Oh my goodness! I have been here, there and everywhere this past week, with blogging and reading other blogs a very missed activity.
Not that I haven’t been baking. The kitchen has been plenty dusty with vegan cheesecake, gluten-free vegan mesquite graham crackers (for the cheesecake, but then I had to sandwich them with homemade marshmallows and Kallari dark chocolate…had to, really), the first draft of gluten-free maple cakes for a recipe swap, gluten-free cranberry walnut scones, and more hot chocolate recipes than is good for anyone’s blood sugar.
Then there’s been interviewing (on both sides of the table), invoicing, prepping for a photo shoot, doing some research for Easy Eats magazine (a gorgeous digital gluten-free magazine, check it out!) writing scripts for some final episodes of something really fun, seeing friends’ shows, putting my dog into a costume for Halloween (yes, I’ve become one of those people who exploits their defenseless animal for their own amusement), and catching up with a pal on his way to India (not jealous, nope, not at all).
I also had to say goodbye to a dear friend – my macro camera lens. It was a loaner, one that I fully intended to accidentally keep. But it had to go home Friday.
While I was sad to say goodbye to the lens, this is what it created, so it was a worthy sacrifice:
It’s a trailer for a friend’s newest novel. Yes, evidently books get trailers now too. She’s an incredible writer and a lovely person, so if you have a young-ish lady in your life, grab the book when it comes out in January.
And while I’m at it, here’s another friend’s amazing creation:
This puppet marched alongside a 40-foot Brooklyn Bridge and NY Stock Exchange Bull in the NYC Halloween parade on Monday with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. My buddy Joe is quite a beautiful artist and just one of those people that makes this planet so fascinating and full of love.
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by inspirational friends, those involved with and aside from food!
Speaking of which, now that Halloween is over can we officially start baking for the holidays? Please, please, pretty please?! I’ve already rough-drafted my Thanksgiving menu and pondered the new cookie recipes I’ll be gluten-freeing for Christmas.
After I spent a few hours in a senior center kitchen on Saturday morning (felt a bit guilty that other Meals on Wheels volunteers were out delivering in the snow and I got to stay in nice and cozy and make whipped crean), I hunkered down with my recipes in my home kitchen and forced myself not to put on Christmas music. That’s what a snow storm in October will inspire in you. Well, in me, at least.
But now it’s officially November, so here it is: the perfect gluten-free pie crust, ready for your apples or pumpkins or sweet potatoes or whatever it is that means holiday to you. Shortly I’ll have a gluten-free, vegan pumpkin pie up here for a lovely reader who requested the recipe. Until then, I’m going to make this crust over and over and toss whatever I have around in it.
Incredibly easy, insanely buttery, delightfully flaky… they’ll never know it’s gluten-free.
- gluten-free flour blend: 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca starch OR arrowroot starch, 1/4 cup millet flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum, 2 Tbsp sticky rice flour.
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp palm, sucanat or white sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter (higher fat the better)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp lemon juice
If you have a standing mixer, place the flours, salt and sugar in the bowl and fix with a paddle attachment. Mix flours to combine thoroughly. Cube or thinly slice the butter, add to the bowl, toss to mix. Then mix on low until the butter is just incorporated into the flour, making it look like cornmeal or buttery flakes. Make a well in the center, add the egg and lemon juice, and mix on low until just combined, to the point where it doesn’t pull into a ball but is about to. Gather with your hands, wrap in plastic, flatten to a disk and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
If you have a food processor, use the directions above but pulse the butter into the flour, and then the wet ingredients into that mixture.
If you have neither, don’t despair!! You have ten awesome little kitchen gadgets at the ready! Use the tips of your fingers to blend the butter into the flour, being sure not to use your whole palm or the fleshy part of your fingers (you want as little of the heat from your hands transferring to the dough). Then use a fork to pull the egg and lemon into the mixture.
Once the dough has been chilled to where it’s not sticky but not too hard to roll, flour a pastry board, parchment paper or Silpat with rice flour, and roll to desired thickness. Fit into a pie plate, tart plate or slide onto a baking sheet for the perfect galette crust!
I filled this galette with:
- 4 Asian pears, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp honey
- zest of one lime
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 2″ piece of ginger root, grated with microplane
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
Then brushed the top with egg white and baked it for 35 minutes until the edges were lightly browned. And then I ate it. The whole thing. Ok, I shared a little and it took a few days, but someone may have seen me walking to the subway, eating it with my fingers. May.