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Though this blog is primarily meant for fun, however there are times when posting becomes less than frequent due to a busy schedule. For the better part of my time since starting this blog, I ponder and think about food, what to make and how to photograph it each and every day.

 

I think about the tarts I had made a few weeks ago, the dozens of cookies now long gone, the many braises and roasts that filled the home with wonderful  aromas that still need posting. I hope to get a little time to share every little bit of it here. Letting you know, all is good!

So today from a long pause of writing and sharing, here is a wonderful salad and another crumble. The salad was simple and beautiful which can be adjusted according to taste. Adding more of a favorite ingredient or swapping out one you don’t favor for something else.

The weather over the weekend was muggy, but there I was braising and cooking away for an evening with friends. The salad was a refreshing quick meal that took the heat off while I finished up with the dinner plans. Everything that was prepared and made it to the table was colorful and flavorful.  The recipes are written and ready to be shared.

I had not anticipated serving the crumble after dinner, but everyone seemed to take interest. As we finished dessert everyone was happy to be treated to a delicately sweet fruit dessert. No ice cream this time, but some gently whipped cream flavored with vanilla seeds was the next best thing.

I am ever eager to get into the kitchen when a dinner is planned. I get that it is more work, but I enjoy it and look forward to it! To share food in the company of friends is so worth it.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and to enjoy the rest of your week!

Shrimp & Quinoa Salad [serves 2-4]

½ cup black quinoa

¾ cup cold water

¼ teaspoon sea salt

30 small white shrimp, peeled & deveined [approx. 2 cups cooked]

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 small English cucumber, quartered & cut into bite size pieces [approx. 1 ¼ cups]

1 cup shelled edamame, thawed

4-6 French breakfast radishes, thinly sliced [approx. ½ cup]

1 hand full micro greens [add more to taste]

1 Recipe Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

1. Place quinoa, water and sea salt in a small pot and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat and gently simmer covered until the water is absorbed, approx. 15 minutes.

3. Turn off heat and allow quinoa to rest for 10 minutes.

4. Spread cooked quinoa onto a baking sheet to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

5. Sauté shrimp in olive oil until opaque, approximately 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Place the quinoa, shrimp and vegetables in a bowl and fold in vinaigrette, adjusting to taste with salt and pepper.

Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

3 Tablespoons olive oil -or- sunflower oil

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon cane sugar

3 Tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Whisk together all ingredients except the oil in a small bowl.

2. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified. Adjust vinaigrette to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

*note: Though I styled and photographed this delightful salad, the inspiration for this particular styling came from no other than Aran of Cannelle et Vanille.

There is nothing more dramatic in spring than a tree in full flower.

I posted a sneak peak at some of the trees in bloom and here are some more photos I was happy to capture and share.

So here we are, just enjoying the last fleeting marvels of spring and spending time in the garden. It’s hard to believe that the peonies will be blooming soon. I get a little excited for their arrival and this year the peonies are towering giants.

Today’s recipe is for a strawberry-rhubarb crumble, one that is easily made gluten free and as always delicious to eat. I have a tender love for crumbles as they remind me of spring. Later on when summer fruits are ripe for the picking, there will be more.

The raspberries, blackberries and peaches. All are delicious in such a simple dessert.

When I first made these crumbles they were too irresistible to wait for preparing a blog post. More and more where made. It seemed that every day, another batch was made.

Perfect with ice cream, J’s favorite and gently whipped cream for me. Our dessert of choice for spring has been these crumbles!

I even snuck a few out for others to enjoy; they returned exited for more. And yes, I did get my cute bowls back. I am a little attached.

