Back to Baking

Several people have asked me when I will bake some more. Friends and family who are far away and ask that are really asking, “When will you bake again and post your recipes/photos on WordPress?” Friends and family who live close by, though, are really asking, “When will you bake again so that we will have something of yours to taste?” I can’t be too upset at them; it’s a compliment to my baking, after all.

Yesterday, I decided to bake, for these reasons:
1.I have new ramekins which I had not used yet,
2. In the fridge were a nectarine, a black plum, and a golden delicious apple, all waiting to be used, and
3. The temperature and humidity outside were a lot more bearable, so I did not mind turning on the oven yesterday.

I washed and cut up the three fruits.  (If you read the posting from March 5, you know that I did not pare any of the fruits.) I sautéed the fruits with nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and bourbon.  While this mixture simmered, I made a topping of oats, gluten-free flour, pecans, cinnamon, brown sugar, and room temperature butter. At the last minute, I decided to divide the fruit mixture among three ramekins instead of two and baked the fruit crisps for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Would you like yours with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whip cream? Why not both?

Go Gluten-Free – Maybe, Maybe Not

I have read a couple of online posts regarding gluten.  One was a study, while inconclusive, stated that people with kidney failure may regain kidney function by having a gluten-free diet. The other site featured posted comments, including a woman who stated that her kidneys hurt whenever she eats gluten, another woman who regained kidney function within weeks of going gluten-free, and a man who has been gluten-free for a long time but has experienced no improvement in his kidney function. My kidney doctor agrees that the research is inconclusive right now. However, it can’t hurt to try, can it?

Well, I already watch sodium because of my blood pressure and fat due to blood cholesterol. Now with kidney failure, I am to not only limit sodium, but also potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Cut out gluten, and it makes it even harder to plan meals, grocery shop, and cook food with flavors which will make me want to eat it. I am used to buying low sodium and salt-free products. I do not use salt when I cook, the exception being certain recipes which will need some salt in the baking process. I flavor foods with herbs and other natural ingredients. Baking without gluten, though, not only changes the flavor, it often changes the texture as well. I’ve tried gluten-free burritos and pizza, the tortillas and pizza crusts made with rice or potato flour. They tasted good, yet neither one tasted as it should. In other words, the pizza looked like a pizza, but it did not taste like a pizza. Same for the burrito.

Recently, I purchased a box of Gluten-Free Apple-Oat Scones.  It is from Sticky Fingers Bakeries.  I have bought scone mixes of this brand in the past (not gluten-free), and I have been pleased with both appearance, texture, and taste of the scones.

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