All galettes, all the time

Hi blog friends!

Wow, a crazy ton has happened since I posted last… I had a birthday (wooo the big 3-0! time for a new decade), spent it in Connecticut having a fabulous time with the fave human & his fam on the beach (giant YAY), and a lot of other crap in the news happened but let’s not talk about that.

Here are a few fun pictures from the CT+30 trip! It was beautiful, I ate a real lobster roll for the first time, and spent a gazillion hours on the water.

Then I came home, the air got smoky and hot again, and everything felt icky. But it’s also October officially, which is a YAY for fall produce! This galette was born of the California shoulder season, where the apples are starting to be excellent but the berries aren’t done yet. Besides, apples + berries are a great match.

Not to mention, I made two galettes and many cookies while on vacation, so I’m just sort of continually in galette mode. Side note: when lacking a rolling pin, a wine bottle will do nicely.

It was SUPER fun using fresh east coasty apples for baking, plus some fresh ginger (not like the stuff you can get in the markets here – this was much softer and pink on the outside!)

Let’s see, what else. Anxiously awaiting cooler weather so I can get on with even more fall baking, but it’s still pretty warm in SF so that may have to wait a bit, we shall see.

Happy baking! I hope all is mostly as right as can be in your world.

Apple, Blackberry & Ginger Galette

Whole wheat & refined sugar free. A Wait are those Cookies original. Perfect for the California shoulder season where apples are starting to come in, but blackberries still look good in the market. 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
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 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 (see below for tips) – 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:

Apples, sliced (I used roughly 4 small ones)
heaping 1c blackberries
2 tsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple
zest & juice of one lemon
1″ piece of ginger, finely diced

1/4 c apricot jam (preferably homemade by a friend ;)

In a large bowl, toss together sliced apples, blackberries, tapioca, lemon juice/zest, maple and ginger.

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Spread the jam in a thin layer over the middle of the dough. Pile the fruit in the center, leaving a border of about 3″. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar. 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 :)

before.
after!

pie therapy

You know, pie is a pretty good stand-in for therapy.

I forget how much I really enjoy making it – for whatever reason, it’s not in my standard rotation of desserts, so I don’t make it often. Maybe because I do the fancy ones for auction and that is my pie for the year?! Ha.

Also I think because I have some weird holdover of thinking I can’t make pie dough… which isn’t true, but apparently is hard to shake. Sort of how I still think I’m bad at math, since I struggled with it so hard in elementary and middle school? Weird how that stuff sticks in your brain.

This pie actually looks quite a bit like the very first (I think?!) pie that I ever made. I used a star cookie cutter for that one too! I was in college, the crust was tough, I’d just started this blog and that was approximately a million years ago.

Anyway. I resolve to bring pie back into a more regular rotation. This is the all-butter crust I’ve come to love, made with whole wheat flour of course. I went the lazy (for me, anyway) route and used a cookie cutter for the top crust; normally I’d do something fancy and cut my own crust template but I needed a break. The whole state is on fire, the air quality is abysmally bad, and I’m mentally & physically tired; I’m working this weekend and I needed a lower maintenance dessert.

Plus, there’s something about pie that’s inherently comforting – anyone else feel that? I don’t really know why; there are other desserts I associate way more with family & growing up, but pie is just sort of its own category of homey. It’s also deceptively simple… all you really need is flour, butter and fruit.

My thoughts are with everyone who is affected by the horrible fires…. there really aren’t words to express it, but I love California and my heart is hurting for my state. Feels weird to be putting up something as normal as a blog post right now, but I guess a little enforced normalcy is good? Hopefully – I enjoy sharing food with you, virtually as always :)

I hope your weekend is treating you well, wherever you are! Sending love.

Peach & Blackberry Pie with Whole Wheat Crust

Summer pie at its finest. Barely sweetened, whole grain, refined sugar free. Perfect for dessert or breakfast or both. Yield: 1 9″ pie; double crust.

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

5-6 peaches, sliced
1 c blackberries
1 c blueberries (or more blackberries)
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tbsp tapioca starch
zest & juice of 1 lemon

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. 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. 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). 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, lay on the top crust, and dot the fruit with butter. Brush the top crust with an egg wash 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 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and serving.

summer shortcakes

Hi friends!

