Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Celebration Cake

Guru Purnima (which was July 25, I'm posting late!) falls on the day of the first full moon of summer, and is traditionally a day to give thanks to one's spiritual leader. It is a day full of cosmic energy, and of course, awesomeness.

Also it warranted the making of a full-fledged CAKE.
Thanks to The Spunky Coconut for the basic recipe & inspiration!

O. M. G.      ...........that's right, drool away.


Add to your handy-dandy food processor*:
2 cups cooked white beans**, room temperature
6 eggs
17 drops liquid stevia***
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup agave


* I use my friend VITACOST THE VITAMIX... aka my mom's retro vitamix that I tend to get confused and call vitacost.
** I cooked my own, but you could also use unsalted canned beans, rinsed and drained. To boil your own, either soak overnight first, or boil for 10 mins, then turn down and simmer.
*** I use Wisdom Natural Sweetleaf. I am absurdly picky and sensitive to stevia bitterness, and I approve of this brand, when used with care.

1/4 cup coconut oil, liquified
1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder


Heat oven to 325. Pour batter into a small cake pan, lined with parchment/waxed paper on the bottom, and greased all around. Bake at 325 degrees for ~30 minutes- when done, top should be golden, slightly risen, and a toothpick poked into the center should come out clean.


Combine in a small pan over low heat:
14.4 tbs**** cocoa powder / carob powder (I used ~1/3 carob)
4.8 tbs extra light olive oil (coconut oil would work too)
3/4 cup coconut milk
12 drops stevia
1 tsp agave / to taste

**** 16 tbs = 1 cup, so 14.4 = somewhere around a very scant cup
Mix well, and add:

2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted.

Let frosting cool. If necessary to achieve frosting-consistency, refrigerate before using.

After the cake comes out of the oven, let sit for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on cooling rack before frosting.

Then enjoy! I couldn't believe how amazing this turned out.
I'm never much of a cake person to begin with, but this really is perfect. My whole family approved as well!

HUUGE success.

Soba Time

Two creations I made with 100% buckwheat soba noodles:

1. Cucumber Thai Soba Noodles

I created this thai "peanut" sauce as an inexact science, adding to taste. But, here are some general guidelines to recreate:


Trader Joe’s Almond Butter with Flax Seeds
Coconut Milk
2 tsp? Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp lime juice
Dash of salt
Thai seasoning
Stevia* (3 drops?)

Heat almond butter over low heat to melt. Add coconut milk to thin, and all other ingredients. Stir.
* I didn't use any sweetener, but probably should have.

Cook noodles, set aside.
Stir-fry tofu.
Use a mandolin to shred cucumber into thin pasta-strips.

Combine noodles, cucumber, tofu, and douse in sauce. YUM!
Sprinkle with shredded almonds and coconut, if desired!

Results? Not exactly a pad-thai, but still quite tasty. The cucumber cuts the amount of pasta, and thus carbs, in addition to freshening up the dish and adding some green.

2. Soba Spaghetti with Marinara

This was an easy one! I just used the leftover soba from the thai creation, and didn't even bother to reheat them. Even better, I had some leftover pizza sauce to use!


sugar-free, ACD friendly Tomato Sauce, if you're lucky enough to have it


chopped and boiled tomatoes, with baking soda to counteract the acidity

OR (my lazy woman's route)

tomato-only tomato paste!
Italian seasoning
fresh basil

Combine seasonings and tomato paste to taste. Mix it into noodles, sprinkle basil on top, and consume.
I was very pleasantly surprised that the marinara flavor nearly 100% covered the buckwheat-ness of the soba!* Or, more accurately, they naturally complemented each other to make a great combination, which tasted like an "ordinary" pasta dish.

(* A year ago I had a very unpleasant experience with a "buckwheat cabbage bread." Since then, strong buckwheat flavor still leaves me a little traumatized...)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fun with Popovers, Part 2

I tried again.
First, I used the same flour combination of millet + garbanzo, but added baking soda.
Second, I tried my teff-cinnamon 'waffle flour' blend.

