Ironically, having a bunch of new food intolerances has given me a new resolve to cook more. I’m excited to be back in the kitchen again, excited with trying out new ingredients, checking out new recipes. It’s like doing the Home Made Challenge, but less stringent because I always have the option of eating out!
Everybody knows that I have a sweet tooth. I’m not going to let these food intolerances stop me from satisfying my undying love for sweets – I am determined to find and develop desserts that will not knock me out.
Enter, coconut lime blondies.
Coconut lime blondies!
Developed for a friend named Rosemary with a gluten, dairy, and soy allergy, these squares have received the best reactions from friends and colleagues, in the history of Mighty Good Eats. They garnered fist bumps, even, so if I may say so myself, they are pretty darned good.
If I told you how many times I’ve made nut milk this past week I’d be embarrassed. But I wouldn’t have to tell you if you looked in my fridge. Because you will see that half of the typically cavernous space is filled with plastic containers of desiccated nut carcasses.
Fresh squeezed hazelnut-almond milk
This year’s Home Made Challenge really snuck up on us, and then then the next thing I knew, we were sitting in the rain with 1500 other adventurers in front of Ottawa City Hall glamorously dressed in black from head to toe, trying to keep dry by holding up an umbrella with one hand and trying to eat with the other.
What a wonderful way to end a month of eating-in – by bringing our dining table outdoors and celebrating the harvest! Quoted as the second largest pop-up picnic in North America (the largest being in Montreal as Diner en Blanc), Harvest Noir has become the social event of the year! And it’s only two years old!
This year, we celebrated the end of Home Made Challenge, pot-luck style with two other intrepid adventurers. The four of us pooled our culinary chops and came up with a decent meal, served on real dinnerware with a white tablecloth.
We started with two appetizers – freshly harvested peppers from Meredith’s farm, stuffed with rice and eggs, and Matt’s sweet potatoes roasted with honey. Then followed by M. Crouton’s slow cooked meat stew (which smelled delicious, and I hear tell tasted delicious) served with an amazingly aromatic spiced rice that is comparable to Indian biryani. He was kind enough to make a similar vegetarian side stew for me, with stewed cherry tomatoes and textured vegetable protein. Yum!
To finish off, a gluten-free carrot cake that I am proud of. Meredith, with a habitual dislike of icing on cake declared this one delicious! Our table neighbours saw the cake and asked to try some, with rave reviews too! If I wasn’t wearing a boned velvet dress I would have eaten two slices. (Who’s to say that I didn’t after I got home that night?)