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Blueberry July

new mexico sky

The view from our casita last night was a painting in progress- rapidly changing washes of color from east to west. The softest pink pushing into indigo. Cerulean dropping into sea green when you least expected it.

The day had been hot and dry and discouraging- I had realized abruptly, driving home in late afternoon glare to the beat of an REM song (I've got my spine, I've got my Orange Crush) that I had used a chicken bouillon paste in the previous night's green chile. I reached for it automatically. Without thinking. Just as I had the cup of herbal tea with lemon the night before that.

I felt like an idiot. 

Armed with new information that will ease my ills I poison myself, in spite of my best efforts, in spite of my notes and lists and label reading, and spending twenty minutes stalking the cereal aisle at Whole Foods to search every package of oatmeal for evidence of gluten-free certification (the odd and unexpected good news is I tested totally negative for an oat allergy). I screwed up. Again.

And it frustrates the hell out of me.

Gluten and soy free for years, you'd think I'd know the drill. But as it turns out, I don't. I woke up last Tuesday and discovered the rules had changed. My list of verboten ingredients is too long to memorize. Lemon and mustard wreak serious havoc, we know. But now orange and grapefruit are starting to misbehave. I wasn't tested for lime, but now I'm leery. The whole sweet 'n sour citrus family doesn't seem very hospitable these days.

I am becoming kumquat-phobic.

Pecans are tempting. But with reactions to peanuts, almonds and walnuts, how smart would it be to start noshing on a walnut cousin? And then there’s eggs. They are in everything. Did you know egg whites are used to clarify many domestic and Australian and South American wines? I didn't. I blamed my sinus congestion and headache on the weather, not the wine I drank three times last week. In order to find wine that is absolutely egg-free you must find a vegan winery. Who knew?

Oh, and then there was the toasty-sweet goodness of that jar of sunflower butter I bought last week to replace my childhood comfort food, now off limits. Scanning the Food Allergy Testing results, there it was. I am mildly allergic to sunflower seeds. And almost every gluten-free corn chip is cooked in sunflower oil these days. 

Okay. Just breathe. I knew this wouldn't be easy. Or fair. I never believed life was fair but. Geesh. Give a gluten-free goddess a break. A girl does not live by bunny food alone. There are needs. There are food dreams. There are favorite recipes - the whole shebang now in exile.

I'm trying to be upbeat. Really I am.

But in all honesty? This is tough, Babycakes. Even tougher than going gluten-free. I said to Steve last night, I'm losing the will to live. Cue violins. 

Don't worry. He made me laugh with a Big Lebowski quote. I'll be fine. Really. I just need to channel The Dude. Go with the flow. Chill. And to paraphrase Walter...

F*ck it, Dude. Let's eat blueberries.

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Gluten-Free Baking Tips + Substitutions

Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Help is Here. Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours: Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture). Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch. Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorg

Gluten-Free Goddess Brownies- The Best

Why bake a gluten-free brownie from scratch and not a mix? While baking mixes are perfectly acceptable in a pinch, and no doubt a boon to busy cooks on a gluten-free diet (well, honestly, who isn't busy, preoccupied, overwhelmed, and anxious these days, I ask you?), your taste buds will tell you why. In a heart beat, Darling. A dark chocolate brownie made from scratch is deeply delicious and decadent. Impressive, even. Company worthy. Dare I say, date night worthy. I'm not kidding. This brownie recipe is swoon inducing. (You know what they say about chocolate.)  But here's the best part. Throwing this recipe together takes only a few minutes longer than opening up a box of mix. In fact, you can whip up these luscious gooey babies in a mere ten minutes. In less time than it takes you to scan your daily dose of cute animals IG feed.  Seriously.  So what is more rewarding? Watching baby donkeys frolic on Instagram or stirring together this rich, tender, dark chocolat

Gluten-Free Lasagna In a Casserole Style Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Lasagna As it Should Be. Delicious! And perfect for old fashioned family comfort food. It's been a long time since I flirted with a new kitchen appliance. Truthfully? I barely have room for the few gems I still have, after all these moves. Though I've got more room these days, post apartment living. We're finally in a house. And the days of a kitchen without an oven are in the rearview mirror.  You remember those rental days, right?  In Rental World they don't always give you a full size, actual oven. They might just give you a four burner cooktop. And a rickety microwave.  So what's a gluten-free lasagna craving girl gonna do? Make a mug of chai.  Cruise Amazon.  Because this. A  Crock-Pot Casserole Manual Slow Cooker .   Brilliant. My first lasagna in this new Crock Pot Casserole Slow Cooker Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post.  I assembled this classic family style lasagna at noon today-

