Soft Paleo Flour Tortillas

Feb. 20th, 2019 02:23 pm
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Posted by Nicole Hunn

These soft Paleo flour tortillas are soft, bendable and have a savory buttery taste that goes with everything. They even reheat perfectly after being refrigerated or frozen!

These soft Paleo flour tortillas are soft, bendable and have a savory buttery taste that goes with everything. They even reheat perfectly after being refrigerated or frozen!

Wraps make everything better

These Paleo tortillas have just the right balance of almond flour and tapioca starch that they’re really flexible but have the savory, buttery taste of almond flour. Flour tortillas have long been not just a favorite of mine to eat, especially since they’re so versatile. When I finally developed a recipe for gluten free flour tortillas that I loved, it was really a relief, to be honest.

I just adore soft tacos, enchiladas, and just wraps and flatbread in general. If I know that I have some sort of fresh flatbread ready to serve for dinner, I’m more than halfway to a great meal. My kids will eat almost anything that’s been wrapped in a tortilla!

These days, you can purchase so many different kinds of packaged gluten free flour tortillas and gluten free corn tortillas. I’ve even reviewed enough to be able to recommend 8 great brands of each.

But fresh is always going to be better than packaged, gluten free or not. Plus, there’s really only one brand of Paleo tortillas that are any good (spoiler: it’s Siete brand), and they’re quite expensive and overall not very easy to find.

These soft Paleo flour tortillas are soft, bendable and have a savory buttery taste that goes with everything. They even reheat perfectly after being refrigerated or frozen!

Why add xanthan gum?

When I first published this recipe on the blog in 2015, the recipe instructions made all kinds of disclaimers about how delicate the dough was to handle. As time went on, whenever I made the recipe myself as it was originally written, I started to play with it a bit to improve the raw texture.

The most important change this time around is the addition of xanthan gum, which really helps hold the dough together. 

These soft Paleo flour tortillas are soft, bendable and have a savory buttery taste that goes with everything. They even reheat perfectly after being refrigerated or frozen!

How to make these Paleo flour tortillas

The dough for this recipe is made entirely in one bowl, with a whisk and then a spoon. That’s all you really need. First, the dry ingredients (almond flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum) get whisked together. Then, the wet ingredients (melted virgin coconut oil, egg white, and water) are added and a somewhat soft but thick dough comes together.

I’ve found that the dough is much easier to handle if you refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days before working with it. I tend to make the dough for these tortillas on the weekend, wrap it tightly and then roll and cook it during the week since it’s so easy to work with that way. The xanthan gum in the dough makes it more resilient, and chilling the dough makes it more of a pleasure. 

For the very best pliable tortillas, the secret is to make sure that the skillet is very hot before you place the first raw tortilla on it. It should begin to bubble within the first 10 seconds of being on the skillet. At worst, the first tortilla will be less than perfect. 

Just don’t expect to roll them quite as thin as conventional tortillas. In fact, if you do roll them thinner than 1/4-inch, they tend to cook too quickly on the skillet and aren’t quite as flexible. 

These soft Paleo flour tortillas are soft, bendable and have a savory buttery taste that goes with everything. They even reheat perfectly after being refrigerated or frozen!

Can you make them in advance?

In a word, yes! You can definitely make these Paleo tortillas in advance. They’re even more versatile than most other wraps, in fact, since they are just as good when they’re made in advance and refrigerated or frozen. The raw dough itself even benefits from being made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator. 

If you don’t plan to serve the tortillas immediately after they come off the skillet, I recommend stacking them and wrapping the stack tightly in something like Glad Press ‘n’ Seal or beeswax. If you think you’ll serve them within 3 days, store them in the refrigerator and microwave them for about 20 seconds right before serving.

If you’d like to freeze the tortillas (make a double batch and freeze half!), just defrost them either in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature. Then refresh them in the microwave. You can of course refresh them in a hot, dry skillet, but I find that they’re more flexible after a few moments in the microwave.

These soft Paleo flour tortillas are soft, bendable and have a savory buttery taste that goes with everything. They even reheat perfectly after being refrigerated or frozen!

Ingredients and substitutions

Since these tortillas are Paleo, they’re already gluten free and dairy free, by definition. Here are a few words about some of the ingredients, in case you have additional dietary restrictions. I haven’t tested them with any substitutions, but these are my best-educated guesses, as always.

Egg-free: The egg white in this recipe helps to add structure to the tortillas, so if you can’t have eggs, I don’t recommend just eliminating the ingredient.  You can try replacing it with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel), but since it’s only an egg white (and not a full egg), I’m honestly not sure how well that would work.

I don’t recommend using aquafaba as a substitute for the egg white since some readers have reported that that hasn’t been successful when the egg whites in the recipe aren’t first aerated by whipping. 

Almond flour: You cannot use almond meal in place of finely ground blanched almond flour, which is much more coarsely ground skins removed (a process called blanching). I recommend using Honeyville brand or brand for really good almond flour that I know will work in this recipe and my other Paleo recipes.

If you can’t have nuts, you can try using finely ground sunflower seed flour in place of almond flour. It will react with the baking powder and produce a greenish hue, but it won’t affect the taste. 

Baking powder: Most baking powder is not grain free, as it’s often made with cornstarch. However, you can either buy a grain-free baking powder, which is available. Alternatively, you can make your own Paleo baking powder.

To make your own grain-free baking powder, mix of 1 part baking soda + 1 part tapioca starch + 2 parts cream of tartar. For example, if you’re making 1 teaspoon of baking powder, combine 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/4 teaspoon tapioca starch + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar. 

Tapioca starch/flour: I only recommend buying tapioca starch/flour from or Authentic Foods. Bob’s Red Mill tapioca starch is of inconsistent quality. Do not buy tapioca starch/flour from the Asian food store as it is frequently contaminated.

