I was having a bad tech day on Sunday…
…caught between WordPress and MailChimp, with changes not publishing, pictures not uploading. And, then when I finally got the email sent, I saw that I’d misspelled a word. (At least I can always update the online version.)
It’s a good thing that my mother was over while I was working. In between my efforts to get the technology to work (saying words that no one should say in front of her mother, but she sat calmly and silently next to me), we enjoyed an episode of Poirot, ate vegetable curry and chocolate ice cream, had a few laughs over nothing.
I’d been up since early morning, and not slept soundly, anyway. I felt like I’d been driving for hours by the time I got back from taking Mom home. Mark was still on the golf course. Should I take a nap? Take a walk? Have a cup of tea? What I really felt like doing was playing in the kitchen, discovering something new. So, I did.
Discovering Gluten-Free Orange Almond Mini-Muffins
Remember those Parmesan, Lemon, and Rosemary Mini-Muffins that I made for Christmas Eve? I’d use that recipe as the starting point (love that size), and go from there. Besides, I still had some of the buttermilk, and it wasn’t going to last much longer.
But, now that it’s January, I wanted to make something a little healthier, even if it has carbs — less fat (“Good-bye, cheese!”), gluten-free (“Good-bye, all-purpose flour!”) — with just a little sweetness (“Good-bye, pepper!”) .
I’d use juice and all the zest from a Palm Springs orange (“Thanks, Mark and Emily!”) and keep with the 1 teaspoon sugar from the savory version. Inflate the orange flavor by using Fresh Blood Orange Olive Oil, and maybe some of the candied orange peel that Emily made , soaked in the orange juice (OK, so that’s more sugar…).
Making it Gluten-Free
If I take out the all-purpose flour, I’ll need something else besides the cornmeal for bulk and structure (that’s what gluten gives). I had a bag of coconut flour, plus some almond meal left over from some turkey burgers I’d made a few months ago.
But, when I added it to the bowl of cornmeal and coconut flour, I couldn’t tell whether those dark bits were almond skin or some kind of critter, so I tossed it all out and started again. Better to have a fresh bag of almond meal or to grind my own in the coffee grinder that I keep only for herbs and spices, which is what I did. Besides, that gives some nice, bigger, crunchy bits, too, for texture.
I also find that “gluten-free” can often mean “moisture-free”, making dense little stones that are healthy only because you don’t eat them. I wanted these to be delicious, too. So, I doubled the eggs to bring moisture and structure, plus boost leavening… or so I hoped.
All’s Well that Ends Well
By the time Mark got home, the muffins were out of the oven cooling and the kitchen was nearly cleaned up. He was ready for a taste, having smelled then from the elevator.
I was totally de-stressed and refreshed… how I love working out a culinary mystery! It’s so centering, working with my inner and outer senses, the physicality of it all. And, the best part is, you get to eat it!
Mark and I each had one and they passed the test.
I put the rest in the freezer. For full details, see Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (Gluten-Free).