Tag Archives: cookbook

Homemade Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bars

oat bar with creamy seed butterIt’s almost like I just want to slide down the middle of this bar.  You know… imagine it.

Food can inspire strange behavior.  No food inspires even stranger, so let’s carry on now.

I find caramel made from honey to be a delightful little composition.  Especially if there is some form of sea salt added to it.  Perhaps a little oil.  Oh, lookey here, there’s both!  This recipe for a healthy and gluten-free granola bar has no refined sugar at all and is high in fiber (good for your arteries, yeah!).  A really nice natural energy boost by itself if you’re pragmatic, a healthy way to get that sweet fix after a meal if you’re a touch more hedonistic.  Like, a touch.

wrapped oat bars

Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bar

-gluten, nut, soy, corn, egg-free.  Vegan with substitutions-

1/4 cup neutral oil

1/2 cup honey (or 1/3 cup agave nectar for vegan)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla (optional but good)

1 1/8 cup gluten-free oat bran (available at health food stores or online here, also known as “son d’avoine”)

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cook time: about 4-5 minutes

Serves about 10-12 easily (makes a plaque of bars)

honey caramel1. Heat oil, honey, salt and optional vanilla in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  If you have a thermometer, insert it and bring mixture to 135 degrees F (270 degrees C) or until it bubbles like shown at left and starts to turn a little darker in color.  Immediately remove from heat.

oat bars2. Add oats to pot and stir with spatula until coated.  Let sit, stirring every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes to cook the oats to make them more digestible.

silpat granola3. Spread on a silicon baking sheet (or an oiled baking sheet or parchment paper) to desired thickness.  With spatula, or a dull knife, outline the shape you want to cut.  Let cool then cut and wrap individually to be all precious.

Since you cooked your sugar to a “soft-crack” phase, meaning it will be a harder caramel, let it cool to solidify a bit so it’s not just a gooey mess.  I’ve been storing my bars in the fridge, as it’s warmer out now, but you can store them room temperature if you want to keep them more taffy-like with the heat.  Ah, that sounds nice, too.

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It’s my birthday!!!

extravagant child birthdaySomething very strange has happened.  Firstly, as you can tell from the header of this post, I am happy it’s my birthday, and am a declared lover of birthdays.  I find it lovely to have the reason and universally acknowledged imperative to maximize your day.  Birthdays are such things–a time to contemplate who you want to share them with, what you love doing, and then hopefully be able to couple the two into a celebration of your life so far and present.

Secondly, I think I’m finally growing up.  While, yes, I did wake up this morning with that little happy place in my belly of “Weeee, it’s my day today,” it was infinitely less intense than years prior.  It was a continued joy of my days that have been coming, exist as well today, and will hopefully have a nice span of existence in the future.  It was a knowledge that I am thrilled to spend it with someone I love, and that I am going to take the day minute by minute, feeling the beauty of whatever comes.  I guess today was the first birthday I woke up without expectations, and it’s feeling really beautiful.

Crisped Rice Treats

So, I did not expect to post anything today.  However, after waking up with that calm sharing feeling, here’s a little sneak peak of the Peanot Butter Crisped Rice Treats from the upcoming Bubble Child cookbook.  Enjoy my allergenically accelerated hooligans.

crisped rice treatsno nuts, marshmallows (aka vegan), dairy, soy, corn, or eggs in this oven-free dessert… which given my current oven status of broken and my current allergy-list of not-changing is a thing of ideal

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No Oven Gluten-Free Bread

steamed buckwheat loafToday was an odd day in technology for me, in turn spawning some very odd human behavior.  First of all, you may notice that these photos are less than subpar quality.  That is because for some reason my camera decided to eat the “lock” switch on my memory card, guarding the camera decidedly in “memory card locked” mode like an unfair coma.  Given that I spend all of my money on food, I have not updated my cellular device for several many years, and this is what is providing the images today.

RIP OvenFurthermore, my oven died.  It’s really not a huge shame, as you can see from the picture on the right, it was a bit abysmal to begin with.  I suppose churning out breads and desserts and braising meats for hours on end is not what this little guy was originally designed for.  Boo hoo.  This all happened, however, after I had prepared the dough for my favorite Buckwheat Herb Loaf and it had already risen to well over two times its original volume.  I really wanted a sandwich today.  This just wouldn’t do.

Thus, I started thinking how I could possibly make this uncooked loaf a slab of bread.  Only one thing came to mind: steam it like a vegetable.  The world is strange, and this is stranger: it tasted better than when I cooked it in the oven.  Steaming it provided a perfectly even cooking and guarded the moisture inside the bread without having it remotely undercooked.  Its air bubbles stood up taller.  It’s even more spongey.  Whaaaat a weird way to finally get my sandwich.  I had to torch my lactose-free cheese with a creme bruler burner to have it melt.  Alright.

torching cheesenot like pudding

sandwich at lastvictory, you’re so sweet

Anyways, this necessitated the use of my unintelligent smart phone to share this knowledge with you.

Steamed Bread: (!)

1. Take your favorite gluten-free bread recipe (try Home Sweet Honey Buns or Herb Buckwheat Loaf from this site) and put it in a greased and floured mold that will fit into a large pot with a vegetable steaming basket underneath (see photo at right.)  Prepare recipe and let rise indicated time.

