Recipe review: gluten free sugar cookies

I am so exited to share this recipe with all of you that
can’t or won’t eat gluten! yes you can have it! A delicious sugar
cookies, that can be enjoyed by not only you, but everyone around!
They will never know they are gluten free! This is the recipe, and
I haven’t changed a thing beside opting for butter instead of
Crisco, and they turn beautifully! Here is the recipe found on Food.com.

I thought about sharing this quickly, as you might want to have
this recipe on hand for the holidays coming up, if you’re like
us… we always prepare sugar cookies for Halloween and Christmas,
that we decorate and share with friends and neighbors.

This year, my friend, who has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease,
myself and our kids, did an Halloween workshop where we decorated
cookies and made some homemade decorations! It was a lot of fun,
and we were very happy that this recipe turned so well, so we could
all enjoy it! Of course, we let the kids, who can happily eat
anything, go wild with their decoration…

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If you want to decorate your cookies, and keep them gluten free,use a simple icing made of icing sugar (which is just sugar and

cornstarch) and water. Food coloring should not contain gluten (I
use Wilton’s), so you can color your icing. And know that I haven’t search for all
the candies, but Jelly Belly do not contain gluten. Those can be used for
fun decors! Of course, they are delicious on their own too…

Hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Here is a few shots of
our crazy decoration. For ideas, you can visit my Halloween board
on Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/tartinemaple/halloween/

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Happy Halloween!!! XOXO Tartine

Rainbow Cake for birthday party!!!

Rainbow Cake

Rainbow Cake - Tartine & Maple

Hello foodies!!!

I know it’s been a while! Time flew by those past few months, but I really want to write again! I plan to write a post about what has been going on in the kitchen and why I’ve been silent for all this time… But that’s for another day.

Today I wanted to share the making of the Rainbow Cake, that I’ve done for my daughter’s 4th birthday, because it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!! I am usually the type to run away from unnaturally colored food, but for a kid’s birthday, totally worth it! And the colors didn’t take anything away from the taste, it was really good!

But I am not going to take any credit on the recipe, I have follow to the T one of Martha Stewart recipe’s (yes, her again, I know, she just nails the party cakes though!!!), whom shouldn’t take so much credit either, because this recipe was in the 1st placed from “Whisk Kid” blogger Kaitlin Flannery. So if you want to give some credit to the blogger, visit this page for the recipe!!! How cool for her, she got to go the Martha Show to demonstrate how to make her rainbow cake! We watched the video with my kids before getting to it, they loved it right away!

Rainbow Cake - Tartine & Maple

Anyhow, no retyping of a recipe that’s not mine, but just to note, the recipe calls for 2 batches of Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and I have done only one batch, and did it with 2 tsp of vanilla extract instead of lemon. I though just one big batch of it was enough, I didn’t have those thick layers of frosting between each layer of cake, but that was just right to my taste, and apparently to everyone else’s taste!

This is the ingredients list for one big batch of vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

9 egg whites
1 ¾ c (350 g) sugar
4 sticks (452 g) butter, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract

Now, here is the work in pictures for you:

First, prepare your parchment paper, to place at the bottom of your pans. As you can see, even a soon to be 4 year old can do it 😉

Photo 11-10-13 12 11 00

Then, you’ll do the cake batter. Once it’s done, separate it in 6 bowls. It helps that the bowls are all same size, so you can eyeball the same quantity in each of them. Then add the color! I use an Icing Colors Set from Wilton. You don’t want to do that with regular liquid food colorant, it won’t be vibrant enough. Gel colorant are best for great color! I added maybe 1/8 of a tsp of color in each.  Kids had so much fun mixing the batter and seeing it turning into vibrant colors! It’s like art and baking at the same time!

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Then you bake. I had only 2 cake mold of the same size, so I had to bake them in 3 separate batch 😦 . If I do that again, i will buy 6 disposable mold, to cut on the baking time! See how the colors are so vibrant?! And the buttered parchment paper at the bottom, totally worth it! Cake just fell from the mold without a fight!

