Monthly Archives: January 2012

Meyer Lemon Coconut Cake (gluten free) ON ASK CHEF DENNIS!

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Good morning friends!

I’m just about the start prepping for my gluten-free pasta photo shoot for Easy Eats magazine! Woot Woot! It’s such a fun day!

Made even MORE fun by my guest post on Ask Chef Dennis today. Chef D and I participate in the monthly Burwell General Store recipe swap and since meeting he’s been one of my favorite Bloggers to swap ideas and thoughts with.

For his post I made a cake that I think is truly special – light Meyer Lemon with a coconut frosting and lots of zest. And it’s made in teeny tiny pans for two! Perfect for Valentines Day.

So head over to Ask Chef Dennis and meet one of my favorite Bloggers to snag this recipe!

Oh, and I’m at my grandparents for this shoot who have no internet – posting from my phone! Isn’t technology RAD?!

Happy friday,
Jacqueline

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (gluten free) and a show!

Cookies to get us through a cold weekend of performing

Theatre is awesome.  I love it, and I love doing it.  Though I’m not making performing my main focus for work right now, instead pounding out the pavement from a writing perspective, I do adore it.  And after 6 months of not being on a stage, I’d missed it.  A few months ago a producer of a theatre festival I’d worked at before in Provincetown, Massachusetts emailed me a script, asking if I’d bring it to the festival this year.  I got a director friend on board who drives me batty but is incredibly talented and has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met.  He pulled in an actor he likes, we rehearsed a few times (bashing out “what does this thing mean!?!?”), and then we had a show.

"I" meaning character, not "I" meaning actor Jacqueline

Yesterday I returned from Provincetown, which now seems “more like a dream than an assurance that my remembrance warrants” (100 points if you get that quote, it’s a subtle one).  Our piece went well: a very interesting, subtle, tough bit of theatre, it felt incredibly real and personal.  I felt in control, and calm, and strong.  I now adore the man who played opposite, who was strong and smart and calm as well.

Our piece was only ten minutes, which meant we had a total of 50 active minutes on stage the entire weekend.  So we spent our luscious spare time enjoying the gift that is turning off a bit.  I still did some work, but curled up by the fireplace in my room in the B&B they housed us in, watching snow falling magically on the water from the windows next to my bed.  I took long hot showers and drank coffee from a delicious little shop across the street.  I walked on the beach and wrote words in the snowy sand.  We stayed up late drinking and talking in our rooms until the wee hours.  I laughed.  I met some interesting people and breathed in deliciously fresh air and ate simply.

Provincetown Beach in the snow

Peace, love and a sweet, sweet life...

Bed and Breakfast across from the beach

Oh, and ate cookies.  A lot of cookies.  I had made a batch for the six-hour drive and between the three of us we ate almost 30 of them in four days.  These are the only survivors around to snap pictures of.

I adore these cookies, which I normally label as “kitchen sink cookies”.  It was a busy night before we headed out and I didn’t want to buy anything I didn’t have.  So some organic crunchy peanut butter, gluten-free oats, walnuts and raisins made it into the bowl.  These cookies are both soft and crunchy, hearty, relatively healthy and delightfully sweet.  I cut down the sugar from the basic recipe I use by 1/4 cup and would suggest knocking off another 1/4 cup if you’re not into too-sweet cookies.  These definitely aren’t too sweet for most tastebuds, but if they were less sweet I could have justified how many I ate a bit more.

OH, and I used Better Batter for my flour.  Normally I blend my own and would have put 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour and 1/4 cup millet flour for this mix.  But I had a box of it right there and was in a rush.  It was perfect.  Great flour, I’m a fan.

They’re delicious, promise, one of my favorites now.  Sustenance.  Sweet, sweet comfort.

Raisins and nuts and peanut butter oh my!

 Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Aka: Kitchen Sink Cookies

Makes 36

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, soft
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (I used organic crunchy with sea salt from Trader Joes)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1/3 cups organic raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Beat butter and peanut butter until fluffy.
  4. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to incorporate.
  6. Add flour and mix in thoroughly.
  7. Fold in oats, nuts and raisins.
  8. Drop with a cookie scoop onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 16 minutes or until slightly brown.  Cool slightly before removing from sheets.
  9. Try not to eat 4 of them after a few glasses of wine.  If you do, make sure you’re curled up by a fire and watching old reruns of The Office at 3am. That’s classy, promise.

The Manhattan’s Manhattan and The Dusty Baker “Unplugged”

Doesn't get much more local than a Manhattan in Manhattan...

I’m a city girl, for a plethora of reasons.  But I daydream about what life would be like in a smaller city: San Francisco, Portland (Oregon), Seattle, Portland (Maine), Boulder.  I may spend a bit of extra time pondering Boulder because it is home to one of my favorite, insanely inspiring food bloggers, Toni of Boulder Locavore, who blogs about by trying to eat as much she can of what grows within 100 miles of Boulder.  Her recipes are rich and fulfilling.  And her cocktail creations… wow.

Toni emailed me as to if I would participate in this “blogger unplugged” chain.  For her, anything.  I am interested in Toni, and I’m interested in the 5 bloggers I’ve listed below.  So I’m psyched to pass this on, and welcome them to continue the thread if they choose!

The other night on my way home, I tweeted that I wished I had someone to drink a Manhattan and play chess with me.  Toni immediately responded with loveliness and cyber-friendship.  So I’m adding a few questions to this little Q&A centered around what I would do to welcome her to my NYC food world:

If Toni were to come visit me in NYC, what cocktail would I shake for her?  A Manhattan in Manhattan!  The one above wasn’t constructed as the one I’d shake for her.  It would be as local to NYC as possible with my beloved Hudson Baby Bourbon and some insane artisanal Brooklyn-made Bittermans Bitters to rock the house.

What would I serve her?  Well, I’d take her down to Union Square Market during the early hours.  We’d pick up some grass-fed lamb, goat cheese, arms full of vegetables, bouquets of dried flowers and sweet fruits to bake into dessert.  We’d come back to my kitchen and just play!  And as Manhattans are reserved in my apartment for cocktail hour only (cough), I’d serve up some wine I’ve got stocked up from the Hamptons.

Where would I take her? To the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.  It’s my favorite museum in the city, and their fascinating tours track  waves of immigration in NYC through the families that lived over the decades in a building on Orchard Street.  Then maybe a walking tour of the area.  We’d stop by a bar nearby for some local beer (or at least look at them while we ordered a gluten free one).  I’d probably take her into Carroll Gardens for a stroll into By Brooklyn, where everything in the shop is made in that singular borough.  Depending on how long she was out here. we’d drive to my friends in the Hamptons and sit outside on the vineyards.

In short, I’d want to show her what I most love about my city.

Here are the five bloggers I tag.

  1. Kym at Free Spirit Eater.  We met writing for Bromography, and so have worked together several times in “real” life.  She and her fiance are on a healthy new kick in preparation for their wedding, and I’m so psyched by the journey they’re on: while frustrating I’m sure, I bet these two trained chefs have a load of delicious discoveries to share with us!
  2. Kelly at Eat Yourself Skinny: I don’t know Kelly well.  But on her “About” page she has pictures of a winery, tomatoes and a dog that Mitra would probably fall in love with.  Her posts are energetic and full of positive energy.  And, heck, who doesn’t want to eat herself skinny?
  3. Stephanie at Clockwork Lemon.  I recently discovered her through a Pinterest photo that had blown up the boards.  Colored fondants she made from marshmallows. Check her out.
  4. Nick from Frugal Feeding.  I should take more advice from Nick as I’ve practically fallen into bankruptcy from the amount I spend on groceries.  His food always look amazing, he’s incredibly creative, and I don’t know enough about him.
  5. Carrie from Wheat Free Mom.  In making food for her family she has to deal with allergies, diabetes and low blood sugar complications.  I can totally sympathize.  I love how Carrie blogs about such a wide scope of the food world. Very inspiring.

