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Anise Blood Orange Panna Cotta

March 15, 2017
Anise Blood Orange Panna Cotta Recipe | Fake Food Free

I caught a glimpse of them out of the corner of my eye. It seems like yesterday that I was asking the vendor at a local farm market if the blood oranges had arrived yet, only to be told it would be a couple more weeks. 

And here we are now with the season ending. 

I think it might take moving to California to truly appreciate citrus. Heck, maybe it takes moving to someplace like the Central Valley. (Although, I was equally excited about this season when we lived in the Bay.) 

There are so many varieties, so many bright colors. It’s such a welcomed sight and taste during a season that is void of other favorites like berries and cherries. 

Those last few lonely bags of blood oranges were staring at me, begging me to make one last thing before their season was over.

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Coconut Orange Bars

February 4, 2017
Coconut Orange Bars Recipe | Fake Food Free


Good news! I submitted my book manuscript last Tuesday!

I should probably celebrate with a beer, but we’ll save that for later this weekend. I felt much more like celebrating with some baking. 

If you had asked me two weeks ago if I was sick of cooking and baking I would have said, “YES.” But the past several days have been all editing with my butt planted at the computer. I’m ready to be back in the kitchen. 

And what better way to celebrate than with a recipe by mistake!

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Pumpkin No Churn Ice Cream with Brown Sugar Swirl and Burnt Sugar Cashew Brittle

November 17, 2016
Pumpkin No Churn Ice Cream with Brown Sugar Swirl and Burnt Sugar Cashew Brittle Recipe | Fake Food Free

I tend to want ice cream more during the holidays than during the heat of summer. Forget the chocolate versus vanilla debate. When I eat ice cream, I want pumpkin, peppermint stick and eggnog flavors. Everything that says – holiday season. So when late fall rolls around, so do the ice cream cravings.

As you probably could have guessed pumpkin is my favorite flavor and I thought if I was going to do a few posts about Thanksgiving worthy desserts I should go that direction. But don’t worry. I took it a bit further with a brown sugar swirl and a crunchy topping. I also decided to give no churn ice cream a try.

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Butterscotch Pear Tart with a Snickerdoodle Crust

November 15, 2016

Butterscotch Pear Tart with a Snickerdoodle Crust Recipe | Fake Food Free

I’m not sure what happened this past weekend, but I had this unidentifiable voice telling me – Lori, you’ve been posting way too many Brussels sprouts and squash recipes. I think it’s time to go a little crazy with some holiday desserts. 


So this week I have two ideas that will veer from the traditional pecan and pumpkin pies. The first being this pear tart.

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15 Picnic Recipes to Celebrate the End of Summer

August 24, 2016
15 Picnic Recipes to Celebrate the End of Summer | Fake Food Free

The end of August is rolling around. Even though schools have started and I’ve been thinking a lot about pumpkins, there is still that one big celebration that closes us out of summer and sends us into the next season. 

For all of those Labor Day cookouts and picnics coming up, I decided to go through some of the recipes here on Fake Food Free and pull out a few that are perfect to take or make for your next cookout. Some are from way back when and others debuted just this summer.

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Peach and White Wine Sagu de Vinho

July 12, 2016
Sagu de Vinho with Peaches and White Wine Recipe | Fake Food Free

If you want Mexican or Latin inspired cuisine, this area has you covered regarding ingredients. Asian and Indian ingredients can be a lot harder to come by.

BUT, a new Indian supermarket opened here a few weeks ago. It makes me smile just to remind myself of my new shopping option.

I recently grabbed a basket and filled it  to the brim with every ingredient I’d been missing for the past 8 months or so. One thing I quickly came across were tapioca pearls, or sago or sagu. It’s one ingredient that crosses over into Brazilian cuisine. I first learned of sagu de vinho when we lived there. If you click on that link, it will take you to a very old post from 2009 that features my first time making it at home. 

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Banana Sweet Rice with Caramel-Coffee Sauce

July 7, 2016
Banana Sweet Rice with Caramel-Coffee Sauce Recipe | Fake Food Free

The first time I had sweet rice was when we traveled around Thailand in 2009. By sweet rice, I mean mango sticky rice. By had, I mean I ordered it at just about every location with it on the menu. 

That stuff is the best of all dessert worlds in one — fresh mango, nutty, chewy rice and a heavy drizzle of rich sweetened condensed milk. It really broadened my vision of rice for dessert. 

To be honest, I’ve never made it at home. That is mainly because I have yet to find a mango in the US that holds a candle to those that we ate in Southeast Asia and Brazil. 

It came to mind, though, recently when I started talking with the organizers of the Fresno Food Expo.

I know. I didn’t realize there was a Fresno Food Expo until just this year. 

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Homemade Cherry Tarts with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean

May 6, 2016

There is no better way to celebrate cherry season than with these homemade cherry tarts! In this dessert, a whole grain crust is filled with sweet cherries that have been brightened with cardamom and vanilla bean. 

Homemade Cherry Tarts with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean

Most often the recipes I develop are based on an ingredient or meal that has inspired me. But on some rare occasions, they come about because of a prop I want to use in the photo. 

When my parents visited us earlier this year, my mom accompanied me on some prop shopping at the local vintage shops. I was thrilled to have her along because most of the time this is a solo outing for me. I just can’t seem to find anyone else who cheers over scoring a great deal on a tarnished vintage spoon or a distressed wood surface. 

As is usually the case, she insisted on buying me something. That something were these gorgeous little dessert plates. I told her I’d definitely use them in a photo soon. Soon has become 3 months, but I figured Mother’s Day weekend was as good of a time as any, considering the source of the prop for my collection. 

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Maple Peanut Butter Cookies

August 29, 2015

Maple Peanut Butter Cookies | Fake Food Free

There are times when nothing will do, but a cookie. No slice of cake or pie, no brownie square or fruit tart; only a cookie. 

I appreciate that my sweet tooth is selective, but its picky nature sometimes sends me into the kitchen for some baking when I hadn’t really planned on it. That happened this past week. 

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Crispy Egg Custard Tarts (Pastéis de Nata) from My Portugal by George Mendes

February 3, 2015

These egg custard tarts are a classic Portuguese dessert and one that brings fond memories of our time living in Brazil. I was so happy to find a good recipe in the cookbook My Portugal by George Mendes so that I could make them in my own kitchen and share the recipe with you. 

   Crispy Egg Custard Tarts (Pastéis de Nata) from My Portugal by George Mendes | Fake Food Free 

I was sitting with my friends Juliana and Fernando enjoying a bowl of Caldo Verde on one of the rare cool days that occur during the months of June and July. It was the week of the world food festival in Maringa-PR, Brasil, when the town square turns into a food-lovers paradise with booth after booth of edible offerings representing numerous countries around the world.

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