Tag Archives: eggless

Mango Ginger Granita

4 Jul

Another one of the desserts we attempted  to serve at the Italian Dinner at the Yoga Center recently was a Granita…

 The granita name might transport you to Italy, but we have our own versions all the same.   In Puerto Rico we grew up eating “limbers” and “piraguas”. Limbers are basically sweetened and frozen juice and you eat it directly from the small plastic cup in which you freeze it in. Piraguas on the other hand is the traditional shaved ice with flavored syrup on top served on a paper or plastic cone. In essence, granitas are a hybrid of these two local Puerto Rican treats.

I use the help of my trusty food processor to help with the shaving… I am just too anxious to shave the ice by hand. Technology exists for a purpose… let’s take full advantage of it, no??



3 cups mango nectar
1 cup water
½ cup raw turbinado or brown sugar
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  1. We make the ginger simple syrup first… just bring the water, ginger pieces and sugar to a boil in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the ginger steep in the simple syrup while the liquid cools off.
  2. When the simple syrup has come to room temperature, strain the ginger pieces. Mix together the ginger simple syrup and the mango nectar in a glass 9 x 11 container.
  3. Place in the freezer for about 6-8 hours for it to fully harden.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, remove the frozen mango juice mixture from freezer and using a sharp tool, pry it away from the mold and break it off into pieces you can fit into your food processor. Pulse a few times and process until you have a slushy.

Serve in individual cups and enjoy.

If you’d like a more pronounced ginger flavor, I suggest you peel the ginger before steeping it in the simple syrup and do not strain the ginger pieces before mixing in the mango nectar. This way, you can process the frozen ginger pieces together with the rest of the frozen juice and you’ll get a very interesting prominent ginger flavor.


Coquito 2

10 Dec

I am a coquito FANATIC!!! Every year I make a few batches of my non-alcoholic version of Coquito. Xmas would just not be the same without it.

But I have to admit my original recipe has evolved a bit. I wanted it to be a bit sweeter and creamier so I started adding Cream of Coconut to the recipe to maintain the coconut essence without adding sugar directly into the mix.

Cream of Coconut is what we traditionally use to make Piña Coladas and the best brand is Coco López. Even if other brands might be on sale, I prefer to buy Coco López. I do read the labels once in a while to make sure no super weird ingredients have been added to it.

This newer version is still non-alcoholic, something my friends with little kids appreciate, but know it has an even creamier feel to it.  Salud!!


3 cups of water
5 cinnamon sticks (I usually use a whole bagful)
4 tbs cloves (I usually use a whole bagful)
4 tbs anise seeds (I usually use a whole bagful)
2 tbs star anise (I usually use ½ bagful)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of cream of coconut
1 can of evaporated milk
2 tbs ground ginger
1 tbs ground cinnamon
2 tbs vanilla extract or vanilla powder
1 tbs freshly ground nutmeg


  1. In a medium saucepan create a “spiced tea” – pour the 3 cups of water, cinnamon sticks, anise seeds, star anise and cloves. Steep for about 15-20 minutes to create a strong spiced tea. This will give the coquito most of its spiciness. Let cool a bit.
  2. In a blender, mix together the evaporated milk, condensed milk, coconut milk and cream of coconut with 2 ”cans-worth” of the spiced tea, ground ginger, nutmeg and the vanilla powder.
  3. Pour into a clean bottle and chill in the refrigerator.
  4. Serve chilled in small shot glasses. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Apple Crisp

10 Nov

We’re staying with my sister to accompany her and her husband for the birth of my first nephew…  it’s a whole family gathering here – my sister’s mother-in law, my mom, my dad, my uncle are all here, just to name a few.

Sio, my nephew’s grandma is staying here too and she looooves apples.  Good thing we’re in apple season and in every farmer’s market we go to there’s apples on sale.

To be honest, I know little about apples.  I am only familiar with Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious, my favorites and Red Delicious, which I know I do not like very much.  But the rest of the names, I have heard of – Macintosh, Gala, HoneyCrisp, Fuji, etc. – but I am not familiar with their distinctive tastes.

We found these Gala apples on sale for $1 a bag at The Boys Farmer’s Market.   I found Gala’s to be not as tart as Granny Smiths but crisper than Golden Delicious.  I can really say I can add Galas to my list of apples I like.  And to please Sio and her apple cravings I decided to use these newly appreciated Galas to modify my Plum and Blueberry crisp recipe to apples. 



