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My random, no-recipe, throw stuff in a bowl GFCF cake seems to have turned out really really good, so I need to attempt to preserve the recipe. From memory, and measured somewhat haphazardly, so quantities may not be exact or I may have left something out.

1 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
1/3 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil (I actually used 1/2 cup, and think it was a bit too much, but it contributed to the wonderful fudgyness. 1/3 cup might still be too much, or might be too little. I think 1/4 cup, as I originally put, would be too little. Might be able to successfully do half and half applesauce or something and oil)
2/3 cup bean puree
3/4 cup coconut milk

Combine wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it looks done. Makes two 8-inch round pans.
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For my own reference, in case the original site has gone away for good:


o 1 cup sugar
o 6 T corn starch
o 4 T cocoa
o 1/2 t salt
o 1 cup water
o 2 T oil
o 1/2 t vanilla

Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the water. Heat over medium until it gets thick and starts to boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes (make sure you don't boil too long, or it will set like toffee). Remove from heat and stir in oil and vanilla. Cool and spread on cooled cake.

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Leif does not like breakfast in general. Bacon is usually ok, but eggs, pancakes, and hot cereal are out, and he usually refuses fruit in the morning. And I don't like feeding him bacon every day. In addition, some mornings (especially Tuesdays) are quite hectic and rushed, and I want something that can be prepared/reheated quickly and easily that will be enough to get him through until lunch. So I made these muffins:
Read more... )
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I made gluten-free vegan chocolate beet cake for Leif's birthday, following basically this recipe, with finely ground cornmeal + 1/4 cup ground flax seed in place of the flour.

recipe for posterity )
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Every time I post one of these things I feel like some sort of imposter, because I'm not actually gluten/casein free or vegan, but it is, so I may as well say it is.

The (ish) is because I don't imagine the sugar I used is actually vegan, and there may be other not strictly vegan (or GFCF) elements, though there's nothing blatantly animal-derived.

Adapted from http://cookeasyvegan.blogspot.com/2008/02/chocolate-banana-loaf.html

1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup almond/cashew pulp leftover from making nut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
almost 1 cup non-dairy milk
3/4 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mash bananas. Combine dry ingredients (includes almond pulp in this context). Combine lemon juice and milk and let them sit for a minute, then combine with the rest of the wet ingredients. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Pour into greased cake pan. I used an 8x8(?) square pan. Bake for 25 minutes (50 minutes in loaf pan).

Frosting at http://www.vegan-food.net/recipe/363/Chocolate-Frosting/. It's vegan, and horribly fun to make (I need to try candymaking sometime - it's similar in nature). Last time I made it I didn't like the taste very much, but I added some banana extract this time, and I think it worked well.

The cornmeal/flax seed/almond pulp is a totally random combination, based largely on the fact that I'd just made almond/cashew milk and had pulp that needed using. I'm not sure I like the almond pulp, and it may have been too much flax. You can use 1.5 cups of whatever flour you want, though at least 1/4 cup ground flax is a good idea if you're using non-gluten flour.

All in all, not the most cakey-cake ever, but tasty.

(I think I may try making frosting-toffee tomorrow with the suggested coffee modification.)
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Leif heard the phrase "Triple Berry Pie" somewhere, and immediately became obsessed with the idea. So we made some.
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Sorry about all the sugar, [livejournal.com profile] purdypiedad. I may see what I can do with bread next.
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I love it when I make stuff up and it works.

Yummy GFCF Muffins )
These are based loosely on the Southern Cornbread recipe in The Joy of Cooking, but taste like, and have the texture of, normal wheat muffins more than cornbread. Leif and Astrid are both gobbling them, and we'll do the Mariel taste test after she gets home from school. As always, you're responsible for ensuring the gluten-freeness of your ingredients, particularly the masa harina (which is gluten free, but may be contaminated during processing or storage) and vanilla (I think they'd probably be fine without the vanilla if you didn't have GF vanilla on hand). Obviously, if you're avoiding dairy/casein, use an alternative to buttermilk (such as the one provided). I suspect you could decrease the water or buttermilk somewhat and add in shredded zucchini, carrot, or apple for some added nutrition and moisture. Since they have no added fat, they're probably best eaten soon after baking. I don't think enough will be left of this batch to test that hypothesis, though :)
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Cooking with dietary restrictions is fun. You get to see just how far you can stretch the conventional limits of sanity and still get reasonable results.

