Thursday, February 28, 2013

soaked gluten-free bread


(Deep breaths)

This recipe is heavily adapted from The Wheat-Free Cook, which I found at the library and is really a delightful little gem (it's totally GF, not just WF), full of chestnuts and wine sauces and fennel and coffee cake and lovely things. I changed the flours, the liquid, and the preparation method - but I am very grateful to the book for being an awesome springboard.

So without further ado...

In the evening, combine:

1/2 c each buckwheat flour, ground flax, rice flour and corn flour (you can sub the corn and rice flours for other light flours like potato, possibly quinoa, etc. but I recommend keeping the buckwheat or at least the flax; don't attempt this with no flax)
1 c yogurt (full-fat, strongly fermented if possible, definitely with live cultures)
1 1/2 c water

(Why do we do an overnight soak? For an intro to soaking to reduce phytic acid, you might read some of Katie of Kitchen Stewardship's posts on the subject - Exploring Soaking Grains: What are Phytates and Phytic Acid?, or see her entire list of posts on the topic, Soaking Grains: An Exploration. You can also get the pioneer research paper that started the whole internet soaking/phytic acid awareness phenomenon from Amanda Rose's website, here, which I have purchased, printed, and recommend.)

In the morning, preheat the oven to 400 F, then stir in:

1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or butter)
1 egg, beaten

Mixture will be wet (if you are not familiar with the texture of wet dough, like in the AB5 method, you may think your dough has gone horribly wrong and that you have some kind of thick pancake batter - FEAR NOT! You have it exactly right!). Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. With wet hands, split dough in half and form into two rounds on the cookie sheet, flattening and evening them to about 3/4 inch tall or so (work calmly but quickly, as it is very wet and will slip through your hands if you dilly-dally). Sprinkle some extra rice flour on top.

Bake 30 minutes on the parchment paper, then move directly onto your baking stone and continue for another 15-20 minutes (or if you have no baking stone, of course just keep them on the sheet, or try putting them directly on the wire racks of the oven), until the crust is a deep golden brown.

Let cool on wire racks.

For a sweet version, include 1 c raisins or dates in the evening soak, and stir in 1/2 tbsp cinnamon and 2-3 tbsp honey in the morning, to taste.

Update: There is now a follow-up video post in which you can see me forming the loaves, so if the texture seems impossible to you, watch this first before trying to fix it or throwing it out! Check it out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

eating well for babies - bargain alert!

Kristen at Food Renegade has had an (expensive) ecourse on eating for conception, birth & breastfeeding for awhile - I'd heard of it originally through a blog I read, Mommypotamus. It sounded awesome but it was way too expensive. Now Kristen's making it available for FREE if you preorder her new book! All the details are here. I've ordered it from, here, for $18.15, and am currently doing the course. So far it's great! It's a mix of course sheets, videos, readings, and discussions. And of course, I'll get a book out of it! Basically I think every woman should buy it, but especially para-reproductive women who are already food renegades in some way will eat it up! Offer expires March 18th, though once you sign up you have access for life (basically, just preorder the book even if you don't have time for the coursework right now!).

I'm enjoying it so far in part because I've wondered whether Ambrose's dental issues have something to do with what he was exposed to when I was pregnant. My diet was better than the SAD on average, but it wasn't nearly as wholesome as it is now - and moreover, I was of course exposed daily to all kinds of stuff at the pharmacy prior to conception, and even though I was more careful to not count the obviously dangerous stuff and make sure trays were cleaned, etc. it's doubtless that it was still in my environment, be absorbed through my skin and lungs. Maybe that's why his teeth have decayed, maybe at some crucial point of his development, some toxic synergy prevented proper tooth formation? Anyway, I'm hoping this course will empower me to integrate a lot of what I've learned since we conceived Ambrose, and all the new info I'll get, to optimize my next baby's chances for vibrant wellness! I'll keep y'all posted!

And now for some snapshoots of our food lately:

Mmm.. bacon on the weekend.


while the boys had pizza, I had salmon with coconut milk and veggies and spices a la Sam!

Julia gave me her kefir grains - I'm convinced now that mine had been half-dead; like the yeast and bacteria got all out of sync. The milk fermented, and it was fine to use, but it had a funky smell - not bad, but not pleasant and yeasty like normal kefir, either. I'm so glad to be back into kefir!! <3

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baked Vegan French Toast

I dont own a non-stick frying pan. Mostly because I think heating a plastic-chemicaly teflon surface and then making food on it just sounds like a sure fire way to poison yourself slowly. Its cast-iron for me, with metal utensils, and a generous amount of oil. However when I went to make vegan french toast the other night it was terrible, the pieces burnt and stuck, and fell apart in a soggy gross way, all on top of taking forever!
Solution: baking!

