripping.  Cook until the top is almost halfway cooked (not much sheen to the batter) and carefully flip with large spatula.  Cook for a few seconds or until it's almost golden.  Repeat this step with remaining batter.

For the sauce and filling you may use the same skillet/pan.  On medium heat, cook onion and corn in olive oil until onions are slightly translucent and corn is barely caramelized.  Add mushrooms, salt+pepper, thyme, water, wine, and cook for 2 minutes or so until alcohol has evaporated.  Add the cream and cook for another minute. The flavors should be melded together and sauce lightly reduced.  Carefully place on crepe sheets and fold according to the picture below. Sprinkle with blue cheese and enjoy!

Whole wheat savory crepes | fit for the soul
How to cook oyster mushrooms in wine cream sauce | fit for the soul
How to fold and assemble crepes | fit for the soul
Oyster mushroom and corn crepes with a cream sauce | fit for the soul

Favorite way to eat crepes?  And favorite crepe joint in your area?

What dishes or ethnic cuisine have you been meaning to tackle?

Oyster Mushrooms and Selah's Halloween Costume + Friday Links

Oyster mushrooms ready for cooking | fit for the soul
Dragon fruit cut in half | fit for the soul
Greg and Gramma Sandy at Our Wedding in 2012 | fit for the soul

Greg's grandma whom we love so dearly is probably one of the coolest and hippest grandmas you will ever meet.  She follows the latest "trends" on health foods, uses her cellphone like a pro (pretty much texts as fast as we do), is current on social media, and even takes cooking classes with grandpa to host the meanest parties!  Anyway, being the thoughtful woman that she is, she gifted us with a generous WF gift card and I did most of our groceries there for 2 weeks.  You see those beautiful oyster mushrooms?  Yup.  I spoiled the family with produce upon produce and those mushrooms went in a dish that I'm extremely excited to share with you on Monday.  Well okay, the veggies were mostly for me but here I am sharing it with you all...so that counts for something, right?

This week I also tried Dragon fruit for the first time!  As you already know--or at least I hope you know--I'm all about unbiased and honest opinions.  Let's just say that dragon fruit is much more appealing to my eyes than to my taste buds.  It's not terrible by any means, but I think it lacks flavor and doesn't give me the wow factor I always hope for. Maybe I just picked out the wrong one.  Do you enjoy this pretty little fruit?

I also realized I forgot to share Selah's Halloween costume with you.  Being the extreme holiday spirit-sucking leach I've become over the years, which by the way is a characteristic that has slowly but surely toned down, I totally procrastinated on Selah's costume.  Her daddy wasn't ready to give up on the festivities and purchased this Rapunzel outfit.  I'm a convert after seeing her as both Minnie Mouse last year, and now Rapunzel.   I think Halloween has become one of my favorite times of the year, you guys!  I mean, when else is the whole world (okay, just your neighborhood) flooding into your very own doorstep and in this case, your Trunk or Treat event where you get to share conversations, food, and most importantly, God's love?  It's amazing how much connection happens during these events.  :)


And here are some links I'm pretty sure you will enjoy!

Okay so...call me hippie wannabe, Kinfolk fanatic, bandwagon chaser...but if I were to be honest, those names don't bother me at all if only I could plant myself in a beautiful location and have a picnic like this with you all. Why oh why is this so dreamy?

I have a serious problem.  I know, I know...it's definitely wrong to have a crush on someone other than your spouse, but perhaps it's just as bad to have a blogger crush like I'm experiencing at the moment.  If there were one blogger/photographer/cook/writer I would want to be as an adult (wait...) out of the several that come to mind, Mandy would be it.  I mean, look at this devilish bowl of Xi-An hot noodles!

A lot of people ask me where they can find these shoes I'm sporting on our date night--namely women in their 50s, hmm...but yes, nevertheless these are cute shoes! And in case you were wondering too, I purchased them from K-Styleme.  Their variety just can't be beat.

How scrumptious does this tomato galette look?  You know my current obsession with tarts and spicy quiche, and this galette looks like something I'd enjoy on a rainy autumn day. 

Sometimes yoga can surprise you with not only its benefits, but by how much you end up loving a sequence the 2nd time around.  Sun salutations are rather dreadful for me because they don't feel empowering nor refreshing to me. But I'm a believer now!  Try this sun salutation cardio sequence if you want your upper body screaming for mercy.  Phew.


