Fabulous Failure

So lately I’ve been in an experimental mood with recipes… probably brought on by my discovering I really love watching 18th century cooking videos. I have to adapt all their recipes, but the ideas are often very old solutions to the problems I face in food preservation! 

Anyways, the other day they posted about Puff Paste, which is now known as puff pastry. I decided that since the butter has to stay cold… I would make it in the winter. Plus I was hungry. 
So I threw together a flour substitute (my wheat flour’s not allowed in the house, lest I poison my celiac sister & housemate), and calculated what I’d need so that I wouldn’t use a full pound of flour & a pound of butter… 

except that somewhere in there I screwed up. And thought it was 1:1 flour:butter in VOLUME. 

Fast forward to rolling out the dough. It seemed odd that it was SO thin the butter peeked through a lot. It wasn’t springing back like they said it would. But meh. Gluten free flours behave oddly, I thought. 

Then I cooked it. It took a lot longer than I expected, and to my surprise it looked like it was deep frying itself in the pie dish! The meat wrapped in pastry had the pastry spreading out all over. So I waited until it was all browned, and took it out. 

Not exactly *beautiful*… but OH. SO. GOOD. Good enough that I have decided not to try and salvage the leftover dough into new puff pastry that might get overworked in the salvage… but instead to make more of what I will call: Fried Pie. 

Behold, the blueberry fried pie that started it. I just filled the pie with frozen blueberries. Easy!!!

This week I made kiwi fried pie, with straight kiwi slices, and then done kiwi jam on top, and then coconut on top of that. 

Let me know if anyone wants the recipe for these failures! Lol. Otherwise I’ll post my adaptation on puff pastry once I get it to work!!!



Well, this week has been a long wait. I “challenged” cocoa last year, but it contained milk and may have contained other random things. Throw that test out… 

This year I was chatting w my allergist, and since things are going so well on the hives front (I frequently have days without hives now!!!), he cleared me for trying the cocoa nibs I had found at the store. These are sulphite and nut and everything else I’m allergic to FREE. Note: he cleared me for doing this at home, as it’s highly unlikely to cause anaphylaxis for me. DON’T challenge things at home without your allergist’s approval!!!

So far… I spent a day doing a standard challenge. A weird feeling mouth, and some flushing, twice in the day after eating them… But nothing major and maybe my chronic hives acted up.

Tried some more again last night- again felt weird, but the hives only came later on and may have been related to something else.

I *will* keep trying these. Enjoy Life chocolate is also sulphite-free, though I’ve learned that they go ahead and label natural sources of sulphites as sulphite-free… so… many of their “sulphite-free” products are only under 10 PPM. Sigh. Thankfully… the chocolate is not one of them!!! YAY! 

In any case trying cocoa has been a delight, hives or not!!! The nibs taste like coffee beans in texture, but the smell is totally chocolate. Just smelling them is SO, SO nice!!!

I might try the *real* chocolate on valentine’s if I’m not super busy… seems like a good day to try chocolate! Wish me luck 🙂 


It’s amazing how, over a year, you can miss certain textures in your food. One of the ones that I really wanted to try for the holidays (but didn’t in the end) were gummy candies. But Valentine’s is just around the corner… so I’ve made these! 

I found the original recipe on YouTube, here https://youtu.be/YQ2DweIAGtk, but here it is again, in a smaller batch: 

Heat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 can coconut milk together until the sugar dissolves. 

In another bowl, mix 1/4 of rice flour and 3/4 c tapioca starch (the original recipe insists you use the flour, but… they’re the same thing… so I dunno what he meant there). 

Add the coconut milk mixture to the flour mixture, and stir well. Add about 1/4 c milk until the mix is thinned to the consistency of milk. If you want to do layers, split the mix in half (I used plastic bags) and colour one bag (I used blueberry juice). 

Start by pouring a thin layer in the bottom of your silicone mould. Steam it for 1-2 minutes. Add another thin layer, steam 1-2 minutes. Continue adding layers and steaming until you’re at the end. I steamed the last layer for 3 minutes just to be sure. 

Then put them in the fridge, and let it set for 10-30 minutes. 

Then pop them out of the moulds. And hide them from yourself; they’re addictive!!! Make sure it’s an air right container so they don’t dry out. I’m testing them now to see if it should be fridge or not… I’m thinking not…

Variations: I added a bit of coconut to the bottom of one of my moulds. Lovely!!! My next batch I plan on trying coconut flour instead of rice flour so that the flavour is more coconutty- these are relatively bland, all things considered. 

I also wonder if, since coconut milk is kinda like cream, if one could make this with cream instead and have it work the same way. I might try that for other flavourings. If I can ever try other flavourings…. anyways happy experimenting! 

Carrot cake, without carrots? 

So this is not a recipe exactly… but the other day I decided to experiment a little. I was thinking that it would be nice to make a carrot-like cake. How hard can it be to make it without carrots? 

So far the first attempt was quite satisfactory, though I do now wonder what carrot cake would taste like without the spices, and whether this is comparable.

How did I replace the carrots? Sweet potato.

How did I come up with this idea? Sheer insanity. 

They have the same consistency, right? Occasionally they even come in similar colours! Though this time I used a Japanese white sweet potato (it’s what I had), next time I’ll try orange. I may also try cooked mashed sweet potato in the pancake batter too, instead of banana, so as not to muddy the flavour.