Yesterday I attempted gluten-free casein-free gingerbread cookies. Well, probably not strictly gluten-free, as the vanilla was almost certainly not gluten-free, and some other ingredient may not be perfect, either. But close.

I used this recipe, cut in half in case it didn't work out. In place of flour, approximately 1/3 nut flour (last of the walnuts + almond, ground in a coffee grinder), 1/3 flax seed, 1/3 fine ground cornmeal, plus a little garbanzo bean/fava bean flour we had lying around because it didn't seem stiff enough. After I refrigerated the dough for as long as Leif would tolerate (3 hours), I still had to add more cornmeal to get it stiff enough to work with easily. Margarine in place of butter. The dough was a little wet, for several reasons I can think of - I used a full egg instead of trying to split it in half (figured the extra binding would be a good idea, anyways) and a touch of hot water to break up the rock-solid brown sugar, plus the flours may just not have reacted the same as wheat flour.

The end result was decent. The cornmeal was too crunchy, but they tasted fine and held together well. GF baking usually uses xanthan gum for this. I prefer flax seeds because of the health benefits (most of which are destroyed by baking, but, at the very least, it's added fiber) and because the whole xanthan gum thing just weirds me out. I'd add more ginger next time, but such is the case with most gingerbread recipes I've run across. I like gingerbread that tastes like ginger. They had a slight bitter flavor that I wasn't happy with - I'm not sure if it was because of the flax, the garbanzo/fava flour, or the lemon zest that may have been too pithy. Next time we'll likely try masa flour, which is more finely ground. I'm not sure the crunchy cornmeal would have made a difference if I'd gone for crispy gingerbread, but these were more cakey/chewey.

Everyone liked them though, including Leif and, most importantly, Mariel, who tends to be a bit picky about such things.

In a way, it was kind of a waste, because I forgot I was looking for a good recipe for gingerbread houses and went with this one, which is not that kind (even when made according to directions). But it was fun.

I may make another batch on Sunday and take some to my psychology teacher, who sees GFCF diets as a waste of time and money. Which I suppose wouldn't actually prove everything except that the diet doesn't have to be ridiculously limiting and GFCF baked goods don't have to taste and feel like cardboard. But I'm devolving into the rant which I've been brewing for a few days and don't have time for now.
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Apparently both liverjournal.com and licejournal.com have been squatted. Ah well. (Yes, I've done both those typos before.)


My culinary adventure of the day, inspired by [livejournal.com profile] tylik, was spicy chocolate avocado ice cream.

Before you ask, no, it does not taste like sweet guacamole.

2 avocados
Approximately equal amounts of cocoa powder and sweetener to taste (I used about 1/4 cup of each. I find plain sugar works best for me - honey doesn't work well with the avocado IMO).
A touch of vanilla
A little salt
1 apple, sliced (I actually used a pear this time, as we were out of apples.)
1 handful of raisins
Cayenne pepper to taste (No really, I have no clue how much I used. Start conservative.)

Food process everything together until smooth (if you do the apples and raisins first, then add the avocado, then add the rest, it will probably get smoothest. On the other hand, the slight raisin chunks work for me). Add a little milk (I use coconut milk) to thin to ice cream batter consistency. Put in ice cream maker. If you don't thin it, it works well as a pudding, but it was really hot today, so I made ice cream.

At first taste, the cayenne isn't apparent at all. Then the heat builds up :) I think I got it pretty much perfect, for my tastes anyways - there's definite heat, but it isn't painfully hot, or so hot that it overwhelms the rest of the flavors. I'm very happy with how it turned out, even though spicy chocolate isn't usually my favorite combo.

The cayenne is entirely optional if you don't like hot stuff. I think next time I'll add some cinnamon and other typical Mexican chocolate spices.

Leif saw me eating it and said he wanted some. I told him he had to try a bite of mine first. He did, and said he liked it, but as I got up to get him a bowl, the heat hit, and he ran to the kitchen whimpering a little. I got him a glass of water and he said, "I think that's too spicy for little boys!"
ocelot: (Default)
Because it gets asked about every time I mention it...
Raw lasagna recipe )
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Leif and I just made good ice cream. Better than good. The texture was the most amazing thing ever, even if the flavor wasn't great.

I used the avocado chocolate pudding recipe - avocado, chocolate to taste, sweetener approximately equivalent to the chocolate, a little vanilla, a pinch of salt, and a little coconut milk because it seemed to thick for ice cream batter. I also tossed in a half eaten apple because it was there and needed to be used and it seemed like it needed something. Food process until smooth.

