Growing Pains

Today was the craft boutique in Monaca. It was a lovely event and we’ll run. It was not the right place for Baked True North.

As I have a tendency to do, I over prepared for this show. I baked dozens of cookies, half dozen yum-breads, 2 dozen doughnuts, put together the most attractive table I could with samples and all! But I suppose I am still learning.

I am actually writing this from my table at the event because it has been so uneventful here. I thought the North Boroughs had a lack of gluten-free products and knowledge, but as one would expect, the further from the city you go, the greater the population who truly seem to be disgusted by the idea of gluten-free. At all my other events, people try the cookies and are buying whether they need it or not because it tastes good. Today people are just looking away like I’m selling a medication or something they don’t need.

Thankfully I stopped myself yesterday from making more. I haven’t rolled out the surprise yet and I decided last minute to scrap the paleo cookies.

But as all learning and growing experiences are, I know what I’ll do differently for next time I’m at a show… And I’ll probably stay out of Monaca for now. It was lovely to meet everyone and I’ll come back whenever you want to order! Haha

Now for the exciting part… Up to 50% off everything I have left over until midnight on Tuesday!

  • Doughnuts $3/half dozen
  • Yum-breads $3/mini loaf
  • Jars of mini chocolate chip cookies $10/jar
  • Pumpkin spice waffle cookies $4/half dozen
  • All large cookies (oktoberfest/pumpkin chocolate chip/signature chocolate chip) $3/each

Email me at bakedtruenorth@gmail.com to order!

Thanks for all of your support as I find the rhythm of business.

Stay delicious,

Lauren

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The Gluten-Free Lady

Saturday was the Bellevue House Tour here in the North Boroughs, and I was blessed enough to have the right acquaintances that I could be one of the featured foods at the final reception. The house tour is set up so you travel along a map through Bellevue and visit the most beautiful homes in our area, all decorated for Halloween and fall.  Then the final house, which is actually a gorgeous mansion, hosted a reception where local fooderies brought in some hors d’oeuvres.  1029161605_hdr

I made pumpkin chocolate chip minis, Signature Chocolate Chip minis, and my newest cookie mini: The OKTOBERFEST! This was inspired by the German Chocolate Cake I wrote about at the beginning of the month. It is packed with dark chocolate and enough coconut and pecans that you will definitely remember the last German Chocolate Cake you had. These will probably only be a seasonal cookie, but I have added them to my Options until Christmas.

During the house tour I realized I was affectionately beginning to be known as The Gluten-Free Lady around our town.  That’s kind of awesome.  And you can always tell it’s someone that understands gluten-freedom when they call you that… because a lot of people have said over the past few months, “so, these are the gluten ones?” in reference to my cookies.  Um… no.  No gluten. But what that means is that I get to spread the word about something I am passionate about!

One more thing I wanted to add into this short and random post is that another event is coming up on November 6th.  I’ll be at the 2nd Annual Simply Chic Craft Boutique in Monaca, PA from 10am to 4pm.  It will be a lot of fun and I will have another 2 or 3 items I am going to be rolling out for the event.

  • Cocoa Spiced Wine YUM-Bread: It is as amazing as it sounds.  I had a bunch of friends taste test this one and I got some good feedback and decided to roll it out.  I’ll have some pictures after the event.
  • PALEO Pumpkin Waffle Cookies!!: Paleo mostly means unprocessed, natural, and accessible to primal ancestors (in lay man/Lauren terms). I tested it out at a fellow health-enthusiast’s house last week (picture below) and it was a hit, so  I have added it to my Options as well. I’ll probably write more about paleo eating in the new year, for those interested.
  • SURPRISE – you’ll have to wait and see for this one.
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Paleo Pumpkin Waffle Cookies

So check out the event if you can as I will have a basket or two in a drawing and coupons for all my visitors at the table!

Stay delicious,

Lauren

 

Oktoberfest at Baked True North

I am reading this great book right now called “Bread and Wine” by Shauna Niequist. My fiend Kim lent it to me and I have been TEARING through it.  Nick is thoroughly surprised as I usually do not read through book suggestions this quickly… or through any books at all! I have this wonderful habit of reading a book 1/2 to 3/4 through and then starting another book and forgetting about it.  I actually did this twice consecutively this summer leading up to this book.  But it won’t happen this time as I can hardly put it down and will definitely have it finished within the 2 week mark.

Shauna’s simple and honest chapters have drawn me in and I have connected with them.  They seem to be teaching me a few things.  One, to experiment more with food and test and grow my boundaries. Two, she has rekindled my love for entertaining and instilled in me a desire to throw fantastically normal get-togethers at our house.  What I mean by normal… is just, the reminder that things don’t have to be perfect, they will never go how you planned, but people, love, and community are the important parts to make central to the event.

I got to practice this “let go and host” mentality for an Oktoberfest event for our small group.  I was only asked to provide dessert and open my doors and everyone else would bring the rest.  I invited a few last minute guests as well to test my welcoming spirit and 2 out 3 invites came and made the party so much better!

The recipe I chose for Oktoberfest challenged me as a baker to make something pretty, not just good tasting.  Most of the things I make are not difficult or detailed in presentation and I am not a detailed person so I do not often try complicated recipes. “The Best German Chocolate Cake in All the Land” was the base for my cake. I made a few adjustments based on need and preference, but just about followed this recipe from Yammie’s Noshery.

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This picture describes the massive, messy, chocolaty German cake we had.

The alterations I made to the recipe (linked above) was as follows:

  • Cake:
    • Midnight Cocoa (high in protein) instead of dark cocoa
    • Canned coconut milk instead of cow’s milk
    • 2 cups sugar + 1/2 cup Stevia instead of 3 cups sugar
    • All-purpose gluten-free flour instead of rice flour
  • German frosting:
    • Unsweetened shredded coconut instead of sweetened
    • Pecans only for the top layer, not throughout
  • Milk Chocolate Frosting:
    • 4 cups powdered sugar instead of 5 cups
    • Leftover evaporated milk instead of cow’s milk

So, a few of those things I changed out of necessity and might not have otherwise… like the pecans.  I didn’t have any and by the time Nick got home with them the cake was done, so I sprinkled them on top. I do try to replace some sugar with Stevia when I can, and there is SOOO much sugar in this recipe that you will NOT notice a difference in taste. I also almost never put as much powdered sugar into frosting recipes as they call for, just on general principle that I am appalled at how much sugar it takes to make frosting!

Although I am not adding it to the Baked True North menu, it has inspired a few new recipes that I will be experimenting with and you may see those on the menu in the next month (German chocolate cookies…?)!

Overall I had a blast making this recipe and everyone loved how rich it was, even though they couldn’t eat more than a small piece.

HAPPY OKTOBERFEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

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