What are some note worthy links you've found recently?  Please share them with us!

Raspberry Clafoutis and Minty Lime Mascarpone Cream {gf}

Gluten free Raspberry Clafoutis with minty lime mascarpone cream | fit for the soul

My problem isn't having a shortage of creative ideas, I think.  I mean after all, I did take it upon myself to teach the most talented group of elementary students a body worship routine that's kind of beyond me.  Dancing is fun and dancing is liberating!  Particularly when one does it within a worship context but!  I truly believe if you saw me dance you'd die from secondhand embarrassment.  It's a real thing, folks. I do have other ways of being creative though, and I'd like to think that cooking is one of them.  *silence* Okay just humor me here.

Gluten free raspberry clafoutis and minty lime mascarpone cream
Gluten free raspberry clafoutis and a minty lime mascarpone cream photography setup | fit for the soul

It seems like more often than not, I end up extremely inspired by the recipes of other talented souls, but there are also days when I look at a recent post of mine and think, "hmmm I could really take that up a notch and make it into a zesty cake.  Then again, I want to simplify it because who has the time?  So I guess I'll just make it into a mascarpone swirled Clafoutis..but waaaiiit waiit--is mascarpone even swirlable, or will it just melt into the batter?  Ay...better make it into a simple Clafoutis and top it with the most delicate and unique mascarpone cream known to mankind. Yup!"  And so it goes.  It's quite typical for my thought process to progress into something that is completely irrelevant from where I started, and I attribute that to my ADD.  Now I'm curious to know what your thought process is when it comes to cooking+baking.  :)

I remember that season when I truly picked up a passion for baking.  I was a young lass from Orange County attempting to make the most "exotic" dishes for my someday-to-be-husband.  As a result, I wound up with Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in my hands and I immediately fell in love.  Here I was...ready to conquer the world by starting out with her Clafoutis recipe, which I surprisingly--and very unfortunately--ended up liking but not loving.

The problem was that I expected something extremely decadent with a remarkably wow factor.  Clafoutis is actually amazing on its own, yes, but at the time I was pretty naive about French cuisine and that was my mistake.  Now I know to expect a light treat in which the star of the show isn't so much the batter as it is the fruit (I pretty much expected cake).  The batter is somewhat of a cross between custard and a thicker and chewier pancake. 

This time around I decided to make a Clafoutis that might appeal a bit more to the American audience--well okay, just my adventurous taste buds--by topping it with minty Mascarpone cream.  Mascarpone is probably one of the best flavors in the world because it gives baked goods the perfect finishing touch!  Rich, sophisticated, memorable...One of those foods that force you into quiet bliss and all that remains is you.  And that dish ready to be devoured. 

Raspberry Clafoutis and Minty Lime Mascarpone Cream {gf}

Adapted from Food & Wine

Makes one cake pan

Ingredients for clafoutis

4 large eggs

1/3 cup whole milk (or whipping cream)

1 tbsp melted coconut butter

1 tbsp softened butter

1/4 tsp sea salt (or regular)

zest of one lime

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup+2 tbsp brown rice flour

Ingredients for mascarpone cream

1 cup mascarpone cheese

2 mint leaves, finely chopped

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

zest of half a lime

2 tsp lime juice

2 tbsp confectioner sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees (177C).   In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs until they are scrambled thoroughly.  Add the milk, coconut butter, butter, salt, lime zest, vanilla, and whisk thoroughly.  Add the brown rice flour and gently mix everything.  Pour into a lightly buttered cast iron skillet (or cake pan) and bake for approximately 38-40 minutes.  Every oven differs so I recommend checking on it halfway through.  Cast iron also bakes at a slower rate than regular pans, so adjust the time accordingly.  Probably a few minutes less.

For the mascarpone cream, I recommend using a processor or a blender of some sort.  It seems to curdle less than when it's made in a stand mixer. Simply mix all the ingredients on high speed and serve with clafoutis!

Gluten free raspberry clafoutis and a minty lime mascarpone cream | fit for the soul
Gluten free raspberry clafoutis and minty lime mascarpone cream | fit for the soul
Gluten free raspberry clafoutis and minty lime mascarpone cream | fit for the soul

Have you tried Clafoutis before?

