Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me. It’s also Bake and Destroy’s 10th anniversary. If there’s one thing 37 rotations around the sun and 10 years of food blogging has taught me, it’s to find happiness wherever I can – and most of the time, it’s hiding in food.

There’s joy in cooking for others, and for yourself. For a lot of us, cooking or baking is therapy. The kitchen is a place where you can make something from nothing, and for me, that’s an amazing feeling.

So I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate my birthday, and the 10th anniversary of this site, by giving away a copy of Blissful Basil: Over 100 Plant-Powered Recipes to Unearth Vibrancy, Health, and Happiness. I’m also sharing a delicious recipe here.

To enter, you can hop over to my Instagram and follow the directions in my post, or you can enter at the end of this post. (Giveaway starts 12/12/16 and ends 12/15/16.) Update: The giveaway is over! I’ve contacted the winner via Instagram.

Spicy Tomato Jam


  • 4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ground cumin (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp minced fresh red chile (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the halved tomatoes and maple syrup over medium-low heat. Cook for five minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to release their juices, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the garlic, cumin, ginger, red chile (if using), crushed red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Give the pan a good stir and bring to a rapid simmer. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer 30-35 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes to cook off some of the excess liquid. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reprinted from Blissful Basil by arrangement with BenBella Books. Copyright © 2016, Ashley Melillo.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I may receive compensation.

Herbed Cashew Cheese

By BakeandDestroy Published: December 11, 2016

    Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me. It's also Bake and Destroy's 10th anniversary. If there's one thing 37 rotations around …



    1. Add the soaked cashews to a food processor along with the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, filtered water, vinegar, garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Process for four minutes, or until very smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. The texture should resemble runny cream cheese. Add the chopped herbs and pulse a few times to incorporate.
    2. For a thinner, softer, spreadable cheese, enjoy as is.
    3. For a thicker, denser, spreadable cheese, line a small colander with tightly woven cheesecloth, scoop the cashew cheese into the cheesecloth, fold the ends over the top to cover, and place the colander over a medium bowl so it's suspended. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
    4. Serve with roasted garlic and tomato jam with pieces of toasted bread or crackers.

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