Sunny Citrus Bars and a Queen Anne Edwardian

Hi friends!

It’s been a minute and feels like an AGE since so much has happened since I posted last. Also. All of these photos look blurry to me and I can’t figure out why wordpress isn’t playing nice…. sorry about that. It’s not your eyes, I promise.

There is so much going on in the world right now… I’m going to take a minute to acknowledge that, but also choose to keep this space for life news and desserts only. I know we are all affected by global events, but sometimes you need to preserve a sunny little corner of the internet.

That being said – I have meyer lemon and lime bars for you today: these feel like a sunbeam incarnated into food form. A bit late in posting on account of a busy weekend (much needed friend & c’s fam time) but these bars were DELICIOUS so I wanted to make sure they made it on here. Not to mention, they’re the first real baked thing I’ve made in this kitchen, aside from cookies (those don’t count, I make them allll the time).

My new oven and I are still getting acquainted, but I think we’re getting there (and I also think my new oven thermometer is lying to me)… my oven is a bit funky, just like the grand dame of a Queen Anne Edwardian that I moved into. She’s a high ceilinged, mildly drafty beauty with a round turret, bay windows, original floors and gingerbready molding – and used to be a boarding house in the early 1900s!

Started the year before the 1906 earthquake, finished the year after. I am LOVING my new space, though admittedly having growing pains – what on earth do I do with this much space, I’m only one person?! I doubled my square footage after having lived in a studio for a loooot of years…. this feels enormous, but I’m getting used to it. New furniture helps too ;)

I’ll post some pictures one aforementioned furniture actually arrives – but for now a few little vignettes of my jungle deco (yes, that is an extremely accurate name for my aesthetic) beauty.

original rolled glass!

Okay okay back to the bars. Gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free – easily grain free too, if need be (swap the cornmeal for an equal amount of almond flour, and use tapioca instead of cornstarch). A perfect dessert for this time of year when it seems like citrus is the only fruit that is really shining. Highly suggest the meyer lemon + lime pairing, though all lime or all meyer lemon (or regular lemon) would also be just fine.

Sending happy, sunny citrus vibes from my kitchen to yours!

+ plant. obviously.

Meyer Lemon and Lime Bars with a Hazelnut Crust

Tart, citrusy and nutty – a perfect dessert or snack. Gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ pan – serves several.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour (packed)
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c cornmeal
1/3 c hazelnuts, finely chopped
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a tart pan with coconut oil. I use a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom, but a deep pie dish or a square 9×9 would also work. You’ll be pouring the filling directly into the hot crust, so plan accordingly.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, chopped hazelnuts, sea salt, and baking soda. 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. 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 from oven and lower the oven temp to 325.

For the lemon bar filling:

4 eggs
2/3 fresh citrus juice (I used 6 small meyer lemons + 1 large lime)
1-2 tbsp citrus zest*
1/3 c maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp cornstarch (or tapioca starch)

*I zested all of my small meyers and half the lime since it was so big. I’d just zest all the citrus you use – waste not, want not! I had just shy of 2 tbsp

While the crust is baking, make the filling. In a large bowl, quickly whisk together eggs, citrus juice and zest, maple, and vanilla until the egg is fully incorporated – there shouldn’t be much (if any) white visible. Whisk in the cornstarch until fully combined. Pour the filling into the hot crust, and stick it back in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The filling should be set; no jiggle when you shake it. Remove and let cool completely before slicing – ideally, chill it for few hours before serving. Leftovers keep well overnight, refrigerated.

Bay swims and blood oranges

First swim of 2022 accomplished! Took me awhile to get back down there but I’m very glad I did. This marks one year of extremely regular bay swimming! My average is probably twice a week – there were a bunch in there where I was very regular with a MWF schedule but lately not so much. It felt COLD to me today but that’s probably because oh right it’s January and also because it’s been a bit since I’ve been in… still in my sleeveless wetsuit though, so that’s something. I think the water temp today was 50? Not sure. Definitely one of my fave ways to start a weekend :)

I have a cake for you today! I think I say this every time but I really don’t make cakes that frequently. Probably because I can cram more fruit into something like a crisp or a galette and that’s always a priority, but I like a good cake now and again for a change.

