Sunday, December 18, 2011


WELL, the class was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! Everyone one of you was fantastic to meet! Each did a beautiful job on the cookies! And I feel we all learned a LOT from all the SUPER discussions we had! (In fact, happily, we gabbed much more than I ever would have dreamed! Beautiful!)

All filled their adorable tins in their own gorgeous way... and I think we know the theme of the class now... flavor-wise at least!

Chocolate ORANGE !

Am I RIGHT?? And we'll not tell our secret ingredient, will we? ; D

I hope to post more soon... (perhaps pictures from the class with your permission? I was too busy rolling to take many, but hope that A. will send me some to add to mine!)

I should probably wait for a nod from each of you before giving you a mention... but I am pleased as PUNCH to have had each of you in my class!

And could not have done it without you! (Especially my dear dear friend and assistant, S.!)



Happy Cookies!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


It's not a holiday from being gluten free... but it SURE TASTES LIKE IT!

WELL, It's Getting Quite Heavenly Around Here...!

As I'm revisiting my cookie recipes, some old favorites, some delightfully new, in REAL TIME... (REAL YUM, is more like it) I'm getting VERY EXCITED!!

One week and counting down! To cinnamon, chocolate, lemon, orange, ginger... SWEET HOLIDAY HEAVEN!

I can't wait to share these cookies with all of you!!

Originally, to serve the broadest number of people, I was going to do all the varieties without nuts. However, that may not be necessary.

If you are signed up to come, or plan to come (YES! THERE IS STILL ROOM AVAILABLE!) please let me know, by phone or here on the blog;

1. Do you (or the person you are baking for) need all your selections to be nut free?

2. Seed free? (as in poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.)

3. Coconut free? If you can't have coconut, either milk or shredded, let me know!

I'm sorry-- I got distracted for a minute... it smells REALLY GOOD IN HERE! And now my testers are circling, a bit like sharks, to be honest. ;P



Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Create a new tradition...






Demonstration, Discussion, & Hands on Instruction.

Together, we will bake a BEAUTIFUL variety of holiday treats that are Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly, & Vegan.

You and your loved ones with special foods needs need not feel left out of the Holiday Cookie Exchange Tradition!

Satisfy Seasonal Nostalgia AND a Sweet Tooth while Fostering Community. JOIN US:

Saturday, December 17th from noon to 3pm

in the Church Kitchen of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church

432 Van Buren Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170



Space is limited, so reserve your place today.




Check the blog for updates & more information.

~I'm a Gluten Free Baker and mother of children with (numerous) special foods needs. If you can make it, I'd love to have you attend my class!

Feel free to pass this along to anyone else you think would benefit... It's a great opportunity!


Melissa Druitt

Thursday, December 1, 2011









Saturday, November 12, 2011

HELP!! Computer seemingly CAPUT!

Well it seems my computer may have given up the ghost... This post serves as a test (as I'm attempting to post from my phone for the first time) AND a cry for help. Advice, really.

I need to:

1. Recover my data, if possible. Geek Squad is the only place I hear of that may be able to help... IS THERE A BETTER PLACE? And not like the " better place" where computers go when they die.

2. Find my new computer! I've had 3 laptops (Dell PCs) in a row now. Should I go mac? Desktop ? Is there a perfect blend? Like compact tower with wireless everything, including ipad docking, that comes with an ipad? For a great price?


; D

Thursday, November 3, 2011

At the Farmers' Market

Rainbow Bevy of Peppers... an explosion of color rivaling fall's splendor.

Last week, I went to our Town Farmer's Market with my neighbor. Fewer stands were there than in high summer. And we arrived toward the very end. But different than in summer, the vendors were not rushing to pack up their wares as intently when noon approached as they had in previous months. The cool crisp air, wispy Simpson's clouds, golden sun contributed perhaps. But in further thought, I realize, there are only so many Markets left this season before winter. This was in essence the last full month, the final few weeks of the year. Perhaps they, like me, are trying to make it last. Are savoring this last moment before winter.

Shallots, heirloom Bi-color Green Sausage Tomatoes.

Mexican (or Lebanese?) Green Globe Squash, Sunburst Pattypans, bright yellow Golden Zucchini... among the last of the local "summers".

Both Black & Traditional Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, Shallots....

I made some purchases... let's see what I can make of them!

Monday, October 31, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Fear not the night of allergic treats! Homemade Candies for your Trick-or-Treat-ers.

There is a trick to making these, but they turn out a TREAT!

Some years, rather than harvest candy, my kids collect for Unicef. Many years, they make trades with Mom & Dad of the candy they can't have for candies or prizes I've purchased for just the occasion.

The past 2 years, it's been a bit different. Mom & Dad partake neither of sugar nor of gluten any longer! Last Halloween, a la the "innernet" we still plied our progeny with Halloween treats after their nighttime foray... we just didn't make "trades".

This year, I'm trying something different. Instead of relying all the now tiresome sugarfree hard candies (which come in POUND size bags-- which I've not yet run out of from last year!), I'm giving homemade a try. Last minute, of course! Funny how of the two recipes, the one I thought would be a "sinch" turned out to be the tricky one...

