Lemon Meringue Pie Macarons

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“Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world,” Brene Brown.

I was looking for a beautiful quote to share about how creativity makes me feel and right away I was drawn to this one. And of course it was Brene Brown, she writes some truly wonderful things.

Creativity has been one of the best blessings of my life. The creativity that flows through me is literally overwhelming sometimes. And it spills. It spills out into different areas of my life. Growing up it manifested in the form of art and drawing, notably portraits. Then It took the form of writing. Eventually the art became food. It can be seen sometimes in the way I do my hair (there was a time in my life when I used to braid a lot of hair in very unique patterns). In my clothes. In my home. It used to even show up in my kettlebells, as I used to dream up new ways to move and challenge my body.

And it comes out of nowhere sometimes. I can be on a walk and recipes ideas and flavor combos will just download in my mind. Or I will write an entire post in my head. Editing and rewriting as I go. These meringues. Same thing.

I was at work making lemon meringue pies as I often do, when I started pondering on the simplicity of a meringue. And for some reason I was also thinking about macarons. And I was remembering this pic I had seen on Instagram of a coconut macaron that had a meringue on top. I watched the video of them making it like 5 times. And I started to image the lemon meringue pie as a macaron. Lemon curd filling. A beautiful meringue on top. Maybe brush some yellow coloring in the bag to be fun. I had to make it. I had envisioned and tasted it already. It had to come to life. Luckily I had a meeting to go to where they like my macarons.

It didn’t even stop there. I’m thinking of all the curds I’ve made. Grapefruit. Cranberry. Mango. I really want to make a pineapple one, because pineapple is delicious (duh). Then I was thinking I could use a macadamia nut base for the macarons instead of almond. And I could do a toasted coconut meringue on top. Yum. Maybe some lime zest in the curd? Maybe that’s too much going. Oh well, you may have this recipe coming sometime.

I praise God for this creativity and what a blessing it is. Because sometimes I look at something I made in awe and I can’t believe I’ve made it. It is more than me. It brings me joy, but I love more that it has the potential to bring others joy. What good is it to have a talent or gift and not share it with others? That’s why we have it no? This dynamic world where we all have something we can contribute. And food. Food is such a way for me to share and express the love I have in my heart. Each pie is truly from a place of love. Plus a passion and fervor for it to bless others. That is my main desire in all this baking and striving with my business, and that is to share joy and love. And beautiful food, that hopefully tastes as equally good.

Lemon Meringue Pie Macarons

Macarons:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Continue reading “Lemon Meringue Pie Macarons”

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Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Scones

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I love food that is colorful and fun. Like this photo above makes my heart so happy.

When I first started baking and making gluten-free goodies is was very monochromatic. Aesthically I truthfully kind of hated it. I was using almond meal, which made it all very dark in color and kind of gritty looking. I felt the same with coconut sugar, I loved the flavor but it really is great for replacing brown sugar, not regular sugar. It is just too dark and I don’t get the bakes I want. I want the things I make to look like their traditional counter parts. That is why I have fallen in love with maple sugar as well, it is lighter in color and it has AMAZING flavor. So the things I’ve been baking truly look like conventional baked goods. Truthfully I typically don’t tell people until later that things are gluten-free until after they eat them because they’ll go in presuming it tastes differently. So if it doesn’t look different, I’m not telling.

Recently I have been playing with some  all-natural sprinkles. They are so fun. So colorful.

And I personally really liked the flavor of these scones. And they are cute.

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Scones

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, cold & cubed (You can try cold spectrum as well to make it dairy-free but I personally have not tried it)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles (plus more to garnish)

Continue reading “Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Scones”

Gluten-Free Naked Blackberry Upside Down Cake

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Last week I was kind of excited because I had used up my stock pile of recipes. That meant I got to experiment and make some new recipes. This is what I truly love.

Honestly it is hard to go to work where I make the same things everyday and creativity is stifled (mostly feeling as if my talents are not being utilized can be frustrating at times, especially when I feel I have so much to offer). The kitchen is a playground for me. Creativity overflows and overwhelms me. I have to try new things. I have to push myself. Try new techniques. New flavors. Routine makes my creativity groan in exasperation.

And so I love days when I get to just bake. Bake for sheer creativities sake. Pretty little samples I can just give away. Plus I mass produce and bake so much at one time these days, it is nice to just make one batch of cake.

I can just crank up my worship music. Take my time mixing it, no thoughts of all the other things I must bake in the back of my mind. I can enjoy the intoxicatingly good smell of a fresh cake baking.

I can take my time and try to get a little fancier than usual with my pictures, rather than trying to snap something between bakes or before something gets packaged.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE baking every week for my market. It brings me the most joy to be able to do something that hopefully can bring others joy. Food is my FAVORITE way to serve people.

But sometimes it is nice to just focus on making one really good thing, that can just be given away.

And I love blackberries. There are some really good blackberries at our farmer’s market. I had seen a recipe for a blackberry upside down cake that I thought was beautiful and sounded delightful. I had also seen a recipe for some naked bundt cakes. So I wanted to kind of combine the ideas together. Plus I love minis, so I baked mini bundts.

They were so beautiful! When people comment on pics that they look like something out of a food magazine, that is a supreme compliment. I also heard by my taste testers that they were good, very rich in taste because of the white chocolate frosting, but good.

Gluten-Free Blackberry Upside-Down Naked Bundt Cakes Continue reading “Gluten-Free Naked Blackberry Upside Down Cake”

Gluten-Free Blackberry Eclairs

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Happy Wednesday you All! Pretty proud as this is my second post of the week! And I plan on scheduling tomorrow’s right after this. It has been a moment since I posted three recipes in a week. I have a lot to share, though. Plus I can’t keep telling people at the market to check out my website, that I post loads of recipes, and then have a void of recent recipes the last 4 months. So I am making better on my commitment to share recipes, as well as baked goods.