It’s shortcake time, because summer is for shortcakes. They’re perfect with all the fresh berries and stone fruit at the markets right now, and they can be made in about 20 minutes. Winning!

These are cornmeal and rye, since over here we are obsessed with all things cornmeal and rye. Highly recommend with vanilla ice cream, though whipped cream would be equally excellent . These are equally good with strawberries and blueberries, but I’m pretty sure peaches would be fantastic too. Basically, they’re adaptable and delicious no matter what you do with them or how you serve them.

Look at that loft.

In fact, we ate them for brunch this morning and there may or may not have been ice cream involved then too. Although to be fair, we had eggs and greens too because, balance. Ha! Took a smallish hike this morning too – it was nice a foggy cool, perfect city summer. These shortcakes go amazingly well with coffee, might I add.

It’s also dahlia season! One of my absolute faves, and they’re just going gangbusters over in the Dahlia Glen at GGP – if you live locally, def go check them out. Hmmm what else. Roasted veg! Always pretty.

Going to keep it short today because it’s Sunday and I can feel a nap coming on. Happy weekend, blog friends!

Berry Shortcakes on Cornmeal Rye Biscuits

Whole grain & refined sugar free. I much prefer a biscuit to a shortcake, so here we are. These are one of my favorite summer desserts – so easy, so delicious. Plus, you can use literally whatever fruit looks good at the market. Yield: 6 biscuits. Adapted from the NYT, here.

1/3 c dark rye flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c buttermilk (or plain yogurt thinned w/ milk, which is what I used)

Preheat the oven to 450, and line a baking sheet with two layers of foil.
In a food processor, pulse together rye, whole wheat, cornmeal, baking powder and sea salt. Pulse in butter until the mixture is uniformly crumbly and looks like wet sand. Turn everything out into a bowl, and stir in the egg and buttermilk (or yogurt) – I like to use my fingers for this – I find it keeps me from overmixing. The dough should come together enough pretty easily. Turn it out onto a marble pastry board or a lightly floured countertop, and pat it into a 1/2″ thick layer. Cut into rounds or squares – if you don’t have a biscuit cutter, a cookie cutter works well too, or a glass. Just make sure whatever you use is sharp – a sharper edge means higher rising biscuits! Pat the scraps back together to cut the last few – you should be able to get 6 out of this.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with a little coconut sugar, and bake for 14-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack to cool before serving.

Serve with freshly cut fruit, and ice cream! Or whipped cream, or coconut cream, or whatever. Anything and everything is good here.

Summer fruit galette for breakfast

Mid July already! Someone pinch me.

I was up at camp last weekend to help give my mountain home a wee bit of a facelift – she’s 80+ years old so it’s time! Nothing like fresh mountain air and manual labor to get a nice reset on life. I’ll be going up one more weekend in July, and for four days in August, and I already can’t wait. My home away from home is the best place.

This weekend was for galette! Happy to report that between C and I we ate all but one slice of this thing in two sittings. Ha! Stone fruit is the BEST. Baking this time of year is almost stupidly easy – as long as you have good fruit, the world is your oyster! Is that too weird of a mixed metaphor? Whatever.

Arguably, this might be one of the best galettes I’ve ever made. I’ve been messing around with the crust, and I think I’ve landed on my favorite iteration – C and I are both legit obsessed with cornmeal so obviously this is a huge win for both of us.

I was given some amaaazing homemade apricot jam from a camp friend (camp friends are the best friends! Thanks Sun :) – so that went in here, as well as fresh apricots, and that is a match made in heaven. Helps to have some less than perfect bloobs hanging around too – that’s my solution for fruit that isn’t quite the best eaten out of hand: bake it!

I hope your July is going as well as it can be in these crazy times. Sending good thoughts & baked goods inspiration your way!

Apricot, Blueberry & Rosemary Galette

Refined sugar free, whole grain & perfect for summer. It’s amazing on its own or with a blob of ice cream or whipped cream. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette, serves several.

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

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, almond flour, sea salt & rosemary. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add vanilla & almond extract, then 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. Flatten slightly and stick it into the fridge while you cut up the fruit (can be refrigerated up to several days if you want to make it in advance).