Hope you are enjoying the spring and getting a chance to see the fleeting abundance of nature!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble [makes 4 servings]

6 Tablespoons cane sugar

2 Tablespoons corn starch

½ vanilla bean, scraped [discard pod or tuck into the sugar canister]

2 Tablespoons Key lime juice [lemon will work here too!]

2 ¼ cups rhubarb, cut into half inch slices

2 cups strawberries, halved

Crumble Topping Recipe

¼  cup millet rice flour

¼ cup amaranth flour

4 Tablespoons cane sugar

4 Tablespoons butter, chilled

3 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut, shredded

2 Tablespoons sliced almonds

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°F.

preparing the crumble:

1. Combine the flours, sugar and sea salt.

2. Cut in butter until a coarse meal forms.

3. Stir in coconut and almonds.

4. Chill the crumble until ready to bake.

preparing the fruit:

1. Stir together cane sugar, corn starch and vanilla seeds.

2. Pour sugar mix over fruit and mix in.

3. Add citrus juice and fold again. Allow fruit to macerate for 5 minutes.

4. Portion fruit and juices in 4 baking dishes and top with crumble.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until juices are bubbling and topping has browned.

*note: If not going gluten free, replace the flours with regular all-purpose flour.

Too me nothing is better than simplicity when you’re busy elsewhere outside of the kitchen. These little lemon poppy seed muffins fit my parameters when a quick smack can take the edge of hunger when there is still much to be done.

 

I must say that there have been dozens made over the past few weeks. A few for breakfast, some while taking a short break from the gardening and others intermittently throughout the day. Can I get enough?

 

I even like the hint of coconut flavor and the use of butternut squash purée. The squash gives these muffins a nice lemony color and helps to make muffins a little healthier.

 

I made some with and without the lemon syrup glaze. Both are very nice. Sometimes just a simple muffin works for me. The finishing syrup is a personal choice if you want that punch of added lemon.

 

In the meantime, I will leave you with a few pics of what has been baking away at home and getting back into the garden. There is much to do, perhaps a small basket full of these muffins will be just the thing to bring with.

Lemon Poppy Seed & Butternut Squash Muffins [makes 8 muffins]

½ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup white rice flour

¼ cup amaranth flour

2 Tablespoons tapioca flour

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

¼ cup squash purée [instructions below]

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk [from a carton]

1 large egg

1/3 cup cane sugar

1 teaspoon natural lemon extract

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Line eight mini muffins [standard cupcake pan] wells with paper liners and spray with coconut oil.

1. Mix the flours, poppy seeds, baking powder, sea salt and xanthan gum together. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, combine the remaing ingredients until sugar is incorporated.

3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk to combine.

4. Evenly scoop batter into muffin cups.

5. Sprinkle with more poppy seeds.

6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until centers test out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.

If you are going for the lemon glaze, brush onto the muffins while they are still warm. Recipe follows.

 

Lemon Syrup

½ cup fresh lemon juice

6 Tablespoons cane sugar

1. Simmer lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan until reduced by half and has a syrup like consistency.

2. Brush over muffins while they are still warm from the oven.

Butternut Squash Purée: Halve a small squash and remove seeds. Place on a lightly sprayed sheet pan and roast in a 350°F until easily pierced with a knife. Cool squash and scoop out flesh. Purée in a food processor.

To deal with excess moisture squash tends to have, place purée in a cheese cloth lined sieve and set to drain for a few hours and you are ready to go. Freeze any extra purée or make lots of these muffins!

Spring… Days are filled with sunny walks, whispering breezes and playing around in the crumbly earth.

 

A few weeks ago I had mentioned this beet root soup to you and here it is. Soups and other cool weather foods are slowly being replaced with lighter recipes.

 

Here at home the garden slowly emerges and by some sudden magic is filled with abundance. Alliums are pushing their way towards the sky and blankets of ground covers stretch far and wide.  I love spring; everything takes on a new attitude. New vegetables break out into the market stands and appetites are excited to be tantalized by fresh experiences.

 

Earthy beets, sweet seductive carrots and creamy Japanese sweet potatoes all made it into this wonderful light soup.

And the color, so vibrant!

 

Continue below for the recipe and have a great weekend.

Beet Root Soup Recipe [Serves 4]

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

1 ½ cup leeks, halved & finely julienne

1 large garlic clove

3 beets, peeled & chopped [approx. 2 cups]

1 Japanese sweet potato, peeled & chopped [approx. 1 cup]

2 medium carrots, peeled & chopped [approx. ½ cup]

1 herb bouquet [2 parsley springs, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf wrapped in a leek leaf & tied with twine]

5-6 cups chicken stock -or- vegetable stock

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste.

