Rhubarb & Houseplants

More rhubarb! Lately, I can’t get enough of it. Some years I’ve been more ambivalent towards it, but not this year apparently. I’m out now though – I’m going to have to track some down again in short order.

I’ve actually never put rhubarb and pears together but I actually really love the combination. Plus, it works well in the shoulder season between winter pears and early spring rhubarb. Not to mention they both are amazing with spices like cinnamon and five spice; I added ginger as a garnish as well because I can’t get enough of that either.

I did a bunch of houseplant work the last two days – my giant hanging pothos got a haircut (his name is Kuzco and he’s been with me probably 4+ years at this point, I’ve lost track). I’m propagating the cuttings so that I can stick them back in the pot when they’ve rooted.

before… getting out of hand, he’s literally resting on my nightstand.
after!

Another little guy got a new pot since he was incredibly rootbound in his last pot, so I have a bunch of much happier plants in here.

The wildflowers around the city are blooming too! So fun to see them up on Twin Peaks and at Crissy Field.

Anyway, rhubarb galette. Per usual, eaten for dessert and breakfast. I love it both ways… I can’t ever say no to eating things with ice cream, so obviously that’s a hit. But I also love it for a midmorning snack alongside coffee – can’t go wrong with that either.

I think rhubarb is starting to be a bit more easy to find in the market – normally it’s paired with a TON of sugar, which I obviously hate. I love it this way instead, alongside a sweeter fruit.

Happy weekend! I hope you are able to do something fun :)

Rhubarb & Pear Galette with Cinnamon and Five Spice

Lightly sweet and perfectly springy. Whole grain and refined sugar free – easy to swap in a gluten/grain free galette crust if needed – just add the cinnamon & five spice to whatever crust you use. Yield: 1 galette, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

for the crust:

1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 c almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp five spice
4oz/1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp almond extract
2-3 tbsp ice water

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, almond flour, cinnamon, five spice & sea salt. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembles coarse sand. Add almond extract and ice water. I typically add three tbsp water, pulse a few times, then add more if need be, 1tbsp at a time, stopping just when the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a board and knead it into a ball. I like to roll it immediately since it’s most pliable – typically I haven’t had trouble with this dough sticking or cracking if rolled immediately. I roll it between two sheets of parchment paper and use the bottom one to bake the galette on; makes an easy transferral method between cookie sheet & cooling rack. If you’re not rolling immediately, stick it in the fridge on a plate. Can be made ahead the night before if need be. If you are rolling immediately, roll it out into a circle about 1/4″ thick.

for the filling:

2 pears, sliced (mine were d’anjou)
2-3 stalks rhubarb, sliced
2 tbsp apricot jam (I use St. Dalfour’s, which has no added sugar – just fruit juice)
sprinkle of coconut sugar + milk/half and half for brushing

Preheat the oven to 425. Spread the apricot jam over the middle of the dough, leaving a 1″ border, then pile on the sliced pears and rhubarb. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit and sprinkle with coconut sugar. Brush the dough with milk or half and half. Pop in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge overnight – it’s great for breakfast :)

Grapefruit, black sesame & paints

Hiya everybody – full disclosure but I am TIRED today, mentally and physically. Too much work, too much body stuff, some degree of burnout will do that. Doing my best to just be nice to myself.

I did get to bake though, of course, which always makes me happy. It’s fun to create something pretty that’s also delicious.

Back on the panna cotta train after a bit of a hiatus. I really do enjoy them – they set up easily the night before in the fridge, making them a great make-ahead dessert idea. Not that I necessarily NEED anything make ahead these days, but I did have to work this weekend so this lets me free up my Saturday morning to go for a swim – which I did. Felt extra cold this morning but maybe that was just me? There was quite a tidal/wave swell happening today so maybe I was just working extra hard.

I really love sesame anything – especially black sesame. It’s nutty and savory and delicious and I love putting it in desserts, but I don’t think I’d ever paired it with grapefruit before. I definitely consider this a win, if a bit of an unexpected dark-horse combination. The dark chocolate is just a thin layer between the panna cotta and the crust – it adds both a nice textural and flavor contrast. Citrus and chocolate are always a win.

