Apple cinnamon galette

Apple cinnamon galette

I suppose I should apologize for my lack of posting lately. I finally – two months later – found the time to sort through all of those metaphorical lemons and am starting to feel like myself again. Meaning, I will no longer go weeks without posting a recipe. Because normal Ashlae bakes several times a week. And thoroughly enjoys photographing the things she bakes. WHY AM I TALKING IN THIRD PERSON, AGAIN? I think I promised I’d never do that.

Apple cinnamon galette

I wound up making this galette twice because the first time was kind of a total fail. I attempted to use walnut meal as the flour base, and the dough turned out entirely too crumbly. But I didn’t find that out until after I spent 15 minutes preparing the filling, then assembling the galette and baking it in the oven for 40 minutes. See? Fail. Make sure you use a variety of apples; opal, granny smith, honeycrisp, etc. And be sure to slice them about 1/4″ thick, as slicing them any thinner will result in goopy apples. Unless you’re down with goopy apples, then slice those bad boys as thin as your heart desires. Then stuff your face with goopy apple cinnamon galette. Trust me, it’s as bad as it sounds. You don’t really want goopy apples. And is goopy even a word?

APPLE CINNAMON GALETTE

3/4 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. spelt flour
1/2 c. walnut meal, divided
1 tbsp cane sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp vegan butter, cold
4-6 tbsp water, ice cold
Filling
4-5 apples, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp vegan butter
1/4 c. cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp unsulphured molasses
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla sugar, optional

In a large bowl, whisk together the the flours, 1/4 cup walnut meal, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, then mix the dough with your fingertips until combined. Pat dough into a smooth ball then wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes, or up to two days.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and molasses; continue stirring for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to syrup consistency. Add the apples and stir; 3-4 minutes for crunchier apples, or 9-10 minutes for softer apples. Strain the apples and set both the apples and syrup aside.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle (lightly) with flour. Roll dough into a 15″ circle and sprinkle the other 1/4 cup of walnut meal into a 9″ circle in the middle of the dough. Layer with apples then fold the edges of dough up around the filling, gently pressing the corners. Sprinkle the edges of dough with vanilla sugar and the apple filling with the syrup and a tablespoon or so of walnut meal (if you have any leftover). Transfer galette (on parchment paper) to a baking sheet. Bake at 350˚F for 40-45 minutes. Store in an air tight container for up to three days.
Yield: 9″ galette
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Steel cut oats

Steel cut oats

Would you be surprised to know that I eat some variation of steel cut oats every single morning? Ok, maybe not every morning, but every morning that I have time to prepare a proper breakfast. My favorite way to eat steel cut oats is with shredded coconut and chunks of banana, but my flavor of the month (pictured above) has been blueberry with lemon juice and lavender. I’ve got to warn you, though – steel cut oats are delicious, filling and will probably cause you to have consistent bowel movements. YAY FOR POOPING REGULARLY!
Clearly that was one of those shining moments where it’s blatantly obvious I grew up with five brothers. Just promise you won’t judge me based on the fact that I get excited about pooping every morning, ok?
STEEL CUT OATS (GF)

1 c. filtered water
1/4 c. steel cut oats
2 tbsp flax meal
1/8 tsp unsulphured molasses
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 c. almond milk, optional

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the oats and let boil for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. During the last 5-10 minutes, the mixture should thicken and start to boil rapidly; stir frequently during this time. Once the mixture has thickened to your liking, stir in the flax meal, molasses, salt, almond milk (if using) and any other toppings you’d like. A few of my favorites are listed below.
Toppings | banana chunks, shredded coconut and cinnamon; pomegranate seeds, orange zest and chopped pistachios; sliced pear, cardamom and chia seeds; blueberries, lemon juice and lavender; golden raisins, shredded coconut and maple syrup; apple chunks, cinnamon and walnuts

Yield: 1 serving

How to make gluten free flour

Gluten free flour blend

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Jeanne Sauvage developed the greatest gluten free flour blend known to man. Or, well, the gluten intolerant man. Or woman. Whatever. The point is, you no longer have an excuse to continue buying those terrible, overpriced bean flour blends. Because now you can just make your own. For cheaper. Besides, you’re not fooling anyone with those nasty, bean containing cookies. Sure, bean flours are nutritious, but they taste like rotten cauliflower. And I’m not kidding. Have you ever eaten raw cookie dough made with a bean flour blend? It tastes like something horrible. Something so horrible you couldn’t pay me any amount of money to put it in my mouth again.

I buy all of my flours for this mix from Bob’s Red Mill, in bulk, through Amazon. If you plan on making this regularly, do yourself a favor and buy the flours in bulk. Not only is it cost effective, but you get them sent straight to your door. Jeanne uses tapioca starch in place of the arrowroot. But for me, the arrowroot starch worked much better with my vegan baking. Experiment! See which starch works best for you.

GLUTEN FREE FLOUR BLEND

2 1/2 c. brown rice flour
2 1/2 c. white rice flour
2 c. sweet rice flour
2 c. arrowroot starch

Combine ingredients and store in a cool place. For each cup of flour, use 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum.