Photo 11-10-13 12 01 28

Then the buttercream part! I had done Swiss Meringue Buttercream before, so I was not too worried about it, but there is nothing to be afraid of.. Actually, Kaitlin has a great post on her Whisk Kid blog about how to make it, and she even has tips and what to do if things turn weird. Check it out before you start, if it’s your first time at it! As you can see, birthday girl couldn’t wait to try it! This stuff is good!!! And then you spread a bit between each layers of cake. I refrigerated the buttercream for about 30 min after I finished making it, so it is a bit more stable, and doesn’t run from between layers.

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Then did a crumb coat, and refrigerated for 1 hour before finishing the outside frosting. This allow the crumb coat to set and your outside layer of buttercream will remain white and crumb-free! Optional: added rainbow sprinkles all over…

Anyhow, this cake was a hit! You should hear the Ho and Ha when I pull that first slice!!! The recipe is really good, the cake is really tasty and not overly sweet. it is well worth the effort, trust me! Beside birthday party, this could be a great cake for a Pride party, St. Patrick day or any rainbow lover’s occasion!

To top it up, I also made a tray of my famous Rainbow Jello!!! This time I poured it in a rectangular mold and cut it out with cookie cutters. Big time saver to not pour the layers in tiny cups like last time… Just make sure your cookie cutters are high enough to cut through all the layers!

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It was a delicious and colorful party! And even though I have been staying away from sugar lately, I’ll definitely do an exception for kid’s birthday. I always have so many ideas of stuff to bake for them!

What are you baking for your kids’ birthdays?

XOXO

Tartine

You may also like:

Rainbow Jello

Hello Kitty Cake

Kitty Cake Pops

Best Ever Banana Bread to celebrate its day!

Best Ever Banana Bread

best ever banana bread - tartine& maple

Who doesn’t love a good banana bread? Yes indeed, this classic of american cuisine has it’s own celebrated day, today!!! I tried to research some fact about were and when it comes from, but that wasn’t really interesting… I just give you a short paragraph from Wiki:

Banana bread first became a standard feature of American cookbooks with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s, appeared in Pillsbury‘s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook,[2] and later gained more acceptance with the release of the original Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950.[3]

Look at the goodness inside!

Look at the goodness inside!

This is the perfect way to use up those brown bananas, and as a matter of fact, I did have 4 of those darken fruits on my counter, not even planning on making banana bread this week-end! Some other great ideas of  what to do with ripped bananas is a super easy food processor ice cream! Yes indeed, you can find how to in this post:

Peanut Butter & Jam Popsicles: a treat that’s good for you… and the kids

Anyway, back to the banana bread. You have seen on this blog, different variations of banana bread, in muffin forms, with healthy alternative, and let me tell you those are really good!!! the posts are:

Sugar Free, Butter Free Peanut Butter Muffins. Am I Paleo yet?

Banana Bread Muffins: low fat, low sugar, no guilt!!!

But, to celebrate the special day, I decided to go with a more authentic recipe this time, that doesn’t care about healthiness and nutrition, just goodness!!! Also, I think my husband is getting tired of my try out at “healthy” baking… Although they are really good, he always has some comments about the stevia aftertaste, or just plainly: “it’s good, but it’s just not the same…” Yeah, I am one of those to never do the same, I always, I mean, always, have to change something in a recipe… Look, again, Id did some changes! My choice of using coconut oil, is because I prefer using oil rather than butter in banana cakes, I think it makes them fluffier  and coconut oil adds a subtle nutty taste to the cake. Same with the brown sugar, it’s just a taste thing, rather that using plain white sugar, brown sugar adds a little more carameley taste to it! Whole wheat flour I think goes great with the heartiness of the cake. I don’t use whole wheat usually in cakes, but I think it goes particularly well with banana and carrot cakes in general.

