this tropical heat calls for some coconut.

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I’ve been holed up in my cement tower (aka my 4th floor apartment, which thankfully includes all the air conditioning my little bones can handle) but there’s a rumor going around that it’s hot out. I actually verified this by stepping out onto my balcony to water the plants. Tropical is how I would describe it. Which got me craving coconut drinks…..

Alas, I whipped up some coconut cream scones instead.

They hit the spot. For the moment, anyway.

(available in my shop should you, too, have the craving)

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those happy toaster treats.

My daughter, who also has a gluten allergy, sent me a text a few weeks ago with many very sad-faced emoticons. She just had to endure the torture of toasting a brown sugar-cinnamon pop tart for the child she is babysitting for. Toast it, and then not be able to eat it. At one point in her life these were a mainstay in her diet; after school, late night, in the car on the way to gymnastics, toasted, un-toasted, on a plate, or  straight from the thin foil wrapping. But not for the past year and a half. So I promised her I’d make her some and we’d be able to enjoy the delicious sugary filling wrapped in some (even better and flakier) gluten-free  (and dairy free) pastry.

No more sad emoticons after these yummy treats!

(ps. I’ll be offering these in my etsy shop shortly. if you’re interested in ordering from me, or in wholesale ordering please feel free to email me @ twodaisiesbakery (at) gmail.com)

the graduation party.

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My son graduated from college this month, and in the midst of everything going on we threw together a lovely little party. It was a relaxed, casual gathering with close friends and family and good food.

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I served my grandma’s ‘famous’ bbq chicken, which is an oil and vinegar based marinade with lots of pepper and poultry seasoning in it. It was so great to hear the boys comment on the food, and ask “where it came from”, as they had been to many ‘pizza and deli tray’ parties before this one. I think they were rather impressed with the homey goodness before them…which aslo included my mom’s broccoli salad, potato salad, a lentil/arugula salad and a white bean salad.

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A big hit was the drinks in mason jars (an idea pinned a billion times on Pinterest, I know) but really a big hit, and super practical, it turned out. We made watermelon/ginger/lime/vodka coolers and then had vodka-free ones for the kiddies. Also, in the house fridge for “special guests” I had a higher end cocktail….but don’t tell anyone.

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Of course a party wouldn’t be a party without treats, and I had plenty. In addition to these yummy devils food cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting (which no one knew were gluten free) I had three different hand pies; cherry, blueberry and peach. (I think I’ll do a whole separate post on those, they were a lot of work and turned out adorable!)

It was a great night….I didn’t even realize how exhausted I was until it was all over.

Now, on to the summer!

cherry crunch and recipe books.

I’ve been making this dessert since I was in high school. I imagine the recipe was cut from the inside of the Land O’Lakes butter box, taped to my mom’s recipe book, and then I swiped it when I moved out, and taped it to my well-worn recipe book. do people even use recipe books any more? I remember my grandma’s, in her lovely cursive script, simple delicious recipes that even if you followed her directions they would not yield the same results. there was always something missing. I was told recently that it is the “oil from the chef’s hand” that gives each dish it’s unique taste. and that’s why my grandma’s spaghetti sauce will never taste like grandma’s now that she’s gone.

my mom had her recipe book, given to her by grandma around her wedding day. more hand written recipes that would be handed down. I tried to keep up the tradition, creating my own book after I was married. I would copy recipes that I loved, paste tried and true dishes from magazines into the pages of a spiral bound book that was given to me early in my married life. I still have that book, held together now with a rubberband, bursting with scraps of paper and clippings. but I find myself relying more and more on technology; on my ipad and my laptop for recipes. overloaded bookmarks,  Pinterest loaded with recipes and wonderful food blogs.

but, then again, I have to think if one day the internet collapses (hey, it could happen!) I’ll always have that rubberband-bound recipe book filled with delightful meals and treats from years past.

 

*ps. I make it just as above but substitute a gluten-free flour blend for the AP flour. 

it’s a banana pudding kind of day.

The weekend was a few days ago, and had started out promising enough…but midway through turned into a bad gluten nightmare. (I know, we’ve all had them).  And, once you start feeling better, and you’re slowly not fearing food again, certain cravings take over.

for me it was banana pudding.

probably because I had a wonderful bunch of perfect bananas on my counter that had been my best friend (and only nutrients for three days). and now they were begging for a bath in creamy vanilla custard.

so I obliged.   I don’t think they minded one bit.

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?)

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.