Apple Sour Cream Bars, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on October 14, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWow, fall came to Seattle so quickly that all of us are still kind of reeling.  We had such a lovely, warm, sunny summer (it was the best we’ve ever had according to the weather people).  And then one day: Bam!  Fall.  It came on so abruptly that I haven’t really had time to adjust.  Everyone is walking around, complaining about how cold it is—even though it’s not really that cold.  I think I’m still in denial and I’m still wearing my favorite clogs without socks.  And then I wonder why I’m so cold.  Sigh.

It’s been busy here at Chez Four Chickens (that’s kind of what we call ourselves due to the name of my original blog).   The actual chickens here are also coping with the effects of the early fall.  Chickens do something called “molting” at the end of summer, which means they lose a good portion of their old feathers and grow a nice, new, fluffy feather covering.  This keeps them warm for the winter.  But the fact that they molt in the fall always seems so dumb to me.  They molt just as the cold weather hits, which means that they are without a lot of their feathers for a few weeks, freezing their little chicken butts off.  And they look horrible.  They all look like they got into a fight, what with their feathers hanging off of them and their necks looking all straggly.   Whenever friends see them at this time they ask if they are OK.  And I always have to remind Girlfriend that they aren’t sick, they’re molting.

School started with a vengeance and we haven’t had much time to catch our breath.  Girlfriend’s school is extremely overcrowded this year and the first few weeks were kind of a mess.  Everyone’s schedule was in shambles and the kids were switched around a lot.  Girlfriend’s schedule completely changed 2 weeks into the term.  I’m sure the school registrar was about ready to tear her hair out.  And, they ran out of lockers and asked kids to volunteer to share.  Girlfriend and one of their pals offered to share.  And now they are learning some lessons on how to compromise—including: who gets what hooks?  Who uses the floor?  How do they decorate?  I’m very proud of them in that they haven’t killed each other yet.  So far, the organization seems to be: Girlfriend gets the hooks, her pal gets the floor of the locker.  They both seem happy with this arrangement, which is nice.

I’ve been busy teaching classes and demos; working on some new book ideas (squee! More news as it comes up); and attending events for or getting together with fellow food and cookbook authors.  In the past couple of weeks I’ve had the good fortune to have had the opportunity to spend time with several of my favorite food people.  First, I got to spent the day with my pal, Joe Yonan, Food and Travel Editor for the Washington Post, who was here promoting his new book, Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook.  (this is a terrific book, by the way).  Later that evening, our mutual friend Kat Flinn held a party in honor of Joe and his new book, which was very fun.  She prepared some dishes from the book (and even adapted some to be gluten-free for me!).  Everything was delicious!

Then, I had the opportunity to chat a bit with Dorie Greenspan (one of my baking goddesses) and her lovely husband, Michael.  Dorie was in town to be the keynote speaker at the International Food Blogger’s Conference.  I met a pal for breakfast and we bumped into each other.  I’ve had the good fortune to have met (and bake for) Dorie on a few occasions, so it was nice to catch up a bit with her and Michael.  And if I understood them correctly, Dorie has a new cookbook that she is working on that I can’t wait for!

Then a few days later, I had a lovely breakfast with Alice Medrich, another of my baking goddesses.  She was in town for the Northwest Chocolate Festival.  She is in the process of finishing up her newest book, which I think you all are going to love!  I can’t say much, but keep an eye out for it in the Fall of 2014.

Then a few days after that, I got a chance to listen to and meet Mollie Katzen, who was here promoting her newest book, The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation.  Mollie’s books are among my “desert island” books (i.e., books you would take if you has to go live on a desert island with a full kitchen–lol).  This one harks back to her Enchanted Broccoli Forest and Moosewood Cookbook days.  Not only is the book filled with amazing recipes, but the first few and the last few pages are filled with her drawings.  It turns out that she studied art as a young person and art is one of her first loves.  I guess that should have been obvious from the art in her first two cookbooks, but it never dawned on me.

Then last week I got a chance to have coffee with Kyra Bussanich, who is gluten-free, is a Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef, who won the TV show Cupcake Wars against wheat bakers twice (!) with her fabulous gluten-free cupcakes.  She also owns a cupcake bakery–and she brought me a box of gluten-free cupcakes.  I couldn’t believe it!  They were so yummy.  I shared them with our neighbors, who are also gluten-free, and d’Ahub, Girlfriend and I had two each.  So good!  She has a new cookbook out, Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle.  I attended her demo of recipes from her book and–yowzaa!  They were good.  Look for a further post on my site about her book!