No recipe yet, though. I took my standard pancake batter, and threw in fistfuls of grated sweet potato until it looked decent. Then I mixed sugar and butter, spread on top, and baked at 350 until the toothpick came out alright.

The Verdict? Sweet Potato Cake… tastes like cake. Oddly it now has little flecks of green in the cake (I’m guessing something about being refrigerated brought out some of the blue in the purple peel?). But definitely edible.

The more vegetables, the healthier, right? Plus… I have a bunch of dehydrated sweet potato that I’m not fond of. I hear a dehydrated carrot mistake was the source of the original carrot cake recipe… so perhaps there is hope for a useful outcome to my dehydrated potato chunks. I hope!!!


The other day I stopped by a small natural food pantry on my way home from work. A friend had insisted she’d found safe all-purpose flour for me there, but as it turns out it had traces of nuts. Which explained some hives.

I digress. I chose to force myself to look around and see what else they had… and they had Coconut Flour from Earth’s Choice!

So I decided to try it out in a recipe I adapted from what was my favourite cookbook as a child, the Treasury of Creative Cooking. It has gold pages, which obviously makes it better. If you want to make it gluten free, be sure to use GF oats, and check with your celiac to be sure that oats are not a problem for them (some celiacs are sensitive to oats, others not).

Cocoa(not) Snickerdoodles

Heat oven to 375F. Grease your cookie sheets or add Parchment, or silicone mats.

In a large bowl, beat:

1 cup butter, softened (bet this would work with coconut oil too!)

3/4 c brown sugar (I just used raw sugar)

3/4 c granulated sugar

Add in:

1 large banana

Mix well.

Slowly add:

2 c uncooked rolled oats 

3/4 c white rice flour (I had a bit less)

3/4 c coconut flour (I had a bit more)

1/4 c dry milk powder (next time if I’m baking for my lactose-free colleague I’ll try adding more coconut flour instead of more lactose…)

1 tsp baking soda

Mix it all well, you should get a large glob. This dough is perfectly safe to eat as is… and is an excellent addition to ice cream. I expect it’d be amazing coated in chocolate, if you can have that sort of thing (maybe someday!!!). 

Before you bake them, put 2 Tbsp of white sugar and 2 Tbsp raw sugar in a bowl. Roll the dough into 1-2″ balls, and coat in the sugar mix. Put them on your cookie sheet, and press flat. Mine didn’t spread, but the original recipe calls for 2″ space between. 

Bake 8-10 mins (375F), until firm in the centre. Put them on wire racks to cool. Then hide them from the children. And from yourself.


Marshmallow #Fails

When you are substituting a TON of ingredients in recipes… Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. 

Just in case you think I’m some sort of innate cooking genius… I burned eggs as a child multiple times. And bacon. And water. A lot of what I know comes from failures, so this month I thought I’d share one of my MANY failures of last year. This one was one I ate, and enjoyed. There were a few (dehydrated yogurt & fruit leather for example) which were so inedible I just had to compost. And some, like grapefruit toffee… which I made myself eat over a month or two because I’m that stubborn. 

This past summer the attempt was MARSHMALLOWS! So far it’s resulted in some very sweet, not very marshmallow like confections. I can’t use gelatin because of the sulphites, and agar is very far down the list of things to try next when I have no hives. Chocolate is MUCH higher.

But anyways, I found a recipe that used icing sugar and corn syrup, and substituted golden syrup… and i think the recipe wasn’t well tested. I tried it twice in small batches with complete failures. Delicious failures, mind you.

I tried it later at different temperatures, and it looked a lot more like marshmallows… smooth… but was basically just sugar fudge. With no flavourings.

So. All that to say: If you have a marshmallow recipe that doesn’t use gelatin or agar… please let me know!

Or if you know how to MAKE gelatin that might work too. 

Beans, Chard, and a dash of adventure

I made some awesome pumpkin seed soup again a few days ago (I’m sick. Again.), but I somehow bought too much chard and so tonight I contemplated how to use it up. I decided to look online for some non-soup alternatives, and ran across this recipe which also uses canned beans. A bonus when you’re figuring out how to reduce your crazy grocery bill (cooking from scratch is SO expensive!). 

You might initially think: um. WHAT is THAT? Or it may remind you of Dr.Suess and some things that should not be green. But there comes a point with allergies where a girl gets a little stir-crazy eating the same flavours day in and day out. I was beginning to think I’d tasted all the variations in flavour possible from the list. Nope!!! This is actually pretty good!

Without further ado, I give you: Green Fritters

You’ll need:

– chard, cut up (I just used the leafy part from one bunch, and fried the stems for another meal)

– a can of beans (I used white northern)

-flour of some kind (I used white rice, about 1/2 a cup-a cup)


– butter.

In a large bowl, using an immersion blender, blend the salt, rinsed beans and chopped beans together. (I did this in a blender. It was less successful). It will make a mixture that is pretty liquidy.

Then you add the flour in small amounts until it’s stiffer and more like the consistency of waffle batter (or stiff peak egg whites).

Put some butter on low heat in a frying pan, and drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, frying it slowly and flipping it until you end up with a fritter that is firm all the way through. 

Good luck!