Category Archives: the gf lifestyle

A Taste of Summer

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Earlier this summer, I got to spend a weekend at a cottage with three very funny women. There was lots of laughter, wine and good food, and it was a nice break from city living. One of the highlights, foodwise, was a strawberry-rhubarb pie made with homegrown rhubarb. We had it for breakfast our first full day there. What a great way to start the day.

srpie-sli

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A Solid Ending

I mentioned previously that June was butter tart month in Ontario. I made a valiant effort to eat butter tarts at the beginning of the month (five days straight!) but didn’t manage to have one every day. However, I did manage to celebrate the end of June with a bang.

Toronto had an event called the Great Canadian Butter Tart Bake-Off at the end of June. It featured six pastry chefs each baking and serving a different style of butter tart. Since we can’t enjoy regular butter tarts, my sister decided we would have a butter tart bake-off of our own.

We made two types: one with chocolate pastry and chocolate drizzled on top and one made using maple syrup in the filling. The bake-off was extremely successful. We got to be both competitors and judges. My sister declared that both types of tarts won—the maple syrup won the classic category, while the chocolate version won the specialty category. I think this might be something we have to do every year.

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Another Work in Progress…

Here’s what I’m working on at the moment—cookies made with cashew butter. They still need some work, but for a first attempt, they are pretty good.

cashewcookies

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Breakfast Cheesecake

I am currently developing a recipe for breakfast cheesecake. I know that you can eat any cheesecake for breakfast, but this one is a simple, no-fuss, no-crust cheesecake that’s baked in a bain-marie and scooped into a bowl like custard or pudding. A girl has to eat something for breakfast, right?

Breakfast Cheesecake

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Anyone for Pizza?

I love pizza. Since I’ve gone gluten-free, pizza is a rare treat—which is probably a good thing. I recently had lunch with a friend who is also gluten-free. We met at the Danforth location of Magic Oven, which has many gluten-free menu options. I was tempted by the salads, sandwiches and wings, but since I had been craving pepperoni pizza, I ordered the Super Magic pizza for one—tomato sauce, pepperoni, portobellos, roasted peppers and mozzarella. Our server brought me house-made chili oil to go with it. It was delicious, with a thin, crispy crust, and I can’t wait to go back so I can try other gluten-free items on the menu.

pepperoni pizza - magic oven

A Day of Decadence

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We recently hosted our family to celebrate my eldest sister’s birthday. After lunch, a few of us headed down to the lake for a walk. When we came back, we had dessert. For the occasion, I had made this fabulous torte from Smitten Kitchen. It was easy to make and extremely delicious. We also had a giant butter tart, which helped me unknowingly kick off Ontario Butter Tart Month with the right spirit.

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Butter Tarts for Breakfast

Apparently, June is Butter Tart month in Ontario. I don’t know many details about this. For instance, is this the inaugural Butter Tart Month? Will every June from now on be Butter Tart Month? Or is this simply a one-off promotion? However, I am lucky enough to live in a house where there are lots of gluten-free butter tarts. I have managed to eat butter tarts, in some form, every day of June so far (yes, I know it has only been three days). I don’t know how long I can actually keep it up, but I am willing to try. Today, I had two butter tarts for breakfast. Delicious.

breakfastbuttertart

Update, June 5, 2014: I have heard back from the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. It has dubbed June Butter Tart Month in Ontario in an effort to promote the various butter tart experiences available in the province—such as Wellington County’s Butter Tart Trail. OCTA is working on making June officially Butter Tart Month in the future. I can’t help but applaud its efforts.

You can read more about various ways you can celebrate the butter tart here, but the site only has last year’s information.

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A Delicious Disaster

I had a craving for carrot cake recently. One of my sisters created a delicious carrot cake recipe years ago. Her version uses soured milk along with vegetable oil, which gets rid of the oiliness that some carrot cakes suffer from. Her recipe also features raisins and orange rind and is topped with cream cheese icing. It is by far my favourite carrot cake.

But this post is not about that recipe, exactly. This post is about what happens when you bake when you are tired…

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Fruitcake in February

I love fruitcake. It is another treat that is not universally loved in my family. A few years ago, my mother and I decided not to bake it at Christmas and to focus instead on more popular desserts. Then, later, after all the Christmas baking is long forgotten, we can make and really enjoy this treat.

Gluten-free fruitcake holds up fairly well. Because of the strong flavour of the batter and the way it’s loaded with nuts and fruit, you don’t need a large piece. This means there are fewer, um, “structural issues” than there would be if you needed to cut larger slices. We make a dark fruitcake from a recipe in Edna Staebler’s Food That Really Schmecks. It has molasses, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

This is, of course, also an excellent breakfast cake. In case you were wondering…

Fruitcake in February

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Scallops and Bacon and Garlic! Oh My!

My niece is brilliant. She came up with an incredibly delicious idea this week. As part of a meal, we had bacon-wrapped scallops. But they were scallops with double plus bacon, really. First, she fried a slice of bacon for each scallop. Then, she cooked the scallops gently in bacon fat. Next, I fried chopped garlic in bacon fat—I chopped five large cloves for 10 scallops. She assembled them, wrapping each scallop in bacon and carefully distributing the garlic over the scallops. This photo does not do them justice at all.* The result was pure bliss.

*(I guess that means we will be forced to make them again so I can get a better photo…)

Scallops and Bacon and Garlic! Oh My!

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