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Gluten-Free Blueberry Crisp

Gluten-Free Goddess- New Blueberry Crisp Recipe


A Summer Classic: Blueberry Crisp.

We had a sudden hankering. You know how it is. A craving hits that will not be denied. Insistent. Growling. Desire with an uppercase D. You start imagining fresh, juicy blueberries, nestled beneath a perfectly golden crumble of a crust, warm, the deepest purple, bubbling as you slide it- ever so gently- out of the oven and onto a cooling rack to rest and settle until you can't stand it a minute longer, breathing in the cinnamon laced aroma of a summer dessert classic.

The forever glorious blueberry crisp.

And this one's gluten-free. And dairy-free. No xanthan gum either- a bonus.

So, Babycakes.

Don't wait.

Blueberry season is short and sweet.



Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins (With Coconut Flour)

Warm gluten-free blueberry muffins from Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess



Baking a batch of fresh blueberry muffins is one of my favorite simple pleasures. 

I do it early, before the summer day turns sultry and my body slows to a liquid ballet of movement designed to conserve every last salty drop of intention and energy my creaky, vanilla lotioned body can muster. I rise and bake to the rosy morning sun, stirring my batter half asleep, sipping hot coffee. A northern mockingbird sings his deceit outside the kitchen window. He is remarkable in his uncanny repertoire, a gifted mimic, silhouetted high against a summer-blue sky, perched on the tallest utility pole.



Fresh organic blueberries, rinsed and ready for baking.



I've been reading this week. Finding books a provocative companion. Words that illuminate and poke. Shared stories that send shivers of recognition, trigger anger, or tug one's soul (kicking and whining) into that impossible place- that place where you don't want to go. The stuff that scares you. Because it might be true.

Reading a book about mothers and daughters at twenty is one thing. You bring to its wisdom your newly hatched self-hood, your fresh experience, your familial-infused expectations (and prejudices). The expectations, assumptions and dreams of a young woman. You are the heroine, the daughter starting out on your journey, looking at a long and winding road ahead. So you read. And listen. And play with ideas. You see what fits. 

And what doesn't.

And then you stand, decades later, stirring blueberry muffin batter on a cloudless morning. And here, now, the words ring deeper. And the truth stings darker. There is a lifetime of days spiraling out beneath you and above you (because by now you know that time is not linear, or finite, like a string of numbers across a calendar). And the same words vibrate with a different meaning, engraved with experience and regret. The same words illuminate as if from a different light source.

Not from the world.

From within you.

Learning something old as if it is new. And discovering truths as if for the first time, arriving, as T. S. Elliot wrote, where we started. 




Lemony Gluten-Free Pasta with Grilled Asparagus

Lemon Infused Pasta Salad with Fresh Herbs and Grilled Asparagus


Light + Lemony Gluten-Free Pasta Salad.

To speak about something as prosaic as pasta salad seems downright ho-hum. I mean. It's just a pasta salad. It's something I tossed together with stuff I had on hand. I hadn't planned on it. I didn't spend days contemplating the ins and outs and quirks of gluten-free penne. In fact, if I'm being unabashedly honest here I rarely think about food at all.

Until I'm hungry.

Until those familiar, nagging pangs begin gnawing their pesky little way into my consciousness, distracting me from my preferred, visual nomenclature- which rarely includes anything edible.

I daydream about painting in the Rockies, the plight of bees, and walking low tide on Brewster Flats. I notice the temperature of light and the curve of negative space against a jar of old spoons. I think about expectations and illusions and perceptions. I ponder where my soul is taking me, tugging at me to pay attention to my life, inviting me through dreams and the random snippets of music or ideas or theories that skitter and skate and ripple the mental stream I wade in day after day, to consider time itself- if I believe in it- sliding by in a cool constant flow of now.

I rarely eat breakfast. I often forget lunch. And dinner time always surprises me. As if each day takes figuring out all over again how to (****ing) live (to paraphrase the Deadwood Zen master David Milch).

This doesn't mean I don't appreciate good food.

Or that I hate to cook (well, some days I am less than enthusiastic).

I loathe junk food and processed food. I can't take credit for this- it's simply the way I'm built, the way my body so pointedly rejects any easy, packaged fix.

Even before I discovered gluten intolerance and FODMAPs I knew on some instinctual level that in order to keep this body of mine healthy and strong for the here and now I have to pay it some attention.

I know I have to eat.

And eat consciously.

And so I find myself rummaging in the little white painted cupboard that is my pantry.

And I find a box of gluten-free penne.

In the fridge I locate a fistful of spring asparagus.

One lemon.

A few sprigs of dill, marjoram, parsley and mint.

The rest is history.

Now in my belly.

Fuel for instigating thoughts of rebirth, fragility, and the particular pink that is ranunculus.

xox

Karina

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe with coffee flavored icing

Cupcakes for the In Crowd...


Gluten-free cupcakes are hot. Or should I say, HAWT. Tack on vegan status, too, and you've got a trend worthy of the most BoHo WeHo GoGo. So I'm reprising this chocolate cupcake recipe to tempt you into baking this week. These little beauties remind me of Devil's Food Cake. Dark, moist and chocolatey.