This one fits the bill perfectly – it’s poppy seedy and almondy, with a moist crumb and a bit of pleasantly dense texture. As it is grain/gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free, it relies primarily on eggs for its loft and is made only with almond flour. I consider this to be a super simple cake – it doesn’t require a bunch of different flours or a mixer. In fact, it could easily be put together for a brunch the morning of; the blood orange curd (gf but not dairy free) can be made in advance up to a week, so that’s an easy one to knock out a few days ahead.

I love this for dessert with ice cream but it most definitely holds its own in a brunch/breakfast situation, and it’s perfect alongside coffee. The blood orange curd is of course optional but highly recommended (and not intimidating! don’t let it scare you off). Plus, blood orange season isn’t super long – I try to take advantage while I can. They are so beautiful!

In other news, we’ve been having some beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the city of late – here’s a sunrise from earlier this week and a cactus happily doing its cactus thing.

I hope your weekend is full of good things! Maybe cake? I definitely recommend cake :)

Almond Poppy Seed Cake with Blood Orange Curd

Grain and gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free. Kind of paleo, I guess? A riff on this almond cake I made years ago. Lightly sweet and perfectly moist, especially good for midwinter citrus season! The blood orange curd is gluten free and refined sugar free but made with butter; I think a dairy free butter would work here. Yield: one 6-9″ cake (depending on cake pan of choice), serves several.

2 c (packed) almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 c poppy seeds
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 c maple syrup
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
blood orange curd, for serving (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease an 8″ springform (or cake pan, or cast iron! I’ve used a deep 7″ cast iron to great effect here; I’ve also used a 6″ springform very successfully for a taller cake) with coconut oil and dust with a bit of almond flour. If I use a springform, I typically set it on a baking sheet lined with parchment to catch any drips.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, soda and salt, and poppy seeds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together beaten eggs (just beat these in the same bowl before adding everything else) maple, almond and vanilla extracts, and melted coconut oil. Whisk in lemon zest and juice. Stir wet ingredients into dry, until combined. Pour batter into your prepared pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes (9″ will probably be more like 35; my 6″ springform went for 40) – the top should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack! Ideally give it at least 10 minutes before releasing the springform; if you used a cake pan, I’d suggest letting it cool completely before removing. Serve warm, room temp or chilled (for a nicely solid cake; I love the texture of chilled coconut oil cakes) with a dollop of blood orange curd and a few citrus slices.

Keeps well overnight in the fridge.

Blood Orange Curd

3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 c blood orange + meyer lemon juice (I used 4 small blood oranges + 1 lemon)
blood orange zest (I just zest as many as I will use for juice)
zest of 1 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 strain through a metal strainer to remove zest and any bits of cooked egg. Store in a glass container in the fridge until ready for use – can be made up to a week ahead.

Happy 2022!

Hi hello!

Wow it’s been an AGE. I didn’t mean to go this long without posting, but I actually didn’t bake as much as usual over the holidays and I also enjoyed some well deserved time off, so that meant I was outing-and-abouting more than I was thinking about new things to bake. C’est la vie!

I spent a week up in PDX with my parents – such a great week. Workout, eat, make more food, snuggle cat, read, puzzle, rinse, repeat. It snowed while I was up there too, which made for an extra magical holiday.

those tiny paws are wrapped FIRMLY around my heartstrings all the way from pdx
Thea is a champion head-butter

We did do some baking – mom and I made apple/blueberry/date rolls (adapted from this recipe; filling is basically just a compote of those three things cooked down with a bit of cinnamon and butter) plus of course cookies and a really delicious galette with pears and marionberry (rule number one: when in Oregon, eat ALL THE MARIONBERRIES)

Came back, unpacked and repacked and headed up the next day to ski with the fave human for three days over New Years! Hands down best new years and best skiing I’ve had in several years. The conditions were literally amazing; we skied nearly three full days and the snow was incredible for all of it. 10/10 recommend for best way to spend new years!

