Chocolate Tahini Ice Cream with Sahadi’s

(Thank you to Sahadi’s for sponsoring this post. They are offering free shipping for the month of June with the code summer17) This summer I plan on having a few quarts of homemade ice cream kicking around our freezer at all times. First up was this rich, decadent Chocolate Tahini is dairy-free, though you’d never…

(Thank you to Sahadi’s for sponsoring this post. They are offering free shipping for the month of June with the code summer17) This summer I plan on having a few quarts of homemade ice cream kicking around our freezer at all times. First up was this rich, decadent Chocolate Tahini is dairy-free, though you’d never know it. Velvety smooth and intensely chocolatey, it is the kind of ice cream that satisfies your craving with just a single scoop. I believe in always using high quality ingredients in my cooking, but when making homemade ice cream, this becomes all the more important. The nuts used in the cashew cream inform the creaminess of the ice cream, and the cocoa achieves the richness. I was thrilled to work with Sahadi’s to create this recipe, and I found their products to be top notch.  Their selection of nuts and dried fruits is extensive, but you can also find specialty baking items, such as Neilsen- Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, with which I’m now obsessed. Sahadi’s are offering free shipping during the month of June with the code summer17.  Give it a try and stock your pantry with all the high quality products I use here! The recipe that follows below is dairy-free and free from refined sugar. It comes together quickly, but allow yourself time for the base to chill. Remember to put the base of your ice cream maker in the freezer ahead of time.

Chocolate Tahini Ice Cream

Ingredients:
1 cup cashew cream*
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup Guittard Cocoa Rouge unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Nielsen Massey pure vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
6 dates
3 tablespoons tahini

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread shredded coconut on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until coconut is toasty in color. Remove from the oven and cool.

2. Add the toasted coconut to a blender along with 3 cups of filtered water and blend well. Strain through a nut-milk cloth.

3. Add the coconut milk to a small saucepan, reserving 2 tablespoons in a small bowl. Over medium low heat add cocoa powder and vanilla bean paste to the coconut milk and whisk well. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool.

4. Meanwhile, add the arrowroot starch to the 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk and whisk until dissolved. Add this slurry to the pan and set aside.

5. In a blender combine cashew cream and 6 dates. Blend until smooth.

6. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate coconut mixture and the cashew cream, mix until the ingredients are well incorporated, then cover and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill.

7. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape the ice cream into a freezer safe container and swirl in the tahini. Cover and freeze until just firm. Enjoy!

*Recipe for Cashew Cream

Ingredients
1 cup whole cashews
1 cup cold filtered water, plus more for soaking

1. Place the cashews in a bowl and add enough cold filtered water to cover them completely. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight
to soak.

2. Drain the cashews and rinse them well. Place them in a blender with 1 cup cold filtered water and the salt and blend on high speed for several minutes, until very smooth.

3. If you’re not using a high-speed blender (which creates an ultra-smooth cream), strain the cashew cream through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. You want a creamy consistency with no solids remaining.

4. Stored in a lidded glass jar, the cream will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Backyard Farms Roasted Tomatoes

We finally saw the sun today after several days of rain. My spring plantings aren’t anywhere near where they were at this time last year. My radish have mostly rotted out in the ground. I’m not sure what this means for my next round of plantings, but I can only hope and pray that once…

We finally saw the sun today after several days of rain. My spring plantings aren’t anywhere near where they were at this time last year. My radish have mostly rotted out in the ground. I’m not sure what this means for my next round of plantings, but I can only hope and pray that once I put my tomato seedlings in the ground, things will start going my way. Because there is nothing I love more than roasted tomatoes, and while my garden won’t be giving me tomatoes anytime soon, Backyard Farms is here to help with New England grown greenhouse tomatoes. On their site you’ll find my recipes for these Roasted Tomatoes on the Vine, as well as that delicious Broccoli Asparagus Quinoa Salad pictured above, which I’ve been making and devouring on repeat. I roasted an entire pan full of tomatoes knowing I’d want a few for a cheese plate my friend put together for an event we recently attended. The tomatoes were a scene stealer and paired so well with a variety of cheeses, crackers, spiced and salted nuts, fruit and honey. Because the tomatoes soften and sweeten when roasted, they become spreadable, almost like a tomato jam. So perfect for cheese pairings. I hope you’ll hope on over to Backyard Farms for the full recipe. This is the type of recipe you’ll turn to all summer long, for pastas and salads, and for the perfect sandwich condiment. Enjoy!  This post is sponsored by Backyard Farms, a company whose practices and products I love.