So grab your inner Domestic Goddess by the hand and stir up some trouble.

But before we get to (what happens to be my favorite) chocolate cupcake recipe from the archives, I want to share something. Maybe it's the new moon just around the corner in early June, that cyclic siren pulling us toward wholeness, to embracing our shadow, urging us to let go, shed the outworn for the sake of authenticity. Or maybe it's the fresh start of a new summer season, possessing me with cravings for leafy walks and the scent of lavender with its clean as a cloud fragrance, conjuring flashes of new beginnings.

Whatever it is, I surrender to it.





I came across these Polaroids during our recent move to Texas.

I won't tell you how many years have passed since these images were taken. How many moons have waxed and waned. Let's just say my sons and I are warm weather babies, born into sunlit heat and generous greenery, the open window sounds of summer, our lullabies.

Looking back across the seasons feels dreamlike. I float through it. And all too soon realize I cannot grasp anything. I cannot hold on to the past. My hands are empty. And that's okay. Though a secret piece of me sometimes aches for that once clear definition my mothering role carved out for me. My days are fluid now. And soft. And I've been thinking.

After a certain age you get, well. Tired.

Tired of squeezing your self into one-size-fits-normal. Tired of accommodating expectations. Weary of scanning your body through a Madison Avenue filter. Exhausted pretending you even care about Top 40 pop, manicures, or fashion trends (it's obvious, you don't). I am increasingly irritated by this ancient automatic reflex to fit in, find the perfect hair color, be nice. That nice woman. The one the neighbors like.

It sneaks in slowly on tiny paws, this anarchy.

This wildness.

It starts in dreams and keeps you awake at night with its low throated hum. You can feel it growing, toothy and buzzing inside you, like some fractal shattering cracked spiral candy. Like flinging honey and bee stings into thunder. Inescapable. A rush. A roaring undertow- this need for life. A life lived true.

Karina
xox


Quinoa Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Gorgeous gluten-free quinoa with grilled vegetables- perfect summer fare.



Beautiful Quinoa Salad with Grilled Veggies


Everyone loves a good old fashioned barbecue. The easy conviviality of a family backyard picnic. The smoky summer scent of charred goodies grilling. Lemonade chilling. Badminton birdies sailing. The crack of croquet balls. The last pink of June daylight. Punching lids on firefly jars. It's the stuff of a midsummer night's dream.

But if you need to be on a gluten-free diet- or if you happen to be vegan- or allergic to wheat- barbecues can be a tad less than convivial. Those mysterious grilling sauces and marinades (so often containing wheat-laced soy sauce). Those gluten-rich fluffy hot dog buns. All those meaty manly burgers and boiled egg dotted salads.

What's a gluten-free vegan to do?

Munch on lettuce?

Don't worry, Babycakes. I've got your back.


How about a light and summery quinoa salad with grilled corn, fresh parsley, lemon, and chopped mint topped with smoky grilled veggies- velvety red onion, sliced zucchini, charred bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, tender-crisp asparagus and butter soft eggplant?

A veritable vegan feast.

Gluten-free.

Fabulous.

xox Karina


Quinoa Salad with Pineapple, Broccoli, Mint

Quinoa salad with pineapple and broccoli and mint



From the GFG archives- a light and fresh quinoa salad recipe just in time for summer. Rumor has it June is just around the corner, Babycakes.

xox Karina

I think it is safe to say- summer is upon us for good. But my winter-stiff body remains unconvinced. She is cranky and unwilling to shed the yearly inertia that descends like a bear with the shrinking daylight come November. And even though my brain is- at long last- flickering awake now that we're well past the Spring Equinox, my taste buds still crave those creamy comfort foods that sustained me (thank you, lovely spuds, lasagna, and mac and cheese, I love you with all my heart).

I am trying to convince myself I'm craving lighter, cleaner tastes.

As inspiration (incentive may be a more accurate word?) I dragged out my warm weather jeans. You know the ones. That mocking stack in the back of the closet you haven't fit into since December 2014, when you began wondering aloud (for the benefit of the fashion police) if the laundromat dryer was shrinking your favorite Levi's- the jeans you have to lay down to zip, doing your best imitation of Jane Fonda's pelvic tilt, sucking in your breath and praying to the zipper gods. You know what I'm talking about.

So here's what I'm thinking.

Quinoa to the rescue.

Like in Quinoa Salad with Pineapple, Broccoli and Mint. Vegan. Versatile. Easy. Fresh. Light. This delectable quinoa salad is all of the above. And maybe, just maybe, it'll be the first step toward fitting into those elusive skinny jeans.

If I care. And if I don't bake my luscious Flourless Chocolate Cake or Dark Chocolate Brownies. Let's see--- skinny jeans vs. cake. Maybe I'll just tuck those suckers right back in the closet. Behind the stack of hats I never wear.

They seemed like a good idea at the time, too.


Karina's Sexy Spring Pasta with roasted asparagus & tomatoes

Karina's romantic gluten-free pasta recipe with roasted asparagus and tomatoes.