My current hypothesis is that it is impossible to create a true, exploding-out-of-the-pan popover with GF flours. ...I hope to prove myself wrong. However, I did succeed in creating something highly delicious with my present results.

1. Garbanzo-Millet Popover , version 2.0


1 egg
3/4 c almond milk
1/4 c garbanzo bean flour
1/4 c millet flour
1/4 tsp salt ... plus a little more to taste*
1 tsp baking powder.
(extra light olive oil, for pan)

Mix milk + egg. Mix dry ingredients. Mix together wet and dry ingredients. Let sit for 30 min to let flour aerate.

Place muffin tins on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (to catch oil spills) in the oven. Heat oven to 450F. When hot, take out pan setup, and drop enough oil into the each well to cover bottom (0.5 cm deep-ish). Fill each well with batter, and place pan back into oven.

Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes. Lower heat to 350, and bake for another ~30 minutes, until done (test with a toothpick).

Remove and enjoy! I sprinkled veggie cheese and rosemary ontop.


The texture of these was HEAVENLY! Light, fluffy, spongey-- it could pass for a legitimate spongecake.

The taste resembled a gentle cornbread-- slightly sweet, slightly salty, and extremely yummy!

* I only used 1/4 tsp salt, and they probably could have used a full 1/2 tsp. Next time!

2. Cinni-Teff Surprise Popover, version 1.0

So, the teff popover turned out a little less-than satisfactory.

The problem is almost definitely that I did not add salt. Had I added salt, I believe these would have been perfectly delicious, as their two biggest, and really two only problems, were (1) flat taste, and (2) heavy consistency.

However! They have a saving grace surprise! ...a nice glob of almond butter hidden in the center. This saves the day by adding saltiness and texture.

So, at any rate, here is...

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c almond milk
1.5 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
enough teff flour to make dry ingredients equal 1 scant cup

... and 1/2 tsp SALT! (which I did not add)
(+ some almond butter)
(+ coconut oil for pan)

Follow same instructions as for millet-garbanzo version, only using coconut oil instead of olive. When pouring batter into pan, half-fill, then add a dollop of almond butter, and then continue filling with batter to the top. Yum.
The 'popover' shown here is surprise-less, aka almond-butter free. The texture here does appear cake-like, but in the mouth... it tastes bloated. It just needs salt to lighten it up!  

SO. It's not over yet, POPOVERS!!!! (score: Popovers- 2. Mac- 1.)

Cookie Baskets

All the cool kids are getting them.

I don't think there's a single ingredient in the recipes for these that is ACD friendly, so I'm not going to post them. But how can you not love a cookie on a stick?!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


And the blindness is over!

Contacts? Never again! Glasses? Good riddance!

Today I got LASIK surgery. Shoutout to my friend the Nemo stuffed animal that I got to hold during the procedure! Did it make me feel like a 5-year old? Yeup. Was it highly necessary? Yeup.

Besides the hold-your-eyelid-open ring popping off of my left eye at one point, everything went according to plan. More-than-slight discomfort while the corneal flap was being cut (the doctor literally described it as feeling like someone squeezing their thumb into my eye for half a minute. ...that's supposed to reassure me?), plus some stinging while the laser zapped the corneal flesh (definitely wasn't supposed to be feeling it then... MST to the girl who didn't get a full numbing drop into my right eye)... but then it was over! I mighta been a little giddy-traumetized, but I sure could see better!

As instructed, I went home and took a big nap. Unfortunately it was not big enough, because I didn't take the full dose of Xanax that the docs highly recommended. So, some severe "omg what if my flap came loose" pain pushed me awake. Never fear, some eye drops got me comfy and snoozing again in no time.

Now, I'm feeling nostalgia for thesis lab* as I'm wearing lab goggles around everywhere. Flying polymers, splashing acetone, boiling-over popover oil... BRING IT ON! You can't get my corneal flap, suckers....