Worked out great! I preheated the oven to 400 F and baked each side for 10 minutes. Gave it a little broil at the end, mostly because I like things burnt.

I've been using a loose version of Dreena Burtin's recipe in Vive le Vegan!

In the bullet (hand blender or other mixer would work too):

1tbsp flax

blend til flour-y, then add:

1/2 cup nondairy milk
3 tbsp silken (soft) tofu
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp oil (canola, coconut...)

blend again, then pour into a flat dish and soak pieces of bread on both sides until all liquid is absorbed. (makes about 6 slices). Place in the oven on an oiled cookie sheet.

Fry up some apple slices too. Its great.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

pancake studies & a recipe

Confession: Since Ana's pancake post, I've been kind of absorbed by pancakes. Before our Saturday waffle tradition, we had a pancake tradition (Sam will remember those days!). It started as a baby step toward getting soaked grains in our diet, a la Nourishing Traditions. In my wheat days, this was okay, they were good! Shit gets more complicated when you deviate from wheat bases, son!

Like, look at this article's pictures. I had googled "pancakes raw in the middle" and found this. See that thick fluffy white perfection? That does not happen with thicker, rougher, gluten-free flours yo! (Plus, did you see the recipe for fake maple syrup? Ewww.)

But even before I started dabbling with multiple grains, I'd had issues; they'd sometimes burn on the outside and be yucky in the middle, things like that.

The Smitten Kitchen Pancake 101 helped a lot. I now use a pastry brush to coat the pan with the thinnest quantity of butter, having realized that a) too much butter makes them fry in a way that is not true to the ideal pancake, and b) butter smokes!. I also stick to a lower heat, as she recommends. I am still amazed that they take sooo freakin long, and they never get perfect and fluffy in the middle, but I think I've just realized that gluten-free pancakes cannot and will not do that. White wheat flour is a mysterious and wonderful substance, and it refuses imitation.

This post was also helpful, if only on the level of sympathy with pancake frustration (and wow, sour cream with maple syrup, why has this previously been absent from my life?).

So that all having been said, here is my present recipe, with which I am satisfied. You can use other flours in place of millet, but keep the flax - gluten-free pancakes are agonizing without flax because they break no matter how gentle you are, how evenly you turn them, how small they are, etc. Flax is very gluey and holds it all together; I didn't have a single crack-through having made two batches of these. Don't even attempt GF pancakes without flax. Really.

Without further ado...

Amy's GF Flax & Millet Pancakes

The night before, combine:

1 c warm milk/water/kefir/mix
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 c ground flax*
1/2 c ground millet*

* I make these both in my Magic Bullet, but you could use a proper grain mill (yes, it's on my wishlist, thanks for asking, my birthday is only 4 months away!!) or commercially ground flours, whatever floats your boat!

Stir well, cover, leave out on the counter.

In the morning, preheat your skillet (I do one notch below medium), then beat in (I used an electronic hand soup blender):

1/2 c water
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Make your coffee or tea while you wait for the skillet to preheat. Get your pancake station organized. Now get ready to cook!

My station - batter with measuring cup for pouring on my right, white mug with melted butter and a silicone pastry brush behind the pan, a white plate and spatula on the left (just out of sight).

Brush on your butter (I might try ghee next time), then pour! I use about 1/2 c per pancake.

It's ready to flip as the drier, more set-looking edges start creeping inward.

Flip! Hello lovely brown.

This is the second side, just to show you, though in fact I cooked it a little longer, as mine seem to be quite moist in the middle forever.
They are quite thin. We're out of maple syrup and I'm stubborn about only buying it when the price is good, so I've been eating mine with berry coulis... but I recommend maple syrup and butter, of course. Or maybe real live fermented sour cream. Omnomnom.
Yields 6-8 pancakes, depending on size; enough to feed 2 people straight or up to 4 if served with bacon or some other delice!

