Chocolate Chip Cookies | Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free

by Chelle in


This recipe is an adaptation of Danielle Walker's Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe found in Against All Grain. Her's used almond flour, eggs, and real chocolate chips. I can't have those at the moment.  So I made a few changes. Take a look at her lovely blog! 

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Ingredients: 

1/4 cup coconut butter

1 "no egg" orgran egg

1/4 cup coconut crystals

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup carob chips 

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First, preheat your oven to 350 F. Mix one "egg" and add the coconut butter. 

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Cream together coconut crystals, honey, vanilla, and egg mixture. 

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Mix together the blended flour, salt, coconut flour, baking soda and add to the egg mixture. 

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Add the carob chips! 

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Roll into little balls and press to 1/2 inch thickness and place on a greased baking sheet. 

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Bake for 8-10 minutes and then set out to cool for two minutes. 

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Enjoy! 

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Vanilla Granola | Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free

by Chelle in


Making: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free Granola  

Smelling: The yummiest mix of vanilla, cinnamon, and honey

 Tasting: Earl Grey tea with coconut milk and honey

Hearing: Death Cab For Cutie iTunes Radio Station. I really love their new album, especially the song No Room in Frame. Guess who it’s about.

Reading: Cookbooks. Lots of cookbooks.

Loving: The current mix of work, time off, sunny winter days, and time to enjoy each of these. 

I’ve been working on this recipe since January. Joel and I have eaten a different version of granola each week, while I try to find the perfect sugar free, dairy free, gluten free mix of goodness that will inspire me want to leap out of bed and start the day. To be honest you’ll rarely find me leaping out of bed – regardless of the incentive. However this recipe came pretty dang close. It’s the perfect fix for my sweet tooth, which has been longing for all the  goodness of milkshakes, ice cream, and doughnut delights since cutting them out at the start of this year. The good news is I’m feeling so much better, so the no ice cream is worth it. 

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INGREDIENTS: 

3 cups of Gluten Free Oats*

1 cup of Cashews *

1 cup of Pecans*

4 Medjool Dates

¼ cup water (not pictures)

½ cup honey *

¼ coconut oil

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Vanilla

Notes on ingredients:

Gluten Free Oats – I have found a great brand at Trader Joe’s that are cheap and tasty. If you're worried about trace amounts of gluten read their explanation of how oats are made. You can also substitute in an alternative that works for you. 

Cashews and Pecans – You can use whatever type of nuts you like, I am limited in the types I can eat currently so these two are it for me.

Honey- Use local honey if at all possible. It helps prevent allergies but it needs to build up in your system before allergy season strikes! Also you can substitute for  honey for pure maple syrup. 

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Begin by preheating the oven to 200 F and lining a baking tin with wax paper. 

Next, Cut up the dates and remove the pits. Put them in a small pot with ¼ cup of water and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until dates are soft (3-5 minutes). 

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When the dates are finished put them along with the cashews, pecans, cinnamon, vanilla and half of the oats into the blender and pulse several times until the nuts appear chopped. Don’t over pulse – the mixture shouldn’t be totally blended.  Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. 

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Bring honey and coconut oil to a boil and let simmer for a minute or two – stirring constantly. Then pour honey/coconut oil mixture into the blended oat mixture and stir until combined

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hen add the remaining dry oat. 

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You are minutes away from the most  amazing goodness. Spread the mixture evenly over your wax paper covered baking sheet and put in the oven to cook for half an hour. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes and remove from the oven when golden brown. 

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While the granola is cooking take a few minutes to tidy up. This is my least favorite part of cooking, but by the time the granola is done your kitchen is all clean. 

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Remove from the oven, let cool, and enjoy! I like mine with fresh fruit and coconut milk. Store the rest in an airtight container for up to a week. 

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Chocolate Caramel Bars | Allergy Friendly

by Chelle in


Well it's been 13 days of no eggs, sugar, dairy, gluten, peanuts, or almond products my dear B and my oh my I don't know how you do it. The first few days were fine. And then I hosted a bridal shower. It was so much fun- but I couldn't eat most of what I made. I munched on carrots and snap peas as cheesecake, macaroons, and all sorts of goodness sat there just starting at me. 

In the middle of last week I said " JOEL we should go get HOT CAKES, they are gluten free and VEGAN," -  and also my favorite dessert in the world!" The good man said, " Yes but what about the sugar." . . . Dammit. 

Another favorite from  Andria Lindquist  - We love HOT CAKES so much we took engagement photos there! Yep! 

Another favorite from Andria Lindquist - We love HOT CAKES so much we took engagement photos there! Yep! 

BUT THEN I found these gems: 

I'm learning that recipes often can be altered and it's okay. I can't have almonds and this recipe calls for almonds - so NIX the almonds and sub in cashews and get ready for the most amazing chocolatey sugar free goodness you've ever had! 