For the fruit:

Apricots, sliced (I used probably 8 really tiny ones)
heaping 1c blueberries
2 tsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple

1/4 c apricot jam (preferably homemade by a friend ;)

In a large bowl, toss together sliced apricots, blueberries, tapioca and maple.

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Spread the jam in a thin layer over the middle of the dough. Pile the fruit in the center, leaving a border of about 3″. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar. 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 :)

never enough stone fruit

Summer stone fruit!! Is totally the best!! I loooove the market bounty right now: basically anything you pick up is going to be delicious, and shine in whatever context you put it in.

Galettes are one of my favorite blank canvases for fresh produce: they are fruit forward; the crust can be whatever you want it to be (grain free? sure! gluten free? absolutely. whole wheat & cornmeal? done. herbs? why not!) and nearly any fruit works. They also make an amazing breakfast as well as dessert. Not to mention, they’re supremely unfussy and relaxed.

This one highlights some great peaches I picked up at the market, plus some blueberries that were slightly less than stellar (baking them totally takes care of that), plus rosemary that had been hanging out in my fridge and needed to be used – I love love love rosemary in my desserts, so that was an easy sell for me; also I hate wasting food in any way so odds & ends tend to find their way into dessert.

It’s pretty indicative of my week/weekend/week that I started this post 48 hours ago and am just now finishing it…. HELLOOOO DEADLINES nice to see you. I definitely worked pretty much all weekend so dessert had to be fast, which this one was. It was a great mental break to bake while it was foggy out, early Saturday morning. That is my preferred baking time (though obviously I love to bake so any baking time is good baking time).

reality. baking + monitor with work on the other side

Very short today because I just finished 11+ marathon hours of interview prep for the project we’re shortlisted for, and I’m dead. But I couldn’t leave this undone, plus dinner is in the oven so I have some downtime for a minute before I go back to work.

I hope your week from here on out is smooth sailing! Do yourself a favor and make galette, you’ll seriously thank yourself later.

Peach & Blueberry Galette with a Rosemary Cornmeal Crust

Whole grain and refined sugar free. A rustic galette with a crunchy cornmeal crust – great for all that summer fruit bounty! Yield: 1 galette; serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

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

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sea salt & rosemary. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add vanilla and 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. Flatten slightly and stick it into the fridge while you cut up the fruit (can be refrigerated up to several days if you want to make it in advance).

For the fruit:

4 peaches, sliced
1/2 c blueberries
2 tsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple

In a large bowl, toss together sliced peaches, blueberries, tapioca and maple.

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Pile the fruit in the center, leaving a border of about 3″. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar. 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 :)

summer is for stone fruit

Hi internet friends.

It’s been such a week… I don’t even know where to start with everything. I am doing my damndest to show up, learn, educate myself, listen, and give back – though somehow it doesn’t ever quite feel like enough. But I feel that the least I can do is continue to offer a place to inspire baked goods made with love, to send a little peace out into the world from my corner of the internet.

Today’s baked thing is a cobbler I made for the weekend, with perfect summer fruit and easy drop biscuit topping. It’s whole grain, refined sugar free, and very nearly lactose free – not to mention pretty infinitely adaptable: the flours are very flexible, if you only have one or the other OR decide you don’t want to use either (no judgement here, obviously); the fruit can be swapped around depending on what you have and what looks good in the market.

blooming succulent!

I’ve never really baked with white nectarines before but I can definitely recommend them – I left the skin on since I felt they might have a tendency to disintegrate. C looooved them – I caught him searching around in the dish a little to find more of them, ha! To be fair, I was on the lookout for extra ginger so it all worked out. This was great for dessert with ice cream and a Marvel movie, and def excellent for bfast this morning as well. No complaints.

Keeping it short today – there is a lot out there to absorb. I hope everyone is doing well – enjoying whatever weather you have and the gorgeous summer produce season!

Nectarine & Berry Cobbler with Whole Wheat, Oat and Ginger Biscuits

A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 8″ or 9″ cobbler, definitely serves several but also makes excellent breakfast leftovers (and/or just make it for breakfast instead). Fruity, summery & easy.

