Friday, December 30, 2011

Gluten-Free Buche De Noel (or Yule Log) Recipe

We loved reading the book A Clever Beatrice Christmas this holiday. In it they make a Buche De Noel, or Yule Log, for Santa on Christmas Eve. The kids were so excited to make one of their own, so we researched different recipes and came up with a gluten-free version of our own. We all agreed that it was delicious.

Gluten-Free Buche De Noel (Yule Log)
( makes two Yule Logs. )

1 (6-ounce) package un-sweetened chocolate, chopped, melted
4 large eggs
2 cups maple sugar
1 tsp GF vanilla extract
¾ C coconut oil (melted)
1 C milk
1 3/4 C Millet Flour
3/4 C tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Whipped Cream

1 quart of heavy whipping cream
2 tsp GF Vanilla extract
1/3 C honey(Whip mixture with an electric beater on high until stiff peaks.)

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 C coconut cream
1 (9-ounce) package un-sweetened chocolate pieces
1/4 C honey

(Heat coconut milk and cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over chocolate and stir until melted. Add Honey. Whip mixture with an electric beater on high for 3 to 5 minutes until ganache is well aerated and thickens to a spreadable frosting.)


Preheat oven to 350˚F. line 2 rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper with coconut oil. In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes. Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add the maple sugar and beat until batter about 5 minutes on medium high. Add vanilla, coconut oil and milk and mix just until incorporated. Mix in melted chocolate on slow speed just until incorporated. Combine all the dry ingredients in another bowl and mix into wet ingredients a little at a time until just incorporated. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until center is set. Do not over cook. Immediately loosen each cake from edges of pan and turn each upside down onto a clean linen towel. Carefully remove parchment paper. While still warm, carefully roll cake with the towel so that cake always touches the towel as it rolls. Let cool completely. When cool, gently unroll cakes and fill with whipped cream. Re-role cakes and transfer to your serving dish. Remove towels. Carefully spread the ganache over the logs and decorate with a sprig of pine or another bit of fresh green. We also garnished the plate with some coco powder and shredded coconut.

this blog is part of Melt in your Mouth Mondays

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Celebrating Mom with a Yule Log

We spent the morning preparing a yule log birthday cake for my mother, or Boppy, as the kids call her. We woke up before the sun and started preparations for this very special day. As smells of chocolate filled the air the kids were busily creating colorful birthday cards while the baby slept and I had a few minutes to think about this person who is my Mother. I thought about my life with her as a child, just the two of us, as she strived so hard to make our life full of joy and love. I think of her as she struggled mothering me through my teen years and wish I could have been able to tell her I would turn out alright. I think about how much heart wrenching pain she felt as she selflessly gave all of herself to care for her mother when she was ill. I think of how she stood by me while I searched for myself and my calling. And now the time and energy she devotes to me and my children each day is a blessing I can only be thankful for.  What she gives is herself and what she gets in return is a whole lot of love from all of us. She is an outstanding person who many love and I am just so lucky that she is my Mother.  I pinch myself everyday that she lives right around the corner from me now and I get to see her almost every day. When I see her walk through the door, I feel like everything is just as it should be. Us together again after so many years living so far away. Yes, this feels so right. So we decided to make her a very special cake to say we love you and happy Birthday.

Jetta also knitted her a scarf that I think suits her perfectly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

finger-knitted flower hair bands and clips

One of my favorite home-made gifts the kids made this year for their friends were these finger-knitted flowers hair bands and clips.  This video explains how to make the flowers. Pilot wants to make his flower into a belt buckle and I am sure we will come up with many other uses for these knit flowers. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

an un-perfect Christmas

Christmas is too much like a performance for me. Too much expectation, too much preparation, too many lights, too much self centered excitement and too much shopping.  As much as I really do love Christmas, it is just not spontaneous enough for me. The fact that it has to be on a certain day does not leave much room for improvisation or letting life unfold naturally. All this expectation that builds up in the house is just a bit too much for me to handle without loosing sleep worrying that I won't get enough sleep. The problem is that I just really love Christmas and I want it to be the best day ever. I want there to be the perfect holiday music that makes you remember all the wonderful times in your life and all the people that you love but at the same time makes you bubble with joy to be alive. I want the meal to be the best meal I have ever cooked and everyone, including the kids to love it too. I want to feel refreshed and relaxed as I sit by the perfect fire without care or a worry in my heart. I want the kids to be so happy with what Santa brought them and be generous and kind to each other the whole day. I have this magical vision in my mind of the perfect Christmas, but the reality is that I know I will probably be tired on Christmas morning because I will have been up nursing all night, the meal will probably be pretty good, but not my best, and the kids will probably just want the dessert. The kids will probably be so excited about their presents and just the fact that it is Christmas that they will be completely exhausted and start to argue and fight about something and keep begging for one more piece of candy. I will probably be on my feet all day cooking and cleaning and just being a Mom that at the end of the day I will just fall into bed and dream about that perfect day that is ever elusive. I will then probably remember that life isn't perfect and that I wouldn't give up or change my life for anything. All the un-perfect days that are bound to come are part of this "whole" life I am living and in essence are just "perfect". I will then probably get that good nights sleep I have been looking for and wake up reminiscing about what a "perfect" Christmas it really was.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

This Moment: solstice spiral

This is a special moment from the past week that I want to stop, savor and enjoy. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

gluten-free, sprouted, fermented millet pumpkin bread

I am so excited about my kitchen aid mixer and grain mill attachment. This week I soaked,sprouted, fermented and then dehydrated whole millet which I milled into flour this morning and made into this yummy pumpkin bread.

Gluten-Free, Sprouted, Fermented Millet Pumpkin Bread

Makes 4 small loafs or one large one.

Pre-heat oven to 350

1 cup date sugar
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon GF vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree or boxed pumpkin (my favorite is from Fig Food Co.)
1 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1-4 T of milk as needed for liquid as it mixes to the right consistency (not too think or thin)

Milk all ingredents and pour into oiled bread pans. Bake on 350 for about 40 - 50 min or until the top of  the bread is firm but gives slightly to a gentle touch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

his own tree swing

I love watching my son, who is just 4 years old, get an idea, and without even asking for help, take all the steps necessary to follow through with it. The other morning at ruffly 6am I was sitting on the couch reading and nursing the baby when Pilot got the idea and burning desire to build a tree swing in our front yard tree. I told him he may want to have daddy help and that I wasn't even sure if the tree was big enough to hold a swing. He was un-phased by my suggestions and just went right on collecting all the supplies he would need and, still in his pajamas, went outside to work on it. About 20 minutes later I looked out the front window and to my surprise he was swinging from the tree on his new swing with a huge satisfied smile on his face. Never underestimate a 4 year old.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


unconditional love