Chocolate Carmel Goodness without the Ness: An adaptation of Healthier Date and Cashew Caramel Chocolate Slice  from  Nadia the Good Food Cook. A huge thank you to the lovely lady for such a delicious recipe! I've made changes based on my dietary restrictions (no almonds or walnuts). You should do the same! 

*Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free 

Ingredients

For the Crust

3/4 Cup Gluten Free Oats (I buy mine at Trader Joe's and haven't had any issues, but if you're extremely sensitive Nadia suggests substituting ground almonds) 

1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder (I didn't know this was sugar free!) 

6 Dates - Pitted

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews 

Salt

6-8 Tablespoons Ghee (which is dairy free) or Coconut Oil (for vegan) - Again I get both at Trader Joe's 

Date and Cashew Caramel Filling

400 grams dried and pitted Dates

3/4 Cup boiled water 

2 Cups Cashew Nuts softened - To soften the cashews boil them in 4 cups of water for 15 minutes 

1/4 Cup Maple Syrup (the NATURAL STUFF! PURE PURE PURE) 

1/2  Cup melted Coconut Oil - this adds an amazing flavor so try not to sub! 

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract 

Chocolate Topping

150-200g Dairy Free Dark Chocolate (again it's SUGAR FREE! Who knew) 

1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil (or another oil that won't contribute to the flavor aka a neutral oil

 

READ ALL THE WAY THROUGH BEFORE YOU START! I may or may not have snatched the crust out of the oven and had to re blend it because I forgot the dates... so do yourself a favor and read this all first. 

For the Crust

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease an 8x8 pan, line it with wax paper, and grease the wax paper. 

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Put oats, cocoa, salt, dates and cashews in the blender and blend until all mixed together. Add the ghee and mix until dough forms. Press the dough into the pan and place it in the oven for 15 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let it cool.

Now for the amazing caramel-ly filling that is just so so yummy! 

Put the dates and the water on the stove top and bring to a boil, stir until the water is evaporated and the dates are a fairly mushy texture. Then put the dates, cashews, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract and blend until smooth (this will take several minutes). Now spread this deliciousness over the crust and refrigerate for 4 hours. Or freeze for two hours. 

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Now get your double boiler. Don't have one? I don't either. So then get your pot and a bowl that fits in the top. Put water in the bottom and then put on a high heat. Put broken pieces of chocolate and oil in the top and stir continuously until it melts. 

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Spread the chocolate over the carmel and put it back in the fridge for 20 minutes. If it's not quite hard enough return to the fridge freezer for a little longer. I left mine in the freezer for 2 hours and it was perfect! 

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Danish Pepper Cookies

by Brittany in


1 1/2 cup almond flour

(for you, Chelle, use 1/4 starch and 3/4 rice flour)

1/2 cup organic shortening

1/2 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamon 

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Cream together the flour, shortening and honey. Add the rest of the ingredients and roll into balls, pat flattish and bake at 350! The star of this show is really the white pepper... We are putting it in everything these days. You don't notice it until after you swallow but then it sticks with you and warms you all the way to your toes. The perfect winter spice!

I added a chocolate sauce that I've been making for everything lately... a dab of shortening, about a fourth cup of cocoa powder, a generous squeeze of honey, a splash of vanilla, and little pile of fresh zested ginger. If you don't want to harden the chocolate in the refrigerator (I had to) you can add cocoa butter instead of the shortening. I got a chunk this week and I'm hoping to make some sugar free chocolate chips. I'll let you know when I figure it out! 

We haven't been posting much because late October to mid January is a very busy time for both of us... Chelle's birthday is the end of October, then mine is a week later in November, then we had our buddy Callie's wedding and since then it's been holidays! Lots of pine needles, fairy lights, paper snipping, spools of string, and cooking with warming spices and whiskey. I just found a whole ton of pictures of all the to-dos so those will be up soon!


Cardamon Honey Rose Cake

by Brittany in


This is a sweetly unassuming cake... until you take a bite and it hits you with its heady sweetness and spiciness. It's best with black coffee and maybe a dollop of sheep yogurt (the tanginess offsets the richness perfectly!) 

Anyways, we have a lot of birthdays coming up... Chelle's is next week and so are both my parents. I wish I could make this for you all... but this will have to do! Besides, this is more an everyday kind of cake. Or maybe a birthday breakfast cake? Yes. 