Electric Moon Peony Farm

This past weekend, on a rare day of sun, my friend Linda and I made a trip to Electric Moon Peony Farm in Little Compton. We all know that peonies are gorgeous, but the blooms at this farm surpass any peony I’ve ever seen. The real stunners are the intersectional peonies, which are a cross…

This past weekend, on a rare day of sun, my friend Linda and I made a trip to Electric Moon Peony Farm in Little Compton. We all know that peonies are gorgeous, but the blooms at this farm surpass any peony I’ve ever seen. The real stunners are the intersectional peonies, which are a cross between a tree peony and herbaceous peony. There was a dusky pink variety named Hillary that particularly blew my mind. Linda and I went a little crazy and ended up with a bouquet to end all bouquets, which of course led to a photo shoot. As you do…! I feel incredibly grateful to have met Linda this past year. We actually met at Aran’s workshop in NYC and hit it off right away. I tend to do so much of my adventuring alone. I’ll get up really early in the morning on Saturday or Sunday, and head out for a few hours to stretch my photography wings before returning home to spend the day with my family. I love these solo moments, but it has been so much fun sharing them with a friend who is just as passionate about creating gorgeous images. Of course it helps that she has a wicked sense of humor too! As I navigated my work/ life balance earlier this year, the one thing I found lacking was time spent with friends. I recently decided to rectify this and began to invite friends along for quick excursions, day trips and just hangs at home with my family. It has helped me to feel more grounded and joyful in this busy season of life. I’ll leave you with a close up of my very favorite bloom… Hillary!

Wicked Tulips

It’s been a busy spring, but one thing that took priority on my calendar was a trip to Wicked Tulips. I asked my favorite fellow photographer Forrest Elliott to join me, and we headed out at around 6pm to catch sunset on the farm. I had visited earlier in the week with my boys, but…

It’s been a busy spring, but one thing that took priority on my calendar was a trip to Wicked Tulips. I asked my favorite fellow photographer Forrest Elliott to join me, and we headed out at around 6pm to catch sunset on the farm. I had visited earlier in the week with my boys, but the sun was high in the sky and it wasn’t the right time for pictures. I am SO SO glad I went back at sunset. It was a truly magical experience. If you live in New England put this on your calendar for next spring because Wicked Tulips is absolutely worth a visit (and order your tickets early; they sell out, especially on the weekends). As for the pictures where I’m in them…those are from Forrest, and I love them (and that is saying a lot because I’m super awkward in front of the camera!). I always love adventures that inspire my love of photography and leave me wanting to take a thousand photos. I hope I captured just a bit of the beauty here to share with you…

Welcoming Spring

After two weeks of stuffing myself full of rich butter chicken, dahl makni, and ghee-slathered roti while in India, I’m ready for a little spring cleaning in the food department. Luckily, spring is bountiful in its offerings, including radish, asparagus, and a plethora of greens. While the temperatures in New England still hover near freezing…

After two weeks of stuffing myself full of rich butter chicken, dahl makni, and ghee-slathered roti while in India, I’m ready for a little spring cleaning in the food department. Luckily, spring is bountiful in its offerings, including radish, asparagus, and a plethora of greens. While the temperatures in New England still hover near freezing (though there was sun yesterday!), I still have the urge to roast my vegetables, and so here we have a transitional grain bowl which celebrates spring’s harvest while also providing a bit of comfort and warmth. Thanks to Backyard Farms, a company committed to producing beautiful, Maine grown, greenhouse tomatoes year round, this salad even gives us a taste of the summer to come. The real star of the show here is the dressing, an herb-forward tahini sauce that you’ll want to eat right out of the jar. Make extra because this will quickly become your go-to for dressing up even the simplest meal. Early Spring Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowl
Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:
8 Radish, halved
6 Carrots
1 bunch asparagus
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
Assorted greens, washed and dried
1 cup quinoa
1 avocado
1 cup Backyard Farms cocktail tomatoes, halved

Tahini Dressing Ingredients:
⅓ cup tahini (I highly recommend Seed + Mill tahini!)
1 clove garlic
¼ cup basil
Juice from one lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter the halved radish, asparagus and carrots over the baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the vegetables are beginning to brown.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, place one cup of quinoa in a medium saucepan along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  4. With both the quinoa and vegetables cooking, take a minute to make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and processing until smooth.
  5. Now to assemble the salad: place a bed of assorted greens into each bowl, along with a scoop of quinoa and roasted vegetables. Top with sliced avocado and Backyard Farms cocktail tomatoes. Generously drizzle tahini sauce over the entire bowl. Dig in and enjoy!

