Welcome to my first installment of Pro Pastry. This series focuses on recipes from chefs I’ve worked with, adapted with the gluten and dairy removed so that my body can indulge in them. I’ll also be simultaneously posting long-form interviews or book reviews of the chefs over at WordsFoodArt.com. Take a look at the why’s behind this series, and click on the links within to sneak into the fun little life I have as a chef writer. xoxo
My Creme Brûlée Recipe Needed an Update
It’s been one of the most popular posts on this site for years now and, though I haven’t made it recently, creme brûlée so easy and fun to make that I used to devour it often.
But the original recipe went up in 2011. Time fricken flies, man. In that time I shifted from blogging and playwriting to “chef writing” and, 150 some-odd chefs later, I’ve lived so many beautiful moments and seen countless plates of breathtaking food. Recently, I was chatting with a bartender while Brent shot away in a neighboring dining room, when a “creme brûlée” hit my ears, and inspired this first Pro Pastry recipe. Continue reading
Living with Lyme disease = a constant battle against inflammation.
It’s nothing new, or novel, that eating certain foods and imbibing on tasty cocktails causes many to feel gross. But when you have an inflammatory illness, that “feeling gross” can result in horribly painful joints and enraged digestive systems.
Currently, it seems like everything and their brother causes inflammation in my body; my fingers are swollen, I have to roll out the puffiness in my feet and ankles, and my face get a Cabbage Patch Kid-esque pique to it. Lyme Disease + being in my thirties + adrenal stuff making it really hard to get the green light to exercise as often as I’d like = puff.
Does that mean I never indulge? Hell no. It just means that I’m constantly putting inflammation-fighting foods in my body, and making sure that the clean days far outweigh the indulgent ones.
This granola recipe is one of my favorites. It’s insanely easy, and wonderfully adaptable. Continue reading
My favorite t-shirt… even though I haven’t eaten gluten in 20 years.
My favorite t-shirt has “Gluten is not the Devil” blazed on it in Italian. It’s soft, and the curvy cut is quite perfect, and the pig on it looks like there’s nothing that will bring him more happiness than the bowl of gnocchi he’s about to devour. Flavour Gallery sent it to me after a chef-friend saw it on Twitter and alerted them that I had to have one.
I’ve been on a gluten-free diet for twenty years.
Contrary to popular opinion of many gluten-less, I still don’t think it’s the devil.
My story is rooted in Lyme disease, which means that while I don’t have a life-threatening reaction to gluten like someone with Celiac does, any eating of it (and some other things) will make me relapse. Hard. Like, I was in a wheelchair as a kid, in college I blacked out regularly in class and had violent anxiety attacks, and the last flair had me out of work and home bound for a year. Using food as one way to control illness is a serious thing for me and many, many eaters out there. And gluten is one part of my diet.
Yet while more people know what gluten is now (which, trust me, almost no one did ten years ago) and though we can get a multitude of allergy-free, dynamic ingredients much more easily, that doesn’t equate to easy dining for those with food intolerance. Yes, more restaurants understand food allergies and take them seriously. But there are also a lot of people who claim to have allergies and intolerance yet don’t seem to quite understand what they mean, or how ordering habits affect kitchens and others with serious problems. And, yes, there are those who go “gluten free” for a week or five that challenge the patience of many a server or line cook, inspiring others to question the credibility of gluten intolerance in general. Continue reading
A while back, when I had aspirations of combining my theatre training and gluten-free baking, I did a series of videos for E:How’s Cooking Guide; recipes they requested and a video dude came out to shoot in the kitchen of my childhood home.
Since then I’ve decided I prefer staying behind the scenes and writing about other people who make food, hence my work shifting primarily to its home on WordsFoodArt and my lagging behind with new recipes here. Trust me, I’m still baking. I’m just not quite as focused on taking photos and writing things up. But more Madeleines are on their way, as well as some vanilla almond crepes that have been making my weekends just delightful.
Until then, here’s the first of the 10 E:How videos I’ll be putting up here in the weeks to come!
Muffins are the easiest thing, ever, to make.
Pies and galettes are up there, as is a simple quick pudding and all, and pancakes aren’t half bad either. But muffins… yeah. No electric equipment, one or two bowls, and a hot oven. Yum.
This morning we New Yorkers awoke again to the kind of weather that freezes your face off; no matter the layering or quickness of step, by the time I got in from walking Mitra I could have rather easily snapped the frozen nose off of my face. Directly into the kitchen for hot tea and eggs, my eyes set on three blackened bananas I’d left waiting to be pureed into something sweet. My roommate – who took the rare day off – was still sleeping. I already had chicken stock simmering on the stove, and a day’s pitching pieces and transcribing interviews ahead. Yet there were those bananas. Continue reading