Monday, December 31, 2012

"2012 In Pictures" or "It's Over Already?!"

There was a LOT of experimenting in 2012, (It was my first year of college what can I say? Har har har.. *cough*). My first two classes in culinary school were Nutrition, and Sanitation and Safety, which made me VERY aware of just what I was eating and all the ways I could keel over and die from eating...well basically anything.

So in January I went gluten free
Gluten Free Pound Cake

Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes

Peanut butter fudge chocolate chip pie
and by spring break fear had driven me to become gluten free vegan
White Bean Hummus

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

But by the time finals came around my stressed out belly couldn't resist becoming carnivorous again
Crunchy Peanut Noodles

In May I visited family in the country, got some old time religion, wore a loud dress and sang gospel songs with my sister. I also made a Dairy Free Blueberry coffee cake that somehow slipped through the cracks and I never posted about.

Dairy Free Blueberry Coffee Cake - Recipe below
In June I was a farmer for a little while, I think the wildlife enjoyed more of my fresh produce than I did but I had fun anyway.

Gardening Adventures
In July I ran my first 10k in 90 degree heat, it was one of my hardest races ever and I've run two half marathons! The upside is that afterwards there was lemonade and pie.

Party Of Special Things To Do

 Skin issues kept me dairy free through August but, I still managed to make some amazingly good pies all summer long, including my dairy free key lime pie that was my most popular post of 2012.

Blueberry Blackberry Pie
Blueberry Peach Cobbler
Dairy Free Key Lime Pie

Peach Pie

Summer Squash Tart

In late August I got my first car(!!!) and took a trip to East Nashville to see the Tomato Art festival

Tomato Art Fest

In October I ran Halloween 5k as a Matador, it was chilly out this time and much MUCH more fun.

Yes he walked the whole race in stilts.

 In early December everyone on the internet was cookie swapping

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
and just last week I finished and passed all my fall culinary classes (all As!) and  made my very first (semi) traditional Chrismahanukwanikka dinner.

Roast chicken, green beans, peanut butter cup pie, pecan pie, biscuits and whipped parsnips

And that was my 2012! Hope 2013 is just as awesome, HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Blueberry Best Coffee Cake
Adapted from Betty Crocker ( find the original recipe here)
Crumb Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil

Coffee Cake
2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup full fat Soy Milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup frozen wild blueberries, thawed and drained of excess juice

Vanilla glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/12 tsp warm water

For the crumb topping

Heat oven to 375°F. Grease bottom and side of 9x3-inch springform pan or 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray. In small bowl, mix  1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup flour and the cinnamon. Cut in coconut oil with fork until crumbly. Set aside.

In large bowl, stir together all coffee cake ingredients except  wild blueberries; beat with spoon 30 seconds. Fold in blueberries. Spread batter in pan. Sprinkle with topping.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove side of pan.

In small bowl, mix all glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle ( add more water if it's too thick). Drizzle over warm coffee cake.

Makes 9 servings

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Comfort Carbs and Cookie Bombs" Or " Warning May Contain Nuts"

I haven't had a lot of time for blogging lately, what with getting eaten alive by culinary school, but I knew before the semester even started that when the Food Blogger Cookie Swap came around again I would have to make time for it. What I didn't know when I made these plans, was;
 1) that all the deadlines would fall smack in the middle of my GIANT stressful finals
 2) just how soothing it would be to bake and mail cookies after 20 straight weeks of having my cooking ( technique, appearance and taste) scrutinized by teachers, classmates and family members
3) Just what a life saver receiving three dozen cookies in the mail would be when I'm having a finals week meltdown ( Angela, Melissa, and Kristina THANK YOU!) COMFORT CARBS FTW!

This is my second year participating in the Food Blogger Cookie Swap and despite my currently chaotic life, I enjoyed participating this year just as much as I did the first. It really is a lot of fun to connect with other food bloggers outside of the internet and actually get to taste what other foodies are cooking up. There's an element of food blogging that despite it's roots in home and family is still kind of cold, but getting to send and receive things in the mail, it makes me feel a little less like a blogger and a little more like what I want to be in the future; a professional baker connecting with people over a shared love of delicious noms. I think a lot of other participants feel that way too. When I look at the packages that I received (and just like last year gobbled up too ravenously to bother taking pictures) and I look at the care and attention to detail that each one of my matches took to box up their cookies in cute little tins, add ribbons and and notes and meticulously designed business cards, I see that intense love for the food they made and the intense desire to share that love. It's pretty awesome.