This post is sponsored by Backyard Farms, a company whose practices and products I love.

Jaipur, and a Pop-up Shop!

The drive from Jodhpur to Jaipur was 6 hours plus a stop in Pushkar, and the whole time, visions of textiles floated in front of my eyes. Jaipur is a city that is absolutely booming these days. We’ve been going for 10 years and we’ve really noticed how much busier and more touristy it has…

The drive from Jodhpur to Jaipur was 6 hours plus a stop in Pushkar, and the whole time, visions of textiles floated in front of my eyes. Jaipur is a city that is absolutely booming these days. We’ve been going for 10 years and we’ve really noticed how much busier and more touristy it has become (there were giant tour buses at every turn- ugh). But my favorite supplier of blockprinted fabric and vintage kantha quilts is in Jaipur, so I will always return. I am hopelessly devoted to this decades-old, family-owned shop, whose business is run with such integrity. I am super picky about what I purchase while in India because so much is mass produced and cheaply made. To find a place that you trust is really special. I spent about 4 hours sourcing goods for the pop-up shop, and the boys were with me the whole time. The staff was so sweet, entertaining the boys by teaching them all about blockprinting, and letting them give it a whirl. From there, we had about a day and a half left in Jaipur. We managed to fit in a few outings, although I’ll be honest, our visit to the City Palace left a bad taste in our mouths and pretty much killed any desire we had to tour other spots. It was an absolute mob scene, with large tour buses unloading hundreds of people. The tour guides had microphones and flags to lead their huge groups. And you couldn’t walk three feet without getting whacked by a selfie stick. We snapped a few pictures (had to get my Christmas card locked up!) and then ran for the hills. Perhaps my favorite places in Jaipur are those that still have a somewhat undiscovered feel. The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing had that feeling. I left the boys at the hotel so that I could geek out over the history of block printing, and when I arrived, I was the only one at the museum. They had to flip on the lights for me! On the roof of the museum, a man sits and carves blocks. He’s been doing it for over 40 years, and his tools and knowledge were passed down by his father. Watching him work left me awestruck. The blocks that he carves are true works of art. One day, when my kids have flown the coop, I’ll study blockprinting in Rajasthan for six months, I swear it. I imagine my day starting at sun up (I’ll have magically become a morning person) with a cup of milky, sweet chai, and I’ll spend the day studying the art of carving, and learning about natural dyes and hand stitching the results in kantha-style quilts. My day will end with photography walks in the golden light. Yes, I have it all planned out. But back to reality…after the Museum, I decided to seek out this cafe and bar that I had been seeing all over design magazines and blogs. Located inside the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel and designed by Dutch designer Marie-Anne Oudejans, Bar Palladio takes its inspiration from Mughal design, and it is truly breathtaking. And just down the street is Caffé Palladio Jaipur, where I ended up having a late lunch, and the best iced chai and almond cake ever! In all our time in Jaipur was lovely, though I was more than happy to move on to our next destination, Varanasi. The famous quote from Mark Twain reads, “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” It was truly as if we arrived at the most mystical, spiritual place on earth…more on that next. In the meantime, I promised a peek at the pop-up shop goods that will be launching tomorrow morning, Friday, March 31 at 10am EST. There is only one of each item, so if something catches your eye, move quickly. There will be kantha quilts, yards of blockprinted fabric, wooden blocks, leather shoes, vintage door hangings, notebooks and more. Hope you’ll stop by tomorrow at 10am, when the link will go live! If you live internationally and are hoping to order, shoot me an email so we can figure out shipping (christine.chitnis@gmail.com). Also, orders over $100 will receive a free blockprinted zippered pouch (while supplies last!).