* I think I could devote an entire post in itself to this image.... DANG all those polymer folk look good. Can we just examine the smiles, the hair, the huUUuuuGe awkward? It's not even the people, it's the photo-- I love it. I really do. I really really do. heyooo P(S-r-MMA-r-HEMA)!

anyway, I have eyes now. GREAT!

Popovers! ...attempt #1: the donut.

Fun with Popovers, Part 1

What is a popover, you may ask?
Well, I will tell you.

A popover is a cute! A popover is delicious! A popover is a big puff of oven-baked fun!
Or to be more specific, a popover is made with a basic batter of 2 parts liquid, 1 part egg, 1 part flour. Batter is poured into a hot cup-type pan (aka, muffin tin). After they're "popped" into the oven, the batter puffs up into a delightful, doughy poof!

... or, at least that's what happens with regular flour. Mine turned out a bit more donut-like, with puffed sides but an indented center. On the bright side, this was the perfect nest for a sprinkle of shredded veggie cheese and seasoning! So, it all worked out.

However, the next time that I try these, I will add 1 tsp baking soda for every egg in the recipe. Adding baking soda is one of my gluten-free baking standards. By definition, baking powder increases volume and lightness in baked goods by releasing CO2 through its acid-base reaction. When using GF flours (plus no yeast), this is a highly useful trick to imitate natural rising of wheat/white flour.

Having never made white-flour popovers, I figured diving into the ACD friendly version might be risky without any basis for comparison. So, I made my family a normal vesion!

Can't tell you how they taste, but they DID look fluffier and puffier.
I used white flour, milk, egg, and salt, and shredded some muenster cheese on top when they came out. The padres certainly liked them! My dad recommended some maple syrup on top ... mMmm

Without further ado... 

1 egg
4 oz almond milk
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup garbanzo flour
1/2 tsp salt (or a little less)
+  olive oil (but NOT in the batter... so don't add it! ...as I may or may not have initially...)

Whisk together egg and milk. Add flour and salt and stir. Let batter sit for ~30 minutes to let flour aerate.
In the meantime, put muffin tins (or popover pans, or oven-proof coffe mugs...) into the oven, and heat to 450F.

When oven is hot/flour has sit for a bit, take out pans, and pour ~1tsp oil into each well*. Pour in batter to fill each well. Place pans back into oven.

Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes, then turn down to 375... then bake until done (about an hour**).

Take out and enjoy! Try sprinkling on seasoning/garnish. I used veggie soycheese with rosemary and thyme.


* I used 2 tsp in regular-sized muffin tins, and this was too much! It inhibited the center of the popovers from rising, plus is spilled all over the oven. Hence, I recommend reducing this amount, plus possibly putting an old cookie sheet under the muffin tin to catch any overflow.

** The guidelines I followed said these should be done after 30 minutes. However, that was very incorrect. So keep an eye on those babies and don't plan to eat em so soon.

Monday, July 12, 2010

¡Viva España!

Congratulations to my dear España for a first-time win en la Copa Mundial!

Oh, ojalá que estuviera en España ayer!...

...es de puta madre!!

Cape Cod

10 hour drive to Dennisport, Massachusetts?

Noooo problem. Special thanks to my little car, for making this possible, and not breaking down or exploding.

Three days with THE AZEOTROPE and ARGENTINA gave me a bad sunburn, some great(?) surfing, and lots of quality TV-watching. Also, I found a live whelk, which moved when poked and was fondly named "FIFA."

A solo drive for 1200 miles in total certainly qualifies as an adventure. Yay! Also, special thanks to Garmin, my new GPS, donated by my loving sister.

Mis Uñas

I have a lot of free time on my hands right now.
Also, I am not diving daily in chlorine/bromine -laden pools, and I'm not doing much manual labor involving my hands.

This means I can actually put effort into painting my nails.