3 eggs, separated

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup honey, or to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons rosewater

1 teaspoon cardamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Begin beating the egg whites while combining all other ingredients in a separate mixing bowl, except for the vinegar. When oven is heated to 350 and the springform pan is oiled and the bottom is lined with parchment paper and the whites are good and stiff, fold the vinegar and whites into the batter as fast and as gently as you can (the faster you are the more height you will get). Drizzle some extra honey in a criss cross pattern over the top of the cake and slide in the oven. Bake it until it is not jiggly in the center. 

note: the picture is from an earlier rendition so the honey drizzle is not there... trust me the pre bake drizzle looks as beautiful as it tastes!


The Cream for Your Coffee

by Brittany in


I am so happy you are eating FODMAP now! I really think it will help.... but I also feel sorry for you because it sucks and the few months I was doing it full on a few years ago were some of my hungriest months. And I have many hungry months! This creamer recipe is a reward for you...and hopefully, will make all this a bit easier on you. 

 

Cashew Creamer (FODMAP, SCD, Vegan, etc...)

1 cup of raw cashews

3 dates torn into bits (I use this because I can't have maple syrup or sugar of any form on the SCD diet but you can use a splash or two of maple syrup... or skip entirely... I never used to use any sweetener and it was great!)

1 splash of vanilla (Whole Foods has an organic sugar free one that is quite cheap)

Dump everything into any old blender (I refuse to join the vita-mix camp...overrated! In my opinion you shouldn't need fancy appliances to eat healthily) and blend for about 5 minutes. The time depends on the power of your blender and the amount of cashew pulp you would like left over. After it looks good and smooth you pour it through a nut milk sack (add it on to your next prime order!) and into a jar! There will be between a half cup and a cup of pulp left in your nut milk sack... I put that in a smaller jar and keep it in the fridge to bake my SCD bread with later (I'll post that recipe soon!). I Recommend having Joel brew some coffee while you are making the milk and pour it straight in. The first cup is the best because it's so frothy from the blender!

 


Zucchini Pasta with Chicken

by Chelle in


Carrots, turnips, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, lettuce, basil, eggs, meat, coconut products, 1 banana every few days, pecans, some seeds, olives, and macadamia nuts.

I'm writing you in the midst of attempting one of those crazy fads I said I would never do. However, I've heard sugar is the worst for your immune system and since I tend to be more of the canary in a mine when it comes to the colds going around from now until April I decided I would give The 21 Day Sugar Detox a try. I'm writing to you at the end of day 11. 

 As I began to prepare for the dreary sugarless days ahead a section in the book  noted that FODMAP- Fermentable, Oligo-, Di, Mono-saccharides and Polyols- are types of carbohydrates that some people have difficulty digesting and contribute to IBS (something I've been "not dealing with" for years). Googling lists is difficult because each list has a few addition or subtractions but I found this one and built on it.  Oh and incidentally you've told me I should give them up for ages. I should have listened to you!   Eliminating them during the 21 days cut the list of edible vegetables in half. But Joel, oh yes he's doing this too, said, "either we do this right or we don't do it." 

I've thought of you a lot when I'm missing chocolate or can't get the idea of a milkshake out of my mind but mostly as I prep each meal. Salads loaded with fresh veggies, seeds, and toped in olive oil. Coconut flower muffins seemed a bit grainy on day 5 but 6 days later are like chocolate cake at the end of day 11. Meats are full of flavor and roasted carrots rival many french fries when baked in olive oil and salt. I think of all the times you've cooked for me and how it's always been a feast and I couldn't stop eating and then I get excited to make something yummy. 

Yes it's been hard. Some days tempers (mainly mine) run short. It's so weird how entitled I feel to have cream in my coffee. I'll save any ravings about amazing skin or weight loss and simply say at day 11 I feel healthier than I've felt in ages. I'm excited to learn from this time and incorporate elements of it into every day life. You know ground breaking things like eating breakfast, menu planning, and taking lunches to work.  Making the time to form some rhythms feels like a sustainable investment. 

Anyway I mainly started to write this because I found this. What is it? It turns zucchini, carrots, and squash into pasta. 

The picture from above is my first successful attempt at zucchini pasta. There were a few misses. 

You will need:

  • 2 zucchini 
  • 2 skinless breasts of chicken
  • Olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup Basil 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper 
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  1. Peel the zucchini and put it through the spiral vegetable slicer and put in a big bowl
  2. In a separate bowl mix olive oil,  chopped basil, slat, pepper and black olives and pour mixture into larger bowl containing the zucchini 
  3. In a frying pan over medium heat sauté chicken in olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  4. When chicken is done stir into pasta mix and serve

If you want to have a warmer dish after cooking chicken sauté pasta mixture for several minutes with olive oil. 

There is my trendy, foodie, detox blog post for the year. But as much as I laugh I am actually falling asleep quickly, waking up refreshed instead of exhausted, no headaches, backaches and less crazy stomach things... oh and my skin looks good. So maybe something is working. 