Tootsie Rolls & Almond Butter Cups.

Note on the Tootsies:
(reduced sugars & reduced carbs, dairy, peanut, & gluten free. corn syrup free. obviously not nut free. or grain free, or corn free. but could be the latter two! just leave out the rice milk powder.)

These Tootsie Rolls are not tested; I'm writing this as I go, this being Halloween afternoon! This recipe is inspired from but DOES NOT TRANSLATE WELL FROM many tootsie recipes on the internet. Splenda for baking does not easily replace Sugar for structure. So of course, Splenda based simple syrups for coffee neither can replace corn syrup. Vanilla Rice Milk powder is ok, and while somewhat of a subsitute for dairy milk powder, because of the flavor, is probably not something I'll use next time I try this recipe.

Tootsie Rolls

3 cups Splenda
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
2 T Arrowroot Powder
*6 T Almond Flour (or experiment with flour/starch of your choice, starting with smaller amounts.)
3 T cup Rice Milk Powder (contains corn)

3 T Butter Shortening
1/4 cup Vanilla or Chocolate Flavored Sugarfree Syrup (for coffee) such as Torani
1/4 Vanilla Almond Milk (or dairy free milk of choice)
1 t Vanilla

Whisk together dry ingredients except almond meal in a bowl. Heat liquids, excepting Vanilla, but including butter shortening, in a pan on medium. When simmering, stir in *almond flour and reduce heat a bit, stirring frequently. Simmer watchfully for several minutes, until mixture is reduced by almost 1/2. Add Vanilla. Vigorously stir in remaining dry ingredients until combined. Reduce heat to LOW. Stir frequently scraping bottom well while continuing to cook and reduce, until mixture forms a ball. (This took more time than anticipated. I was anchored to the kitchen to a degree.)

To test doneness, put a small dish in the freezer. When chilled, test a small amount of the dough on the little dish, even returning to freezer to bring temp down more quickly. When workable in to a ball with hands I say it's done. It will remain sticky. Remove from heat.

When cool completely, or enough to touch, remove to a clean work surface. Parchment works well. Knead "dough" a bit to make sure texture is conistent, soft, smooth, and firm. Roll into snakes or logs about 1/2 inches in diamenter, and cut into 1 inch pieces.

Wrap in parchment or waxed paper cut into 3 inch squares, or in paper lined holiday foils from candy supply. Chilling the the wrapped cut pieces a bit helps when it comes to twisting the ends without squishing. (I used parchment; its both slick and thick!) Remember to twist with the direction of the overlap!

Sport these in a spooky dish and enjoy!

Almond Butter Cups

4 Rice Milk Bars (Enjoy Life Brand) (just under 6 oz.)
1 Ghiradelli Baking Bar (4 oz.)
1 t Butter Shortening

1/3 cup Salted Almond Butter (I used Trader Joe's)
1/3 cup Splenda for Baking
(2 t Almond Flour -- only if necessary and almond butter is not firm enough)
1 pinch salt
(I had leftover almond butter mixture. Will save this for another use SOON!)

Melt 3/4 of the chocolates together over double boiler, or in microwave stirring in between 25-30 second cooking times until melted. Add last quarter and stir until melted to temper, only adding back cooking if last addition does not melt after being allowed to sit with melted portion for several minutes.

If already very stiff, you can warm almond butter in microwave briefly. This will help soften it and aid in stirring to come. Add dry ingredients and stir vigorously to incorportate. May be quite stiff. That's ok, as long as you can still mix it completely.

Prepare mini baking cups/candy cups to a tray. Add melted chocolate just under 1/3 of the way up to several cups at a time, then about that amount of almond butter mixture on top. Top with chocolate. Chill briefly. The actual amounts depend on whatever different sized cups you may be using. I liked to work this several at a time to make sure I have enough chocolate.


Monday, October 17, 2011

From Fall's Harvest... Rustic Apple Tartlette

I wish you could smell this tart.... You wouldn't believe the heady intoxication it brings. The apples are just picked. They smell like you would imagine Winesaps would-- the exact reason they were likely named, but are just one small golden delicious, and one small Granny Smith. The flavors are the simplest; apples at their peak, a simple rustic crust, spicy cinnamon, a macy lacing of nutmeg.

The tartlette crust is inspired by Living Without's coconut shortbread recipe. I subbed Amaranth and Almond flour for the traditional Gluten Free Mix. I decreased the liquid by 2 Tablespoons (since I was using a combination of Splenda and Vanilla Simple Syrup instead of Honey), upped the salt a tad. The crust rolls out beautifully. Of COURSE you could use the sugar of your preference. There is so little in the recipe...

The apples take centre stage.

Low carb, Gluten Free, Vegan.



One quarter tartlette = 14.5 carbs, approximately.

Even better, some carbs are offset by the healthy portion of fiber these flours contain.

Pure enjoyment.

Happy Fall, to All!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Apricot Upside Down Cake... ! Healthy Decadence!

