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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.


Coconut Milk Ice Cream Berry Parfaits



Parfait This!


Easy elegance for a long hot summer- a fabulous coconut ice cream recipe served parfait style with blueberries and strawberries. (And it's gluten-free and dairy-free.) ...

During a heat wave yours truly is unable to muster any enthusiasm for cooking. Typically, I live on gluten-free peanut butter toast. And ice cream. Yes, I know. I am a poor, sad, sad role model. What kind of food blogger doesn't rise to the challenge and cheer-lead you to whip up kale salads and raw peach smoothies? What kind of food blogger would simply give in to her sticky, damp fatigue and general overall crankiness and not create some inspiring, nutritious, bunny food slaw for you?

This one.

She who is about to share a no-cook recipe she actually DID make last night, standing directly in front of her three-speed fan, silver streaked hair pinned wantonly (fashionably!) askew atop her itchy, sweaty head.

Sweet and cold and creamy. Coconut milk ice cream.

It's what's for dinner.


Karina's Gluten-Free Blueberry Flax Muffins

Gluten-Free Blueberry Flax Muffins @ Gluten-Free Goddess


Blueberry Flax Seed Muffins - My New Fave.

Seven years ago we left Cape Cod for our gypsy adventure. We sold the sofa, kitchen table, and boxes of cookbooks. We recycled toys and jeans and an old PC. The open road was calling. And we listened.

The western sky hung big and blue above the high desert arroyos of New Mexico. It felt as deep and wide as an ocean. We thought this signaled home. But I missed the sea more than I ever could have guessed. So we moved to Los Angeles and tried on four different neighborhoods in as many years. I grew adept at packing and shedding and shelved my books by color. I luxuriated in each and every hour spent with my two grown sons. A gift, each shared coffee date. Movie night. Christmas dinner.

But the city of Los Angeles was never my home. Its entertainment culture felt as walled off to me as the adobe and iron gates in Santa Fe. I felt invisible. And irrelevant. And undernourished. My feminine soul was starving.

And so I turned my gaze East again. It somehow felt right. And I found us a temporary nest, an antique barn studio in a post card worthy Connecticut village where I had lived as a child. Here, I paint. I write. I bake blueberry muffins. I listen to rivers curving through woods. I inhale the fog. It smells like pine. It is quiet here. And the pace is more to my liking. 

But it is not by the sea. I cannot walk the flats at low tide. I have no place to hang sheets in the ocean breeze.

Believe it or not, the coast is calling.

Like the long and winding road that tugged me West, and pulled me East, the tidal rhythms of living by the sea are infusing my dreams with the colors of ocean glass and bay side creeks. There is sand in my boots from our trip to San Diego and I cannot bring myself to shake it out. I've been looking up rentals in Ventura County.

If you are a fortune teller, adept at reading signs, speak now or forever hold your peace.


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.