Last week I got the chance to have coffee with Nick Malgieri, who is one of my baking gods.  He is the Director of Pastry and Baking Program at the Institute of Culinary Education.  He was in town doing some baking demos from his book, Nick Malgieri’s Bread: Over 60 Breads, Rolls, and Cakes, plus Delicious Recipes Using Them.  We’ve been online friends for a while, so it was wonderful to get a chance to meet and chat with him.  And, I learned some new techniques in his bread demonstration.

In between all of this gallivanting around, I’ve been working on new recipes to share with you.  We had stellar apple harvest this year from our two tiny dwarf apple trees.  When I say “dwarf” I mean it.  They each come up to my waist.  But they produce regular-sized apples.  We have a Liberty tree and a Honeycrisp tree.  So, we’ve been eating fresh apples and I’ve been trying recipes that use them.  Below is one of our favorites.  I found this on the Pillsbury site.  It’s phenomenal.  I mean, really, really good!  One of the things I did with this adaptation is that I made the nuts in the recipe “optional” in case you can’t have nuts.  I’ve also opened it up for you to use any nut you happen to like.  I like pecans best, so that’s what I used.  But you can use whatever you like best.  Also, note that if you can’t have dairy sour cream, there are non-dairy versions on the market, as well as many recipes to make your own.  Or, you can use a non-dairy yogurt, which works just as well.  Happy baking!

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Happy Book Birthday!

by Jeanne on October 10, 2013

gluten-free_baking_holidays_coverWow! It’s been a whole year since my book, Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays, has been out. And what a wonderful year it’s been.  I still can’t quite believe that I have had the good fortune to write a cookbook and to have it be so well received. Yay! I want to thank all of you for your support and encouragement on my blog and for my book.  Thank you!!

 

NOTE: The giveaway is now closed. The lucky winner is Diane! I’ve sent an email to her. Thank you for all of your kind comments about my book and my site. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to help folks!

 

In honor of this anniversary and the fact that the gift-giving holidays are right around the corner, I’d like to give away a copy of my book.  Do you have my book but would like another to give to a friend or a family member as a gift?  Let me know who and why you think they’d like the book in the comments.  I will choose 1 comment, at random, to send a personally signed copy to. Note: In order to be be entered into the giveaway, please comment by 11:59 pm, PT, on Sunday, October 13, 2013 (US addresses only, please).

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Canning Demo at Oxbow Farm Harvest Hoedown

by Jeanne on October 1, 2013

Oxbow Farm Fall FestivalI will be doing a canning demonstration (complete with tastes) at the Oxbow Farm Harvest Hoedown on Sunday, October 6th.  My demo will start at about 1pm, but the festivities are all day.  Please come join me, rain or shine!

 

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Pasta photo

Heads up for the next class I am teaching at Intentional Table on Bainbridge Island (which is a short ferry ride away from Seattle)!  You can even do a walk-on onto the ferry and walk up to the class if you don’t want to bother with driving.

Gluten-Free Pasta and Gnocchi

Sunday, October 20, 2013
2-5pm
$65
Intentional Table

Class Description
Author of popular blog Art of Gluten Free Baking, Jeanne Sauvage will be teaching a three part series here at Intentional Table, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Jeanne began experimenting with gluten-free baking when she developed a gluten intolerance in 2000, and has been sharing her successes (and failures!) ever since. This class will focus on delicious pastas that are guaranteed to be just as tender, chewy, and delicious as traditional semolina recipes, as well as light and fluffy potato gnocchi. If you or a loved one have a gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy, or are simply trying to cut down on your gluten consumption, this is the class – and series – for you!
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Baking Classes at Intentional Table

by Jeanne on September 15, 2013

Cream Scones photo

 

Just wanted to let you know that I will be teaching a series of baking classes at the Intentional Table on Bainbridge Island this fall.  The first one is next Sunday!