I’m afraid there is absolutely no appropriate substitute for tapioca starch/flour. It is very unique in its ability to provide stretch and pull. If you’d like to make almond flour tortillas without tapioca starch, try my recipe for low carb almond flour tortillas


Soft Paleo Flour TortillasSoft Paleo Flour TortillasSoft Paleo Flour TortillasSoft Paleo Flour TortillasThese soft Paleo flour tortillas are soft, bendable and have a savory buttery taste that goes with everything. They even reheat perfectly after being refrigerated or frozen! #paleo #glutenfree #gf #tortillas #wraps

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Posted by Melissa McEwan

The political press has never done any kind of meaningful reflecting on their magnificent failures during the 2016 election. That's not to say they didn't learn any lessons, though. They just learned the wrong ones. Like: Being wildly irresponsible makes us lots of money.

And so they are fixing to replicate, and double down on, the failures that cost us so much during the last presidential election.

To wit, Maxwell Tani at the Daily Beast: CNN Defends Hiring Former GOP Operative Sarah Isgur as Political Editor.
CNN is standing by its decision to hire a former Department of Justice spokesperson and political operative with no journalistic experience to help lead its 2020 political coverage.

On Tuesday, Politico first reported that Sarah Isgur was joining the network as a politics editor, sparking fierce backlash from many who said she was unqualified and not suited for the job.

In a note to the network's politics team Wednesday, several top politics editors said that although they were upset that the news leaked out before it could be announced internally, the company was "thrilled" that Isgur was joining next month, saying she "brings a wealth of government, political, communications, and legal experience to our team."

The note, signed by Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist, Newsgathering Vice President Virginia Mosley, and Political Director David Chalian, clarified Isgur's new role, saying she would spend the first few months "getting to know our systems and our people," and eventually would "play a coordinating role in our daily political coverage — helping to organize and communicate between newsgathering, digital, and television."

"With more than two dozen candidates to cover, constant coordination is needed more than ever," it said.
Never mind that "Can Isgur even effectively coordinate?!" wasn't at the center of anyone's criticisms. Who gives a single fuck if she can coordinate like the wind. The problem is that she is a former Republican political operative with zero evident qualifications for the position.

Democrats are already at a disadvantage, media-wise, and not just because the political press skews heavily white, male, and conservative: They're running against an incumbent president, who will exclusively suck up all the attention for the Republican field, while multiple Democrats divide press attention on the opposing side.

(And the bigger that Democratic field gets, the tinier sliver of attention each candidate will be obliged to fight for.)

That CNN is now appointing a Republican operative to coordinate coverage of an election that mightily favors the Republican candidate is a big problem for Democrats. And anyone else who values trying to protect the shredded vestiges of our democracy.

CNN learned entirely the wrong lesson from 2016. And Donald Trump's takeaway is that the more he bullies and attacks news outlets, the more willing they will be to pander to him and his party. Terrific.
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

Ann M. Simmons at the Wall Street Journal: Putin Ratchets Up Nuclear Warning Against U.S.
President Vladimir Putin warned Russia would aim new advanced weapons against the U.S. should it deploy intermediate-range missiles in Europe, raising the stakes after the breakdown of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty.

Mr. Putin said Russia wasn't seeking confrontation with the U.S. and wouldn't make the first move to deploy the missiles. But if Washington has such plans once it abandons the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty this "will be a serious threat to us."
This is theater, as the withdrawal from the INF treaty was specifically to justify rebuilding Russia's nuclear arsenal. It's also gravely serious, because once Donald Trump is of no further use to Putin, those weapons will still be armed and pointed at the U.S.

This seems like something that might be worthy of a few tweets from Trump, who, after all, can easily go on multi-hour rants about satirical weekend comedy shows.

But only if he weren't a puppet.

Which he is.
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Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison's seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don't quite go as planned, it's a race against time as Poppy and her friends (including her crush Isabella) fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches' latest vile scheme.

Add your review of “Hocus Pocus and The All-New Sequel” in comments!
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Posted by Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

Buying a home is an exciting and stressful process. There are many things that need to be considered, but if you play your cards right you could be making the investment of a lifetime. The home will not only provide a safe haven for you and your family, but it means that you will not be paying rent anymore. You will actually be putting your money towards something that you will eventually own. Of course, owning a home does not come without risks. In fact, there are many risks that you will be faced with when you own a home and this is why you need to understand the insurance policies available to you that can protect you from these specific risks.

Dwelling Coverage

When it comes to homeowners insurance the most basic plan that you will find available is the dwelling coverage. While it might be the most basic policy available, it is also one of the most important. This specific policy will provide protection for the structure of your home. This can include everything from the floors to the walls, built-in appliances, ceilings, and any other attached structures. It also protects the home from several perils like fire damage, hail damage, theft, and vandalism. Depending on the policy limit that you go for this type of plan could help you rebuild your home from the ground up.

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 12.58.49 AM

Cover Your Roof

Your roof is without a doubt one of the most important structures of the home. A simple leak could lead to thousands of dollars in repairs. And, finding a leak in the roof is not a simple task. Every home has a roof and without an operational one, you are opening yourself up for failure. This is why choosing a roofer with ample roofing insurance is essential for every homeowner out there.

Contents Coverage

Contents coverage is not something that every homeowner considers, but it would be a major mistake to overlook this coverage. This policy will protect your furniture and clothing in the event that they are destroyed. You will receive funds that total the value of these items which will be defined by your policy provider.

Personal Liability

Personal liability insurance is another type of insurance that is oftentimes overlooked. However, this policy can be extremely handy if you constantly have guests. You wouldn’t think that your guests would sue you if they are harmed on your property, but this is not always the case. This policy will protect you in the event that a guest is harmed in the home or on your property.

Other Structures Insurance

Oftentimes homeowners will have sheds, storage buildings, or garages that aren’t attached to the home. Well, these unattached structures are not protected under dwelling coverage. That means if they sustain any damage, you are going to have to pay for the repair out of pocket. And, depending on the damage this could be extremely expensive. This is there other structures insurance could offer the reprieve that you need. This policy will cover the damages that these structures sustain.

The post Thinking Of Buying A Home? Here Are Some Insurances To Consider appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

Question of the Day

Feb. 19th, 2019 06:00 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

Suggested by Shaker Diverkat: "What's something funny that you saw/heard recently or that happened to/near/around you?"

