Sunday, June 25, 2023

Vanilla Sugar Blog Tribute to Dawn with Blueberry Muffins and Lemon Crumb CakeI


This is not the way I'd like to be out of "retirement" in the blog world.  I haven't blogged since November of 2020.  It's a bummer to me and I can't tell you how much I miss the old days of blogging about the fantastic things I would bake and share.  Besides not baking like I used to, I'm reminded that typing up posts is my least favorite thing about blogging (as is probably true for most bloggers).  Over the years since starting my blog in 2008, I have made some wonderful friends.  I've been blessed to have met many in person and also have some great friendships with some I've never met--one of the things I love about social media!  There are so many wonderful people out there!

Dawn at Vanilla Sugar Blog was someone whose blog I started reading about 15 years ago.  We both started our blogs early in 2008.  I've always enjoyed her posts.  Besides her great treats and savory food and lots of recipes, I loved that she would do a "Friday Links" post every week with things she'd seen on the world wide web that she wanted to share.  She'd post thing like that on Facebook, too.

On June 8 of this year, I saw Dawn's husband Bob post that she passed away June 1.  What?!?  I never met Dawn and I'm not sure I would have ever made it to her hometown, but I did talk to her quite a bit on Facebook over the years.  She was always commenting on my posts, even just to take the time to say I looked great, my skin look great, etc.  We had some great DM conversations and enjoyed talking about our favorite tv shows from time to time.  Dawn lived on Cape Cod.  She loved seeing all the new candies and flavors of treats that would come out.  But being on Cape Cod she was always a bit dismayed that the new things we never ended up on Cape Cod.  They were never available there.  So I saved up the latest finds, new M&M flavors or others candies and cookies and I sent her packages a couple times.  She was thrilled!

She posted on Facebook often, sometimes quotes she liked, or photos, usually of the Cape, water or animals, birds, sharks, etc. or facts about one of her greatest loves--blueberries!  In January, I noticed I hadn't seen her post for a bit, so I messaged her to see if everything was okay.  She responded that she was just taking a social media break.  I replied, "Okay, that's allowed.  Glad that's all it is. Take care."  She then posted a couple times not long after that, but not as frequently as she had been before.  I didn't think anything of it.

Then her husband posted on her page about her sudden diagnosis with cancer in December of last year and that it took a turn for the worst and she spent the last month or so of her life in the hospital before passing.  My heart is so sad.  I didn't know him at all.  He seems pretty devastated, as expected.  He's posted a few times since then and my heart goes out to him and her family and loved ones.  I'm sad that I won't get to talk to her anymore.  

I haven't been able to get Dawn out of my mind.  Not really sure why.  What could I do?  There isn't anything, really.  I've known a couple food blogger friends who have passed away over the years and it's surreal and heartbreaking.  I guess it has made me realize how much we all need to make sure we are keeping in touch with our loved ones, telling our families and friends how much we love them and even talking to friends and acquaintances more often just to let people know we care and are thinking of them.  I'm glad I took those few minutes in January to message Dawn.  I told her someone said the word blueberry and it made me think of her.  I think of it this way--even when just a simple word makes you think of someone and you haven't talked to them for a while--take the time to do so!

I decided to make a couple things from her blog and share them here.  Since Dawn loved blueberries and knew all the facts about reasons why they are so good for you, I decided to make her blueberry muffins,  I followed her recipe and you can find her recipe on the link.  Okay, I lied, the only difference I made to her recipe was I used buttermilk instead of whole milk.  Dawn loved crumb topping!  So these muffins have a crumb topping.  She even suggested doubling the topping if you like it as much as she did.



Speaking of crumb topping--the other thing I decided to make from her blog was a crumb cake.  She LOVED crumb cake and would make every flavor imaginable.  It was never about the cake.  It was all about the crumb topping!


I decided to make Dawn's Lemon Crumb Cake.  As much as I'm a chocolate lover, I'm really liking lemon things lately.  I was easily sold on how much lemon was in this cake.  Lemon zest and juice in the cake.  Zest in the crumb topping.  And more lemon zest and juice in the icing drizzle.  I could get behind this cake.  I did only make a half recipe of it and used an 8x8 pan instead of a bundt pan (I think she made a bundt cake since my birthday is on National Bundt Day, November 15.  Yes, I'm sure that's it.) 😉 She also mentioned using a 9x13 pan, so since I was halving the recipe, I used an 8x8 pan.


