Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free
A single scoop from Thrifty was just over a dollar. The ice cream scoop was kind of a rounded cylinder shape, and it made a "click clack" noise when the attendant would release your chosen flavor into the sugar cone or cup. It was more like a scoop and a half, really. I consistently chose apricot-mango (why, young Sara?) and my sister, rainbow sherbet. It was located inside a Rite-Aid that was both across from the city library and in the same center where we went to a weekly math tutoring program, so we were frequent visitors. It may have been dinner some nights? My mom has never liked cooking and we lived to tell the tale so no sense in fretting too much about that. My mom would also get a scoop every now and then, likely something better and chocolatey because she was older and wiser. I have a snapshot memory of the three of us sitting outside the automatic doors, against the taupe-y stucco walls, eating our treats, me complaining I didn't like my flavor and preferred the one my mom chose. She took one more big spoonful and swapped with me. She took my bullshit apricot-mango and gave me her chocolately one and while I hope I at least said thank you in that fleeting moment, I've gone back to that memory a number of times when I par down what this whole motherhood thing looks like. Yes, I hear all the self-care, don't-lose-yourself conversations and I agree, but there is also a huge part of it that is just surrendering. You surrender to the mess and the cost and the exhaustion and work and the worry. You surrender your superior ice cream flavor. You never know how actions and words are perceived on the other side - sometimes lost or forgotten, or perhaps they stick with someone forever.
I gave this loaf recipe a test run for our Mothers day brunch plans. The Sweet Laurel cookbook is full of grain and refined sugar free baking recipes - nearly all with almond or coconut flours and maple sweetened. The original calls for six eggs, so I risked scaling that back because we don't like when baked goods taste so, well, eggy. This makes for a looser crumb and a wetter texture and I'll take that over eggy. I added nubs of a quick roasted rhubarb for tiny pockets of tart jam throughout. You could eliminate this completely if you'd like, or maybe use lemon instead of orange and swap in blueberries.
If you have a mother or are one or want to be one or are struggling with the one you have or can even think of someone else who has been that figure for you, a happy Mother's Day weekend to you.
PISTACHIO RHUBARB LOAF
Makes one 9x5 loaf
Recipe adapted from Sweet Laurel
This recipe will not work with a 1:1 swap for a regular wheat flour or any whole grain flour for that matter. Coconut flour is super absorbent and the liquid ratio will not translate. They sell small bags at Trader Joes, most larger grocery stores, or a handful of sizes and brands online.
- 1 cup diced rhubarb
- sprinkle of sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. coconut or avocado oil
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp. flaxmeal
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 4 large eggs
- zest of one small orange
- 1/2 cup orange juice (about 1 juicy orange)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup raw pistachios, divided
Oven to 375', line a sheet with parchment. Toss the diced rhubarb with a sprinkle of sugar, teensy bit of salt and coconut or avocado oil. Roast for 10-12 minutes, just enough to take the crunch off. Remove to let it cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350'. Line a loaf pan with parchment and grease it with coconut oil or what have you.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, flax, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, orange zest and juice, maple and vanilla. A little at a time, stir the wet and dry ingredients together. Fold in the rhubarb and 1/2 cup of the pistachios.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Chop the remaining pistachios and sprinkle them on top of the loaf. I like to add a bit of turbinado sugar on top too.
Bake the loaf for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove the bread and set it on a rack to cool completely. Cut it into thick slices and toast before serving.
Breakfast, Dessert, Spring
My oven currently smells like it's burning off oil that had dripped to the bottom at some point. I should clean it; it really does interrupt the beautiful waft that comes from a springy cake in the oven. I have a handful of prospective projects I am back and forth about between two email addresses that while made with good intentions to keep personal and work separate, have done no such thing. There are threads regarding a potential cookbook, a recipe and article assignment about avocados, a menu card for our fundraiser dinner and open items to finish filing our taxes. Woven in between are emails about Curran's first (overdue apparently, oops) dentist appointment, follow up on invoices and the receipt for that weird oversized shirt I ordered from Nordstrom that I keep there to remind myself to return it some night after the kids are down. I never feel like doing that once the kids are down... but I also don't like going to the mall with two spirited toddlers so you may find me in a terribly unflattering oversized shirt. Anyway. I get stuck on writing here because the balls I am trying to keep in the air follow no apparent rhyme or reason or lessons learned. It feels like a simple yogurt cake on top of the stove is a constant to a life that seems to be buzzing by faster than I can keep up with. The fruit shrinks in after some time in the oven, and because fruit has a lot of water in it, the result is almost custardy which I don't mind at all once it cools. The jammy fruit and cake batter are almost tough to distinguish. It works for breakfast or an incentive for a moderately potty trained little boy or something to bring along on a date with my nieces. There is no frosting or chocolate or decadence really, it's an everyday sort of cake and the only kind that feels right to make around here lately.
STRAWBERRY + RHUBARB YOGURT CAKE // one 8" cake
Recipe adapted from Sarah Waldmans Feeding a Family
I swapped in half strawberries for Sarah's exclusively rhubarb cake because I love the combination and my wee people are fans. I also cut down on the sugar slightly from her suggestion and found it to be plenty sweet. If you don't stock spelt flour, completely all purpose is fine, the texture would probably be better, I just like to sneak some whole grains in there.
You can make this dairy free by replacing the yogurt for a plant based yogurt and the butter for a scant 1/2 cup of coconut oil. It's a pretty forgiving cake.
3/4 cup full fat yogurt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup/1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. grated gingerroot (or twice as much crystallized ginger pieces)
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup spelt flour (or more unbleached all purpose)
1 cup muscavado or brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup 1" diced rhubarb
1 cup diced strawberries
turbinado sugar, for finishing
creme fraiche, yogurt or ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350' and grease an 8" pan (square, springform, cakepan etc.).
In one mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, butter, vanilla and ginger. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda and stir to mix. Mix the fruit into the dry mix (this helps to keep the fruit from sinking) then gently combine the wet and dry mix together.
Pour the mix into your prepared pan and generously sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.
Bake on the middle rack for around 45-50 minutes until the cake is browned on top and a toothpick test shows that the center is cooked through.
Remove to cool so the cake sets. Serve with creme fraiche, yogurt or ice cream.
Cake will keep covered on the counter for two days, beyond that, store it in the fridge as it has a lot of moisture to it.
Dessert, Gluten Free, Spring
May is the fullest month we have over here. About seven birthdays within both our immediate families (my own included), mothers day, memorial..it makes for a lot of holidays and celebrating. With celebrating, comes treats. And if ice cream reigns my dessert of choice, brownie or chocolate molten cake a la mode comes second and then it's a berry or stone fruit crumble/crisp...which is usually served with ice cream. I see a theme? I like lots of oats and preferably low on the sugar so I can top it with plain goat yogurt for a permissible breakfast, but the other lead eater in our house prefers his sweet. "Not a breakfast crumble please, like a real dessert kind" was the request, and this recipe here is some sort of compromise. Sweet, but not too sweet and heavy on the crumble. It has oats and almonds and rice flour in the topping and some sweet but tangy fruit beneath that buckles under the heat to soften in its own syrup. I used rice flour in the crumble portion as I was serving this at a dinner party with a few gluten intolerant people, but it makes for such a great texture, I'd use it regardless. It makes for a more delicate topping while still being crunchy from the oat shards and nuts. You would get more cookie-like chunks with all purpose flour so feel free to swap that in. Personal preference I suppose. Either way, happy May my friends.
MIXED BERRY + RHUBARB CRUMBLE // Serves 6
The full recipe is available on the Electrolux site Live.Love.Lux