 My next project is making sprouted flour for these quick types of things and increased digestibility (I know, I totally sound like I'm becoming a super crunchy homesteader lady! Or wait, do I already seem like that?); I have quinoa, millet and brown rice sprouting as we speak. Exciting! I'll let y'all know how that goes!

we love cabbage

Ambrose actually has been the instigator of my cabbage love from beginning to end. I know you're supposed to expand your kids' horizons and get them into veggies and whatnot, and we do try to do that, but in reality it's been him who's pushed me a few ways. PURPLE CABBAGE is one of them! Yes, he ate that entire plate, minus those scraps, I did not help him for the picture! He squeals for it cutely whenever he sees it at the store. So I now have purple cabbage in my life. Look at it! It's gorgeous! Like stained glass!

My favourite ways to eat cabbage are simple and twofold: one, red cabbage simmered with a bit of water in a cast iron skillet, then fried with bacon fat (and meat if you're feeling festive!), and apple pieces, and a bit of red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper, OH GOSH, I got that recipe from The Catholic Cookbook - some saint day, heaven help us but I can't recall which. Anyway, the second way is roasted. Oh be still my heart. So simple. See it done here.

So what you see above is roasted, Ambrose has it straight, with oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder; I cut out the triangle-shaped cores from those wedges, leaving the lovely long strips (like paleo noodles!). Mine is served with Jamie Oliver's cowboy meatballs, leftover and having been frozen from our last party (but without cheese or breadcrumbs). Basically omnomnomnomnomnomnom.

Purple cabbage is definitely one of God's most beautiful works of art as far as I'm concerned right now.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Coconut-Eggplant Sauté


because I just invented a new comfort food. 

I've been craving a decent eggplant dish since I got here. Middle Eastern cusines is crammed with eggplant deliciousness--stuffed eggplant, grilled eggplant, pickled eggplant, fried eggplant, eggplant casserole, eggplant dip....c'est bon, ça!!

Eggplant is a delicate, yet versatile vegetable sure to please any picky eater, and I was so ready for my fix. Last week, I found a medium-small organic eggplant for $0.99 at my local hippie grocer--score! I had to pick it up!

But it's been lonely in my fridge, because I have zero idea how to make any of the aforementioned, I improvised. And what resulted was, surprisingly, mind-blowingly amazing. I'm sure this recipe would also work well if you're trying to clean out your fridge! Feel free to add carrots, sliced peppers. etc. YUM!

What You'll Need

-1 small-medium eggplant, sliced

-1.5 cups minced beef

-1 cup light coconut milk

-1 large red onion, sliced lengthwise

-2 tbsp olive oil (or omit if your beef is fatty)

-10-15 cherry or grape tomatoes (or any sweet tomato will do), sliced lengthwise

-2 handfuls or more baby spinach, roughly chopped

-salt and pepper to taste

You're Ready Now To...

1) Slice eggplant into long fingers. Place on paper towels, and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. This reduces the typical bitter taste of eggplant.

2) Heat oil in a skillet and add sliced red onion on medium heat. Sauté for 5 min.

3) Add minced beef, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant, stirring until meat is almost entirely cooked.

4) Add coconut milk and stir. Reduce heat and cover.

5) Simmer until coconut milk thickens, eggplant is dark, and the cherry tomatoes creamy. Add the spinach, and turn off heat. Keep cover on for an additional 3-5 minutes.

6) Serve over rice or small shell pasta.

Feel free to add spices or fresh herbs--I didn't have any on hand, so I just added salt and pepper and it was still incredible. Matt was passing by and I served him a small cupful. He looked skeptical but obliged anyway...and ended up asking for MORE! I felt vain all day after that ;)

Friday, February 15, 2013

getting kids to take cod liver oil

"Ice cream", portioned out!

This is the cod liver oil we use - I give Ambrose 1 tsp, so I added 1/2 tsp per serving (see description, below).

This is how it looks oily - with popsicles, the oil floats and never freezer. Ugh! With ice cream you can mix it in.

Oil mixed in - it's like soft serve ice cream. Keep in mind it was already fairly soft when portioned out. Perfect!

The answer, of course, is: ice cream.

1 banana, 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder, maybe 1/2 - 1 c milk, 2 tbsp peanut butter, blended in the magic bullet. Xylitol could also be smart if your baby tolerates it (I used to use it a lot, then it started hurting my tummy; we have a fair-sized bag - maybe I should start that again?) Freeze open with a spoon for 2 hours, stirring to break down ice crystals ever 20-30 m, as per usual ice cream making protocols. Remove from freezer, divide into 12 silicone cups, mix in one dose of cod liver oil per serving (in fact I did a half dose to minimize the flavour, and so that if he demanded seconds I wouldn't worry about killing him). Sorry the light is so bad - I was doing this at night as Ambrose was getting his teeth brushed with dad so he wouldn't see what as going on - which didn't work of course, he came to see where I was, demanded to try, and then demanded a second! Yessss! I figured it out! Mix it into ice cream, folks. Freeze cups and you're done.

