recipe: cornmeal pancakes

the thing about having gfgfs and gfbfs {gluten free girl friends and gluten free boy friends} is that brunch is sometimes a real scary meal. especially in my family when it's not uncommon for brunch to mean cinnamon rolls with a side of bagels wrapped in pancakes after an amuse-bouche of scones. and french toast. and how about a quiche?

so i was real proud of myself yesterday afternoon when i flopped out of bed and managed to make some super yummy pancakes that simply happened to be gluten free.

ergo: i did not feel bad for eggboy, who is gluten free, when i used up the last of his smoothie berries and then proceeded to be a little cba about making him eggs. tee hee.
cornmeal pancakes
these are quite dense and cakey, like an actual cake that you've just made in a pan. they're best straight away, while they're still super hot. so none of this waiting for all of them to be done cooking business.

1 c corn meal
1 c corn flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp + a pinch salt
1/4 c white sugar
3/4 c milk
1 egg + 2 egg whites
2 tb vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
butter, to grease the pan
optional: blueberries, jalapenos, chocolate chips... anything mix-ins you please

in a large bowl, whisk to combine corn meal, corn flour, baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. mix in milk, egg, vegetable oil, and extracts.

in a separate bowl, beat egg whites and pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. gently fold these into the cornmeal mixture.

melt butter in a pan over medium heat. pour in about 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. drop in your mix-ins of choice. cook for a few minutes on either side, until lightly brown.

enjoy while you're still standing over the stove cooking the rest of the batter. 


survival, day two

day two of survival wasn't about survival so much as it was about making the things that i had originally planned on making when the hurricane threatened to trap us all in. which stole away part of the fun. but also fun was waking up, seeing the tree knocked over across the street, and recognizing that that would be the extent of my casualties {and not my bedroom window, nor my stuffed penguin}. 
not to brag, but what i ate yesterday is going to make me never want to eat out again:
cornmeal pancakes with cherry jam
lentil sliders with apricot ginger mustard and avocado {and tomatoes and greens} on whole wheat challah rolls
the cornmeal pancakes were satisfyingly delicious and really clenched that weird craving for corn things i get every so often. they were very vanilla-y, which is probably what separated them from being just plain polenta cakes. i can't wait to make these for my gluten free girl friends {gfgfs}.
the lentil sliders were actually probably one of the best things i've ever eaten ever and i never want to eat anything else again. i had a bunch of lentils sitting around from my lentil mustard dip, so i decided to grind em up and make burger things out of them. and behind every good burger, there is a soft and delicious bun... so enter the whole wheat challah bun. and literally, it was holy shit in a bite. you need to make these because they are amazing {and not to be grandma, but they are rather healthyful, too!}
cornmeal pancakes: this recipe from the times. but- add an egg.
cherry jam: simmer the crap out of cherries + sugar + water + lemon juice
lentil sliders: grind up these: cooked lentils + almonds + pecans. chop up and then add these: jalapenos + onions + peppers. then add these: an egg + water + flour + sesame seeds + flax seeds + curry + paprika + cayenne + salt + pepper + garlic + rosemary + truffle dijon mustard. mix it around, form patties, cook in some olive oil on the stove.
apricot ginger mustard: OK. confession, i didn't make this i got it from my mustard-of-the-month club. it's just that birthing another mustard into my fridge would have been cruel, for neglect purposes. 
whole wheat challah buns: a magical mix of whole wheat flour + white flour + rice milk + sugar + salt + yeast + water + butter + kneading + rising + waiting.  
sorry for how unclear these recipes are, but desperate hurricane times leave no time for measuring.


almond + cinnamon + meringue biscuits

{oh wait wait, we're in america...}
almond + cinnamon + meringue cookies

i have a few very dear friends that are gluten-free. showing them i love them can be difficult because how is a girl to do that without a good, homemade baked good on every occasion?? so i am constantly on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes, substitutes, and mixes. the best is finding a yummy looking recipe that isn't labeled as gluten-free, glancing through the ingredients, and realizing that everything is gluten-free. it feels like finding the afikomen because in the rare case that you win, there is a yummy treat at the end!!

so here is a recipe that i found yesterday in the rose bakery cookbook, breakfast lunch tea. these cookies are chewy, sweet, butterless, and naturally gluten-free {and christmasy, but who gives a shit}.

almond + cinnamon + meringue biscuits
{makes 40-50 biscuits}

4 egg whites
4 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar {plus extra for dusting}
juice of 1/2 lemon
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 1/3 cups ground almonds
generous 1/2 cup finely chopped candied citrus peel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

first make the meringue. beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then, very gradually, add the sugar. when the mixture is very stiff, beat in the lemon juice.

set aside 6 ounces of the meringue for the topping and put the remaining meringue in a bowl.

add the ground almonds, mixed peel, cinnamon, and lemon zest.

mix until you have a dough-like paste, then chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

line a baking tray with parchment paper.

dust your work surface with sugar and roll the paste out to make a sheet 1/2 inch thick. cut into your desired shapes {stars, squares, or rounds}.

brush the tops with the reserved meringue and leave to dry on the prepared baking tray for about 1 hour.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and bake the biscuits for about 10 minutes, until the bases are lightly golden. the tops should remain white and the bases must be soft and moist.

cool and enjoy.

dear little cookies,
if you get stale in the mail, i will shoot you.


be mine, CAKE!

since my wee little days,
my fammy has made the same very special almond cake every valentine's day!
it's super almond-y and pink,
and it is the best cake ever. 
if i could, i'd eat it every day... 
but every day is not valentine's day, so i can't.

here's the recipe:
cake ingredients: 
  1 tablespoon butter (for pan) 8 oz almond paste 6 eggs - separated 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon almond extract a pinch of salt 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup flour {you can substitute this for 1/2 cup of almond flour,
for those gfgfs and gfbfs {gluten-free girlfriends and gluten-free boyfriends}}
topping ingredients:
  1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
a very very generous splash of amaretto
chocolate hearts, candy hearts, gummy hearts

preheat oven to 350.  butter spring form pan. beat almond paste and egg yolks really well. mix in vanilla and almond extract. beat egg whites and salt in another bowl 'till stiff peaks form, add sugar one tablespoon at a time. fold 1/3 of egg whites into almond paste mixture. gently fold in remaining whites.  combine baking powder and flour in another bowl...gently fold into mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, being careful not to deflate whites. pour into pan, bake until top is lightly browned and a knife inserted into center comes out clean {about 30 minutes}.

for topping, whip cream. blend in powdered sugar. blend in amaretto {drink some amaretto}. cover or pipe over cake just before serving and embellish with candy hearts! if you won't be eating the entire cake right away, do not frost the entire thing-- serve a dollop of whipped cream on the side of each slice and store the rest in the fridge for your noshing purposes.