Unexpectedly delicious smoothie ingredients, an evolving list

Note: Do not put all of these in a single smoothie.

  • Butternut squash
  • Garam masala
  • Cayenne pepper
  • A blueberries and oranges combo
  • Oatmeal
  • Turmeric
  • Tea
  • Mushrooms (don’t try this at home — I’ve only had it added by a professional)
  • Quinoa

Something that is decidedly NOT on this list: Kale. Whose terrible idea was that?

WisCon Reading

Will you be at WisCon? I will! And I’m doing a reading on Sunday. You should come!

Here’s the deets;

Exotic Worlds group reading

Sunday, May 26th, 10:00am-11:15am (location TBD…. check your programs!)

Featuring: Bradley Beaulieu, Holly McDowell, Wesley Chu, Tom Underberg, Dustin Monk, and me!

We’ll read things. It’ll be glorious.


I made a pie. It looked like this:

2013-04-12 22.21.21

Maybe not quite so yellow.

In any case, being a person who is allergic to many important and delicious food items, it takes a bit of finagling to find a good pie recipe. To make this one, I mutated about seven different ones. The result? Gluten-free, dairy-free bourbon apple pie with a candied bacon lattice top.

And yes, ye few readers salivating at such a prospect… I will provide a recipe.

This pie was enjoyed by glutentards and non-glutentards alike. Personally, I’m still on the hunt for a good, flaky, non-crumbly pie crust. This one totally disintegrated as I put it in the pan, so I had to manually smash it down, rather than elegantly roll it out. Nevertheless.  If you enjoy complicated, allergen-free desserts, with bacon, I give you this:

Slapdash, Seat-of-the-Pants Gluten-and-dairy-free Bourbon Apple Pie with Candied Bacon Lattice Top

First things first: The crust.

Take with a grain of salt here — I’m not impressed with my crust. But it worked, and it tasted decent, and every damn person out there says their GF crust is the best, but they’re LYING.

1 1/4 c. Bob’s Red Mill Multipurpose GF flour
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
4ish T. frozen Earth Balance butter-ish thing
3ish T. vegetable shortening (probably I should have frozen it first. Learn from my mistakes)
3 T. ice water
2 T. vodka (chill this too. I forgot.)

Probably best to use a food processor if you’ve got it. Mix up the dry stuff, then add the butter and shortening and mix that up til you’ve got a coarse mix of pea-sized butter balls. Slowly add the ice water and vodka til you have a dough that adheres fairly well. Not too smushy. Alcohol burns off in the cooking and (at least theoretically) doesn’t make the dough quite so crumbly. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least two hours, preferably longer.

Next, apples.

3-4 Granny Smith apples
3-4 non-Granny Smith apples (I like Fuji, but you know, ladies’ choice)
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. Bob’s Red Mill GF Multipurpose Flour (or whatever you got)
2+ T. Bourbon
1 t. cinnamon
Coupla healthy shakes of Garam Masala
Pinch of salt

Peel the apples and slice them up into thin slices (say 1/4 inch thick). Mix all this shit together, let it sit. I used 2 T of bourbon, but I bet you could get away with a little more.

Next next, bacon lattice.

8 strips of bacon should do it
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
Coupla pinches of cayenne pepper

Set oven to 350. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Dredge bacon strips through sugar mixture, and set them on the cookie sheet in a lattice formation (4×4, probably). Check on this diagram from Smitten Kitchen for help on that. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture on the bacon. Put another sheet of foil on top of lattice, and another (ideally matching) cookie sheet on top of that, to keep the glorious structure flat. Cook for about 15 minutes. Not til it’s 100% done, but just so you can get some of the greasy greasiness out of the bacon. If you can manage it without disturbing your lattice, after the 15 minutes is up, transpose the lattice onto another, non-hot surface (I found that two spatulas, a set of tongs, and another pair of hands was mighty helpful).

Put it all together.

Set the oven for 425 and put a cookie sheet in it. Take your pie crust out of the oven. Line the counter with plastic wrap topped with some kind of starch (I used corn because I’m cheap). Put crust ball on top. Put more starch on top of crust. Put more plastic wrap on top of starch. Attempt to roll out crust without catastrophic cracks. You may need to use your hands, or maybe you’re a better man than I.  When it’s rolled out to pie pan size, attempt to transplant the crust into the pan, removing plastic wrap of course. I have no bits of wisdom to help with this. As I said, mine fell apart, and I ended up just smashing it manually into the pan. It tasted fine. So whatever works for you. Or maybe you have a better crust recipe altogether! In which case, good for you.

Pour apple mix into that bitch.

Top, as delicately as possible, with semi-baked bacon lattice. Probably the bacon is undercooked enough that you can straighten it out with your fingers, if you don’t mind the sticky greasiness. It should lay across the whole pie, more or less.

Put pie on pre-heated cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for about 10-15 minutes.  The bacon shouldn’t burn at this point, but keep an eye on it just in case. After 15 minutes, lower the oven to 350. Cook for about 40-45 minutes. Bacon might be  dark in points, but that’s okay. It’s still delicious.

Cool for about 15, and eat. If you’re really smart, you’ll buy yourself some vanilla coconut milk ice cream ahead of time, thaw it out, add cinnamon, and then refreeze it. A la mode to the max!