Design #1: Marbling
It's so much easier than it looks! Take a (disposable) cup of room-temperature water, and drop in alternating colors of nail polish. Drops should form a film on the surface. Use a toothpick to swirl, then dip your fingers in to transfer the design. Work quickly as the polish hardens quickly in water. Then have fun acetoning off the non-nail portions of your fingers....

Design #2: Dark French
Black tips! Fun twist on the traditional style... keepin it classy. Also, I impressed myself by freehanding the tips.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Secret Garden

I started a garden.

This was no small undertaking, seeing as the "gardens" in my backyard have not been tamed for about a decade. So, in true Mary Lennox fashion, I poured some love into the abandoned patches of soil.
Seeds planted: spinach, chard, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, brussel sprouts, and cosmic purple carrots.
Sprouts obtained to date: spinach, chard, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli.

Garden "BEFORE" images (taken c. June 19):

(Basil plant already in the middle)(Lemon-mint and butterfly bush already growing)

Updates to follow!

And thanks to Minerva for being my gardening buddy and inspiration, and seed-giver, and being a garden fairy capable of growing anything. !

Ride a Cowboy Cookies

Save a horse! Or just save yourself, and eat my acd-friendly variation of an old standby: the Cowboy Cookie.

Cowboy cookies are a combination of many aspects of what makes a cookie delicious. First, good ol' chocolate chips provide gooey pockets of flavor. Nuts add a satisfying crunch (and protein!). And, granola makes them hearty enough to be a worthwhile snack, and hey-- might even let them pass as breakfast! The harmonious combination of smooth chocolate, rich crackling nuts, chewy granola, and the cakey cookie dough itself make the Cowboy Cookie a grand showcase of textures. These elements balance each other, creating a cookie that's not quite "too"anything... except AWESOME.

In my recipe, coconut oil adds an additional unique flavor. Spelt flour, with its "heavier" flavor, blends well with the granola. Brazil nuts are juicy and slightly sweet. The combination of carob and chocolate cuts the caffeine while maintaining the overall melted-chocolate effect of the chips.


2 cups spelt flour
2 cups whole rolled oats (not instant)
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
¾ cups (non-dairy) grain sweetened chocolate chips
½ cup vegan carob chips
(1/2 cup optional raisins)
½ cup chopped brazil nuts
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¾ cup softened organic coconut oil
¾ cup agave
1/3 cup boiled sweet potato, smashed
1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
1 egg

If you're a raisin fan, those can easily be added too.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Whisk together coconut oil, agave, sweet potato, and egg.
In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, including chips and nuts.
Slowly whisk dry ingredients into bowl of wet ingredients.
Drop 1-2 inch balls onto cookie sheet.
Bake for ~12 minutes, or until edges of cookies become golden.
Makes about 30 cookies.

For a REALLY delicious treat, make this the base for an kream sundae. I recommend using Purely Decadent coconut milk-based Vanilla Bean ice cream. For an easy chocolate sauce, mix coconut oil and cocoa powder, and drizzle on top. Garnish with shredded coconut!

Yum! And, save a horse: ride a cowboy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In the Beginning

This is my life:

Thirty days ago, I graduated from college. After packing up a hefty engineering degree, a bushel of black and orange costume clothes, and two overused dorm skillets, I returned home to start working, stop stressing, and start living.

There are certain things that I enjoy.
These things include:

1. Food.
However. I am a proud survivor of many bouts of chronic fatigue, and I follow a strict Anti-Candida Diet to manage my health and energy. Basic diet tenets? No sugar, no dairy, no white flour, no processed foods. Low glycemic index, and low carb.

2. Making things.
This includes, but is not limited to: a garden, various crafts and things that sparkle, and new spaces in a house.

3. Adventures.
I have a very flexible definition of an "adventure". Adventures are exhilarating experiences involving something one loves, or is otherwise worth noting for any reason. Mainly, adventures R fun.

I will tell you my tales. I will bake you my foods.