30 March 2013

Love will Tear Us Apart: Almond Cardamom Pull-Apart Bread

Ah, it’s so nice to listen to music with lyrics again.  “Love will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division fits with today’s recipe and sermon.

I remade Columba di Pasqua as bubble bread or monkey bread or pull-apart bread because I am now steward of Lady Neona’s Bundt pan. Besides, I wanted to shape the CDP this year, but I also wanted pull-apart bread. Rather than risk a flat dove, I went for a different shape (and recipe) option.

Speaking of remakes, I also remade the Backstreet Boys’ “Larger than Life.” When I got passport pictures last month, I went to the grocery store across from the CVS afterwards, and I heard “Larger than Life” on the radio. My musical tastes have changed from when I was eight, and I like more hardcore tuneage now. Nevertheless, I knew the lyrics from when my best friend Michelle P. and I used to sing and prance around the backyard. My voice has changed and I can do a decent Marilyn Manson growl. Hence, I weirded up the song visually and vocally.

Enjoy. I had a blast filming it, and though I am yet an amateur with iMovie, I can foresee some workout videos to metal in the future. Some Combichrist, Rob Zombie, and Rammstein for a HIIT workout would work well.

Almond Cardamom Pull-Apart Bread

Modified from Sadowski, Laurie, “Banana-Nut Monkey Bread,” in The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread (Summertown: Book Publishing Company, 2011), 82.

For bread:

1 1/3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon organic sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

1 1/4 cups sorghum flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 tablespoons canola oil plus more for pan
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract (or grated zest of 1 lemon)

For topping:
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

1 8-ounce can almond paste

Grease a medium-sized Bundt pan and set aside. In a large measuring cup, combine water, yeast, sugar, and flaxseeds.  Set aside to proof.

In a large bowl, sift then whisk together flours. In a small bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients. Open the can of almond paste and stick a spoon in it. In another small bowl, combine the melted coconut oil and vanilla and set aside.

Add the vanilla, oil, and vinegar to the yeast mixture once the yeast has become foamy. Pour the yeast mixture on top of the bread dry ingredients and stir well to combine (once the flaxseeds are evenly distributed through the bread, you know you’re good to go).

With a two-tablespoon cookie scoop, make dough balls. Designate your wet and dry hands. Dip the scoop in the oil and vanilla mixture, scoop a ball of dough, bathe the dough in oil, then roll the dough in topping, and drop the ball in the pan. Score! Add random chunks of almond paste to the pan as you repeat until all the dough is used up. Set in a warm place to rise for 55 minutes.

About fifteen minutes before the bread is done rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the bread for 32-35 minutes or until the almonds are toasty and the dough has browned and springs back to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for five minutes. Invert a plate on top of the pan and (with potholders, dumbass) flip the pan over onto the plate. Scrape any sticky bits onto the bread and voila, you have breakfast dessert.

My thirty-one day smoothie challenge was not as effective in weight reduction as I had hoped. However, I have set a routine, and that is success. By the third day, I added in carbs (oatmeal or bread) with the smoothie, and this had the beneficial effect of me not scrounging for three-PM snacks as I was properly fed first thing. An anxious two days and bingeing last week had me up five pounds in a very short period of time. When I posted in my health coaching group about seeking support to lose weight, I received two kinds of responses.

One: love your body and don’t obsess about numbers. Change your mind.

Two: if you want to push yourself to get in shape, I can help you with exercises. Change your body.

Response type one was abstract; response type two was concrete. I went with response type two coupled with type one in a different sense.  I love my body. I love it so much I want to do what’s best for this flesh-frame to function well and to serve as the best soul-carrier on this earth plane.

I’ve tried to ignore this explanation for emotional eating for the longest time, but I think finally my resistance to it reveals its accuracy. Stuffing my face when not actually hungry or when in some kind of emotional tizzy for me comes from being lonely. 

It began when I was by myself at home all day in summer 2009. Then I had no roommates at school for the next three years and I didn’t participate in regular social activities at school Junior year I went home every weekend. Furthermore, a great many social activities at Princeton revolve around drinking or take place late at night. I don’t drink and I used to not stay up past 22:00. Now I have shift work and don’t see my aunt and uncle that much. My body can’t adjust to inconsistent waking, sleeping, and eating times. 

Despite being a born and bred ice queen and ace, I’m beginning to realise that I need people. Not physically, as in physical intimacy, but for just chillin’! As much as I thought I’d be an ascetic hermit by this point in my life, whenever I go to events, I get so much energy from being with likeminded people. It’s good energy. I want more. I know I am capable of giving and receiving that loving, creative energy.

This month’s challenge: I have a void in my life and it’s person-shaped. I have ideas about a specific person for that super-special place in my life, but I spend more time alone than is good for me at this time in my life.

How can I fill the void without deadening my energy by bypassing the issue and overloading sweets and carbs? How can I recognize these feelings and not act on them self-destructively?

How can I be a companion to myself when others aren’t available?

How the heck am I going to learn how to reach out to my friends and say, “Hey guys, who wants to chill?”

Skype me! quellewhisperer.

An exchange from this week:
Sushi chef lady (came over to get a smoothie sample, noticed I had my notebook on the table): You write down how many you sell?

Q: No.

SL: You write letter to boyfriend?

Q: Hah, no, love poetry.

SL: Poetry for boyfriend?

Q: For guy I wish was my boyfriend.

SL: You so beautiful. Why you no have boyfriend?

Q: I wonder that myself. Thank you.

SL: You work tomorrow? I have guy for you.

I get it, universe, I need yang energy to balance my yin energy. And yes, I know the answer is right there in front of my face(book). LULZ. 

Happy Passover/Easter/Ishtar/Zombie Holiday!


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