Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp with Oats - classic, delicious from Karina


Autumn apples baked into a classic, homespun crisp. Pure comfort food for the turning of the seasons.


Yes, I know. I've served you apple crisp before- without oats. And it's quite lovely. It is. Especially for celiac folks shunning oats (find my oat-free apple crisp recipe here). But. Now that truly gluten-free oats are easier to come by, we at Casa Allrich have had a major hankering for the classic oats and butter and brown sugar combo.

And so- a new recipe was born.

I just ate it for breakfast.

And by the way.

Happy Fall Equinox!


Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Icing

Gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese icing.

A Pumpkin Cupcake (that doesn't taste gluten-free).

But before I get to the recipe, I need to wander off a bit. Because it's who I am. A person who wanders. Ponders. Finds solace in books. I've been like this since girlhood. Curious. Serious. No good at catching balls. Or dressing dolls. I am beyond inept with hair. And eyeliner. Nail polish. I get anxious and non-verbal if I have to wear anything that isn't a pair of jeans.

I hold the opinion that there is more to life than collapsing in front of the television and microwaving hot dogs. I think that beauty- as Steve Jobs believed- is important, has value. That we are deeply interconnected. That life on Earth is precious- from the house sparrow to the living sea. That we are part of a vast and mysterious collective- not merely of our absurd egos (who natter inside our heads and squander our attention on drama, conflict, acquisition and the need to control)- but of a newly unfolding awareness of astonishing inner space and outer space. Infinity in every direction.

Which begs the question.

Who am I? Really. I know I am not the car I drive or the laundry detergent I use. I know I am not what I identify with. I am not what I embrace- or reject. Though for years I thought so. I believed my opinions created a self. Made me Me. Now that I am old enough to have lived through countless opinion reversals, I realize opinions are temporary. And not defining.

Just as I am not my baby teeth. Or my once lactating voluptuousness. Or my sprouting silver hair. Or what music I listen to. Or what jeans I outgrow. I am not even the woman baking pumpkin cupcakes for her readers. Or am I? Well, maybe I am. Just a little. But wait. Doesn't that make me the sum of what I do? I bake therefore I am?

I am trying lately not to be so much of a human doing. And more of a human being.

It's not as easy as one might think.

And therein lies the trouble. The whole thinking thing. Our brain. Our wired hardware. It disconnects us. It addicts us. It overrides the heart and soul of what is really going on. The being we really are. Beneath the seductive and glossy surface of things. The spark that burns from the greater whole.

I see that spark in you.

It's why I made you cupcakes.


Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars Recipe

Gluten-Free Goddess Pumpkin Bars


Frosted gluten-free pumpkin bars with a secret ingredient. Sorta.

Tuning in to the particular (and fleeting) pleasures of each changing season as we ride the wheel of the year may be my favorite spiritual practice. A practice that requires one simple thing. Attention. Which turns out to be not so simple, inevitably. Because life is anything but simple, with its whitewater rush of mind numbing distractions that demand less and less of our soul and more and more of our mental focus on exterior minutia. Micro decisions. Cleaning out our email in-box. Catching up with Facebook feeds and Twitter streams and Instagram. Texting about dinner menus. Scanning streaming video options- thousands of choices may glitter and ooze their high definition glow but I find I am not feeling the abundance.

I am less and less enamored with more.

I know. It's showing. My age. My childhood brain was wired for mud and bird calls, blackberry thickets and butterscotch pine. Hours spent reading in a grove of birch trees dug their neural groove. The wild luxuries of inner connection, rather than social networking. And TIME. That plastic, misunderstood, precious commodity that shape-shifts experience from an endless afternoon of liquid daylight into a heart clutching warp speed tumble of confusion. Decades become tiny sandwiches of memory you can barely taste anymore.

Weeks blink by with alarming velocity.

And here we are again.

In pumpkin season.

And so. I stop.

And notice the way the late day sun drops low and shimmers golden in the treeline. The crows are gathering earlier. Glossy black and strutting with authority. The smell of burnished leaves scuttling across a wet Portland sidewalk is the same smell I inhaled on a road trip in Vermont fifteen years ago, standing on a wooden bridge above a clear shallow creek while our sons balanced on the slick rocks below us, fishing for smooth round stones.

Do they remember this? Do they remember the same hours I do, in the sand on Skaket Beach? Do they ever have a sudden itch to feed their senses with the scents and sounds of a freshwater riverbed, a sun warmed tide pool? Do they crave a winding path through apple trees? Were their brains hardwired for this connection, too?

