Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gone WAY too long...

Why does time fly so fast when we are having fun?  I did not even realize that I hadn't posted since July 21!  Geez! 
Anyway- I am back now and I also just realized that I need to change the subject of the blog as the Sunday Market at the Carousel has come to a close.  It was an awesome experience that I look forward to doing again next Spring.  Amy & I had wonderful success and I am so happy that we met so many GF Missoula-tonians!! Now, just because the market is in hibernation until next Spring, the bakng must live on!! In fact, I made a bakery delivery to a market customer at lunch time!  She requested pumpkin bread and fruit & nut granola.  My house smells like the burnt orange Harvest candles from Pier 1 circa 1997 when I worked there in Oly, WA.  Ahhhh, memory bliss of my Bon Bon & Meesh.  Strange how a smell can retrieve a wave of memories in a flash. 
Ok- back to NOW.  With all of the Halloween candy running through my veins, I have all sorts of ideas for GF Hollow treats.  It's pretty easy to go GF when it comes to candy and such.  My first thought is my sister's Caramel corn.  You know, calling it "caramel corn" is a bit understated.  This stuff is a dentist's nightmare but all my dreams coming true in a messy, glorious, amber bite of heaven.  Salty & sweet at it's perfection. I am salivating- no joke.
My mind is also reeling to come up with a winning dessert idea for my sister's annual Halloween party at her work.  She took home the blue ribbon last year and I plan a repeat performance this year.  I mean, SHE is planning a repeat performance...(i tend to take things over so I am still saying "her" & "she", but we both know that she won last year because I insisted on changing her original idea).  We made GF chocolate cupcakes, choco frosting, then with large red gumdrops and GF black & red licorice- we made devils!! They were hilarious! I cannot take credit for them, I saw the pic somewhere, probably Martha.  But WOW they were cute & Amy's kids "helped" us.  So the need to out-do ourselves is pretty intense...
I will keep you posted.
Happy GF eating!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Youngins

Kids always crack me up, but the GF kids at the Market have REALLY been cracking me up!  They see the Gluten Free sign & practically bumrush the table.  Especially after they spot the Caramel & Chocolate Brownies....yummmmm.  One little 10 year old darling has me especially impressed.  She came by last Sunday- by herself (her mom is a vendor)- and she GRILLED me on GF ingredients and products.  Not only is she gluten intolerant, she cannot eat soy or eggs.  I showed her the items she could eat and we chatted away.  I loved how knowledgeable she was about different foods and her health.  Then we talked about her new school, friends, her mom's business, on & on...She was an absolute doll! It made me think about my nieces, who both have Celiac. They are also very careful about what they eat. They ask questions to make sure they are only eating GF products.  I hope they can meet "the darling" soon, they would all get a kick out of one another!  Question: Is "the darling" ridiculously smart beyond her years or is it just easy for me to relate to a 10 year old mind?? Hum, something to ponder at a later date.

We had 2 new items at the Market:
Strawberry Shortcake Scones
French Vanilla Mini Bundt Cake with Raspberry/Marion berry Jam Filling

The scones were inspired by Texas Stawberries, a quick dessert Mother has made since childhood.  A bowl of brown sugar, bowl of sour cream, bowl of strawberries- that's it.  Pick up a strawberry, dip it into the cream, then the sugar.  Can it get any easier?
So for the scones, I switched the white sugar for brown sugar, and used sour cream for the oil.  Mom had brought some AMAZING strawberries from Spooner Farms in Oly.  Voila! 
As for the bundt cake, we needed an elegant dessert that one could enjoy for themselves or take as a hostess gift for a dinner party.  So I szooshed \joojed\ my normal vanilla cake recipe with some pudding and vanilla beans.  The cakes rose & closed off what would normally leave a through hole in the bundt.  After they cooled & I turned them out, how could I possibly not fill the void with Mom's Raspberry/Marion berry jam, then drizzle with vanilla bean royal icing & finish with a tap of powdered sugar???  Let me say that these little gems were GORGEOUS & equally de-lish!  I think I have mentioned before that I call myself the Ironic Baker because I would much rather cook than bake.  The reasons are because I don't like it when a recipe fails & I like to add, remove, sub, ingreds without having to think too much about the science behind it.  Whereas baking IS a science.  And I have had some doozie failures! The silver lining comes when experiments like the scones & bundts turn out better than I could have hoped & people really enjoy them. 
So Amy & I will continue to experiment as we go along.  Please feel free to tell me about the GF baked goodies you have made!