As you will recall, Monday I posted a recipe for choux pastry (click the link to check it out). That is pretty much a fancy word for éclair shells, although you can make other things with it, like cream puffs. Today I share with you one of the ways I filled them: Blackberry with a Fresh Whipped Topping.

I will confess this was my favorite filling. The one I will posting tomorrow is for a lime curd with toasted meringue. It was good. Tangy. Rich. But this blackberry one was refreshing and I wanted to eat them all (but I didn’t).

As I typically point out, you can customize these. Swap the blackberries for raspberries or strawberries or cherries, etc. Add some pistachios to the raspberries. Or maybe be daring and add some lavender to the blackberry. There are loads of ways to interpret and design your own.

Blackberry Topping: Continue reading “Gluten-Free Blackberry Eclairs”

Gluten-Free Choux Pastry

 

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Have I mentioned my love (maybe slight obsession) with the British Baking Show. Ever since I first watched it, I have been hooked on the choux pastry-eclairs. I don’t know why I gravitated towards them so strongly. But I just HAD to make them. My mind raced with all kinds of flavor profiles.

But then some doubt set in, which kept me from making them for so long. I’ve never even made a regular eclair, actually I’ve never even eaten one. I had no reference point, even if I made them, if they are any good. Plus I have never made a pastry that you cook on the stove top. And I gave a half-hearted attempt at making it in the Fall.

So I left it alone for a few months. Then last month I was feeling it. I wasn’t even planning on making choux pastry, but I just knew it was the day to fully dive in!

I was pleasantly surprised. I filled them two separate ways (which I will be sharing later this week), one blackberry and another lime meringue. So good. The pastry had a nice crunch on the outside.

The blackberry was hands-down my favorite, the berry and homemade whip were so refreshing and good. The lime was tasty, and although I like torching meringue, I don’t like eating it as much (although it is steadily growing on me). The lime curd, though is some other level deliciousness. I currently have some chilling in my fridge from some pie pops I made, and the other day I may have just eaten a small spoonful of just curd. It is that good.

The wonderful thing about this, is that there are so many ways to enjoy them. You can also make them into cream puffs, same dough. You’ve got to eat them quickly though, while the dough still has that outer layer crunch.

Some flavor combos I had running through my mind: Sweet Potato Cream with Pralined Pecans and a Toasted Marshmallow Top, Pistachio Paste with Rose Topping, Cherry Pie Filling with Chocolate Ganache Topping, Lemon Curd with fresh Blueberry and a White Chocolate Glaze, Triple Chocolate, Boston Cream, Coconutty, Lavender Blueberry with a Chocolate Ganache, and a take on Carrot Cake with a beautiful Cream Cheese swirly top! Just a few ideas, which is the fun part. And you can plug in your favorite flavors: pumpkin, plums, apple, caramel, etc Continue reading “Gluten-Free Choux Pastry”

Gluten-Free Raspberry Pistachio Frangipane Tarts

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As I’ve mentioned, I have a bit of a British Baking Show problem (is it a problem though if it leads to delicious food, high creativity, and beautiful treats?). It has inspired me A LOT lately. Choux. I’ve got an upcoming eclair recipe. I really wanted to try that one.

I also like pastry week. Some may know, pies and tarts are kind of my all-time favorite thing to bake (hence my company being called P3: Polifroni PIES and Pizzas). I was really intrigued with the frangipane. It’s not something you see a lot here in the Midwest, actually I have never seen one offered anywhere. No restaurants. No bakeries (which there are a lack of actual bakeries in my town-not the premade and just-bake. Those do not count). So my experience with frangipane only comes from TV and then searching for it on Pinterest.

Last summer I made my first frangipane for a market. It had a lovely rhubarb lattice on top (pictured below). The feedback was a success. Most gave me a clueless look when I said there was frangipane underneath the rhubarb. But they were all pleasantly surprised that they liked the flavor.

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Spinach Lasagna

20180120_192852Lately I have totally been digging a casserole. They’re typically easy to assemble. I can assemble them ahead of time and bake when I’m ready. Or I can leave them for my husband to put in the oven a half hour before I get home (totally what I did with this one), so he doesn’t have to really do any work and can relax (he works in a kitchen all week, I like to cook at home).

I also like that I can pack a lot of different nutrients and foods into a casserole. And I can usually hide something I do not like into the casserole. In this instance I will confess I am not a spinach fan. Sorry, I know that I really shouldn’t say that, but it’s true. I can sometimes dig it sauteed or steamed but raw spinach or eating it on its own is not my thing. I have mad respect for spinach and its nutritional value. I WANT to like it. Just as I want to like avocado, but it makes me nauseous (literally eating avocado makes me queasy). Therefore, I will include spinach in a way that I find enjoyable.

Say in lasagna for instance. My dad has a really good lasagna with cabbage that I’ve made in the past. And I typically I make lasagna with zucchini strips, totally good. However, they only had puny zucchini at the store and it would take a tone to get the strips that I needed. I did have a ton of spinach, however.

Score, I decided to give it a go. It was totally delicious and very easy to make. Plus, since it’s just Zach and I, we usually have left-overs for another day. I for one love left-overs, because even though I love to cook, sometimes I don’t want to. So heating up left-overs of a delicious meal is completely my fav.

I hope that you all enjoy this recipe!

Spinach Lasagna Continue reading “Spinach Lasagna”