So there it is, I picked one of the most rated recipe of banana bread from the internet, int his case, from the Food Network web site: Flour’s Famous Banana Bread. If you look at the rating and number of reviews, you want to make this, like right now!!! Seems pretty fool proof! With the few modification from above, and voila!!!

I also love to cut my banana bread in thin slices, toast it and eat it for breakfast with peanut butter and maple syrup… Like we did this morning!!! Oh my, amazing!!! Tonight  we have company, and I am planning on serving it with homemade coconut ice cream, that should be pretty outstanding too… I let you know soon! And this time, hubby was definitely in banana cake haven! He barely waited for the cake to cool and almost ruined it by trying to cut  it while warm! I have to admit, it was delicious right out the over, but easier to slice once completely cool!

best ever banana bread - tartine& maple

What is your favorite recipe? How do you eat it?

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Mardi Gras King’s Cake – Sweet memories of the Big Easy

Mardi Gras King’s Cake

Mardi Gras King's Cake - Tartine & Maple

Happy Mardi-Gras (Fat Tuesday) everyone!!!

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I did live in New Orleans, AKA “The Big Easy”, for about 18 months, and that’s where I met my husband! It was also right around the time of 9/11 and followed by a SuperBowl! Needless to say, we went to some real ups and downs during that time. Thankfully we had left before Katrina, but I remember sobbing uncontrollably when watching the news during that time…

Mardi Gras is such a huge deal for New Orleans, and after Katrina, for many years, everyone would say that it just wasn’t the same. But nowadays, for what I can gather  the party is fully back on and the decadence is back in the street full force! When I say decadence, I mean it! It was borderline intimidating sometime to be out there!!! But so much fun! A life experience for sure!

But do you know why Mardi-Gras is celebrated? A little bit of history for you:

Mardi-Gras (literally “Fat Tuesday”) is originally a catholic event which marks the end of the “week of the seven fat days” which were known as “jours charnels” (meaning carnival) in the old days. Before Ash Wednesday, the start of the fasting period of Lent, people celebrated in many diverse ways as it was their last chance until Easter to eat meat.

The word “carnival” derives from the Latin “carnelevare” meaning “to take out the meat”. Indeed, meat was banished from the table during the whole period of Lent, as was sugar, ingredients containing fat, eggs and dairy products. If in Europe, the religious observance of Lent is followed by a rather small group of people, the celebrations around Mardi-Gras are still an opportunity  taken by many to enjoy outdoor feasts, masquerade processions, masked balls, parades, pageants, jugglers, magicians and stilt walkers. This is what French people call “le Carnaval”.

Alongside crêpes, two other closely related treats are prepared on Mardi-Gras: waffles andbeignets.

Mardi Gras kings cake - Tartine & Maple

The story about the Mardi Gras King’s Cake is actually the same as of Epiphany French King Cake, but celebrated on different dates! If you want the full story, you can visit this page. But just like it, we hide something in the cake, here it is usually a little plastic baby, and the one who finds it, has to bake or buy the next King Cake. The tradition runs from the beginning of the year all the way until Mardi Gras Day.

The cake is a brioche type of dough, rolled with a sweet mixture of sugar cinnamon and nuts. It is baked and covered in icing and colored sugar, the colors you find EVERYWHERE in New Orleans at this time of the year: Purple (representing Justice), Green (representing Faith) and Gold (representing Power).

Mardi Gras kings cake - Tartine & Maple

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Sugar Free, Butter Free Peanut Butter Muffins. Am I Paleo yet?

