rustic french bread with basil and herbes de provence

Drizzle with olive oil and break out the wine. 

rustic french baguettes with basil and herbes de provence

Rustic French Bread with Basil and Herbes de Provence
Drizzle lightly with olive oil and break out the wine.
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1½ cups warm water (between 105-110 degrees)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus ½ cup, reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • Olive oil (to prepare bowl)
  1. Place the warm water and maple syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a regular metal bowl if not using a mixer), and sprinkle the packet of yeast on top. Let stand until yeast gets foamy (about 5 minutes or so).
  2. In a another bowl, whisk together the flour, sea salt, basil, and herbes de Provence.
  3. Using the stand mixer on medium speed with its dough-hook attachment, begin to add the 4 cups of flour slowly to the proofed yeast mixture. (If mixing by hand, use a spoon to stir flour slowly into the yeast mixture.) Once the 4 cups of four have been mixed in, add a bit more from the reserved ½ cup of flour -- the dough should be stiff.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Slowly continue to add from the reserved ½ cup of flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the work surface (it's not necessary to use all of the reserved flour). Knead with floured hands until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes).
  5. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the entire ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave the dough to rise for 90 minutes (it should nearly double in size).
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Gently punch the dough down to deflate it a bit, cut it in half, and shape it into two baguettes. Dust the tops of each baguette lightly with flour and place on a parchment-paper-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet. Let rise for another 30 minutes, uncovered.
  8. With a sharp or serrated knife, cut several small diagonal slits across the tops of each baguette. Mist each loaf with water (or sprinkle a few drops on top).
  9. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool a bit, and eat it while it's warm!


raw vanilla-espresso cream pie with chocolate-pecan crust

Step away from the oven — it’s totally raw.

Raw Vanilla-Espresso Cream Pie with Chocolate-Pecan Crust

Raw Vanilla-Espresso Cream Pie with Chocolate-Pecan Crust
Step away from the oven -- it's totally raw.
For the crust:
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1½ cups of Medjool dates (plus an extra few if necessary), pitted and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or substitute regular cocoa powder for an almost-raw pie)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
  • 4 cups raw cashews, soaked in water at least two hours (water discarded when finished soaking)
  • 2 tablespoons raw vanilla extract (or substitute regular vanilla extract for an almost-raw pie)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brewed espresso (reserve ⅓ cup)
  • Optional: For a stronger coffee flavor, shake in some additional espresso powder (I recommend!)
  • Coffee beans, vegan chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, raw pecan pieces
For the crust:
  1. Place pecans, raw cacao powder, and ⅛ teaspoon of salt into a food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. Add the dates through the food processor’s feed tube, two to three pieces at a time. Process everything until the mixture is crumbly and sticky. Pinch a bit of the mixture between your fingers — it should stick together. If it doesn’t, add another date or two.
  3. Taste the mixture; if a bit bland, add a pinch more salt.
  4. Line the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ or 9" x 9" springform pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap (or, you can skip this step (as I do) if you don't mind the bottom of the pan remaining under the pie), and press the mixture down until it’s tightly packed, flat, and firm. Refrigerate.
For the filling:
  1. Blend the cashews, vanilla extract, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅔ cup of the brewed espresso (and if desired, shake in a pit of espresso powder) in the most powerful high-speed blender or food processor you have (a NutriBullet or Vitamix is ideal) until smooth and creamy. If you need a bit more liquid for blending, slowly add the reserved ⅓ cup, one tablespoon at a time (note: use as little of the reserved ⅓ cup of espresso as possible so the filling firms up properly when chilled).
  2. Spoon filling into pie crust and top with coffee beans, vegan chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and raw pecan pieces. Transfer entire pie to freezer to firm up for at least an hour.
  3. Remove pie from freezer 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving. Pie can be stored in freezer.