The Ad-man & the Psychopath

by Brittany in


Roasted Strawberry Basil Popsicle

1 can full fat coconut milk

2 good handfuls strawberries

4-5 basil leaves

1 tablespoon honey

1 splash gin

Wash and arrange strawberries flat on roasting pan. If necessary, chop in halves or quarters, but the larger they are the prettier they'll look frozen! Place in oven at 350 for 15 min or until they start to sizzle and brown in places (your kitchen will smell heavenly!). Meanwhile, chop the basil very finely and combine with all liquids. Once strawberries are roasted add to liquid and pour into popsicle mold and freeze in the back-most corner of freezer. I got four full size popsicles and three minis out of this. 


Ok Chelley! Now that your popsicles are freezing, how about a little personality discussion?! I have always hated taking personality tests...particularly with Jesse because every single time I would get an utter psychopath as a result (no joke... the lists of notable people with similar personalities were filled with dictators, murderers and general n'er do gooders) and Jesse would get these glowing results saying he was the life of every party, friend to everyone, leader, sensitive, sexy, etc.... anything good and complimentary, he got it. In all fairness, I am a bit crazy (and I hadn't found out about my special mutation back then...more on that later) and Jesse IS completely charming and the life of MY party (hence why I married the guy...) but I'm hardly "Sid Vicious"(-Tom)!

So yesterday, in some downtime, I took this version of the Meyers Brigg again and, while I do still share personality types with a handful of Nazis and Nero, the result was much, much more accurate!! It was such a relief to discover that there actually is a good side to me!

So last night we ate popsicles and Jesse took the quiz, too, and we poured over our results together... it was so fun and hilarious and sweet. Turns out Jesse and I have both changed quite a bit in our results... and yes, Jesse's notable mates did not include any Nazis or Dictators but mine had Audrey Hepburn, Sofia Coppola and Bob Dylan. So I was happy. Also it turns out over the past few years our personalities have become more and more similar! Mine is ISFP and his is ESFP! He used to be ENFJ (I know.... only one letter is the same!  Apparently SPs are "Explorers" which seems spot on, given how much we travel and move around and haunt the alleyways of cities! Also it explained our mutual dislike of philosophical discussions! A lot of people thought/think we are a frivolous couple but we talk about what comes up in private and simply don't desire to or see the need to discuss it further!  I love how personalities change and grow and mesh together with the ones we love! Here is something Jesse said about it that I liked:

"When people take tests like this, a lot of times they feel like it's telling them who they are--that it provides a rationalization for remaining certain ways. But that's wrong. We aren't born with a firm personality. Our results are the outcome of answers to questions that we provide based on who we are right now. The personality it tells us we have is something we can observe the bad and good in, and then make efforts to change. I used to be far more concerned with what people thought of me and with being a leader to everyone around me all the time. I care less about that now, so my answers produced a personality type that cares less about it. How sad would it have been if I spent my whole life thinking that was my personality, so that's how I had to stay? To be honest, it was mostly just annoying."

A bit more on mine, I really hope you read it, Chelle, cause it's eery how right it is! Things like, "ISFPs live completely in the present...refusing to prepare extensive plans for the future"! That cracked me up in terms of our friendship, and warmed my heart in terms of Jesse and my's relationship! It got the artistic, sensitivity to aesthetics, the unpredictability, the risk taking (remember my breaking into abandoned houses stage?!) and the coldness to people while still being wildly passionate all right! And a lot of the weaknesses were right too.... ha!

Anyways, you and Joel should make an evening date of this, if you haven't already! I can't wait to hear what you (both) are and see the friendship stuff! 

xo, B

p.s. our friend Ryan came up with that title for us: the ad-man & the psychopath... I kind of adore it! Thanks Ryan!


Stuffing, Eggs and a Sausage or Two

by Brittany in


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I love when a meal just seems to build itself... Jesse and I had just gotten home from a round about garage sale-ing walk home from our Saturday morning coffee and we were famished. I opened the fridge and pulled my mushrooms and started chopping them without much plan at all and this is what became of it!

A good handful of mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon (generous) of smoked salish salt

1 teaspoon of freshly zested ginger

the top of a fennel bulb (leafy bits included) chopped

A whole apple, coarsely chopped

A dash of nutmeg

Shaved Pecorino Romano

A good handful of currants

A splash of red wine

A quarter of a jalepeño, finely chopped

Sautee all these toether slowly in a cast iron skillet adding oil as needed so it creates a sauce-y feel.