Read my family's dental health saga here and here. (The only update worth adding is that I now have a close, in-real-life friend going through the exact same thing, which is really a relief, though we both obviously wish the other wasn't also going through it; thank God nonetheless for the support!)

Read about cod liver oil on the WAPF here.

Summarizing why we go to the trouble, the book Cure Tooth Decay describes various theories, mainstream and alternative, regarding why tooth decay happens or doesn't happen in various theories, across various cultures, drawing on the research of dentist-ethnographer Weston Price, going on to make recommendations for curing tooth decay nutritionally. The cod live oil fits in because our diets tend to be deficient in fish, and their omega-3 fatty acids, and their high levels of vitamins A and D. If you're not familiar with Price you can read the Weston A Price Foundation's basic guidelines in my favourite article, Characteristics of Traditional Diets, or access his book online for free here.

How do you get your kids to take cod liver oil? And what do you think of the W. A. P. Foundation?

gluten tortillas

For Heather, who requested my recipe! It's from The Joy of Cooking, I believe (long since copied into my notebook).

2 c glutinous flour (wheat, kamut, spelt, rye...)
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp salt
1/4 c lard (home-rendered, like from the drip tray of a Foreman grill or similar, not Crisco!), butter, or coconut oil, in order of preferability
3/4 c hot water

Sift dry ingredients, then work in lard as you would for pastry. Add hot water, mix, then knead 4-6 minutes by hand or machine. Let rest 20 minutes. Preheat cast iron pan (or whatever you have) over medium-low heat (I use one setting below medium). Divide into 8-12 balls (depending on size desired).  Roll them out on a floured surface, one at a time. Cook about a minute on the first side, till the pockets of air have been growing rapidly for about 5 seconds (the expansion of these pockets starts slow, with small, slow bubbles, then gets rapid; we are watching rapid action), then flip. Cook the second side about 10-20 seconds. Each side should have a handful of light brownish spots. Transfer to a large plate and cover with a cloth, stacking each on top of the other as you go. Once all cooked, seal in a Ziploc bag. Note that if you let them sit out they will get hard; to be flexible they must maintain moisture, which is why you trap them while hot under a cloth and why you must put them in plastic (or use a beeswax cloth!). Note also that this process does not work for gluten-free tortillas, like corn tortillas, which must be made with a tortilla press (no, I don't own one, yes, it's on my amazon wishlist, teeheehee!) - rolling does not work with gluten-free doughs unless you have certain extras like eggs, or xanthan gum, and even then it's usually very delicate business!

I make these often for taco night, when I just make myself taco salad (eg taco fixins in a bowl with no bread). Ambrose also loves them as a snack.

There you are, Heather! Sooo much cheaper than buying them! ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

mardi gras cookies (grain & dairy-free)

Tony's really into coconut in general, and coconut macaroons in particular, and with the whole gluten-free thing it's been just a really useful kind of treat to make.

So basically:

Whip your egg whites (use 2-6; I usually set aside egg whites in the freezer when I use yolks; you could also separate 2 eggs and keep the yolks for breakfast or for an egg wash in the freezer), like really beat them, till quite foamy and they hold their shape, but aren't at the dry stage. Add in your sugar, approximately 2 tbsp per egg white or to taste. Also add a pinch of salt, on small pinch per egg, and a little bit of vanilla if you like. Beat that all till it's uniform and lovely.

Now for add-ins. The simplest is plain coconut. About 1 smallish bag (probably 200 g) is good for 2 egg whites. You can also use small nuts, ground almonds, etc. You want the mixture to be thickly coconut-rich but without being dry. It should be wet when you gently handle it to put it on sheets later. It's something you sort of develop an eye for. In an evenly mixed mixture you should see the coconut dispersed with about 2 mm coating between pieces. If you have much less coconut, like at a dispersion rate equalling 1 cm or more, you'll end up with more of a light coconut meringue product. If you add much more, you might end up with cookies that don't hold together well and/or get quite dry. Anyway you'll decide when you have enough. We added coconut, pecan bits, ground almonds, AND chocolate chips today, as we won't be using sugar or honey till Pascha and we wanted to say a proper farewell.