I’m going to keep this short today – I wanted to share this but I’m also in need of some downtime with my novel, and/or maybe my paints. I finally picked up my brushes again after YEARS of neglect, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it till I was painting again. Am definitely adding it back into my regular rotation. I took some inspiration from my last pie for this one, as I’m sure most of you will recognize:

Have a good weekend, everybody – be nice to yourselves and take a break if it’s called for. I’m trying to be better about that too, so I’m right there with you :)

Grapefruit, Dark Chocolate & Black Sesame Panna Cotta Tart

Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, dairy free, arguably paleo. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several.

For the crust:

2 c almond flour, packed
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c dark chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, sea salt, black sesame, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, almond extract, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge. Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Once the shell has cooled for a few minutes, brush the melted chocolate over the bottom evenly with a spatula. Let cool completely and then set for at least 10 minutes in the fridge before pouring in the panna cotta.

For the panna cotta:

1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.25 c full-fat coconut milk
1/3c + 1/4 c grapefruit juice, divided & cold
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

For garnish: sliced meyer lemons & grapefruit + strawberries

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 c cold grapefruit juice. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the 1.25 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add 1/3 c grapefruit juice, maple, vanilla into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about
20 minutes. Remove the tart shell from the fridge. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the chilled tart shell, and place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours (though I typically set mine overnight). Top with sliced citrus, strawberries, etc.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight and is EXCELLENT for breakfast the next morning :)

Happy Pi Day!

Pi Day! As C pointed out, it’s like my tailor-made holiday, haha!

I find it super rewarding to make “intricate” pies like this – it’s fundamentally not that difficult (just like drawing, but with dough!) and so rewarding. There’s always an element of heebie jeebies after it goes in the oven, when I wonder if it will turn out properly once it’s baked… but then it comes out and it’s so satisfying to see the final product!

It really all started with the Death Star pie I made years ago… now I find that I never really want to make a standard pie crust if I’m going to go ahead and make pie. I find it a super relaxing way to spend a morning anyway, so it has added benefits! The city weather was really blustery and overcast this morning – perfect pie making weather (I’m writing this on Saturday but am scheduling this to post on Sunday…. because Pi day… you know how it goes)

Got out for a long walk midday in the WIND. Holy moly it’s windy. Passed on a swim this morning because I was having fun making pie but mostly because I was tired and after a monster swim yday, I didn’t feel like fighting the chop today.

Speaking of swimming – obviously I love all things nautical and aquatic, hence the pie theme. I have a particular affinity for mermaids (C thinks maybe I am one – would honestly explain a lot) so here you have it – aquatic pie, complete with tentacles!

It was on an off rainy this week and I had so much fun going for walks in the drizzle. A few shots from the week’s ramblings:

The recipe for today’s wild blueberry + whole wheat pie is the same pie crust and filling I’ve made a zillion times – most recently here (today’s version is just all blueberries – use about 4.5 c or as much as it takes to fill your pie dish). It’s refined sugar free, of course – as always :)

Happy Weekend! I hope there is/was pie in it.

Citrus Saturday

More citrus!

Couldn’t resist; I haven’t made a citrus curd in a bit, and I love using blood oranges while I can get them in season. Plus, C’s meyer lemon tree has been producing again so I figured I’d take advantage.

This is one of those desserts that looks and sounds fancy and intimidating, but it’s not! Break it down into its component parts and it’s pretty straightforward. It’s also grain & gluten free, plus of course refined sugar free – and actually, there is only 1/4c of maple in the whole thing! It’s perfect for those of us who like our desserts on the tart side of sweet, ha. The crust is actually naturally sweet from the almond flour though anyway, so it really balances out the citrus curd.

I took a field trip out to visit Goldie today – Karl wouldn’t come out to play but Goldie and I played hide and seek for awhile while I hiked the bluffs to batteries trail. All told, it was 7mi from the Lincoln steps > coastal trail > Baker Beach > bluffs to batteries > bay area ridge trail (presidio) > home, about two hours and a beautiful day.

hi Goldie!

Swam most days than not this week (see photo evidence), found some really pretty blooming things & watched a few gorgeous sunsets (yay western exposure from my apartment! amazing at all times except when it’s hot)

YES I wear a wetsuit, the water is currently 52 degrees so, yes.

Also, of course – I made a tart! Citrusy and nutty and delicious. Highly recommend, while we’re still in blood orange season (at least out here on the West coast/best coast.)

