By the time I saw this month’s round of Adopt-a-gluten-free-blogger I had a difficult time choosing. Almost everyone was taken! Then Alta posted her Lemon Earl Grey Cookies. I love lemon cookies. I’m also a fan of using tea leaves in dishes. If I remember correctly from one of Ming Tsai’s shows several years ago, using tea leaves helps aid in the digestion of your meal. Or something like that. Whatever it was, I just remember that it’s good for you. Who can argue with added antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in a dish? I also decided that I needed to bake something. I rarely bake anymore and I kinda miss it.
I first went to Alta’s blog, Tasty Eats At Home, after reading another blogger’s adoption post last year. Since then, Alta is my go-to blog when I want something different and vegetarian. She tempted me last Fall with many different truffle recipes, like her Chocolate Cherry Nut Truffles. I haven’t given in to that temptation yet. I just might when I have more time to spend in the kitchen.
When you check out Alta’s pictures of her cookies, you’ll notice a big difference. I used coconut crystals instead of regular sugar. Coconut crystals are not refined and are a dark brown, much like brown sugar and raw sugar. I also didn’t think to flatten them a little before putting them in the oven. Hey, I’m still getting the hang of the gluten-free baking thing. Cooking I have down pat. Baking, is another story. I also flubbed and added too much baking powder, but I couldn’t tell in the end when I tasted the cookies. Even though they didn’t bake flat, they did bake through and through. The center was a bit soft and chewy. Just the way I love my cookies. I plan on making a cup of Earl Grey later (decaf, of course) and enjoying some more cookies.
I wanted to share this dish of Alta’s that I made a few months ago. It’s her Masala-Spiced Adzuki Beans with Brown Rice. Three things drew me to this recipe. 1) Chaz was going through a 21-day vegan starter while we were still commuting to see each other. 2) Anything with garam masala intrigues me. 3) I love adzuki beans. Typically, I’ve always had adzuki beans in Japanese treats that I can no longer have, or with ice cream and/or shave ice. If you haven’t tried adzuki beans with ice cream or shave ice, you should.
Something happened the weekend I planned to make this when Chaz was home and I wound up making it just for myself. It makes for great comfort food. In fact, I need to make this again. I had plenty of leftovers that got turned into easy breakfasts. Just add a runny egg!
Alta is also into the Daring Cooks Challenge and reading her posts has helped me to step outside my comfort zone of doing what is easy for me in the kitchen. Her post on Vegan Cassoulet inspired me to make an attempt using the recipe she posted. I have never had Cassoulet so this was a big step in making something I knew nothing about.
Not only did I enjoy the Vegan Cassoulet, I fell in love with the bread crumbs I made for it using the recipe. Chaz even enjoyed the bread crumbs. I made quite a bit extra and wound up using them for my last meatloaf.
Thank you, Alta, for helping me expand my limits in the kitchen!