Sunday, January 30, 2011

Did I Just Call Her "Dude" ?

I love Saturdays. It's a baking day for Mommy and everybody knows it. Oh, I'll get the kids to their various activities; Taekwan-do, drama, guitar, the mall (Not really an activity, Oscar!), but for the most part, since the hubs is home, everyone has grown to accept that I will be creating recipes, "doin' my thang" on Saturdays. Sometimes Sunday too if I can get away with it. I love my baking! Truth be told, I think our four kids enjoy the fact that their mom is always in the kitchen baking.

I remember coming home from a hard day of junior high school, for example, and if my mom had been baking that day the smell right behind my opening of the front door was the giveaway. Something just set my mind at peace with that smell. It really could be anything...chocolate chip cookies (even though, yikes, I'm not a fan of chocolate!), brownies, apple pie for after dinner, you know, the old standbys. Those were what we got in our household and nobody minded a bit! Homemade is homemade goodness, organic love.

 So, the kids and my man know to just give me some room on Saturdays. Except Quinn. She's our three-year-old. Six-feet of attitude stuffed into a 3-foot sack! For real. She's mostly a bundle of snuggles, but DO NOT say "no" to her! She has a long memory and if she wants something or wants to do something, she will turn on the siren. If you hold your ground, she will turn UP the siren. Like a friend of ours said, "She's got stamina." That she does. This morning is a good example of "Baby Quinn's" persistence.

I had big plans for some amazing looking figs I came across at Whole Foods. I felt as if I needed to update the Crisp. You know. The crisp with the soft, sweet underbelly and the topping made of crispy goodness. More on that in a moment. Back to Quinn... She was determined to "help" me in the kitchen.
Sometimes she just needs to be with mommy and this was one of those days. It's always the worst timing, right girls? Our kids have impectable timing! I just wanted to create a fabulous new crisp, but Little Miss Quinn had other plans. She was all over me. I set her up with a video, no. I set her up in front of the computer, no. But, thankfully Andy (her daddy, my husband, love of my life)was here to save the day. But, not before I had one of those mommy-moments when you really don't recognize yourself.

While I was in my best continue-working-ignore-the fussy child mode, Quinn was tuning up. The constant "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy........" was in full roar and something just snapped in me. I turned to her irritably, and stopped myself from swearing, but I said,  "What, DUDE?"

What...dude?  Where the heck did that come from? And it didn't go unnoticed by Quinn either. She seemed to understand the insult and gave me this grown-up head tilt and what looked like quite a judgemental glare Then came her scolding jibberish. I caught a few of the "words" and it seemed to me that she said "I'm not a dude! Why you call me dude Mommy?" Humiliation. Pure humiliation even though nobody heard the exchange.How about that? A verbal smack-down by a three-year-old! Plus, I was confused. I really don't know where that came from or why it came out of my mouth. Another memorable mommy-moment for the books. There is sure to be many more where that came from. I hope to have years of these! Truly. Soon after, I was finally able to get to my crisp. I wanted to make a pear crisp because they were looking very sweet yesterday. My kids are getting bored of apples. Pears are a great change. Plus, you know that feeling when you are drawn to a certain fruit bin by the color and then your mouth just starts to water in anticipation. So, pear crisp it was going to be, but it needed more. Figs are a tasty combo with pears, so I went to look around. I found some great looking sun-dried and unsulfured figs that the store was sampling. Two different kinds, black mission and calimyrna by a company called Made in Nature. Fabulous. It's a lock. A Gluten Free/Dairy Free Pear and Fig crisp. Next, the top crust. The cream in the coffee, the cherry on top. I settled on Udi's Cranberry Granola as a starting point. That's a good solid place to start, but I would need more cranberries for sure. And then the nuts and bolts of any gluten free/dairy free deliciousness. And that's it. So, I put it all together and my whole family thinks it's a winner. We had it for dessert. The pears, of course bring the natural sweetness and the figs? They bring the depth. As you pull it off of your spoon with your teeth, the granola crust hits the side of your mouth and then the pear yields its sweet mushiness. But, when the fig makes its entrance, you're in another dimension. I'm telling you...depth. Make a warm batch for your family on one of these cold winter evenings. And p.s., don't forget the casein-free ice cream!
                                      GF/CF Cranberry-Fig-Pear Crisp

1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
2 Tbs Tapioca Starch
 2 Tbs Almond Flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
 2 cups gluten free cranbery granola (I used Udi's)
1/4 Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, melted
5 cups peeled, sliced pears (about 5 whole pears)
1 cup diced dried figs (I used a combination of black mission and calimyrna)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
 5 Tbs Brown Rice Flour
 2 1/3 Tbs Arrowroot Starch (that equals 2 Tbs, plus 1 tsp)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a 7"x 11", 2-quart baking dish.

Whisk together the 1/4 cup brown rice flour, tapioca starch, almond flour and xanthan gum. Add in the brown sugar and granola. Mix well with the melted Earth Balance. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the sliced pears, diced figs, and dried cranberries with the granulated sugar. In a separate, small bowl mix together the 5 Tbs of brown rice flour and the 2 1/3 Tbs of Arrowroot starch then add it to the fruit mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish and then spread the granola mix evenly over the fruit.

 Place into the preheated oven and bake, uncovered for 45 minutes. The crust will turn light brown and pull away slightly from the edges of the baking dish. Serve warm with a scoop (or two) of your favorite casein free ice cream.

Enjoy and until next time, Danna

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I look forward to any and all comments from readers. Feel free to correct me, enlighten me, and encourage me!