2. Boil enough water that it won’t evaporate during 20 minutes cooking but will not overflow into the bread.  Bring to a boil, then put your loaf in the steaming device.  Cover the pot, let cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, replacing water if dry.  You will be able to tell it’s cooked through because the top will be solid and when you tap the crust of the dough it will feel solid throughout, as well.

3. Remove from steamer, let cool about 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges to loosen from mold.  Feel free to toast it afterward if you have a functioning oven.

steaming bread

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You say ginger, I say salad dressing.

creamy ginger garlic salad dressingPerhaps it’s because I grew up in California where salads are largely considered a main course, and therefore have to taste beyond boring in order to be acceptably served and appreciated by ginger lemon sesame seed blenderboth those consuming them and those putting them out.  (Should I have to serve nothing but salads at a restaurant, they’d better be damn good.)

Or, perhaps it’s because I like flavor and I don’t think that healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, what have you, be void of the reason we eat: Pleasure!  (And nutrition and surviving, blah blah.)

creamy dressing drizzleThis salad dressing has got some zing, and is super simple to make in your blender.

<–Try serving it over some crunchy greens or arugula with pickled beets or tomatoes, some sort of aged cheese or garbanzo beans, and a topping of gluten-free cracker or brown rice for something fabulous.

Creamy Ginger Garlic Vinaigrette

-Nut, gluten, dairy, & corn-free-

1 clove garlic, lightly diced

1/2 of the size of your clove of garlic’s worth fresh ginger, lightly diced

a pinch fresh lemon zest

1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or 1/4+1/8 tsp. salt for soy allergies

2 tbs. red wine or apple cider vinegar

2 fresh basil leaves (optional)

1 tsp. sesame seed oil

3 tbs. sunflower seed, safflower, flax seed, or canola oil (can use olive oil but won’t refrigerate as well)

Method:

Blend ginger, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and lemon zest in a blender.  Add oils and optional basil.  Blend until creamy.

ginger dressing salad with toppingThis probably takes less time than picking out a store-bought dressing in Trader Joe’s, no? 

 

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Urban Grilled Eryngii Mushrooms

grilled mushroomsHello.  For us to be on the same wavelength, please pull this up:

la musique <–Bienvenue to my night. 

After dropping off my chef’s knives at Courty & Fils in Paris’s Opera district, I soaked in the humid spotty sky, breathing in the crisp whispers, my feet crunching tiny leaves as I admired ingredientsshopkeeper’s newly decorated storefronts.  Paris really wears Fall well.

The neighborhood is home to a dense population of Japanese, Korean, and otherwise oriental restaurants, in addition to a store called “K Mart“, which (unlike the large chain store I grew up with) is one of Paris’s most centrally located Japanese (and Korean) supply stores.  Yess.

My excitement found me with an indoors BBQ tonight, and the marinade is proportionately delicious in flavor.  Earthy yet acidic, mildly sweet with subtle spice.

diner ce soir japonaisEryrgii mushrooms are those big guys you will see in a restaurant sliced vertically and grilled or sautéed.   They’re deliciously meaty, slightly fibrous in texture, and just the right taste of mushroom to balance out their decent water content.  For those with Celiac Disease and strong gluten intolerences, ordering these might have never been an option for you, as marinades frequently involve soy sauce, which almost always contains wheat.  What’s more, for Bubble Children with deadly nut allergies, walking into any sort of Asian establishment can turn from a family dinner night out to a quick trip the hospital with cross contamination.  (Make sure you go somewhere you can trust if your allergies are really bad!)

Forget the restaurant.  Brew some tea, turn on some Japanese tunes, and get cozy with some mushrooms.

Urban Grilled Eryngii Mushrooms

Marinade:

1/4 tsp. wasabi paste

1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

2 tsp. sesame oil (can use neutral oil for seed allergies)

1/4 tsp. paprika for mild, or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper+to taste for spicy

1/8 tsp. orange zest (optional but delicious)

1 tsp. red wine, apple cider, or rice vinegar

Main:

3 large eryngii mushrooms (portabello or shitake would work, as well)

+a fish grilling device or some grill to keep them falling into the flames

+a braising or painting brush, clean and dry

Method:

painting mushrooms1. Mix together wasabi and tamari until combined.  Whisk in all other ingredients with a fork or small whisk until homogenous.  Set aside.  Slice mushrooms vertically into about 4 strips of about just under a cm thick. Paint each mushroom generously with marinade, flip over onto grilling device, then paint the other sides.  The more generous you are with the marinade, the tastier these lovelies will be.

grilling mushrooms2.  Either fire up a BBQ like a normal person, or light up your stovetop for flames.*  Place the rack so that the mushrooms are getting licked by the flames gently, and cook them on one side (moving around if need be to avoid cooking one mushroom more than the other) for about 4 minutes, or until starting to color, flip, and repeat with the other side.  Then, keep crisping them in this manner with the flames until they have just got nice grill marks and some decent coloration of dark brown around the outsides.

3.  Remove from heat, serve with some potato starch vermicelli and thinly sliced sushi-grade salmon brushed with the same marinade for a delightful light feast.

*Should you have neither, you can cook them in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes (keep an eye on their coloration to know whether to cook longer or shorter).  You simply won’t get the pretty marks and the same crisped effect on the outside.

 

 

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