Bake them for about 10-12 minutes at 350 until browning on top. I then remove them, let them cool a couple of minutes, and flatten them. (Egg white cookies get quite puffy.) I do this because I like the really chewy texture that results, but if you like the airy puffy texture you could just leave them in the oven. Finish them for another 5-10 m (they can be a richer golden-brown than you see in the picture with no harm done) in the oven.

Let cool on sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

Happy Lent! We're such a Roman-Greek house that I get to play with various approaches a lot during Lent. For example, the Alleluia is suppressed in the Roman rite during Lent, during Mass and the Divine Office, but in the Eastern rites there are MORE Alleluias. Isn't that neat? Anyway I feel free to pick and choose, and Ambrose is old enough to understand more of my little print-outs and explanations and things, so I have a smattering of things planned, some ideas from Pondered In my Heart, some from Catholic Icing, and some print-outs inspired by the one we used on St. Nicholas Day from the St. Nicholas Center, drawing from Catholic Culture and other sources (it's a lot of copying & pasting, not original material, and I didn't maintain credits as it was designed just for our use, so I don't feel free to share the docs here, but feel free to email me and I can send my Ash Wednesday and Lent sheets to you - leave a comment if you don't have my email address). We're all very excited for Lent this year. May you have a blessed one!

Pancakes, England-style!

Today is Shrove Tuesday, the last day before Lent starts. In England, it is called "Pancake Day" even though most people don't recognise Lent. The funny thing is, because people don't follow a religious calendar, everyone forgets about this day until the Sunday or Monday or even the Tuesday itself. Then Facebook erupts with posts about pancakes and at 9:00 this morning I even got invited to a last minutes pancake dinner. Now, Simon and I are not the type of people to forget about pancakes or Lent, and we had invited our friend Rachel and our neighbours to pancake dinner tonight. It's becoming a family tradition. We had Rachel over last year, too.

I went shopping yesterday for ingredients. Note that the supermarket had erected a helpful floating frying pan to remind us all about the day. I waited for these people to move but they spent forever looking at the display! From left to right, the display shows pancake mix, cooking spray (not a common product in the UK), vanilla sugar, pouring syrup (just corn syrup. Maple syrup is available but expensive), pancakes (English pancakes are what I would call crepes), and lemon juice. The most traditional way to eat pancakes in the UK is with lemon juice and a dusting of icing sugar. As you can see, you can also use vanilla sugar or syrup.

Simon and I tend to have some form of savoury crepe/pancake because it just makes more sense to have it for dinner in a weeknight.

I use the recipe from the Be-Ro cookbook, which is published by a flour company. You obtain one by sending a cheque for £1.50 to the company. Simon's grandmother gave this one to me shortly after I got married.

The proportions in their batter recipe are exactly the same as the ones in other cookbooks I have: 100 g plain flour, pinch of salt, 1 medium egg, and 300 ml milk or milk/water mixture. I doubled the recipe today and had about 18 smallish, thin crepes. I remember when i moved here I was amazed that you could get cartons of medium eggs or mixed size eggs (usually cheaper) and that the standard UK egg is brown but they sell special cartons of white eggs.

I'm really proud of how well the pancakes turned out this year. I fried them early which was really helpful. I hate spending the whole time in the kitchen when we have people over! I also hate how the smell of frying pancakes clings to everything, and getting the frying done early means time to shower and air out the apartment before guests arrived.

For the savoury filling, I roughly chopped portobello, chestnut, and button mushrooms, and sautéed them with red onion and thyme. Then I added walnut pieces and "Greek-style salad cheese," which tasted better than it sounds, but not as good as feta. I will not buy it again.
I put a few tablespoons of the filling in each pancake and rolled it, and arranged them in a baking pan, and put them under the broiler to heat up. Then I went in the other room to talk to my guests, allowing the top of all the pancakes to burn. So no pictures. They still tasted good, and the filling was delicious. We had enough pancakes left over for everyone to have a pancake with Nutella for dessert.

Do you ladies have Shrove Tuesday traditions?

Saturday, February 9, 2013


hai der.

A whole. Fish. Head, everything intact.

Sam's Club. (AKA Costco)

No, seriously.


I was headed to a new members' meeting for the National Speech, Language, and Hearing Association yesterday. It was my first time going to the SLP building after hours at 7:30.

I go to open the door, and I find it locked. I swipe my student ID card. Not working despite my grad student status. I can see the students, TONS of undergrads (HOW did they get in?) pooled in the lobby about 20 feet away through glass front door. I bang on the door, ring the doorbell, wave, dance, and finally get it that I'm just not supposed to be at this meeting for some reason.