Happy weekending! Go get outside :)

Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Tart on a Hazelnut Almond Crust

Gluten & grain free; refined sugar free. I included a couple of options for the order of making this, so read through the whole thing before you get started :) A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several.

I stabilized the curd for this tart with gelatin, as I was after the texture of a panna cotta more than a softer curd tart for slicing and serving. I’m including an option for a baked tart, if you’d prefer to avoid gelatin or are out.

For tart assembly:

~1c of blood orange & meyer lemon curd, recipe below (I use all of what the recipe makes for a 9″ tart)
1 tart shell, recipe below
1/4 c cold meyer lemon juice (I used two lemons)
1 packet powdered gelatin
1 blood orange, sliced

I suggest making the crust first and letting it cool. Once it’s cooling, start the curd – then just adding the softened gelatin into the already warm curd once the curd is finished cooking.

In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 packet of gelatin over 1/4c cold meyer lemon juice. Stir until incorporated and let sit for a minute. Once softened, stir into the warm curd, whisking until the gelatin is dissolved completely (give it 1-2 minutes of continuous whisking). Strain the curd through a fine metal strainer into a bowl to cool a bit, before pouring the curd into the baked crust shell and transferring to the fridge to cool completely – preferably overnight but at least 4 hours. Top with sliced blood oranges, etc. Store the tart in the fridge until serving. Leftovers keep well overnight, refrigerated.

If you prefer not to use gelatin, you can also set the curd by pouring it into the pre-baked tart shell, and baking the whole thing at 350 for 8-10 minutes, then letting cool completely and refrigerating for at least 4 hours before serving. I prefer the gelatin method with this curd since it will set completely – the baked version might have more wobble / lose some structural integrity when sliced, but it’s a pretty solid second option & is definitely still delicious.

Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Curd:

3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 c blood orange + meyer lemon juice (I used 2 blood oranges + 1 large lemon)
zest of 2 blood oranges
zest of 1 meyer lemon
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tsp vanilla

I use a double boiler for this lemon curd, which I highly recommend! You don’t have to, but in my experience it makes for a better cooking process. Heat water in the bottom of the double boiler until it’s at a high simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, citrus zest and juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the butter one tbsp at a time, whisking continuously, not adding the next tbsp until the first is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the curd thickens and will coat the back of a spoon (or your whisk leaves tracks) – usually around 5 to 8 minutes. It’s a noticeable change when it happens, so just watch the cooking magic! Remove from heat, and whisk in gelatin (see notes above); strain through a metal strainer to remove zest and any bits of cooked egg and let cool until room temp before pouring into the tart shell.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/2 c hazelnut flour/meal
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond & hazelnut flours, shredded coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, almond extract, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

More citrus! Shocked? I thought not.

Wow jeez apparently all I make anymore are citrus galettes! We both love them, they’re fast and easy, and citrus is perfect right now.

This week was a little better on the autoimmune front. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but at least better for the moment. I took a sanity break/mental health day on Thursday and C and I went up for a skiing day trip! Super fun, it felt so good to be back on skis. Haven’t done that much driving in a looooong time, but the Prius handled itself admirably in the snow AND a long fun day was followed by a faceplant into a carnitas burrito and a giant plate of nachos. Win win win all around.

I’ve also been swimming in the Bay lately! I LOVE IT. It’s very cold obviously – wet suit necessary – but omg. It feels so good. Maybe I’m just a freak of nature but I really like cold water. I’m not far from Aquatic Park either so it makes for a great lunchtime break.

very red little ice blocks pretending to be feet

I love living in the Bay for that reason: skiing one day, swimming in the bay the next. It is so worth the ridiculous rents… mental health > high rent, always!

hull breach!

But anyway. Back to the topic at hand: galette! Hopefully you’re not sick of seeing yet another iteration of citrus galette…. I swear they’re delicious. This one had a hull breach, as you can see… but I like when they’re less than perfect. I use a jam that is only fruit-sweetened, so this little guy is technically free of added sugars, wooo! It’s also full of whole grains. I posted the link to a gluten/grain free crust too, if needed – I love that one too, it comes together really easily in the food processor.

Happy weekend! I hope yours is full of outside time and sunshine.