As for my cookies, well this recipe is a bit of a wild card, they're Caramel Apple Cider cookies, flavored with Alpine spiced cider mix and filled with Kraft caramels. I love these crazy cookies because they're kind of a showstopper, even though the basic skeletal idea seems like they'd be a bit on the Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade side since they rely heavily on prepacked ingredients, the end result is so satisfying you won't mind the steps that got you there.They have a homey cinnamon taste similar to a snicker doodle, but the subtle cider flavor and the ooey gooey caramel center elevates this cookie to a dessert experience that stands on it's own.

My biggest problem was getting swept away with the process. There's something sooo therapeutic about working with your hands when you know that you've got other more pressing things to do, like write papers and study for tests, and these cookies have a lot of active hands on time. There's butter browning, cookie forming, caramel squishing ( and caramel making, if you're the kind of personal talented enough to make your own caramels), which is a kind of a lot for cookies. I for some reason, just wouldn't tire. Even though I had other things to do I sort of kept on baking more and more of these cookies. I may or may not have made 9 dozen, cookie bombed my family members once I'd sent out my three dozen food blogger swap boxes, and eaten the rest for dinner. Don't judge me, it's finals week.

If you want to learn more about the Food Blogger Cookie Swap or would like to participate next year, you can read all about it here.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
recipe adapted from The Cooking Photographer

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 pouches Alpine Spiced Cider drink mix (original, not sugar free)
1 bag Kraft Caramels

1. Brown the butter. Heat two sticks of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat until the butter melts and the milk solids start to turn brown and the butter smells nutty, remove from heat.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine browned butter, caster sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, Alpine Cider mix and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Set the whole mixture in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes or until the butter starts to become solid again. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3.  While the butter is cooling, get your caramel station ready. Unwrap enough caramels for your first few batches of cookies and squash them slightly either with your thumbs or the bottom of a mug. It doesn't take much, but flattening them out helps the cookies spread better in the oven.

4. Once the butter mixture sets up, remove it from the fridge and whisk until the butter and sugar start to get fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time.

5. Add the salt, baking soda and flour to the butter mixture and stir to combine.

6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper ( do NOT skip this step you will be sad when you have to scrub caramel off your sheet pans).

7. Take a flattened caramel and wrap it with just enough cookie dough to cover the candy all the way around, try to keep the dough to caramel ratio to about 50/50.

8. Place the dough balls on your parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes, until very lightly browned ( they don't get very dark). Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes or so and then move them to a cooling rack. If they're particularly gooey set them on the cooling rack bottom side up.

9. Serve warm OR enjoy later warmed for just a minute in a toaster oven or the microwave.

 Makes 3 dozen cookies

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Edward Scissorhands" or "Where The Hell Did She Go?!"

I am not dead I promise! But I have been absolutely swallowed up by school. I am an overwhelmed, exhausted, sweaty mess and we're only at midterm! I have of course been cooking, I don't ever stop these days, but it's mostly just soups or pasta sauce ( alas, no baking *sigh*) that I make out of homework/ practice bits. I spend most the days I'm not in class chopping up carrots, celery, potatoes and onions into perfectly measured out  batonnet, julienne, allumette, brunoise, paysanne, dice, mince, chop. At this point I'm lucky I still have fingers attached with all the knife action going down in my kitchen, and believe me I've tried several times to remove my thumbs from my hand. My great comfort is that it always seems to happen at home and never in class ( if a thumb bleeds in a kitchen, and nobody sees it...?). For those of you that are interested, this is my life these days in the culinary school kitchen;

