Cooking Up Tasty Allergy-Friendly Treats
For law student and self-defined “Buffalo foodie,” Michaela Fuchs, baking and cooking have always been passions as well as “nice ways to decompress and take a break!” She feels fortunate for family that supports her “constant desire to try new recipes, and they’re always ready to be [her] taste testers.”
Michaela’s biggest inspiration in the kitchen is her health. She says that when she learned she had some food allergies, she wanted to find safe versions of recipes she knew and loved – hence her initial attraction to the kitchen. She feels lucky her parents allowed her the opportunity as a kid to make recipes and sweet treats alongside them! Now that she’s older and knows more about cooking and baking, she loves to share her passion and recipes with family and friends.
Michaela enjoys winter around Buffalo with her family, especially sleigh rides and cocoa at Kelkenberg Farms, or staying warm with shows at Shea’s with dinner in and around the theatre district. On her bucket list this year is visiting Coco’s Crepe Chalet.
No-Fuss winter Meals, Desserts & Drinks
My biggest suggestion for no-fuss recipes is to gravitate toward things that you are already comfortable with and put a spin on it. I personally love using seasonal baking molds, like the snowflake-shaped tin that I use for my Upside Down Coffee Cakes.
One of the most important things about the holidays is creating a low-stress time to relax and enjoy the day with your family and friends. Being able to adapt recipes that you know and love will help you to do that!
I also try to plan ahead. This can help both with budgeting, as the holidays can be expensive, and with stress levels. My family also goes above and beyond with decorations for the holidays. One of my favorite ways to quickly dress up our table or island is to grab a small bouquet from Wegmans. They have a variety of sizes and never fail to surprise me with how long they last.
Charcuterie Boards Tips & Must-Haves
Whether we are having people over or just decide that we’re in the mood for a charcuterie board, I always try to have my favorites on hand: TopSeedz grain-free crackers, prosciutto, caramel (I love the Fat Toad Farm brand), sourdough bread (I always grab BreadHive’s West Side sourdough), jam, favorite cheeses, and fruit.
When making a cheese board, I always aim to have both a soft and a hard cheese (pick your favorites!), a meat, and whatever your heart desires. Pick between sweet or savory and go from there! For example, if I want a sweeter board I might choose brie, jam, honey, some fruit, and sourdough or crackers. If I want something richer, I might choose a mixture of brie, gouda, and manchego, with prosciutto, roasted garlic, and TopSeedz or sourdough.
Michaela’s Favorite Foods & Drinks
In Buffalo: Hands-down, Toasted by Buffalo Beauty Foodie. Not only do they have some of the best coffee, but you will also find some of the kindest people who work there. Stopping in for coffee before I head to class truly makes my day better. For dinner options, I love to go to Giancarlo’s in Williamsville, notably the chocolate cake and wine; Black & Blue for the chopped salad; 189 Burger in East Aurora, Bella Ciao for their steak; Neat for their margaritas, as well as Trattoria Aroma in Williamsville and Mangia in Orchard Park.
At home: Marry Me Chicken, homemade soups, hearty pasta dishes, and always an array of roasted vegetables.
Traveling: Whenever I travel, I bookmark new restaurants and cafés to try. A favorite city for food I was in was Québec City!
Secret Indulgences: One of my secret indulgences is poutine! Maybe it is just my French-Canadian genes talking, but I will never skip an opportunity to make fresh-cut fries topped with homemade gravy and cheese (I usually opt for goat cheddar).
Moscato Cupcakes Recipe
1 ¹/³ c. cassava flour (I use Otto’s Cassava Flour)
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. sour cream or greek yogurt
½ c. Moscato
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
Roughly 2 ½ c. powdered sugar
1 c. Moscato
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line your cupcake tins with cupcake liners or cups.
In a bowl, mix together your dry ingredients: cassava flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, cream the softened butter and granulated sugar together. Add in the eggs and beat until combined. Add vanilla and mix until just combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the Moscato and sour cream or yogurt. The mixture will fizz a bit, and this is normal.
Next, add the dry ingredients and Moscato mixture by alternating the additions into the bowl with the wet ingredients, mixing after each addition. It may be best to use an electric or stand mixer. The order will follow as: ¹/³ of the flour mixture, ½ the Moscato mixture, ¹/³ of the flour mixture, ½ of the Moscato mixture, ¹/³ of the flour mixture.
Fill cupcake liners ½ to ¾ full and bake for around 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Once the cupcakes are removed from the oven, allow to cool before frosting. Before frosting, brush each cupcake with a light amount of Moscato.
Add one cup of Moscato into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce until the Moscato is more of a syrup-consistency and close to roughly two tablespoons in measurement.
In a bowl, cube the softened butter and beat on low using an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar in ½ cup increments until you reach the desired consistency.
Once you have reached your desired consistency, add the reduced Moscato and an additional tablespoon of Moscato if desired.
Frost the cupcakes and decorate as you please.
Upside Down Coffee Cakes
1 ¹/³ c. cassava flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¾ c. sugar
2 large eggs
¾ c. milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease mini bundt pans and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the Cassava Flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and mix well.
Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup or bowl. Set aside.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Stir until combined. Next, add the milk mixture and stir. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until no streaks of cassava flour remain.
Sprinkle a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon at the base of the mini bundt pans.
Add batter to each pan cavity until about ¾ full.
Bake for 16-19 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when you lightly press them and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Apple Cider Sangria
Sparkling white wine of your choice (I used Moscato)
Begin by mixing the cinnamon and sugar. The amount of each ingredient will vary depending on how many people you are serving, but I would start with ½ c. brown sugar and 1 tbsp. cinnamon.
Dip the rim of each glass into caramel, and then into your cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.
Wash and cut the honeycrisp apples. Again, the amount may vary depending on the number of your guests, but I had roughly 5-6 apple slices in each glass. Set aside.
Fill each glass roughly halfway with apple cider.
Fill the rest of the desired glass with the sparkling white wine of your choice.
Add in a few apple slices and a cinnamon stick and enjoy!
Note: If you have children who want to join in on this recipe, or you do not drink alcohol, feel free to omit the white wine and simply fill the glass all the way up with apple cider. If you need to tell the glasses apart, you can always omit the cinnamon stick so you know that a given glass doesn’t have any alcohol.
Irish Cream Coffee Syrup
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
Splash of vanilla
In a pot, bring the water and sugar to a simmer and heat until the sugar has fully dissolved.
Once fully combined, take the pot off of the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla.
Note: I also used my favorite almond milk (the barista blend) from @elmhurst1925 ☕️