Grapefruit, Blueberry & Hazelnut Galette

Refined sugar free and whole grain! If you need a grain and gluten free crust, I like this one. I used two small grapefruit for this – you might be able to get away with one large one and more blueberries. Lightly sweet and perfectly citrusy! Yield: 1 galette, serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

for the crust:

1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 c hazelnut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
4oz/1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2-3 tbsp ice water

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, hazelnut flour, and sea salt. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembles coarse sand. Add vanilla & almond extract, and then the ice water. I typically add three tbsp water, pulse a few times, then add more if need be, 1tbsp at a time, stopping just when the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a board and knead it into a ball. I like to roll it immediately since it’s most pliable – typically I haven’t had trouble with this dough sticking or cracking if rolled immediately. I roll it between two sheets of parchment paper and use the bottom one to bake the galette on; makes an easy transferral method between cookie sheet & cooling rack. If you’re not rolling immediately, stick it in the fridge on a plate. Can be made ahead the night before if need be. If you are rolling immediately, roll it out into a circle about 1/4″ thick.

for the filling:

2 grapefruits, peeled & sliced crossways
1/2 c wild blueberries (mine were frozen; no need to thaw)
2 tbsp apricot jam (I use St. Dalfour’s, which has no added sugar – just fruit juice)
milk/half and half for brushing

Preheat the oven to 425. Spread the apricot jam over the middle of the dough, leaving a 1″ border, then pile on the sliced grapefruit and blueberries. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with milk or half and half. Pop in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge overnight – it’s great for breakfast :)

Weekend galette-ing

Hi friends!

Another beautiful Saturday out here in the city – sunny but cold. Karl is nowhere to be seen today – I wanted to go out to the beach again, but had to be home midafternoon for a computer dropoff so I settled for a long walk along the Marina and through the Presidio, along Lover’s Lane (mostly because I love the name).

I did get out to Ocean Beach a few times last week though, once to catch the sunset – I really couldn’t live anywhere else. The pull of the ocean is too strong – I get twitchy if I’m too far inland.

fave manperson came with to watch the sun set

In other news, made yet another galette this weekend – I know, I know, try to contain your astonishment. This is a bit new though, as I layered lemon curd in the bottom of it – I’ve never tried that before but it’s definitely a winning proposition. Blood oranges are in season now out here too, so I’m trying to take full advantage. I love the ombre effect you get when you cut into them – so pretty! Like nature’s stained glass.

This galette is refined sugar free and whole grain – the crust could easily be swapped out for a grain/gluten/dairy free/vegan version if needed. The whole thing is very minimally sweetened – I like citrus things to actually be tart, you know? Usually lemon curd has a whole boatload of sugar in it but we know that’s not how I roll. This version uses only a couple tablespoons of maple; if you’re skeptical about maple + lemon, don’t worry! The lemon is really the only thing you taste.

Happy weekend, internet friends! I hope you spent some time in nature this weekend, no matter where in the world you are :)

Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Curd Galette

Refined sugar free & whole grain – this galette is minimally sweetened with maple, and for those who like their citrus as nature intended: tart! The lemon curd can be made up to a week in advance if you want to cut down on prep time – it keeps really well in the fridge and can even be frozen (use a snapware or something that seals really well). A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette; serves several.

For the crust:

1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
4oz/1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2-3 tbsp ice water

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sea salt. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add vanilla & almond extract, and then the ice water. I typically add three tbsp water, pulse a few times, then add more if need be, 1tbsp at a time, stopping just when the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a board and knead it into a ball. I like to roll it immediately since it’s most pliable – typically I haven’t had trouble with this dough sticking or cracking if rolled immediately. I roll it between two sheets of parchment paper and use the bottom one to bake the galette on; makes an easy transferral method between cookie sheet & cooling rack. If you’re not rolling immediately, stick it in the fridge on a plate. Can be made ahead the night before if need be.

Maple Lemon Curd:

3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 c meyer lemon juice
zest of 4 meyer lemons
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tsp vanilla

I used a double boiler for this lemon curd, which literally is a game changer. Highly recommended! Heat water in the bottom of the double boiler until it’s at a high simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the butter one tbsp at a time, whisking continuously, not adding the next tbsp until the first is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd thickens and will coat the back of a spoon (or your whisk leaves tracks) – usually around 5 to 8 minutes. It’s a noticeable change when it happens, so just watch the cooking magic! Remove from heat, and strain through a metal strainer to remove zest. Store in a glass container in the fridge until ready for use – can be made up to a week ahead.