Five hours a week, every week, I dress up in my uniform; white chef's coat, black and white checkered pants, a white floppy hat, black kitchen clogs and an apron, and galumph around campus with a knife roll, a  19 inch toolbox that contains what is basically a portable kitchen, and my textbook that weighs about 40 pounds. Life these days isn't glamorous. Our time in "lab" is an extension of this, we are a turbulent ocean of clumsy first years. The kitchen is a chaotic war zone, and Chef mostly leaves us to our own devices barking every so often that we are 30 or so minutes from serving time. I spend most of my classes feeling completely out of my depth, confounded by little things like how to work a gas range ( the first I've been near in my life) and where to find the butter, but every minute spent in the kitchen is a moment I'm becoming seasoned (battle hardened) and things slowly, slowly start to feel more natural. When I'm at home clarifying butter, making roux and practicing knife cuts until my hands are blistered and my feet are aching, and I won't lie, more than once I've found myself running to youtube in the dark of night to find out just what I've been doing wrong so I can fake competence in class. God bless youtube. When I'm in lab I'm dancing around hot pots and other people's knives and re-training my once pinpoint accurate chef's nose ( no timer's needed when cooking at home) to focus only on the dishes that I am in charge of. It's a big change, and I'm struggling endlessly to keep my grades up and my blood pressure down. 

It's pretty hard though, to truly complain. While the work is rough and the kitchen is hot I can't quite put my whole heart in to moaning when at the end of every session we all gather around a table and eat real food, the spoils of our efforts. Forkfuls of sumptuous creamy mashed parsnips, crispy home fries, gravy, tomatoes, and okra, cross our lips and we smile, sweaty, worn-out, prideful, satisfied smiles. Because we know that while it won't always feel this hard, this part right here might just keep on feeling this good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Shakin' Down East Nasty" or "The Tomato Art Fest"

This weekend I took a vacation from work and went to visit the madness that is the East Nashville (aka East Nasty) Tomato Art Fest. This was my first time going and I'm new to East Nashville so I missed the first two events, the tomato 5k and the tomato themed parade, but there were enough people still in costumes wandering around the event site to give me a pretty good idea of what I missed (and inspire me to show up earlier next time!). My favorite was a green haired lady with an enormous headdress made of tomatoes and tomato cans. I swear this woman looked exactly like how I would dress every day if I had my way. Although let's be honest I don't think I could handle the shoes as well as she did.

The tomato themed art show I think was my favorite part of the trip (even though I couldn't take any pictures), the art ranged from whimsical to wildly ridiculous with tomatoes stuck on everything from earrings and teapots to pictures of Elvis, and the faces on The Scream by Edvard Munch. It made me wish I had enough money to just cover all my walls with eccentric tomato art ( I'll learn from my experience and bring more cash next time!). The art show is actually where the festival got its start. In 2004 this little East Nashville gallery had tomato themed art show celebrating the tomato in late summer and planned a few neighborhood events to promote the show, it was so popular that it turned into an annual, signature event. Once you see the art, it really isn't hard to see why the Tomato Art Fest was so popular.

For lunch there was a wide selection of vendors all with tomato themed specialties for the day, I took the opportunity to hit up Franklin's infamous Biscuit Love Truck and had what was hands down the best fried chicken of my life. What I ordered was called "The East Nasty- Tomato Art Style"; buttermilk fried chicken, Kenny's farmhouse cheddar cheese, and Bloomsbury farm tomato gravy served on top of a fresh (made from scratch) biscuit. It was HEAVENLY! I swear at first bite, my eyes rolled back in my head. The biscuit UGH! I don't remember the last time I had a biscuit that was as light and flaky and bursting with flavor and this one was! I don't know if I ever have! And the chicken was perfect! Crispy and hearty paired with the strange but tasty tomato gravy. The only thing that was even the slightest bit off was that I couldn't figure out if what I'd ordered was supposed to be a sandwich, like a chicken in a biscuit, or if it was chicken with a biscuit on the side. If it was supposed to be a sandwich it seemed to me that the meat to carb ratio was a little bit off with the fried chicken being just a little more than twice the size of the biscuit, but it was so tasty I didn't really spend too much time thinking about it and just ate what I could see, biscuit-meat-biscuit and wiped the gravy off my chin when I hit the bottom of the plate.

Of course they couldn't have a tomato festival without a few tomatoes for sale. The Downtown Farmer's Market had a little booth set up bursting with Heirlooms and Romas and every kind of tomato you could think of along with jars of salsas and sauces if you were so inclined. I couldn't resist, since I can never make it to the farmer's market regularly, and filled my arms with all the tomatoes I could carry ( which was sadly only a few pounds) and a jar of mild salsa for my purse as we left. I wish I could say I had grand culinary plans for my bounty buuuut it's mostly just been really delicious... *cough* BLT sandwiches*cough* so far.