Sugar Free, Butter Free Peanut Butter Muffins

,

Sugar Free, Butter Free Muffins - Tartine & Maple

Hello all! Before we get started, let me tell you a bit about my recent search and interest; the Paleo diet. Wasat? Well, it’s definitely a bit confusing… Paleo comes from the work: Paleolithic, AKA; cavemen time, like million years ago. OK, so what’s the diet? Self hunted raw meat? HAHA, yeah, well no, that’s where it gets complicated… I put a few pieces of web definition together to resume it as best as possible, so here it goes:

Centered on commonly available modern foods, the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumesdairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils

Toxic foods include:

  • Grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, brown rice, …)
  • Legumes (soy beans, peanuts, chickpeas, kidney beans, …)
  • Vegetable seed oils (soybean oil, peanut oil, corn oil, canola oil, …)
  • Added sugar (sodas, candies, cakes, fruit juices, …). Some sugar from natural sources like fruits is perfectly fine.
  • Sources of dairy high in protein (casein) and sugar (lactose) and low in healthy butter-fat.

A focus should be placed on eating a variety of foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. These include:

  • Organ meats (liver, kidney, bone marrow, heart, brain, …)
  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, …)
  • Meat from grass-fed ruminants (beef, bison, lamb, …)
  • Mollusks and other seafood (oysters, mussels, wild salmon, sardines, …)
  • Egg yolks;
  • Bone broth;
  • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, …);

Got it? Confusing a bit, no? 1st of all, why avoiding grains and legumes? Not sure… Why the meat as to be “grass feed ruminants”? Because it’s a caveman diet? OK, well did cavemen really cooked fermented food or delicious cake with coconut milk and baking soda??? That’s where I got lost…

Anyhow, the reason why I got interested in this diet, is that 1st of all, when you start to search for healthy recipes, like no sugar cake, or healthy snacks recipe, it seems like the Paleo tag is on everything healthy out there! I mean, where have I been lately? Where those Paleo modern cavemen cooks hided before? It seems like like it’s been the crave for a while, and I totally missed the boat!

Wait a second, I am not becoming Paleo, nonono, huhum, like mentioned before, no will power, therefore, no such restrictions for me! I love grains, legumes, dairy, non-grass-feed-ruminants meat! But I have to admit, I am following at least 5 Paleo bloggers now!

What really interest me is their approach of cooking with alternatives, like no refined sugar, and instead, for example using pureed dates, that’s a great idea! dates are so sweet and nutritious! Or replace butter with coconut oil. I am not sure how coconut oil is so good for you, seeing all the (good) cholesterol that it contains, but I love it! Been using it everywhere lately! Or alternative flours like nut flours; coconut, almond, mashed nuts… oh, and by the way, in Paleo world, peanut is not a nut, just so you know…. HUH? Oh well, it ends in “nut” still a nut to me!

Aren’t you learning a lot today??? Well I did over the past week, and decided to apply some out of this age cooking tips to my healthier baking!

SUCCESS! It was really, really good for a healthy muffin! Oh, I forgot the disclaimer: “healthy doesn’t always mean low calories”, there, that’s done. After all, there is peanut butter, coco oil, dates, whole flour; it is a hearty muffin, but the ingredients, are good for you little inside! I passed the kids AND the coworkers (who have access to fresh amazing pastries from our 4 stars kitchen) test! HOORAY!

Someone is going for more!!! WIN!

Someone is going for more!!! WIN!

But it is NOT a Paleo recipe, just Paleo inspired. I got the base recipe from here, and changed it to the follow (you can go with the alternative options to fit what’s in your pantry, healthiness not guaranteed ;)):

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Tartine’s 2013 resolutions: having an epiphany!!!!!!!!

Epiphany 2013 & Galette des Rois

Galette des rois

Well hello everyone, Happy New Year, and happy epiphany to anyone who is celebrating!!!

Talking epiphany, I think I had one recently: I need to write again… yeah, it’s been 2 and half month… sorry! What happened? Well life did caught up to me and it was just getting too much. I guess I owe you, my fellow readers, an explanation…

I love writing this blog. Writing a blog is a lot of work. Especially when you write about something that you do! You got to pull the recipe, make it, take pictures, write the recipe, blog it and market it!!! Yeah, lemme remind you, I have a full time job, which is not blogging!