Two sausages ( I used Trader Joe's pesto chicken sausage) 

Two eggs

Two or three bread heels

Meanwhile, make a generous bed of lettuce on two plates (one on each plate). Also meanwhile, cut two sausages open down the middle like hot dog buns and place them in a pan. In that same pan put two or three heels of bread covered in oil and sprinkled with salt (normal sea salt is fine or the yummy smoked stuff! just remember there already is some in the skillet). Put this pan (the one with sausage and bread) under your broiler. Check them regularly... we want the sausage to be nicely browned (I like a little charring even) but the bread should only be golden so pull it out sooner. Then coarsely chop the bread into crouton like squares. dump them into the sautéing deliciousness... they will soak up the juiciness of all the veggies and wine and oils until it is almost caramelized.  Ok now you spoon the sauteed part (I guess it's stuffing essentially!) onto the lettuce. Then place the sausages on top of that. Finally you fry two eggs sunny side up in the recently vacated skillet. Make sure the yolk is nice and oozy... it, combined with your sauteed stuffing is going to make the best dressing ever! You then place the egg on top of the sausage!

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Pizza Night

by Brittany in


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 I have gone on about this before, but I adore pizza so much. I got my fix for a few months back in June or July while we were on Sardinia, but that was quite awhile ago and my craving reached the tipping point. For awhile it was a quiet enough craving that the memory of those Italian gluten free masterpieces would suffice (that and I was afraid to wake up to the reality that I would never come close to that pizza maker's magic). But no longer. So I tried my best. In the past, my failed attempts included crusts that were so hard I had to saw them with, not a butter knife, but a real knife; crusts so crumbly a spoon was the only realistic utensil; crusts that were too eggy, too salty, too white and bland... basically if there is a problem one can have I've had it. 

This time, two significant factors changed for me. First, I got parchment paper. I don't know why I'd never got it before, but it is an absolute must for gluten free baking. Second, Jesse got me a rolling pin! Would you believe it, since we got married, I've never owned one! I prefer to get my kitchen utensils at thrift stores, but because of my celiac disease, I've always shied away from things like rolling pins (made of porous wood typically) and sifters. And I love the marble ones, but those are so expensive new I just made do with empty wine bottles or my hands (I only really need a pin for pie crusts and pizza dough and gluten free pie crusts aren't nearly as sensitive to over handling as regular glutenous crusts). But one evening a few weeks ago Jesse noticed me struggling trying to flatten a pie crust evenly with my hands and he hopped right onto Amazon and after a little research decided I needed a French style rolling pin and ordered it right then and there. He is wonderful.

Between the parchment paper and the pin, my whole mindset towards pizza dough altered! Before I would press and press the crumbs together just forcing them to stick to each other. With that method it's no wonder my crusts simply dissolved back into the crumbs from whence they came!  This time I laid out a nicely floured sheet of parchment paper and went at the dough rolling it out and sprinkling flour on it as needed and it stretched and flattened and was just a dream!

Now it's a bit ironic and funny that Chelle's last post was in praise of following recipes but it's also delightfully representative of our personalities! You can always count on Chelle to have every detail of everything carefully thought out far ahead of time... and, well, I'm very much fly by the seat of my pants! So please excuse the vagueness of this recipe (although if you read An Everlasting Meal                as I recommended a few posts back, you won't even bat an eye)! 

Pizza Crust

3/4 cup rice flour (about... I just eyeballed the amount then added enough liquid so it rolled nicely) 

1/4 cup tapioca flour

2 tablespoons baking powder  

1 tablespoon sugar (maybe more)  

mostly almond milk 

a good pour of orange juice (to bind it all together... you could use all orange juice but the flavor may overwhelm the Italian-ness of the recipe!)  

Then knead it all together and roll adding flour as needed! I highly recommend the French rolling pin because it uniquely gives you the perfectly even and perfectly circular crust... without even having to pick up and change direction!  

For the toppings I dug around in my fridge and realized I had three types of sheep cheese: Manchego, Romano and Feta. After generously coating the crust with olive oil I shaved off bits of the first two types, covering the entire crust. Then I added mushrooms, red pepper flakes and pepperoni and topped it all off with freshly "borrowed" oregano from an obliging community garden (not sure the ethics there... but it was a very big plant, gone all leggy so I decided if no one else was using it...) and feta! Who needs tomatoes on pizza? Totally not a necessary ingredient (although delicious if you have them)!

 


Gluten Free Apple Pie

by Chelle in


At least you found a recipe on pinterest- even if it did fail. I tend to make things up and hope for the best, but these days I'm finding it's better to stick to some sort of guidelines when dealing with gluten free baking. Joel can't have gluten so I'm trying to get into the gluten free groove, and it's helpful having lived with you to know tuns of tricks etc. But the baking is still a bit of a hang up. So remember those apples and that pie I was going to make? 

When I decided to bake a pie I really wasn't in the mood to deal with another botched attempt at making some gluten free wonder. It was also 6:30pm and I've had quite the neglected to do list building up. So I did it. I bought a gluten free pie crust. I'm honestly thrilled, it was $4.99 for two which means I can make TWO pies and not spend a million dollars! No SHAME! 