Then I came back, and a day later officially started a new job! See, told you there was a lot going on. I moved to LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects (LMSa) as their marketing manager and I am verrryyy excited to be working for a firm that is mission-driven and so focused on sustainability. Wheee!

So now I’m a week into my job and settling back into a (new) routine after a few weeks off, which means it’s time to get back on the regular baking schedule! This weekend’s crisp was a product of the eternal “what do I have on hand that I can use in order to avoid a trip to the market” game – and I’m not sorry with how it turned out! I love these crisps for how adaptable they are. This one is gluten free, vegan, and only has a few tablespoons of maple in the entire thing, making it very breakfast/snack friendly. I’ve made endless variations of this previously – this one is cranberry and apple with a cinnamon crisp topping, perfect for winter.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season – happy 2022 from my kitchen to yours!

plants hiding off-camera

Apple, Cranberry & Cinnamon Crisp

Gluten free, dairy free, vegan & refined sugar free. Yield: 1 8-9″ crisp; serves several! A Wait are those Cookies original. Lightly sweet, perfect for wintery breakfast, dessert and anything in between.

For the filling:

4 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 c fresh cranberries (or frozen)
1 tbsp tapioca starch
zest and juice of one lemon
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c water

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond flour
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c flaked unsweetened coconut (optional, good if you have it!)
2 tbsp maple syrup
heaping ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1.5 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss apples and cranberries into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the tapioca starch, maple, water until combined. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond flour, chopped walnuts, coconut, salt and cinnamon. Mix in the maple, vanilla, and coconut oil, stirring until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.

Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days (yeah right – would take some major feat to make it last more than overnight..)

All things cranberry

Happy December!

What, ALREADY? That happened fast.

At least it’s finally gotten cooler/cold in the city – we had some weird unseasonably warm weather a few days ago but then, BAM, cold. I’m definitely okay with it, I’d rather have it feel like holiday weather.

Happy to report the bay is as cold as ever. I’m still swimming in my sleeveless wetsuit but miiiight be switching back to sleeves here pretty soon; the temperature after-drop once I get out is no joke. Still love it of course; I saw three seals the other day! One popped up right near me, so cute.

Since posting last, Thanksgiving happened – I made two pies (of course) and cranberry sauce. A real winner this year – I added fresh ginger and dates. Luckily, I have a thing of it frozen, so it’ll probably show up in a dessert sometime pretty soon – I’ll share the recipe then.

I have a very seasonal galette for you today – apple, cranberry & fig. I wonder how many galettes I’ve actually made over the course of my life? A lot, that’s for sure. I love anything cranberry (the more tart, the better) so this is a definite win for me. It’s also insanely easy and requires very little effort, BUT is super tasty and pretty. Refined sugar free, whole grain and easily vegan (just change out the butter); it makes a great dessert or late brunch / breakfast snack with coffee.

Happy holiday month! I hope everyone is starting to enjoy the season.

happy cactus

Cranberry, Apple & Fig Galette

Refined sugar free and whole grain; easily vegan with a swap of vegan butter (brush with non-dairy milk instead of half and half). Yield: 1 galette, serves 4-6. A Wait are those Cookies original.

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

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sea salt, and cinnamon. 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 – let it sit on the counter for a bit before rolling it out if it’s been refrigerated.

for the fruit:

apples, peeled & chopped (I used two granny smith)
~1.5 c fresh cranberries (I used half a bag straight from the freezer)
3 tbsp fig jam (I have some fruit sweetened preserves that I like; but anything will work)
1 tbsp half and half or cream, for brushing on the dough
coconut sugar for sprinkling

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 half and half or cream, 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 :)

Cobbler Two Ways

Hi hello!

Happy end of weekend but almost holiday week! I can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving already, that completely snuck up on me.

