Wednesday, June 8

oh (what a) happy day (it would be)

zut alors, people!

this is not usually a space I use for promoting contests, but this give-away is so phenomenal I had to share. oh happy day and hôtel mama shelter are partnering to send a reader (plus-one) to paris (the *good* one—not paris, texas) for one week, housing them in the uber-chic boutique hotel (voted among the top 50 worldwide), and personally showing them around the city of light!

... would it be graceless to add another ten exclamation points to that statement? the astonishingly generous jordan is footing the bill for airfare from her own argent de poche, so, I'd say that warrants at least ten.

go now! check it out!

(coincidentally, b and I hope to visit paris this fall to celebrate our recent marriage, meanwhile devouring anything in print on the topic of food, history, culture, oh...and food.)


Thursday, April 21

this easter bunny speaks gluten-free

two of my very favorite small humans are unable to eat the protein in grain (which gives bread its elastic nature). neither are they able to eat the protein in milk (which concentrates in aged cheeses). nor soy (well, that's pro'lly just a plain old allergy developed from recipe substitutions).

so what's a poor girl to do, around holidays when it's customary to send one's favorite small people boxes overflowing with with cookies and cakes and chocolaty chocolaty bunnies???

improvise, that's what.

and with limited time left over after last weekend's wedding (woot!), that means a very quick "cooking" project before popping a box in the mail to the mini-people.

step one: shortcuts
locate the kosher for passover aisle conveniently prominent this season, at your neighborhood (maybe) grocer. buy as many bags of pareve (kosher-neutral) chocolate chips as you can manage with your pocket money. you'll know the right ones by the k inside a circle, but without the little d next to it. that d stands for dairy, which, as we've said, is a no-go. while dairy is not usually a dirty word, in kosher tradition it may not be mixed with meat in the same meal, so these chips are right for making passover desserts. soy is explicitly banned from use during pesach, so this kind of chip will never contain soy emulsifiers. also, they will have been produced on dedicated equipment that will never have processed dairy or soy products. rabbis don't mess around with this stuff.

step two: melt
dump chocolate chips into a microwave-safe glass bowl, add one tablespoon vegetable oil and stir chips to coat. realize that oil was 100 percent soybean oil. curse. dump coated chips unceremoniously into the trash. (aren't you glad you bought lots now?)

step three: repeat
in a clean, dry bowl - without oil, this time; it was optional anyway. heat chips in micro for 1.5 minutes at half-power, then remove from microwave and stir until bowl is cool. repeat at 30 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted. stir in large handfuls of shredded, unsweetened dried coconut, until there's enough for coconut to be coated in chocolate, but hold the texture of a haystack.

step four:
spoon a scant tablespoon of chocolate-coconut mix onto parchment, and make a small well in the center of the nest to hold a few jelly belly (the brand is gluten-free casein-free) "eggs." (so what if they look a little like turds? throw a few little candies on there, they taste just fine.)

step five:

{cute gfcf-ness!}

bonus round:
track down mom's favorite brand of gluten-free dairy-free rice crispy treat, and cut bars in half. shape blocks into egg-like ovals. dunk in chocolate (or not). roll in decorative sugar nonpareils.

{a little quality control - shhh. don't tell the kids.}


Monday, February 14

valentines: belated

today a valentine of sorts will make its way to 100 of b's & my loved ones. we sat, shoulders hunched, assembly line style, for a good portion of the weekend (my vision may have been stupidly ambitious, with the wrist cramp to prove it), but they're (mostly) done! so off they go, to wish you a happy st. valentine's day.

... now get busy rsvp'ing.