I got inspired by some amazing cooking blog, where the writer will write 2 or 3 times a week, post amazing pictures, write a story with it, organize contest, blog roll, link parties, etc… But then, for what I can gather, those bloggers do not have a full time job. I, at some point, did write a couple of posts a week, then it all caught up to me: I just don’t have time.

I would spend literally all my free time outside of work and mum duties on the blog work. In the end, I stopped doing a lot of things I was doing before: gardening, visiting friends on the week-end, yoga and sports in general (imagine more baking and less sport= disaster in the skinny pants) and less quality time with the hubby. It really hit me after my 2nd Baker’s Market; I just can’t do it all!

Regrets? Not at all! I learned a lot! I have gained you, my followers, and even though I haven’t wrote for so long, I have gained more followers during that time! Pretty cool huh! I mean mostly on Facebook and Twitter, where I will still post regularly, but still, super cool! And now I know my limits and I have learnt that has long as this hobby will not bring bread to the table, it just cannot cause me unnecessary stress.

So my resolution is to keep writing, but with the following changes:

–          It will be more personal, what really happens in the kitchen

–          It will not be in contest to attract more viewers: you like it, you’ll follow!

–          I will post whenever I have time, sorry no target here J

–          I am not going to re-write the recipe, but link to where I found the inspiration and just share my changes and tips

–          It will not only be about recipes, but our adventure in different diets, reviews on products, stores, restaurants, my founding on using natural medicine etc…

To catch up, in the past 2 months, a few things have happened: I met great people who give me inspiration to try different things: natural ingredients, medicine, different diet, and different way of cooking. I have always wanted to try different things and always been attracted to the most natural way to taking care of our health, but that’s a resolution to apply it to my daily life!

I bought my first laptop, and my first iPhone! Whoa, been playing way to much = not time to write J. I even have a Bluetooth speaker now, so I bring my music right next to the action, all the time! That’s cool! I know, I’m braging here, but that’s major changes!!!

A lot has happened at work, but work is work, whatever… A lot has happened at my son’s school too! School concert, holidays festivities, volunteering with my mum… oh yeah, my parents spent 2 weeks with us over Christmas, that was really great! My dad is a chef, perfect timing for the holidays 😉

This means needs for a diet… seriously, I never diet, ever, I am just usually careful. But I am not in a happy place in my pants. I am the kind to never go on a scale, but I will try those famous skinny jeans, with no stretch in it, from before having kids: that’s the test! So starting next week: cleanse! That’s right! Who’s with me??? It’s going to be a tough one for sure, I know myself, no self-control!!! But I will give it a try… oh, and going back to yoga and zumba (BTW, started zumba not long ago, LOVE it! Make me feel like one of those hot dancers in music videos!!)

So anyhow, here it is. I hope you still want to follow me after all that! Then I’ll really love you back! In the meantime, let me share with you the first cake of the year. Eh, I did say diet starts next week!!!

Galette des rois

“Galette des rois” or a French king’s cake made of almond and puff pastry, hummmm. For the full story about this tradition, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_cake and skip to “french king cake”. The recipe used is pretty much this one: http://www.easy-french-food.com/king-cake-recipe.html#.UOpeOW_onXc . I added some almond extract and vanilla. It’s a great tradition that brings me great childhood memories… Hope you’ll enjoy it!!!

I wish a really good 2013 with real achievable resolutions too! The most important is to do what makes you happy!

XOXO

Tartine

What happened to Tartine? Is she in the jam?

Well, pretty much, yeah!!! If you follow me on Facebook, I warned you! October was going to be a busy one!!! And that was no joke. I mean, the month is not over, but November, can not be as busy…

This month, I had My daughter’s 3rd birthday, my husband’s, huh, birthday, a lot of events at work, and my 1st Baker’s Market!!! But let me show you in pictures:

Daughter’s 3rd birthday:

Hello Kitty Cake Pops - Tartine & Maple

 

Check out my Kitty Cake Pops how-to and my Hello Kitty birthday cake!!!