And now… to yours truly…

What or who inspired you to start your blog?  When I got over my last bout of Lyme disease I was exploring alternative therapies, experimenting with healing foods and developing gluten, dairy and sugar-alternative recipes.  Friends were asking for advice constantly.  And so I started an extremely casual, unstructured blog called “I Am A Whole Human Being”.  It helped me celebrate all I could ingest despite my “restrictions”.  A bit of experimenting, observing my passions and trying to combine my theatrical experience with food, a took a little “rebranding” and voila! The Dusty Baker was born!

Who is your foodie inspiration? Every chef, passionate blogger, food writer, farmer, shop-keeper, barista, barkeep and eater I meet.

Your greasiest most batter splattered cook book is?  In the gluten-free field, Rebecca Reilly’s Gluten Free Baking.  I took a short pastry course with her in NYC a few years ago.  It’s a classic, creative, comforting book I highly recommend to use as a base for experimentation.

Me eating corn that was cooked in one of the springs in Furnas, on Sao Miguel in the Azores

The best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it and what was it?  Definitely caracas (barnacles) in Ribera Quente on the island of Sao Miguel in the cluster of Azorean islands off of Portugal.  Have fun getting there.  It’s the island my father grew up on, and my favorite foods are still there.  These incredibly sweet bits of shellfish are steamed and you pull them out with a tiny fork from big chunks of rock.  Can’t describe them better, sadly!  But they’re like what seafood would taste like in hypothetical heaven.  Portuguese food is incredible.  In Furnas, the town next to my father’s, there are hot springs constantly boiling (the islands are volcanic) and the ground is hot, so they boil corn from nearby fields in the boiling water and sell it on the street, and there’s a park that you can have pots of food buried in the earth.  It cooks away while you picnic with your large brood.  Ach, I could go on about food on Sao Miguel for a long time…!

Another Food Blogger’s table you would like to eat at?  Can’t pick one.  I think if I could pick a table of people to eat with together it’d be cocktails and veggies and yummy local meats with Toni (Boulder Locavore), Mari (The Unexpected Harvest), Lindsay (Rosemarried), Christianna (Burwell General Store), Chef Dennis and Bruce (Cakewalker), with one of his insane cake creations.  They’re all bloggers who I’ve met within the past year and think incredibly highly of, yet I’ve never met a single one of them in the flesh.  But I have a feeling we’d share a particularly splendid meal, either one that we all made together (oh MY that would be fun!) or one over many hours in a dimly lit, family-run joint.

What one kitchen gadget would you like Santa to bring you? (if money were no object)?  I honestly have all the gadgets I feel like I need.  If I could pick a cooking environment I don’t already have, though, the ability to smoke meats outdoors or an outdoor brick oven to bake bread like my Avo.

Who taught you how to cook? My parents are both incredible cooks.  Actually, everyone in my family makes pretty insane meals, down to many of my cousins.  We’re a food family.  Food, good cheap wine, coffee, laughter and love.  I’m a lucky gal.  I had a decent basis to work from when I had to start cooking allergy-friendly for myself.

I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?  Hmm, no signature. But for special occasion for friends I make a spicy stuffed lobster.  And of course something sweet.

What is your guilty food pleasure?  I’m on board with Toni that I don’t like to equate food and guilt (or food and reward, for that matter).  But I guess I can admit that I feel both extremely shamed and indulgent when I get a decaf soy cappuccino in a throwaway cup.  I usually carry a reusable stainless steel cup with me and hate waste, but there’s something that feels so luxurious about those stupid red holiday cups from Starbucks.  Same thrill I get from taking taxis home all the way up the island after a long night of drinking and eating yummy things.

Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn? I had to resort to my roommate about this.  She was surprised that I love horror movies.  Love ’em.  Having American Horror Story as a TV show made me actually independently start following a TV show (I usually just tag along what the roommate is watching).

Oh, and speaking of fear, I’m very afraid of dying underwater.  My mom wants her brood to join her on an Alaskan cruise for her next big birthday.  It took her a second to understand why freezing waters and a large boat might make me nervous.  She promised she’d never let go. Ha!  I’ll go with them, no doubt, but it may take me a few little white indulgent tablets and a few cocktails to get me through.  But WHALES!  Those I can’t wait to see.

So, that’s me!  And speaking of cocktails,  now here’s a classic, untainted, locally made Manhattan, for Toni.

A Manhattan and chess... in the future for me and Toni :)

The Manhattan Local

  • 2 oz Hudson Baby Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • a few dashes of Bitterman’s Bitters
  • Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with at least a cup of ice and shake it like a polaroid picture.  Strain into a chilled glass.  Garnish with a cherry or (my preference) a twist of orange.

Pomegranate & Coconut Golden Raisin Muffins – Guest Post from Free Spirit Eater!

Pomegranate Coconut Golden Raisin Muffins from Free Spirit Eater

Hello Bloggereaders!

I am so very excited to welcome Kym – the Free Spirit Eater – to my blog today!  A few months ago Kym asked me to guest-post on her site.  She was so sweet and humble in asking, where my reaction was something like, “Um, YE-AH!”

I love Kym’s incredibly warm and inspired love for food.  She’s a trained chef, and with her fiance Tim creates recipes for her site that look mouth-wateringly delicious.  If they lived closer by, theirs is an apartment I would randomly be stopping at during dinner hours, pretending I found one of her sneakers on the sidewalk or asking to borrow a cup of milk (which I don’t drink) or something.

I told her I only had one catch – she’d have to guest-post for me! I’ve never had a guest-poster on my site, so the idea of swapping made me super tingly excited.  Then the holidays came, and went, and Kym prepped for a big apartment move, and I got a new job, and our recipes got away with us.

Until today.  I welcome Kym to The Dusty Baker with open, hug-ready arms.  We met a few months ago through writing for Bromography.com.  Then Kym accompanied me to the Great American Pie-Off, lending some moral support for my entering my first pie competition where we took home 2 of 4 awards.   She’s a very talented cook and food photographer, and I’m sure she’ll continue to achieve incredibly great things.

Head over to FreeSpiritEater to grab my recipe, Kumquat Chutney Hand Pies.  And while you’re there, flip through her mouth-watering recipes.

Kumquat Chutney Hand Pies

From Kym, The Free Spirit Eater

When Jacqueline asked me to guest post on the Dusty Baker Blog for a recipe swap I immediately felt a sense of excitement. I love her site, am a huge fan of her writing and consider her a friend. I can only wish that one day my writing could be as intricate, descriptive, delicate and powerful while still being witty and quirky as Jacqueline’s writing style is. But I also felt my quick moment of panic. What did I get myself into? I am no stranger to gluten free cooking. I’ve altered dishes to make them gluten free by request when I worked as a line cook. But until this recipe swap, pretty much every baked good I had ever prepared requires some type of glutinous ingredient.

As someone who has never had a food allergy in her life and is a free spirit who simply consumes what is placed before her, working with restrictions was quite a challenge. Whenever I thought of a recipe to attempt, I stopped myself realizing it wasn’t gluten free. Through this challenge and experiment, I have gained a great respect for anyone with a food allergy.
Now onto the baking!