The other day, Deeky texted me something excessively hilarious and inappropriate even by his own amazing standards, which made me laugh SO HARD that it naturally sent me into a horrendous coughing fit. When I texted him that information, he replied, "Sorry, Lungy!" which sent me into a whole other round of laugh-coughing.


What I'm Watching

Feb. 19th, 2019 04:30 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

This is a thread to share all the good things you're watching at the moment, or have recently watched. Serialized shows on broadcast or streaming; films; digital shorts; stand-up; documentaries; performances — whatever! Tell us what you're watching and enjoying these days.

For the first few days of being ill, I was mostly sleeping. Like, all day and all night. Then I was mostly not sleeping at all, for days, because I couldn't stop coughing. Now, I can get some sleep in fits and starts, at least. But mostly, it's just a lot of lying around, trying to breathe. So I've had a lot of time to fill!

Between the lack of sleep and the meds I'm taking, my brain has been in a fog so thick I can barely follow a conversation, no less a book, which has meant a whole lot of TV.

And my new favorite show is the Netflix remake of One Day at a Time. OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

image of the primary cast of One Day at a Time on the dance floor at Elena's quinceanera
Oh my heart.

This is the way remakes should be done: The show essentially hews to the heart of the original (I show I adored as a kid), but updates it with a cast who reflect and visibilize a different demographic, creating a real reason for the remake beyond profit.

The writers on the show are amazing, and have imbued the classic half-hour family sitcom structure — there's a problem, but nothing that can't be fixed without enough love and communication! — with a fresh approach that incisively tackles big, modern problems with complexity and sensitivity. It doesn't just show you the family you wish you had; it shows you the family that every family could be, with a little effort.

I've made it through the first two seasons so far, and virtually every dang episode makes me laugh out loud and makes me cry.

The entire cast is terrific, but I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to specifically scream: RITA MORENO IS A NATIONAL TREASURE!!! Maude, how I love her.

image of Rita Moreno as Lydia on One Day at a Time, clutching an orange umbrella to her cheek

Anyway! What are you watching these days?

Daily Dose of Cute

Feb. 19th, 2019 02:30 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat, lying in my bed on her side, looking at me
My constant companion.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

We Resist: Day 761

Feb. 19th, 2019 12:30 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Earlier today by me: Bernie Sanders Is Running and 16 States to Sue Trump for Invoking Emergency to Get Wall Funding.

Here are some more things in the news today...

Ken Dilanian at NBC News: Flynn-Backed Plan to Transfer Nuclear Tech to Saudis May Have Broken Laws, Say Whistleblowers. "Whistleblowers from within [Donald] Trump's National Security Council have told a congressional committee that efforts by former national security adviser Michael Flynn to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia may have violated the law, and investigators fear Trump is still considering it, according to a new report obtained by NBC News. The House Oversight Committee has formally opened an investigation into the matter, releasing an interim staff report that adds new details to previous public accounts of how Flynn sought to push through the nuclear proposal on behalf of a group he had once advised." JFC.

Laura Jarrett at CNN: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein Expected to Leave Justice Department in Mid-March. "Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave the Justice Department in mid-March, according to a Justice Department official who spoke to CNN Monday. The No. 2 official at the department has become one of the highest profile figures in the Trump administration given his oversight of the Russia investigation and the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in 2017. CNN had previously reported that Rosenstein was planning to step down after Bill Barr was confirmed as attorney general, but the precise timing was fluid. A departure next month could potentially serve as another signal that Mueller's work is coming to a close." Okay.

Natasha Bertrand at the Atlantic: Andrew McCabe Couldn't Believe the Things Trump Said About Putin. "Bertrand: Do you think we'll ever hear from Mueller? Do you think he'll come out and explain his findings once all this is over? McCabe: He'll explain his findings in the report, and then if he's called upon to testify about it, he'll certainly do that. But he is always the guy who will say less than more. He'll seek less attention than more attention. He is perfectly happy to do his job and to do it fully and completely. And then, when it's all said and done, he'll lock the door behind him and go home." Cool.

In case I haven't already said it ten million times, I'm really over these dudes who hold their tongues about Trump until they have books to sell.

[Content Note: Threats; stochastic terrorism] Ryan Mac and Zoe Tillman at BuzzFeed: Roger Stone Posted a Photo of the Judge Presiding over His Case Next to Crosshairs. "Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative and adviser to [Donald] Trump who was charged with lying to Congress, posted a photo Monday on Instagram of a judge presiding over his case in which she appears to be next to a crosshairs symbol. The post comes days after the judge, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, rejected Stone's effort to get his case reassigned to a new judge. Jackson also previously ruled that Stone couldn't talk to news outlets in front of her courthouse."

The judge was not amused. Andy Towle at Towleroad: Judge Orders Roger Stone to Court After He Mocks Her with Crosshairs Photo. "Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing Trump ally Roger Stone's criminal case, ordered Stone to court on Tuesday after he posted a number of Instagram posts about her, one of which featured the judge's photo next to a set of crosshairs. The posts have since been deleted."

Tanya Snyder at Politico: Emails Reveal Coordination Between Chao, McConnell Offices. "A trove of more than 800 pages of emails sheds new light on the working relationship between Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most potent power couples in Washington — including their dealings with McConnell supporters from their home state of Kentucky. Chao has met at least 10 times with politicians and business leaders from the state in response to requests from McConnell's office, according to documents provided to Politico by the watchdog group American Oversight. In some cases, those people later received what they were hoping for from Chao's department, including infrastructure grants, the designation of an interstate highway, and assistance in getting state funds for a highway project — although the documents don't indicate the meetings led to those outcomes." Oh.

Jessica Donati and Peter Nicholas at the Wall Street Journal: With Evangelicals Behind Him, Vice President Mike Pence Takes Prominent Role in Foreign Policy. That's a distressingly benign-sounding headline for what is, in reality, perhaps the most powerful vice president in the nation's history wielding U.S. foreign policy to entrench global Christian Supremacy.
In the first two years of the Trump presidency, Vice President Mike Pence has worked to put religion at the heart of key diplomatic efforts, steering hundreds of millions in U.S. aid toward Christians and other minorities who were victimized by Islamic State.