Happy GF eating!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Bread, oh bread, a love of my life!  Carbs do not scare me.  I respect the hold they have on me & I embrace them.
The amazing Artisanal breads that fill the windows of French bakeries make me drooooool. (I have only seen pictures since I have yet to visit).  Amy never really was a bread glutton like me but I know she would like to rip a hunk of bread off a chewy loaf every once and a while.
Can she find it in town? Nope.  Everything is sliced sandwich bread.  So how does a GF (home) bakery solve this problem?  Bake it our-dang-selves.  After a couple of failures, we found the perfect flour blend.  I think there is still some room for improvement, but that is to be expected with me.   We first called it flatbread for some reason. The bread is fluffy, thick and it doesn't fall apart when sliced. We are now calling it focaccia.  It is obviously GF, dairy free* and vegan.  It's perfect, really.  Oh it gets better...
Sometimes we top this perfect-ness with *Parm, *goat cheese, herbs, garlic, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted bells, on & on.  Think pizza toppings.
New bread items will be available as we go.  For now, we need to keep up with the focaccia explosion!

Happy GF eating!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Back Story

Greetings, gluten free peeps!
Welcome to the first blog of The Bartlett Pair! We are a GF home bakery (for now) creating delish sweet & savory treats.  Well, sweet &/or savory...well actually sometimes it is both. 
Anyway- here is the story of how we got here...

My sister Amy & I grew up knowing that G'pa Bartlett "could not eat wheat".  As youngsters (Amy is 2 1/2 years older), we had no idea what that meant.  We just witnessed him eating raw onions, ground sirloin (with onions), baked potatoes, bananas and pasties* without the crust.  And let me tell you, not being able to eat my g'mas pasty* crust would truly feel like a form of punishment.  I really didn't care why he didn't, or couldn't, eat the crust, I was just excited because I sat to his left and benefitted from his scraps!  I doubt he ate much more than what I listed since he was of English descent and meat, potatoes and onions monopolize 98% of the food pyramid, give or take a percentage or two. 

Fast forward to the late 1980s.  Amy started mentioning that her stomach hurt and would have terrible stomach pains throughout most every day.  (sidenote)- I don't think I mentioned that we grew up in Butte, Montana where underaged drinking could have been a career.  So having stomach pain was usually the result of the kegger from the night before (end). 
In 1990, she left for college and the pain went with her.  Every time she came home, she was thinner and thinner.  Her hair started breaking off, her coloring was off and she just looked ill.  She would tell her doctor and nothing ever really came of it.  Finally, the pain was so overwhelming that she went to the campus infirmary in the middle of the night.  Again, no idea what was wrong.  She was malnutritioned and weak so they kept her overnight. Then G'pa Bartlett asked mom if they have tested her for sprue?  SPRUE?? What the heck is sprue?  Or as it is now called...Celiac. The doctor ran the tests and sure enough! She has Celiac Disease...there is no cure...she will have it forever and G'pa had it too.  The reason for the crustless pasty* all made sense now. 
I will never forget how helpless I felt.  I did not know what it was, what she was supposed to do or eat, if she would be alright??  Why didn't I have it?  G'pa had been living with Celiac for years so he and my G'ma became our educators.  (The Internet wasn't available until 1992, ya know.)
So that was just that.  Amy began living life as a gluten free gal. 
Amy now has three remarkable kiddos, two of which are Celiac as well.  Amy always makes sure that the girls never feel as though they are missing out on anything.  They tote their GF pizza to a pizza party and bring their own special GF cupcake to a birthday party.  She buys all the GF products and cooks and bakes as often as she can.
Amy & the girls love the classics- chocolate chip cookies, cakes, banana bread, etc.  I, however, am looking at the food and saying, "what else can we do to that?" or "I think that muffin is ready for a makeover."  We are thankful for all the products on the market to help GF living be possible and tasty! But it can be even better- and that is why The Bartlett Pair- Gluten Free Edibles was born. 
We will be at the Sunday Market at the Carousel each week from 11-3.  Last Sunday was so much fun and people really enjoyed the products.  We will change out a few items each week to get an idea for what the people want!!
Here is what we offered last week:
Pear and Cardamom Muffins
Chocolate & Caramel brownies
Monster Cookies
Parmesan and Herb Flatbread
Maple Glazed Chex & Pretzel mix with Bacon

Feel free to leave comments and/or suggestions!
Thank you for stopping by!

*Pasty- Chunks of beef, potato and onion and a light seasoning of salt and pepper, wrapped in pastry glazed with milk or egg.  Originated in Cornwall, England.