For the fruit:

4 blood oranges, peeled & sliced
a few dabs of butter & splash of milk or half and half

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Spread the lemon curd over the middle of the dough, leaving a 1″ border, then pile on the sliced oranges. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with an milk or half and half. Dot fruit with butter if you like, though it’s not strictly necessary. Pop in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge overnight – it’s great for breakfast :)

First galette of 2021

Hi internet friends!

Wow what a week. I don’t have much I think I can even say, other than I think most of us took a big psychic hit this week. Over here in my corner of the internet, we’ll keep it to in-season produce and pretty things. By no means am I ignoring what is going on – merely attempting to provide a momentary brain break before diving back into the mental fray.

I’ll leave you with this recipe for a simple, seasonal galette that is as pretty as it is delicious. Blood oranges and grapefruits are totally in season right now – at least in California, yay west coast citrus season! The crust is a whole wheat and cornmeal, which is completely adaptable if you need one that is gluten and/or grain free. I laid a layer of almond butter and apricot jam between crust and fruit for bubbly, jammy goodness. It reminds me almost of a grown up pb&j.

Galettes are inherently adaptable and forgiving, which I think is very necessary and important right now. Let’s not complicate things where we don’t have to, hmm?

In other news, I’ve been trying to get back into the drawing groove by drawing daily. Here’s a favorite from this week:

you can also see the back of the previous day’s bialetti hiding on the opposite page…
a pretty flower. we need more pretty things.

Give yourself a brain break and make some dessert – that happens to be free of all sweeteners. That being said, eat it with ice cream if that makes you happy – I am certainly not going to stop you.

Happy Saturday!

Citrus and Almond Galette with a Cornmeal Crust

A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette, serves several. The crust is whole grain; if you need one that is gluten & grain free, I like this one. Completely free of any added sweeteners – I use St. Dalfour’s apricot jam that is made of fruit only (not sponsored of course, I just love it!)

for the crust:
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
4oz/1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
2-3 tbsp ice water

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, and sea salt. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add the ice water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a board and knead it into a ball. I like to roll it immediately since it’s most pliable – typically I haven’t had trouble with this dough sticking. I roll it between two sheets of parchment paper and use the bottom one to bake the galette on; makes an easy transferral method between cookie sheet & cooling rack. If you’re not rolling immediately, stuck it in the fridge on a plate. Can be made ahead the night before if need be.

For the fruit:

3 small blood oranges, peeled & sliced
2 grapefruit, peeled & sliced
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp apricot jam (I use St. Dalfour’s, which is just fruit – no sweetener)
a few dabs of butter & splash of milk or half and half

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Spread the almond butter and jam in a thin layer over the middle of the dough. Pile the sliced citrus in the center, leaving a border of about 3″. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with an milk or half and half. Dot fruit with butter if you like, though it’s not strictly necessary. Pop in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge overnight – it’s great for breakfast :)

2021!

Hello, blog friends in my corner of the internet!

What a year. Not sure I need to say much else on that subject, other than happy new year, and here’s to 2021! Needless to say, let’s hope 2021 is a smoother ride than this absurdity.

Keeping it short with the text today… I’m finishing my ritual new year’s eve cleaning and tidying; freshening up my space to welcome a fresh year. I’m looking forward to getting in one last 2020 workout, and spending a low key evening with C.

Looking over the last few weeks – here are a few snaps of things that brought me joy:

the first yeasted rolls I’ve made in AGES. so delicious. expect more like this.
this one has her paw wrapped firmly around my heartstrings.
see? gah. look at that little face

Sending all the love out your way – happy new year! Thanks for hanging out with me over here in blogland :)

Vanilla & Mint Panna Cotta Tart with a Dark Chocolate Rosemary Crust

Minty, chocolatey and slightly herby. This tart is best made the night before and left to set overnight in the fridge, so it’s perfect for a make-ahead holiday dessert. Gluten & grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free & paleo. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several! A Wait are those Cookies original.

For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c dark chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, baking soda and rosemary. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a pie plate with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes.

Let cool for a few, then pour the melted chocolate into the bottom of the tart shell and use a spoon or a brush to smooth it out. Let cool completely to set the chocolate.

For the panna cotta:

1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp peppermint extract
scant 1/4 cup maple
scant 1/4 tsp sea salt

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add maple, vanilla paste, mint extract and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt until well blended. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

Rainy days and a cranberry tart

Rain!