Among the measures he has favored, Mr. Pence pushed to redirect U.S. money that would have been distributed by the United Nations widely in Iraqi areas targeted by Islamic State toward Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities. He also advocated last year for the imposition of sanctions on officials in Turkey — a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally — over a detained U.S. pastor.

Both were causes championed by the administration's evangelical supporters, who represent a key constituency for [Donald] Trump. They view Mr. Pence as an important ally in the White House. His foreign policy actions — he also has played a leading role in the effort to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and criticizing Europe for helping Iran circumvent U.S. sanctions — contrast with the low profile he has kept on domestic issues.

...Underpinning Mr. Pence's aid prioritization is his own faith. He has famously called himself a Christian first, conservative second, and Republican third. Mr. Pence also serves, in effect, as a White House ambassador to evangelicals, many of whom viewed Mr. Trump's candidacy with skepticism but have embraced his policies and Mr. Pence's foreign priorities.

"He is a strong voice within the Trump administration who is concerned about the persecution of all religious groups — but particularly Christian religious groups," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, N.C.
That last bit is, of course, a total lie. Pence is not at all concerned about "the persecution of all religious groups," including and especially people who are not religious at all and do not share his enthusiasm for using religion as a cudgel to deny people their agency, bodily autonomy, and right of consent.

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Nativism.]

NB: Donald Trump's rationalizations for the border wall are all lies. A border wall is as unnecessary as it would be ineffective. There is no emergency at the southern border, or anywhere else in the country, that a wall would solve. Trump is a liar who is stealing money from the military in order to fund the construction of his personal monument to nativist white supremacy.

It's infuriating to me that every article and public conversation about Trump's border wall — and the national emergency he has declared to secure funding for it — does not start out with a similar set of reminders about the profound mendacity and malice underwriting this entire shambolic spectacle. I deeply resent the expectation that any of us participate in this debate, such as it is, as though its central premise isn't undiluted trash.

This isn't even about a wall anymore, and it hasn't been for a long time. This is about Donald Trump's rampaging authoritarianism and whether he will be allowed to continue unfettered his erosion of our democracy.

At the moment, since his party simply refuses to do anything but eagerly abet him and since the Special Counsel's investigation is clearly a sham, the only remedy is the courts. Which we won't have for much longer, as Trump and Pence and Senate Republicans quickly remake the judiciary by stacking the courts with conservative lackeys.

But we've still got some time — and 16 states are making use of it while they can.

Charlie Savage and Robert Pear at the New York Times report:
A coalition of 16 states, including California and New York, on Monday challenged [Donald] Trump in court over his plan to use emergency powers to spend billions of dollars on his border wall.

The lawsuit is part of a constitutional confrontation that Mr. Trump set off on Friday when he declared that he would spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than Congress had granted him. The clash raises questions over congressional control of spending, the scope of emergency powers granted to the president, and how far the courts are willing to go to settle such a dispute.

The suit, filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco, argues that the president does not have the power to divert funds for constructing a wall along the Mexican border because it is Congress that controls spending.

Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, said in an interview that the president himself had undercut his argument that there was an emergency on the border.

"Probably the best evidence is the president's own words," he said, referring to Mr. Trump's speech on Feb. 15 announcing his plan: "I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."

The lawsuit, California et al. v. Trump et al., says that the plaintiff states are going to court to protect their residents, natural resources and economic interests. "Contrary to the will of Congress, the president has used the pretext of a manufactured 'crisis' of unlawful immigration to declare a national emergency and redirect federal dollars appropriated for drug interdiction, military construction, and law enforcement initiatives toward building a wall on the United States-Mexico border," the lawsuit says.
This may be only the first of several lawsuits, as House Democrats are contemplating bringing a lawsuit as part of their strategy to stop Trump when they return from recess.

Trump predicted that he would be sued and threatened to take it all the way to the Supreme Court, where he expects that the conservative majority will uphold his right to use the emergency powers to fund the wall, despite the fact that there is observably no emergency to justify invoking said powers.

I'm not sure that Chief Justice Roberts is prepared to go along with that. I guess we're gonna find out.

Bernie Sanders Is Running

Feb. 19th, 2019 08:30 am
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

*jumps into Christmas tree*

It figures that the very first bit of news I saw this morning was something that made me want to return to my sick bed immediately. I suppose that was always going to be the case, but I thought it would be Donald Trump news. NOPE!

Bernie Sanders has declared that he, too, is running for president, as a Democrat, despite the fact that he repeatedly said he wouldn't run unless he thought he was the best candidate to defeat Trump — which is quite a commentary on all the candidates already running, none of whom are cishet white men.

He's got a very Bernie response to that, naturally:
When asked by VPR's Bob Kinzel about concerns that he no longer best represents "the face of the new Democratic Party," Sanders, 77, said:

"We have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender, and not by their age," Sanders said. "I mean, I think we have got to try to move us toward a non-discriminatory society which looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for."
That's a very interesting (cough) position to justify arguing that people should vote for the old white man.

[Content Note: Video autoplays at link] He released a video this morning, which infuriated me within its first 15 seconds. It begins thus: "Hi, I'm Bernie Sanders. I'm running for president. And I'm asking you today to be part of an unprecedented grassroots campaign of one million active volunteers in every state in our country."

That would not be "unprecedented." President Barack Obama blazed his path to the White House in 2008 with a campaign strategy of organizing millions of volunteers in every state in the country. There were books written about how revolutionary it was. Like, as one example, Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America. Even if Sanders only read the goddamned title, he would know that what he's proposing is hardly "unprecedented."

Hillary Clinton also had millions of campaign volunteers across every state during the 2016 general election. That seems like something a person who claims to have been one of her most vociferous advocates once she defeated him should know.

So, in the first 15 seconds of his campaign announcement, Sanders engages in the casual erasure of a campaign strategy developed by the nation's first Black president and replicated by the nation's first major-party female nominee.

And that's frankly all I needed to hear. Bernie Sanders never changes.

Open Thread

Feb. 19th, 2019 08:00 am
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

Hosted by a turquoise sofa. Have a seat and chat.

