29 January 2010

No Wheat, No Dairy Lemon Bars- No Way!

As many of you know, I had to change my diet about 2 years ago when I discovered I have gluten and diary allergies. Please save all your groans and sighs for I know what I am missing: pizza, croissants, cheese... delicious, delicious butter. But you cannot imagine how good it feels to find relief from the daily headaches and sore throats, not to mention the total lack of energy and tortured intestines. And all I had to do was adjust my diet. And adjust, and adjust, and adjust... After all these adjustments, I thought I'd share with you all some of my baking successes. Starting with these awesome lemon bars, one of my favorite desserts.

Lemon Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, which was Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

For the crust:
3/4 cup of Earth Balance, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour (1 c. ground S'moreables, 1/2 c. millet flour, 1/2 c. brown rice flour)
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the full-size lemon layer:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour (1/2 c. sweet rice flour, 1/2 tapioca flour)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking pan. Chill for 20 minutes.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. The butter may get bubbly, but let it cool on a wire rack until the crust solidifies. Leave the oven on.

For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Outer ends can get rubbery. I cut about a 1/4 inch of lemon bar off around the edge of the pan before cutting into small squares. Dust with confectioners’ sugar right before serving.

Homemade Halloween: Chicken and Egg

This is the beginning of a new Halloween costume trend: The Sweatshirt Costume! It's amazing what you can come up with when you have a sweatshirt, a little felt, and some sewing know-how. Plus some rad spandex pants and leg warmers. Wish I had a better picture.

23 January 2010

Altoid Box Remade

This little project came about when I was trying to think of a gift for a friend to take on the road. I imagined it as a light travel box that could be set up on bedside tables or peeked into during long van rides. Fox and chicken make an unlikely traveling duo, but they have set up a lovely camp together and fox plays a mean banjo. Chicken clucks along.

It is mostly made from paper, colored pencils, and glue, but the ground is felted wool and the night sky is watercolors and salt. The moon and clouds protrude from the background with the help of little paper cubes made from vellum. And the hobo bag is tied on with string.

Summer Family Photos

The Annual Polly's Photo

Safety first (note the bunny silkscreen theme)
Standard Basin Photos

Gloucester Farmers Market

crab apple! ha!

New England Farmgirl

This summer I help orchestrate a 450-member CSA at a farm in Dracut, MA. It was an exciting summer, full of washing and packing and driving. I also got to help run our stand at a bunch of farmers markets all over the greater Boston area. I worked with wonderful people and learned a lot of Spanish words for all our various vegetables. It was a wonderful FRESH start back on the east coast.