5 Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
5 tbs cornstarch
Zest and juice of 1 yellow lemon
1 cup of brown sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
½ tsp of vanilla extract
Canola Oil Spray

 For the Crisp Topping

1 cup of spelt flour
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup of brown sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
2/3 cup of sliced almonds
½ cup of quick cooking oats


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large glass baking dish sprayed with canola oil, dump the cut apples and mix in the cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract.  Mix well to combine.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, almonds, oats with the pieces of cold butter.  Using your fingers, combine the butter with the rest of the ingredients until it becomes like the consistency of wet sand.
  4. Pour the topping over the apples evenly.  Bake in oven for about 30 minutes…  the apples will bubble and the topping will look cooked and somewhat golden.


I usually turn off the oven and leave it inside until we’re ready to eat… to me, it’s best served warm with a side glass of milk or vanilla ice cream.   

Plum and Blueberry Crisp

10 Sep

I am not the most proficient baker, particularly when having to make something for 20+ people…   so when Angie at the yoga center asked me to help her with a dessert for the yoga center, I usually think of something fruity and simple that will not require lots of kneading or beating.  Because with as many kitchen implements there are at the center, there is not an electric mixer.

I remembered a few episodes of Good Eats and Barefoot Contessa where they made fruit cobblers or crisps.  I always enjoyed the cherry cobblers when I used to eat at Bonanza.  But I guess something fresher than cherry pie filling would be more suitable for the buffet dinner at the Yoga Center.

We used gluten-free flour mix and non-dairy shortening to accommodate for the many allergies and tastes at the center…  although I have seen MANY eat wheat and cheese galore when traveling and they present no “allergies issues”…  go figure, huh?



4 lbs of fresh plums
12oz of blueberries – I used frozen
2/3 cup of organic granulated sugar
5 tbs of cornstarch
1 tbs of lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
For the Topping
1 1/3 cups of gluten-free flour
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of organic granulated sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 sticks of non-dairy “butter”, cut into small pieces – I used Earth Balance and I recommend maybe freezing it before using
1 cup of walnuts, toasted
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Wash the plums well and cut an X at the bottom of each fruit using a paring knife.  Place the plums in the hot water for about 1 minute until you see the skins start of peel off.  Transfer the plums to a large bowl with ice water using a large colander.  This will stop the cooking immediately…
  2. Peel the plums, which should be easier after they’ve been blanched.  Slice them into ½” slices. 
  3. Place the sliced plums in a large baking dish.  Add the blueberries, the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2/3 cup of sugar and cornstarch.  Mix well together. Set aside.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  5. In a separate bowl we’ll mix the crisp topping – the gluten-free flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and non-dairy butter.  Using your hands (or maybe even better an electric hand mixer) mix well all the ingredients to achieve a cornmeal texture.  If the “butter” is not super well chilled you’ll make a huge mess.  It’s still taste good, but be ready for a messy mess in your hands.
  6. Drop pieces of the crisp topping over the fruits.  The topping does not need to evenly cover the fruits, but try to have globs of topping as evenly spaced as possible over the fruits.
  7. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until the topping gets as golden brown as possible.  I did this in an oven that’s not mine and I had to increase the temp a bit to 385F for about 10 minutes to get a nicer golden color.


Allow the crisp to cool down for about 1 hour before you serve it.  It’s delicious warm or even room temperature.  A nice scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t be bad either.

The dessert was a complete hit… that’s why we’re posting here for all to have access to it.  Enjoy!!!

Spinach Crepes Revisited

11 Aug

I love spinach crepes… they’re my favorite savory combination of crepes. 

I used to eat a spinach crepe every Saturday as lunch at the Alliance Française…  I had a spinach crepe too for lunch when we visited Versailles last year.   When given the choice, a spinach filling usually wins for me.


Crepe epinard 1

When I did the Gateau des Crepes for the Fête de la Bastille celebration, the recipe yielded more spinach filling and more crepes than we actually need for the crepe stack.   And if it’s just me eating, the same components can be assembled differently in a more single dish friendly format.



2 spelt crepes
About 2 tbs of spinach béchamel filling
2 tbs grated gruyere cheese
1 small handful of toasted walnuts, chopped


  1. Pre-heat toaster oven to 350F.
  2. If crepes have been refrigerated, we’ll need to reheat them slightly.  In a small non-stick skillet over medium heat, place crepe individually for a few minutes until they’re warm and pliable.
  3. Take each crepe and spread about 1 tbs of filling into each one.  Sprikle with half the walnuts into each crepe.  Roll crepe onto itself and place in a buttered dish.
  4. Spread some extra spinach filling over the crepes and sprinkle with a bit more walnuts.  Add the grated gruyere on top to finish.
  5. Place in oven for about 10-15 minutes until the filling heats up and the cheese on top melts well.


Two crepes is, to me, the perfect serving for one person.  You can drizzle a bit of honey or agave nectar on top if you’d like a different sweet touch to the crepe…  I highly recommend it.

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