 

Introduction to Gluten-Free Baking
Sunday, September 22, 2013
2-5pm
$65
International Table

If you have the time, come to the island early and make a day of it–you can even do a walk-on!  The school is a short walk from the ferry.   It’s so charming.  Also, one of my favorite yarn stores, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas is next to the Intentional Table, and one of my favorite ice cream shops (with gluten-free cones!) is Mora, is across the little courtyard.  The Blackbird Bakery, a couple doors down, usually has gluten-free goodies. And Eagle Harbor Books, one of the best independent bookstores around, is across the street.

In this first class we’ll be making scones, baked chocolate buttermilk doughnuts, and gougeres (French cheese puffs).  I will be talking about fundamentals of baking and introducing and discussing basic techniques.  I can guarantee that it will be a fun, informative, and tasty class!  I hope you can join me!!

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Simply Gluten-Free Magazine

by Jeanne on September 10, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite gluten-free magazines, Simply Gluten-Free Magazine. You probably already know about it, but if you don’t I would encourage you to check it out. I’ve had the honor of writing some articles for it since it began last fall (2012). I’m actually a little bit embarrassed that I haven’t written about it here before. Last autumn, I was so wrapped up in my book launch whirlwind that I dropped the ball on other things. I’d like to rectify that now.

It was created and is edited by my pal Carol, of the Simply Gluten-Free blog. Carol and I met several years ago at a food conference and I have come to consider Carol one of my mentors. I have turned to her for advice on various aspects of being a gluten-free writer and flour-mix maker, and she is always open and generous with her time and advice. If you haven’t, I recommend that you check out her blog, as well as her amazing books, Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals , Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts, and Simply Gluten-Free Salads.

One of the many things I love about the magazine is that it celebrates the gluten-free lifestyle versus being resigned to it. And it has articles from all sorts of angles (baking with gums vs. baking without gums; conventional gluten-free diet as well as paleo diet, etc.). And it is also other allergen friendly. As we all know, being gluten-free often comes with being intolerant to other foods–and this magazine addresses those issues as well. On top of everything else, the writing is stellar and I see all of my favorite gluten-free pals in there, in addition to “meeting” new folks via their articles.

I have an article in the most recent issue (September/October 2013) on “The Joy of Canning.” As you know, I’m the editor of the website, Canning Across America, and canning is another passion of mine. In the article I explain the basic process of canning, list the basic equipment and procedures for canning, and include one of my very favorite jam canning recipes, Honey Lemon Apple Jam, from the excellent Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round book by my canning pal, Marisa McClellan.  I highly recommend this book if you like to can!  I have been using it all summer.  One of the beauties of her recipes is that they are small-batch oriented.  So you don’t have to commit to canning a ton of stuff at a time.  3 or 4 jars at a time is what she concentrates on–and it’s so fun to have a few jars of many recipes on the shelf.  If you’ve never canned before, I hope my article will inspire you to start!

Check out Simply Gluten-Free Magazine if you already haven’t!  I’ve seen it on the shelves of my favorite grocery stores.  And you can order it from its website.

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Blackberry Cobbler, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on September 1, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi! We are enjoying our last few days of summer freedom this Labor Day weekend before school starts. As you know, I am not a fan of uber-early mornings. It’s not in my constitution. It’s not the way any of us in our family works well. Even when Girlfriend was tiny, she was a sleeper-inner. She was never one of those toddlers who woke up at the crack of dawn (thank goodness!). So the fact that we have to get up at 6 am in order to get Girlfriend to middle school (and into class on time as she works her way through the crowds of kids who are also wandering up and down the stairs trying to get to their classes) just about does us in. We spend the weekends recovering from the weekdays.

I realize that this sounds ridiculous. We do try to get to bed at an early hour. We don’t watch TV. We try not to schedule evening activities for Girlfriend. We try to ease into the bedtime. But, our bodies don’t seem to be easily re-trainable into early morning as one would hope. We do much better if we can go to bed at around 11 or midnight and wake up at around 8 am. Sigh.

Anyway, we are trying to get in all of the sleep we can in these last days. And in between sleeping (heh) we are enjoying the bounty of summer. As I think I’ve mentioned before, the side yard between our house and that of one of our neighbors is lined with wild blackberry bushes. Most of the year these bushes are a scourge. They are pokey and nearly impossible to tame. And they line the path that goes from our driveway to the back garden, so we need to keep them in check. They technically belong to our neighbors, but that house is a rental so the neighbors don’t really care what happens to them.