I love baking when it’s rainy, or really just doing anything when it’s rainy. I even like walking in it! Maybe because I lived in the pacific northwest for awhile, who knows.

We finally got some here in SF – and oddly enough, my autoimmune temperature disregulation stuff calms way down when it’s actively raining, or when the humidity is super high (bizarre, I know. If anyone has ANY insight into this…. please let me know!!) – so I definitely welcomed the day of respite. Plus, I love rain anyway, so no complaints there.

In other news, it’s mid-December already, what?! Insanity. It feels like it was just my birthday in September, and now we’re almost to the end of the year. To that end, I wanted to make something ridiculously “festive” and wintery – enter this cranberry curd tart! I’m in LOVE with the color. None of the photos are edited! This is just the unreal color that it naturally is.

It sounds complicated but really isn’t – basically just a riff on lemon curd, with the extra step of cooking the cranberries (which is fun anyway, I love listening to them pop). The tart itself comes together very quickly once the curd is made – all told, it’s in the oven for less than 30 min. The curd can be made in advance too, since it keeps really well in the fridge – and actually, the color deepens a little if you let it rest overnight. Fun!

See! Curd straight out of the fridge, after resting overnight.

We’ve had more gorgeous sunsets lately – a few that were worth climbing out my window onto the roof for photos. I happen to have the only apartment in my building that has direct roof access, so I try to take advantage…. I took the screen out of the window for that reason!

C and I also took a midweek mental health break walk over at Fort Funston – hands down our favorite beach out here. It was a beautiful, salty and humid 6 miles – perfect.

I hope all is well as can be in your worlds. I’m here to bring a little color to my corner of the internet and wish you a festive season, in spite what is happening in the world. Regardless of my own personal health stuff, I can always find joy in baking, and I hope that is true for you too! At the very least, you can come over here and look at pretty pictures, that’s good too :) Happy December baking!

Cranberry Curd Tart with a Cinnamon Cornmeal Crust

Refined sugar free & gluten free. Crust is easily grain free – just swap out the cornmeal for an equal volume of almond flour (or more shredded coconut). The curd can be made well in advance if desired – it keeps well in the fridge for several days. A Wait are those Cookies original, inspired by a New York Times tart that keeps cropping up in my feeds. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several.

For the crust

1.5 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom; or alternatively a pie plate) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge. Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Increase oven temp to 375.

Cranberry Curd

1 bag of cranberries, about 2 cups
1/2 c freshly squeeze orange + lemon juice (I used 4 small mandarins + 2 lemons)
1/4 c water
zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c maple syrup
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan over medium high, heat cranberries, citrus juice, water and lemon zest until cranberries pop, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once the berries are very saucy, remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender (or a food processor). Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to extract all the good liquid. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the sieve too! Add liquid back into the saucepan (wipe it out first, if needed); discard solids.

Add maple, salt, and butter into the cranberry mixture, heating over medium-low and stirring continuously until butter is fully melted, about five minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and egg yolks. Temper the eggs by slowly whisking in a bit of the hot cranberries; then continue to whisk in the rest. Add the whole thing back into the saucepan (no need to wipe it out here), and continue to cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until the curd thickens and coats the back of a spoon – about 8-10 minutes more. Whisk in vanilla, then remove from heat and let cool completely (I usually let it cool in a pyrex snapware container, not the saucepan). You can strain it again if need be – I found mine was smooth enough to do without.

The curd can be made ahead – it keeps well for several days in the fridge. No need to bring it room temp before using in the tart.

Pour the curd into the crust and smooth the top. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes, until the curd is barely set. Cool completely before slicing and serving – even better, cool it in the fridge for a few hours before slicing. Leftovers keep well, covered, in the fridge at least overnight.

naked tart, with a small divot where I dropped a crumb and tried to get rid of it. oh well, perfection is overrated anyway.

Pie Therapy

I’m all for transparency in this blogspace…. so to be completely honest, this last week was ROUGH. Autoimmune flareup (for lack of a better way to put that… we still don’t know exactly what is wrong) caused massive amounts of emotional and physical distress. Fun! No. Actually not fun.

