All posts filed under: Baked Goods

Upside down rhubarb cake on plate

upside-down rhubarb olive oil cornmeal cake

Two weeks ago, I turned 30. Despite the stigma around aging, especially for women, I feel really, really good about being 30. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we measure time and how a year, in particular, is simultaneously extraordinarily long and yet, somehow, it passes wildly fast. Last year, in particular, was full of transitions and growth and new beginnings. And so, this year, I’m celebrating a lot of firsts/one year “anniversaries.” One year of prioritizing myself, of really, actually getting to know myself & loving myself wholeheartedly. One year of knowing and loving, adventuring, cooking, cuddling, talking (oh my gosh, so much talking), having the most fun I’ve ever had, and laughing, laughing, laughing with the greatest (life) partner (in crime). One year of living alone, and feeling the least lonely of any year before. This new decade, a brand new number to mark my age, seems a fitting metaphor for this new season of my life. You know I like to find metaphor in these moments, the parallels of where I …

Gluten free galette with rhubarb & asparagus

savory asparagus & rhubarb galette

So, this is perhaps one of the weirder things I’ve done. Though the colors are stunning together, I didn’t do it just for the ‘gram. This flavor story is too good not to tell. It’s so wonderfully weird. It’s bright & tart, earthy & grassy, creamy & sharp. It is, in my humble opinion, just perfection. When I first made this, I went full-weirdo, delighting in the tedium of sketching out a pattern on parchment paper, measuring with a ruler & cutting each piece to the same size, slicing each end on an angle so they would fit together seamlessly in a beautiful chevron pattern. I even texted a photo & a bit of a self-deprecating message to my partner (because pic or it didn’t happen, right?) (Also, yes, I know this recipe took me a full month to perfect from test to final photographs to post.) My rhubarb stalks then were thinner, about the same thickness as the asparagus, so that pattern made sense. But a few weeks later, when I made this again to …

Gluten free rhubarb buckle cake cut into slices

gluten-free rhubarb buckle cake with lime & coconut

Sometimes, it’s really hard to write the story of a recipe. Sometimes, it’s really hard to write a recipe. Sometimes, it’s really hard to write. A few months ago, when I really dove into returning to this space, I maybe didn’t dive all in. I was shaking off the cobwebs, pulling the dusty white sheets off all the furniture like you see in abandoned haunted houses in old horror movies, & I had writer’s block. For recipes, for stories. So I decided to start over by starting from the beginning of this blog. By revisiting, revamping & re-photographing old recipes. Like this cake. It was, really, a buckle cake — I just didn’t know that at the time. I also didn’t know much about rhubarb, but I was (as always) strong willed & stubborn. I didn’t want to coat it in sugar or dress it up. I just wanted it to be what it was. So, I made a cake that was OK. A cake I ate like a little kid (by picking all of …

Hazelnut crumble topping

gluten-free golden milk banana muffins with hazelnut crumble

When I was a wee writer still in school, I struggled with metaphors. Similes were so easyyy — just look for the “like” or “as” in a comparison. But metaphors felt fleeting, ethereal. Untethered in a sentence, not anchored by or to anything easily spotted by the skimming eye. Metaphors felt infinite: any one thing could be compared to any other thing in just a few words or a sentence, or an entire stanza, paragraph or page. In the nearly two decades (oh, lord) since, however, metaphors have become a constant in my life. I find they work best as an almost parable; I learn about myself and my life through metaphor. A few years ago, I wrote at length about how making pie from scratch was a meditation for me. Baking in any form still is meditative: it requires a calm, steady focus. If you’re not paying attention or you add ingredients out of order, you might miss something or forget to add a key ingredient. For me, oddly enough, I often forget to …

baked plum and grape pie

italian plum, concord grape and apple gin pie 

This pie has been many years in the making. Back in 2010, I checked out David Lebovitz’s newest cookbook, Ready for Dessert, from my local library, eager to learn about making pastry and ice cream. It was then, I think, that I really discovered that baking requires a lot of work. (It would be many more years before I figured out that it is very much worth the extra effort.) I’m not sure I made a single recipe from that book; I was intimidated by the names alone. Profiteroles. Crème Brûlée. Gâteau Victoire. Ingredients I hadn’t yet discovered, like black currants and anise. And Concord grapes. There was a recipe for a Concord grape pie in the book, which I dreamed of making for my little brother (who was, and still is, a huge fan of all things grape flavored). This was, however, before I discovered farmers markets, and the extent of my shopping skills involved picking out the most exotic produce from Whole Foods. Concord grapes could not be found. The recipe had so many …