Bombay, Jodhpur and Pushkar

Two weeks in India, over 80 hours of travel on planes, cars, boats, and tuk tuks, 5 cities, and a few cases of Delhi belly, all with a 4 and 6 year old in tow, is an experience that can leave you at a loss for words. I had the best intentions to write down…

Two weeks in India, over 80 hours of travel on planes, cars, boats, and tuk tuks, 5 cities, and a few cases of Delhi belly, all with a 4 and 6 year old in tow, is an experience that can leave you at a loss for words. I had the best intentions to write down my thoughts as we traveled, but I found myself fully immersed in the experience instead. Now that we’re home, I’m excited to reflect back on our trip and share some of the details with you. Because we covered so much ground, I figured that I’d break it up into the first week of our trip, where we visited Bombay (and celebrated Holi!), Jodhpur and Pushkar, and the second week, Jaipur and Varanasi. Yep, all that in two weeks! Our time in Bombay was mainly spent seeing friends, celebrating Holi and recovering from jet lag. It was really tough with the kids. They would take a nap at around noon, simply because they couldn’t keep their eyes open any longer, and then sleep through until about 2am. I’ll admit to having a bit of a freak-out on the third day, wondering if we’d made a big mistake taking the kids on such a long journey across the word. Finally, on our fourth day, I had to get tough and make them stay awake the entire day. Luckily, it was the day we celebrated Holi, and they had spent the best afternoon soaking each other and everyone else with waterguns and colored powder! They were exhausted at just the right time. They went to bed at 7pm and slept through until the morning. From that morning on, we were good to go! And just in time for our second stop, Jodhpur, the blue city! When we first arrived in Jodhpur, I was confused and slightly panicked… where was all the blue? I kept asking my husband, “Ask the driver, where is the blue?” Come to find out, there is a new section of town and an old section of town. The sprawling new section contains very little blue, while the old, narrow, winding section of town is where you’ll find the famous blue. Cars can’t really maneuver in the old section, though motorcycles, tuk tuks, cows, bikes, dogs and people all share the space. To really see the blue buildings, you have to set off on foot and wander through the streets and alleys. On our first night of wandering, we happened upon RAAS Hotel, an oasis in the middle of the crowded chaos. I will never forget the crisp glass of white wine I enjoyed on their rooftop lounge, overlooking the Mehrangarh Fort with the sounds of horns and revving motorcycle engines in the distance. It was one of those perfect travel moments, and I can still taste that first chilled sip of wine. The next morning we set out to explore the Fort, as well as Jaswant Thada. Of the two, Jaswant Thada was my favorite. That might be due to the fact that my husband fell on the slippery marble floors at the fort. Why they were wet mopping the floors during peak tour hours, I have no idea (you can’t apply logic when traveling in India). His ankle swelled right up and continued to bother him for the rest of the trip. He never once complained, but I know it was really uncomfortable for him. I’ll pause for a moment here and tell you that while this all looks very dreamy, the reality was our kids were tired and they weren’t super into exploring forts and such. India is difficult with children, especially those that are used to open space and the freedom to run and play. I found myself saying no and careful every other breath because of fear of zooming cars, crowded streets and parking lots, and general chaos. We would usually take a 3-4 hour outing in the morning and spend the rest of the day at the hotel pool, where the kids could run, play and burn off energy. It looks like we covered a ton of ground, and we did, and our kids were absolute champs, but we really had to pace ourselves in order to make the experience enjoyable for them. And I think our strategy worked, because when we neared the end of our trip, my son said, “Mama, I’m not ready to leave India.” We originally planned to spend two more days in Jodhpur, but it is actually a small town that can easily be seen in a few days. So we decided to drive to Jaipur, stopping in Pushkar along the way. It was a six hour drive and the scenery was spectacular. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it!) the boys were sleeping on our laps for most of the ride, meaning I couldn’t jump out of the car and capture all the photographic moments. And there were so many. We passed dusty villages where the women were at work carrying water and crops on their heads, dressed in brightly colored saris. We passed bright yellow fields of mustard plant that stretched as far as the eye could see. One day I will make this drive at my leisure and stop a hundred times to capture these moments. We made it to Pushkar just in time to visit the Brahma Temple, the only one in India. Pushkar is a desert town that borders Pushkar Lake, a sacred Hindu site containing 52 ghats (stairways) where pilgrims bathe. After our puja (a prayer ritual) we had a vegetarian lunch – the entire town, because of its holiness, is vegetarian- and the freshly made, hot off the fire roti smothered in ghee, made for the most delicious meal. Another two hours and we arrived in Jaipur, which is where I’ll pick up later this week. I know many of you had questions about our itinerary, and how to travel India with kids. I am happy to answer any questions you have, so please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get right back to you. Also, I managed to sneak in some amazing shopping, so my pop-up shop will be launching this Friday, March 31 at 10am EST. Stay tuned for a sneak peek of some of the goods on my next post!