1. Sauté leeks in coconut oil on medium to low heat until tender.

2. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes, just to cook out the raw garlic flavor.

3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer.

4. Cover and continue to cook until everything in tender.

5. Remove herb bouquet and puree soup.

6. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a little touch of cream or crème fraîche.

Already the warm spring weather is getting to me. Peaking outside at the garden from around the corner to see what’s out there, is there anything new to see?

 

I feel pulled by some mysterious force. Not only to get my hands dirty, but also to capture everything that happens. Even before things begin to bloom I like to envision what will this year look like. Flipping through past spring photos is a chance to see how things looked from the previous year and can be of great help in deciding what needs doing.

 

There are a few sparse gaps in the garden beds that need some fresh plants, something to merge the fuller areas into one whole planting. I love a densely planted garden space. Weeds are minimal and the tender crumb of the soil stays hydrated, but mostly everything looks lush, content and full of blooms.

 

Besides looking forward to spring, food is always something I look forward too and being in the kitchen fuels me. Salmon cakes such as these give me a boost when work is full and the “to do” list is long. The early spring chores in the garden are the everyday things that happen, your knees get sore and your back aches, but still my heart is happy knowing that everything will pay off later in the season when the garden can just be enjoyed.

There should be a picnic or two here or a few lazy afternoons there.

 

It is why I plant and care for this little place knowing that all this care is well worth it and sharing this space with friends is even better. Throw in some nourishing food, some laughter and call it dinner with a view.

For these salmon cakes you can replace the gluten free bread crumbs with Panko breadcrumbs if you are not going gluten free.

Delicious!

Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes [makes 9]

1 pound salmon fillet

1 cup grated zucchini, squeezed of moisture

2 Tablespoons chives, thinly sliced

¼ cup corn meal

1 Tablespoon fresh dill, roughly chopped

1 Tablespoon Lemon Dill Aïoli [from the recipe below]

1 large egg, beaten

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed chilies

½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs

1. Roast salmon with a little olive oil in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes or salmon is firm and flakes easily.

2. Cool salmon and flake into large pieces and place in a mixing bowl.

3. Fold in remaining ingredients except bread crumbs with salmon.

4. Using a #20 scoop [approximately ¼ cup], scoop salmon mixture and form into cakes.

5. Coat each side with bread crumbs.

6. In a skillet, heat a little olive oil and cook salmon cakes 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat.

Lemon Dill Aïoli [makes ½ cup]

1 large egg yolk, room temperature

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ -½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1/3 cup olive oil -or- sunflower oil

1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped

1. Whisk together egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and zest in a bowl.

2. Vigorously whisk in oil in a slow steady stream until emulsified and creamy.

3. Stir in fresh dill.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. The sunshine and weather was gorgeous the past few days. It’s a marvelous time out in the garden to see everything bursting with life. There is definitely lots of garden chores ahead and getting things ready. The whole process to me is pure joy.

Today spring is finally here. I took a few photos of what I have found already growing quickly in the garden. I hope you enjoy them.

I couldn’t resist the temptation to dig and work in the garden. As you know the weather can take a turn for the worst this time of year. All of the gathered seed pods from last year’s blooms have been scattered about. This usually is the case so that plants I like can pop up everywhere and of course removing the strays that get too close to the more established giants.

I also couldn’t resist sharing some spring like recipes. Bright pink radishes, vibrant sweet peas and seductive purple carrots all favor a splash of fresh colorful flavor.

Can you smell spring in the air? It is glorious!

Dijon Glazed Salmon Recipe [serves 4]

4-8 ounce salmon fillets

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Tablespoon strong Dijon mustard

½ Tablespoon olive oil

½ Tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Pan sear salmon in a little bit of olive oil until sides are golden, approximately 2-3 minutes.

