Cranberry–Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

I’ll be celebrating the unsung hero of cakes—The Loaf Cake—with recipes on my blog all week long. Sure, loaf cakes don’t exactly deliver the glory of a beautifully-decorated, three-layer cake or even the cuteness of a cupcake. In my kitchen, they’re my low-maintenance cake loves. Let me explain: You stir the ingredients right in a bowl—no creaming butter necessary—then you bake the loaf…

Read More

No-Bake Paleo Fruit Pie Minis

Check out my perfect-for-summer pies—NO-BAKE FRUIT PIE MINIS, my latest recipe for the Food Network’s HEALTHY EATS BLOG. I’ve traded in the average cookie crust for a healthy, nut-based pie shell and filled them with a dollop of my DIY Foolproof Lemon Curd—all gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free optional, refined sugar free and Paleo!

Read More

Gluten-Free Banana Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Cheesecake used to intimidate me. So many baking rules—and so many cheesecake flavors to choose from! I had a few ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter and instead of making the usual banana bread, I decided to try something new and go beyond my comfort zone. The result? This incredibly decadent, light and airy cheesecake. It’s super fancy-looking with its decorative design of dulce de leche, but don’t let that intimidate you—it’s really easy to make!

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Creamy Kale-Cannellini Soup with Garlic Chips

During the long, cold winter months, my kids know all too well that I could happily subsist on soup alone. I find it both comforting and nourishing. Even better, it’s an easy going dish—or meal, if you’re me. I love that soup doesn’t have to be complicated, allows for improvisation and if we were to boil soup down to its very essence, it really is whatever you make of it. That’s true for so many choices we consciously make in life—both in and out of the kitchen.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Penny’s Easy Roasted Peppers

I owe everything I know about cooking and all of my kitchen curiosity to my mom, Penny, and my grandfather, or Nonno as I used to call him. Growing up, the day’s events were always focused around mealtime—from talking, shopping, prepping and cooking—food was by far the means to happiness. This is common in Italy, where I was lucky enough to spend every other summer with my Neapolitan grandfather.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate-Dipped Coconut-Almond Bars

I am a self-confessed snacker. Some may even call me an all-day grazer. Ever since I first laid my eyes on a KIND bar at Starbucks, it became my afternoon addiction along with coffee. Eventually, I ordered them online by the box. I’d toss them in my canvas bag just in case I got hungry on the subway or lying on the grass in the park. My kids gradually caught on, tasted the bars and there we were fighting for the last bar in the 12-count box. That’s when I knew I needed to make them myself.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Meatloaf Sandwiches on Sun-Dried Tomato Waffle Bread

Back when Isaiah was first diagnosed with gluten and dairy intolerance, bread options were few and not-at-all satisfying. In fact, most of the breads we bought from our local supermarkets and health food stores just crumbled into pieces at first bite. Then, I thought of my waffle iron and how the squares were pretty much the same size as sandwich bread—and a new gluten-free bread was born!

The savory flavor options are endless. For this sandwich, I made a sun-dried tomato waffle bread, but you could keep it plain or add other flavorings like caramelized onions, crisp bacon or even just some Dijon mustard.

Read More

Shrimp Salad with Dairy-Free Caper-Lemon Dressing

Summer is flying by! I wanted to quickly share an easy, hearty shrimp salad with you. It’s based on one I had recently at a food shop in Brooklyn I like to check out every now and then called Bklyn Larder. To serve, just place the shrimp salad over chopped romaine or field greens.

Read More

Creamy Dairy-Free Pesto

The secret ingredient to my creamy dairy-free pesto is…water. Years ago, thanks to my magazine test kitchen friends, I learned that water is often the solution to many cooking conundrums.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Hash Brown Waffles with Sausage Apple Patties and Fried Eggs

Breakfast is my family’s favorite meal of the day. So when we’re feeling like comfort on a plate or when I need a break in my cooking routine, I make dinner for breakfast. This summer, I’m busy wrapping up recipe development for my second cookbook so I’ve been cooking up lots of old favorites for the family, including this recipe—definitely an oldie, but goodie, from my first gluten-free, dairy-free book, Cooking for Isaiah.