I'm going to try to do a little work today. It may be slow going, depending on how much energy I have. Thanks so much for your patience with me.
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Posted by JenniferP

Hello Captain,

Two years ago, a friend paid me to critique her novel because I studied writing and know the publishing industry. I agreed to read three drafts of the work. We did not sign a formal contract.

Then I got the manuscript, and it’s terrible on all levels, from prose to plot. I’ve tried addressing the issues tactfully. I’ve suggested good examples in her genre to emulate. She is unwilling to analyze WHAT makes stories good and apply those lessons. From unrelated conversations I know she doesn’t respect people who think about why they like what they like (i.e. my partner). “They take the fun out of things.” She also thinks “time invested=value to others” regardless of the quality of her efforts.

To date, I have read 1.5 drafts and given one in-person, intensive critique session. I have (unprofessionally) delayed talking with her about the work because I suspected (correctly) that even saying, “I’m sorry, but I’m not finding improvements or good technique,” would upset her. I’ve been there, and I know how much it hurts. However, she tunes out anything she doesn’t want to hear.

In my professional opinion, the manuscript is unpublishable and her attitude/ego will not lead to success.

When I finally was direct, like I would be with a non-friend client, she became upset because in her words, I don’t “like” the work. I’ve explained that it’s not about “liking,” but whether or not the work communicates effectively (It doesn’t). I’ve asked what her ideal outcome is, and how she wants me to handle feedback I think she won’t like. When I did, accused me of not taking the project “seriously,” again, because I don’t “like” it.

I realize that delaying so long has eroded my credibility/professionalism, but I feel like we’re at an impasse. I’ve told her I care and want her to succeed, but I can’t help her do that if I can’t be honest.

At this point, I think the best I can do is offer her a partial refund for the incomplete work, with the latest marked-up manuscript and an apology for the delay, then walk away. I don’t know that our friendship will survive. I’m not sure if I want it to.

How should I resolve this, Captain?

Never Crossing the Streams Again

Dear Never Crossing The Streams,

I like your plan of refunding the rest of the money and severing the professional relationship. You’re right, the friendship may not survive, but I think getting rid of this …thing… that’s grown between you, this giant knot of vulnerability and expectations and guilt, is the only way to see if anything will.

I’m sure you can already compose a very professional letter along the lines of “Dear Friend, I am returning the remainder of your fee and the most recent round of notes on your manuscript. I’m so sorry it took me so long, I just know I can’t devote the time to this project that you deserve and its time for me to release it so you can move forward” note, but something jumped out at me in your letter that I think can help you either phrase this to your liking or handle awkward follow-up conversations.

You say: “When I finally was direct, like I would be with a non-friend client, she became upset because in her words, I don’t “like” the work. I’ve explained that it’s not about “liking,” but whether or not the work communicates effectively (It doesn’t). I’ve asked what her ideal outcome is, and how she wants me to handle feedback I think she won’t like. When I did, accused me of not taking the project “seriously,” again, because I don’t “like” it.”

As professional makers of things (see also: editors, agents, producers, packagers and distributors of creative things), we’re taught that “I like it/I don’t like it” isn’t valid for critique. We’re taught to dig deeper: What is it trying to be or do? Is it successfully communicating that thing? Can we identify specific things that aren’t working? Can we identify specific steps that the artist might take that would solve the issues or make a piece stronger? (People can read this past post and these slides for more detailed explorations of how to get beyond “I liked it/I didn’t like it” and deliver more specific, helpful, motivating feedback, it’s kind of an obsession of mine).

This is an important thing to learn! It is valuable to interrogate our individual tastes and not expect that every thing that every single person makes is supposed to cater to us, to be for us, to be exactly what we were looking for. Professionally speaking, “how the heck can I market this thing” or “is this a good professional sample that matches what this person says they are trying to do?” is more urgent liking particular piece of work if we are to earn a living. It also matters urgently on a global level that we learn this, especially when we examine and start to pull on the threads that are knit between whose stories have counted more than other people’s, where power tends to congregate, and what is done with that power.

(And, not for nothing, outside of film school or career considerations, I just got happier as a human being when I learned to reframe “That thing sucks!” into “Maybe that thing isn’t for me.”)

Letter Writer, you learned this and you learned this lesson well! You’re trying to do right by your friend to teach her, “Hey, it’s not about whether I like it, it’s about whether these specific facets of it are successfully communicating your story. Work on these specific, identifiable things and it will get much better! This is the professional advice you paid me for and asked me for!”

That’s all true! You are doing a good job at the job you were hired for! You’re trying to keep feelings out of it and be the objective eye for your friend.

And yet, what your friend wants is for you to like it. She wants you to love it. These emotions aren’t professional but it doesn’t mean they aren’t present, and real.

And what we like matters, even professionally. What keeps those brave script readers and keepers of the submission piles everywhere slogging through mountains and mountains of material is the hope that they’ll come across something they like, something they love, something that turns them into a champion. 

So, when you tell her “it’s not about like,” she can tell that it means that you don’t like it. And if you try to reassure you that you do, she can tell you’re lying. And when you respond with objective criteria why her story is bad instead of love, it hurts her. Why would someone who likes her try to prove her work is bad? This (completely unintentionally on your part, or her part, or anyone’s part) risks BADLY fucking up her process from here on out, because as long as the book is tied up with you (her friend, and her feelings about what she wants from her friend) the less it CAN be shaped into something better.

Your professional opinion that she’s not ready for the next steps  – substantial revision, professional submission, editing  – are almost certainly dead on. At this stage she would probably benefit most from a writer’s group and/or a class in the genre she wants to work in, where she’ll get regular feedback on craft and a community of people who are in the same boat.

And yet, you aren’t the boss of her creative career! “Terrible” books succeed all the time. As her friend, maybe the way forward is to remind yourself that even your educated opinion is just your opinion, your opinion is just one opinion, and give her that information as a parting gift. In other words, stop using objective reasons to make the case that the work isn’t good, and own up to some subjectivity. Tell her:

“Friend, I’m so sorry I’ve waited this long to return this to you. It’s the last set of notes I made, and the portion of the fees that were budgeted for future revisions. I think I’ve taken this as far as I can as an editor. This happens sometimes, I come across a book that’s not quite my taste, and I can offer edits and suggestions that I think will work, but I’m not the right person to be the champion that the author needs.

