Crispy Rutabaga Cake

IMAG3924I loved potatoes growing up. My amazing momma was a meat and potato girl. Bake potatoes were my jam.

However, I’ve read so much about potatoes, it’s added a stigma about eating them. This has created a barrier about eating them, and although I see some Paleo sites including them, I just can’t pull the trigger yet.

However, in the last 15 years, since I’ve cut them, I have discovered and experimented with an array of other tubers. I have grown fond of sweet potatoes, which I claimed to hate as a child (I was a super picky eater and most of the time I claimed to hate something, when the truth was, I had never tried it). I really like parsnips (as does my husband, so we really dig a root hash with them). Turnips, I tried but they seemed bland compared to the others and I didn’t go beyond trying them. Plantains= love (read yesterday’s post on plantain chips). And rutabaga. I found I really enjoy rutabaga. I tried them first as fries. Yum. Delicious. I mashed them. They were good, but mashed cauliflower I think is still the best after 8 years of trying all tubers, I pick the cuneiform veggie. They are super good in a hash.

But then I saw a recipe for a crispy potato cake and boom I knew I wanted to try it with rutabaga. My husband has a mandolin slicer at work, so I was able to get a nicely stacked cake. This wasn’t very hard to make either, and it was full of flavor.

IMAG3922Crispy Rutabaga Cake Continue reading “Crispy Rutabaga Cake”

Gluten-Free Granola Yogurt Tarts

IMAG3899I have been waiting to make these!

Actually that is not completely 100. I have been waiting to make these to post! I made some last summer, with goat cheese fillings, but I never posted it.

I had some leftover granola bars from the market, so I thought…….hmm…..I could spare some of these to finally make some tarts. Because pies and tarts are kind of my things.

This is something that gets me excited, not just because it is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but it’s easy to make and customize.

I’ve got 6 mini tart pans, so I can make up a couple and freeze them until I am ready.

From there I have loads of options. Here I have used yogurt. Many can be anti-dairy, but I have been reading Chris Kressner and I’ve done a lot of research through the Weston A. Price organization, so I think if you can tolerate it, moderation isn’t bad. Plus fermented foods are great for your gut. Look at the source. I also like kefir, but if I was using kefir, I’d probably add some honey, it can have a strong flavor. Plus the last time I got some, I grabbed goat kefir and it for sure had a strong flavor and smell. So dress it up.

You could also use goat cheese. Use a dairy-free yogurt if it’s a concern.

Maybe blend the fruits into the yogurt to add some color, rather than just layering them on the top, as I have. I like textures, so I wanted the fruits cut rather than pureed to add some depth in texture. Besides eating and chewing makes the body do more work than simply swallowing food, and I think it’s more filling.

You can also customize this easily, by the fruits. Use the ones that you like. Make a tropical one with mango, pineapple, kiwi, and coconut flakes maybe. Or a caramel apple. Or a blackberry peach. Or a mixed berry. Last fall, I made a pumpkin one. Maybe you want to mix a tablespoon of almond butter in yours and layer banana slices on top, with some shaved dark chocolate.

Play around with options. Or keep it simple. I am just giving you a base.

IMAG3918Granola Yogurt Tarts Continue reading “Gluten-Free Granola Yogurt Tarts”

Plantain Chips

I love plantains.

I had never had them until I was about 25. I was hooked on the first bought. And man have I taught and had loads of conversations about them since them. It usually starts at checkout, where many cashiers don’t know what it is or how to ring them up. I have learned to tell them to look up bananas first. From here the conversations generally turns to asking how it tastes. Upon which I respond:

  1. It does not taste like a banana
  2. It is not sweet, it is starchier
  3. No you can’t just peel it and eat it
  4. I suggest slicing it thinly and sauteing it in coconut oil with sea salt

I also introduced a lot of my friends and my husband to plantains, making them taste them for their first time. My friends are lucky, I usually introduce them in the form of pizza crust and taco tortilla shells to them. Zach, though I had him taste just sliced and sauteed ones (as described them). He is a BBQ chip kind of snacker, so he thought they didn’t have a lot of flavor and he only likes them very thinly sliced.

