Greetings from San Diego, CA. This Wednesday with WinniE’s, I am going to share about one of the most excited things I was able to do in recent memory. I was a co-featured guest on the No Kid Hungry official podcast “Add Passion and Stir”. The podcast is hosted by the co-founders Debbie and Billy Shore, of the NKH mother organization Share Our Strength. The primary objective of NKH is to uplift those in a position to affect change, by facilitating and supporting the movement through their strengths. For example, I am work to end childhood hunger in America by showing up and cooking for their fundraising events and speaking to our legislators, i.e. me sharing my strength. And, as a guest on the 70th episode of Add Passion and Stir, I was afforded the opportunity to speak about why I am an avid supporter of NKD, my work, career aspirations and dreams. Plus, my co-guest was accomplished, 3x published author Leslie Crutchfield. It was a thoroughly enoyable, lively and passionate discussion about “How Social Change Happens”. Here is a behind the scenes look. To listen to the interview, click the link below.
Billy, Debbie and I!
Prepping to get ready!
The whole gang’s here. Leslie Crutchfield ladies and gentlemen!
Apple Podcast: https://apple.co/2vONx8t
Hey guys! I’m back and it feels so good! Over the past couple of weeks, things have been busy. From baking orders, to recipe testing, planning content, chatting on podcast and making my D.C. tv appearance debut. Wait…did I actually just type that last sentence…? I did. Whoa! How things have grown, reshaped and blossomed over the last year. As most of you may remember, I spoke about redinfing what WinniE’s Bakery was going to be and honestly—it’s still evolving. But, one major thing I haven’t shared as much about—that I should’ve, is that I am a chronic illness suffer. So, a major motivation to diversify WinniE’s was a practical choice, along with other career aspirations, of course! My chronic illness has made it increasingly harder for me to do the laborious work, that I am wildly passionate about—BAKING! Becoming a pastry chef was one of the greats realizations of my life. But, due to a life threatening growth called a thymoma 2 years ago, I now receive immunotherapy called—intravenous immunoglobulin, bi-weekly. It’s always tough when you can’t depend on your body like you once were able to. And, although I would’ve never asked for the thymoma, getting that diagnosis > prognosis helped me focus and align some dreams I had been deferring for far too long.
Now, that was my long wind way of saying…I am still baking. But, I am working toward parallel dreams. Dreams that keep me in the kitchen, but that are flexing a new muscle, i.e. my brain. I am creating food video content (I am currently developing a collaborative chef + food creative cooking series), I am writing my cook-stories book and I am venturing into the realm of becoming an on-air food personality…with any luck. I am tenaciously working towards bringing theses endeavors to fruition, because these dream that are worth realizing > are goals worth achieving. So, I am working to introduce myself, my work and my passion for food to a larger audience. Part of that first step was realized last Wednesday—July 25th, when I was able to appear on Good Morning Washington! I demoed our Gluten-Free Bourbon Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk cast iron baked cookie. It was a hit! But, more importantly, I couldn’t have been more grateful for all the wonderful individuals I met at ABC7. Like, Kyle, Chanelle, Eileen and Horace, just to name a few. Feeding off of their palpable confidence and genuine kindness made that experience one of the greatest highlights in my career, thus far. Also, thanks mom for tagging along, making the hour+ drive with me and braving tv station coldness, LOVE YOU! Check out some behind the scenes photos below and click the video to view the interview. I hope you enjoy and I will see you guys back here next week! And, there will be cookies!
We made it!
Me and my mama!!
Hey guys, happy Wednesday! I know I’ve been away for a while, but, things have been CRAZY! Our site CRASHED! We got spammed and as a result we had to beef up our security. But, not to worry I am back and ready to share all the things that have been happening over the last month.
To start, the fundraising dinner for No Kid Hungry and honorary dinner for chef Jose Andres and Susan K. Neely, was on June 13th. It was an amazing night! I brought my brother David along, to be my right-hand man for the evening and hired my girl, the FABULOUS Meghan of Meghan Elizabeth Photography—on photo duty. Now, if I’m being honest the build up to this event was an intense one. I had just flown back into town from London, on June 9th. So, in the span of four days I had to contend with correcting jet leg and prepping all essentials and details. But, with the help of my family and 2 nights of great rest, I was ready for the night. The goal of the evening was to raise enough money to help provide and continue food access for children and their families. Thanks to the generous donations of so many in attendance, No Kid Hungry was able to raise enough funds to continue help those in need.