Besides quite a bit of zesting and juicing, the cake is pretty simple to make.  I followed Dawn's recipe exactly!  That's saying a lot for me since I'm known for never sticking to a recipe.  Making just half the recipe, I used five large lemons to get the right amount of zest, so plan accordingly if you're going to make the full recipe or half.  It's worth it to make this cake sometime!  I did taste the cake and it's fabulous.  With me trying not to eat much gluten and sugar, my new goal is to make my own version of this gluten free and with different sugars.  I'll do it for Dawn.  She'd like it if I did that.  Facebook life won't be the same without Dawn commenting on all my posts and I'll miss her posts and our chats now and then.  


I will forever think of Dawn when I'm doing anything with blueberries or even see them somewhere.  I will and always have for years thought of her when I see any crumb cake and I'm sure I'll make a number of her other crumb cakes--she's made at least a dozen different flavors over the years!  Dawn is to crumb cakes 🎂 and blueberries 🔵 as Katrina is to chocolate chip cookies 🍪and chocolate 🍫.  Sending love and prayers to her husband and her family and friends.  I know everyone thought the world of her.  I did.

Hug your loved ones.  Check on family and friends.  Let them know you're thinking about them.

I'm doing well, by the way.  It's been two and a half years since I've blogged.  Life is crazy and busy and somewhat day-to-day life as usual, but I am super blessed with pretty good health since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013.  Family is growing way too fast.  Kevin spoils me rotten.  Maybe I'll try to blog more often.  I hope to.  I want to.  We shall see.  









 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Gluten Free Applesauce Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

 This gluten free cake was so good!  I'm trying to get some of my favorite things posted on my ol' neglected blog for safe keeping, but it's just not been easy for me--don't get me wrong, I feel good!  I just can't seem to get it done. Also had computer issues for a few months.  I won't complain.  And I'll just be short on words and see if I can get it done.

I've made this fabulous Apple Spice Cake before which I first got to experience from some cooking classes I was taking from my friend, Paige, in Kansas.  She has a great post on her blog for the Applesauce Spice Cake here.  With my autumn birthday recently (November 15) and it falling on National Bundt Day, I decided this is the cake I wanted to make gluten free for me.  Sometimes I'm not sure something will turn out well and I'll have lots of testing to do--but I sure love it when I first change a recipe and it turns out great!  So happy!

It was perfect and I have one slice left that is still perfectly moist.  My family doesn't really like when I've made something and I tell them it's gluten free.  They often won't even try it.  Sam ended up eating two or three slices and said it was pretty good!  It's not only made gluten free, but I used coconut sugar and raw honey for the sweetener!  Love it! I wanted a cream cheese icing on it since it was so good on the original cake so I made some to drizzle on the bundt cake with as little sweetener as I could and used a couple tablespoons of organic powdered sugar and then pure maple syrup.  I'll try it again to see if it's fine with just maple syrup another time.  But it turned out great and I used a lot less icing than the cake that is usually completely frosted with it.  So good though!

We had some apples here that were near "death", so I made homemade applesauce!  I peeled, cored and sliced the apples into pretty big chunks.  Then I put them in the Instant Pot with a little water and cooked them on the manual setting for ten minutes, then let it naturally release for another 10 minutes.  They were pretty well done/soft!  But it worked great!  I put them in the blender and within seconds they perfectly became applesauce! No sweetener added!

Gluten Free Apple Spice Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, by Katrina Smith, www.bakingandboys.com

2 cups (240 grams) gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum)

½ teaspoon xanthan gum (yes, extra)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup coconut sugar

½ cup raw honey

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade!)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 cup non-stick Bundt cake pan (or you can also use a 10 inch round cake pan) with cooking spray. I use a non-aerosol cooking spray.  Set aside.  Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.  Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter with the coconut sugar and honey until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes on medium high speed, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Beat for another 2-3 minutes.  With a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the applesauce (add the vanilla with the first half of the applesauce), beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, until they are fully incorporated.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean—about 35 to 40 minutes.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.  Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn onto cooling rack and let cool completely.  It should come right out of the pan.  Carefully move cake to serving dish or airtight cake keeper. Prepare icing while cake is cooling.