I know some of our conversations have upset you, and I’m so sorry about that. As a friend, I’m really honored that you trusted me with something this important to you. As an editor, I know it’s time for you to find someone who can encourage you and work close with you to help you turn it into what you want it to be (vs. what I want it to be).”

Hopefully she’ll accept this. If she tries to argue with you about your feedback or the decision (this is very possible, given that she’s argued with you before), think of it as an example of how setting and maintaining firm boundaries allow us to be gentle with people. The only way you’re ever reading this thing again is when you buy a published copy from your local bookseller and ask her to sign it at her fancy book launch party. As long as you know that for sure inside your head,  you can answer her arguments with “Friend, I love you, I am rooting for you, but I don’t want to argue with you about your book anymore, ever. I gave you my opinion when you asked, and that’s what it was: An opinion. It’s just one opinion, I’m not the boss of what you do with your writing! We tried our best, but there’s a reason people say never mix friendship and business. I have formally resigned as your editor, being your friend is way better!”

If y’all drift apart? Then you drift. Whatever happens, her dreams won’t be locked in your drawer or taunting you from your “should” pile anymore and you’ll know that you tried your best.

Before we go, I think there are some very practical things we can learn about asking for and giving creative feedback from your experience, Letter Writer

A) If you’re asking a friend to read your work, openly discuss and plan for what happens if they don’t love it or don’t want to take it on as a project. This is so hard but it’s better than dread or mismatched expectations. If you don’t understand that it’s just one person’s opinion, if you can’t take no for an answer, if you can’t accept the possibility that they won’t like it, it’s a strong sign that your friend is not the right beta-reader for it. Give people a ton of room to opt out. That way if they opt in, you can know they wanted to.

B) Put work things in writing, even with friends (especially with friends). Attach payment of fees to specific deadlines, and also specify what happens if things don’t work out as planned and what steps either person could take if they want to end the agreement.

C) Narrow the scope of work and the time window. I’m not a lawyer so i can’t offer you legal advice, but one very specific suggestion I have is to put a pretty short time window on arrangements like this. TWO YEARS IS WAY TOO LONG FOR THIS TO BE TAKING UP SPACE IN YOUR BRAIN. There is no way she paid you “think about this for two years” money.

If you (or a reader) ever tries something like this in the future, Agree that you’ll get the manuscript and the first payment by [date], you’ll give notes within 30 days, maybe you’ll look at any revision submitted within [x time window] for [y more money], and build in a specific process that any future revisions or discussions will be negotiated separately. This protects everyone – if the work isn’t good, if it’s taking up a ton of time, if one or both of you runs out of interest or steam, if you get work that pays better and is more urgent – you have to be able to take things OFF your plate and it will help if that can be as transparent as possible from the start.

D) Start with a sample chapter or an excerpt, not the whole dang thing before you agree to anything. “I’m so flattered you asked. Before I take this on, could you send me the first chapter and we can do a test run?”  If you finish the sample and you’re not impatient to read more? ABORT NOW. “Thanks for letting me look at it, how exciting for you! I think you should keep working on this, and it’s worth finding a pro who isn’t a friend to take the next step with you!” And remember, you always have “I don’t know what to say” on your side. “I enjoyed reading it, but I don’t know what to suggest for revisions, that’s always a sign that someone else would be a better fit as an editor.”

E) Agree on a format for criticism and discussing criticism. Written notes? A meeting? Both?

When I used to read screenplays for people for a fee, I put language in the agreement like this:

For $(Fee) I will write professional coverage of your screenplay, evaluating it the way staffers who work for production companies or agencies who are considering buying it or signing you on as a writer might do.

How coverage works: Assistants (and freelancers, like me) read scripts as they come in, fill out their company’s template, make notes about the story, enter the info into a database, and then decide whether to pass the script up the chain to decision-makers.

Coverage like this is not addressed to the writer or for the writer, rather it’s a guide for making business decisions about whether to move forward with a project or relationship. What strengths and liabilities does this have as a commercial property? What kind of projects are best suited to this writer? If you have a polished draft and want to see how it reads as a potential commercial product, opt for this.

For $(Fee) I will write extensive handwritten comments on your screenplay as I read, and sum those up in 1-2 pages of informal notes and suggestions, the way I would do if you were my student and I were your professor. For example, I may ask questions about your intent and suggest things that could be fleshed out or trimmed from a future draft. These notes aren’t about marketability, they are all about your story, the emotions it evokes, how to help you say what you want to say. Hopefully these notes will help you make the story stronger and grow as a writer.

Fees are nonrefundable. They are payable in advance when you submit your screenplay, and include delivery of my notes to you in writing no later than [Date].

If you wish to schedule a follow-up meeting or phone call to discuss possible revisions, the rate is $Fee/hour. Rates for reading and giving notes on revisions start at $Fee.

That last fee, for the meeting or phone call? I added it after I’d done a bunch of these, specifically  to make it expensive for people who just wanted to argue with me about my notes. Like, you paid me, you asked me to tell you what I thought, I did, use it or don’t, rewrite it or don’t, but arguing with me about costs extra.

I stopped doing this service pretty soon after I started the blog. I wasn’t working as a script reader much anymore, it was too time-consuming to do it right, and there started to be not enough money to read & keep giving notes on things I didn’t like, that kept not getting any better, and especially where the writers were more invested in arguing with me that their stuff was actually great (in which case, AWESOME, GO SELL IT, PROVE ME WRONG, SPITE IS V. MOTIVATING, I HAVE NO ACTUAL POWER OVER YOU!) than doing any rewrites. I still charge money for arguments, though.


Open Thread + Programming Note

Feb. 18th, 2019 08:00 am
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of a purple sofa

Hosted by a purple sofa. Have a seat and chat.

Unfortunately, I am still struggling to get better, and I've now got a secondary infection that's exploited my weakened immune system. This has been a very rough week. I'm sorry I'm still not able to work. I am really hoping I'll have enough energy to start doing a little something tomorrow.
[syndicated profile] queer_ya_feed

Quiver by Julia Watts

Libby is the oldest child of six, going on seven, in a family that adheres to the "quiverfull" lifestyle: strict evangelical Christians who believe that they should have as many children as God allows because children are like arrows in the quiver of "God's righteous warriors." Meanwhile, her new neighbor Zo is a gender fluid teen whose feminist, socialist, vegetarian family recently relocated from the city in search of a less stressful life.

