Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Challenge: Two Days To Go

As I stand here -standing because I don't want to take the time to sit- I'm amazed that it's almost 5pm and I haven't even started my baking. Yet I've accomplished a lot today. On Sunday I made a small batch of sugar cookies to test. I didn't have any sweet white rice flour, so I tried substituting tapioca flour. The result? Decent, but not great. So after having no luck in finding the flour at any of the big grocery stores near me, I set off to Chinatown today and found exactly what I needed. I was also reminded how much cheaper grocery stores are there! A bag of flour that would cost me upwards of $3.00 at a store near me cost me $0.79 in Chinatown! Amazing!

I wandered the grocery store, excited by all the fun foods but wishing I knew what had gluten in it and what didn't. I was a little sad as I walked by all the restaurants and contemplated the fact that I couldn't just walk into any of them and order whatever I wanted anymore. But knowing that those thoughts are useless, I shut them down and concentrated on my next task for the day: walking to S'Mac to pick up gluten-free mac and cheese for Christmas Eve. It took me a little longer than it should have because I tend to get lost in Manhattan whenever I can't find a street with a number on it. I had written down the directions, but I have a horrible sense of direction and still walked in circles for a while before finding my way.

Once back home, I had to go back out for pecans and butter...the store was out of both when I shopped on Sunday. Then a couple of more Christmas presents, I am. Almost 5pm. A little tired. But ready to bake. So I'll take you along with me for the ride. Picture country music playing in the background. A little Travis Tritt, a little Dixie Chicks, a little Reba, and a lot of different types of flour lined up on the (clean) floor.

Let's start with the mushroom and leek quiche. I've made it before, so it should be an easy one. I have a lot of broccoli left over from a potato soup I made (recipe to come), so I'm going to make a broccoli quiche also. I'll use the same recipe, but use onions, leeks, and broccoli for the vegetables.

An hour later...

The quiches took longer than expected. I used a bigger pan than my normal pie pan, so I underestimated how long it would take to bake. I kept taking them out and then worrying that they were not set enough in the middle and putting them back in. I second guess myself a lot more when I'm baking for other people.

Now what? Let's go with roasted shallot and mushroom pie squares. That's quite a boring name isn't it? Does someone want to help me come up with a better name for these?

Never mind. They don't need a name. I roasted mushrooms and shallots, and minced them with almond slivers. Then I made gluten free pie dough using Bob's Red Mill Biscuit and Baking Mix. I cut the dough into little squares, topped a square with the mushroom mix, topped that with another square and pinched the edges together. Then I baked them... And they were a FAILURE. I ate one, gave it a minute, then ate another just to make sure they were as bad as I thought. They looked so good after all. Yep, they were awful. I threw the second one away.

So much for roasted shallot and mushroom pie squares. I guess it's a good thing I made two quiches?

On to pecan pie. This is Shirley's recipe from Gluten Free Easily. In my disappointment with my own baking, I'm happy to be making someone else's recipe right now rather than one of my own. This one sounds easy. Just mix, pour, and bake. I can do that.

By the way, it's 9:50 now. I'm getting tired. I want to go to bed.

Well, it looks...decent. Kind of eggy. Perhaps this is a sign that I should put down the spatula and get in bed. I'm sure it will taste amazing, but Shirley's pie looked much more appetizing! I'm learning a lesson here though. Don't try to make a bunch of dishes you've never made before for a family get together!

Ok, it's after 11pm. I've got to get up at 6am tomorrow to be at work at 8. It's time to put away the measuring cups and go to bed. So I'll be back tomorrow night with a final update, and the answer to the question, Can she do it?

And if you missed it, check out my holiday giveaway!


Juanita said...

That pecan pie looks like it turned out delish!

It's weird how gluten-free baking is way more touchey-feeley than normal baking. Something you would swear is going to taste awesome, comes out tasting inedible no matter how you try to convince your tastebuds otherwise.

I've been meaning to try make a gf quiche for a few months now, but didn't have a recipe. SO glad you stopped by my site so that I could stop by yours and find new recipes to try...thank you :-)

Melanie said...

Hi Iris!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for loving Mexican dips as much as me!

Great to find your blog as well!

Linda said...

Everything looks so good. I can't believe the squares weren't good (but I take your word for it). Merry Christmas!

Olivia said...

Oh my gosh, Iris, I want to come to your house for the holidays! Those shallot and mushroom squares look phenomenal. I'm on quite the mushroom kick lately (I realized *every* dish I originally planned for Christmas contained mushrooms--decided, reluctantly, to mix it up a bit), and would love to try those.

And thanks for checking out my blog, too!

Iris said...

Olivia, You can totally have the mushroom squares! They were so bad I couldn't eat them, but I didn't want to throw them I put them in the freezer. Seems a little silly, knowing I won't ever eat them!


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