I ponder this as I stir a new pumpkin batter. And breathe in the scents of ginger and cinnamon, listening to the leafy rustle of an almond flour bag as I fold up the cellophane and pinch it closed with a clothespin.


Gluten-Free Zucchini Breakfast Cake

Gluten-Free Goddess Zucchini Quinoa Breakfast Cake


Breakfast! Let's Eat Cake.

Remember those maple sweetened almond zucchini mini-muffins? I do. They've become one of our favorite grab-and-go gluten-free treats. I tuck a bag of them- fresh out of the freezer- into my bulging purse knapsack beach bag tote whenever we venture far afield. Like. The Valley. Because, well. You never know. It can get crazy. In L.A. you might end up jammed on the 405. Stuck as in four lanes = a parking lot stuck. Stuck as in, Dude that's my hunger growling louder than Kurt Cobain's rasp on the rattling radio speaker pleading...

What else could I be? All apologies.

I know this from experience. I learned the hard way (the way I learn most things in life). Driving in L.A. can lead to stop-n-go squatting in the baking sun. And a where is my nail file and why did I leave the apartment without food and water and ice in a cooler panic. Because the thirty-three minutes it took yesterday to get to Studio City is seventy-five minutes today.

That's when I started imagining a zucchini cake.

For breakfast.

On the 405.


Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread - The Best Recipe

Gluten free zucchini bread


From the "In case you missed it" file:

Sharing a favorite summer recipe here on Gluten-Free Goddess-- a cinnamon laced tea bread made with garden fresh zucchini. You'll love it.

And so will everyone else.

Now I'm off to read: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing --- Cheers!

GFG Tips on gluten-free bread baking:


Here's my all-time favorite baking pan for gluten-free breads. It's a lovely glazed ceramic pan that creates steady, even heating for gluten-free batters. In other words, it's as foolproof as you can get. Find it here at Amazon: Good Cook 9-Inch Ceramic Loaf Pan.

Make sure your batter isn't cold when you put it into the oven. If you keep your flours in the fridge, for instance, this will cool down your batter quite a bit.

If you find your batter is cooler than room temperature, allow the batter to rest in the pan near the pre-heating stove and let it come to room temperature before you place the bread pan in the oven to bake (I also do this with cakes sometimes).

The first time I tried making gluten-free zucchini bread I did not press the moisture out of the shredded zucchini and my loaf was a tad gummy in the middle from too much moisture. So pat those zucchini strands dry, Campers.

If you find your tea breads and cakes turning out gummy, or falling after baking, you may want to take your oven's temperature- some ovens never quite reach the proper temperature. You can combat this by baking longer, or upping the temp a bit. If the oven temp is not the issue, then start adding a tablespoon or two less liquid to your batters (you may live in a humid climate and your flours may be absorbing moisture; too much moisture can make for a gummy product).


Gluten-Free Flaxseed Zucchini Muffins


Gluten-Free Goddess Zucchini Flax Muffins Recipe


A zucchini muffin to love.


Call me old fashioned. But I'll stand by this... Baking can be romantic. And warm, fresh baked muffins can mean love is afoot (we can use a little more love in this world right now, don't you think?).

So if you've got an extra late zucchini kicking around the garden, darling- harvest it ASAP! Grate it up. And bake these fabulous zucchini flaxseed muffins pronto.

What the world needs now is love.


Gluten-Free Peach Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

Gluten-free peach coffee cake recipe from gluten free goddess


Peachy Goodness, Darlings

Why is it when I bake a coffee cake I get all dreamy and gooey inside, like a knee-socked school girl in Latin class, riveted to the patch of peachy, fuzzy cloud against the swaying swatch of blue between the maple tree branches outside the classroom window, imagining love itself is out there, waiting, breathing, just beyond reach, ready to pounce. Like grace. When you least expect it, a gift arrives.

Often in a form you don't recognize at first.

Like a plaid shirt.

And hands that juggle.

The truth is, I didn't even know juggling was on my list.

My top criteria (scrawled in gel black ink one rainy night post divorce) listed kindness, a sense of humor, artistic.

It conjured images of tempered masculinity. Intelligence. Adept at conversation. Curiosity.

Likes women (a big one).

It mentioned nothing about juggling. Or fierce devotion to coffee. Or a willingness to wash dishes. It neglected to include the seductive power of coffee cake. The sexy allure of a cinnamon dusted chin.

So imagine my surprise when on our second date (post French roast coffee and dirt bomb muffins) he grabs three apples. And juggles. While whistling. I can't remember the tune.

Because my knees turned to pudding.