Zo and hir family are as far to the left ideologically as Libby's family is to the right, and yet Libby and Zo, who are the same age, feel a connection that leads them to friendship--a friendship that seems doomed from the start because of their families' differences.

Add your review of "Quiver" in comments!

The Value of Patience

Feb. 18th, 2019 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] brokegirlrich_feed

Posted by Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

The Value of Patience

The Value of Patience | brokeGIRLrich

This is a largely theoretical post, because I have none.

I mean, maybe not none, but it’s a real problem.

It’s a problem when I rush people because they don’t make decisions or understand things as fast as I do.

Which is funny, cause there are definitely times I’m indecisive and don’t understand things, and I expect a world of patience from others in those moments.

It’s a problem when I’m buying something and I want it now, so I get dinged with extra shipping charges or I just buy it off the first website without thinking the purchase through.

For example, I’ve lately been on a reading kick, and the main theme of the kick has been career-centered, management style books like Lean In or Grit or any number of books I’ve heard about in the last few years that I thought I wanted to read but never got around to it.

The funny thing is, books are expensive, but also, books are really cheap.

If I go on Amazon, which is my default I’m-not-thinking-this-through-right-now site (unless I’m looking for candles, then it’s Etsy all the way), books are $10, $15, $20+ dollars. They’re brand spanking new and smell like a new book.

Thanks to Prime (which I feel is deceptively useless, is this only me?) they also arrive fairly quickly.


With a little patience, I can find copies of like 99% of books, other than brand new releases, for a buck or two on eBay, and even brand new releases are resold at like 50% of their cost in stores or on Amazon.

For instance, I recently bought the newest Stephen King off of Amazon for about $15.  For that same amount of money, I also bought 4 other books on eBay.

AND this isn’t even the cheapest way to get books – that winner is clearly your local library, but again, I’m not patient enough to wait on a list for something like the newest Stephen King, or for an interlibrary loan when my tiny local library doesn’t have a different book I want.

But as you can see, if I did have some patience, I could really read whatever I wanted for free.

Clothes are another spot I lose patience about – but it’s only for clothes I need. For the eighth shirt in a similar color/cut/style that I already own, I can carefully ponder for ages, scour the internet for deals and purchase at what I’d confidently call the best price.

Other than the fact I didn’t really need it.

One of my best friends can attest to the fact that I have zero patience for shopping for clothes I need. You know, when you’ve put on just a little too much weight, so you need one new pair of jeans because of your stupid donut loving self my stupid donut loving self, so I anger buy the first pair of jeans I find in the store.

Or work clothes, those are the worst. Especially black sneakers. Do you know how hard it is to find black sneakers with black soles? Ugh. And then to find a pair comfortable enough to be on your feet 12+ hours in. I’m sure there’s some added mourning of the loss of the pair that fell apart, but I have zero patience for this task and I usually buy the first pair I find, and they wind up hurting a little and next thing I know I’ve got 4 pairs of black sneakers, I only like one and I’ve wasted a ton of money instead of slowly taking my time buying these stupid shoes.


On the plus side, I can think of one time the value of patience paid off and you’re reading it right now. Everything I’ve read about blogging talks about how it takes years to turn it into a stream of income, which is totally correct. I have also found that to be the case.

That being said, plodding along week after week for years has resulted in making enough money from this blog to buy a halfway decent car (which isn’t what I did with the money, trusty old Mona, I’ll drive her till she falls apart).

Most of the really good things in my life seem to involve some amount of patience – including cheap books and decent black sneakers.

Do you think you’re patient (for real, I know there are people who are, my brother is exceptionally patient)? How has it paid off for you? Or are you also the type to have 12 pairs of rejected black sneakers in your closet?

The post The Value of Patience appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain:

I (she/her) have been with my partner (he/him) for a few years now, we live together, everything is fine and dandy, except for one thing. We’re both in our 30s, and recently the topic of engagement and marriage has come up. I’d really like to eventually, and he really doesn’t. Our relationship is good, and I know nothing would really change in the practical sense if marriage was a thing that would happen, but even so I can’t help feeling sad about marriage being off the table.

When there is marriage-related things on tv or I walk past a jewelry store I get weepy and sad now and feel like I’m not good enough for my partner, even though logically I know that’s not actually true. Sometimes friends or family ask when/if we’re getting married, and I don’t know how to respond since I don’t want to sound like I’m just throwing my partner under the bus by saying “I want to but he doesn’t so ask him about it”. My parents are getting on a bit in years so even if my partner would change his mind some years down the road, them not being there for it is a real possibility.

Obviously some of it is cultural/gender specific (old unmarried spinster=bad, etc), but on the other hand, being “chosen” by somebody, having that promise to stick with each other and having a ring to symbolize that is important to me, as well as doing the ceremony part (even if it is small) in front of other people to make it “official”, and I don’t know how to let go of that. We’ve talked about why it’s important to me and my partner knows that I’m not happy about it, but that’s all. If they ever did propose, I’d want it to be because they truly want to, not because I somehow sadded them into doing it out of guilt or pity, so I’ve been trying to keep my feelings to myself as much as possible. At this point he might think that wedding-related stuff gives me the runs since I always have to go to the bathroom if anything related to it comes up on tv or whatever (but surprise, I’m not actually doing a poop, I’m doing a cry).

I’m a bit stuck on how to deal with my own feelings about the whole thing without feelings-dumping on my partner, I guess? I’m on the autism spectrum, so I try to be as conscious as I can about not saying something out of line, but I really don’t want to mess a good thing up by making a hen out of a feather. Any advice about how to manage my feelings/clueless askers in a mature way would be great, but if not, permission to be sad about something that feels like a silly issue is fine too.

Regards, Hapless and Ringless

Dear Hapless & Ringless

These “I want to be married and my partner doesn’t…is this just me being silly?” questions are accumulating of late.