I found this gluten free muffin recipe online which asked for soy milk, sesame oil and oats among the list of ingredients. I used neither of these and altered it entirely where it does not resemble the original recipe in any way. I had never worked with white rice flour before, but purchased it for this special occasion. The texture was different, lighter, leaving a lovely scent as I plopped down the first cup full. Since pomegranates are still in season, I worked some seeds into the mix as well as sweetened coconut flakes and golden raisins. They didn’t rise as much as I wanted them to, so another ¼ teaspoon of baking powder wouldn’t hurt next time. A bite into the finished product resembled a mix between cupcakes and muffins in texture. Not overly sweetened, but a pleasant light feel with sparks of pomegranate, sweetened flakes and juicy golden raisins teasing your palate with each bite.

Attempting my first gluten free baking project was a mix of emotions. I think the point of this swap was to get your hands dirty while being thrown out of your comfort zone. It was a challenge, but a successful one none the less. The muffins are not that big and have plenty of natural ingredients adding a distinct lovely taste. For those with a dairy allergy, soy can replace the cow’s milk. Feel free to switch the coconut flakes for toasted sliced almonds, or other nuts and dried fruit. Enjoy!

Pomegranate & Coconut Golden Raisin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup of rice flour
  • 2 Tsp of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • Pomegranate seeds from half a pomegranate
  • ½ cup of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup of golden raisins
  • (Extra flour and coconut oil or canola oil for greasing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another (except for coconut oil, pomegranate, coconut flakes and raisins).
  3. Bring ingredients together by combining in one bowl, and then add coconut oil, pomegranate seeds, golden raisins and coconut flakes, mix well until fully incorporated.
  4. Divide into a greased and floured 6 muffin tin. (If you use coconut oil for this step, you will achieve a nice golden brown on the bottom part.)
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or test with a toothpick to make sure it’s ready.
  6. Let cool, remove and serve. Cover in saran wrap to store.

Sticky Pumpkin Flax Muffins for a Grey Winter Day (gluten free)

Breakfast on a cold, rainy day in NYC.

Yesterday was one of those mornings.  I awoke to a barely lit room despite the fact that it was 9am.  Before I opened my eyes I could hear rain pitter-pattering on the air conditioner outside my window.  Yes, here there’s no lulling drop on shingles.  It’s a wet, alley cat kinda life.

I dragged Mitra along the sidewalk, battling to keep my oversized red umbrella from flying off into the Hudson.  Rain pelted sideways, and the poor dog kept tying to climb up my legs as I desperately implored her to “just pee, pee please, baby, and then we can go inside”.

Only seconds later, defeated, the dog unrelieved, I closed the umbrella and we sprinted back home.

Because in that tiny moment, it had hit me.

It’s here.

Those dark, wet, sticky months in the northeast when everything just feels damp.  When un-waterproofed boots mean feet will be molested by a foot of frozen slush that had somehow passed itself off as level sidewalk.  When subway tunnels become wind tunnels.  When snow somehow manages to fall horizontally.  When buildings are overheated and New Yorkers are steamed.

As we raced to my building we passed gourds and tiny pumpkins abandoned in windowboxes, their flesh sagging over the edges and most likely putrid inside with stank innards.  Discarded Christmas trees cried on the curb, fearing the moment when they would turn into mulch, most likely pondering on why they grew for years only to be adored for a scant few weeks.

At least that’s what I was thinking on their behalf.  I love trees.

Two years ago I spent the dark months backstage in a warm theatre on run crew: reading books, drinking tea, catching up with my dear friend Lily and occasionally holding a curtain for an exiting actor or moving a piece of prop furniture.  Not a bad way to spend the grey period.

Last year I spent most of my time downtown with the delicious man I was dating.  One night we walked to the Angelika, hated the film (Blue Valentine – yes, I hated it), then exited the theatre into 4 inches of snow.  Happy, bundled and loving NYC, we walked back to his place under fat flakes, stopping to take pictures for tourists, arriving home soaked.

