I did not do a great deal of cooking over the holidays. This is a combination of general winter ennui and being at my parents’ in California, which is not equipped for vegan/gf cooking. I did manage a vegan stir-fry that even my dad liked (rice noodles, frozen veggies, I think chickpeas and lots of ginger and soy sauce) and I my first attempt at gf baking:


So this mess was supposed to be this recipe for gf cinnamon rolls. I suspect the 2 cups of almond milk  and a slightly abbreviated initial rising time are to blame, but this was the wettest, stickiest, most unpleasant dough I have ever encountered. It was like trying to spread cat vomit with butter and cinnamon.

When I tried to roll it up, it stuck to the parchment paper, and to me, and to the counter…I eventually just folded it into a sort of pile and stuck it in this pan to rise. Do you remember the scene in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty where the fairies try to make Briar Rose (Princess Aurora) a birthday cake without magic? That’s what this felt like.

Anyway, my friend Michelle recommended I rebrand it as a “gluten-free cinnamon pan” and bake it anyway. (Because “pan” is Spanish for bread. Get it?)

It was actually pretty delicious and my family ate the entire thing. It’s really, really sweet – I didn’t have vegan cream cheese (sidebar: my major recipe pet peeve is when the recipe calls for an ingredient in the instructions that isn’t listed in the ingredients list. I would certainly have purchased the cream cheese if it had been mentioned somewhere before step 15 of the recipe) so I made a powdered sugar icing with almond milk. The tartness of the cream cheese might have been a better balance for the sweetness of the…pieces of pan.

I also made tofu-enhanced pesto for Christmas dinner at my parents. Oh. my. goodness. This is super simple and over-the-top delicious. I will absolutely be making this again. My photos are nowhere near as appealing as the ones accompanying her post, so go drool over there.

Besides baking disasters, I saw lots of high school friends, met Michelle’s baby Eli, and read some excellent books. I tried my luck with Anna Karenina again, but we’re just not meant to be.

IMG_1148Best present given: this handmade cowl for my best friend Meleah. This might be my favorite thing I have ever knitted. It is so warm and fluffy and awesome. Protip: if a knitter gives you something they made, put it on right away. Nothing makes the hours of work more rewarding.

pinupBest gift received: The Great American Pin-Up coffee table book. From my boss. (I told you my job is amazing.) I was going to post a picture of the inside of this book, but this is a family blog, sorry.



One thought on “Holidays!

  1. 🙂 glad you liked it!

    ps i have NEVER had success with gluten free and vegan baking. its either one or the other (meaning eggs with GF baking, or wheat flour with vegan baking). grrrrr…why is it so hard!!! im determined to sort it out though.

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