Eggnog Smoothie

Eating new foods is always an experience; sometimes it goes really well, and other times – not so much. For example, after my friend from Columbia made me taste a couple of Chocolate Covered Ants (a delicacy in his country,) I had to excuse myself for a few minutes. But when I tried PB&J sandwich

Lemon Curd Almond Sandwich Cookies (grain & gluten-free)

I love Sundays! No gym in the morning, no after-school activities to schlep my kids to. Zero commitments… On Sundays, it is ME time from the moment I wake up! I spend most of my ME time either in the kitchen or the art room… Concocting extravagant breakfasts, making cards and jewelry, painting, sketching, photographing

Morning Coffee Bowl

I like cooking from recipes, I do! Find a recipe, buy all the ingredients, pour a glass of wine and cook away. However, being a mom of two curious children who want to be a part of every after-school activity imaginable, this way of cooking no longer seems to work for me (most of the time.) So I

Poppy Seed Cake

This cake is like a little black dress: you can dress it up or down. A nice thick slice with a cup ‘o’ tea on a weekday morning. Or a thinner toasted slice, with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and handful of sliced strawberries on a weekend – with a glass of sweet bubbly. Deborah

Strawberries in Minted Honey Syrup

I start my day with a hot cup of Peet’s. Every day. I sip on freshly squeezed lemonade with my kids on the warm summer afternoons. Or bubbly Pellegrino. I drink red wine (the bolder variety) at dinner on non-gym nights, or with friends on weekends. Sometimes on gym nights as well. I reach for

Black Swan Pavlova

My life is full of meringue memories. Slow Sunday mornings, no school, my favorite childhood TV program on, a plate of freshly baked snow-white vanilla meringues next to whichever fruit is in season. Sheer happiness. 11 years old. My friends crowding over a cassette player I just received from my “American” grandma, listening to the

Homemade Vanilla Extract

  The following recipe is a no-brainer and only consists of three simple ingredients Vanilla beans Vodka Patience But it produces One very potent vanilla extract and Lots of sweetness and laughter My little girl, an older child, a dreamer, a Taylor Swift fan, came home from school, dropped her bag by the door, gave

The Best (though not the healthiest) Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you were a cookie what kind would you be? I would be a maple chocolate chip cookie. Crispy on the edges, soft and chewy in the middle – with pockets of soft chocolate in every bite.  A sweet cookie, with just enough saltiness for contrast. An aesthetically pleasing cookie. A creative cookie – with

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

My recent lack of motivation has forced me to take a break from cooking and Cuceeing. In the last few months, the only meals I have been putting on the dinner table were healthier-than-takeout, getting-rid-of-spoiling-ingredients, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink meals. But as the holiday season approached, my culinary ego went into an assertive state and forced my creative

Crêpe Napoleon

Last week, on my way to work, I got startled by GENi‘s email announcement of my hubby’s approaching birthday. Four Zero! Gotto tell you, seeing such a mind blowing number next to my man’s name was pretty surreal! My man was abut to turn 40!!! That baby-faced boy, that I met as a teenager, is soon to celebrate

Crunchy Granola Cups

Is it very obvious that my family considers first meal of the day their favorite? Even with all of the breakfast recipes that I have up my sleeve (Almond Butter Smoothies, Pear Honey Pocket, Baked Oatmeal, Breakfast Polenta, Granola among many others) the demand for additional ideas simply refuses to taper off.  So, every week or so, I keep coming up

Very Cherry Chocolaty Larabar Truffles

This post is about all the sweet things in life. It is about cherries and chocolate, figs and coconut, sugar, spice and all the things nice. If you have been following Cucee, then you probably know that I am not much of a “desert” person (see my healthiterian manifesto as a reminder.) Well, a while ago I

Baked Oatmeal

As the sweet cinnamon aroma penetrated the walls of the house we rented at the lake Bariessa last weekend, everyone gathered around the kitchen table: my innocently smiling nephew, who returned from crushing an unsuspecting snail with a heel of his shoe, his sleepy parents who spent half the night soothing their new baby, my

Homemade Farmer’s Cheese (aka Tvorog, Ricotta, Cottage Cheese)

“Mommy is making farmer’s cheese again,” I overheard my 5-year old talking to his sister, just as the sweet nursery-soothing scent of warm milk started to fill the house. “Can we make farmer’s cheese together some day?” he asked,  as both of them crowded around the stove, watching me stir the pot. I never turn

Granola With Almonds and Coconut

This year, I had my birthday party catered by Insalata’s, a foodie-favored restaurant located north of San Francisco. A friend, who offered to deliver the food to my house on the night of the party, surprised me with a gift of a beautiful Insalata’s cookbook. By now, I’ve read the cookbook cover to cover. Twice.

Healthy Apricot Cake

Common culinary wisdom holds that you are either a baker or a cook. I hate to admit it but I am NOT a baker! Baking does not come naturally to me at all; nothing in baking makes sense. First time I ever made cookies, the directions called for “creaming butter.” I almost felt like Amelia

Almond Butter Pear Honey Pocket

If you were born and raised in the United States, you may find it hard to imagine that there are people out there who never had a PBJ sandwich. Here goes my epicurean Cucee Confession #3: until very recently, I had not tried the All-American Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly sandwich.  (Confession #1: I am obsessed with anything-cauliflower, Confession #2:

Almond Butter Kefir Breakfast Smoothie

From pancakes to waffles to power shakes, our weekend always starts with a special breakfast. What’s a special breakfast? Pretty much anything that is not cereal or oatmeal – we are easy to please… With my kids, the tradition of a special breakfast now spans more than one generation. When I was little, my mom

Simple and Healthy Vegan Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes

Top five glimpses into the character of my 5-year-old son Jacob: At the dinner table. Jacob: “Mommy, this soup is spicy. Can I have some wine?” “Lizard of Oz,”said Jacob. My 7-year-old daughter Mika needed to measure 3 tablespoons of liquid for her science experiment. She asked Jacob for help. He returned with 3 table spoons.