It was an such a fun event, even though we couldn't stay very long. Next time I'll plan ahead and catch the Bloody Mary and Red Head competitions, along with the 5k and the parade. And maybe next time I'll make a costume too ( and you know that I will!) and join in the fun.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"50 Shades Of Peach" or "Should I Be Reading This?"

I have been absolutely ridiculously covered in pie crust for days. I am struggling, wrestling, in a full body gladiator throwing down with this idea of the perfect dairy free pie crust, and it started with the very simple act of bringing home what turned out to be one of the greatest peaches I've ever eaten in my life.

 Now I am a HUGE peach lover. In fact, I defy you to find me anything quite as satisfying as biting in to a perfect midsummer peach at its peak of sweetness and having your arm bathed in its heady nectar from fingers to elbow. But this peach was amazing in a way that uniquely stands out in my mind. I remember exactly the very last time I experienced a peach that was this level of perfection. I was 17, walking back from a farmer's market at Fisherman's Wharf, and was wearing a *cough*veryquestionable*cough* light pink jacket ( since it is always just a little bit chilly in San Francisco) with a peach in my hand that was bigger than my fist. When I bit into it, the texture... the juice.... it absolutely transported me to a new plane of bliss, and as the amber nectar rolled off my palms, down my sleeve and soaked through the cotton fabric by my elbow I remember thinking little other than "My god". That pink jacket? I still have it. It's hanging ( long retired) in a special spot in my closet, its right sleeve still lightly stained with peach juice.

The peach I had last week however, blew this one away! It was smaller than the one in San Francisco, unassuming, and just like before I had no idea what I was in for before my teeth broke the delicate skin. It was breathtaking. I felt positively drunk on the lush, ambrosia-like sweetness.The blush of color, the depth of flavor, it was instant euphoria. Positively, poop of angels. And as soon as it was gone I knew I had to get my hands on some more. The next day I went back to the store, wild eyed with longing, and bought 12 more pounds of these peaches. Yes. 12 pounds. Once I realized how deranged that was I set about to making these lovelies into some pies. That way at least I would look like I bought 12 pounds of peaches with a purpose in mind and that I hadn't in fact just taken a one way trip to crazytown.

The problem of course was a pie crust recipe. I didn't exactly have a dairy free one lying around, so I set to work experimenting. I'd make a pie crust, fill it with these ridiculous peaches, bake it, taste it, and eat if up if it didn't work out. Maybe share a slice or two, if I was feeling generous. Even if the pie crust was super lame these peaches, from the land of the unicorns, were more than enough to make a plate or three worth your time. Four pies and a squash quiche later ( hey you need some salt in there somewhere to balance out the sweet!) I wish I could tell you I've reached a conclusion. That I've found a pie crust that's as explosively overwhelming as the peaches under which it rests. But I can't. I'm really close. I can feel it. Inches away from the finish line. But I'm thinking  that maybe it could use some more study. Juuuust six or more test batches, to get it so it's perfect.

Peach season after all, only comes around once a year.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"A Party Of Special Things To Do"

We had a marvelous ( and marvelously hot) 4th of July. I started the morning off right with my very first 10k race. I'll admit I sort of regretted signing up to run six miles in July once that horrible heat wave hit us (and everyone else) but I was determined to finish what I started, even if that meant running six miles in the blazing Tennessee heat while secretly hoping/dreaming/praying the heat would let up just long enough to finish the race. No such luck though, when I toed the start line at 8am it was about 86 degrees, and it only climbed higher as the minutes passed. I'm not going to lie, even with a bottle of ice water in my hand there was a whole lot of shameful sweating, walking, and side holding going on, but I finished in a respectable 1 hour 9 minutes.

Since this was my very first 10k (and this is serious business) I decided to give the pinwheel boobies a miss this year (though I was pining for their air conditioning powers about halfway through the race) and just stuck a giant star spangled bow on the back of my head that threatened to launch me into flight most of the race.