In theory, it doesn't taste like avocado. I've successfully made it not taste like avocado in the past. I think the main problem with the flavor was that these particular avocados seem to have a very strong flavor. I noticed it in the guacamole I made the other day, too.

Or maybe I just needed more chocolate.

The texture is more than enough to convince me I need to work on the recipe. Seriously, it's what you'd expect to find at some gourmet place for $10 a scoop.

Aikido cheered me up in spite of myself today. I was not in a receptive mood, but still felt better coming out than going in.

I have Serenity sitting here waiting for me to (finally) watch it, and two sleeping kids, but I think it's really too late to start it. Someday...
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Measurements are approximate - I didn't really measure while I was making it. In particular, adjust spices to taste.

Avocado Dream Pie:

1 crust, graham cracker or raw (recipe below)
2 ripe avocados
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (thickener, and good for you, too)
4-6 pitted dates, soaked (soaking not strictly necessary, but I find it works better in my food processor if I do)
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. If it doesn't seem thick like pudding, add another tablespoon ground flax seed. Spoon into pie crust. Refrigerate.

Raw crust:

1 cup almonds, soaked for at least four hours and drained
3 pitted dates, soaked
1/8 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Food process almonds into crumbs. Add other ingredients and blend until mixed. Press into a pie pan.

Quite frankly, this isn't my favorite pie crust. I need to work on it more. If you don't care about the raw thing, use a graham cracker crust.

It turned out pretty much exactly as I dreamed it. It's very rich. Would probably make a good holiday pie.
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Made palak paneer tonight from this recipe, with coconut milk and a touch of tofutti fake sour cream in place of the yogurt/heavy cream, and tofu marinated in soy sauce and fried in place of the paneer (a very mild Indian cheese).

[livejournal.com profile] silkensteel and I are going nuts over it, but no one else particularly likes spinach. Ah well.

The tofu works absolutely perfectly in place of the paneer. I'm not sure the frying was necessary, and I'll try skipping it next time, since it was a pain and adds fat and stuff.
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I've become a little obsessed with the idea of avocado as dessert. I don't actually really like avocados. Guacamole - yes, plain avocado - no. Many cultures swear by it though, so there must be something to it.

I made an avocado smoothie today, and it was alright. The texture was pretty amazing, but neither [livejournal.com profile] koyote or I could quite get past the flavor. He felt it really needed to be savory, with more salt. I wondered what it would have been like with a little added sweetener rather than just fruit (I threw in the last little bits of Leif's green juice, some kiwis, and some orange juice).

It may have been a little too much, though. I'm left feeling slightly nauseous. I'm not sure how much off that is psychological and how much is because avocados are rich.

I found a recipe for an avacado-lime pie which is supposedly indistinguishable from ordinary key lime pie. Interesting.

I'm similarly fascinated with the concept of eggplant as dessert, but have yet to try it, (and may not, as there is a lot less prior art). Baba ganoush seems made for dessertification, texturewise anyways.

I hope Leif wakes up soon so he'll sleep at a reasonable time tonight. He's been out for 3.5 hours now, and goes back to sleep every time he wakes briefly. Next time he gets up, perhaps I'll just drag him outside.

I'm not sure how I feel about LJ's new school directory function. I've added myself, but don't know if I'll leave myself there.
ocelot: (broccoli)
It all started last week at the beer bash at [livejournal.com profile] koyote's work. They served ice cream. Someone started talking about having a beer float. We both said, "yuck".

Last night we had cherry lambic. I mentioned that if any beer would be decent for a float, this would be it.

[livejournal.com profile] koyote suggested Cherry Garcia. I thought that would be too much cherry, so he suggested plain old chocolate chip, making it Cherry Garcia-esque overall.

Tonight we got more lambic and some chocolate chip ice cream (Breyer's, two cartons for the price of one at Harris Teeter!)

It turned out pretty good.
ocelot: (ninjaofhappiness)
I just made cookies.

It was kind of stupid of me to make cookies, as [livejournal.com profile] koyote is on a low-carb diet, and I'm kind of pretending to be, but I got the idea of mexican chocolate cookies, and decided I had to make them.

They're a standard chocolate chip recipe, with mexican chocolate (the type you use to make Mexican hot chocolate) crushed up into approximately chip-sized chunks.