India, 2017

Since our last trip to India we’ve been dreaming of returning. The boys were so young – 1 and 3- when we last visited, and we’ve been wanting to take them back now that they are older and so much more aware of their culture. To prepare we’ve been reading some wonderful stories about India…

Since our last trip to India we’ve been dreaming of returning. The boys were so young – 1 and 3- when we last visited, and we’ve been wanting to take them back now that they are older and so much more aware of their culture. To prepare we’ve been reading some wonderful stories about India (would anyone be interested in a reading list? happy to put one together!) and we’ve been leafing through the photos from our past trip. We are still hammering out the specifics of our itinerary, but we know the length will be 17 days in March during our spring break, and we will be visiting Jodphur, Mumbai, Varanasi and hopefully Jaipur, as well. We’re also working out the specifics of the service component of the trip, trying to find an orphanage where the boys will be allowed to work with us. It just so happens we’ll be in India for Holi, the Hindu festival of color, and I am beyond excited for all of us to experience the celebration! Last time we visited, I made a point of sourcing vintage textiles, hand-carved wooden blocks for block printing, fabric by the yard, and other treasures for a pop-up shop, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Everything was sourced with the utmost care and I made a real point to buy vintage to avoid bringing more stuff into an already overstuffed world. I’m considering doing another online shop this time around, so if that is something you’d be interested in let me know in the comments. You can also let me know if there is something in particular you’d like me to source. As a point of reference, you can see a few of the goods from my last pop-up shop here. And for a bit of background reading, check out these past posts: Pre-trip, Delhi, Bhutan, Rajasthan We’re going to spend the next few months preparing the boys, building their excitement and educating them on the country of their ancestors. They have so many questions already, and I can only imagine how many more questions will arise once we’re there. India is a country of such great beauty, but also crushing poverty. It is an assault on the senses even for the most well-traveled adult, so I know the boys will have moments of feeling completely overwhelmed. But we are hoping to raise inquisitive, empathetic, world-travelers, so we’ll do our best to have the hard conversations and not look away. 

2016: A Year in Review

2016 was quite a year, chock full of extremes, and bringing with it intense joys and sorrows. Although it is tempting to rush into 2017 without a moment’s pause, I thought it might be cathartic to look back on the year that was. Mostly, I want to say thank you for being here this year….

2016 was quite a year, chock full of extremes, and bringing with it intense joys and sorrows. Although it is tempting to rush into 2017 without a moment’s pause, I thought it might be cathartic to look back on the year that was. Mostly, I want to say thank you for being here this year. Your comments, emails and support have meant the world to me and I greatly appreciate this community. Travel: It was a year of incredible travel, starting with a family trip to Jamaica in February. Shortly after, over Easter weekend, I took a solo trip to NYC while my family all met up elsewhere (I couldn’t get enough time off of work to join them). It was an interesting year, trying to balance a working schedule with so many travel opportunities. There were trips that I missed out on, and others that we squeezed into a long weekend. Somehow we always find a way to make it work, and with big travel plans on the horizon for 2017, that’s a trend I see continuing! In May we attending the most incredible Indian wedding in Vienna. The entire experience still feels like something out of a fairytale. I’m pretty confident that this will go down as the most extravagant wedding we will ever attend in our lifetime. The summer found me traveling the coasts for my Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet book tour, which was such an incredible experience. My favorite destinations included San Francisco and Seattle. While in Seattle, I also had a chance to visit Floret Flower Farm, which was definitely a highlight of my year. The beauty and abundance of this small farm is nearly indescribable. I returned home with just enough time to pack up and jump back on a plane to Michigan where I spent the month of July with my family at our cottage in Northern Michigan. July is always my favorite month of the year, and Torch Lake is where my heart is most at home.  In September we met up with my parents in NYC for a quick trip, where we watched the US Open and toured the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Once the school year started, our schedule kicked into high gear. But I did manage to sneak in a few more trips, one to NYC for a food photography workshopand another to the British Virgin Islands where I was shooting the first annual Caribbean Food Festival on Peter IslandIn November, we traveled to Chicago for Thanksgiving (I never even got around to posting that trip!).  And I wrapped up the year with the most relaxing and restorative girl’s weekend on Cape Cod, right before heading home to Michigan for the Christmas break.  Looking back there was so much adventure, coupled with incredible opportunities. It was a year where I felt accomplished in my professional life, releasing my third book, Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet, which received such positive feedback and press, and landing a sponsored book tour with Vitamix and HawaiianShavedIce.com. I continued to write for a wide variety of publications, and also balanced my writing career with a part-time job at my boy’s school. There was plenty of knitting and sewing to be done, although not all of it made it onto the blog.  Despite all of the joy, for our family 2016 will go down as a year of heartbreak. My beloved mother dealt with crushing depression, a side-effect of her worsening Parkinson’s Disease. We tried our best to rally around her during her darkest moments, but we all felt incredibly helpless and watching her suffer was so painful. I’ll be writing a bit more about that journey in the weeks to come. But if there is one positive (and trust me, it is a stretch to find a positive) it is that the journey through her mental illness gifted me with such clarity. It brought into focus that which is important in this life, and that which is not worthy of my time. By the end of the year, I found myself saying no to additional work and instead using every spare minute to spend time with my family. My boys are growing up so fast and they are my ultimate joy in this life. As I look ahead to 2017 I am prioritizing time spent with my family, health, and happiness. I wish you so much peace and love in the coming year. Let’s hope it is a great one!

