Thursday, April 24, 2008

Art Show

The Senior Art Show here at Roberts opened this past Saturday. It will be up until May 17th, so if you are in the area, do stop by and see it. It's a really good show. There is even a feminist piece with a bra in it. "Gasp! There are no bras on Christian campuses!" you say. Well, now there is one, so now we can find out what one looks like. There is a really nice array of work, painting, photography, sculpture, digital, even a handmade paper installment piece and a fashion display.

Here are some sneak previews:

For information about the gallery and directions, click here. The hours are posted, and a private tour can be arranged if you call ahead for a time that the gallery is not open. (I also work for the gallery, so I would be able to arrange something too.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

sandwich bread, indian-inspired flatbread, and bar cookies

So, like I said, I've been baking a lot lately. Tonight I made this bread from Kate at Gluten Free Gobsmacked. It turned out absolutely amazing. I will definitely make it again. It was super soft, moist, yeasty, not heavy, and deliciously flavorful, but would be great for sandwiches. The only things that I changed were I used egg replacer, and I had to substitute a little. I was low on quinoa, so I used about 1/4 cup quinoa flakes, 1/2 cup oats in stead of 3/4 cup of one; also I was low on sorghum flour, so I topped off that with millet (probably about the same proportions as the quinoa-oat mix). I also used arrowroot starch and potato starch instead of the tapioca and corn starch because I'm out of tapioca and don't do corn. I also used the "quicker, no-sponge" method.

S.J. visited tonight after a very stressful day, and she said that the bread was awesome, and a great comfort food. I took this very sexy picture of her.

The other day I was in need of bread quickly, so I whipped up a batch of flatbread dough. I did it a little differently though. I had just been to the Indian market (Om, it's in henrietta and the lady that own/runs it is so sweet and nice and helpful) and had been looking at my Indian cookbook that I got for my birthday. I decided to take this opportunity to try out some of the new flours that I bought there.

Using my favorite flatbread recipe (which here is in doubled quantity, the recipe I describe following is for a single batch), I subbed the flour and starch with 1/2 cup Mathia flour- a blend of lentil and pea flour, 1/2 cup samo flour, a starchy flour in between a starch and sweet rice flour made from a grain similar to tiny tiny rice (she showed me what the grain looks like too), and 1/2 cup rice flour. All of the mixing is the same, but then....

Once you have it mixed heat a griddle to a steady medium heat.

Take a hunk of coconut oil and generously coat your hands so that the dough won't stick. Throw some coconut oil on the skillet too so that it gets nicely coated too.

Now grab a handful of dough and form it into a ball between your hands, like you were making rolls. Then hold it in one palm and lightly press and stretch the dough with the heal of your hand. You will want to switch off hands and make sure your hands stay well oiled. Flatten it until it is about as thin a flatbread or a pancake.

Carefully place it on the griddle, trying not to trap too much air under it. Flip with a spatula after a few minutes. It should be a nice golden color. After mine were done rubbed them with a little more coconut oil and sprinkled them with a rosemary herb blend and a little salt. One batch of bread makes 6-9 little grilled breads, depending on how big they are.

The final recipe that I share with you tonight is originally here. It is for a recipe called "Pecan Joys." It is a bar cookie with pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips. I made a few alterations though, so I will give you my recipe too.

The original recipe called for a Jiffy cake mix, but I don't use them because of allergens, so I made up a cake mix, and it worked really well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together:
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Sorghum
1/4 cup Arrowroot starch
1/2 cup Mathia Flour (see above)
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Egg Replacer

Stir together and add to dry ingredients:
1/3 cup melted Coconut Oil
Prepared Egg Replacer for 2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2/3 cup Pecans
2/3 cup Coconut flakes (I used moist sweetened shredded coconut)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Raisins (I added these because I love raisins and jumbled up cookies, and it made them "healthier"... right?)

Scrape into a lightly oiled 9x9 pan.

Bake until golden on top, about 15 minutes.

Let cool. I sliced mine and left them right in the pan. They were quite tasty. They would probably also work as drop cookies.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lynn Meredith and Getty Lee? (Two of the most strangely named singers I now realize)

A post is coming about flatbread and bar cookies. I just had to put this thought process in writing-

There is a news headline that goes on top of my gmail that comes from various different sites. (I'm pretty sure that this is customizable, but I haven't taken the time.)