Cream Cheese Icing:

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

Dash of salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons organic powdered sugar

½ tablespoon almond milk

2 tablespoons walnuts, lightly toasted, chopped (optional)

 

Whisk together the softened cream cheese, salt, vanilla, maple syrup, and powdered sugar until well combined with no lumps.  Add almond milk starting with ½ tablespoon and possibly a little more until desired consistency.  Drizzle over cooled cake.  Sprinkle with walnuts.




Love my bundt pan.  I've never had anything stick and I always only spray it with a non-aerosol spray.  Though I think I want to start collecting different bundt pans.  Seems like a perfect birthday/bundt day thing to do!






Monday, April 13, 2020

Banana Noatmeal

Hi.  Hello.  Look at this--I'm here!  I know, you thought you'd never hear from me again.  Well, tricked ya.  I really, really miss the good old days of blogging.  I miss wanting to share things with you.  I miss doing all the baking my heart desires.  I even miss spending time writing up blog posts, though let's be honest, I think that's probably all bloggers' least favorite part of this gig.  Times change.  I just can't seem to get things done like I used to be able to do.  I'm fine.  I'm healthy.  I'm busy.  I'm tired.  Even with this crazy time of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic and being home more, I seem to be just as busy with boys and dogs (We have 3 now! Chip and Candy are both coming up on ten years old, so we adopted Trixie last November.  She's now 7 months old--what was I thinking being a puppy mom again?  She's a Corgi/Pomeranian mix).  I keep finding other things to do besides baking and sharing.  It's sad, I know. 



That said, my friend Shelby from Grumpy's Honeybunch has a cookbook out! The One Pot Paleo Cookbook is available from Amazon now (linked here).  Check it out.  Everything looks and sounds so delicious.  I love that they are simple one pot meals and could use a sheet pan in the oven, a skillet on the stove or a slow cooker!  I was excited to hurry and try a recipe but am limited on trips to the store right now (as we all are) so I quickly looked for something I could make with ingredients I already have and settled on this Banana Noatmeal.  Afterall, breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day and guess what I eat almot every day?  Oatmeal, with banana to be exact.  I've actually wanted to try a Paleo version for a few years now so this was just perfect!  If you're eating a Paleo diet (or even if you're not!) this is great as it is low-carb since it doesn't actually have oats.  Hence the clever name of noatmeal.  But I can't believe how much it literally tastes like oats.  I prefer for my oatmeal with used the quick cooking kind (gluten free, please), so this has the same texture.  The main ingredient is almond meal.  Then it also has some flaxseeds (I used ground meal), some hemp seeds and chia seeds (the recipe says white chia seeds, I only had black).  Everything is simmered with coconut or almond milk, then served with bananas, walnuts, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dusting of cinnamon. 

This is my ideal breakfast!  Excited to try it with berries when I can go shopping and get some!

Go get Shelby's cookbook!  Whether you follow a Paleo diet or not, it's got lots of great recipes!  Can't wait to try more!

On a family note, my "baby" turned 13 (ahhh!) in March.  We all went to dinner as a family, including my married son, Scott and his wife Diana and our son Parker who turned 18 and moved into his own apartment.  We went out the day before our state decided on a stay home, stay safe initiative and closed dining-in at restaurants.  For Easter yesterday, we had everybody over for grilling some hot dogs and hamburgers outside.  Scott, Diana and Parker stayed out of the house and tried to maintain the 6 feet rule from us.  Sam enjoyed hiding some Easter eggs outside for them to hunt.  It was fun watching grown kids collecting eggs.  We had some much-needed laughs together.  We look forward to this pandemic being over and life being more normal again.  How are y'all getting along?  We are truly blessed!  I was even able to go get my monthly infusion for MS last week.  Had to wear a mask and that is hard for me.  I named it being like "walking claustrophobia".  But I survived and I'm grateful my infusion center is still operating and they are taking a lot more sanitizing precautions and spacing everyone out more than normal.  I'm kind of hoping when we get to go back to things being more like they were before this virus came along, that the world learns to be more giving and kind and loving as it's been during this time.  What good things have you noticed in the world lately?