And now, almost twenty years later, I hear a key in the door. And my heart is grateful. It's him. The guy in a plaid shirt.

Bearing peaches.

More gifts.

And once more, I accept.


Quinoa Breakfast Cake Recipe

Gluten free quinoa breakfast cake recipe with carrots and raisins
Tender and moist quinoa breakfast cake- really delicious.


Start Your Day with Cake!


There are some days [okay, I confess!] I eat a brownie for breakfast. And not just a brownie. A tender, dark chocolaty coconut and brown sugar laced delectable gluten-free blondie style brownie. A brownie to delight in. A brownie to savor. A brownie even gluten-eaters would covet. And I lick my fingers. Is it a nutritious choice? Um, probably not.

Except as food for the soul.

And sometimes, let’s face it. The soul needs chocolate. For breakfast. But this morning there was a trendy new box of quinoa flakes perched on the kitchen counter. And a fresh bag of plump seedless raisins nearby. I leaned against the counter's edge and sipped my morning cup of English Breakfast tea. I started daydreaming about oatmeal cookies. Then carrot cake. Carrot raisin cookies. Molasses and cinnamon. I knew what I had to do. I had to bake.

Quinoa was calling to me.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a fab ancient faux grain (it's actually a fruit seed) that is high in protein and naturally gluten-free, and lucky for cereal lovers, turns out it's a satisfying hot cereal choice, too.

Quinoa cereal flakes approximate quick-oats-style oatmeal in size and texture. The taste is different, though. More nutty. Kinda toasty. A tad unfamiliar. And it takes some getting used to. Bland as oatmeal, it is not. It has a definite personality.

Dress it up with maple syrup, chopped nuts, raisins or dried cherries. A sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar. You name it. Quinoa can handle it.

And I am here to tell you- the flakes are a tasty little number for baking. Different, yes. But once you nibble a second bite, and a third, and a fourth, you start thinking, Hey. This is good stuff! You break off a warm piece and ferry it, sock-footed, across the saltillo tile floor to your script-typing husband and offer it with a smile.

You urge, Try this.

And he murmurs, Hmmm.

And you reassure him with, The second bite is better, and he interrupts and says, No, this is excellent. It’s different, but it’s good. Very good.

Yup. This particular gluten-free goddess couldn't agree more.


Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins - Almond Flour

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins with Almond Flour


A simple recipe for a summer morning. Blanched almond flour and blueberries make the perfect little gluten-free bite for breakfast or brunch. The recipe here is vegan- but if you prefer using eggs, Babycakes, beaten eggs will work very well in this favorite recipe (use fresh free range eggs in place of the egg replacer).

Stay cool this weekend, everyone- 

Karina xox

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scones

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scones


Blueberries and summer. I cannot imagine one without the other. It is virtually impossible. Beyond my control. The same way a certain scent, caught unexpectedly in passing, can- in a single heartbeat- transport you to another time and place.

Scents and tastes and memories link and embed themselves deep in the mushy hardware of our brain, micro-threading bits of life experience into electrical impulses that spark and conjure images and emotions that rival the blinking hot concept of time travel. Sun warmed wild mint, for instance, jolts me into my six year old body faster than you can wish for blueberry pancakes, tugging me into a swirl of loneliness and boredom I can almost taste, the heat and dust of a summer afternoon prowling a parking lot, looking for a tiny piece of shade apart from the bees.


In a perfect world I would have been blueberry picking, roused from innocent rumpled sleep before first light by a beloved grandmother or a tender hearted aunt, and given a small metal pail to fill, tasting every other silvery blue berry I picked, listening to my steady companion hum I'll Fly Away.

But I have no blueberry stories of childhood.

My picking days came later. As a young mother bending and reaching under a cobalt Cape Cod sky, plucking berries into buckets. Back then summer was forever woven with the fate of blueberries. Scattered on clean white scoops of yogurt in an antique bowl, baked into tender blueberry breads drizzled with lemon glaze (the cherished, hand written recipe given to me by an old friend, Ms Graysea - it was her mother's famous blueberry cake), or bursting out of muffin tops glittering with sugar, and scented with cinnamon.

But the truth is I cannot rewrite my childhood. Nor change what is beyond my control to change. And I do not believe in destiny. I am not a fatalist. I do not believe in a master plan. I wrestle with mystery and meaning every single day, with nary a satisfactory answer in sight. It seems to me that nothing happens for a reason. And everything happens for a reason.

Because life is for learning.

And each day breaks with a fresh beginning.

So darling. What will you choose today?

Make it good.


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