…At least that’s what we like to say in French (Mieux vaut tard que jamais).

I’ve been pretty busy lately, reason why I wasn’t able to post these recipes earlier (that and the fact that I have to share MY laptop with someone else…)

You will find some suggestions for substitutions as well. Thanks again for your patience and Happy Baking!

Baking Class at WF

PAIN D’EPICES (French Gingerbread) – Gluten, Egg & Dairy Free

Adapted from “Recettes Gourmandes pour Personnes Sensibles” by Eva Claire Pasquier

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup almond flour (or any other nut of your choice)
  • 3/4 cup honey (I prefer buckwheat honey, because it’s usually less sweet and high in minerals)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 1  tbsp arrowroot flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • The grated zest of an orange or 1/2 tsp natural orange extract
  • 1 can or 1 1/2 cups of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together. Incorporate the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and blend well. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cake is fully cooked. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing (Try making French toast with this…).

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Make it Nut Free: use sunflower seed flour (that you can easily make at home with a food processor) or tigernut flour (note: since tigernuts are naturally sweet, you might need to reduce the amount of honey)
  • Make it Vegan: use date syrup instead of honey

 

STOLLEN (German-Style Fruitcake) – Gluten & Dairy Free

Adapted from “A Celebration of Gluten Free Baking” by Inge Harris & Gillian Harris

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs apples – peeled & cut (choose a variety for eating rather than baking or they will fall apart)
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds – crushed
  • 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts – crushed
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup raisins, dried apricots (diced) and/or dried figs (diced)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal (or any other nut flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: 2-4 tbsp brandy

In a mixing bowl, combine the fruits, the nuts, the cocoa powder, the spices (and the brandy) until everything is well blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight (or at least for 2-4 hours).

The following day, incorporate the flours, the eggs, the baking soda & the vinegar – the dough should have a fairly moist and sticky consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spoon into a greased loaf pan or bundt cake pan, and bake for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before turning out on a cooling rack, before slicing (You can, if you wish, dust the Stollen with some powdered sugar. For homemade powdered coconut sugar, go HERE).

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Make it Nut Free: soak whole tigernuts overnight and replace the almond meal with sunflower seed or tigernut flour
  • Make it Egg Free: you can try to sub the eggs with gelatin eggs but I can’t guarantee that it’s gonna work

 

ITALIAN CHRISTMAS BISCOTTI – Gluten, Grain & Dairy Free

Adapted from Greens of the Stone Age

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey or date syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups chestnut flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 tbsp sunbutter or almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp natural orange extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup almonds or hazelnuts – raw or roasted

Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Place all of your ingredients, except for your nuts, into a food processor and wiz until the texture of sticky rice grains. Add the nuts and pulse until you have a combination of some roughly chopped nuts and little bits. Remove the mixture and form into a ball of dough.Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and form your dough ball into a rectangle roughly about 6″x4″ and 0.5″ thick.

Place into the oven on the middle shelf and leave to bake for 15-20 min until golden brown. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and leave to cool completely. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Once completely cooled slice 1/2″ wide slices, horizontally. You can do this lengthways too but it will be sturdier the smaller that it is. For a more authentic look cut diagonal slices! Place the slices face down (the uncooked bits) back on your lined baking sheet in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Flip over half way through to get an even bake. Remove when lovely and golden brown and crisp. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Make it Egg Free: use a flax egg or a gelatin egg

 

Enjoy ;).

 

 

Fear not! It wasn’t a disaster!

I did however use a little bit too much honey, which was maybe a little bit too long on the stove…So I ended up with chewy caramel-like chocolates. Not quite what I had in mind but not bad.

I have learned from my mistake which opened up some honey caramel making possibilities BUT  “Note to Self”: do not use honey as a sweetener for chocolates anymore. Stick with date syrup or apple sugar ;).

I’ve done a lot of inner work these past 2 years, but it has become more intense over the past 6 months. I will not delve in details about the hows and the whys…I just made mistakes that led me to be trapped, unhappy and dependent on another. I gave away my hopes & dreams and I forgot who I was deep down inside…

My old self had to be shattered to pieces and I nearly lost my mind (that was one of the scariest things I’ve ever been though, and I felt absolutely helpless) around my birthday…My energy was so awful that everything & everyone I held dear left my vortex. Anyway I had to pull myself back together, push even harder to make changes and manifest them into my life (even though the Universe always has the last word and chooses the timing for things to occur)…Quite frankly I don’t know where all that ‘rocket fuel’ is coming from but I seem to have more than I thought and I am so close to reaching my goal(s) that I can already see the finish line and taste the sweet wine of my own victory (VINCIT QUI PATITUR).

What does this all have to do with the Rune Nauthiz? I literally shake when I see Hagalaz (though lately it’s been showing its softer side to me), Nauthiz teaches me to persevere and find alternative solutions (and I magically find more inner reserves of ‘rocket fuel’) while with Isa I know it’s just a matter of timing and being patient because the icy lake is only frozen on the surface, water is still moving under (slowly moving but not stagnant) – so is life behind & beyond the veil, we’re just not aware of it.

