Monday, February 08, 2021

2015 As The Blog Continues

In year nine of Feeding My Enthusiasms it became clearer to me that doing this is something that I really enjoy. This is the point when some of the early adopters of food blogging began to turn to other things, and I thought about that, too, but ultimately decided to keep going here. This was also the point when I made the decision to keep it simple, to not monetize the blog, despite offers of advertising and other inducements...although no book offers. In truth, even that wasn't too disappointing since my family cookbook (above) had not sold at all. The free copies I gave to siblings and close friends were appreciated, and have been even more appreciated over the ensuing years. Probably time to do a reprint for the next generation.

 In general, Feeding My Enthusiasms continues to be my creative outlet and digital recipe box. I'm really thrilled that these year-by-year recollections seem to be of interest and have encouraged readers to find recipes in the older parts. This time we are focusing on baked goods of all kinds. To find the 'cooking' recipes, wander around the months to find your favorites.

January 2015 started off well with two cookie recipes; Anzac classics and Ribbon Cookies with raspberry jam and lemon flavors. I baked Chapatis with the Bread Baking Babes and some pretty small Chocolate Swirl Cakes with the Cake Slice Bakers, among other things.

Other cookies to enjoy are orange scented and flavored Chocolate Chip Cookies in March, Orange-Cranberry Shortbread in May, Irish Blondie bars which are an excellent version of blondies, a gluten-free and dairy-free version of Anzacs in August, and in November  Fresh Cranberry-White Chocolate cookies. 

If you pay attention, you can look at the recipes and figure out when I stopped using dairy in my cooking, and the more limited time that I went gluten free as well. Both of these were part of my hunt for the solution to my gut issues. The medical solution was to take four Pepto Bismol morning and evening...forever. My solution was to identify the inflammatory foods I could cut out eating and the anti-inflammatory things I could ingest so that, over time, my intestines could heal. The identifying took over three month, but as I added things back, some, like dairy products, were really obviously bad for me. My solution worked, although I still need to avoid the strongly inflammatory foods (like all dairy except yogurt) so that it stays healed. In the process I baked without gluten or dairy for three months. I should have also cut out sugar, but can't seem to kick that addiction. I've found replacements that work fairly well for butter, milk, cream, and ricotta cheese, but not for whipped cream (aquafaba works for dollops but breaks down quickly) and not for every other cheese but ricotta. Some cream cheeses are close so can be used in a pinch. The good news is that non-dairy ganache is possible by melting chopped chocolate in unsweetened soy creamer! It makes a great topping for a chocolate cake (above). Truffles here we come. 

                                                tart dough balls for Gluten Free Tart

                                                      GF peach upside-down cake
                                                                    GF peach cobbler

Other good recipe from this time are Gluten Free Party Cookies (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip), a Gluten Free Tart Shell, my first try at a loaf of Gluten Free Sandwich Bread which was delicious, a successful Gluten Free Peach Upside Down Cake, and a wonderful Gluten Free Peach Cobbler. Slightly less successful, but still tasty were the GF Apricot Almond Scones made with almond flour.

Even though they are full of butter, milk and gluten, the Tangzhong Dinner Rolls from October are something you'll want to dinner rolls ever according to Sweetie. Another recipe from late fall that has butter in it (so none for me) that was pronounced delicious and looks like a party is the Russian Chrysanthemum Bread. It takes some time, but is worth it. A bread I highly recommend is Anadama Bread, an old New England loaf with molasses and, in my version, seeds.

A couple of cake-related posts can't be ignored. In May is the perfect Mother's Day offering a pink and rich Strawberry Mousse Cake. That month also has my favorite buttercream recipe, Mocha Buttercream, with the addition this time of some Bourbon, to go with the Bourbon Espresso cake.

My favorite recipe of the year at the end of 2015 was a French Fruit Tart, which is pretty and easy even though it looks like you bought it at a bakery. The frangipane filling surrounds the fresh fruit and absorbs any juices that seep out. So delicious, but now I think the best recipe was gingerbread. I'm going to leave you with this wonderful cake that is perfect for a party or a snack. Because of all it's ginger - fresh, candied, and ground, it is also anti-inflammatory to a degree, but mostly it's delicious with a nice spicy heat. It's Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread!

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