Gluten free, Dairy free and almost sugar free pumpkin parfaits that are legit delish.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Just look at the layers of loveliness
Just a dollop of Tru Whip'll do ya
Coincidence with the lines and colors matching our newly covered Missoni-esque chairs in the background? No, my friend

So I've been on and off of this really boring and annoying diet which is dairy/gluten/soy/sugar free and for the most part I avoid those things unless there's something I simply cannot pass up that contains those ingredients, or its a weekend dinner date with my hubs, etc.  I find it fun and challenging to look at super decadent recipes and make them healthier or tweak them to meet my crazy diet standards at the time.  I actually probably posted about this recipe at this time last year.  So the real recipe is here and here's my version below, a lighter happier parfait.  Enjoy!

  • 1/2 (15-oz) can organic pumpkin
  • 2 packets of stevia
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 box sugar free vanilla pudding
  • 1 1/2cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plain soy, greek or goat's milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup homemade or favorite granola
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tub of Tru Whip  
  •  4 (6- to 8-oz) glasses
  • Whisk pudding mix, almond milk and yogurt according to directions.  (I use a kitchenaid stand mixer). Allow to chill 5 minutes. Whisk together with pumpkin, stevia, spices, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Spoon about 1/4 cup pumpkin mixture into bottom of each glass, then sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of granola and top with about 2 Tbsp Tru Whip. Repeat layers once, ending with cream.
  • Chill until set, at least 2 hours.

Some Dim.

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Dramatic entrance
Gardena's Finest
Elaborate touches
Enjoying the entertainment
Koi out for a swim
Shockingly green bok choy!
Dont even ask me what these were.  Don't they look like sponges?
Quite the spread.  We couldn't say no
Little diners and moms
My friend Christiana's Birthday and her little one
An egg yolk colored filling with a sweet dough shell
Egg custard cups
Little fried sesame chewy dough with a plum paste inside
Bao or pork buns
My fave.  Rice and pork in banana leaf
Hasn't quite mastered chopsticks
Steamy buns and fried delectables
Everything you could ever dream up...
A traveling wok of sorts with omelets & rice cakes galore

I am super embarrassed to say, I went to Dim Sum for the first time recently.  I know, I know, being a huge foodie, you'd think it would be a tradition that I would welcome into my world.  I had always read about the insane places to have it in San Fransisco for Sunday brunch I never quite had the energy to drag myself to chinatown on a Sunday when I'm trying to get my sh@t together for a flight.  Excuses, excuses.  Enter the Sea Empress in Gardena.  Apparently there's a line around the corner and down the street on weekends.  I accompanied my friends and their gorgeous children for a birthday lunch, and thye totally schooled me.  I was like "should I try this? And this?" There were all; "When in doubt, just say yes".  I tell ya, I didn't know half of what I was eating but I'm ok with that, and it all tasted good.  Its kind of crazy because these little cart people come around quite rapidly leaving you little time to even focus on whats in front of you.  After eating a million little meals, I said "Should we get a dessert for the kids, to keep them busy?"  The girls laughed at me and said "This is dessert!  Its brunch".  Ahhh.  What an amateur.

Brunch for Anti Brunchers

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Cool, modern
Just Gorge
My fave flave
Homemade twinks?  Really?
Neat flaves
ALMOST too pretty to eat
It ain't brunch without Champs
From left, S'mores, Lemon Meringue
The most rich and delish deconstructed lobster mac n cheese
Tuna tartar with uni.  Decadance.
Mowing red velvet twinkies
Hamachi tacos.  Check out size in relation to fork.
Octopus and proscuitto pizza
Ahhhh motherland!

Homemade pop tart.

I'm so not a brunch gal. But this place is just rad.  Indie music at an enjoyable volume, not over packed, amazing desserts taunting you from a glass cage...its brunch heaven.  I had a nice pour of bubbly to take the edge off of a hot day and we vowed to do it again in another few weeks.  I might be changed for life.  

Notable dishes: Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad / Maitake / Pecorino / cherries / chili & garlic vinaigrette Kampachi "Tacos" / hijiki / radish / crème fraiche Spicy Octopus Pizza / prosciutto / arugula. On the menu but didn't try; beef cheek hash, bone marrow matzo ball soup and a salmon cubano.

Also exciting and worth a trip back: boozy pitchers of Kool-Aid and  a cocktail made with cocoa pebbles and bourbon. Score.
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