Friday, November 22, 2019

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Streusel

This was the birthday cake I made for my birthday which I've mentioned before is also National Bundt Day (November 15).  I NEED to share it with you all here!  I turned this fantastic Pumpkin Cake recipe I've made before from my friend Paige at For Love of the Table, whose cooking classes I used to take and love and endulge in all the deliciousness when we lived in Kansas, into a gluten free, refined sugar free divine bundt cake!  It was so moist and flavorful and exactly how I wanted it.  I'm planning to make it again next week for Thanksgiving.  There are always so many pies at our huge family gathering and I've tried making decent gluten free ones in the past, but haven't been as in love as I want to be with gluten free crust.  CAKE--this is just what I was hoping it would be like with it's spot on pumpkin and spice flavors.

If you want, you can see my post for the original pumpkin cake (linked above) and Paige's, too.  It's a must-make sometime.  Most know I am a chocolate lover and my favorite desserts usually have chocolate, but this cake is right there at the top of my list, especially now that I've made it gluten free.

Paige's original cake has a most delicious browned butter pecan streusel on top that bakes with the cake.  While making this into a bundt cake, I realized I wasn't sure how I was going to make the best part of the cake work for it since a bundt is baked upside down, then turned out of the pan.  I didn't want to have the streusel making a caramel-like topping while it baked, so I baked it separately and decided to make it stick to the top of the cake some other way.  I made a simple cinnamon glaze using organic powdered sugar and I drizzled that over the cooled cake.  The streusel then adhered to the cake just as I'd hoped.

The cake is so moist like a great pumpkin bread and the streusel adds a perfect cinnamon, nutty crunch.  Nothing else is needed to enjoy this but some whipped cream on the side would be great.  I've known Paige for over ten years and she's always had no problem admitting she had cake for breakfast.  She is a fantastic chef and I've always loved her cakes and cookies and pies and all desserts, I'm just a sweets kind of gal. (Check out her blog, linked above!  Best photos, descriptions and instructions ever!) Cake for breakfast?  I've never really endulged that way, but after making this cake and having some for my birthday, there it sat on the counter the next morning and it was calling my name.  So I had cake for breakfast.  It was delicious every time I had a piece of it over the next couple days.  This cake needs to be posted here and made again and again!

GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN BUNDT CAKE WITH BROWNED BUTTER PECAN STREUSEL, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
Streusel Topping:
¼ cup gluten free flour blend (I like Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking mix)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ tablespoon raw honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, browned in a small saucepan*
¼ cup pecans, chopped

Cake:
2 cups gluten free flour blend (I like Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking mix)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum (add this even though the flour blend has some)
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teasoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup raw honey
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup almond milk (or any milk you choose)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:

1 cup organic powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk (your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. *Brown the butter for the streusel in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk together while it melts and foams a little.  When almost no more bubbles form, let it heat until the butter gets a nice brown color and has a nice nutty aroma.  Pour it until another container to stop the browning/cooking process.  In another bowl, mix together the streusel ingredients, pour the brown butter in last, mix to combine.  Pour the mixture onto a foil lined small baking sheet and spread evenly, some clumps are good. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  You just don’t want it to brown too much.  Remove from oven and leave on sheet to cool.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for a minute, add the coconut sugar and honey beat and until light and fluffy for about 3 minutes, scrape down the sides. Beat in the eggs for a couple minutes. Whisk together in a bowl the pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla.  Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl.  Whisk together.  Add a little of the dry ingredients to the mixer and beat together.  Then add half the wet ingredients and beat well.  Scrapes sides of bowl.  Add more of the dry ingredients, beat well, then the rest of the wet ingredients and the rest of the dry, beating well after each addition.  Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Spray a bundt pan with non-aerosol cooking spray (some instead butter and flour the pan, I’ve never had one stick just using spray).  Pour the cake batter into the pan and spread evenly.  Bake in preheated oven on middle rack for 35-40 minutes.  Test at 35 minutes with a toothpick to see it comes out mostly clean with just a few moist crumbs.  When fully baked, remove from oven and let it sit in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.  Turn cake over onto a wire rack to remove from pan and let it cool completely. 
Make the quick glaze, whisking the ingredients together.  Drizzle over the cooled bundt.   Immediately after, sprinkle/spread evenly the streusel around the top of the cake.  Store in an airtight cake server.  Serve cake with some fresh whipped cream, if desired.




Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Vegan Wild Rice Soup with Cashew Cream--The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook



I was asked by Jane from The Heritage Cook if I would like to make a recipe from the new, revised and expanded edition of her cookbook, The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook, also written by Sara De Leeuw, who I don't yet know.  Yes!  I love when I get to make things for others.  I love Jane's blog and it's so nice that she posts delicious gluten free things. (Thank you for asking me to be part of the revised book promotions, since it was so easy to say yes and I'm flattered you thought of me!) I'm excited to have the opportunity to finally meet her this coming August when Kevin and I go on a trip to San Francisco where she lives!

I'm all about sweet treats, but when I get to choose something savory that I'd like AND when it's vegan and one of my sons is currently vegan, I didn't have trouble deciding to make this soup.  I'm still finding unconditional love for the Instant Pot, but rice has become one of my favorite things to make in it.  Add some veggies and healthy protein like chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and I'm all for it. The soup was great with just veggie broth, but with the option to add some cream made from cashews, it was even more a hearty, filling delight.  I dare anyone who thinks they wouldn't like it because it's vegan and doesn't have real cream, to try it and see for yourself.  You'd never know!  Parker liked it!  He had a bowlful then when I was cleaning up he decided he wanted another bowlful.  This soup is very much a win in the gluten free category AND for vegans--and for anyone because I guarantee if you don't tell them, they won't even realize it.

 

Some people tend to shy away from gluten free recipes, but I've found with this book that a lot of the recipes are naturally gluten free anyway and are just like what you'd make regardless, such as this soup or pot roast, chicken wings and deviled eggs just to name a few others.  But a lot of the other recipes, like Creamy Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Apple Raisin Compote, which I've also made before, is delicious.  There are so many more, too!  I may just start with the first recipe and make my way through each one.  Come to think of it--I haven't eaten dinner yet and I'm hungry.  Soup is calling my name!

Here's the soup recipe, but you should just get yourself a copy of The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook!  (How good does that Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Cream on the cover look!)


Vegan Wild Rice Soup with Cashew Cream, from The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook, by Jane Bonacci and Sara De Leeuw

Soup
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups (240 grams) diced onion 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (130 grams) diced carrot 
1 cup (120 grams) diced celery 
1 cup (230 grams) dried chickpeas, soaked for 4 hours or overnight and drained 
1 1/4 cups (200 grams) wild rice or wild rice blend
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon (2 grams) fresh thyme leaves
5 cups (1175 ml) vegetable stock (page 214) or water 
kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Cashew Cream (optional)
1/2 cup (55 grams) raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in hot water and then drained 
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh water

Press Sauté on the electric pressure cooker. Add the oil to the inner pot and when it is hot, add the onions. Stirring frequently, cook the onions until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue stirring. Cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Stir in the carrots and celery. Cook them, stirring frequently until the vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. 

Add the drained chickpeas, wild rice, bay leaf, thyme, and vegetable stock. Stir well. Close and lock the lid, making sure the steam release handle is in the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, make the cashew cream.  Blend the soaked and drained cashews with the ½ cup fresh water in a blender until completely smooth.  Set aside.

When the soup is finished, release the pressure naturally. Turn the steam release handle to venting, releasing any remaining pressure. When the float drops, unlock the lid and open it carefully. Stir in the cashew cream (if using) until completely incorporated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

The soup was pretty simple to make and I'm enjoying the Instant Pot more every time I use it.  If you don't have one, get this book and an electric pressure cooker and enjoy time-saving meals (and desserts)!  Did I mention there are desserts, too?

#TheRevisedExpandedGlutenFreeInstantPotCookbook 





Sunday, February 17, 2019

My Eleven Year Old Blog!

