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Irish Soda Bread Buns

Gluten-Free Goddess Irish-Inspired Soda Bread Rolls with Raisins





Irish Soda Bread Inspired Rolls- er Buns. Or whatever.


Spring is poised to sprout. I just know it. Despite the frigid fingers of wind that unwrap your scarf and creep-sneak down your spine. Despite the tawny, snow beaten grass that twists between wind blown twigs and scattered patches of silvered ice to the edge of the winter weary woods. Despite the wild and wooly roar of the coming March lion--- you can feel it. Right?

Green is coming.

Happy (almost- it's coming- hold on) Spring!

And here is an Irish soda bread inspired bun-roll recipe to celebrate. Whatever you call these babies, one thing is for sure. They're delicious.




Gluten-Free Goddess Irish-Inspired Soda Bread Rolls with Raisins

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread (and baking tips)

Gluten free and dairy free Irish soda bread with raisins


The Mother of Invention.

If I call this new gluten-free bread an Irish soda bread, traditionalists will snicker. Raisins are not traditional in a true Irish soda bread, you see. If a soda bread has raisins in it, it's called Spotted Dog over yonder, 'cross the pond in the Emerald Isle (or so I'm told). I never knew this, growing up on the white clapboard wilds of the Connecticut shore. I was blithely ignorant of this quaint canine moniker, despite a hefty streak of familial Irish blood. We ate more pierogi and kielbasa in our culturally eclectic house than Irish soda bread and tea. So my own first home baked Irish soda bread recipe had raisins in it.

And, actually, why not?

When it comes to traditions, I'm the first to admit- I am an upstart. I wiggle and chafe beneath constraint and "should" like an itchy school girl with pinching new shoes. I admire traditions. From afar. At least, in theory. In an abstract, symbolic way. The meaning and the message is more interesting to me than formula. When it comes to formula, I usually prefer to wing it.

Which is why I enjoy gluten-free baking.

My skill set groove runs deep on the intuitive side. If a recipe calls for x amount of flour and I sense the dough is too wet, I'll add more flour until the dough feels "right" to me. Experience helps. No doubt about it. The process of trial and error gives you a feel for gluten-free dough, an inkling about the muffin batter and how it might behave on any given day. Which varies, I hate to tell you.

So I pay attention to elements like humidity, and room temperature. Weather.

Bread dough will behave differently on a hot and humid day than it will on a windy, cold one. Your kitchen changes with the seasons, you know. So recipes may have to change a wee bit, too. The amount of milk or brown rice flour may need to be adjusted. Tweaked a tiny bit toward wet or dry.

Baking gluten-free is more of an art than a science.

I recommend you tune in to your ingredients and learn how they behave. Learn how humidity affects flour- notice it's dampness. Or dryness. Dry flours will soak up more liquid. Damp flours are heavier, and may need less moisture. A cool and drafty kitchen may require a longer rise time than a hot and sultry one. A thin metal bread pan may bake the outside of a loaf faster than the inside can keep up. Your oven may run a tad hotter than you imagined. Or lag behind and never quite pre-heat itself (do your gluten-free baked goods end up gummy in the center?).

Gluten-free baking requires your full attention. A dash of patience. An intimacy with your ingredients. A willingness to adjust. And most of all, developing an intuition you can trust.

Even if it goes against tradition.


Gluten-Free Recipe Love- Be My Valentine




Celebrate love Gluten-Free Goddess style.



Be My Valentine, Sugar.


I've said it before. Chocolate is love. And any excuse to celebrate love (or chocolate) is high on my priority list. Here are some of my hand-picked favorite gluten-free chocolate recipes for Valentine's Day- or any day you feel like celebrating love.

Which, in my corner of the world, ought to be every day.


Cacao! conquers all.




Gluten-Free Banana Crumb Cake

Sweet slices of Karina's Gluten-Free Banana Crumb Cake

A certain someone in our household has a sweet tooth. And- best of all- he not only likes to eat cake, he likes to bake it, too. Apparently baking can be a form of meditation for some folks- a calming, distracting respite from toiling away in one's head for hours, excavating the various thematic elements underpinning character motivation, conflict and story arcs. All those juicy, gnarly, invisible threads and knots we movie viewers take for granted when we settle in with our gluten-free popcorn to watch a screenplay come to life.

Something I've learned, living with a screenwriter (aside from the fact that baking is therapy)?

Don't judge the script by the movie.

Because chances are the script was good.

Chances are the script was tight and wry and sharp. And moving. And funny. Chances are the script made you leak a well-earned tear. Or two.

Then came the notes.

From the director. From the actor. From the producer. And the producer's girlfriend. Her dentist.

So the script gets whittled. And weakened. And tweaked. Scenes are added to make a character more likeable (How 'bout we give him a dog- or a koi pond?). Then locales get switched (apparently producers believe New Mexican Pueblo humor translates without a glitch to Australia's Gold-Coast). The language once precise gets watered down with unimaginative phrases you've heard before (not every actor can improvise like Robert De Niro I am sorry to tell you).

Sometimes the collaborative magic of film-making works.

And sometimes it doesn't.

And baking ensues.

Lately?

We always have cake in the freezer.



Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes


Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes



Three words. Fudgy. Brownie. Cupcakes.

Lately we've been experimenting with baking brownies in a cupcake tin. Just for a change-up. We felt like tweaking again. We're using Baker's chocolate now (semi-sweet and unsweetened). And we're favoring hazelnut flour. We boosted the baking soda a tad. When they bake they rise and fall and crack like little flourless chocolate cakes.

