I know I haven’t blogged in almost a month. With the holidays and unmotivatingly freezing temperatures until just a couple days ago I’ve mostly been in hibernation mode (and no offense, but I mean really freezing, not frost-in-Florida-or -California-freezing. Like a few weeks in which we barely crept above zero and more often were dealing with windchills of -30F. It’s not fun to walk 10 blocks to work in, believe me.). BUT! Yesterday was my birthday, and I took the opportunity to make myself some fancy things and get back into this business.
There seem to be different camps when it comes to birthdays and what constitutes “fun” vs. “sad.” As in when I tell people I’m baking my own birthday cake and most of the time the other person looks at me with a slight frown and says with pity, “Aww, that’s sad that no one else will make you a cake for your birthday.” But for me, it’s something I like to do and don’t do very often at home. But first things first, dinner:
I roasted up a casserole dish full of brussels sprouts, cremini mushrooms, tempeh and leeks with garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I had it with a side of squash and dijon-cashew gravy, and some mixed greens with vinaigrette and blueberries. It was delicious! I ate it while watching one of my favorite Japanese sci-fi/art house films.
I made the Golden Vanilla Cake recipe from Ricki’s Sweet Freedom cookbook, subbing some gluten-free flour mix and coconut flour for the spelt, and adding frozen blackberries to the batter. Then I made her recipe for gluten-free, soy-free Pastry Cream, only subbing a bit of arrowroot for the cornstarch (it uses millet to thicken it…fancy!). The pastry cream went between the layers, and though I had great ambitions to make avocado frosting and add kiwis and all sorts of things, my frosting ended up browning despite the lemon juice and it would have made for a seemingly swamp-derived cake. I don’t really like buttercream-type frostings or most frostings actually (too sweet) so when all else fails, I’ve decided that coconut milk ganache fixes all ills. A lovely reader recently sent me some unused gf flours she had since going raw along with a bar 70% dark chocolate, and it came in superhandy! Once the ganache was poured I decorated the cake with edible flowers and fresh blueberries.
While the cake was devoured at the 4th annual gay bar extravaganza (my friend and coworker has his birthday the day after mine, and we have eerily parallel lives/attributes not the least of which are being gay and Swedish Capricorns), I felt like I had to try the cake out at home, you know, to make sure it was fit to serve other people. And it was, and people loved it, which made me happy since it was my first homemade gluten-free cake.
I’ll probably still be a bit under the radar for awhile yet. My girlfriend and her band are leaving for their first European tour next week and everyone is busy getting ready for that. To all my lovely European readers: if strange math rock trios with a really amazing lady drummer are your thing, and they’re headed to your city, please go support them. I know I’m biased, but I promise I’m not the only person who thinks they’re amazing.
I’m also in the process of designing the new blog with a friend of mine and figuring out everything involved in that. But I do plan on eating a lot of raw food while I’m “home alone” and that’s plenty of inspiration for blogging in the winter. Hope you are all having a great start to 2010!