Instead of complaining about them (unlike my never-ending complaints about early mornings ;) ), I decided years ago to cultivate them for our eating pleasure. When Girlfriend was little, I would send her and her pals over there to pick the blackberries. They would come back with as many berries in their tummies as were in their buckets (if their happy and berry-juice smeared faces were any indication of what they did). And I turn the blackberries they pick into cobbler. It’s one of my summer rituals. It just seems like blackberries and cobblers are the perfect match.

And I realize that I’ve never shared my cobbler recipe with you. It’s so simple and so quick to make, it’s one of those handy and perfect last minute dessert recipes. Of course, we usually eat the leftover cobbler for breakfast and for snacks during the day. But it is spectacular just as it comes out of the oven, with the biscuit topping puffed and golden, dolloped with unsweetened whipped cream. Of course, you can also use the equivalent amount of other berries that you have on hand.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWow, what a glorious summer we have had.  I can’t remember a summer with better weather in the 23 years I’ve lived in Seattle.  It’s been mostly sunny and warm.  Every day.  It’s truly been a gift.  I can’t tell you how much we have been enjoying it.   The past few days have been the exception—we’ve gotten some torrential downpours to make up for all of the rain we missed during the rest of the summer.  But that’s been it—now it is sunny and warm again.  Although there is a hint of fall in the air.   As usual, the summer has gone by very quickly.  It feels like it just started, I blinked, and now it’s nearly time for Girlfriend to go back to school.

This week has been devoted to preparing for school.  I helped Girlfriend shovel out her room (I’m serious when I say “shovel”—the amount of stuff on the floor in there always boggles my mind), find her backpack and big binder, and organize her desk.  We got all of her school supplies as well as a new lunchbox (her old one had gotten so gross, wow).  I’m feeling quite proud of us on this one—usually we wait until the day before school to do this and then everything is sold out.  And we dropped off her Epi-Pen at the school nurse’s office and completed all of the forms for that (Girlfriend has a life-threatening peanut allergy, so this is a yearly ritual for us).

The days are getting shorter, which is always bittersweet for me.  I love summer, but I do enjoy fall as well.  Getting back into the school year routine will be good for us after our lovely summer of freedom.  Girlfriend and I usually take a walk around the neighborhood each evening.  For most of the summer in Seattle, it stays light until about 9:30 pm.  So, we can walk later.  Now, I’ve been noticing that it’s dark by about 8:30—so we need to adjust our schedule to walking a bit earlier.  The park next door, which used to be an orchard and still contains many fruit trees, is full of windfall apples.  We usually pick up several on our way through to give to the chickens.  They love apples!  I have found that chickens are like kids.  They often like the sweeter things like fruit, carrots, and beets.  And, they love leafy greens.  But they turn their beaks up at cauliflower and broccoli.

The farmer’s market is now full of peaches.  I wait all year for the peaches.  I love them.  They are my favorite fruit.  Usually, at the very end of summer I get a box of peaches from the farmer’s market to freeze.  I blanch, peel, slice, and freeze them on cookie sheets and them transfer them to ziplock bags.  This way we have peaches all year round.  I also freeze bags of berries.  Currently the freezer is so full of frozen blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries that not much else fits in there.

We also eat the peaches fresh and, of course, I bake with them.  This year I found a recipe from Ina Garten’s book Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? that we love!  Of course, you know how much I love her and her recipes, so I knew it would be a winner.  And it is.  This cake is another peach-pecan mix—which is my new favorite combination.  You can substitute walnuts if you’d like, or you can just not use the nuts, if preferred.   I will say that I love the crunch and the flavor that they add, though.  Either way, it’s now on my end-of-summer baking rotation.  Yum!

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Pie, Gluten-FreeHey all!  I’ve updated my Pie Crust post in order to include updated directions.  Pie crust is one of the recipes I get the most questions about and I thought it would be helpful to rewrite it to answer the most common questions.

Also, I am writing a Pie Crust Troubleshooting post–it will be up on the site soon!

Happy baking!

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Peach-Pecan Pie, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on August 19, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen Tracy and Jennifer  and Jamie asked if I wanted to be part of the online baby shower for our mutual pal, Amber, the voice behind the amazing blog, Bluebonnet and Brownies and her husband James, I immediately said yes!  I love babies and baby showers and the chance to celebrate them is always welcome.