These apricots just JUMPED out at my daughter, and then me, at Trader Joe's! Gorgeous, from Red Jacket Farms, I thought at first that Red Jacket was the type of apricot, so vibrant were their velvet coats!

Darling teen cannot have most fruits uncooked, so these ripened.... and ripened, as I got my act together to bake a treat in their (his and the apricots!) honor. (And darling tween and I made sure to keep running tabs on their deliciousness by sampling one every few days!)

I found a recipe for upside down cake using fresh apricots, and decided to make it, subbing out (most of) the ingredients for those I chose and needed to.

Almond Meal (whole "grain") makes up the bulk of the flour in this cake batter. Mostly because I am out of Almond Flour. Grinding my own for a previous recipe (Vegan Cherry "Clafouti", pictures coming soon!) yielded a delicious, yet almost sandy crunchy texture that I didn't feel like I wanted in my cake. And this version will make us FEEL like we are doing our bounden duty towards health! While reveling in summers glorious bounty.

The recipe came from Gourmet (now through Epicurious). I took the advice of the reviewers to use MUCH less butter. I did not want to cook mine in a skillet, however, and trying to "wing it" this time left me with a bunch of "butter" melted and surrounding what looks and tastes like reduced sugar dark caramel! Learn from every mistake, I say. But then it was time for dinner prep and the premeasured dry ingredients needed to wait until I could re-do the butter/topping portion of the recipe the next day (today). Would the apricots hold up? They ARE DELICIOUS today! (or so my tastebuds and sweet little taste tester tween helper will attest.) But will they hold up to baking? We shall see, oh we can't WAIT to see!

Well... ? What do you think?

(If you enjoy the aromatic thrall of choice apricot preserves over melting butter, and the flavor of delectible almond biscotti only in the form of delicate, moist, PERFECT cake, YOU WILL LOVE THIS! We did!) ; D

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Millionaire Shortbread Custard Tartlettes... Inspired by the Royal Wedding! But made for my One in a Million Honor Roll Student.

These mini tarts were inspired by a trip to last night... while perusing the (very tempting) link to 18 recipes for toasting the very shortly upcoming ROYAL WEDDING...

I used my version of coconut flour shortbread for the crusts/shells. I hadn't made it since November, so I'd forgotten how skimpy the amount was (I'd taken to doubling it, apparently!) But lucky me, it JUST made four shells! Perfect.

Chocolate custard pudding with a few bump ups, like vanilla... vanilla rice milk powder... a few scant Colombian coffee granules...

And my first, well, first SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL, caramel sauce. And (mostly) sugar free to boot! I used coconut milk, palm shortening, a mixture of half Splenda and erythritol, with just 1/4 tsp each maple flavored agave and molasses.

After my efforts toward sugarless peeps last weekend, I suspect the erythritol may have actually been able to caramelize a bit on its own, (? ) without darker sweet stuffs helping it along, but I was in a big rush with no time to risk it! It looked FAB, and was cooling nicely, but as I mentioned I was in a BIG rush-- Which turned into mild panic; apparently in my attempt to cool it too quickly, I shocked the mixture, which caused the oil to separate. THANK GOOGLE for this site which, while it did not reassure me in specific, gave me hope. I added a splash of water, put it back on the heat on HIGH, added 2 tablespoons more Splenda, stirring vigorously, WILLING it to come back together. I'm happy to say, my efforts were rewarded!

As it turned out, at first blush, the result was darker than I'd like. And I even forgot to add the vanilla!

After pouring onto the chocolate custard, and allowing it to further cool and set, it looks a little paler, happily. :D

And my darling son, did he feel duly honored for his scholastic efforts and achievements? Well, I hope so. I know he loved the tarts, anyway!

Gluten Free, Carb Conscious, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Corn Free, Vegan.

But Fully Delectible!

Cheerio & Good Show!


Congratulations to the Adorable Royal Couple!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter & Happy Kitchen!

Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy Kitchen!

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Orange Nests. Gluten free, Dairy Free, Soy Free. NOT Sugar Free ! ;)

Homemade Chocolate Bunnies & Eggs, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Corn Free. Also, not sugar free.

I will be attempting Sugar Free Chocolate, and Sugar Free Peeps later today... Wish me luck!

I hope everyone's culinary delights, whether homemade or happened upon, give sweet pause to this lovely gentlest of seasons...


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Cuppa to share with all of you... & Happy Birthday to Cezanne

A pot of Red Rose, and Constant Comment... just what the doctor ordered on this, the day after an ice storm. A warm setting of jumbled parentage, out of season fruit and flower set in linen and perennial porcelain and its cousins, to bring life and color to aptly celebrate Cezanne's birthday. (although, I snapped this before I knew!) A different cup for each; take your pick. Reproduction transferware Blue Calico, Noritake Selika Japanese Porcelain dating before WWII, or Fiesta Harlequin Riviera in my FAVORITE yellow of all time. My Hall's Superior French Flower teapot can handle it all!

Wishing all a warm and wonderful week...