For the biscuits:

1c whole wheat pastry
1/2c oat flour
1 tbsp maple
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled & cut into chunks
3 tbsp ghee (or three more tbsp butter)
3/4 c whole milk plain Kefir (or buttermilk, or thinned out yogurt)
handful of crystallized ginger

For the filling:

~5 smallish white nectarines, sliced (I leave the skin on)
2 pints blackberries
1 pint blueberries
2 tsp tapioca starch
1/4 c water
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine sliced nectarines and berries in a deep 8×8″ pan (mine holds quarts) or a 9×9 dish, or a small casserole dish, OR a pie plate… basically whatever, as long as it’s deep 2 Mix together tapioca starch, water, vanilla and sea salt and pour everything over the fruit. Let sit while you prep the biscuit dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder & soda, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with your fingers until everything resembles coarse sand and there aren’t any big chunks left. Stir in the maple, kefir vanilla, and ginger pieces until just combined – be careful not to overmix, since nobody likes tough biscuits!

Drop evenly sized biscuit dough blobs onto the fruit, sprinkle with a little coconut sugar, and bake for 35-40 min, until the biscuits are lightly browned and the fruit is bubbling.

Serve with ice cream! Duh. Or eat it for breakfast. Keeps well overnight in the fridge, in its dish covered with foil.

view from above. note the empty coffee cup…

More jammy goodness

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The first of the rhubarb has made its appearance! I loooove the tartness of rhubarb, especially when paired with berries. I think I’ve said this before on here but I don’t love strawberry rhubarb – I find it’s often too cloyingly sweet. I guess it doesn’t have to be, but somehow I’m always disappointed. Raspberries are another story entirely!

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This pandowdy is one of the ultimate low fuss desserts – it’s messy, jammy and unpretentious by nature – no one really cares what it looks like coming out of the oven. It’s kind of a study in artful disarray, no? Besides, I love where the filling bubbles up next to the sliced dough – it almost caramelizes when it cools and it’s DELICIOUS.

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This one is totally suitable for the pandemic kitchen – use whatever you have on hand! No whole wheat? No problem, use all purpose or spelt or a gluten free blend or whatever is in your pantry. No raspberries but you have frozen blueberries? Sure!

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I’m into the second week of being off dairy and eggs (if you know me even a little bit, you know the dairy sitch is DIFFICULT, ugh I’m so attached) but I had to do a little experiment to see if I felt better. Nothing really so far which is actually kind of a relief given the aforementioned statement about dairy but, eh we’ll see. That being said, I’m largely baking vegan these days out of necessity. I’m not usually a huge fan of vegan butter subs, since they’re usually made of soy or oils I don’t want to ingest a ton of, but this one I found is coconut based! It handles just like real butter in pie dough, so I’m a fan.

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I will say that as written, this dough is pretty sturdy. We both found it to be less of a favorite than some of the other crusts, but still good! (I wouldn’t post it if it didn’t pass the test ;) I’m working with whole wheat flour – as opposed to whole wheat pastry flour – because pandemic. It’s been impossible to source any near me and I’m reluctant to order on amazon for just that one thing. But I did find a giant bag of whole wheat flour locally, so I’m working my way through that. Maybe I’ll join the masses & make bread! Ha.

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^ha, couldn’t resist.

C and I ate this pandowdy with paleo vegan gelato (omg yum) and then this morning after a massive 7.5mi hike up Mt. Sutro & surrounding environs with a metric ton of hills. My legs are DEAD.

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I hope you had a lovely Sunday and Mother’s Day!

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Jammy Rhubarb & Raspberry Pandowdy with an Almond Poppyseed Crust

Rhubarb = spring! Tart, earthy & zingy pandowdy with a whole wheat crust. Great with ice cream, if you have it! Whole wheat, dairy free, refined sugar free  & vegan – though as written, you can use butter or whatever you have on hand. I’m egg free/dairy free for two weeks so I used vegan butter, but there’s a pandemic so use whatever you have on hand! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ pie, serves several.