 After a shower and a nap, we headed over to my mama's house for a good old fashioned 4th of July barbecue (she hosted, I cooked). There's currently a burn ban in our county because of the heat wave and wildfires so the "barbecue" the menu sort of morphed to accommodate our limitations. The menu; sloppy joes ( instead of burgers) pasta salad, green goddess potato salad ( recipe to come) lemon-limeade, dairy free key lime pie and dairy free chocolate cream pie ( scandalous recipe also to come). Yes I made two desserts. It's the most important meal of the day! Invite me to your house and I will prove this to you.

We ended the night by watching the distant downtown fireworks from our balcony window all curled up and cozy with a cool drink in hand, which I must say sometimes is much much more fun than wrestling the crowds.

How was your holiday?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Splendor in the Grass" or "Believing in Tomorrow"

 I know summer doesn't technically start until tomorrow but as far as I'm concerned summer starts when the temps hit the 90's and make no move to come back down. This is my reality. This is summer.

 I don't think I need to tell you that the heat in the south is ridiculous. A man once told me that Nashville in the summertime feels like standing inside somebody's mouth, which I think is pretty accurate. For this reason most of my life I've hated summer and I've dealt with the season by wrapping myself in a cocoon of ice cream and not stepping a toe outside it until September. This year however, I decided to lose my mind and mix things up a little.

In a moment of insanity/summer break folly I (ambitiously) started two gardens, an herb garden in buckets on my apartment balcony that started out small but ballooned into a jungle of fourteen pots of herbs two tomatoes a pepper and a squash plant. And I started a somewhat medium sized garden annex in my mother's stolen back yard that has also grown to ridiculous size. I am however despite the heat, totally addicted to both of these projects. For the past month I've found myself getting up at the crack of dawn for a run, and once my feet tire and I'm magnificently sweaty, I make a pit stop at my mother's house to tend to my squash babies,  (you know, give them shower, check on their leaves, mix up some fertilizer) and I almost always end up fooling around for more than an hour. I don't usually plan to do this, it's hot, I'm sweaty, the sun is beaming down, I just can't resist the chance to check up on my little plants every day.

This gardening thing really surprised me. It started off as sort of a throwaway idea but I've found that it's so rewarding watching little seeds turn into sprouts, turn into flowers, turn into food, that I just keep on planting things. And I keep on reading and learning and thinking about planting things so the garden keeps growing and the sickness continues.

In fact I've spend so much free time reading about hand pollination, insects, what fertilizer to use, and what can grow with what, that I've started to develop this little fantasy where I have a this beautiful intimate restaurant with a  massive garden in the back. I grow all my own tomatoes and berries and peppers, and I raise my own bees. The eclectic menu changes from day to day depending on what's looking the best in the garden, and sometimes I just shut it all down to have an uninterrupted heart to heart with my seedlings. I love this fantasy. It usually washes over me when I'm wrist deep in dirt, or when I'm weeding and I find a surprise little green tomato just starting to form. It's a wonderful feeling of bliss, even if that little restaurant never exists. It makes me think that maybe I've misjudged the better parts of summer. That despite its ridiculous saliva-like humidity that maybe there is something about it to really love, even if it's just a few stolen moments in the dirt.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Go Right Ahead"

There are times in this life when things get embarrassing.  When you're out for a run and a stranger in a slow moving car hears you scream to yourself "COME ON WOMAN! YOU CAN DO IT!"... and they give you a look... like you must be a hobo. These are the times when wearing a ski mask in public, seems like a good idea. But there are also times to be proud. Like when you figure out the answer to a problem that's been plaguing  you, and you want to do a happy dance.

I've experienced both of these feelings this week. 

My shame; yes I talk to myself in public, and no, this is not the first time I've been caught.
My pride; I have found the holy grail of dairy free baking. Home made sweetened condensed coconut milk. 
It will change your life. It'll give you pride and if you're like me, it'll make you scream "EUREKA!" while doing a happy dance (and you won't even care who's giving you the eye!).

I will however confess, that while it did provoke a happy dance, it took me three tries to get this right. It isn't hard to do if you know what to expect, but in the throws of whisking I kept doubting myself. Is it thick enough yet?*whisk whisk whisk* Am I burning it up?* sniff sniff whisk* If it gets thicker when it cools is this thick enough? * whisk whisk whisk*  My first try I kept the heat way too low, and after an hour it hadn't really changed consistency at all. I figured I was just stupid, tried to use it anyway and ended up with a sort of soupy mousse situation. Fail!