One dish that surprised you because of previous expectations?

Raw Food Diet and Selah's First Pumpkin Patch + Thursday Links

Raw breakfast--Groundwork coffee and bowl of fresh fruit | fit for the soul
Selah and daddy in the South Bay--at her first pumpkin patch visit | fit for the soul
Pony at the pumpking patch in South Bay | fit for the soul

Aside from this cold I've been trying to beat for the past two and a half weeks--a situation that is  exacerbated by the fact that Selah and I  keep sharing it back and forth (she's really good at sharing you know)--I feel pretty good physically!  My body seems to handle workouts better and I'm at that point where certain routines have become another level easier.  Though I'm not certain if that's my diligent yoga and cardio practice showing its fruit, I'm thinking it's mainly because I've been eating more raw food than ever before. 

I used to be a diehard oatmeal, french toast, and protein pancake eater until last month, and if you know me, I couldn't survive without those every single morning.  However, some perspective from my beloved Ali changed the way I think about my meals and I thoroughly enjoy fruit and veggies for the majority of my day.  And okay okay....some pastries if my sweet tooth kicks in, hah!  My dinners though?  They have to be hearty and what I typically used to eat.  Dinner is for family, fellowship, and having a good conversation at the table.  I definitely don't want to put dietary restrictions on myself, and if I want a giant lemon pancake in the morning then by golly.  I will have it.  What works for me is going along with the flow and staying flexible.  This new way of eating on most days has helped my energy levels and my stomach rarely bothers me, but I certainly wouldn't say it's for everyone. 

This week was honestly a rough one!  I think there have been emotional and spiritual trials in far too many ways I can keep track of.  One thing I learn over and over is to let go and let God.  Surrender, resiliency, trust, and hope are just a few of the things I constantly learn on this narrow path.  The more I surrender, the less I have to carry as He works wonders behind the scenes.  I hope you can experience this journey with me because it really is filled with joy and peace despite the trials life brings! 

Aside from all that, there was one thing that made this week brighter.  Greg and I went on a really unique date and then took Selah to her first pumpkin patch later in the week.  We had the best time laughing with (at) Selah for her crazy little quirks while there.  Like I said before, she is obsessed with rocks, leaves, sticks, and anything that is nature related.  Rather than playing with the animals she much preferred grabbing stacks of hay and tapping on the pumpkins like a jungle baby, haha.  :)  I hope your week is panning out beautifully, friends!


I've skipped on my links post for a while and so they are back with a vengeance.

My jaw dropping at the sight of these sesame rolls with coffee tea glaze is an understatement!  I craved something like it so bad I got myself black sesame tteok (rice cake) that very same day.

Just because I'm not a Nightmare Before Christmas fan doesn't mean I don't appreciate the amazing accuracy of this Skellington faced tart.  And what's better is that it includes olives and ricotta, mmm mm mmmmmmm.

Speaking of spooky, I remember having so much fun carving my first pumpkin 3 years ago.  But I'm afraid that with Selah around and life being busier than ever before, I just feel too lazy to carve anything.  Unless it's turkey...that I can do. ;)  Any moms feel the same way?

You can call me exaggerated or gluttonous.  But my life would be complete if I could go on some foodie trek like this one someday.  Keep that in mind, anyone of you who have the hookups. *hint hint*  I'll repay you with my wonderful friendship, yes?

Feeling overwhelmed at work and want to escape to foodie+scenery fairy tales?  Check out Mimi's exciting quests and finger lickin' recipes! 

I might not be labeled as  a moody person per se, but something about a moody tone and atmosphere get my heart feeling cozy and happy simultaneously.  Maybe it's the rainy weather I grew up with in Argentina, but Marta's amazing captures get me every time.

Looking for a more sophisticated version of Halloween candied apples?  Black tea candied apples might be your thing.  Such an interesting twist!

After experiencing an utterly successful women's ministry brunch last weekend, I want to gather all of my closest girlfriends for a cozy and organic brunch party like this one.  With the sun beaming just right--warming our backs on a cool Autumn day while fun conversations ensue after delectable meal.


What are some of your favorite links as of late?

Do you have plans for Halloween?