For the event, there were 3 pastry chefs for the outdoor dessert course. In addition to WinniE’s Bakery, there was Aja Cage of Ris restaurant and Tiffany McIssac of Buttercream Bakeshop. WinniE’s provided the alternative desserts for the night. I made our Vegan Watermelon Tequila Granita w/ Lime Scented Coconut Cream (recipe coming soon) and our Gluten-Free Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies with Brown Butter ice cream and a Caramel brittle. I must admit, I was initially nervous people would be put off by seeing words like “vegan” and “gluten-free” used to describe their dessert. But, then I quickly remembered there is a vast and ever growning community of people who love food, but, have dietry restrictions. Sure enough, our items were a hit! Throughout the night I only actuallly met 3 people (out of the the 100+) who need an alternative dessert. It warmed my heart to see people not only enjoying my food. But, they often would come back for seconds! Plus, oh man, was it fun working food service with my brother. What people often don’t realize is there is a great deal of meticulous planning that goes into creating food, but, also it maintaining it’s integrity. Because I chose to make most of my items things that needed to be frozen, I had another layer of prep. I needed to make sure I had a cooler that could remain cold enough for 5+ hrs in 90° weather, large enough to fit enough granita and ice cream for 75-80 people and the ice packs and easily mobile. As David and I awaited the guest to exit into the dessert patio, our emotions brimmed anticipation, as we could only prep so much. We had place the dessert vessels out. However, we couldn’t put out the granita and ice cream too early or everything would melt. So, that meant David and I would have to bring our “A-game”. Honestly, I could have asked for a better partner. David was an absolutle ACE! He’s such a people person, he’s my big brother so he knows me better than most and not to mention is great at working quickly executed food service. It’s safe to say I am grateful and fortunate in equal measure. That evening with No Kid Hungry was thrilling, fulfilling and a night I will not soon forget! Check out som photos below.
Some of the AMAZING culinary pro’s from the night!
This is what happens when you arrive early and Meghan forces you to pose in front of the camera.
Introducing “the Chef’s” to the audience.
Oh look, there’s David!
Watermelon Tequila Granita w/ Lime Scented Coconut Cream-Vegan
Gluten-Free Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk cookie w/ Brown Butter ice cream topped w/ a Caramel Brittle
Special Thanks to: Wendy Catabagan and to all the hard working individuals at Share Our Strength, who power No Kid Hungry!
If you’d like to donate click the link below.
Hey guys! This recipe is one I am equally incredibly proud of and sad to share. I am only sad to share, becasue this recipe bring to conclusion the partnership between WinniE’s Bakery and Michele’s Granola, but, not to worry. We will always remember this creative and delicious time together! Plus, this recipe ends on a note of adaptiveness and inclusion. Two things we are big on here at WinniE’s Bakery—it’s VEGAN, i.e. dairy free ICE CREAM! This recipe was such a delight to develop and try, and try, and try again. I found myself thrilled by the notion I was creating outside of my norm, something delicious and innately VEGAN; without trying to make something this is in fact the antithesis. Coconuts and cherries are such a natural pairing, one I wish I saw more often quite honestly. So, when I saw the flavor profile for the Chocolate Cherry granola, I thought to myself what is one flavor the would complement these two, completeing the “trifecta of flavor”? But, still able to shine? Almost instantly I thought of coconut. And so, was born the inspiration for this recipe. Plus, who doesn’t want something indulgent without all of the usual guilt that follows. Right! My advice, give this recipe a try. Enjoy!
Roasted Cherry Coconut Ice Cream w/
Chocolate Cherry granola-Vegan
6oz cherries (rinsed & very ripe)
2 tbsp. coconut sugar
Dash of salt & pepper
1/4 c brandy (if you have it)
Preheat, the oven to 450 degrees.
Prep a baking sheet, by lining with parchment paper and setting aside. Carefully, using a straw or pitter, remove the pits from the cherries.
In a MED bowl, combine the cherries, sugar, salt and pepper—toss using your hands.
Pour the cherries out onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow to roast in the oven for 7-10mins. Remove from the oven and pour the brandy onto the cherries and lightly shake round the pan to incorporate the brandy with the cherries. Place back into oven to finish roasting for an additional 3-5mins, watching to make sure the sugars don’t burn. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack, for 15mins.