Today's was from ESPN. It said "Kansas stars Rush, Arthur declare for NBA draft."

I thought to myself after reading the first phrase, "well, that's an interesting combination, but would be a really cool concert," thinking of course of the timeless bands both of which I enjoy.

The second phrase confused me greatly. Who is Arthur and what does he or the NBA draft have to do with 70s and 80 rock? "Oh," thought I, "Kansas must be the team, Rush must be a player.... Sad there will be no music."

Thursday, April 10, 2008


So I don't know if it's because I've been stressed, or because everyone is stressed and I was raised with the principle that a cookie and a glass of milk (after seventh grade soy milk, and after a while juice) will fix anything for at least a few moments, so I like to bake things to liven peoples' spirits, but I've been baking a lot. Tonight it was muffins, for the roomies in the morning and to take on our overnight (Brian and I are going to Jillian's for a friend "weekend" (we both have to work Saturday night though, so it's just an overnight).) And because I'm out of rice milk and need a breakfast tomorrow.

This recipe is a little wacky because I was tired and not paying enough attention.

Blueberry-Strawberry-Yogurt Muffins!

Preheat oven to 375.

Stir together:

1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour

After this is well combined, remove 1/2 cup and put it in a plastic baggie. The base recipe that I was using only calls for 2 cups of flour, but I convinced myself that there were only three halves, added the garbanzo and said, "rice, sorghum, millet, arrowroot, ... crap." So if you want my exact flour mix, that's how I got it.

To the 2 cups of flour whisk in:

2-ish tsp xanthan
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 scant tsp baking soda
1/2 TBSP egg replacer powder
a few shakes of ginger (~1/2 tsp?)

In a separate bowl, prepare egg replacer for 2 eggs (or gently beat 2 *organic* eggs).

Stir in 1 1/2 cups strawberry yogurt (regular, soy or goat). (This for me was about two Tbsp less than that plus enough apple sauce to even it out because I didn't have as much yogurt as I thought....)

Melt 1/2 cup coconut oil (don't get it too too hot) and whisk it into the yogurt mixture along with a splash of vanilla.

Whisk this into the dry mixture until just combined.

Stir in 3-4 handfuls of blueberries (~1 cup?).

Dollop into muffin tins lined with pretty papers and bake for 20-25 minutes. I used cupcake tins, so mine took just under 20 minutes, real muffin tins would probably take closer to 25.

I'm pretty excited about maowing down on these in the morning. Yeah. When I took them out of the tins they were so soft and warm, I almost had to eat one, but by this point in the day my stomach is sick of trying to digest things, and sweet with a hint of acid was not on the "good ideas" list.


Review of the Pie!

So the pie was okay, it was a little runny (a little more than a little runny). I'm still not sure how rice flour works in these situations. I think that next time I will use half sweet rice flour (instead of regular rice flour) and half tapioca or arrowroot starch in the filling, and put it all in, even if it seems like a lot. Berries juice a lot, especially when they've been frozen! (which I knew, I just anticipated the flour to absorb more than it did.)

So hopefully it will turn out better next time. It is tasty, but runny.

Janice went to Jitters. She got me a Blueberry Freeze. Mmm berries.


In honor of happy spring weather, it's a polka-dotted day! (Please ignore the laundry in the background....)


I made a pie.


whisk together:
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
(or 1 1/2 cups of whatever flours you like)
1 generous teaspoon xanthan gum
a sprinkle salt

Cut in:
1/2 cup coconut oil or other shortening (butter, crisco, light olive oil)

Stir in water a little at a time until crust stays together when squeezed (won't form as nice a ball as with regular flours, I used a little less than 1/2 cup).

Press about half of the dough in pie plate to cover bottom, sides, and lip of sides.

Mix together 2 cups frozen black raspberries and 3 cups frozen blueberries. Let defrost partially (the blueberries were still quite hard, the black raspberries were just starting to soften and a few squished when I stirred).

Stir in 2/3 cup rice flour and 1 cup sugar until evenly coated.