gluten free pie crust ready for baking

easy as pie gluten-free pie crust

It must be fall, because all I want to do is bake. I never used to think that making pie was easy. You have to work quickly so everything stays cold, and there are just so many steps between crust and filling, making and baking. And those intricate, beautiful, lattice-woven crusts? No, thank you. The saying easy as pie actually refers to eating pie, not making it (same goes for “piece of cake” apparently). But over the years, I have discovered there’s a real peace in making pie. Once you have your routine figured out, there’s something pleasurable to the process. It’s almost as if time slows down, even if you’re moving quickly. The tactility — blending butter cubes into flour, rolling out the dough, flipping it into a pie pan — is almost like digging your fingers down into the sand on a beach, or making mud pies as a kid. Making pies, for me, started as a way to process (or put off, depending on how you look at it) emotions and to, …

gluten free cake with cherries and rhubarb

gluten-free cherry rhubarb cake with buttery, crunchy pecan crumble

Do you say pee-can or puh-kahn? Growing up in the Midwest, it was always the latter. Then, I moved to Georgia and started working at a few farmers markets. I found myself settling into a subtle Southern drawl (to this day, I still greet most folks with a cheerful “hi, y’all”). With the territory, and probably also thanks to the peach and pecan farmers down the way, I started saying “pee-can”. I still say it this way. It’s a hard habit to shake. The pecans I used in this recipe, like the pronunciation, are all the way from Georgia. I bought a huge bag at the farmers market last year and squirreled them away in my freezer. I couldn’t bear to part with them so, like the squid ink, these nuts made the 2,600-mile trip across the country with us. I have a confession. I had never eaten rhubarb before creating this recipe. Its appearance was always so fleeting, and I never spotted it at farmers markets in Atlanta. Even if I had seen it, …

beet bundt cakes with ginger beer

pretty in pink beet and ginger beer bundt cakes

Happy Easter! After making my winter vegetable poached chicken, I had an abundance of beets. What do you do with an abundance of beets? So, I baked the beets into bundt cakes. Here’s the thing about beets. We have a love/hate relationship. I love them for their earthy sweetness, their abundance of vitamins and minerals, and their versatility. (Craig does not share this love, which makes cooking and eating beets on the reg a bit difficult.) But, I also have to be in the mood for beets. And, unfortunately, that’s not a mood I experience often. I like beets best in juice or smoothies. All the flavor and nutritional benefits, without much mess or fuss. Their natural sweetness, combined with that gorgeous color, made me think they’d be perfect in a pretty pink baked good celebrating spring. I used a seasonal flavor, Honeycrisp-Fennel, of Rachel’s Ginger Beer, a local company. I thought the licorice notes of the fennel would pair well with the beets in this recipe, but it’s not necessary if you can’t get …

bleu cheese biscuits with bacon

bacon, bleu cheese and parsley biscuits

This is what I ate for dinner last night. (And, if we’re being totally honest with each other, I also had one for breakfast. Drizzled with honey, as if there wasn’t enough going on in there already. So. Good.) I didn’t mean to have just biscuits for dinner. I made them to go with a big batch of soup that I’ll share with you later this week. But these biscuits. They’re soft and fluffy and studded with bacon, so hearty and filling all on their own. Growing up, biscuits were not a thing. Pillsbury Grands at large family meals, sure. But for breakfast or brunch, I was always much more fond of plate-sized pancakes or Belgian waffles. Craig, still a Southern boy at heart, is a big fan of biscuits. He tears them into pieces and smothers them in gravy. For years I struggled to craft a good gluten-free biscuit that was fluffy but not gummy, moist but still crumbly in that buttery-flaky kind of way. I’ve lost count of how many batches of dissatisfying, …