Read More

Dairy-Free Pineapple-Cucumber Mint Cooler

Now that the warmer weather seems here to stay, I’ve started my annual rotation of what I eat. It’s just like rotating your wardrobe seasonally, I spring-clean my (and my family’s) breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. There are foods I start craving when it starts heating up, like juice, which has become one of my everyday, feel-good foods in the last few years.

Read More

Jennifer Perillo’s Dairy-Free Chocolate Egg Cream

Countdown to 2014 Cookbook Giveaway: Day 7

This year I wanted to share my favorite cookbooks and health-focused books of 2013 with you from some of my friends. Since it’s the holiday season, they’ve decided to generously give away a copy of their books along with a recipe (see below!) starting today until the new year! Thanks to all of you for participating! To enter for your chance to win a book, just leave a comment below. The winner will be selected at random on January 2, 2014 and books will be mailed out to each winner shortly thereafter. Please note: This giveaway is available to U.S. residents only.

Now, I’d like to introduce Jennifer Perillo and her cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen!

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Spiced Powdered Doughnuts

If you’ve been to any of my cooking classes, you know that I like to feed people plenty of personal stories and experiences—and doughnuts. This time I made classic powdered doughnuts and just spiced things up a bit with a mix of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Creamy Cocoa Nib & Almond Butter Smoothie

My kids are calling it a heat wave. We’ve hit the 80s here in Brooklyn. Crazy for this time of year. Now, there’s no denying the one thing that will satisfy me—this thick and creamy smoothie. It’s so good, you could even call it dessert. And making it is really as easy as putting all of the ingredients in a blender and blending until smooth.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Minestrone Chard Soup with Garlic Croutons

Where I live, in New York City, things are just starting to warm up. That’s why I wanted to get in my family’s go-to soup. It’s easy to make and relies heavily on what you already have in your veggie crisper and cupboards.

When I make the minestrone, I like to include at least one green—here, I use Swiss chard—and some fresh herbs. It gives the soup a bright flavor and pop of color. The garlic croutons add a nice crunch. So take the chill off the start of spring season with my hearty greens-and-beans soup.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chicken Provençale Hot Pockets

Sometimes, I just need dinner to cook itself. Can you relate?

While takeout may be the norm in New York City, I prefer to cook my family’s meals from scratch. Occasionally, I get help from store-bought meal starters (like a gluten-free pizza crust or rotisserie chicken) or splurge for dinner at a favorite gluten-free friendly restaurant. After all, Moms have enough pressure as it is.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cinnamon-Raisin Bread

What’s the one food that Isaiah misses the most? Bread, of course. Over the years, we’ve found some good store-bought loaves, but I’ve missed the smell of baking bread.

The truth: I wanted to believe that I could make anything gluten-free. That didn’t turn out to be the case—at least, not when it came to bread.

Read More

Penny’s Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pineapple Cake with Marshmallow Frosting

With every single one of my kids’ birthdays, I’m reminded that the years are flying by.


Isaiah just celebrated his 16th birthday. That’s a big number. So much has happened along the way and before more time passes by, I wanted to slow down and thank my mom, Penny. She’s always been an inspiration to me—in and out of the kitchen. It’s not her birthday or Mother’s Day or anything. I’ve just been thinking a lot about her lately.

I just hope I am half the mom to Isaiah and Chiara as my Mom is to me.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Jam Crumble Cookie Squares

Not all cookies are created equally. In fact, these cookie squares are part crumbly shortbread and part chewy jam-filled thumbprints. But, I’d have to admit that the best part is that you can make them with any filling—your favorite jam or preserves, or even salted dulce de leche, lemon curd or my dairy-free knockoff nutella. I like to make the cookies year-round, swapping in different flavors for each season. My kids like them any way they come out of the oven.

Read More

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Focaccia

You know what it’s like to not be able to have bread or pizza or focaccia. My family does, too. For the past five years, I’ve been trying off-and-on to replicate the chew, the bounce and the bend that occurs naturally in a gluten-full bread. I’ve made batches and batches of doughs—all failures. But, those failures have led me to the biggest bread success I’ve ever had. And I’m happy to share it with you.

Read More