Coconut Ice Cream-
Ingredients: makes 4- 6 servings
1 3/4 c coconut milk (full fat)
1/4 c coconut cream
1/4 c honey or agave
2 tsp coconut sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c roasted cherries
Cherry Chocolate granola
In a LRG bowl, whisk to combine the coconut cream & milk, sugar, honey and/or agave, salt and vanilla extract. Then, evenly pour the mixture into an ice tray or (2). Place in the freezer to fully harden, for about 2-4hrs.
Once frozen, remove the coconut cubes. Drop the cubes into a blender and blend on high, until the cubes become a smooth ice cream. Pour the blended ice cream into the same bowl from before. Using a larger spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the cherries. For a “soft-serve” consistency serve as is. For a “scoop” consistency, place back into the freezer for an additional hour. Top with the Cherry Chocolate granola and enjoy!
Chef Note: To make the ice cream truly Vegan use agave not honey. For those who truly enjoy a crunch, after blending the coconut cubes into ice cream, fold in 1/2 c of the granola, with the roasted cherries. When ready to eat, top the ice cream with the remaining 1/4 c.
All photo taken by: Meghan of Meghan Elizabeth Photography
Special Thanks to: my niece Emi for being myour little model and for doing so well to not eat the ice cream, before the photos were taken.
Hey guys! I have been away for a couple of weeks. Between traveling to London, England and prepping for WinniE’s BIG night—as one of the pastry chef chosen for No Kid Hungry Washington D.C. fundraiser dinner (Wednesday—June 13th), it’s been a whirlwind. I wanted to post this recipe on Wednesday, for “Wednesday’s with WinniE’s” ™️. However, with the event it just wasn’t happening. But, I am back and I’m happy to share the next recipe in our partnership with Michele’s Granola! It’s our Berry, Banana & Bee Pollen Açai bowl. This recipe was inspired by my time in Oahu, Hawaii. I really enjoyed the way of life, specifically related to their philosophy about whole health foods. Just salt of the earth, good for you and good for the community approach to growing and creating food. I strived to emulate that same sensibilities in this recipe. This recipe is nutrient packed, easy and efficient for a beginner in the kitchen and because of the use of in-season ingredients, it’s sustainable. It’s an honor to work with a company like Michele’s—which share the same ideals as both WinniE’s Bakery and the locals I was inspired by in Oahu. Plus, having Michele’s Granola is the perfect complement to the bowl. Quite honestly, without the granola…what are really doing. I mean, at this point the açai bowl is just a vehicle for granola, lol! So, for the next time you have 10mins to make breakfast or a snack, give this recipe a try! Enjoy!
Berry, Banana &
Bee Pollen Açaí Bowl
makes 2 bowls
Ingredients: makes 2 bowl
2 packet of açaí (frozen)
1 banana (frozen)
1/2 blueberries (frozen)
1/2 c spinach
1/2 c water (1/4 c if thick texture is desired)
1/4 c pomegranates seeds
1 tbsp bee pollen
1/4 c raspberries
1/2 c Original granola
Drizzle of honey or agave (optional)
If you haven’t bought pre-plucked pomegranate seeds. On a cutting board, cut the top and bottom off of the pomegranate. Next, cut along the length of the fruit, into 2 segments. Then, flip the inside of the fruit faced down and using a spoon (wooden is best)—beat the back of the fruit until the seeds become dislodged.
Peel a banana and place it into a ziploc baggie or wrap in cling wrap and pop into the freezer. The banana should remain in the freezer for at least 30min-1hr.
Remove the banana, blueberries and 2 açaí packets from the freezer. Drop into a blender the entirety of the packets, banana, blueberries, spinach and water. Blend on low, just so the ingredients can begin to incorporate. Then, increase the speed to high and blend until fully even textured and smooth. Pour or scoop the blended contents into a bowl. Next, slice 1/2 of another banana. Lastly, top with the sliced banana, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, bee pollen and the Original Michele’s granola. For an extra bit of sweetness, drizzle a little honey atop—if desired.
Chef Note: This recipe can easily be made Vegan by omitting the honey and swapping the bee pollen for chopped nuts or seeds. Also, this recipe is easily made for 1, by cutting ingredient portions in half.
Photos: by Meghan of Meghan Elizabeth Photography