I thiiiink I know what I’m baking, maybe? Probably. At least I have a very good idea…

As for normal baking tendencies, I’ve now made us this cobbler two weeks in a row with different fruit and slightly different biscuits – it’s a winner! I’ll include notes for both versions in the recipe itself. Very forgiving, very delicious.

This weekend’s was cranberry + blueberry, plus I added dark chocolate to the biscuit topping… highly recommend. I love anything cranberry so was very excited to find them on sale at the market the other day; I may or may not have bought a couple extra bags to stash in the freezer. To be fair, I’m on cranberry sauce duty for turkey day so at least two will be used for that, ha.

As always, per usual, this was excellent with ice cream and also excellent for breakfast. I dropped a shower of pomegranate seeds over the top which not only was colorful and pretty, but also added a nice crunchy contrast.

We’ve had some beautiful sunsets lately in the city! Inevitably they look better to the naked eye than through a camera lens but… I try. Besides, I’m blessed with a very unobstructed western view, so I try to take advantage and admire them as much as I can.

Somehow the day got away from me today and I’m HUNGRY… time for dinner! I think it’s going to be veggie nachos… that’s a very Sunday dinner for me. I have perfect little 1/4 sheet pans that make a single serving of nachos exceptionally – I only have these ridiculous little pans because my oven in grad school was basically the size of an Easy Bake oven, and I’ve hung onto them ever since. Good thing too, since they’ve gotten a second life as nacho pans – what better afterlife could you ask for?

In other news, finally finished this guy! 16×20 on stretched canvas; so pleased with how it came out. A little bit of my home-away is on my walls now!

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Cranberry & Blueberry (or apple!) Cobbler with Cornmeal & Dark Chocolate Biscuits

Two variations are shown here: one is cran-apple and with plain biscuits (no chocolate; added cinnamon on top) and the other is cran-blueberry with dark chocolate biscuits. Both are delicious! Whole grain, refined sugar free. Adapted from Food52, here. Yield: 9″ or 10″ cobbler; serves 5-6.

for the cobbler:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup fine or medium cornmeal
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1/2 c buttermilk*
2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1/4 c dark chocolate, finely chopped

*I was out of buttermilk both times I made this (it’s not something I usually have on hand) – so I subbed in 1/4 c plain whole-milk yogurt whisked with 1/4c milk, adding milk until it reached the consistency of buttermilk. Any of the standard buttermilk subs will work well here, if you don’t have it

for the fruit:
2-3 c fresh (or frozen) cranberries
4 (about 1½ pounds) sweet-crisp apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cut into ¾-inch chunks OR 1c blueberries (fresh or frozen)**
zest and juice from one lemon
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp coconut sugar + extra for sprinkling
Pinch kosher salt
Cinnamon, for topping (optional)

**I’ve made both the cran/blueberry and cran/apple version; they’re both delicious

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, coconut sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles a coarse meal with butter pieces no larger than peas.
Stir in the buttermilk/buttermilk sub and vanilla until just combined, followed by chocolate (if using). Place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

In a baking dish of choice (deep 9″ pie dish, 2qt baking dish, 9 or 10″ cast iron skillet, etc) , toss together the cranberries, apples or blueberries, lemon zest and juice, tapioca starch, coconut sugar, and salt. Drop ~6 large dollops of batter over the fruit, leaving some areas of fruit exposed. Sprinkle with a bit more coconut sugar and cinnamon, if desired. Place the pan on a sheet pan to catch any drips. Bake the cobbler until the fruit is bubbly and the biscuits are golden brown, 45-50 min (tent with foil after 35 minutes to prevent the biscuits from getting too brown.) Let cool slightly (or completely) before serving. Keeps well overnight in the fridge; leftovers make great breakfast, either cold or reheated.

Monochromatic & delicious galette

Hi blog friends!

