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Snow and Chocolate

Ristras in Snow - Our Portal - New Mexico
New Mexico snow.

Winter Near Taos


Life in New Mexico has been quite the adventure this past week, Dear Reader, with record-breaking snowfall measured in feet rather than the usual sparse and crystalline inch. Alex and his girlfriend arrived safely at Albuquerque International Sunport in the thick of it [one of the last flights in before flights were grounded left and right].

Driving south on icy highways through blizzard-like visibility to fetch them, we nearly ended up in a ditch south of Santa Fe. It was one of those out-of-body-holy-shit moments as we skidded and fishtailed in eery slow motion, high-beams bearing down on us alarmingly fast. 

How the truck missed us, I still don’t know.

With driving conditions impossible that first night we ended up staying over in Albuquerque, unprepared for an overnight [no toothbrush, change of clothes, or gluten-free snacks in sight]. The next morning, driving was still grim. Thanks to pal Joey’s expertise we were able to get two rooms in a brand new Hilton hotel in downtown Albuquerque to wait out the rest of the storm. On the way we popped in to an eerily vacant Wild Oats for a few gluten-free edibles.

Driving home three days later was easier, yet chilling, as we passed two dozen cars still stranded off-road in various ditches and snow banks. It took us six tries [at a running and gunning start] to climb the winding snow-packed road to our casita. Note to self – a Honda Fit does not perform in snow. Now I know why native New Mexicans all drive pick-up trucks.

The week with Alex was fun – albeit rather snow-bound. There were plenty of pinon fires in the kiva, books to read and movies to discuss. There was Scrabble, a convivial evening with Joey and Will [four-wheel drive vehicle owners] and lots to eat - enchiladas, quesadillas, chocolate chip bars, spicy glazed turkey meatloaf, penne with roasted peppers and [turkey] meatballs, blue corn chips and jalapeno-lime salsa, popcorn and root beer floats, and a fudgy new flourless chocolate cake - find the recipe here.




xox Karina

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Gluten-Free Goddess Pizza Crust

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My Favorite Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

My Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes For Fall... The bittersweet, textured beauty of Autumn has always gripped my heartstrings, pulling me in deeper, connecting with some invisible part of me, so much more so than Spring. Much more so than summer's flirtatious pleasures. And Winter, well. She is a dark and icy mistress. That relationship has always been complicated. So unlike my truly, madly deeply love of Fall. Bake on, my friends. Tis the season for pumpkin. xox Karina

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Icing

Did someone say... cupcakes? And better yet, pumpkin cupcakes? My favorite, hands down. Warm spicy fall flavors in a sweet morsel of cakey confection topped with a creamy icing. What's not to love? These tender gluten-free cupcake beauties have just the right balance of pumpkin and sweetness, ginger and cinnamon. They're not overly spicy. And as written, they're dairy-free (the cream cheese we used to make the icing is vegan and it worked beautifully). Note that vegan or lactose free cream cheese is typically less stiff than dairy cream cheese. If you are using dairy based cream cheese, soften it first. Have a safe and beautiful weekend! Karina xo

Gluten-Free Baking Tips + Substitutions

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Sunbutter Cookies

Here's an easy gluten-free cookie recipe made with sunflower butter- a post-modern peanut-free take on those retro peanut butter cookies your Aunt Lizzie used to make. You know, with those jars of Skippy peanut butter (or was it Jif?). Instead of using traditional peanut butter in this recipe, I used sunflower butter, which has a golden nutty flavor not unlike peanut butter, but slightly different. Kinda like peanut butter's wacky, geeky brother. You know, slightly nutty. Fun. Like a bright new bike. And they taste so good you just might want some more. Now, please. I adapted this recipe from a peanut butter cookie recipe (submitted by Erin Smith) to Beyond Rice Cakes , an easy, fun cookbook (especially for teens and students) by Vanessa Maltin, director of outreach and programming at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness .

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones

Sconelicious. You heard me right. Because I know what you're craving.  I'm craving it, too. Something indulgent.  But not overly indulgent.  Sweet.  But not too sweet.  Something warm and tender, and laced with the autumnal spices you've been shaking and dashing and pinching with abandon.  Something using up that leftover half cup of pumpkin sitting in the fridge. Are you with me?  Are ya feelin' me?  Then let's get sconed. Karina xox

Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

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