So I run errands instead. I head to the giant strip mall (lol) near my house, walk into Sam's Club, and find these babies.

God loves me. 

Rainbow trout. They came loosely wrapped in packets of twos, but they looked amazing. All for $5. I was swooning. My grandmother always told me to check for two things: bright eyes (never cloudy) tinged with red; and firm flesh. In hindsight, I should have tried to find an employee to bring me to the back so I could pick some out that they hadn't wrapped yet, touched them, and given them a sniff (I have weirded out many a teenaged employee stuck working at the fish counter at random grocery stores by asking if I can smell the fresh seafood to check for freshness lol), but dude, I was SO EXCITED I ran off to the cash and the man in front of me remarked with a chuckle "Hey, whaddaya know-she found REAL FISH, hehehehhe."

Within 15 minutes, these babies were rinsed, marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper, minced fresh ginger, the juice of 1 lime, sliced fresh garlic, and lots of green onions, and in my oven on broil.

Must devise a plan to get all the rest of the whole fish from Sam's Club before the Missourians do...

The fish were each about half a pound. I don't think my oven is as hot as it should be, because it took a good 10 minutes for the fish to be ready to be turned over to the other side (for a 1 pound fish, it should start to get charred and skin bubbly in 5 minutes, then you know it's ready to turn).

The fish turned out pretty nicely! I'm sure if I had marinated it for at least 2-4 hours, or even better, overnight, it would have turned out differently. I made more fish later in the week for Matt--this time, the fish was even JUICIER! Huzzah!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

harvest, treats, & a gluten update

In an effort to control our sugar consumption, I've been doing sugary baking just once a week, on Saturdays, and that has to last us all week. It's been good! Last week was double-doubles, the week before what my GF chocolate cake, this week was ginger cookies, as per Ambrose's request. I did his name with leftover dough - we mainly did angels and gingerbread men.

Another of the same 'cause he's just so cute.
Sprouts, ready to harvest! (You saw them just as they started to germinate last weekend.) We like using little bits in a green salad rather than using them as a salad base.

My mom and I decides yesterday that we'd go to Chez Cora this morning, so, mindful of our family's usual waffle tradition on Saturdays, and not wanting Tony to feel deprived, I made him a blueberry twist yesterday for his breakfast today, with some bread dough we'd had in the fridge.

Baked & sticky. The shape looks fancy but it's very simple to create - see photo tutorial, here. The filling I used was about 2-3 tbsp butter, 1/4 c sugar or a bit more, and two handfuls of (frozen) blueberries, all squished together. The elongated twist is a shape I really like working with; I find in circular form (whether in a twistedround bread or as cinnamon rolls), you almost always have that underbaked middle thing, or a too-dry or maybe slightly-burned exterior, whereas the logs bake much more evenly (though a wreath would also work).
This isn't exactly food-related, but aren't these little baby daffofils adorable?? I got them at Loblaws today, indending to buy cut flowers, but finding these irresistible!

My gluten update has no picture, but basically the flare-ups have started again. In case you're new to the whole saga, I'd been off gluten since before Christmas, and then about two weeks ago I decided to indulge in a bit of pizza and see how long it took for the flare-up to occur (when I was eating gluten more regularly, I could tell within an hour or two if something had gluten in it based on my skin and tummy aches). But no reaction! Anyway nothing happened, it was exciting. Slowly though my skin started to get tingly, then I got a distinctly painful tummy ache after making non-organic pasta on Tuesday (prior to that all my ingestion had been organic stuff made at home), and it's been downhill since then. Yesterday we had a lovely pizza (since we're going out tonight, our usual pizza night) with mushrooms and onions which was made sort of like a foccacia, rolled, topped, and risen for a few hours before baking, and to be honest it was amazing, but by the end of the evening I was quite red and had cuts on the backs of my hands. Sucks! So it's been interesting - the gluten fasting seemed to cleanse me, as my body was able to deal with it better than before, judging by the slow response time, but it's back on the GF train I go. Sad! I might cheat with pizza once a week though. I've not yet decided what to do on that front.

Another random little update that has no picture is that I've been precooking Sunday food on Saturdays. So far that's meant making a quiche and preparing a roast the day before. It really is so much nicer to know we can come home from Mass, enjoy instant quality food, and spend the day lazing - with a clean kitchen! 

Happy weekending!