As I thought about this post, I realized that Tracy and I had met through Amber.   Amber is one of those people who naturally brings people together.  I met Amber on Twitter sometime in 2009.   She was one of the folks I chatted with on weekly (and sometimes, daily) basis.  As you know, I love Twitter and have found it to be very convivial place.  Anyway, one day I heard about something called the Big Summer Potluck (BSP) on Twitter.  It was to be a weekend food blogger gathering put on and hosted in Pennsylvania by Pam Anderson, who has written many terrific cookbooks, and her daughters, Maggy and Sharon.  These three talented women are the voices behind the lovely blog Three Many Cooks.  Their friend, Erika, rounded out the crew who organize the weekend.  Further, I found out that my Seattle pal, Alice, was going to be the keynote speaker.  I was intrigued.  Even though it was going to be held across the country, I realized that I really wanted to go.

As it turns out, Amber’s house is close-ish to the location of the BSP, so when I told her I was thinking of attending, she immediately offered her house to me as a place to stay.  And, she was set to attend—in fact, she was helping to organize some of the stuff—and so she also could drive us to and from the BSP each day.  I was amazed at her generosity and immediately took her up on her offer and I bought my tickets that day.

Several months later, when I arrived on the East Coast, James picked me up and ferried me to their house.  When we walked in, Amber was in the kitchen, making cookies.  She welcomed me and I felt immediately at home.  It felt like we had been friends for years.   Same with James.   Same with their big, fluffy kitties, Connor and Milo.  They are, quite simply, nice and wonderful people (and kitties, who think they are people).  Being with them is like being with family.

We had a lovely weekend together (you can read more about my experience here)–that first BSP was also the place where I met Jennifer.  I ended up attending BSP the next year and staying with Amber and James again.  That was the year that I met Tracy—she also was staying with Amber and James, and we ended up being roommates.  That second BSP they had a full house–Aimée and Shaina, were roomies in Amber’s other guest room, and we all got to know each other and become friends during the time we had together.  What a terrific weekend we all had.

And now Amber and James are expecting a new family member to join their happy crew—a little boy, due in October.  I am thrilled for them.  The arrival of a baby is always a gift, but it is especially welcome when the road to having a baby has been a long and hard one.  Amber and James have been struggling with fertility issues and it was seeming like maybe a homemade baby (as opposed to an adopted baby), was potentially not in the cards.  But, the Fates stepped in and decreed that it was TO BE and all of us in their family and friend community are overjoyed for them!  And we can’t wait to meet baby Evan (that’s his name-to-be).

In honor of the blessed event, I am offering a recipe for Peach-Pecan Pie.  Amber is a Texas native, so the theme for the baby shower is “Texas.”  As I was deciding on what kind of recipe to make, I did some research and found out that peaches are a favorite fruit in Texas.  And, because it’s in the South, I thought pecans would be good, too.   As I flipped through one of my favorite cookbooks, Nancie McDermott’s Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes from Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan, I saw it—the perfect recipe–for peach-pecan pie.  I knew it was the one.  So, I adapted it to gluten-free.  It is out-of-this-world!  Wowee, this is a good pie.  In fact, one of the yummiest I’ve ever had.  It’s got a traditional pie crust, filled with fresh peaches in a sour cream custard and topped with a pecan streusel.

So, here’s to you, Amber and James (and Evan-to-be)!  I raise a fork of delicious pie to all of you and cannot wait to meet the newest family member in person!

Link List for the Rest of the Baby Shower Participants (pie recipe after list)

Sugarcrafter | Breakfast Tostadas
My Kitchen Addiction | Baby Texan Cookies
My Baking Addiction | Texas Sheet Cake
Simple Bites | Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa
Stetted | Queso Mac
Food for My Family | Texas Pepper Barbecue Sauce
Dessert For Two | Frito Chocolate Chip Cookies
Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Coconut Tres Leches Layer Cake
TidyMom | Pizza Bread Sticks
Miss in the Kitchen | Blackberry Milkshakes
Bon Appetit Hon | Cheddar Ranch Crackers
Food Babbles | Southern Pecan Pie
Jelly Toast | Peach Iced Tea
Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle | Decorated Elephant Cookies
i am baker | Texas Brownie Cake
The Kitchen Trials | Coca-Cola Cake
Cookies & Cups | Sticky Toffee Pudding Cookies
A Farmgirl’s Dabbles | Peanut Butter Bonbons the Size of Texas
Steph Chows | Fiesta Dip

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