My second try was in the middle of the night, which should have been my first clue that this wouldn't work out. I used raw sugar because that's all I had in the house, and since I  was headed to bed once I got done with the cook stage I just stuck the whole thing in the fridge to use in the morning.

 Don't be like me and make either of these choices.

 The raw sugar tinted everything a brownish golden hue, and the fat separated from the milk in the refrigerator over night, making an floating iceberg of coconut oil. When creaming my batter together I thought to myself, eh it'll all come out in the wash but alas this was not the case and the finished product was speckled with islands of coconut oil. Ew. 

By my third try I was a seasoned pro. I got a nice comfortable bench to sit on, and set myself up with some wifi action. I nursed the creamy dreamy coconut milk while it simmered a full forty five minutes, until it left streaks in the pan when I ran my whisk through it, was the consistency of yogurt, and just the slightest bit nutty smelling.

I let it sit until it was room temperature, and from there ignored my lazy urge to deal with it later and made the pie filling right away. This time everything was perfect. All the aspects of a key lime pie that I love and remember, no sacrifices, no excuses. Perfect texture, perfect taste, total elation. 

Strangers of the world, warm up your stink eye, because you better believe that I'm causing a scene!

Dairy Free Key Lime Pie

This is admittedly a little labor intensive to produce, you have to stand over a hot sauce pan whisking every moment or two for forty five minutes, but the results are beyond worth it. It's an equal swap for  sweetened condensed cows milk, wonderfully undetectable, and look, it makes cream pies!

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

2 (13.5 ounce) cans of  unsweetened coconut milk ( I used Thai Kitchen brand)
1/2 cup caster sugar

Add two cans of coconut milk and a 1/2 cup of sugar to a heavy bottomed sauce pan, and simmer on medium low heat (whisking frequently to avoid any lumps) for about 45 minutes until the mixture thickens and has reduced in volume by about half. Trust yourself on this, there is a visible difference between what you started out with and and the finished very thick yogurt like end product. If after 45 minutes it still seems too runny, just keep on simmering until it reduces.

Let cool to room temperature before using.


12 whole graham crackers
5 tbsp shortening
4 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor add 12 whole graham crackers and pulse until you have medium-small crumbs.

In a mixing bowl combine 5 tbsp shortening, 4 tbsp coconut oil, 3tbsp of light brown sugar and the graham cracker crumbs. Fold mixture together with a rubber spatula until the crumbs are evenly coated with the oil mixture. Press crust into the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2 inch pie plate, bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature before filling. Leave oven on.


4 large egg yolks
the zest of one lime
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp key lime juice
Sweetened condensed coconut milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream together all ingredients, whisking well to smooth out any lumps.
Bake at 325 for 15 minutes, center will still be jiggly. Set on a cooling rack until the pie is cool to the touch ( about room temp).Chill in the fridge until set, at least four hours or overnight. Slice and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Shadow Stabbing"

Ever since I started this whole dairy-less deal I've found myself wrestling with a few problems, the largest one being the absence of butter. I've found that for many things there are a few decent swaps but it doesn't often go undetected. I prefer things to taste good regardless of what it is that went into baking them and butter substitutes often end up with their end products tasting that sort of oh this is pretty good for not having butter kind of way which to me is sign of low quality. Over the school period I made a great many unblogged dairy free Frankenstein type recipes trying to punch this problem square in its ugly face. This cobbler I think is my victory round.

Blueberry Peach Cobbler
originally by The Full Woman

Blueberry Peach Filling

12 ounces frozen blueberries (about 1 3/4 cups), thawed and drained of excess juice
16 ounces frozen sliced peaches (about 2 cups), thawed and drained
1tbsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Spoon into a 9 inch pie plate and cover with vanilla almond topping, recipe below.

Vanilla Almond Topping

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp coconut oil, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl whisk together egg, sugar, coconut oil vanilla extract and almond milk until smooth. Add flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt and whisk until just combined. Spoon over pie filling and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, until golden brown and delicious. Serve warm or cold (my favorite!) topped with almond dream ice cream.