Thankfully, I have an amazing support system… both from phone calls with family and close friends checking on me, and actual surprise deliveries of flowers and ice cream from the favorite human. What a guy. He’s really the best (and I’m 100% sure he’s not reading this so I can be mushy and not get him all embarrassed, ha)

The flare is still going but I’m doing my best to just be zen. Or try to, anyway. Pie helps. Pie is kind of a meditation in itself, plus the ultimate end product is delicious, so that helps too. C and I also did a massive workout today which doesn’t help me ignore the symptoms, but does help me feel better in my body so that’s a start. We finished it and then had trouble with our forks and fine motor control, so you KNOW it was good. I had to just point the fork at my face and hope the food didn’t fall off… much laughter ensued.

brunch with dolly

In other news, it’s December – wowow weird, how did that happen. I am trying to stay in the mood with appropriately seasonal stuff, even if this year is totally festivity mood-killing. I did put up lights though (period detailing of picture rails for the win, makes an excellent spot for lights and ornaments, since I didn’t want to deal with the hoohaw of getting a tree) and I’m making all the cranberry things, like this pie.

one of the most soothing things I do on a regular basis

I love apple pie but I don’t really make it much, oddly enough. I’m trying to rectify that – here’s a start! Whole wheat crust, apples + cranberry filling, super simple, super good. This was dessert and also post-workout “breakfast” at 130p (ha. to be fair, we got up late too) – in my opinion, it was even better the second day. It’s also refined sugar free and only has about 2 tbsp of maple in the entire thing – a win for those who love apple pie but don’t love how gloppy and sweet it can sometimes be. I went light on the cinnamon to really focus on the fruit, and am very happy with the result.

oops. janky crust.

Unrelatedly, we’ve had some beautiful sunsets lately, like this:

Here’s hoping the rest of this month is better than the beginning, at minimum on the autoimmune front. Sheesh. In the meantime, you can find me in front of my humidifier. Send thoughts of fog and rain my way, please.

Apple & Cranberry Pie

Refined sugar free & whole grain. The filling is paleo & gluten free, so if you need or want a grain free/gluten free crust, feel free to swap in your fave! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 pie, serves two hungry people for dessert & breakfast, with a slice leftover (we did not eat nearly half a pie in one sitting. nope. I don’t know what you’re talking about)

shut your pie hole dish courtesy of bestie heather who GETS ME

for the crust

2.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 scant tsp fine sea salt
8oz unsalted butter (2 sticks), cubed & cold
4-6 tbsp ice water

for the filling

6-7 apples, peeled & thinly sliced (mine were on the small side; adjust accordingly if yours are large. I used half granny smith & half gala)
1/2 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp maple
2 tbsp tapioca starch
zest & juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

to beautify the crust

milk of some sort (I used half and half; non dairy is totally fine also – whatever you have)
sprinkle of coconut sugar

In a large bowl, stir together all the filling ingredients. Let sit while you make the dough.

In a food processor (or by hand, but I actually love using the food processor for this dough; it comes together in a snap and keeps it from getting overworked), pulse together flour and salt. Add in cubed butter, and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add in ice water – I start usually with four tbsp, then add a tbsp at a time until the dough comes together in a ball.

Turn it out onto a floured surface, divide it in half and and roll it out – I prefer to roll and then chill, since the dough is easier to work with that way. You’ll roll out a circle that’s slightly larger than the top of your pie plate, to make for crimping excess – you should aim to have about a 1″ overhang. Lay the dough into the dish, tucking the edge underneath and crimping it as desired. Do whatever you want with the top crust! Shapes, traditional top crust, lattice, whatever. I used a small star cookie cutter for this one. Once the bottom crust is in, stick the whole dish into the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you roll out the top (helps prevent shrinking but honestly I almost always forget to do this and my crusts are fine… so… shrug. it’s good to do if you remember). No need to cover since it’s not in there very long.

Preheat the oven to 425, and bring out the chilled bottom crust. Pile in the fruit – make sure to really pack it down so there is no space between the apple slices. Typically you can fit much more than you think you can – and you’ll want it to be slightly convex on the top, to account for the fruit decreasing in volume as it cooks. Lay on the top crust pieces, and dot the fruit with butter. Brush the top crust with milk of choice and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar if you like (I like the color). Bake for 10 minute at 425, then lower the temp to 350 and bake another 65-70 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling like crazy. Remove from the oven and let cool at least an hour, preferably more, before slicing and serving (I made mine in the mid morning and we ate it after dinner; it sliced perfectly). Keep leftovers in the fridge, covered – keeps well overnight.

naked pie.