Fresh, fast and delicious spring pasta.

Today's recipe is a romantic, sexy spring pasta sauce with balsamic roasted asparagus and tomatoes.

Because it's Monday.

And I am thinking fresh, light, meatless.

SPRING.

Why not?

xox Karina

Gluten-Free Coconut Layer Cake

Gluten free coconut layer cake from Karina

Let Us Eat Cake.


Birthdays are complicated when you reach a certain age. Oh, don't get me wrong. You're grateful for another year. I mean. You're still alive and kicking, right? Waking up to a fresh start. Starting a spanking new year on the planet with one more number under your (slightly pinching) belt. A number that grants you a whisker more authority in the world. A tad more wisdom.

If you've been paying attention to the lessons life likes to offer up as experience, and not sleepwalking, that is. Not acquiescing to the expectations of others. Or choosing safety over the challenge of the new. Or worse- finding yourself somewhere, in some situation, or relationship, strictly for the sake of momentum, chafing inside a role you don't remember signing up for. Birthdays can be markers like that. Defining where we've been. And how far we've come. Or not.

Earlier this spring my husband's birthday marked another spin around the wheel of time. And yes, I baked a cake. And as I stirred the batter and scooped it into cake pans, I thought about the other cakes I have baked for him. The chocolate cake in our first year of marriage. Children beneath our roof. Blue balloons and candles. The newness of each others' dreams. The shine of our ideas. The belief in what was possible.

We've shared twenty-five birthdays now. And the single constant through these twenty-five years is change. Change has woven its intricate design deep inside our marriage, our thirteen different living spaces in seven different states, our evolving work as artists and writers, our sons' own changing lives.

There isn't a piece of our life together that has not been burnished by change.

I asked my husband what he felt about this birthday, if anything. He said at first he didn't feel anything about it. That is was just another day. Another number. But later he turned to me and said he'd been thinking about his early years. The stuff he assumed was important. The choices he made. Or rather, didn't make. The times he stuck with things out of a sense of duty. Or a bone bred stoicism, believing in the virtue of sticking it out. Trying to make the unworkable work.

Looking back, he said, I don't understand it. When people say they wouldn't change a thing? I'd change ten thousand things, he said.

And that's why I love you, I told him.

And it got me thinking. Would I change ten thousand things? Or would I choose the devil I know?

The thing is this. The devil I know?

It's change.

So let's eat cake.


Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Gluten-Free Goddess Lemon Blueberry Muffins


Sunshine + Lemon.


Caught in the grey flannel mood and wet patter of a rainy spring day, what's a Gluten-Free Goddess to do? Why, bake, of course. (The calorie-stingy- but oh-so-delicious!- detox soup recipe will still be there tomorrow, in all it's green and virtuous glory, don't you worry.)

When the wacky winds howl like Banshees on the headlands and rain (or snow!) flies sideways as sharp as an art/music/film/literary critic's those-who-can't-do-criticize sarcasm, I wrote this recipe hunkered down in our humble abode, praying to the Power Gods that the electricity will hold. I pulled on flannel layers worthy of an L. L. Bean catalog and cranked up the oven.

Baking lemon-blueberry muffins, then, accomplishes two things.

It warms us twice.

Body and soul.


Gluten-Free Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Luscious Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins- gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free... and tasty!


Strawberry Moon

From the archives- a Mother's Day recipe idea that you may have missed! xox Karina

The moon rose almost full last night, hanging gold and low above the palm and ficus trees, urging the local beauty factor to give up its pretense of reality and meld with dreamland. The sky was a deep shade of violet with a wash of strawberry pink at the ocean's edge. Santa Monica holds me in her sway. I am in love with her- and deeply grateful to be here, celebrating my first spring in California since the late seventies. I drink the friendly May sea air in gulps. I wander the alleys and sidewalks in a state bordering on bliss, photographing details and eye candy with my iPhone. 

It is a visual feast.

And I am savoring every bite.


Spring: Six
Snippets from my neighborhood

Walking the streets with an artist's eye is screwing with time in a Lostian sense. I am reliving art school and aging backwards in a slippery flashback time travel  Back to the Future buoyancy, wandering with a camera, photographing shop windows, pieces of strangers, a red high heel, a cloud shaped like a crow, a chalk mark, an empty cup. Am I nineteen or am I fifty-five?

For the hours I navigate the neighborhood, I am neither.

Age is not relevant in a state of observation and creative response- although I would be lying if I didn't mention a certain advantage advancing age can offer. Being older- without the magnet of estrogen oozing from our pores- renders us invisible. This kind of freedom is not to be taken lightly. Its pleasure needs to be broadcast. Celebrated. Moving through time and space as something other than a trophy, a focus for desire, or a brooding hen is more fun than eating cotton candy barefoot. Nobody notices you. Nobody cares.

For a visual person like me this is heaven. 

Or my idea of heaven, anyway. Which I do not embrace with a literal imposition but grasp lightly with irony and an abstract, low down bare bones trust in the reality of now as we know it, no strings attached. Because heaven?

It's here on Earth.


Route 66
Roads? Where we're going we don't need--- roads.