Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie Two Ways (one vegan)

Gluten free shepherds pie two ways - one with chicken and one with tofu and veggies and dairy-free cheese topped mashed potatoes


Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie Two Ways (one vegan)


Day 18 for us- sheltering in place, socially distancing, yours truly quarantined in the bedroom for an added safety zone week post symptoms of a nasty weird virus to be named later.

A cold rain is rolling through, interrupting a whisper of mist with sudden bursts of stinging wet drops. The skies are wooly gray, gloomy and low. It's the kind of day that calls for comfort in the form of food. Something baked in a crock. Something piping hot and old fashioned. Something with mashed potatoes...

A savory pie, I said out loud, standing at the window watching blackbirds argue under the ornamental olive trees, listening to the staccato of rain drumming the rooftop.

Don't tease me, said my husband from his safe corner study, looking up, I imagine, from his latest screenplay effort.

I wouldn't joke about a thing like pie, I assured him. Seriously. I'm thinking a shepherd's pie, I said. More to myself than him. But not the usual shepherd's pie. No lamb. No beef. No onion.

No peas, I murmured.

Please, he said. No peas. (His hearing is excellent.)

You know, that could get you into trouble, I yell. Your pea prejudice. The foodie police will be at our door before you know it. Demanding equal time for peas. And I'm already in enough trouble with their ilk.

Their ilk? he asked.

Yes, I said solemnly. My shepherd's pie is going to have tofu. And in some circles, that could bring out the pitchforks.

Seriously, he echoed. Hey. Honey?

I cocked one ear toward his side of the house.

No offense, but. Can I have a chicken pie? Nothing against bean curd, but.

Yeah, I know, I assured him. I know tofu doesn't float your boat.

I may have a legume issue, he stated.

I love you anyway, I yelled.

For better or for worse.

Legumes or no legumes.

***

Stay safe- stay home.

xox
Karina


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. Theraputic. Compassionate. A prayer. A gift. A kindness.

Love.

And we can all use a little more love in this world right about now, don't you think?


So if you've got an extra zucchini kicking around, darling, grab it. Grate it up. And bake these fabulous zucchini flaxseed muffins pronto.


What the world needs now is love.

Hunker down. Stay safe. Take care of each other. Bake some muffins. Cherish your loved ones. Breathe.

Sending love to all of you-

Karina xox


Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wonderful gluten-free oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips




A classic cookie made gluten-free.

I suppose you could argue that one oatmeal cookie recipe is enough. I mean, how many oatmeal cookie recipes does a person need? To this I answer, at least two. Why? Well, first you have one with raisins (my oatmeal raisin cookies here). Raisins give oatmeal cookies that old school chewy sneaky nutrition boost. They're old fashioned and comfy cozy.

Kinda like spending one of those Saturday afternoons at your Aunt Martha's house, chillin'. Watching Mr. Rogers and laying on the floor with a pile of coloring books. Coloring outside the lines with a beat up box of Crayolas.

Wishing the silver crayon was more than a lonely nub.

And right at that nub lamenting moment she'd bring you a plate of cookies.

I never had an Aunt Martha.

But I did have a chain smoking platinum blond Aunt Patty who liked martinis a little too much. Or maybe it was gin and tonics. There was ice in the glass.

If I was lucky enough to scrounge up a coloring book and some crayons, I would hide behind the sofa. I didn't want to hear her opinion on pantyhose or how you could tell a woman's age by looking at her knees.

I'd wait out the tedious afternoon without cookies. If I was lucky, I might get some tap water Kool-Aid. Or a plastic bowl of Cheetos.

Perhaps that's why I'm not a fan of raisins in oatmeal cookies.

I don't have comforting memories of their dried grape taste, though I appreciate their fine qualities- in an abstract, theoretical sense.

No, I'm more of a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie kind of girl. Especially when the cookies are warm and the chips are melty. Chocolate makes everything right with the world.

So here's oatmeal cookie recipe number two. Bake some up this week.

I say, be your own Aunt Martha.


Karina
xox


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


Stuck in the house? (Too soon?) I have an idea. Put on some Celtic music and grab your apron, Darlin'. Here's a recipe pairing to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at home- whether you're a dyed in the wool Celtic lass, a sassy Scott-Irish blend (aka Mic-Mac), or only mostly Irish in spirit. 


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

Slainte!


