Monday, October 19, 2009

Baking day!

I spent about 4 hours standing in my kitchen yesterday afternoon. It was one of those cozy fall days when cooking doesn't seem to be a chore and the kids and Dave are happily busy with their own pursuits elsewhere in the house. I made myself a cup of coconut chai, turned on some Dave Matthew for motivation and got to work.

First up, Dave's promised chicken pie. This is the ultimate fall comfort food for me, my Mom used to make this occasionally from a recipe in a giant plastic olive green 1970's recipe file. It goes well with the mashed potatoes that I made Friday and thought were still left over. No such luck, Dave ate them on Saturday when I was up at Swallowtail Waldorf School's Fall Harvest Festival with some crafty friends who had a vendor's booth. The loss of the potatoes was worth the chance to get away with the girl friends and hang out in the late fall sunshine. Of course, I didn't realize the potatoes were gone until I was 20 minutes away from dinner so rather than make more, we had the last of the (frozen since July) peas from my garden. Note to self: next year, plant more.

Bonus points to anyone (besides Jen) who knows whose famous logo is on the pie!

Second up, Maisie's favorite pumpkin muffins. There has been a pumpkin shortage this year and canned pumpkin has been hard to find. I've looked for weeks and found nothing. Now I could sacrifice some of the pumpkins from my garden to the muffins, but I only managed to get 5 this year (well 6, but some animal gobbled one when we were on vacation this summer). Also, I am lazy. What to do? Ask Dave. He heard me griping about the lack of canned pumpkin and Maisie asking for me to make her muffins and took matters into his own hands. The result? Two jumbo cans of Libby's Pumpkin mix. Pumpkin deficit problem solved. Pumpkin excess problem created. Long story short, here's Rooster's favorite pumpkin muffin recipe. People are always asking me for GF recipes (stop laughing, Amy!). This one's gluten, dairy, soy and (provided you use the right brand of xanthan gum) corn free. You can make it egg free by using this: I swiped this recipe from but had to change it up since it was not dairy free and included "pumpkin spice" as an ingredient. Pumpkin spice? Even I'm not that lazy.
Size comparison mixer vs. can of pumpkin. Ignore the cluttered counter. I do.

Rooster Muffins:
2 cups gluten free flour. Bob's Red Mill works nice. Authentic Foods' flours are better, IMO, but I have to order them. No one in this town carries it.
1 tsp xanthan gum.
1 giant scoop of pumpkin from a huge can (probably about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/3 cups coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil will have a coconut flavor. Regular oil will be coconut flavor free.
1 c water or dairy free milk of some kind.
Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Dairy and soy free. Thank you, Enjoy Life!

Throw it all together. Stir it up. Add more flour or liquid if it's not just right. Use one of these things for greasing the muffin tins from William's Sonoma since you can't get store bought cooking spray without soy or gluten: It's only $15 and worth every penny. Cook at 350 until they look nice and golden on top. I like mini muffins since they are more easily stuffed into Rooster's mouth and less likely to become a pile of crumbs. And they cook faster. Mini muffin tins were are fad thing for a while and now you can find them at the thrift store fairly often.

Now it was about this time in my baking afternoon I realized I was out of potatoes. And then Dave can sniffing into the kitchen dropping not so subtle hints about the possibility of a pumpkin pie for dessert. Fine. Only 1 veggie served with dinner will be okay if we have 1 for dessert, right?

Does anyone remember the year Libby's didn't put their pie recipe on the can of pumpkin? I do. It was 1980-something and my Mom was dumbfounded for about 20 minutes trying to come up with a Thanksgiving plan B. Hmm, I wonder if that was the same year the cats knocked the stuffing off the counter? Ah, memories...

Don't you love my square pies? I broke my pie plate this spring in a fit of PMS induced clumsiness and the replacement Dave and the girls bought for my birthday from a local Saturday Market artist broke in the oven while it was baking a blueberry pie. The replacement's replacement (surely it was just a fluke, right?) broke a few weeks ago baking a cherry pie. It was not a good day in my house. Now the artist is MIA from Saturday Market and I have no pie plate. Oh well, square pies in Corningware taste just as good.
Now, who's going to come do the dishes?

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