Yield: 9 cups

Banana nut bread

Banana nut bread

I don’t like when food bloggers claim they’ve created the best recipe ever. In fact, it makes me like it even less. But this, my friends, is one of the greatest banana nut breads you will ever stuff into your face. Key words: one of. This bread is so delicious that you, most likely, will not be able to keep from stuffing it into your face. Not even I – the baker who hardly has a sweet tooth – could keep from eating an entire mini loaf while standing over my kitchen sink. Sometimes I’m a pig.
The thing I love about this bread is it’s versatility. Want to double the sugar? Go ahead. Have extra banana puree? Add it! Exact measurements aren’t completely necessary, here. To make this bread chock full of gluten, simply omit the xanthan gum and replace the flours with 1 1/2 of cups unbleached flour and 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour. Update: The original recipe was made with spelt flour instead of buckwheat flour. I remade the bread using buckwheat and the two loaves are indistinguishable from one another. I also added a fancy crumble top, which you may consider adding, too.
BANANA NUT BREAD (GF)

3/4 c. canola oil
3/4 c. cane sugar
1 tsp unsulphured molasses
1 c. banana puree
1/2 c. soft silken tofu
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 c. gluten free flour blend
1/2 c. buckwheat flour
1 c. walnut meal
1/2 c. soy cream

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly oil 4 mini loaf pans; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, molasses and banana puree. Mix in the tofu and vanilla extract. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum. Mix in the flours, walnut meal and soy cream just until combined. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans; about 1 1/4 cup batter to each pan. Bake at 350˚F for 40-45 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

Yield: 4 mini loaves

Blueberry cornmeal muffins

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I can’t remember the last time I had a muffin. Well, actually I can. It was a few minutes ago. But prior to the creation of these muffins, I can’t remember the last time I stuffed my face with a muffin. Which is a big problem considering I’m a breakfast person. And muffins make for great breakfasts, right? These muffins are dense, flavorful and jam packed with blueberries. Exactly how blueberry muffins should be. Except they’re hardly sweet, so if you’d prefer a dessert muffin, add an extra 1/4 cup of sugar. If you’re one of the unfortunate beings who’s vegan and gluten free – you’ve gotta try these muffins. They’ll change your life, I swear. Oh, and did you count how many times I said muffin?

Psst, this is my go-to gluten free flour mix, except I don’t add the xanthan gum.

BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL MUFFINS (GF)

1 1/2 c. gluten free flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 c. canola oil
1 1/2 c. almond milk
1/4 c. vegan sour cream
1/2 c. cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a jumbo muffin pan with paper liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, almond milk, sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract; whisk until combined then stir in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pan; about 1/4 heaping cup of batter per liner. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar, if desired. Bake at 350˚F for 36-38 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool then store in an air tight container for up to three days.

Yield: 6 jumbo muffins

Spaghetti with avocado sauce

Grub

This is one of my favorite meals. Ever. If avocados weren’t so damn expensive, I’d probably eat it every day of the week. It’s a great source of vegetables, fat and all around deliciousness. And in all honestly, I think I prefer it to tomato based sauces. It’s scrumptious served warm and makes a great pasta salad in the summer (use spiral pasta). Personally, I think this dish can do no wrong. Unless, of course, you’re not a fan of avocados. If that’s the case, you should probably stick to your runny tomato sauce and let me eat your portion.

SPAGHETTI WITH AVOCADO SAUCE (GFO)

2 ripe avocados
2 c. spinach leaves
1 carrot, peeled
1 roma tomato
1/2 small white onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp fine seal salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c. almond milk
16 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked
1 tbsp dried basil
1 1/2 c. spinach leaves, chopped
6 tbsp pistachios, chopped
6 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a high powered blender (such as a Vitamix), combine the flesh of the avocados, spinach, carrot, tomato, onion and garlic cloves; blend until creamy. Add the lemon juice, paprika, turmeric and salt; pulse for 10-15 seconds then set aside. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil and milk, then add the spaghetti noodles and basil; mix for 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles are coated. Divide noodles evenly between six plates. Layer, in this order: fresh spinach, avocado sauce, pistachios, nutritional yeast and salt/pepper.
Yield: 6 servings

Where’s ladycakes?

Candy wrappers

Well, that certainly was weird. Referring to myself in the third person. As ladycakes. I won’t ever do that again.
As you can tell, I took another unannounced, temporary hiatus – which will be ending shortly, I promise. I suppose this is where I tell you that I’ve purchased the final pieces of equipment to start my kitchen shop. And that I’m in the process of moving into an oversized studio. That has a 9 foot couch and one of those fancy, high definition televisions. Which means there’s a slight chance I’ll be stretching my lanky ass out on that couch and eating all of my products while watching reruns of The Office. With my pants unbuttoned. Better yet, with my pants off. Because, you know, sometimes you just need a little extra room. Don’t act like you didn’t wear a tunic over your skinny jeans so you could leave them unbuttoned, without anyone noticing, during your holiday feasts. It happens to the best of us, guys.
And – to tide you over until I return – how about you check out the rest of the photos from my trip to the city for which I don’t particularly care? Otherwise known as NYC.