Anyway I did revert to my old wing-it habits as I was flipping through Smitten Kitchen's amazing cook book. If you have a book wish list this is defiantly worth adding and well worth the investment. She's a brilliant writer and so much fun to read. Oh and the recipes are amazing. Anyway there was a deep dish apple streusel pie I just had to try, the problem was it was gluten full... so below is my attempt at a gluten free streusel apple pie - I had to drop the deep dish part as the pie crust was pre made. I'm also excited because this'll mean I have a few trial runs on pies before thanksgiving rolls around. 

If by chance you have a tried and true gluten free pie dough recipe I would covet it!!!  And I promise I would stick to it and stop with this whimsical pinch of this and that nonsense. 

For the gluten free streusel: 

3/4 c granulate sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp table salt

3/4 cup tapioca flour

3/4 cup ground almonds (or almond flour) (I use a coffee grinder to grind whole almonds which also adds a nice almond flavor to the coffee and vice versa)  

8 tablespoons melted butter

 

For the filling: 

5 ish pounds of apples that you've recently picked right from the tree ( or whatever you enjoy baking with) 

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt  

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:  

Preheat oven to 375. Mix streusel ingredients and set aside. Peel apples and chop (thick or thin depending on how you like your pie filling). Place in bowl and coat with lemon juice. In a small bowl mix dry ingredients then sprinkle over apples. Pour apples into pie filling and put in oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove pie and sprinkle streusel over top. Return pie to oven and reduce heat to 300. Bake for an additional hour. If streusel starts to burn cover with foil. Remove from oven and let cool. 

Again I will stress I took huge artistic license with this.... but hopefully it will be a good gluten free staple for the fall.  

P.S. It was sooo good! It could have been that I was just really hungry but this pie didn't taste gluten free and I'd say that's a success!  

 

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Cake, Failure, and Literature

by Brittany in


And the winner of the Essie nail polish giveaway is Tesla! Congratulations, Tesla!

Thank you all so much for commenting! We will definitely be doing more giveaways so everyone could have a chance to win something at some point.  

Tesla, please email us at lhirondellerouge@gmail.com with your address and Chelle will ship your nail polish out to you this week!

 

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photo credit: Jesse

photo credit: Jesse

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 1. my very terrible yet beautiful cake... it was truly horrible tasting. I think Jesse was just going to power through and finish it but he seemed relieved to notice I wasn't finishing my slice. Not all pinterest recipes are good, folks! 2. scone and sun tea morning. The scones are always good. I should have stuck with what works and not wasted my expensive shortening on that cake! 3. been very tired lately and not feeling so great due to celiac and stuff. 4. my beautiful cutlery drawer lined with an extra copy of Crime and Punishment. Which I read this summer... I thought I could save space and only bring one huge book but it's not as huge as I was hoping and I finished it within a week or two. Thankfully, there was an English bookstore in Rome.

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Speaking of books, Fall is a good time to pick up a new one or two or ten. Jesse and I just walked over to our local bookstore and got an old copy of The Little Prince  because it is one of Jesse's favorites and (not sure how I missed this as a French major...) I have never read it! So now he is reading it aloud to me every evening while I cook dinner. It's probably going to become a new tradition.

Here are some of my favorite and/or recent reads. I highly recommend all of these:

Random Harvest by James Hilton, Hilton is one of those solid British writers that you can count on for an adventure story that will captivate your entire brain and not let you stop thinking about it till it's finished. Trust me, you will find yourself inventing reasons to stay home and if you can't think of one you may contemplate reading while driving (I've done it and I'm still alive...) just so you can finish it. Take a bus. 

The Second Coming by Walker Percy, Jesse got me this book a while back because he told me the girl reminded him of me... she's crazy, lives in an abandoned greenhouse and builds a wood stove from scratch. He was spot on.

Pastoral by Nevil Shute, Shute is another of those brilliant English authors who writes about everything I love (England, sailing, flying, Puget Sound, Australia, World War II, etc.). But this particular one is a slow moving romance... and not at all trashy. If you, like most people right now, are smitten with Downton Abby and Call the Midwife, then you should really read this. It's a very quick read. 

Certain Woman  by Madeleine L'Engle, she always makes me want to move to New York City with her adult novels and this one is no exception... but it also is set on a boat on Puget Sound! So it's very homey as well. And, like all of her books, wonderfully and lyrically bewitching.  

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, my favorite Fitzgerald book by a long shot because it seems the most human to me (although The Beautiful and the Damned  is a close and rather depressing second). Honestly, I'm having trouble remembering details about it, which is always exciting because that means I can re-read it!