For the filling:

~5-6 largeish stalks of rhubarb, chopped into small slices
2 c raspberries (I used one bag of frozen because, cheaper)
zest + juice of one lemon
2 tbsp tapioca starch
3 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine everything in a large bowl, and toss to combine. Drop the filling into a deep pie plate (mine is 9″) and set aside while you make the crust.

for the crust:

1/2 cup unsalted butter diced and chilled*
1.25 cup whole wheat pastry flour**
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons ice water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 c poppy seeds

*I used dairy free butter for this one – either works fine. I used Miyoko’s European Cultured Dairy Free stuff here and I have to say it performed just as well if you’re looking for a dairy free alternative
**sadly, because PANDEMIC, whole wheat pastry is nowhere to be found for me, so I am using straight whole wheat. You can do either, but whole wheat will yield a much more SOLID crust. Still good tho.

Combine flour, salt, and poppyseeds in a food processor and pulse briefly to mix. Add butter; process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add vanilla & almond extracts, then ice water a tbsp at a time until the dough forms a ball – you’ll be able to tell when it’s ready! If it still looks dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Turn the dough out a floured surface (ie marble slab, or countertop, etc) OR use two pieces of parchment paper like I do for less mess – no need to flour. Roll out the dough to be roughly circular (no need to be perfect here – pandowdies are pie’s unfussy cousin), and lift the dough onto the fruit. Tuck in the edges, leaving a rim of dough between the edge of the pie dish and the fruit – I crimped mine because I’m an overachiever and I also had extra dough, but no need to do that. Chill the assembled pandowdy for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400.
Make a few slits for steam to vent in the top of the crust, then brush the top with egg white and dust with coconut sugar (or just coconut sugar if vegan/egg free). Pop the whole beautiful thing into the oven for 40 minutes; best if you line the rack beneath with foil or a large baking sheet – the juices runneth over!

Once you hit the 40 minute mark, take the pandowdy out, and use a sharp knife to break up the crust, thus ‘dowdy-ing’ its looks. Stick the pandowdy back in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely before serving; it will be gloriously juicy and delicious so might I suggest serving it in bowls? Ice cream is… optional, sort of. You do you!

Store any leftovers (who are you) covered in the fridge, but make sure to save some for breakfast. You’ll thank me later!

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This is my jam.

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Hi Friends!

I bring you the latest edition of baking your pantry! I haven’t actually shopped for baking specific things since the lockdown began in March, which is super fun – it’s giving me a nice excuse to use up the bits of things in my cabinets & also to get creative.

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For instance! I was gifted a jar of the most delicious apricot jam from a camp friend (hi, Doc!) and though I could have eaten it on toast, I wanted to use it in a dessert instead for fun. I’ve been saving it, and am so glad I had it around to use this weekend!

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These bars were actually supposed to be a galette. Funny how that happens… The dough wasn’t going to play nice to roll out – fine by me, since it made an excellent press-in crust for this instead, which is way less fussy. Jam tarts are maaaaybe the easiest thing on this planet, and infinitely adaptable. Out of the flours I suggested, or gluten free? No sweat, just swap in whatever blend of flours you like (highly recommend the cornmeal though, if you can do grains – the texture is phenomenal). Got a bunch of chia seeds and frozen fruit but no jam on hand? Make chia jam! Cook down the fruit for a bit with a bunch of chia seeds, let cool and boom – you’re on the way to jam bars.

Look at this flaky maldon sea salt goodness… it’s next level:

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Not quite sure if this is to be considered a tart, or bars. I’m kind of leaning toward bars since they slice up beautifully and would work well to serve at a – party? Ugh. Social distancing. Okay fine, they’d work well sliced to serve to those who you’re quarantining with! Highly recommend vanilla ice cream alongside, just saying – but they’re equally amazing as breakfast wedges, especially when you’ve just hiked 7 miles.

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C and I did our usual weekend hike today – 7 miles from his place, through the interior greenbelt and up Mount Sutro -> Twin Peaks -> home. It was fantastic, and such a beautiful day. My racerback tan is already aggressive and it’s only May…. I also have a fitbit tan, and a shorts tan, for those of you keeping score at home.

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Want to see what this really looks like?

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Sorry for the feet, hope that doesn’t gross you out. Ha! I promise they’re clean.