3. Place salmon in an oven safe dish and brush with glaze.

4. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

5. Bake for 15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.

Sweet Pea & Chickpea Salad [serves 4]

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas

1 cup purple carrots, fine julienne or grated

2 watermelon radishes, fine julienne or grated

1/3 cup bleu cheese, crumbled [Fourme d'Ambert used here]

¼ cup roasted & salted sunflower seeds

1 large handful of pea shoots [optional]

3 Tablespoons olive oil or sunflower oil

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon strong Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon fresh oregano

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1. Assemble the salad ingredients and toss gently in a bowl.

2. Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, oregano, sea salt and pepper until smooth.

3. Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify.

4. Toss dressing with salad and serve promptly.

With the weather feeling like late spring last weekend I couldn’t help but make a spring inspired tart and seeing all of those chives in the garden I didn’t hesitate one bit.

Every little bud I see peeking out of lifeless branches or silently emerging out beneath the damp earth always makes me stop to take a peak. The air definitely smells of spring. The buds are plump, the grasses appear like pin cushions and the bulbs have broken ground with force.

We definitely take daily walks through the garden to catch everything that is going on and to see how much the clumps of perennials have spread from last year.

Back in side from the amazing weather there was also a beet root soup cooking away in the kitchen that made it into the late afternoon meal that I must share with you soon. These two items were not intended to be eaten together, but I was hungry for a soup of beets so be on the lookout for this soup.

I am certainly making the beet soup again and a few others this weekend and finding more discoveries of spring outdoors.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Asparagus & Leek Tart Recipe [makes 3-6” Tarts]

¾ cup millet flour

½ cup sweet rice flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

½ teaspoon sea salt

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

1 large whole egg

2 egg yolks

¾ cup leeks, halved & sliced thin

1 Tablespoons coconut oil

½ bunch asparagus, cut into 1” pieces

4 large eggs

½ cup cream

1 Tablespoons chives, finely sliced

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg, beaten [for brushing the tart shell]

preparing the tart dough:

1. Combine the millet flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt in a food processor.

2. Add in the cold butter bits and process until a coarse meal forms.

3. Add egg and egg yolk and run the food processor until dough forms.

4. Pour mixture onto a cold work surface and knead until smooth.

5. Form dough into a disc shape and chill until firm, approximately 2-4 hours.

pre-baking the tart shell:

 1. Allow dough to soften so it can be rolled out easily, approximately 30 minutes.

2. On a floured piece of parchment roll a third of the dough into a seven inch circle.

3. Press into a six inch tart ring and set aside. Repeat with remaining two rinds & chill for 15 minutes.

4. Bake in a 375°F for 15 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and brush with beaten egg. Bake for another 15 minutes.

6. Set aside while you prepare the filling.

*note: Tart rings have no bottoms so line a baking sheet with parchment and fill with dough right on the sheet.

preparing the filling:

1. Saute leeks in coconut oil for a minute over medium heat.

2. Add asparagus pieces and cook until tender. Cool slightly.

3. Whisk together eggs, cream, chives, salt and pepper.

4. Divide asparagus and leeks amongst the tart shells and pour custard over.

5. Bake until custard is just set in the center, approximately 15-20 minutes.

A simple soup brewing away over a gentle flame is a comforting thought. What better to have while nestled quietly next to the window while the winter turns steadily to spring. Still the air is a bit chilly and the brisk wind swept outdoors makes one even hungrier for soup.

Thoughts of early spring have me anticipating new life. I believe the garden landscape is intact from little to no blankets of snow. But, whatever becomes of spring, I know the plants will be happy to awaken and ready to delight our presence.

 

I do enjoy the garden most at this time; it’s the time when the alliums bloom. The plantings will first break ground, sleepy eyed and ready for new life; soon grow quickly as if by magic to fill the space into a lush oasis eager to be admired. And there I will be, watching at every moment.

 

For now, there are many decisions to make, what will be added, and what will be transplanted. It’s the constant state of movement a garden goes through, from humblest of beginnings to what it is to become. I have relaxed over the years to allow the garden to let me know what it wants to be. And in doing so, the garden has evolved into a place I cherish.

