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Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Crumb Topping

Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake #glutenfree #cake



Apple Cake to the Rescue. Again.

I decided to bake a cake. Because trying to wrestle gluten-free pie dough for an apple pie just seemed too fussy. Too complicated. Though in all honesty, that isn't the whole, unvarnished truth. The whole, unvarnished truth is, Yours Truly is more of a cake person than a pie person. It's true- pies have their charm. I've been known to inhale a slice or two of apple pie in my day. But here's the thing. And I'm going to be blunt.

Gluten-free pastry crust is simply not as flaky and tender and melt-in-your-mouth wonderful as wheat pastry crust. There. I said it. Fighting words, to some. And if you are among those true believers feel free to disagree. And go eat your gluten-free pie. I bless you with a thousand sprinkles of pie fairy dust. With love. And kisses. And pink ponies.

Respectfully.

Gluten, you see, is more than a pesky protein with a bad rep. Gluten is what makes pastry dough soft, flaky and tender. Gluten is what inspired bakers to bake all those years ago, firing up their hand-hewn brick-lined ovens. Gluten was their muse. Their seductive mistress. Gluten took them beyond three ingredient pancakes and palm-tossed flatbreads. Gluten fed their imagination. Inspired tarts, baklava, cupcakes. Napoleons. And yes. Apple pie. Because gluten is a magical ingredient (despite its bad press these days). We have to admit it. She's not an easy paramour to replace.

Perhaps some day soon I'll be tempted to experiment with a gluten-free wheat-free pastry dough. I'll be lured into believing I can recreate such delicate, fragile beauty. But not today. I'll bake this 'no apology necessary' Apple Crisp or this amazing Pumpkin Pie with Coconut-Pecan Crust.

For breakfast, I'll eat applesauce cake.

Right now, I can live with that.


Irish Potato & Cabbage Soup with Soda Bread

A loaf of Irish Soda Bread warm from the oven. Serve with potato cabbage soup.



Soda Bread + A Hearty, Rustic Potato Sausage Soup


Put on some Celtic music and grab your apron, Darlin'. Here's a recipe pairing to celebrate St. Patrick's Day- whether you're a dyed in the wool Celtic lass, a sassy Scott-Irish blend, or only mostly Irish in spirit. 


Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup and gluten-free Irish Soda Bread.

Slainte!


Easy Chicken Chili with Sweet Potato + Lime



Easy Chicken Chili Time- or in other words- this is the Football Season May Be Officially Over, Babycakes, But Chili Season is Definitely Not post.

So even after watching every episode of Friday Night Lights, football retains a certain mystery to yours truly. A few things I know. Tight ends tighten. Running backs are amazing athletes. Quarterbacks have eagle eyes. And special teams kickers pray to the football gods when called in for a tie breaker with 6 seconds to spare in the final quarter. Do I sound like I know what I am talking about? I don't. I just overheard some manly sporty banter over gluten-free tuna melts. To which I smiled politely. And reached for a pickle.

Back fields in motion. Quarterback interference. Off sides. Snap. Blitz. I love the lingo. It's a language alluringly foreign to me. Like, say, algebra. Or for some, postmodern neo abstract expressionism. Visual chaos executed in angles and arcs and bursts of focus, drive and energy.

Thing is, I get the practiced dance of propulsion. Designing motion from multiple points of view. I get it. In my bones. This is my territory. You're talkin' my language. Value verses tone. Light bumping up against dark. Sharp contrast dissolving into blur. And I appreciate the power of practice, focus, and intention. Negative space divided by a perfect spiral.
Think of the interplay of icing thick paint and oceanic viscosity.  The quickening beauty of a layered surface, vibrating with complementary colors. Transparency and opacity. Cool against warm. Unprimed and primed. Lost and found edges. The seduction of action's evidence. The painter's hand. Rugged tooth and clean, smooth paper.

Though it's not all yin yang, a wrestle of opposites. 

As in football- and life- painting is a locus of expression, sometimes true and authentic, and sometimes disappointingly off the mark. Like a short field goal. Or an incomplete pass. We try. We sometimes miss. But what matters is- we make the effort. And that is all we can do. We kick the ball. We brush wet paint. We string words into a lyric. We stitch a quilt. We photograph a child's curiosity.

We make chili.

And sometimes?

We get a winner.

And if not?

Tomorrow is another day.



Rustic Kale Soup with Sausage and Sweet Potato

Spicy kale soup for Spring with chicken sausage, sweet potatoes and gold potatoes. #glutenfree



A bowl of comfort with a kick.

Created during one gnarly week in the Northeast, on the cusp of a March snowstorm. A soup recipe too good to ignore. Too tasty to keep to myself. So here it is- from The Gluten-Free Goddess Recipe Archives...

The word wicked does not even begin to cover it. Epic... might be a start. Massive... might be an understatement. The snow, you see, is record breaking. One might even say, crazzzzzy. It's enough to make a big dog weep.

In (previously) typical fashion, one might be tempted to throw up one's hands in defeat and shout, Let the carb cravings begin! But I might actually be in the mood to defy such cravings, yipping and gnawing inside my belly like so many tiny, quivering chihuahuas. Tugging my attention to mocha frosted vanilla cupcakes.

I might actually choose, instead, to grab a big pot. And start a batch of hearty, soul mending soup.

And living- as we did for three decades- on Cape Cod, you might guess I rustled up some classic clam chowdah. Or lobstah bisque. Nope. Instead, my inspiration comes via Wellfleet village. A gluten-free, cooking lighter take on a New England Portuguese mainstay.

Kale soup. With andouille.

It's the perfect, spicy soup to brave this stuff called SNOW.

And in the meantime, keep those fairy lights lit. Gather some candles. And know I'm counting with you the lengthening days till Spring.

That'd be 25.

Or 175 in dog years.

Woof.



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.