This year I’ve got a  bundled-up pup, a fully outfitted kitchen where treats are rolling, good friends coming and going, and work that I love.  As much as I fear these post-holiday, dreary months, they’ve always brought me a sense of hibernation that truly is refreshing.  Next weekend I head out to the furthest corner of Cape Cod to do a show, get pampered in a posh B&B and walk on the frozen beaches.  In February I plan to bunker in my Louisa May Alcott attic at my friends’ in Southhampton, where I’ll walk Mitra and Mia on another frozen beach and gaze out romantically at the bay as I type.

But until then, I need this in my life:

Sticky Pumpkin Flax Muffins with apricot and blackcurrant jam (and butter... I'm bad....)

I was complaining to one of my editors the other day the agony that is going to a coffee shop and seeing a pathetic little shriveled gluten free muffin in plastic alongside their overstuffed, glutenous counterparts.  These muffins have now satiated that grumpiness.

I recently got a delivery of gluten free flour from Better Batter to test a recipe for an article I’m working on.  Yes, the flour will be used for it.  But after the seasonal revelation I couldn’t curb my impatience to try it out, especially as I always blend my own flours and never have the ease of one already prepared.  I’m a big fan of the Better Batter flour from this trial, so far. More info on that to come that I’ll link to down the line.

I used the oversized-6 muffin tin for these babies, and admit that I ate TWO AND A HALF of them yesterday!  And the one pictured above for breakfast this morning.  They’re sticky and dense, perfectly sweet, and inspire being layered with butter and jam and enjoyed along some strong coffee and a newspaper in print.  I wasn’t originally planning on posting them as they weren’t exactly what I’d pictured in my head, but a visiting friend couldn’t stop saying “mmm, these are SO good” as she at one.  She encouraged me to share.

Oh, I added some flax because it makes my body happy.  And used organic pumpkin so that I didn’t have to use butter so they’re dairy free and low in fat!

Happy January, bloggerreaders.  Hope you’re staying warm.

Jacqueline

My favorite with these was tart apricot jam

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour.  I used Better Batter, which already has xanthan gum in it and a lovely neutral-flavored mix of flours
  • 3 Tbsp ground flax seed meal
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin or sweet potato puree
  • 1 cup warm milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, optional

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease 6 oversized or 12 normal muffin tins.
  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, flax seed, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
  • In another bowl, beat eggs thoroughly.  Add pumpkin / sweet potato puree, milk and maple syrup.  Beat / whisk thoroughly to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.  Fold in nuts.
  • Pour equally into muffin tins and bake for 30-35 minutes, until springy to the touch.
  • Try not to eat too piping hot – I dove right in and have a light burn on the top of my mouth to prove it.

Hot Chocolate / Foam / Custardy Thing! A Dairy-Free Vintage Recipe Swap

Hot Chocolate Foam

It’s Burwell General Store Recipe Swap time again!  Click on that site for a background on our awesome group of 20-ish swappers from the world over!

I’m usually rather prepared for this monthly recipe swap, with ideas bandied about and recipes tested.  But the holidays.  The HOLIDAYS! I sorta went into hibernation mode after New Years, bunkering down with work and not baking for DAYS.  I’m also working on a gluten free pasta feature for Easy Eats Magazine, so my kitchen has been ALL about pasta lately (not a bad way to start a new year).

Thankfully CM picked a relatively easy and festive recipe for our first of 2012:

Burwell General Store Recipe Swap recipe, January 2012

A frothy, potent cocktail dessert.  Which, were I entertaining, I’d totally jump on.  Which, were I totally still drinking my fill, I would make for myself if I weren’t.

But, like I said, I’m hunkering down, hibernating, rolling and boiling pasta and entertaining only the resolute January tradition of simplifying and stripping down the gluttonous and extravagance that I totally indulged in these past few months.

Along with making lots of pasta, I’ve  been experimenting with custards (check out my new favorite, Coconut Milk Creme Brulee!).  So I have lots of egg whites proofing in the fridge, ready for the macaron making that gets soclose to happening and then quickly abandoned when Downton Abbey is once again rerun on the tube (yay for season two starting tonight!).