What's not to love?


Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes on a plate.


Gluten-Free Super Bowl Recipes

Fried zucchini chips- gluten-free



The Super Bowl is nigh, folks. Game Day approaches.

Let's Rustle Up Some Grub. Gluten-free (like a certain wicked talented GOAT quarterback). You do know I'm from Massachusetts, right? I'll be rooting for the QB who has had 8 Super Bowl starts (not too shabby).

So yeah. I'm gonna celebrate. And rustle up some gluten-free grub for the big game.

Here's some ideas and recipes to inspire you crazy kids. 

Party on. 

Play nice. 

TB12, baby.


Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas


Karina's kinda famous Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas recipe is gluten-free and fabulous.


YES PLEASE.

This award winning budget-friendly vegetarian enchilada recipe is one of those happy accidents that spring from a burst of creative inspiration. I was craving the soft and spicy comfort of enchiladas one windy spring night back in 2003, and I had none of the usual suspects on hand (no chicken, or beef, no pinto beans). But I had one lovely mother of a sweet potato. I had a can of organic black beans in the pantry. Some roasted green chiles. One lonely lime.

And your intrepid Mamacita at large thought, Hmmm. Why not?

Deliciousness ensued.

These wrapped little gems are soft and creamy and a little bit spicy- just like a certain cook, my point-scoring husband wisecracks. It's the yams, I tell him. Er, sweet potato. I can never tell the difference. In the end, it doesn't matter.

What matters is how it tastes.

And Babycakes, these are so very mucho scrumptious. Seriously. I kid you not. Make a batch for a girls' night in, or a laid back Sunday brunch.

Or dazzle your favorite vegetarian on Meatless Monday. Or Super Bowl Sunday!


Quinoa "Pilaf" with Mushrooms

Quinoa pilaf recipe with mushrooms, scallions and bell peppers

Quinoa with a Pilaf Twist. But first, love.

It has occurred to me this week that I lack the sentimentality gene. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a lively romp down memory lane now and again, just like any crow-footed post-mid-life goddess with a lively past and a healthy sense of curiosity. It's amusing- even illuminating- to look back down the road once in awhile. To catch the rear view. To shuffle through old photographs, to listen to a song that evokes the summer of '69. That night in the back seat at the drive-in. Peter Fonda on the big screen. The bolt of first love.

But I am not wistful or gauzy eyed, thinking about the past. I don't romanticize it. Though I had an awfully good time of it (I admit I embraced my tender freedom with gusto).

What is astonishing to me, hitting me upside the head in a virtual shakabuku, is how good my instinct was, way back then. At the tender age of 15. And 17, come to think of it. I made some pretty fine choices back in the day. My teenage heart seemed to know a thing or two about love. Though my complicated childhood made it inevitable I would eventually feel undeserving, and soon enough gravitate to the familiar territory of exploitation. The roots of self-sabotage are sown in the shadow of the dysfunctional family altar. Just when the individuating soul is awakening, the unconscious rumbles from its slumber of innocence and stirs up the familial ghosts to hook its ugly claim on fate. It whispers, You think you got out free and clear, eh?

Some never pry themselves free. Some simply give in to momentum. Some accept less, willingly, and swell with stoic pride. Some find religion and pray to angels. Some choose work. And some replace love with sentiment. The pale excuse for love. The embroidery of nostalgia and its rose-tinted ribbons, investing in a picture that looks pretty to strangers. It is not perfect, but it looks good.

But that's not love.

Love isn't mediagenic. It's messy and complicated and often the timing sucks. Love asks us to get dirty. To risk authenticity, not sugar-coat its opposite. Love doesn't depend upon perfection. Or what the neighbors think. Love seeds itself in the broken places. It prefers the company of weeds above roses. And love doesn't require being polite, being correct, being right, being the best. Love asks us to hurt. To stretch beyond what is bearable. To feel scared. To lose control. To be ridiculous.

It took me twenty-five years to find it again. That deep, true love. And this time I grabbed it.

And after twenty-five more years, I hold it tight, still. 

So dear reader.

On to pilaf! No rice in sight.


Homemade Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

Gluten-free mac and cheese recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess- creamy, with real cheese.


Old School Comfort. Mac and cheese, Baby.

One of the first recipes I shared here on Gluten-Free Goddess was our old school, homemade, family style mac and cheese recipe. I won't mention how long ago that was, or how old the recipe actually is, darling. I first learned to make it in eighth grade Home Ec class (does Home Economics still exist? Do they even teach cooking in middle school any more?). Aside from these ponderings, and the unnerving sensation of years advancing, rolling, as Warren Zevon says, like a rockslide down a hill, I've been craving this simple mac and cheese like mad lately.

So I thought I'd post our latest version of it. Seems like old fashioned comfort food is the medicine I need lately.

Maybe you do, too?


Moroccan Inspired Soup Recipe with Sweet Potato, Chick Peas, and Coconut Milk



Spices for Karina's Moroccan Coconut Chick Pea Soup Recipe
A delicious gluten-free soup with Moroccan flavors


You know me and soup (lifelong, everlasting love). So on a whim I tossed together this North African inspired fusion of (fabulous!) flavors led by cravings and intuition. We slurped it down and scraped our bowls. Turns out that sweet potatoes, chick peas, roasted green chiles, lime, apple, and coconut milk make for one scrumptious soup.

I think you'll love it.

And for those of you eschewing dairy? 
 
Dairy-free never tasted so savory-sweet and downright good.

As for the Arctic Vortex... stay warm and cozy!

xox
Karina