Friday, December 23, 2016

Cardamom Ring

This post is really just for me (although you are welcome to read it. Ha!). Every year about this time, I go looking in my email for my grandmother's cardamom cake recipe. Then, I try to remember how I made it gluten free. I am pretty sure this is accurate, although if I find Christmas Eve that I'm missing something, I promise to update. I'm hoping that this post will keep me from having to re-invent the wheel every, single year.

This is our traditional Christmas morning breakfast. James loves it. He eats nearly the entire thing himself every year.

This is an "oven saver," actually an oven pie guard, but it's a family recipe and we always called it an oven saver. When i went to buy my own as an adult, this caused endless confusion. I'll try to save you that trouble (affiliate link):

When I was a child, my mom used to carefully decorate it with candied cherries to look like a wreath. We just as carefully picked them off because - yuck! I have chosen not to decorate it. There's lots of tastier ways than candied cherries it could be done though.


2 c gluten free flour
1/2 c sugar
3 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cardamom
1/4 lb butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 c milk

1. Mix together the first 5 ingredients.
2. Cut in 1/4 lb softened butter.
3. Stir in egg and milk until only just
4. Spoon onto a greased oven saver.
5. Bake at 425 for 15 min.
6. Spoon on icing (1 1/2 c. conf.
sugar, few drops milk, 1/2 t vanilla).

Monday, December 12, 2016

Simplifying the Allergy Friendly Kitchen

I will not lie; my kitchen was already ... well used ... prior to food allergies. But, exploded might be a better description since James was diagnosed. A million and one different types of flour (all in tiny little bags), gadgets that will surely function to transform gluten free flour into a true wheat replacement (pro-tip: nope), any sense of flow lost under the day to day pressure of cooking everything.

Enter my friend, Karen, a simplicity coach (Keep it Simple is her website). Karen's focus is not organizing, but simplifying. I didn't understand the difference; if things were organized, my life would be simpler. However, after working with her, I get it. Organizing takes what you have and applies a system. Simplifying removes what you don't use or need, so you don't need a system.

She gave me homework, both physical and mental. Part one was to think about the flow in my kitchen and what I would want that flow to be ideally. Part two was to remove everything from the cabinets we would be working with.

Part 1:

We have lived in our house for almost eleven years. When you move in somewhere, you think about where it makes sense to store things. If you are anything like me, you don't think about it again for eleven some odd years. Looking at it from the perspective of, "What makes sense here?" allowed me to see my flow in the kitchen was clogged.

Part 2:

I got to this point (stuff from my appliance garage and three upper cabinets - seen in the background) and I messaged her, "I think this is all we have time for."

The Result:

We had time for much more than than I thought,mostly because I had already been thinking about what I wanted for function in my kitchen. I didn't have a lot of decision making left to do. We finished the appliance garage, four upper cabinets, and my entire walk in pantry - a huge mess.

Since a picture is worth 1,000 words:

And here are my counters:

It is peaceful in my kitchen now. I have countertops for prepping and am not constantly trying to figure out where to put something down.

How is the function in your kitchen? Do you think you could simplify it to work better?