Gluten-Free Goddess Blueberry Muffins- No Xanthan Gum

Baking Without Xanthan Gum, I Am. When I first set foot on this lonely gluten-free road (it was 2001, remember, pre-gluten-free boon; there was nary a gluten-free bagel or wheat-free blueberry muffin in sight), I wrestled with converting my beloved tried and true wheat flour recipes, gamely baking and tossing too many gluten-free hockey pucks and brick loaves to count. Until I discovered xanthan gum- the weirdo secret ingredient that gave gluten-free batter and dough a hint of that elusive stretchy tenderness that gluten once gifted. Xanthan gum was a find. And it has been a nifty little problem solver for many years. Until it wasn't. After a decade or so of cooking, baking, and eating strictly gluten-free I began to feel- shall we say- less than wonderful after eating something with xanthan gum (or guar gum, or locust bean gum, or carrageenan). Ingredients my grandmother never heard of. Ingredients I never used to eat. Or bake with. I had a gluten-free shakabuk

Gluten-Free Goddess Raspberry Jam Bars

Sweet and simple raspberry jam bars. Let's be honest. I am here today to tempt you. To coax you. To seduce you with a gluten-free dessert worthy of every single luscious calorie. In full transparency, I am admitting up front these are not fat-free. Or sugar-free. These aren't diet food. They're not proper for breakfast (unless you serve them with Champagne). And you won't be able to sigh ever-so-wistfully at parties and mention, off hand, how hard it is to eat gluten-free at family gatherings and parties. Because, Darling Reader, you'll score zero sympathy points once people sink their teeth into the luscious raspberry jam filling nestled between buttery toasted coconut-almond crunch topping and tender hazelnut cookie crust. Nope. In fact, these decadent raspberry coconut-almond bars should come with a warning:   Be careful who you share these with. Because they are sure to fall madly in love with you. Seriously. Karina xox

Gluten-Free Goddess Zucchini Breakfast Cake

Zucchini Cake! Yep. What's for breakfast, you ask? Cereal? Yogurt? #Boring Instead, let's eat cake.  A tasty breakfast cake inspired by those lovely  maple sweetened almond zucchini mini-muffins . Remember those? I sure do.  They've become one of our favorite grab-and-go gluten-free treats. I tuck a bag of them- fresh out of the freezer- into my (bulging) purse/backpack/tote whenever we venture far afield. Because, well. You never know. And even if we are still stuck at home, isolating ourselves week after week like champs... today I remembered those zucchini muffins and thought--- hmmmmm.  What. If. We. Make. Zucchini. Cake. For breakfast!? Because. #notboring Karina xox Gluten-Free Goddess Zucchini Breakfast Cake Recipe By Karina Allrich May 2012. Sweetened only with a half cup pure maple syrup, this cake is not overly sweet. Which makes it perfect for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. Almond meal, sorghum flour and quinoa flakes add protein and nutritio

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas and Orange

Fresh, bright quinoa salad with oranges and roasted beets. Roasted Beets + Quinoa are a super yum match. Trust me. February second. We survived January, Darling. Happy Groundhog Day to you. Happy Imbolc. The dwindling of winter is at last within reach- no matter what Punxatawny Phil predicts. Six weeks is doable. After all, there is chocolate. Irish Soda Bread . And soul warming soup . And our hope-fueled New Year betterments are still on track (right?). If not, the year is young. Tomorrow is a fresh start. To celebrate, let's throw a party. My contribution? A gluten-free vegan salad that is perfect for parties. Because throwing a party is a tad more complicated than it used to be. There are vegans to accommodate. And newly gluten-free friends and neighbors to feed. And let's face it. Everyone is a wee bit bored by those layered taco bean dips and pork sliders. Gooey meat and cheese is so predictable. Pizza dips are so frat house. Why not go fresh and bre