Eleven years ago today I posted my first blog post on this little ol’ spot of mine on the world wide web.  I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t know what I was doing and was only doing it so family and friends could see from me what was going on with our family.  We lived in Kansas far away all of our families and most of our friends.  I also just wanted to use this space as my way of journaling about our lives.  Here we are eleven years later!  So many changes, as expected!  I’m still here.  Sadly, not like I used to be and not like I wish.  Sometimes circumstances in our lives take precedence over what we’d really like to have happen.  I’ve learned things aren’t always as we’d like, but I am so very blessed with everything in my life, so I shall not complain.

I’m busy and tired and continue keeping on even though sometimes I would really just like to take a big ol’ break from everyday life and not have a care in the world.  Four boys will do that to you, I suppose!  A quick run down—my oldest, Scott, is getting married this week!  What?!  I know, so crazy.  He was still just nine when I started Baking and Boys!  We are excited to have Diana join our family and I’ll have a daughter!  Parker is 17 and trying to get done with high school a year early so he can graduate this May.  Fingers crossed!  Taylor is 15.  He’s in 9th grade and in his third year of percussion and is loving playing drums.  It’s loud here at our house!  Besides drums, he has taught himself how to play the ukulele and some electric guitar (so has Parker).  Sam is in 6th grade and will be 12 years old soon!  Ahhh!  So you can see, all four of my babies are growing up and things are always hoppin’ around here!

I can’t seem to bake like I used to and never get all the things I’d like to done that I dream about or even just plan to do, but life is good!  My health is good!  My husband is amazing, as always.  We are so blessed!  When I realized today is my eleven year blogaversary, I didn’t want to just let it go by, even though my blog has sat pretty dormant especially this last year.  I didn’t make anything, but Taylor had two friends over today and they wanted to make a cake and they wanted to cover it with homemade fondant.  I didn’t really want to have anything to do with it and didn’t want to deal with the mess.  They’d never made fondant, but they were determined.  Above is the cake they made with about 1% help from me.  I must say it turned out better than I thought it would.  They said it was a Legos head, even though that was not their intention when they started.  I’m tired and I didn’t really do much at all.  But it made for me to have something to post here, so here’s your cake.  I still hope to actually post things when I make something really  great that I just have to share!  We’re in full blown wedding mode here this week!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Gluten Free Zucchini Cookies (Also Vegan!)

I took my Grandma Tiny's Zucchini Cookies recipe and decided I needed to make it gluten free so I could enjoy them again.  It’s zucchini season!  These are perfect for the abundance of zucchini and pretty simple to make—you don’t even need a mixer.  I changed up the sugars a little so I wasn’t just using refined sugar and I used grape seed oil.  All changes I made worked perfectly and I’m happy that these are healthier and gluten free and they just happen to be vegan, so Parker was happy, too.  Sometimes the changes I make to things (especially when I make them gluten free AND vegan) make baked goods a bit dry and crumbly.  I’m still working on that issue.  But these cookies turned out great.  Parker even noticed and mentioned it.  And Kevin ate quite a few of them and he usually doesn’t eat something he knows is gluten free or vegan.  Win!
What more—since they’re vegan—you can eat the cookie dough!  (Not that in my past I’ve never eaten raw cookie dough of any kind.) ; )



Gluten Free Zucchini Cookies (They’re vegan, too!), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

In a medium sized bowl, stir together with a whisk: (No electric mixer needed.)
1//2 cup organic cane sugar
¼ cup organic coconut sugar
¼ cup organic agave nectar (Note—I’ve used 1 cup of brown sugar before instead of the 3 sweeteners listed)
1 cup grated zucchini (I use the fine grater)
1/2 cup organic grape seed oil (or any other oil of choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together in another medium sized bowl:
2 cups gluten free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 blend)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped (or walnuts)—optional
1/3 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips—optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined.  Stir in the nuts and raisins.
Drop by spoonfuls on parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.

Life is crazy and busy and probably a little boring around here.  I’m still here.  We had a great summer with lots of fun trips and everyone is happy to be back in school.  Shh, probably me more than anyone.