Dairy-free

Apricot & Honey Jam - TheMessyBaker.com
Apricot and Honey Jam with Lemon Verbena

I'd officially like to apologize to apricots. For years now, I've been the mean team captain who always calls dibs on her friends and chooses the popular kids first, leaving the smaller classmates kicking the grass with their yet-to-be-broken-in sneakers and pretending that being picked...

Honeysuckle Sorbet - TheMessyBaker.com
Honeysuckle Sorbet

Right outside my kitchen porch, a graceless post stands cemented in the ground. Its thick, square bulk is so awkward it can't be passed off as rustic. Ferns and periwinkle hide its base while a honeysuckle vine attempts to disguise the rest of its towering...

Coconut Bars rolled into balls - TheMessyBaker.com
No-Bake Coconut Bars 3 Ways

Bespoke. If you want to be a stickler, this term applies only to made-to-measure items you wear, such as tailored Savile Row suits or custom loafers. It draws a faint chalk line between high-end fashion and "built to order" non-wearables. In the worlds of fashion...

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Muhammara – Walnut and Aleppo Pepper Dip

Muhammara (pronounced moo-hahm-MRAH) is a classic Mediterranean dish. It's a dip. It's a spread. It's addictive. You have been warned. Pitas are the authentic accompaniment, but I've been gobbling muhammara on homemade piadinas to no ill effect. Don't let the simplicity of the dish fool you....

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No-Bake, Dairy-Free Berry Pudding

One rainy summer day, unable to build blanket forts on the climbing bars or soar through the sprinkler on a tire swing, I decided my younger sister and I should do some baking. "Baking" meant raiding Mom's pantry and dumping everything within reach into a...

Margarita Chicken - TheMessyBaker.com
The Margarita Chicken Compromise

Andrew and I are mature, level-headed adults. We can easily discuss our budget, the laundry schedule, and who goes where at Easter. We listen to each other, see the other person's point of view and devise workable action plans. We use terms like "action plan,"...

dipych2
Cumin Carrots with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Fool me once, shame of you. Fool me twice (a dozen times), shame, shame, double-shame on me. It took years, but I learned my lesson. No Newspaper Recipes. None. Do not clip them for me. I will throw them out. Do not make them for...

roasted-cauliflower-landscape
Roasted Cauliflower, Pomegranate & Hazelnut Salad

This roasted cauliflower salad serves as my reminder that good recipes are flexible. Good recipes invite experimentation. They serve as helpful guidelines, not rigid rules. With titles like "The Best This" or "The Ultimate That" it's easy to forget no one recipe has a monopoly...

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Pampered
Curly Kale - The Messy Baker If I come back as a vegetable I want to be kale. Ruffly, versatile, pretty kale. Not only would I be my favourite colour (green), I'd finally have unstoppable curls — something I can't achieve even with hot rollers and a perm. But I'd be more than just another pretty edible. Unlike with cream puffs or macarons, my feminine exterior wouldn't wrap a soft, untoned middle. Quite the opposite. Instead, my frilly greens would stem from a strong backbone  that delivered the nutritional goods. And people would love me for it. They'd write blog posts in my honour. They'd hail me as a wonder. But best of all, they'd give me the royal treatment. Not all vegetables meet a pampered end. Carrots get stripped and shredded to pieces. Potatoes have their eyes gouged out before being mashed to a pulp, and we won't discuss what happens to poor old butternut squash. But kale? I kid you not, it gets slathered in oil and given a rub down. Yeah. I'd definitely come back as kale.

Massaged Kale: Basic Techniques

I learned about massaging kale from my cousin just the other week. At first I thought she was joking. In my family, you learn pretty quickly not to take odd-sounding advice at face value. One moment of misplaced trust can take years to live down. But it turns out this is a real thing. In fact, there are two full pages dedicated to kale massage in Wild About Greens: 125 Delectable Vegan Recipes for Kale, Collards, Arugula, Bok Choy, and other Leafy Veggies Everyone Loves by Nava Atlas, (© 2012, Sterling).  The following excerpt is from her book and published here with permission:
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Pushing Boundaries
Onion Bhaji with Chaat Masala Recipe - The Messy Baker I did it. Despite containing three ingredients I've never used before, I made onion bhaji. And I pronounce them to be good. Make that "very good."  Andrew, who inspired the selection, claimed they were "delicious" and "as good as the restaurant's." So, with a flourish of my typing fingers,  I am proudly striking the first item off my 2013 Culinary Bucket List. Onion Bhaji recipe. Done. And done well. But I can't take all the credit. Monica Bhide suggested I look at her recipe for Onion Rings with Chaat Masala. I did. But I hesitated at the list of ingredients. I didn't know what chaat masala was. I had never heard of carom, and thought fenugreek was like fennel. Thanks to this recipe I got schooled. And it was far less painful than writing lines.

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