Almond Ricotta Cake with Blood Orange Glaze

This week as we unpacked our Christmas ornaments and strung twinkle lights, my mind turned to food, as it usually does when a holiday is approaching. I love nothing more than planning a menu that will be both decadent and nourishing for my family and friends. And my favorite course to plan is always, without…

cchitnis-for-vitamix_4935 This week as we unpacked our Christmas ornaments and strung twinkle lights, my mind turned to food, as it usually does when a holiday is approaching. I love nothing more than planning a menu that will be both decadent and nourishing for my family and friends. And my favorite course to plan is always, without fail, dessert. I love the idea of wrapping up a delicious meal with the perfect treat, one that isn’t overpowering in its sweetness, but instead delivers a delicate, pleasing close to the night.

I always begin the process of shaping a menu by browsing the in-season offerings at our farmers market. Although I call New England home, we’re lucky enough to have a vendor at our market that offers incredible citrus from his family’s farm in Florida. While is isn’t technically local, I still indulge.cchitnis-for-vitamix_4983 This rustic Almond Ricotta cake is topped with the most beautifully hued blood orange glaze and a festive sprinkling of pistachio. The cake itself is dense and nutty, yet there is a lightness thanks to the ricotta. The citrus tang perfectly balances out the rustic cake, and the presentation couldn’t be more beautiful. Simple, nourishing and satisfying, I hope you’ll find this to be the perfect end to a holiday meal with loved ones. Our family makes some of our most memorable moments around the table and I hope this holiday season, your family has a chance to do the same.cchitnis-for-vitamix_5059Almond Ricotta Cake with Blood Orange Glaze
As I’ve focused more on gluten free recipes in the past few years, I’ve found the Vitamix grain container to be invaluable. Here I used it to make almond meal, which is simply made from raw almonds. I use my Vitamix to make all of my flours now- from oat flour to quinoa flour- there is nothing that the grain container can’t handle.

For the cake
Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup blood orange juice
1 teaspoon blood orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups almond flour*

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 9×9 inch cake pan.
2. Whip eggs and sugar until well combined, light and fluffy. Add the cooled melted butter, vanilla extract, ricotta cheese and blood orange juice. Stir until well combined.
3. Add blood orange zest, salt and almond flour and stir until well combined.

4. Transfer the batter into greased cake pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is a toasted brown and firm to the touch. Allow the cake to cool before removing from pan.

For the glaze:
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons blood orange juice

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1. In a small bowl whisk together juice and sugar until well mixed. Pour over the cake, and sprinkle with crushed pistachio. Allow the glaze about 10 minutes to set.

Serve and enjoy!

*Note: One cup of raw almonds pulsed in the Vitamix grain container makes about 1 cup of almond flour.
Thanks to Vitamix for the products used in this post. All opinions are my own. Right now you can save up to $90 on a new Vitamix! I use mine daily and am so impressed with the quality and durability. Make sure to check out their holiday deals. cchitnis-for-vitamix_5063