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.
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