Anna Karenina  by Leo Tolstoy, I've been on a Russian literature kick lately, in part because they are so long. I'm a very fast reader, so it's really nice not to have to think about what to read next for a while! This starts pretty depressing, but it's worth pushing through... plus the descriptions of the clothes alone make it worth the read! 

An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, every aspiring cook or anyone with access to a kitchen should read, own and keep this book. It is the single best cookbook I have ever read and it's not even a cook book. With chapter titles like, "how to boil an egg," Adler takes you back to the basics and gives you new appreciation for the simplest of meals, like scrambled eggs with herbs. Or a pot of beans. She says brilliant stuff like balance each day instead of each meal (if you had fruit for breakfast it's totally fine to have a cheese sandwich for lunch... you already had your fresh stuff!). 

Kinfolk, obviously... everyone should be reading this. And you already know it.

What is on your nightstand or bookshelf for fall? Do you have any fun reading traditions or will you start one this fall? Where's your favorite place to read? Are you a bed reader or an overstuffed armchair reader or a coffee shop reader? Maybe you are a park bench reader... That's one I want to become more of. I'm mostly just a bed reader but we are hoping to get a big sheepskin and a pile of pillows for under our loft so maybe this fall I'll become a floor reader. 


Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Vegan Coconut Frosting

by Chelle in


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Gluten free cooking always makes me nervouse. Something tends to go wrong, but this time a mistake turned into a masterpiece! These are so yummy and light and a great party pleaser. I took them to the Gatsby and they were a hit! B texted me the receipe and I made a few alterations- acceidently leaving out one of the most important ingerdiant:

For the Cupcakes

1.5 C Almond Flour

1/2 C White Rice Flour

3/4 C Cocoa Powder

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp. Salt

2 Eggs (or the equivalent of egg replacer to make these vegan)

3/4 C Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

1 C Olive Oil

For the Icing

1 14 oz. can coconut cream

2 Tlb. Powdered sugar

To make the cake mix all dry ingredients then add the remaining and mix until just wet. Pour into cupcake tins. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Keep a close eye on these as they can be a little tempermental and take less or more time depending on their mood. Remove from oven and let cool before icing.

Beat the coconut cream with the powdered sugar. Add 2 Tbs lemon juice or 1 Tsp vanilla extract. Ice those cupcakes and serves 'em up!


Lebkuchen

by Chelle in


Lebkuchen reminds me of growing up. These are traditional German Christmas cookies and so spicy and yummy and they go great with hot spiced wine, or Glühwein - remember that post? They actually come from the town I went to kindergarten in, Nuremberg. 

This year I thought I'd try to make them. Maybe it will go terribly wrong. Maybe they will be amazing! We'll know by the end of this post, as they take three days to make. With ever so much optimism, I'll begin. Oh and I found this recipe here and am making a few adjustments of my own after looking around the good old interweb for ideas. 

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 3/4 AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 c diced, candied citron
  • 1/3 c chopped hazelnuts

Icing

  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c confectioners sugar

Normally Lebkuchen has a bottom layer that is sort of like rice paper. This is not essential, but if you want to make with this layer- oblaten- you can order them here. I did! Let's see how this goes.

Actually I didn't. I ordered them and they didn't get here in time ... so no oblaten. Such is life.

Day 1: Boil Honey and Molasses. Once boiled stir in brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg together in a large bowl and add molasses mixture to this. Stir in the hazelnuts. Place in a bowl and put orange peels in bowl then cover and put in the fridge. (The peel sort of infuses the mix and absorbs some of the extra moisture, very clever)

Day 2: Preheat the oven to 350. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 10 minutes. 

While the cookies are baking, bring 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water to boil, remove from heat and add 1/2 cup powdered sugar to the mix. Bring cookies out from oven, put on a cooling rack right away and brush with icing.

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Hope you are having the most wonderful Christmas Eve!!!!!

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British Christmas Pudding

by Chelle in


Every year Mum has made Christmas pudding. People laugh at the idea of fruit cake. Not in our house. This is the next step up from fruit cake.It's a serious process that usually begins in September. However this year we are doing the alternative which only takes a week. There's a fermenting process as the fruit is soaked in brandy- or in our case sherry. 

So this year I am documenting this process. This is the real deal, so you need an actual scale - no cups here. If nothing else, this is a taste of my childhood. Also about the bright yellow bowl. We've had it since I can remember and we make it in this every year. Not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it's tradition. 

Ingredients:

  • 250g butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g dates
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 small carrot
  • 125g mixed peel
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 c plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tablespoons of brandy or sherry depending on your taste 

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Day 1 : Measure out all the dry fruit, mix in bowl, add brandy/sherry. Let this soak overnight. 