 

There is still time to enjoy comforting bowls or cups of soup as the weather takes us on a roller coaster ride. This soup is great with this out of the oven quick bread infused with fresh thyme leaves. What can be more perfect than bread and soup?

 

Sweetly fragrant thyme and nutty Gruyere. mmm…

 

Spring time can wait just a bit longer, I am still enjoying soup!

 

Have a great sunny weekend everyone!

 

Roasted Carrot Red Lentil Soup Recipe [Serves 4]

 

1 pound carrots, peeled & cut into 1” pieces

2 Tablespoons olive oil

 

1 medium onion, diced

1 small fresh bay leaf

1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil

1-2 Tablespoons sherry [optional]

 

2/3 cup red lentils, picked over

5 cups chicken stock -or- vegetable stock

1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds

½ teaspoon regular -or- smoked paprika

1 large garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon turmeric

 

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Sea salt to taste

 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

 

1. Coat carrots in olive oil and place in a baking dish. Roast covered for 30 minutes.

2. Uncover carrots and continue to roast until they start to brown.

3. Meanwhile, sauté onions with bay leaf in remaining olive oil over medium heat until they are tender and starting to color.

4. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Deglaze with sherry if using.

5. Stir in spices, excluding whole cumin seeds, roasted carrots and lentils.

6. Give them a quick stir and add stock.

7. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until carrots are tender and lentil have fallen apart.

8. Puree soup until smooth and season with sea salt, adding more stock if necessary.

9. Pan roast cumin seeds until they start popping and are fragrant. Stir into soup.

Serve with or without cream.

 

 

Zucchini Gruyere Quick Bread Recipe [Makes 3 mini loaves]

 

1 ½ cups g/f baking mix*

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ – 1 teaspoon sea salt [depending on the saltiness of the cheese]

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

3 large eggs

½ cup buttermilk

¼ cup sunflower oil

 

1 cup grated zucchini, squeezed of moisture

½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated

 

Preheat oven to 350°F

Spray three mini loaf pans with oil [I used a coconut pan spray.]

 

1. Combine the dry ingredients with the fresh thyme in a bowl and set aside.

2. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk and oil until smooth.

3. Stir in cheese and zucchini.

4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined and there are no dry pockets.

5. Promptly divide the mixture amongst the loaf pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

6. Allow loaves to cool in their pans or enjoy right out of the oven.

Fresh, light and flavorful…

 

 

My mind has been on fresh flavors lately, gearing up for spring in anticipation for the farmer’s markets to open with loads of fresh produce. I mainly go for the spring peas and ramps at this time, but getting out and enjoying the warmer sunshine is welcoming after a bleak winter.

 

 

The raw fennel and beet salad made several days ago was simple, but it was what we needed; a good boost of nutrition. No brisk walk later!

 

The Chioggia beets were not intentionally used in this salad, but somehow a few landed in the cart while picking the deep red variety. I didn’t even know they were there!  I love the look of these beets when shaved very thin and leaving them uncooked; vibrant and sweet with a bit of earthiness. So here they are, in this salad.

 

 

Another salad was made a few days later, for a light dinner. The wonderful Vietnamese type salads you can make are great for a more substantial meal where lettuce wouldn’t be enough. Of course J. sighs when I make a dish that will need to be photographed before we can eat. Luckily this was a quick recipe, a few quick snaps and it was time to eat. J. loves these kinds of meals; the flavors are fresh, garlicky and spicy.

 

The special ingredient is the sauce for this shrimp noodle salad. You take equal parts lime juice and sugar, and then season with fish sauce, garlic and chilies to your liking.

 

 

I think fresh energizing flavors is what we all need, and a little bit of warm sunshine to shake off the winter blues…don’t you think?