I however, have found I really enjoy the tastes of the plantain. And I like them pretty simple and plain. Just sea salt. Because I was thinking about being creative and making all these different flavors of chips, but then I skipped it all, sea salt is good. Since it isn’t broken, I am not fixing it.

I will also tattle on myself here. I think sometimes people think I am in the kitchen all the time. Or I want to be there ALL the time. This is not try. Look at last week, where I only had one post. Sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I am like everyone else and I don’t want to prep or make a bunch of food. Sometimes I like meals that are quick and easy. Like lettuce wraps, I love a lettuce wrap (which is what i ate with these chips). So making vegetable chips (cabbage are my favorite) has been a favorite method of mine in the past, to have on hand for those non-cooking days. It is true I love baking. I love cooking. But sometimes you need a break. And the next day I may be in the kitchen all day, completely joy-filled. Breaks are nice to refresh the work we’re doing.

As I mentioned, I did sea salt because that’s what I like, but feel free to play around with other flavors, or dips maybe. But I am also not a chip dipper or guac person (raw avocados actually make me nauseous), so I just eat them on their own.

IMAG3890.jpgPlantain Chips Continue reading “Plantain Chips”

Strawberry Pie Bites

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I saw little bites like this, probably about a year ago. I have been waiting for the perfect moment to try them. I think part of what held me back was uncertainty. I wasn’t sure if my dough would hold up. Sometimes it is softer, so I wasn’t sure if the shape would hold.

I put it on my market menu, holding myself then for actually making them.

I was determined. So I started brainstorming on how to remedy my problem. I cut down the amount of butter. And refrigerated the dough long enough. And this did the trick. I was able to shape them perfectly. I placed them in the freezer to keep the shape. Filled each little well with strawberry filling. And stuck them back in the freezer. I have learned with making gluten-free pies, freezing is my friend. I freeze to keep shape. Plus this helps me stay organized. I prep my pies during the week, working on them a little here and a little there. Then on Friday’s all I have to do is bake them fresh. This means I no longer spend all day prepping and baking. I feel less rushed. And I am able to give greater focus and energy to what I’m making. Plus I get to give each pie the attention it needs each time I work on them. I walk away feeling like I have truly done my best.

My vote is that I loved these little bites, if I did them again I would probably make them a tiny bit smaller. But I like the proportion of filling to salty, flaky crust. It’s my kind of thing. Plus one little bite, makes you feel treated without feeling guilty.

Strawberry Pie Bites

  • 1 patch of Paleo Pie Dough
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Continue reading “Strawberry Pie Bites”

Gluten-Free Coconut Cake

IMAG3749.jpgThe first cake I posted this week (Lemon Rosemary Naked Cake, click the link to check it out), had all the bells and whistles, as far as naked cakes goes. So I wanted to make something even simpler. Hence this beautiful, understated coconut cake. I know coconut is hit or miss on people taste preferences, but I am a BIG fan. I have always enjoyed the taste of coconut. And I will confess my mind was racing with pairings. I could make a mango curd to fill this with. Maybe pineapple, I’ll make it tropical. I’ll toast the coconut. My head was racing with ideas. I could have went wild. But something in my mind said: restraint. Restrain yourself for once Brittany. Let the cake stand on its own, you don’t need all those extra things. Just make a GOOD, simple cake.

And that is what I have done.  A nice pairing to go with the lemon cake I made for Easter. You are free to add more to this recipe, this is what I chose. Feel free to toast the coconut. Drip some caramel on the top. Dress it up with fresh flowers. Fill the layers with mango or pineapple. Let your creativity run free. Design cake representative of you, your tastes, and soul-fitting. Do just make the coconut cake, though, it really amazing (and that is coming from a cake skeptic).