I hope you and yours are well! The outdoors is amazing for mental health – fully recommend getting out there (masked when necessary, of course, and observing social distancing rules!) to brighten up your quarantined days. And when you come back in, make jam bars. From my kitchen to yours! <3

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Apricot, Rosemary & Cornmeal Jam Bars

Whole grain (three different kinds!), dairy free and vegan with a refined sugar free option (depends on what kind of jam you use). Super easy to adapt, and comes together extremely quickly when you’re in need of a quick dessert or fun breakfast. Kind of like eating cornbread with jam, a personal fave. Yield: 1 9″ pan of bars, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

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For the crust:
2 cups of flour [I used 1c whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 c oat flour, 1/2 c cornmeal]
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup cold water
pinch salt

For the crumble and filling:
1/4 c almond flour
3 tbsp oat flour
~1tbsp rosemary, finely chopped (a few sprigs)
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
~1/2 c apricot jam (I used the entirety of a smallish jar) – hopefully homemade but use what you got! Chia jam would be great here too.

maldon sea salt, for sprinkles after

Mix the flours and salt until well combined. Add olive oil and water. Mix and knead into a smooth dough – I used the food processor primarily for this, but easy to do by hand as well. Lightly grease a dish of choice – you could literally do this in anything. I used a 9″ stoneware pie dish, but feel free to use a tart pan w/ a removable bottom, springform, square pan, pyrex dish, you name it. Press the dough evenly across the bottom to form a crust, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 c almond flour, 3 tbsp oat flour, a few springs of rosemary very finely chopped, and a pinch of sea salt. Add in a tsp each of maple syrup and vanilla extract, plus 1/2 tsp of almond extract. Stir until combined and crumbly.

Spread the apricot jam evenly over the prepared crust, followed by the oaty-almond rosemary crumble. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until jam is bubbly and crumble is lightly browned. Remove and let cool completely before serving. Sprinkle a little maldon sea salt over the whole thing to bring it up to the next level. Excellent with vanilla ice cream or in wedges on its own for breakfast. Store any leftovers (who are you?!) in the fridge, covered with foil.

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Low fuss desserts for strange times

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Hello from week three of shelter in place! It’s finally April? I think? As a friend said today on a virtual zoom coffee date, every day is Blursday and she is NOT wrong.

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I’m following a pretty typical daily routine at this point, which is weird even to think about but I guess I’m a routine type of person and that helps make it all feel more… normal? Short walk around the neighborhood and up some hills as soon as I get up, then french press coffee + frothy milk (oh yes) and work until the end of the day when I take another looooong walk for at least an hour. Probably TRX in there somewhere so my arms don’t fall off from lack of lifting (waaah).

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Hourly pacing around / shadowboxing and/or dance parties highly recommend to keep from becoming one with your chair! Ha.

Weekends are for baking something fun! I might make cookies or quickbread during the week, but I like to reserve weekends for something slightly more involved. Plus, I actually find the challenge of baking the pantry really fun, so there’s that.

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This pandowdy (‘dowdy’ pie crust, for those of you who don’t know – you cut it up partway through baking so the fruit can bubble up from underneath) was a happy occurence due to the gift of some vacuum sealed plums from a friend’s yard that had been in C’s freezer for a bit. I knew they’d be really juicy once thawed, so I cooked them down a little & drained some of the juice before turning them into pandowdy filling. I recommend you do the same, unless you’re using fresh plums and baking in season!

It’ll be dessert tonight with ice cream and breakfast tomorrow, I have no doubt. The gingery plums are punchy and tart – I added a bit of lemon zest and maple to round out their flavors. The cinnamon crust is SO easy and smells amazing. It’s easily subbed out for a gluten free or dairy free crust if you can’t do gluten or butter – I’m working through what I have on hand, so this is a whole wheat butter crust.

Added bonus of baking this: it will make your apartment / house / kitchen smell like a graham cracker in the BEST way!

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It’s rainy today and I love that. I’m giving myself permission to stay in – usually it’s GO GO GO to get in a long hike/run/walk at some point in the day, but my knees are feeling the pavement so I’m giving myself the day off to spend with my plants, minus some TRX work.

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Kuzco says hello from his new hanging perch! I’m pretty sure he loves it, and I absolutely do too.

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A shot of the urban jungle on a sunnier day. I’m trying on new names for the apartment – I called it the Eyrie when I moved in, since I’m on the fourth (top) floor and the wind tends to whistle around a lot up here. Now that the plant fam has grown so much though… do we like the Urban Jungleow? orrrr…. the Fogforest? hahaa.