Karina
Stay safe out there- elbow bump xox


Irish Cottage Pie | Shepherd's Pie

Gluten free cottage pie and shepherds pie recipe with mashed potato topping

Old School Comfort


Here's a classic recipe I conjured up a few years ago, living in the wilds of Northern New Mexico. I had been craving comfort food- to be specific- a rustic shepherd's pie. Because mashed potatoes. (And who doesn't occasionally crave a smashed spud crust, right?).

So here is my recipe from the GFG Archives- with a true-blue love story to boot.

Karina
xox


Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Gluten free Irish soda bread with raisins also known as Spotted Dog bread


Irish Soda Bread Love, Y'all

For bakers using wheat, Irish soda bread is one of the easiest no-fuss breads to throw together. The gluten in the wheat works its magic to bind the quick-rising dough without yeast. But if gluten is no longer in the equation, creating a tender loaf of Irish soda bread is a tad more complicated. Gluten-free quick breads can be crumbly and dry. Especially if you use the old school white rice flour and starch combo.

Lucky for us, we now have lots of newer, more nutritious, alternative flours to choose from. Millet, sorghum, buckwheat, coconut, brown rice, GF oat flour, almond and quinoa flours have better taste, more protein, and a superior texture than the old school stand-by rice flour. 

What do I have against white rice flour? It might simply boil down to personal taste. After baking gluten-free for awhile, one develops personal preferences. I don't like the cooked rice taste, or texture, that rice flour imparts. Ditto for bean flour which tastes vaguely metallic to me (and no, I just don't care how much protein and how few carbs a raw bean has, okay?). 

So I experiment and tweak my recipes. I try a new flour combination and entertain intuition. I start thinking about how a recipe crumbles a bit, so I add some honey because honey is a humectant (attracts moisture). And Hello! The bread bakes up tender and moist (agave does the same thing, by the way).

This whole process of gluten-free baking is a process.

And as an artist, I cultivate a deep affection for process. So even though I have a perfectly acceptable gluten-free Irish Soda Bread recipe on the blog, I felt the need to try again this week and experiment with a new formula. And I came up with a slightly sweet and tender loaf that is rice-free. (And works really well with no eggs, and no milk if you bake vegan- see recipe for subs we tried.) 

And guess what? 

It's better than better. It's scrumptious.

My husband declared it his favorite gluten-free bread to date (as he chowed down on a wedge of this soda bread grilled in a dab of olive oil). So why do I tweak recipes? Why do I make it complicated? Why add a touch of honey when I already use sugar? Why do I add millet flour when I have sorghum?

This is why.

Because there's always room for improvement in gluten-free baking. Recipes aren't precious. They're not written in stone like a commandment. 

 A recipe is more like a poem. Set to music. And the music?

Jazz, baby.

Happy Spring Baking-

Karina
xox



Mulligatawny Soup with Jasmine Rice

Mulligatawny Recipe and Jasmine Rice

Warm It Up!


The thundering windswept sky is thick as felt this morning. The windows are rattling. A small bird is hiding out on our front porch, perched inside my front door's rocking vine wreath. And I am in my favorite Hannah Anderson jammies. 

Craving mulligatawny. 

As luck or fate or Plan B foresight would have it, I have enough ingredients on hand to make my favorite soup for lunch today. 

Inspired by my go-to mulligatawny style soup recipes, I thought I'd skip the cabbage and cauliflower I sometimes use, and upped the carrots to. make a bright, fresh tasting- dare I say- healthy happy potage (that's a fancy word for soup, as you, Darling Well Informed Reader, already surely know; I just mention it in case you might think I'm getting snobby or elitist or uppity- Goddess forbid!).

Spoons Up,


Karina
xox


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.

Karina
xox




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, come to think of it, why the heck not?

When it comes to traditions, I'm the first to admit it... I am an upstart. I wiggle and chafe beneath constraint and "should" like an itchy Catholic school girl with pinching new shoes. I admire traditions. From afar. Well. At least in theory. In an abstract, don't fence me in, symbolic way. The nod to 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. Kitchen fairies. Weather.

Bread dough will behave differently on a hot and humid July day than it will on a windy, cold March afternoon. Your kitchen changes with the seasons, you know. So recipes may have to change a wee bit, too. The amount of milk or gluten-free flour may need to be adjusted. Tweaked a tiny bit toward wet or dry. Or sometimes both. Confusing as that may seem.

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. Why? 

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.

Karina
xox