Gluten-Free Asparagus + Goat Cheese Tart

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Sometimes the hardest part of the market is talking about food all day………

This is true. Five in the morning is too early to eat for me. By noon, when the market ends, however, I cannot seem to get food fast enough. The struggle is real to be surrounded by food. All morning I’ll eye people carrying a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Add to that, that my neighbor has gorgeous asparagus. And you know it’s good because he sells out by 10:30 every weekend.

All morning my brain races with dishes I want to make. I am constantly conceptualizing. And talking with people who stop by my booth, typically leads to more food conversations (I am a baker, this should be expected). I am talking and creating at the same time. My excitement for a new recipe grows as the day goes.

When I was brainstorming Easter recipes I had thought asparagus tart.

And every Saturday as I sit next to my neighbor I think: asparagus tart.

Finally we bought some asparagus. And finally I have made a tart.

There are some vegetables, which are so good, I could eat them all the time. One woman claimed that by the end of asparagus season, she is over asparagus. Blasphemous.

I could eat asparagus every day.

I could eat cabbage every day. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Asparagus + Goat Cheese Tart”

Pavlovas: Mango + Coconut & Caramel Banana

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Lesson yesterday: don’t make assumptions or let anticipation hold you back.

My lesson of course comes from food, it’s part of my self-expression.

I’ve told myself for a long time I don’t like meringue. And although I was excited to make these pavlovas today, it was not because I wanted to eat one but because I thought they were beautiful.

My anticipation was that I wasn’t going to like them. How often do we do this? Judge something/someone/an experience before we try it? I can think of countless instances in my life where I’ve done this, where I have held off on something because of my anticaption of how something was going to taste or feel or how a conversation may go. It is very often self inflicted and limiting.

Because these were delicious and my anticipating thoughts would have denied me of trying and enjoying this. Just as anticipating thoughts can hold us back from our dreams and potential. Or we deny ourselves friendships and connections because we are quick to judge or have a pre-conceived notion of how someone might be.

Sometimes we just have to stop anticipating and step fully into and embrace what is happening.

What made these so good?

I think the texture, I can’t even fully describe it, plus the flavor of the maple sugar, it all was just amazing.

IMAG4118Have fun. Play around. Try out different flavor profiles. Like:

Lemon Curd + Fresh Blueberries

Chocolate Ganache + Raspberries

Cherries + Toasted Almond Slivers

Caramel Apple

Lavender Blackberry

Get Creative!

Paleo Pavlovas

Pavlovas

  • 5 oz. egg whites (about 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Whipped Cream: 

  • 1 can coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Topping: 

  • Mango Curd (click the link for recipe) +
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes (bake @ 350 for 5 to 10 minutes)
  • Honey Fried Bananas (cook in a skillet, drizzle with honey, brown) +
  • Paleo Caramel

IMAG4114Let’s Make it happen: 

Separate eggs while cold, then allow them to hang out until they reach room temperature.

Preheat oven to 300.

Beat the egg whites on high. Once peaks start to form, slowly add in the maple sugar, a little at a time. Keep beating until it is glossy and the meringue doesn’t feel gritty to the touch. Add the vanilla and tapioca flour. Mix briefly, just until incorporated.

Lay a piece of parchment down on a baking sheet. I used an angled spatula to make four different meringues. I smoothed each into a circle. Then put another layer on top and smooth it out, as well as building it up on the sides to make a well in the center (so the topping could fit in). I repeated this with all four.

Place in the oven and bake at 225 for an hour and a half. Turn the oven off. Leave the pavlovas in the oven to cool down.

While they were baking I made the whip. Simply remove the solids from the coconut milk and beat with vanilla and honey.

Make the mango curd. Toast some coconut.

Fry up the bananas. Make caramel.

Now you are ready to assemble!

Dollop whip cream into the center of each. On two of them, smear mango curd and sprinkle on some toasted coconut. On the remaining two, drizzle caramel, layer on bananas, drizzle a little more caramel.

Just like that you’re ready! Eat and enjoy! Have fun

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Continue reading “Pavlovas: Mango + Coconut & Caramel Banana”

Gluten-Free Mango Curd Tart

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I have been loving some fruit curd lately!

If you’ll recall, last week I featured a Gluten-Free Grapefruit Meringue Pie.

That same day I also made a Mango Curd Tart.

Lately I have also been loving some mango and I am always down for some tropical flavor profiles. So I but some big, beautiful coconut flakes on the top.

Delicious!

It’s amazing how my husband and I work, though. I instantly gravitated towards the mango, whereas he claimed the grapefruit. Just like today I made pavlovas. Again I leaned into the mango and he Claimed the banana caramel for himself.

I think I like the refreshing quality the mango curd provides.

What is nice about this recipe, is that you may choose to break it up. You may want to top it differently. Add coconut into your pie crust dough.

OR

You can just use the mango curd in different things.

Fill a cupcake with it…………

Smear it on a bagel…………………

Put it on your pancakes ………………..

Use it on a fruit pizza……………………….

Put it on a pavlova (more on this later this week)……………

Use it to top your ice cream (I am thinking a Blueberry Goat Cheese- something I’ve conceptualized, which I will eventually make)…………………………………………

Get creative. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Mango Curd Tart”

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”

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).

IMAG3766.jpgNaked Coconut Cake Continue reading “Gluten-Free Coconut Cake”

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.

IMAG3770.jpgLemon Cake Continue reading “Gluten-Free Naked Lemon Cake”