springing into spring.

it’s been one of those weekends. one where I thought I was going to accomplish many great things, bake many delicious cakes (failed!) instead I spent a lot of hours on the couch on Saturday putting way too much stress on myself for not doing things I felt I should.

why do we do this to ourselves?

we really should let ourselves off the hook now and then.

so, today, the sun came out. literally, and figuratively. I was able to go outside, take some photos of the lovely flowers in my yard, and get a new glimpse of the world.

take a breath.

then make dinner.

a nice light dinner adapted from smitten kitchen and it just hit the spot.

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons pitted, chopped black olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
the zest and juice from half a lemon
a pinch of salt
a handful of black pepper

1 tablespoon tahini

A splash of olive oil

a few dashes of hot sauce (optional, highly recommended)

Mix everything but the olive oil in a small to midsize bowl. Very lightly smash the chickpea mixture with the back of a fork or a potato masher. I made it like a coarse chop with a few smaller pieces and some whole beans still in there. Add the olive oil, tahini and hot sauce (if using) mix it lightly and enjoy.

I served mine open faced on gluten free bread that I toasted. Lined up some thinly sliced cucumbers on top, and the contrasting flavors were perfect together.

enjoy!

and don’t be too hard on yourself.

biscuits!

this morning I woke up thinking about biscuits. and ham. it’s been a while since I’ve had some hot, fresh buttery biscuits….years, in fact.

today was the day.

and I just happened to have everything I needed. including the ham and eggs to serve with them once they were complete. I made them using a modified recipe from my personal baking hero, Nicole Hunn (seriously, go check her out!) and they turned out just beautifully!

(I have just enough left over to have with left-over vanilla pastry cream and strawberries later….is your mouth watering yet?)

happy easter!

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today I spent most of the day cooking because my mom can’t seem to (even after two years) wrap her head around the whole “gluten free cooking” concept. so, for most holiday meals I need to bring “my food”. that is, if I want to eat. and, usually I do.

so today I made a sweet potato gratin (using dairy free milk), bacon wrapped potatoes as an appetizer, assembled a cheese tray (ok, my partner handled that!) and assembled a cake that I baked yesterday.

the cake is a recipe I modified from a Barefoot Contessa recipe that I normally use for my coconut cupcakes. I eliminated that coconut and layered it with a dairy-free* pastry cream and fresh strawberries. Frosted with homemade buttercream. Should be a hit! 

*I use lactaid or similar dairy-free milk substitutes in most recipes that call for heavy quantities of milk. I seem to have issues with lactose as well as gluten. 

welcome!

when I was diagnosed almost two years ago with Celiac Disease, crisp, buttery cookies were one of the many things I thought I’d never get to experience again. thankfully, due to perseverance, multiple failed attempts, and the internet I’ve been able to enjoy baking again.

and eating as well.

I hope that my new business venture allows me to share some of my joy with the rest of the world as I start selling my cakes and cookies online shortly.