A few months ago I was working on a hot chocolate recipe that my photographer partner and I were pitching to Saveur (it’s coming out soon!).  For it I was playing with a spicy Mexican hot chocolate recipe from Beaner Bar and one from my buddy Johnny Iuzzini that required a coconut milk foam.  Could I take this basic swap recipe, use some of those lonely egg whites and leftover bricks of chocolate and my newly-found hot chocolate skills and make my own deliciously foamy, dairy-free hot chocolate?

Yes, I could. And did.

Now, I’m not hugely into a lot of sugar in my sweet drinks: I’d rather punch something up with liquor.  And even though I have an incessant sweet tooth, I’ve need to chill the f out with all the sugar (sorry for the vulgarity).

So here we have an incredibly creamy, frothy, custardy, chocolatey foam that you can adapt for the occasion.

Suggestions:

  • Add 1 Tbsp of white or raw sugar to sweeten it up and drink/eat it straight as an incredibly creamy hot chocolate.
  • Add some red wine or liquor for a potent cocktail.
  • Spoon over an incredibly sweet dessert to add some unique texture and flavor balance.
  • Spice up with a bit of cayenne for a smoky, warming treat.
  • Use as a dip for shortbread cookies or cut up fruit

Whatever you use it for, this is a quick, easy, satisfying little trick of a recipe and a technique that might inspire some creative new desserts for 2012.

Happy New Year Bloggereaders.  I am so thankful for you!  And for some of my favorite bloggers out there who I monthly get to play with!  Please check out my fellow swappers by clicking on the little frog right here:

Foam.

This mixture makes about 1 1/2 cups of foam, good for 2 people for a small dessert or one large hot chocolate, depending on what you add into it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet (two bricks) Mexican Chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (plus more for garnishing)
  • 3/4 cup milk per person (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites per person

Directions:

  • Crush chocolate to a fine powder.
  • Add cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and whisk to combine.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp chocolate mixture, milk and egg white until the mixture thickens and doubles in size.  This may take about 6 minutes or so of constant whisking, until it’s nice and thick.
  • Serve garnished with a bit of the crushed chocolate, some freshly grated nutmeg, candied ginger or whatever leftover cookies you have around ready for dunking.

These Are A Few of my Favorite (Gluten Free) Things: 2011

Hello bloggereaders.

I’ve had a few mimosas today.  Going to go pour another.  And… I’m back.  It is New Years Day, after all.

Saturn returned with a vengeance this year and, amongst some painful growth spurts, 2011 brought so many beautiful things; experiences and people that have made my time richer and of fuller value.  This morning, while cleaning up from the breakfast I made for my guests before they hit the road back south, I took stock of the people I’ve come to cherish that I didn’t know a year ago.  Of the little pup that now depends on me for health and happiness.  Of the moments of incredible joy and fulfillment I’ve found both in work and personal matters.  Of the insanely talented chefs who’ve devoted their lives to the art of food and have gifted me with recipes for my work.  Of those who have given me the opportunity to write for an increasingly wider audience.  And those who gave me the chance to perform for live ones.

Thank you.

This year will see the premiere of the Dusty Baking Show (check out a little demo above!), my first article on Saveur.com, my work in Easy Eats Magazine (including lots of pasta and some recipes by some of my favorite chefs) and scores of new people and experiences I’m sure so amazing I can’t even imagine.

So I look forward to this new year not with any grandiose statements of how I’ll radically change any of my choices or habits.  But with a continued attempt at baby steps.  Of mantras to get me through a day or week.  Of living in the moment, practicing patience and gratitude, learning as much as I possibly can from the fascinating people around me.  To just breathing.  To keeping going.

Happy 2012 you lovely, lovely people.

– Jacqueline

Top Recipes of 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes - Gluten and Dairy Free

Sweet Potato Pierogi - Gluten Free

Chocolate Almond Biscotti - Gluten Free, Dairy Optional

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