Into 2015 (+ Flourless Sugar Stars)


[The Pacific from the blowhole, Point Reyes National Seashore 2015.]

Happy new year! I hope your holidays were merry and bright and full of delicious bites and warming drinks. We were asleep by 9:30 on new year’s eve – welcome to parenthood of a young child – but up early on the first day of 2015 with plans for a hike in the Point Reyes Seashore. I made cheese and avocado sandwiches, tucked a bar of good dark chocolate into the backpack along with a few mandarin oranges, filled the water bottles, and left Sierra with her grandparents while we drove through the sun along Tomales Bay. Highway 1 was mostly empty except for a few intrepid bikers here and there and our Hardcore espressos fueled us along the trail for 4+ miles out and back. It was warm and clear at the coast and the Farrallons seemed close enough to touch. Mostly what I think when I am here (and what I always did think) was California, you are so good to us. And, thank you.

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For Happy Holidays (+ Naturally Flourless Waffles)


[In the redwoods, Armstrong Woods.]

2014 has been one of those that has passed by in a blur of long-haul flights, a flurry of naturally gluten-free flours, many moments of extreme joy learning how to be a parent, much homesickness, and attempting to adapt to a new culture (just in time to pack up and move yet again but that’s another story to be delved into later) — in short, another year in the life. We’re currently in northern California soaking up sun and rain both, loads of good family time, all the delicious espressos we can stand, and feeling nostalgic as always for our previous life here in the golden state.

Christmas is so soon and for once my small gifts have been wrapped well in advance, the packages mailed, the cards addressed and stamped. There are still some flourless cookies to bake – a project hopefully for this afternoon to be indulged in with Emily and strong cups of tea – but my persimmon cake rests happily on the counter and I’ve been trying to cut small slices to make it last as long as possible. DW made oat flour-wild blueberry pancakes the other morning and I’ve been thinking about waffles, specifically gluten-free waffles. I don’t think I’ll have a chance to make them before Christmas but I wanted to share the recipe here in case you’re still thinking about what to make for your holiday breakfast or brunch spread. Wishing you the happiest and most peaceful of holidays and a gentle slide into the new year ~ xo

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Holidaying (+ Flourless Persimmon Cake)

A holiday-spiced, naturally gluten-free persimmon cake that’s perfect for December days.


[Fisherman, Dar Bouazza, December 2014.]

A week of rain, a week of sun, and we leave Morocco very early Saturday morning for a month in California. We’ll trade palm trees for redwoods, the Atlantic Ocean for the Pacific, and running on trails rather than bricks, enough so that we get properly muddified and return to our roots. I’m hoping for lots of hikes, lots of quiet miles in the wet and dripping woods, and hopefully lots of afternoons spent under the bright sun at the coast. The winter beach in fair weather is perhaps my favorite beach.

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Wintry (+ Flourless Apple Cake)

A lovely, not-too-sweet, naturally flourless/gluten-free caramelized apple cake that’s perfect for the season.

It’s been raining here lately, which I admit I love though when it negatively affects part of the country I’d much rather have sun and dry weather. We have actually turned on some of our heaters, which haven’t been used since last winter. For someone who only used her San Francisco heat in the final months of living in her apartment – not because it wasn’t chilly, because it was, but because I didn’t mind adding an extra sweater and am slightly weird I guess – it’s a new and rather welcome thing. A lot of the houses in Casablanca (and probably the rest of Morocco) are built out of concrete and lined with beautiful tile floors that work wonderfully in the summer to keep heat at bay. But it can get quite, quite brisk indoors during the cooler months and I am grateful for the opportunity to warm up when possible. Of course another way to cozy up a house or an apartment is to turn on the oven and bake something and lord knows I rarely need an excuse to do that. It is starting to feel decidedly wintry here, and thus wintry baking things must start happening as well. In the midst of last week’s flurry of Thanksgiving baking I decided to also make a gluten-free apple cake for, I don’t know, morning snacking? Just because? For experimental purposes? Probably all of those.

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Making Good Use (+ A Beet Soup)

Making good use of beets by turning them into a velvety, dairy-free soup that’s spiked with lemon juice.

She totters around the downstairs of our rather enormous house and I let her, hanging back with my cup of coffee (if it’s morning) or tea (if it’s late afternoon) and granting her the illusion that she’s on her own to discover what there is to discover. My intrepid explorer; I hope one day soon her path is the granite of the Sierras rather than the cold, slick tiles of this house (though admittedly granite can be cold and slick too).

There’s a rather astonishing number and variety of birds in our neighborhood; often they fly in great flocks over the slightly pollution-stained houses and somewhat raggedy palm trees and alight on bougainvilla branches and garden walls. There’s one in particular that sounds like a blue jay and every time I hear it I think of being in the redwood forest, maybe Armstrong Woods in particular, the quiet hum of the trees and rushing water and hot summer pressing down all around me. Intellectually I know of course that there are no blue jays here – mourning doves, sea gulls, small white cranes, …. yes, but no jays or other birds similarly familiar to we North Americans – but if I take a moment to close my eyes I can almost believe I am in California of an August afternoon with nothing much to do other than listen to the leaves falling down to carpet the dry ground.

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{Gluten-free, Vegan} Pumpkin Waffles

Gluten-free and vegan pumpkin waffles made with [g-f] oat flour and maple syrup that are perfect for fall even if you’re stuck in the land of endless summer.


[Beach, Casablanca, October 2014.]

I have a nice post in the works for a really stellar beet soup (yes — beet soup. I didn’t believe it either.) but first: we are currently experiencing sort of an endless summer vibe here in Casablanca which despite the calendar telling me it’s November 3 is throwing my internal compass off a bit. I haven’t lived in Southern California but I imagine it’s somewhat the same, minus the horses on the beach I suppose. I never thought I’d be looking forward to rain but I am and there is hope it may arrive tomorrow morning.

To help us get into the fall spirit I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for a Halloween party last week as well as a loaf of the pumpkin-maple bread from Flourless. Truth be told I had a rather large can of pumpkin to finish off and Saturday morning had me up early and thinking about how to use it. Pancakes seemed the obvious choice but, I don’t know, I hadn’t pulled out the waffle iron in far too long so — why not? For ‘fun’ I decided to make my pumpkin waffles not only vegan but gluten-free as well, relying upon oat flour as their base.

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