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Gluten-Free Naked Lemon Cake

IMAG3777.jpgGetting married last year did get me thinking about cake designs. Granted I don’t typically like cake. And I ended up making 9 cheesecakes instead, but I was drawn to the rustic, naked cakes. I liked there raw beauty appeal. It feels like it suits my soul. I am a simple soul. I love the woods. Hiking trails. I consider mountains to be a magnetic force that I am drawn to, even if it’s just to stand and stare in awe of one. I don’t like extravagance. I would have less, and be rich in experiences and adventure. I just want to love people and bake. In a nut-shell that is it. I appreciate beauty, but not the bling, over-the-top beauty. I enjoy a subtle, natural beauty. As I said I am a tree, nature girl. I enjoy baking pies. And when I do make cake, I seek that same rustic appeal. That raw edge. And I seek flavors that I enjoy. Like lemon. And coconut (coming next)

Especially being a recovering perfectionist, I need to challenge myself to pursue projects that don’t need to be perfect. The slight messiness, is what makes this beautiful to me. And it breaks my habit (that’s why I usually like wearing my hair curly rather than straight anymore, curly it is meant to be wild and untamed, not perfect). Lemon curd that drips down the sides, and frosting that doesn’t have to be flawlessly smoothed, is good for my recovery.

Easter is coming up, which means I’ll be heading to my grandparents. We have several non-gluten eaters, so I like to make something festive. Plus I had some leftover coconut flour, which is tricky to work with (it can get dense or chalky), but I have found it works well in cakes.

What is also about this cake is you can add and subtract if you want. Take the rosemary out of the lemon curd (lavender would be lovely too). Or subtract the meringue. Maybe you just want frosting and some lemon slices. Or you just wanted frosting and fresh flowers (or succulents). Make this cake fit your personal tastes and desires. This is just to give you options. Let your creativity run free.

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Gluten-Free Apple French Toast

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When life gives  you a mini baguette loaf, you make French toast.

I had two farmer’s markets over the weekend, and I was most happy with my new recipe for French bread. Bread has always been my Achilles heel in gluten-free baking. If you’ve tried, I feel most will feel me on this. It has a tendency to be dense. Small. It doesn’t hold well sometimes. It can just get heavy. My favorite bread recipe ever is: 2 cups almond or cashew butter, 5 eggs, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp sea salt. It gets a nice rise, so I don’t end up with a punny bread that is a struggle to make a sandwich out of. I would love to make this bread for the market, but it isn’t very cost effective, I’d probably have to charge over $15 for a loaf of bread, because the cost of almond butter just seems to go up.

This French bread, though, I used yeast in. It smells and tastes like bread. It is lighter and less dense. It has a great flavor. I am chalking it up as a major win! I plan on selling this at stores and markets, though, so I will not be sharing it’s recipe (I’ll like to one that is really good though), but I will let you know how to make some delicious French toast with it.

My initial plan was to just plain old French toast. But then I saw this apple chilling on top of the fridge. Hmm…..I love baked apples, especially in the morning. It was a done deal that I was going to make cinnamony French toast + apples. WOW! So good.

You can top your’s however you want, though. Jam. Butter or ghee. Maple. Plain. Blueberries. Strawberries and goat cheese. Lemon Curd. Options, you have lots of options, s’mores. Pumpkin in the fall. Get creative.

IMAG3735Gluten-Free Apple French Toast Continue reading “Gluten-Free Apple French Toast”

Inside the Great Smoky Mountains

17425027_10101681141406413_7205767337921029150_nMy whole life I have enjoyed travel. I yearn for adventure. For the serenity of a forest. For the peaceful sounds of the woods, and my feet getting swept away on a trail. Taking me somewhere new. Somewhere beautiful. Somewhere fresh. Somewhere where I am likely to stand there staring for a while, lost in awe. Letting nature suck away my worries. There is such a paradox in the forest. Because I feel small, but filled with potential at the same time. Nature’s beauty (especially mountains, for me personally), is humbling. The world is so vast. So breathtaking. So in need of our respect. How can I be sucked up in sadness or depression or worries, when I am surrounded by such perfect creations? It fills me with the: There’s so much more to life than this, mindset.