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I hope you’re going easy on yourselves, too. This is a weird, weird time and everyone should cut themselves a little slack. I definitely suggest baking something awesome :) Happy Saturday!

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Plum and Ginger Pandowdy with a Cinnamon Crust

A Wait are Those Cookies original. Easily made with either fresh or frozen plums – I had been gifted a bounty of vacuum sealed, frozen plums from last summer from a friend’s garden, so I thawed those for use here. Yield: 1 9″ pandowdy, serves several. Refined sugar free! If you’re gluten free, sub in your favorite single-crust gluten free crust here and use that. I used whole wheat, since that’s what I have on hand and I’m doing my best to cook/bake my pantry :)

for the filling:

a whole lotta plums (I had a big thing of vacuum sealed, frozen ones from the summer; fresh would be fine too)
zest + juice of one lemon
1″ piece of fresh ginger, finely diced
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1/4 c chia seeds
3 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt

Combine everything in a large stockpot / dutch oven / sauce pot / whatever you have that fits, and bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Drop the filling into a deep pie plate (mine is 9″) and set aside while you make the crust.

for the crust:

1/2 cup unsalted butter diced and chilled
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c cornmeal
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons ice water
1 tsp vanilla

Combine flour cornmeal, cinnamon, and salt in food processor and pulse briefly to mix. Add butter; process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water a tbsp at a time until the dough forms a ball – you’ll be able to tell when it’s ready! If it still looks dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Turn the dough out a floured surface (ie marble slab, or countertop, etc) OR use two pieces of parchment paper like I do for less mess – no need to flour. Roll out the dough to be roughly circular (no need to be perfect here – pandowdies are pie’s unfussy cousin), and lift the dough onto the fruit. Tuck in the edges, leaving a rim of dough between the edge of the pie dish and the fruit – I crimped mine because I’m an overachiever and I also had extra dough, but no need to do that. Chill the assembled pandowdy for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400.
Make a few slits for steam to vent in the top of the crust, then brush the top with egg white and dust with coconut sugar. Pop the whole beautiful thing into the oven for 40 minutes; best if you line the rack beneath with foil or a large baking sheet – the juices runneth over!

Once you hit the 40 minute mark, take the pandowdy out, and use a sharp knife to break up the crust, thus ‘dowdy-ing’ its looks. Stick the pandowdy back in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely before serving; it will be gloriously juicy and delicious so might I suggest serving it in bowls? Ice cream is… optional, sort of. You do you!

Store any leftovers (who are you) covered in the fridge, but make sure to save some for breakfast. You’ll thank me later!

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Mazel!!

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I made a wedding cake!

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You guys – I am so proud of this one. I’d never made a wedding cake before – and now it’s all I want to do! Informal poll: who among you thinks I should start a side biz for occasion baking? Yes, no, maybe?

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Creating this for Vanessa & Jacob brought me so much joy – if any couple was to be my first for a wedding cake, they were perfect! I’ve known them as a couple for 12 years – and I am so glad they are in my life.

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The wedding weekend was amazing! Beautiful scenery up in mountains and so much love and laughter – I was incredibly happy to be a part of it, especially since my fave human came along to be my handsome dance partner, emotional support, and cake honor guard for the endeavor (and he always has floss for me – what a guy!)

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We had such a great time… you know it’s a solidly amazing wedding when you dance so much you break a shoe! (And yes – before you ask – I did indeed dance all night in those -they make surprisingly comfortable dancing shoes)

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Some progress pictures, just for fun – I think this takes the cake (har har) for my biggest and most involved baking effort to date. But omg, how much fun I had!

Big ol’ vat o’ buttercream:

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I used this recipe – no messing with a classic when it’s for a wedding! I did, however, make it whole wheat and reduce the sugar slightly ;) I mean, come on – it’s me!! I also didn’t use the frosting featured there – I did a simple vanilla buttercream instead, which paired perfectly with almond cake.

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It seemed to be a hit… it all got eaten!!

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I’m so happy! It’s Tuesday and I’m still so thrilled by how well this whole thing went… excuse me while I bask in the afterglow.

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There is a fine mist of edible glaze spray on my phone that won’t come off and it makes me laugh – a great reminder of such a lovely weekend celebrating the love of two of my favorite people, with my favorite person.

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