OFF WEEK: Don’t Worry, There’s a Good Reason
Y’all, I cheated on my blog assignment this week. I’m supposed to be making stuff using my cookbook collection every weekend, but this weekend, I went ahead and cooked exclusively using online recipes and/or dishes I flat out made up myself. Why? Why didn’t I just choose one of the hundreds, more likely thousands, of recipes at my disposal in book form?
Motherfucking FRIENDSHIP, that’s why.
Because this weekend was the bridal shower of one of my best damn friends in the world. And I was going to make delicious foods for her and our friends, and I was going to make things with her in mind and not try to shoehorn in something for my little blog.
Additionally, everything needed to be gluten-free, so my chances of being able to make something as-written from one of the books would have been even more restricted. So I gave the blog the weekend off.
In case you’re interested in what I DID make — and you should be, because it was all bomb — here’s the intel…
Pimento Cheese Quiche from Everyday Champagne (a terrific food blog written by Abbey Wade who, if I remember correctly, I believe is actually the sister-in-law of my former improv teacher)
This quiche (pictured above) is bomb as hell. I’m crazy about it. This thing is crazy decadent and savory without needing bacon or ham or meat in it. Also, people’s eyes light the hell up when you say the words “pimento cheese.” KEEPER RECIPE.
The Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust Recipe from A Little Insanity (that’s the official name of the recipe, not my editorial commentary)
I’m not sure if this is the BEST, as it was my first foray into gluten-free pie crust, but it was certainly tasty and effective. I did have some minor issues because I was working in my hot kitchen and using flour with no gluten in it, which made moving the rolled out dough damn impossible. However, I ended up pressing the dough into the pie tin, and things turned out just fine, since the glutens can’t get overworked and make the crust tough if they don’t exist. *temple-pointing gif* One tweak I made, though, is that I left out the sugar and added a bit of smoked paprika to the dough, which I recommend entirely if you’re making a quiche shell. DAMN.
Mini Cheesecakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction
The bride called these one of her favorite things she’s ever eaten, so yeah, they’re pretty damn good. MAJOR KEEPER RECIPE. They’re very petite, though, so be warned. But if you’re shooting for a few bites of something sweet, this is a damn good option. I used Pamela’s Gluten Free Graham Crackers for the crust. Tip: Don’t pack the crust too tightly, or it’ll be hard to break into with a spoon. And I made this strawberry sauce to spoon on top — used frozen berries, 1/2 cup sugar was a bit more than necessary, and I added a slug of balsamic vinegar to keep things interesting.
The Best Gluten-Free Brownies from Texanerin Baking (again, the official recipe name; I can’t fault a blog for trying to get that SEO)
I’ve made this recipe before and I knew it was good already. ETERNAL KEEPER RECIPE. But since I knew that one of the party guests was also vegan, I thought, HEY, why not swap out a couple ingredients and make vegan, gluten-free brownies? Some Earth Balance, non-dairy chocolate chips, and a vegan egg replacement — no sweat, right?
Wrong. In my kitchen, there’s always sweat.
Long story short, Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Egg product is on my shit list. Not because the product is bad or doesn’t work, but because the directions on the packaging are total bullshit. They say to mix 1/2 cup of water with 2 tbsp. of the powdered mix and that’s the equivalent of one egg. While that might work well for a scramble, that’s WAY too much water to be adding to a batter. “Oh, but are there alternate directions for baking?” No, my friend, there are not. “Does it indicate that the cook time might be different if you’re using it in baked goods?” It sure the fuck does not. I added a little less water than called for, and it still took over an hour to bake the brownies.
I can’t stay mad, though, because they were freaking delicious.
That’s right. You can make vegan, gluten-free brownies that still taste like fudgy magic. Just maybe add a bit less water to your damn Vegan Egg when you do so. (After poking around online, trying to figure out where I’d gone wrong, I found a website recommending using just 1/4 cup of water per 2 tbsp. if you’re baking and replacing 3 or more eggs, in case you’re wondering.)
I also improvised a corn salad and assembled a snack spread that satisfied both gluten-free and vegan guests. (I tried to keep the fruit from touching the cheese as much as I could.)
So I didn’t not cook this week; I just had other priorities at hand.
If your options are ever “show your friends you love them” vs. “stick to your blog schedule,” you wrap those friends in a big fat headlock of pimento cheese and friendship and tell your schedule “Hola! Fuck off!”
HEADS UP! Big news is coming soon regarding one of the undeveloped sections on my website! OOOOOH, CRYPTIC. Will give real info as soon as there’s concrete info to give. Aaaand that’s all the vagueblogging I’ve got in me for tonight!