Surrender. Let go. 

This is why I travel. Why I seek adventure. To breathe. To let peace and serenity calm my body and soul. To let bliss wash over me. To tilt my head back. To look around and really see. For a fresh perspective. To minimize my struggles, and reconnect with my purpose. I feel most like myself in these moments. I don’t feel society and others opinions weighing down on me. I feel light, buoyant.

17308876_10101681141266693_2837190037945190149_nThis is my first travel blog and I am so geeked. National Parks is kind of my husband Zach and I’s thing. Our bedroom walls are covered with National Park maps and one Big US map with traces of our travels (together & separately) For years I traveled by myself. Yosemite and the Northwest being my favorite areas I have ever been. I patiently waited for my travel companion, for my life companion. And Zach fits into my life more than I could have ever dreamed. How in sync we are with our desires and goals. Last year we traveled to over 10 National Parks on a whirlwind 2 week trip, during which he proposed to me under the stars in Arches National Park.  Continue reading “Inside the Great Smoky Mountains”

Who am I to be Happy?

self worthWho am I to be happy?

Who are you not to be?

I have gotten back-lash in the past for being happy or positive. Or written off. Oh Brittany she’s a hippy. She talks about love and is always trying to put a positive spin on something. Going against the grain, can mean being categorized and pushed aside.

But we have created this society. A society where we accept depression and stress. Depression is the norm. We talk more about our problems and struggles than we do our joys. We hate our jobs. We butt heads in our relationships. And we just give up on them and let them disintegrate. How else could divorce rates be so high? It is easier to give up and not deal with something or someone than it is to truly feel something. We would rather drink and do drugs, or whatever vice we may have than feel pain. We avoid it. We cover it. We blame. We accept the suck in our lives. But it is not our circumstances or lives that suck, we do. We suck. We accept the negativity as a norm.

We will wallow in our pain. We love that. To complain. To find faults. We bring depression upon ourselves. Our limited scope of the world, of life beyond a current circumstance, limits us. It’s like looking out of a dusty, dark window. As Thoreau has said, it’s not what you look at, but what you see.

Life is perspective. How you view it. Choice.

I am not happy all the time, but I am a lot better at catching myself. When I find myself having negative thoughts. Feeling stress. Being judgmental. Lacking compassion. Feeling sorry for myself. I catch it. I rebuke it. I go back to gratitude. What I am thankful for. How blessed I am. I cannot be down, when I am so blessed. We have to be self-aware. Call ourselves out. Be willing to change in an instance. You can decide not to be depressed. Not to be suppressed. To say no temptations. Reach for joy, rather than allowing yourself to be pulled down. Continue reading “Who am I to be Happy?”

Gluten-Free Brownie in a Mug

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Last post of the week! Happy Friday, everyone, you made it to the weekend! Congratulations!

Maybe you feel like celebrating or indulging a bit? this little beauty is amazing because it only takes a few minutes to make. It is super easy, and the perfect serving for just one person. Then you are not tempted to eat a whole tray of brownies. You can’t feel bad about a little mug?

I have to give a shout to my mom for the inspiration on this. I was racking my brain for things to do with brownies (I’m not done yet, stay tuned next week I’ll have ice cream). My mother has been making my nephews individual mug cakes. It’s just one of the many cut things they do. I can make a brownie in a mug!

If I were to do this again or thought of it before hand, I could have topped this with a spoonful of coconut milk vanilla ice cream or whip.

Anyways, I’ll keep it short and sweet (I’ve got baking to do anyways, time for me to work: 2 farmer’s markets this weekend and a brunch).

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Gluten-Free Brownie in a Mug

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp Enjoy Life Chocolate chips

Continue reading “Gluten-Free Brownie in a Mug”