I used a whole piece (patty? hexagonal prism?) of chocolate. The process of crushing left me with a lot of powdered chocolate, so I just threw that in with it. If I were doing it again, I'd probably use 1 1/2 or two hexagonal prisms, as the flavor is really mild.

We cut the sugar in half (used only the white sugar, not the brown sugar, and threw in a tablespoon of honey, too), and it was still probably too much. The chocolate has a lot of sugar compared to your normal semi-sweet chocolate.

Possibly a little less salt, too.

These are good stress relief cookies because you have to crush up the chocolate. I used a pestle. A clean hammer would probably work well, too.

Because I didn't use enough chocolate, they aren't really what I was hoping for. Still good, just not the exact flavor I wanted. Oh well, I'm not making more any time soon. It's not as much fun when you're supposedly dieting.

Speaking of cookies, this has to be the most screwed up cookie recipe I've ever heard of. I dare you to try it.
ocelot: (buffy)
Insomnia. Whee.

Instead of sleeping, I am mentally developing banana cream pie recipes.

This is marginally better than stressing about work, as it does not actually involve stress. However, it is still not sleep.

Do any of you have suggestions on how to thicken runny yogurt to a pie-filling consistancy, preferably without drastically changing the taste or nutritional content? I've considered cornstarch, gelatin, and leaving it to drain in cheesecloth overnight, but I'm not sure if any of these would actually work well.
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1 box Dromedary gingerbread mix (other brands probably work equally well. This is just the one I used)
1 1/2 cups applesauce (unsweetened/spiced/flavored is probably best. NOTE: If the jar holds five 1/2 cup servings, this does not equal 1 1/2 cups. If you just dump in the whole jar, you'll have to spoon out a cup or so of applesauce. Luckily, I noticed before mixing it in... (why do my recipes always end up like that?))
1 can (15 oz.) peaches (preferably with the lightest syrup available. Whole slices would probably work well for a cake, chunks for muffins)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees for muffins, or 350 for cake.

Mix gingerbread mix and applesauce in a bowl until there are no dry bits of mix remaining (if you're baking a cake, you can just mix it directly in an 8' x 8' pan and save some dishwashing). Drain the peaches (add the juice to iced tea or something), and if necessary, chop them into whatever size you want (for muffins, I cut each slice into thirds). Stir peaches in with the gingerbread/applesauce mix.

Spoon into muffin tins/cake pan. The instructions on the box say to bake muffins for 15 - 20 minutes, and cakes for 30-35. I think that for this recipe, 400 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes would work well for muffins (depending on the size - larger muffins need longer) - I think there's a higher moisture content due to the peaches, and they seemed gooey after 20 minutes (also, the box instructions change ingredients for muffins away from the plain cake recipe, and I didn't do that here. That could have made a difference).

If you aren't using muffin tin liners, run a table knife around the edge of each muffin (or around the edge of the cake) after removing them from the oven (to prevent them from sticking) and let cool for 15 minutes or so. Then dump them onto a cooling rack and let them cool the rest of the way before storing (or serve them warm, or whatever).

The recipe makes one 8' x 8' cake, 6 large muffins, or 12 small muffins. It takes about 2 minutes to prepare (not counting the cooking time) assuming you get peaches pre-cut into the size you want, and don't have to scoop a cup of applesauce back out of the mixture.

In the future, I think I'd make the gingerbread from scratch, in order to better regulate the sugar levels. I'm making these for breakfast, and they really shouldn't be quite so sweet. You can supposedly replace the oil with applesauce in most (baking) recipes, or go half and half. I think I'd greatly reduce the sugar in the average gingerbread recipe, and use whole wheat flour. Chopped apples instead of peaches might also be good. Just following the directions for the cake, in terms of temperature and cooking duration, might also work better. Using slightly less than 1 1/2 cups applesauce if using juicy fruit like canned peaches might also work better.
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Original: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2000/12/14/2413/2941

For extra credit, my anthropology teacher assigned us to cook something that's a holiday tradition for our family to bring to the party at the last class. I decided on biscotti, since that's about the biggest holiday-food tradition my family has...

Here's the recipe. If you can interpret it, it'll probably turn out alright, though I haven't actually tasted it yet... The biscotti is best dipped in something. I'm using Mexican Hot Chocolate, but you can use warm milk or coffee or regular hot chocolate or whatever.
Read more... )


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