 

Coconut Shrimp Noodle Salad [Serves 2]

 

10 whole shrimp, peeled & de-veined

½ cup shredded coconut

1 egg white

Sea salt to taste

 

8 ounces rice noodles [cooked per package instructions]

 

1 large purple carrot, julienne

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

2 large radishes, julienne

2 handfuls mixed greens -or- chopped romaine

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

¼ cup Thai basil leaves

 

¼ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup cane sugar

2 Tablespoons fish sauce

½ garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon crushed chilies

 

Mung bean -or- other kind of sprouts [optional]

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

1. Coat shrimp with beaten egg white and coat with coconut.

2. Place shrimp on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper coated with coconut spray.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until shrimp is opaque and coconut starts to color.

 

4. While shrimp is cooking, combine lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, garlic and chilies in a small bowl.

5. Fill bowls with lettuce then rice noodles.

6. Place shrimp and prepared vegetables over noodles and pour sauce over and enjoy.

 

*note: A traditional Vietnamese salad uses pickled carrots and radishes which you can do in a snap with some rice vinegar and a little sugar to balance. Drain the vegetables after 30 minutes of marinating and continue with recipe.

 

Beet & Fennel Salad Recipe [Serves 2-4]

 

1 large fennel bulb, shaved -or- julienne

2 medium golden beets, shaved into rounds

2 medium Chioggia beets, shaved into thin rounds

1/3 cup fresh peas

 

4 Tablespoons grape seed oil -or- olive oil

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons fresh lime zest

3 Tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 ½ teaspoons cane sugar -or- honey

1 Tablespoons shallots, minced

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

1. Toss fennel, beets, peas and some of the feathery fennel tops together in a bowl.

2. Whisk together everything except the oil and marinate for 10 minutes.

3. Just before serving, which oil into the juice in a little stream until emulsified.

4. Toss with vinaigrette and enjoy.

I look forward to the one day J. and I can sit down for breakfast. I am usually up early, running around while sleepy sounds are heard far from the kitchen. What will it be this morning? Coffee and croissants? Eggs with braised lentils and vegetables?

Perhaps something on the sweeter side…

 

 

I feel great excitement during the summer when I can make my way out to the herb garden and pluck a few fresh herbs to work into breakfast. Fresh thyme or rosemary for the scones or a mixture of sweet herbs for the scrambled eggs.

Such decisions… so early in the morning…

 

 

After the clanking, mixing and cracking of eggs, we can sit down to enjoy breakfast for some unhurried conversation before the day takes off. Since I rarely sleep in on the weekend, this quick pace early in the morning energizes me after a long restful night and sets the mood for a good day to come.

 

 

As with most recipes that have gluten in them, the conversion is pretty simple for gluten-free. Sometimes there are ones that need a little tweaking to have them turn out properly. Various gluten-free flours all have different reactions, but can easily be overcome if any issues arise.  I like to think the gluten-free mix I make at home will work every time, but there are recipes I use this mix for poorly resemble the real thing. But not to worry, a few alterations and were back on track.

 

For these good morning muffins, I added just a bit more mix to have them looking and tasting like traditional muffins.

 

“Delicious,” J. replied as the final test muffins were inhaled.

Bingo! Mission accomplished.

 

 

If you are not going gluten free, I encourage you to give these muffins a try. I thank all of the wonderful creative gluten-free bakers out there who have paved the way for us to enjoy a better gluten free life!

Enjoy!

 

Coconut Apple Carrot Muffin Recipe [makes 12 small muffins]

 

1 ½ cups gluten-free baking mix*

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

½ cup dark brown sugar

2 large whole eggs

 

½ cup buttermilk

6 Tablespoons sunflower oil

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 

1/3 cup flaked coconut

1/3 cup apples, diced

1/3 cup carrots, peeled & diced

1/3 cup currants

 

½ cup flaked coconut [optional topping]

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

1. Whisk g/f mix, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt together. Set aside.

2. Mix together buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract together and set aside.

3. Whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and airy.

4. Mix wet ingredients and sugar mixture into the dry ingredient just until smooth.

5. Fold in coconut flakes, apples, carrots and currants.

6. Place one #20 scoop of batter in each baking cup.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until centers are done when tested with a toothpick.

*note: You can sprinkle the optional flaked coconut on the batter before baking or sprinkle a little sugar for a nice sugar crust.

 

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