It was all about Hello Kitty this year! The cake that I wrote about previously, was for our family celebration, just the 4 of us. But we also had the kiddies party, and if you remember, I had set myself on doing those Hello Kitty pop cakes from Bakerella. Well, I’ve done them, and never again!!! Why? Of course they are adorable!!! But holly waste of time!!! See, I consider myself a good baker, but when it comes do decoration, not so much… I also have limited patience, and time! But I was really happy with the results of course, and so was my daughter, her little friends, and even the grown ups! A great party, happy baby girl and good people all around!

No need for me to re-write the recipe here, I followed Bakerella’s to the T, so just go there if you want the directions.

The cake made of those pictures, is a red velvet cake (minus the red colorant, I just can not justify wasting a entire bottle of red colorant for a cake that is just delicious as is) and cream cheese frosting, both from Martha Stewart. That was a hit with the adults! One of my favorite cake to make, and the recipe goes really well for cupcakes too!

Hubby’s birthday: 5 courses tasting menu at Diva at the Met

The Metropolitan Hotel, that’s where I work. In there, the restaurant, Diva at the Met, is one of the best restaurant of the city!!! I’m not just saying! It’s true! The chef, Hamid Salimian, has invited me so many times to come over, but you know, family, work, and life in general, keeps you from doing those things… So we used my husband’s birthday as an excuse to finally go there. And, whoa, it was so worth it! I haven’t had such an amazing meal in ages! Magical combination of ingredients, ideas and inspiration. Is was a one of a kind experience! Paired with wines, specially chosen to compliment the dishes, DELICIOUS!

For more info about Diva, check out the web-site! If you ever want to try it, and you should, really, let me know!

Events at work

Well, if you don’t know yet, baking and blogging are actually not my job… One of the reason why my blogging is so inconsistent; I do actually have a really busy day-time job! And although I often complain on how busy and crazy this job is, I do love it! But most of it, I love the people! Great team really, no haters in that bunch! We do have quite our share of fun! And that’s really important, don’t you think? Mostly when your job is quite stressful, ours is, joking around helps to relax and reconnect. We had people leaving us, not that fun, but still calling for Party! Birthdays (in the picture, my colleagues trashing another co-worker’s desk for her birthday) and month-long fund-raising for BC Hospitality Foundation. To raise money, me and my team did a bake sale. We collected $220 in one day, not bad huh?

The Bakers Market

Here I am finally! I had been anxiously waiting and getting ready for this event! It is the first time that I got total strangers tasting and buying my baked goodies! It was an amazing adventure!!! Very tiring though! After coming back from my day time job, I was getting ready all last week for that (here is another reason for the lack of posts lately…) preparing and choosing recipes, baking, marketing, finding props, and just getting organised! It went great, I did really well, and I really think people liked my stuff! The best seller was undoubtedly the lavender shortbread! I also met other fellow bakers with very creative ideas! Visit my facebook page to read about my favorite bakers!

I have one more to do! I will be back at the Bakers Market on November 3rd, so again, you might not hear from me til then… But it’s all good, I love being busy, and getting all this buzz! I will also soon create a new page to the blog for people to see what items can be ordered…

In the jam, huh? Yes indeed. Also because I’ve been canning a lot. The latest: vanilla spices peach jam and apple butter! I don’t really have recipes for those to give you, as I pretty much started with very basic recipes, and just added spices to taste as I went… Sorry…

Here are the latest adventure of Tartine, still alive, just busy and loving it!!!

XOXO Tartine

 

For Hello Kitty tutorials, check those posts:

Kitty Cake Pops how-to

Hello Kitty Birthday Cake how-to