-Like every year around this season, our church is hosting a Trunk or Treat event and this might be the best one yet!  The most exciting thing is meeting the community and starting up relationships.

Hatch Chile Quiche with an Oat Crust

Hatch Chile Quiche with a Gluten Free Oat Crust by Fit for the Soul

We all know that life is full of lessons to be learned.  Some are life altering and often pave out the direction in which we should go.  On the contrary, some are innocent and harmless like the failures and successes we see in our kitchens.  Okay but to be honest, whenever I have a recipe flop I steam with disappointment and annoyance at myself.  That is especially the case when I cook for other people, like that time I attempted to stuff persimmons into homemade ravioli noodles?  Yeah, we all ate to our heart's content as we noshed on the "backup" food my mom had prepared, hah!  But my ravioli clumped up together in the boiling pot and I had underestimated the amount of sauce we would need.  Lesson learned--always always taste test before feeding people.  Thank goodness everyone was kind with their words!  

Hatch Chile Quiche with an Oat Crust by Fit for the Soul

I do have a great amount of good news, though!  Last Saturday's Women's Ministry brunch was a success in every sense of the word.  Oh my...I never truly realized the need for our women to learn the Word together this badly, all while fellowship-ing over a cozy brunch meal.  Along with a powerful Bible study, we saw success in the food provided and everyone's belly was satisfied.  Definitely a clearing-off-eyebrow-sweat moment for me because my quiche was a success...or so I'd like to think after receiving good feedback.  

After discovering the wonders that hatch chile did to my DIY grilled cheese recipe, I knew I had to create one of the quiche variety.  I made three different types of quiche but in my opinion (and other women's) the turkey bacon and this hatch chile version were the best.  Granted, I have to forewarn you that you might have to up the salt a little bit.  I unfortunately ran out of salt in the middle of mixing up the stuff; thus, we ended up with a perfectly cheesy and slightly buttery quiche that was a bit more on the bland side.  I suggest adding about 1/4 tsp more  salt or a few extra tbsps of Parmesan.  If you like it extra spicy then go crazy with the hatch!

This quiche is gluten free as I knew some women needed that special touch, so you don't have to worry about your guests if you follow this exact recipe. 

Hatch Chile Quiche with an Oat Crust by Fit for the Soul

Hatch Chile Quiche with an Oat Crust

Much better version of an old recipe

Makes a whole pie

Ingredients for crust

2 1/4 cup oat flour

3/4 cup cornstarch

3/4 tsp sea salt (or regular)

1 stick (1/2 C) cold butter, small dices

1 cup ice water

oil spray for baking dish

Ingredients for custard

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cup milk of choice***

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1/4 tsp dry thyme

3 tbsp chopped hatch chile

1/2 cup diced onion

Directions

For the oat crust preheat the oven at 350F degrees (177C).  In a food processor, first process the oat flour, cornstarch, salt.  Then add in diced butter and pulse the mixture a few times so it starts to crumble up.  Slowly add ice water until it forms a crumbly but pliable dough.  Form into a disk (doesn't have to be perfect) and place on a slightly greased pie dish.  From the center and outwards, begin to press down and flatten out to the form of the dish.  It should be about 1/4 inch thick and if there's extra at the top of the dish, cut it out with your fingers and save if desired.  Bake for 18 minutes until slightly baked, but not too crisp or golden.  Let it cool as you make the custard.

For the custard, raise oven temperature to 400F (204C) whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Add milk, salt and pepper, parmesan, thyme, hatch chile, and onions.  Whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for approximately 35-38 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out rather clean.  It still should be somewhat jiggly like regular custard, but uniform.  Sprinkle more cheese if desired and serve!

***Cow's milk is always a great choice, but you can certainly sub it with almond milk to lower the calorie intake.  And if you want it really rich and wholesome, you can sub half of the regular milk with whipping cream.

Hatch Chile Quiche with a Gluten Free Oat Crust by Fit for the Soul
Hatch Chile Quiche with an Oat Crust by Fit for the Soul

This recipe was not sponsored, although I did use the products sent to me by the Hatch Chile Store. 


Are you a fan of quiche?  If so, what variety?  Recipe links are welcome.

How are your failures and successes in the kitchen?

Dish you love to bring to parties and gatherings?