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Day 2: Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add orange and lemon rinds. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Peel apple and carrot. Stir fruit mixture, apple, carrot, and breadcrumbs into butter mixture. Sift dry ingredients and fold into mixture. 

To steam: pour mixture into well greased ceramic bowl (one that can handle heat), cover with foil, secure with string. Steam on high for 4 hours. (Keep checking and adding water to maintain a constant boil.) Re-steam for 2 hours on Christmas day and serve with custard or whipped cream. (custard is very british, I can post a recipe for that soon) 

 

Poached Eggs, Kale and Cannellinis

by Brittany in ,


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This is one of those whip  together in twenty minutes kind of meals that everyone should have a good stock pile of in the back of their minds.

  • ___ eggs (however many you want to eat)
  • a big bunch of kale
  • a shallot sliced in little rings (so pretty!)
  • maybe some garlic if you like
  • a few dashes of augustana bitters
  • a lemon squeezed on top
  • generously salted and peppered (kosher and freshly ground are best)
  • one can of cannellini beans (I always keep these on hand--from Trader Joe's)
  • ___ slices of toast (above are Udi's but whatever you like!)

While the water is boiling for the eggs, start heating up some olive oil in your cast iron skillet. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté till they are soft then add the kale and the liquids and put a nice heavy lid on top to squish down all that deliciousness. Meanwhile, your water should be boiling by now and you can crack your eggs straight into it. Don't forget about yours like I did...ideally they should be a bit oozy and meld together with the kale and soak into the bread. Once your eggs are in the water it will be time to add the beans sauté them a bit (by then the kale will have shrunk down enough so there will be space to do that). Make sure the beans get good and cooked... no one likes a bean straight from a can, or they won't after they've had them sautéed in olive oil and nicely salted! You may want to add another splash of olive oil, or you may not. The beauty of this meal is that it will just fall together however you like!

Now you are ready to eat pile it all on top of each other and eat up!


Cookies & Coffee

by Brittany in


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Ginger Chocolate Cookies

  • 1 cup duck lard, shortening or coconut oil
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sweet white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup corn starch, potato starch or tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • a handful or two of chocolate chips
  • a handful or two of chopped candied ginger
  • a generous amount of salt (teaspoonish...its the best part, the salty sweetness...you could even sprinkle a bit of kosher salt on the top of each cookie!)

Cream together the fat and sugar. Add eggs. Then gradually add the rest of the ingredients. Bake in 350 degree oven for eight to ten minutes. 

Make sure to have some coffee ready! cause you will want to eat these as soon as they're out of the oven!


Glühwein

by Chelle in


I recently decided to tell people I grew up in Germany- for the most part. The for the most part covers a multitude of explanations. Anyway with this new affinity for my German roots-yes yes I know next week I'll declare myself Australian- I decided to make Glühwein. I think that was one of my favorite things about Germany, being able to walk down the streets and sip hot spiced wine at Christmas time. This recipe is the best one I've tried, the sherry makes all the difference! 

To Make: 

1 bottle wine ( 2 buck chuck is great)

1 cup sugar

1 orange sliced

2 cinnamon sticks 

Whole cloves ( 4 per orange slice)

1/8 cup Sherry

This recipe is very proportional so it's easy to double or what have you. 

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Cranberry Sauce

by Chelle in


Decidedly bright and cheery post for this gloomy day. It's been the typical rainy Seattle sort of day -  your favorite! I'm writing up in my room and it smells like lighthouse coffe- a pound of French Roast is in my box of Christmas presents that need to be sent off next week- and Penny is snuggled on my lap as I write this. Good to be back on the blog!

Thanksgiving preparations are in full swing. We're having the typical orphan Thanksgiving this year - the usual suspects co-workers, church friends, bank tellers. You know. What will you guys be up to in Chicago?

So this is a quick and easy recipe to make ahead of time, and it actually improves after sitting for a few days. It's Dana's staple and she gave me the recipe two years ago. It'll be a staple for the years to come - that good!

Ingredients:

6 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

zest of 1 orange

1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice

Directions: 

Cook in covered saucepan on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool then store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

Callie got me these measuring spoons from Anthropologie. I'd been looking at them for a good two years and this is the first time I used them.... and they make me so happy. 


Pumpkin Bread

by Chelle in


So the early morning breakfasts have been rather inspiring these days. Pumpkin bread is on the menu currently. I adapted this particular recipe from this, credit where credit is due. I know you can't eat it... but I'm sure you have a great pumpkin something recipe... I'll work on altering the one below to be a gluten free delight in the near future. 

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Preheat oven to 350 F

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (it's lighter than oil and pretty much the only change I made)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup nuts - optional (didn't put these in... another change)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Stir them together in the larger bowl to make life easier. Put in a greased glass pan. Bake for 40-60 minutes depending on life in general and then enjoy.