I’ll freely admit I haven’t felt very blog-y lately, probably because I have been moping about having two metatarsal stress fractures in my left foot. Ew, ugh. I’m in a boot for minimum 3 weeks but probably more like four…. I go for a checkup with the podiatrist on Wednesday so we’ll see. Crossing fingers and trying to be so good about staying off it but OY I just wanna run around! At least I can still swim, thankfully. That is fully keeping me sane (plus I have mastered chair cardio with I’m sure looks ridiculous but is actually decently effective.)

sad reality. yes, I was very careful when I got up on the chair

Alright though, enough whining. I got to spend time with my bestie Ashley who came down to visit me from Idaho (hi Ashley!!) and we made up for the four year hiatus by talking pretty much non-stop.

hooray, a drive-able vista point! we drove out here so I could look at something other than my walls for a minute

I also made this monochromatic, toasty fall galette to share with C this weekend; we ate it over a few board games and nearly finished it in under 24 hours. Actually, as I write this, it’s probably completely gone, ha.

I love anything fig, but there’s something about the combo of apples + figs with rye + hazelnut that’s a real winner. I kept going back to trim off slivers. I know it’s not the most colorful thing I’ve ever made, not by a long shot – but it’s delicious, and simple.

I hope all of us have weeks that are like this galette…. full of delicious things, and simple.

Apple & Fig Galette with a Rye & Hazelnut Crust

Whole grain & refined sugar free (the fig jam I use is fruit sweetened, but there’s also so little per serving that I wouldn’t sweat it if it wasn’t) – full of late fall flavor and so simple to throw together. Excellent by itself or with ice cream! A Wait are those Cookies original, riffed on approx 1000 times. Yield: 1 galette, serves 4-6 (or just two, ha)

for the crust*:
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c dark rye flour
1/4 c cornmeal
1/4 c hazelnut meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
4oz/1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2-3 tbsp ice water

*the rye and hazelnut make this dough a little softer and stickier than straight whole wheat – make sure you roll it between parchment. I found it to be fine to work with immediately after making (ie no need to chill it in a disc before rolling) but if it’s giving you problems, stick it in the fridge for a bit to relax.

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, rye, cornmeal, hazelnut meal, and sea salt. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add vanilla and almond extracts, 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. 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 – let it sit on the counter for a bit before rolling it out if it’s been refrigerated.

for the fruit:

apples, peeled & thinly sliced (I used three of them – 2 granny smith & one lady alice)
3 tbsp fig jam (I have some fruit sweetened preserves that I like; but anything will work)
1 tbsp half and half or cream, for brushing on the dough
coconut sugar for sprinkling

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 half and half or cream, 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 :)

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.

Beautiful Blood Oranges

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Ew gross, I hate losing an hour! I end up feeling so… cheated.

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Plus, it’s Sunday so I’m trying not to have the Sunday yucks. C and I had a great morning – slept in a little, spent some quality time at the climbing gym, ate delicious bfast and drank coffee. All the appropriate Sunday happenings.

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My apartment is clean and I have food to prep for the week (ground chicken stirfry with fennel and radish and cauliflower rice I think). It’s cloudy, I’ve moved on to tea and am feeling at least peaceful, if not totally at ease with the fact that it’s Sunday afternoon. I’m rationing my news consumption lately because of just… everything… so I am planning to finish at least one book this evening, maybe two. We’ll see.

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In other news, this galette got a rave review the instant C took a bite this morning – pretty sure the bite wasn’t even all the way eaten before he says, “omg this is INCREDIBLE!” so… I’ll just leave it at that.

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Almond poppy seed galette with blood oranges: there is almond in here three ways, between the almond flour and extract in the crust, and the almond butter in the filling. Blood oranges have a shortish season so I always try to get on them asap – they are just so incredibly beautiful.

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I mean, look at these things! Mother Nature is a boss lady.

Happy International Women’s Day to Mother Nature and all the other bossbitch ladies in my life out there, you inspire me every day <3

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Almond Poppy Seed and Blood Orange Galette

Gluten, grain and refined sugar free. Lightly sweet – perfect for those who like a little citrus-forward dessert. Easy to throw together, and the blood oranges are naturally beautiful. Poppy seeds are just a win all around, obviously. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette, serves several.

