Pumpkin Puffins

Pumpkin may be an autumn flavor to some, but I enjoy pumpkin treats all year round! That said, pumpkin patches and all the pumpkin goodies in stores do get me in the mood to whip up more pumpkin baked goods this time of year. What better way to usher in October than a batch of gluten free pumpkin muffins?

 

 

Pumpkin patch

 

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WIAW #18: Sweet Summer Eats

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Welcome to another WIAW. It was muggy and rainy, so I took it as a sign I needed a rest day, and focused on food instead. And Sasha, and studying (*cough* maybe not enough *cough*). I mean, it took Sasha awhile to want to come inside after her morning walk, my only exercise. We barely beat a big storm into the house! Afterwards, there were a lot of sweets to beat the heat, starting with a breakfast treat. 

 

Sasha

 

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Confetti Crispie Clouds

My grandfather traveled all over the world during his career as an engineer, working on projects in Taiwan and Tokyo as often as in the tri-state area. When I was growing up, he told me stories about the exotic sights to see and different dress of the people he encountered. He loved it. But he was never one for foreign food. Every morning, he wanted his bowl of Rice Krispies with a glass of cold milk poured over them to set them snap, crackle, and pop-ping away. Sometimes he’d add a banana or some sliced strawberries, but that’s as much of a twist as he would accept. So when he went to Asia on assignment, the hotels would stock imported Rice Krispies so he could stick to his regular routine.

 

Colorful and gluten free Confetti Crispie Clouds, perfect for a party or a snack all your own.

 

 

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May Morning and Maple Muffins

May dawned upon us this morning, and though the first day of a new month is always a time to begin anew, this one requires more than just whispering ‘rabbit, rabbit’ when you wake! Back in Oxford, May Morning is special. At dawn on May Day students stay up all night, or just wake up really early, and walk to stand beneath Magdalen Tower or on Magdalen Bridge. The Magdalen College Choir sings a hymn from the top of the tower to greet the dawn, and other music and festivities occur in the streets. Afterwards, people generally go to breakfast (and then sometimes back to bed, if they’ve been up all night after a ball – or they have to get on the river to train for Summer Eights!) My friends and I made the most of May Morning in our second year, when no one had exams in the summer term, and I still remember breakfasting afterwards at Patisserie Valerie on the High Street, everyone laughing and chatting companionably despite the sleep fogging our minds. There were lots of exciting times at Oxford, but that one stands out particularly in my memory because it was just so casual and normal, and yet so wonderful – one of the little moments that, strung together with a host of other good times, makes for the most wonderful memories.

 

 

East River

 

This morning began with a run along the East River, and though I wasn’t up in time to watch the sun rise, I did get to see some lovely sights. Roosevelt Island always looks pretty from the path.

 

 

 

 

 

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Maple Ricotta Oatmeal Cake

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I went for a run in the park yesterday morning and it was beautiful. I’m so excited spring has officially sprung. It’s always fun to see students ‘sunbathing’ on the Columbia campus…hard to believe in just about a month I’ll be graduating law school and leaving academia behind. Winter was so long, it makes the few weeks of spring while I’m still in school seem very short!

 

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When I got home from my run, I was in the mood for an oatmeal cake for breakfast. I picked up a tub of ricotta cheese over the weekend to use in a polenta dish, and though I often use it in omelettes or pancakes, I’d never thought about other breakfast treats. All that changed when I went to whip up an oatmeal cake after my run yesterday morning, and instead of reaching for my usual Greek yogurt to spoon in, I went for the ricotta instead. I added some maple syrup to the mix, and this little ramekin of deliciousness became a Maple Ricotta Oatmeal Cake. It was roughly the same density as one of my other oatmeal cakes, but with a texture just a tad lighter and fluffier. I’m sure it would be great with lemon zest (which I didn’t happen to have on hand), like a lemon ricotta pancake – but with just the maple and cinnamon it was a delightfully dessert-y breakfast treat!

 

Ricotta and maple syrup and cinnamon, oh my!

Ricotta and maple syrup and cinnamon, oh my!

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My Favorite Pancakes

Growing up, pancakes were one of my favorite breakfasts. My mom would make them as a special Saturday morning treat, filled with chocolate chips and topped with Stonewall Kitchen’s now-retired Strawberry Piggy Sauce. Pancakes at Sarabeth’s in Manhattan or my favorite diner in Connecticut were my birthday brunch treat, and my first year in college, the meal I ate before I went off to the airport for school each term to say goodbye to the US for a few months. (The UK one-ups the US by having a Pancake Day, but their pancakes are actually more like what we consider crepes). I’d have them topped with strawberries and bananas and drizzled with maple syrup, because I liked blueberries and chocolate chips, but why change a good thing?

When my wheat allergy was diagnosed, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy pancakes in the same way ever again. Part of why I liked pancakes was the way they conjured up happy memories of childhood meals, before any of my struggles with food began, and the special feeling of having a treat on an ordinary morning I got whenever a plate was set before me. It wasn’t that I thought gluten-free pancake mix would taste bad. I just thought the pancakes would taste different. Which is true, of course. But that meant I didn’t really eat pancakes for a few years, until I started learning to cook for myself and coming up with new recipes. Pancake perfection was a distant dream, but I began to try anyway. Remember that saying, shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll land among the stars? Well, I’ve taken that to heart, because the pancakes I’ve arrived at might not be perfect, but they sure do make me feel all warm and fuzzy the way I feel pancakes should. They’re sweet, fluffy, and gluten-free, and more than good enough for me!

 

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My Favorite Gluten Free Pancakes

Growing up, pancakes were one of my favorite breakfasts. My mom would make them as a special Saturday morning treat, filled with chocolate chips and topped with Stonewall Kitchen’s now-retired Strawberry Piggy Sauce. Pancakes at Sarabeth’s in Manhattan or my favorite diner in Connecticut were my birthday brunch treat, and my first year in college, the meal I ate before I went off to the airport for school each term to say goodbye to the US for a few months. (The UK one-ups the US by having a Pancake Day, but their pancakes are actually more like what we consider crepes). I’d have them topped with strawberries and bananas and drizzled with maple syrup, because I liked blueberries and chocolate chips, but why change a good thing?

 

 

Gluten free pancakes

 

 

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