My first blog award!

One of the best things about having this food blog (besides eating all the food *insert maniacal laughter here*) has been interacting with all the other food lovers and bloggers out there. It’s such a beautiful thing to connect with people who share your passions (if you’re not following me on Instagram, get on it! @cocinadecella — I post there more often than I do here). Throughout the process of sharing my cooking experiences, I’ve stumbled upon the most beautiful recipes and artfully-created dishes that inspire me every day.

I was nominated for the Liebster Award a few weeks ago and am just now getting around to accepting it. This award acknowledges excellence in small blogs and is a way to bring them more recognition. Thank you so much to Lori of Creating Beauty in the Kitchen for nominating me! If you haven’t checked out her site, she is always posting the most delicious-looking recipes with lots of fresh ingredients and gluten-free flours. She also happens to share my quinoa obsession ;)

Here are the rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Answer the questions you were given.
Nominate other blogs with less than 500 followers.
Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.
Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated and appreciate their hard work

Here are the questions Lori gave me:

1. Coffee of Tea?

Coffee has always had my heart but I’m trying to kick the habit. Earl gray tea with a splash of almond milk and a little honey is a new obsession. Pure bliss.

2. What are your favorite colors to decorate with?

I’m of the Type A personality type and am always desperately seeking soothing/calming colors. I like white, shades of gray and lavender with metallic accents.

3. Do you have a favorite t.v. show? What is it?

My favorites at the moment are Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Girls, Modern Family and Mindy Project.

4. What is it about your best friend that makes him/her your best friend?

I have too many best friends and they all have something unique about them that I love. One is laid back with a similarly awkward sense of humor and a shared passion for literature and movies. Another is sweet and nurturing with a wild side that is so much fun to be around. One is fierce, witty and strong and so easy to talk to. Another is bold, adventurous and ambitious and inspires to be the same. I also have a gentle-natured, kindhearted friend that could drink any man under the table. My friends are incredible.

5. If you could learn how to do one thing, what would it be and why?

COOK, duh! That’s why I’m here!

6. What is your favorite season of the year, and why?

I’m going to go with Fall :) I like to watch the world change colors, the winds start to blow and the temperature drop. The fashion and seasonal produce are also the best.

7. Use three words to describe yourself.

Independent, dreamer, loving

8. Cats or Dogs?

DOGS

9. Who has influenced you the most, and why?

My mom. She’s superwoman. She raised me to be a strong woman and to never rely upon anybody else for something I need. She also instilled in me a passion for reading and the ability to care for and nurture the people that I love.

10. What is your favorite thing to do when you want to relax?

Cuddle up with the pups and read or watch a movie.

Without further ado, here are the bloggers I nominate for the Liebster Award:

Emily from Em the Baker: she posts some incredible-looking gluten-free sweets!

Maral from Let’s Live la Vida: This girl is such a sweetheart, an amazing writer and an even better cook. Definitely check her out!

Joanne from Gluten Free and the Australian Teenager: I really enjoy reading about the foods she prepares for her son, who has Celiac, and she is just so sweet

Sylvie from My Cooking Instinct: It is in French and I cannot understand a word but, from the pictures, I can gather that she puts together beautiful food combinations and is just an inspiration overall

Veggie Chica!: Don’t know her name but she posts vegetarian Mexican recipes! Yum!

Holly from Buttercups and Bourbon: lovely food photography and great, fresh recipes

And here are the questions I give you:

1. What inspires you?

2. If you could be the character of any book or movie, who would it be and why?

3. Where is your favorite place in the world?

4. You’re on death row; describe your last meal.

5. Three artists you are currently listening to:

6. Best childhood memory?

7. Besides the fact that you might be powerful beyond measure, what is your deepest fear? ;)

8. Who is the best cook you know in real life?

9. If you could meet any famous chef or food blogger, who would it be and why?

10. What is something you wish you knew when you were 15 years old?

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Nearly Edible Gluten-Free Bread + A Word From our Sponsors (Me)

Hiiiiiiii, remember me? My name is Marcella and I try to bake and sometimes it is edible?? You do?! Okay good, I was scared for a sec.


See what happened was I was preparing for a trip so I was stressed out and eating super healthy and exercising a bunch so I wouldn’t look like a fat cow and then I went on my trip and HAD A BLAST and then I came home but I was exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking and then this weekend I went to a music festival in the desert and now I’m back and even more exhausted but I love you wayyy too much to neglect you any further and so here I am now with this near-success story.


I’ve been nervous to bake a loaf of gluten-free bread because, honestly, I’m pretty picky about the kind of bread I eat. The way I see it is, if I’m going to eat something fattening, it better taste damn good or be chock-full of nutrients (or both!).  You will never catch me eating a slice of white Wonder bread  or some crappy ciabatta from a grocery store deli — I’m all about a dense, slightly sweet pumpernickel bread or the kind of flaky croissant stuffed with dark chocolate and oozing with butter you would pick up from a sidewalk cafe. You smell what I’m steppin’ in? Go big or go home.



When I decided to finally take the plunge and make bread, I really had to sift through the masses of “gluten-free white sandwich bread!!!!” recipes online to find something whole grain. I wanted to bake something in the vein of a honey-oat bread, but my sister is allergic to oats so I ended up attempting a “Gluten-Free Quinoa-Molasses Whole Grain Bread”. Those are quinoa flakes sprinkled on top, by the way, not oats — thanks Tuna Toast for the tip! Anyway, because this was a product of my imagination, no such recipe exists hahaha. But it will soon!! I’m going to keep trying until I get it right. Remember my empanadas? That shit went on for months weeks.