And Nauthiz has been showing up lately in my daily readings. So I figured that maybe I was overlooking something, even though I start being quite familiar with its energy & meaning. And then I found this article by RAVENSDOTTIR on Nauthiz (I invite you to head over to her blog & read the whole article):

“Nauthiz represents our deepest needs. It is important to distinguish that Nauthiz is about “need” not just “want” or “desire” but an actual, tangible “need” for something…

This need for survival pushes us through the challenges we face, particularly those created by our own (or others’) misdeeds or mistakes. Learning from our own mistakes is one of the most important and trans-formative things we can do for ourselves. Rather than beating ourselves up over a perceived failure, or berating ourselves for not meeting our own expectations, we can objectively reflect on what we can learn from a situation that didn’t pan out quite as we had hoped. Examining the outcome of specific actions, and adjusting our future actions, helps us to grow, and learn.

Nauthiz is also about resistance…

Nauthiz carries the weight of our past actions forward. To make fire, we must create it. This means, we must take the appropriate actions to manifest that fire. We cannot make it appear out of this air. (Unless you’re some kind of skilled master….go you!)  We need tinder, something to create friction, a spark, gentle breaths, and patience.  These are the lessons, the mysteries of Nauthiz, of need. Understanding what is a need versus what is a desire. reflecting on what actions are required to fulfill that need, after it has been established. Assembling the tools required, and leaping into said actions, trusting in oneself, and the spark of divine inspiration within. We can only continue along our chosen path. To turn back now, after coming so far, would be foolish….We need to press on.

We can use the runic energies of Nauthiz to bring to us what we need. However, we must be sure in our knowing of need and desire. For if we are unsure, Nauthiz will be happy to show us the difference, and this may not be a gentle or comfortable lesson to learn. Manipulating the Web of Wyrd takes skill, practice, and wisdom. Remember that lesson from Ansuz, be careful what you say/wish for?

I am Nauthiz. I am the need-fire. I am resistance, I am challenge. What is need? Not-this. I am Nauthiz. I show you the difference between want and need. I am Nauthiz. What do you need?”

I’d like to add that once the lessons of Nauthiz are fully learned, digested and integrated, Nauthiz can then shapeshift into Gebo…As all gifts and experiences need to be shared wholeheartedly.

What do I want, need & wish for? My own freedom. The freedom to be me, to embrace my gifts & my own divinity (because we are all divine – spiritual beings having a human experience). The freedom to live the life I choose, according to my core values (as for rules: they can always be changed or rewritten, because one can easily become prisoner of one’s own rules) – not following someone’s expectations or societal pressure.

Just being me, living in the heart & fulfilling my purpose on this Earth and in this lifetime…I know full well some will not understand, and that’s fine…But is it too much to ask for? The answer in NO and I have a deep & peaceful inner knowing that the best is yet to come…

 

…Or to be more precise: screaming in my ears, pulling my hair, kicking my gut! She means business obviously…

I haven’t sketched in 15 years, except on rare occasions (that brings me back to art & fashion schools). But I’ve been sewing, crafting and working in 3D basically…I was never very technical but I’ve always been very creative and willing to explore & incorporate other media (some more successfully than others, I admit) in my art. I know I’m not fully rusted and the more I’ll practice the better my sketches will be.

Now what’s the point of art? You can 100 people, you’ll get 100 different answers. I think the right question to ask is: what does it mean to you as an artist? Is is about representing faithfully what’s in front of you? Is is about pushing your own limits? Is is about exploring the dark corners of your self and therefore practicing a form of exorcism? Is it exploring your inner world(s) as as shaman would do? Is it a form of meditation? Is is a way to reconnect with your primal self?…Etc.

Maybe it’s all the above or nothing at all, because making art is innate and as ancient as it gets. Even animals make art.

So I got myself a pocket size sketchbook, a small box of water colors and a set of water brushes (a neat invention, it means no more water spilling everywhere, no more mess). Of course I’ll bring a couple pens and pencils with me as well. I’m already smiling at the idea of reconnecting with an old part of my self…It’s like catching up with an old friend who disappeared for a while but who was never really gone (and at this point in my self “sketches” are only the tip of the iceberg of my creative/artistic/inner life…I’ll say more soon).

There’s a chance you might see me wandering around: scrutinizing the horizon, conversing with a tree, or even scrying the clouds (always looking for clues, answers & synchronicities) while drawing & scribbling in my sketchbook. Feel free to say hi, talk a little way or even join me as a fellow sketcher ;)…

I’m excited to have 2 Gluten Free Holiday Baking Classes at my local Whole Foods stores:

AND

Both are FREE events but feel free to RSVP, especially in Torrance, because there’s limited space.


The Holidays are approaching. This year why not surprise your guests with delicious homemade gluten and/or grain free baked goods, and offer them a healthy & tasty alternative? And why not add a little “je ne sais quoi” that will make your baking stand out?

During this workshop you will:

  • Learn to prepare simple and delicious baked goods with a European flair that will please even the most picky eaters
  • Discover new ingredients that will surely find their place in your pantry
  • How to cook with alternative healthy flours & non-dairy milks at home

~These recipes are gluten, dairy, nut and/or egg, free – Substitutions will be suggested~

Menu:

Pain d’Epices Provençal (Gluten Free French Gingerbread)

Alsatian Stollen (Gluten Free German-style fruit bread)

Italian Orange Spice Biscotti (Paleo)

 

About the Instructor: Jennifer Weinstein is a French Teacher, a Textile Designer, an Intuitive Cook & a Special Diet Consultant. She’s been cooking for 25 years, gluten free for 10 years & paleo for 5 years. She strongly believes in the curative power of healthy, nutrient-dense food since she has experienced it herself. As a health food advocate, she is very passionate about educating people and making a point that healthy food can be flavorful as well. She’s also the author of the culinary blog French Paleo in Lalaland: zenseer.wordpress.com