Pour berries into crust, there will likely be 1/2 cup or so of flour/sugar not attached to the berries. Let some of it fall with the berries, but not all is needed. sprinkle four/sugar mix to even the distribution, discard extra. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over top of berries.

Form remaining crust dough into a ball. Place between two pieces of parchment paper and roll into piece large enough to cover pie. Carefully peel top layer off, with edge of crust to the edge of pie plate roll/flip to cover (like a tank's wheels or a conveyor belt). Carefully remove parchment. pinch edges to seal. Poke holes in a pattern on top to vent.

Bake at 325 for 25-35 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

Leave on table (on wire cooling rack) for roomies to find in the morning.

Also, I collect teapots now, according to my darling Stephanie. She gave me this cutie for my birthday.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A post! (About cake!)

So I've been craving cake, and I bought some frozen strawberries on a whim. I thought to myself, fruit and cake is tasty, chocolate covered strawberries are tasty.... Inspired by pineapple upside down cake, I decided to make what I have dubbed "Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake." There were a few technical things with the process that I will definitely change next time, but I think that I will be making this again. It was subtle and dense and rich.

The original cake recipe was Bette Hagman's Devil's Food Cake from "The Gluten-free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods" but I changed a few things, I will italicize or otherwise note the changes. Also, the strawberries and glaze are my own additions.

Fruit bottom (becomes top):
2 bags frozen strawberries
6-ish Tbsp granulated sugar

Defrost strawberries (if using microwave, make sure not to start cooking them, defrost them in small time increments and stir often). Toss strawberries with sugar until coated. Transfer from bowl to colander and place colander over bowl to drain for a while. You want as much excess juice off the strawberries as possible, and you WILL NEED THE JUICE for the glaze.

Oil and flour two 8 or 9 inch round or square cake pans. I put the (well drained) strawberries in the bottom of the pan to pour the batter over them, arranged in an invisible grid. This didn't work so well. I didn't count on the strawberries shrinking as much as they did, and most of them stuck to the pan. Next time I think that I will either put oiled parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and cover the bottom with strawberries, except for an inch around the edge for a border to contain the strawberries, or cook the strawberries on the stove and put them between the two layers.

Cake Recipe!

3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup dark cocoa powder

3/4 cup rice milk + 1 tsp lemon juice (originally buttermilk)

(dry ingredients)
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup white bean flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
(all of this was originally 1 3/4 cup Bette Hagman's Four Flour Mix)
1 scant tsp Xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp egg replacer

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt (soy) (originally mayonnaise)
Prepared egg replacer for two eggs (originally 1 egg plus 1 egg white)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
(original recipe also called fora three drops red food coloring which I forwent)

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk the cocoa into the boiling water, remove from stove.

While it is cooling a little (you still want it quite warm), mix together the dry ingredients.

Whisk the rice milk + lemon juice ("buttermilk") into the cocoa mixture.

Beat the brown sugar, yogurt, "eggs" and extracts until creamy. Beat in the cocoa mixture, then incorporate the dry ingredients.

Divide between the two layer pans being careful not to move the strawberries around and making sure the batter is distributed evenly around.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, check with butter knife or toothpick by seeing if it comes out clean if inserted into the middle.

Invert onto cooling racks (place the rack upside down on top of the pan, grip the edges with mitts and flip the two together, may need a little shake, but the cake should come out when you remove the pan). Let cool before frosting.

Strawberry glaze

Take the reserved juice from the strawberries and whisk in 1 cup or so confectionary sugar, or until it is smooth and thickened, but not stiff. Beat for several minutes and add a few Tablespoons of shortening or coconut oil and beat until there are no chunks. If using coconut oil, it may be helpful to warm the strawberry juice slightly as it becomes very hard when cold.

When the cakes are cool, move one of layers to a plate, strawberry side up. spoon or pour glaze into the center and spread to cover the top of the cake. Move the second layer on top of the bottom layer. I put the strawberry side down because I wanted a smooth top. Pour glaze into the center again and spread across the top of the cake and the sides. If you wish let it stiffen and add a second layer of glaze on top (i think I did four thin layers). Leave any extra glaze out in a bowl to be served with the cake in case anyone eating it is like my father and only likes a little cake with his frosting. ;)