Dizzy Swallows

Naturally Sweet Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

May 11th, 2011 2 Comments

I’m weird about carrots. When it comes to fresh carrots, call me Bugs, but once the orange tubers are cooked I want nothing to do with them. Something about the texture and its similarity to baby food perhaps.

Carrot cake, however, is one of my favorite desserts. In fact, I would venture to say, a good carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite foods.

I’ve recently kicked a whopper of a chocolate habit, which has led me to become more aware of my sugar intake in general. While browsing Heidi’s impressive archives, I came across this recipe. I’ve adapted it into my own gluten-free version, though it is so deliciously moist you’d never guess.

If you prefer a more traditional cake with distinct crumb, this might not be your cup of tea. However, given half a chance this cake will surprise you. It’s like … Continue reading

Turmeric and Raisin Pancakes

April 22nd, 2011

A few weeks ago, Jacob and I had the pleasure of attending a lecture on Ayurvedic cooking. The highlights included: breath deeply to avoid stress, drink more water, eat little to no processed foods, less meat, more plants, and whole grains. Oh, and throw away your non-stick pans in favor of those coated with ceramic. Le Creuset, anyone? One topic I found particularly fascinating, however, was a discussion of the various healing properties of spices.

Though I am generally one to reach for fresh herbs over dried spices, I have held a deep and abiding love of turmeric. A member of the ginger family, I adore the rhizome’s delicate, earthy flavor.

In one form or another, the turmeric plant has been used in cooking for centuries. In the Middle Ages, turmeric was referred to as Indian Saffron, and was used as a substitute for the more expensive spice. Today, … Continue reading

Peter Reinhart’s Bagels

April 8th, 2011 4 Comments

My darlings, as promised, I embarked this week on my very own bagel adventure, under the steady direction of Peter Reinhart. His recipe that is.

I am not often intimidated by culinary ventures, but I had gotten it into my mind that bagels are a foodstuff simply too complex for the home kitchen. Perhaps this is due to touring a bagel bakery at an impressionable age, gaping in awe at the tube-like extruders, huge boiling vats, and rack upon rack of the gloating, gleaming ringlets themselves.

But now, oh now, the scales have fallen from my eyes. Bagels are easy! Yes, that’s right, you too can have delightful, H&H worthy bagels made for and by your own happy hands. All you need is Peter Reinhart’s recipe and your dreams of plump, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside bagels can come true.

His recipe does call for fancy … Continue reading

Walnut Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

March 25th, 2011 2 Comments

I am not a cake person. I’ll take a bubbling apple pie, or tart strawberry-rhubarb crumble any day over the starchy, cloying trollops that usually pass for cake. This preference does not apply, however, when it comes to my family’s traditional birthday cake. In fact, I’ll take this cake over the aforementioned desserts. Any day.

I must be breaking all kinds of family code by giving away this highly guarded recipe, but it is really too good to be kept in captivity. Over the years, I have released it on select test groups who now join me in the worship of its ambrosial flavor and moist crumb.

Following tradition, I made this cake for our combined birthday. This gave me a chance to test run my new prized possession: a vintage Foley Sift Chine triple screen I’d pounced upon at a recent estate sale for a measly 5 bucks. … Continue reading

The Saddest Samosas

March 2nd, 2011 1 Comment

It has always been a source of pride that I can make truly delicious samosas. Golden-brown purses of soft vegetables rife with aromas of the subcontinent, the crisp, bubbling skin in perfect harmony with the rich chew of the inner dough. Are ya with me here?

Last spring I was the unhappy recipient of allergy test results which stated in no uncertain terms my body’s intolerance for what can only be described as “the good stuff”. You know, wheat (and gluten while we’re at it), eggs, milk, cheese, cream, butter, and even mushrooms. I have held off on getting into all of this nonsense in my recipes as I still cook for a certain someone who happily enjoys “the good stuff”. But for nearly a year I have dutifully adhered to this dietary regime. And my physical and mental health is exponentially better for it. Oh there have been lapses … Continue reading