This bread was pretty good. Especially toasted, with Nutella on top. Then again, what isn’t pretty good with Nutella on top? My sister said she liked it toasted and smeared with my homemade blueberry jam. It was just REALLY dense (that’s what I get for using all whole grains), not as sweet as I would’ve liked and didn’t rise as much. I think if I add some lighter, starchier flours and maybe triple up on the molasses, I will get what I’m looking for. What do you think? I need help.


I will definitely report back but will you pleaseee share your favorite gluten-free bread recipe with me? I’m also interested in attempting a gluten-free french bread and an artisan-style bread. While we’re at it, please send regular gluten bread recipes too — I’ve never attempted one of those either! 

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Mini Gluten-Free Blueberry Pies

The pitter patter of rain outside my window when I’m snuggled up in bed. The sweet, floral scent of lavender. Puppy kisses. A bubbling slice of fruity pie with an obnoxiously large scoop of French vanilla ice cream.

Yep, you guessed it: these are a few of my favorite things.

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

What? You didn’t think that I, nerdiest of the nerds, would forget to pay homage to the most nerdilicious holiday of them all, did you? Or wait, is that May the 4th? Either way, happy π day, bitches! (I’ll have you know that I tried to post this recipe on 3/14 at exactly 1:59 p.m… because 3.14159 is the extent of my sweet, sweet geometry memories)

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

As my previous attempts at gluten-free pie crust have all failed me (I actually gave in and bought boxed GF pie crust for my pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving), I was nervous about this endeavor. I scoured the interwebz until I found a recipe that: a) I had not tried before, b) used flours that my sister is not allergic to, and c) had great reviews. Although the process of making the dough was sort of unorthodox (why did I have to keep adding starch as I kneaded the dough to get the right texture? shouldn’t I have just added that extra starch into the original measurements? also, why didn’t I need xanthan gum???), the end result could not have been better.

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

This was the flakiest pie crust I’ve made and it does NOT taste “gluten-free” at all. Tastes like there’s a whole lot of gluten, actually! I served it to a friend and her jaw literally hit the table when I told her it was gluten-free (after she had eaten it, of course muahahaha). I can also very much imagine omitting the powdered sugar in the dough and making one of those savory pot pies that this month’s issue of Bon Appétit has been flaunting around. The blueberry filling is perfect. I love that there are little chunks of butter floating around in there, for added richness. Didn’t I tell you that butter makes everything better in life? except your @$$ I have so much extra and am already plotting how else to use it!

Anyway, get to steppin:

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Mini Gluten Free Blueberry Pies by cocinadecella.com

Crust modified from Whole Foods Market and filling modified from Food Network

Ingredients:

Crust (yields two pie crusts or eight mini pies. I would double this next time):

- 60 grams almond flour (2/3 cup)

- 100 grams millet (2/3 cup)

- 160 grams tapioca starch (1 and 1/3 cup)

- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces

- 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Filling:

- 30 oz blueberries

- 16 oz blueberry jam

- 1 lemon (juice and zest)

- 1 cup sugar

- 1/2 stick butter

- 2 tbs gluten-free all purpose flour

- pinch of salt

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Mix flours, salt and sugar in food processor

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Add the butter and continue to pulse until mixture turns crumbly

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Mix eggs in

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

For me, the dough was too dense so I dumped it in a bowl and finished mixing by hand

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

I know, it’s really watery and weird-looking. I was nervous but it turned out GREAT so just keep going. Place in the fridge and let sit for an hour. Time for the filling:

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Mix lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, flour, butter and salt into the blueberries

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Add blueberry jam for an extra intense blueberry flavor. I used a homemade blueberry jam I made a few weeks ago (cook 1 lb. of blended blueberries over low heat with 1 cup sugar and 1 lemon [juice and zest] for two hours or until thick)

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Okay go ahead and take your dough out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 375 degrees

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

The dough will still be REALLY sticky. Sprinkle something starchy all over it (I used tapioca flour/starch) and knead it with your hands

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Much bettah

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Roll the dough into 16 little balls. You will probably need to have tapioca flour dusted on your hands to make this easier

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Roll eight of the balls out into little discs (similarly to how we rolled it out for the empanadas) and place in muffin tray. I also tried placing the dough ball in the muffin tray and squishing it around until it covered all edges. I found a combination of the two methods worked the best

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Place a hefty scoop of the filling in each dough cup. Next time, I would’ve added more than you see pictured below.

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Flatten the remaining eight balls of dough into small discs and use them to cover the mini pies. Be sure to press around the edges to seal each pie.

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Create vents across the tops. Mine sort of disappeared while baking so I probably didn’t make them wide enough. Sooo I would suggest researching pie vents if you haven’t done this before haha ;)

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Bake for twenty minutes, or until your house smells like the house of Violet Beauregarde’s dreams and the pies are golden brown.

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Let cool for ten minutes or so and then eat with a fat scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

gluten-free mini blueberry pies by cocinadecella.com

Are you making anything to celebrate this sacred holiday? What is your favorite pie? Do you have a go-to gluten-free pie crust recipe?

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