For the galette dough:

1.5 c almond flour (not meal; you want the finer flour variety)
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
3 tbsp poppy seeds
6 tbsp salted butter, chopped (or ghee)
1 egg*
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

For the filling:

1/3 c almond butter
1 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt

4-5 blood oranges, peeled and sliced

*alternately you can use a flax egg with very similar results (3tbsp water + 1 tbsp ground flaxseed)

In a food processor or high-power blender (I used a food processor), pulse almond flour, tapioca starch, poppy seeds, salt, and butter to combine until it looks like coarse meal. Add in egg, vanilla and almond extract and pulse just until combined. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

In a smallish bowl, stir together almond butter, maple and sea salt. It should be on the runnier and spreadable side – if not, warm it up briefly on the stove top or in the microwave.

Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, keeping the circle to about 1/4″ thickness. Peel off the top piece of parchment, and slide the rolled out dough on its parchment onto a baking sheet. Top with the almond butter filling, spreading it gently in a circle across the center of the dough. On top of that, add sliced blood oranges and dust them with coconut sugar. Begin folding up the sides, creasing them together as you go – if the dough rips, that’s okay (you can crimp the cracks back together; remember: galettes are forgiving and rustic!); you can use the bottom piece of parchment to help fold up the sides.

Dot the blood oranges with butter. Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are golden brown — mine came out just fine at 35 minutes, so check accordingly.

Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully slide the whole galette onto a cooling rack to let it cool completely. Serve with your fave ice cream or whatever of choice! Keeps well covered in foil on the counter or in the fridge.

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The Twenties have returned!

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Happy New Year, blog friends!

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I’m excited that the 20’s are back – can we also bring back the fashions, please? I’m all about the flapper style.

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Here’s hoping that 2020 will be a better year for everyone, no matter what kind of year you had last year. Sending love from my kitchen to yours! I bring you a light and bright tart, in hopes that light and bright follow you into 2020 and beyond. It’s such a nice round number for a year, and a fresh start for a new decade!

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In my fam, it’s tradition to take the tree down and get all the decorations put away before the new year, to have a fresh start. I did that yesterday, and also opened up all my windows and let the fresh (slightly chilly) air in and it felt AMAZING.

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My walk home from work was brisk and beautiful yesterday – this city has such great vistas.

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On another note, my bookshelf plants (Kuzco and Kronk) are going ape, and I love it. Kuzco especially seems very happy in his sunny new home – my apartment is west-facing, and boy do my plants (and I) love it.

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I’m ready for 2020. Time for some new exciting things!

In the meantime, I finished out 2019 baking and eating tart, so what else is new. This one is very lightly sweet, to balance out all the eating of sweet things I’m sure we’ve all been doing for the last week. It’s even a little earthy with the rosemary happening in there. Besides all that, it’s gluten and dairy free (not to mention refined sugar free of course) because lord only knows I’ve been eating a ridiculous amount of cheese lately and I should probably eat at least SOMETHING that is dairy free. You know, so I can eat more cheese and balance it out. HA.

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Happy New Year! May there be peace, joy and light in your upcoming year, and beyond.

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Lemon Panna Cotta on a Rosemary Almond Crust

A Wait are those Cookies original! Gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several or enough for a small New Year’s party :) Only lightly sweet to balance out all the eating we’ve all done over the last week. Mildly tart filling plays nicely with the slightly earthy notes from the rosemary in the crust, which is present but not overbearing.

For the crust:

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

1/4 c chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, baking soda and chopped rosemary. Add in vanilla 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 for a few minutes.

With a pastry brush or a spoon, coat the bottom the crust with an even layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
zest of 1 lemon
Scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c lemon juice, cold

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

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add lemon zest, maple, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from heat, strain to remove lemon zest pieces, and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with whatever pretty things your heart desires! Serve cold out of the fridge. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge as well.

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