I have an hour of free time and possibly a few more things to say about this, so, hi.

I have a lot of beefs with cultural narratives around marriage. Like, which is it, the pinnacle of achievement in a person’s life (especially if you are a straight woman), the sole legitimate goal of romantic attachment (especially for straight women), or a ridiculous, time-wasting, trivial obsession (that straight women focus on instead of more important matters)?

Let’s forget proposals, rings, parties, “being chosen”, fairy tales that end with a wedding for a moment. Let’s put aside religious traditions, also. Let’s even put feelings aside for right now.

You are in your thirties, living in a household with a fellow adult. That’s great. You’re viewing that arrangement as long-term and possibly permanent. Also great. You are making joint decisions about your future with this person – where you will live, where your money goes, where your time goes, where your attention goes. I don’t think it’s trivial to want to put some formal protections and expectations in place around making those decisions.

Marriage, as a legal institution, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always get along, be happy together, or maintain positive feelings about each other. Marriage is a way of formalizing and legalizing family ties. It cements certain obligations and offers certain protections that – depending on where you live, and depending on who you love – cannot be easily acquired any other way.

Marriage, however it is practiced and administered where you are, legally clarifies pretty big questions that have far-reaching consequences, such as:

  • Who counts as family, legally speaking?
  • If you have children, who can make decisions about their custody and their welfare?
  • What happens if one of you dies? To your children, if any? To your property? To your creative work/copyrights (if any)?
  • What happens if one of you becomes ill or incapacitated? Who can make decisions about your care?
  • Would you even be allowed to have medical information or be allowed to visit each other if something happened to one of you?
  • How will retirement benefits, pensions, medical benefits, insurance benefits be distributed?

Do my fellow straight people understand what can happen when these protections are not available? Do you understand how quickly you could be erased from someone’s life by these “mere” formalities, if your partner’s feelings about you change someday, or if they get sick or die and the whims/prejudices/greed of their family of origin or the state decide that you don’t matter, that your relationship isn’t “real” enough?

If your partner says he doesn’t want to get married, okay, nobody can make him do that, let’s assume he has his reasons, people shouldn’t get married unless they really want to. If your partner says he plans to be with you long-term, and you believe him, is he willing to hire lawyers and work out the alternative legal paperwork that would spell out and protect both of you in case something awful happened in the future? Or does he expect you both to trust feelings with your money, your time, your potential kids, your future, your health, your end-of-life decisions, with everything you will ever own or do or make?

I think it’s absolutely normal, reasonable, and okay to want to marry someone as a condition of deciding to build your life with them. I think that if you want marriage badly and your partner does not, this is an area of deep incompatibility between you, and until this question is resolved to not only your not-secretly-crying-in-the-bathroom-anymore or even to your satisfaction but to your happiness, my honest suggestion would be to take your partner at his word. If you believe him when he says he doesn’t want to ever get married (and especially if he is not open to formalizing your relationship in other ways), how would it change what you’re willing to invest in the idea of a shared future with him? Would you want to stay? If you do decide to respect his reluctance and his reasons, and knowingly choose to invest under those conditions, I hope you will be happy and at peace with that someday. Time will tell. Your happiness will tell.

In the present, your UNhappiness will tell. Because, speaking of deep incompatibility, you’re crying in the bathroom because you don’t feel like you can allow yourself to feel your feelings about what you want from your life in front of the person you want to share that life with. That’s a problem.

I don’t have pointers for learning to be okay with less than what you really need and want from life, from your relationships. You want to be married. You want to be married to this specific person. You don’t have to apologize for, minimize, or hide that from me or him or your family or anyone. If your partner knew how very upset this makes you, would it change his mind? If your truthful, vulnerable feelings can “mess a good thing up” then was it that good?

P.S. For the “marriage isn’t a big deal, it’s just a piece of paper” crowd, my usual question is: If it’s not a big deal to you, and it is a big deal to your partner, why not go through with this “trivial,” “silly,” “meaningless” “piece of paper” to make the person you love happy? Why is the person who thinks it’s important the one who has to compromise?

In the sputtering that follows, usually what we discover is that it IS a pretty fucking big deal (and that’s why they don’t want to do it).

P.P.S. I said this on Twitter, it’s probably worth sharing here: On most days, the difference between being married to Mr. Awkward and living with Mr. Awkward is unnoticeable, in a good way. Our conversations are the same. Our domestic arrangements are the same. On a few days, the question “Are you a family member?” and the answer “Yes, I’m his wife” has really, REALLY, reallyreallyreallyreallyreally mattered. It has made doors that are locked against other people open for me. It has allowed me to advocate for him, to know immediately what is happening with him, to take care of him, to deal with paperwork and money and bureaucracy on his behalf. (All is well now, thanks to all who sent encouragement last fall). I’m about to have some pretty minor surgery (BEGONE, GIANT UTERINE FIBROID!!!!!) and it will be his turn to take care of me. I wish marriage were available for all people who want it, I wish there were more accepted/less expensive and complicated ways to codify this stuff, but this is why I feel so strongly about your situation, Letter Writer. ❤








[syndicated profile] gfshoestring_feed

Posted by Nicole Hunn

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with “regular” grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you’re new to gluten free baking!

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking!

The power of (naturally) gluten free baking

Where we began

When I first started cooking and baking gluten free, it was 2004. There was very little information available, and even fewer products to buy.

I bought and studied all of the Bette Hagman cookbooks, and I will forever be grateful for her pioneering work. Most baking I did during that time would not pass the “just plain good, not good for gluten free” taste test, but I was overjoyed to be able to take some control of feeding my newly gluten free son at least a variety of food—including cupcakes

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then.  The gluten free baking that we do these days is much, much better and my standards are as high as can be. “Good, for gluten free” is just pitiful to me now. In fact, I hear it as a rallying cry!

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking!

Where we are now

These days, you can bake literally anything at all gluten free that can be made with gluten, and it can be as good as if not better than what you remember. That’s a promise I make to you every day, in everything I do. 

But that sort of gluten free baking almost always requires a really high-quality all purpose gluten free flour blend that is based on superfine white rice flour. Since most of the gluten free flour blends that are on grocery store shelves aren’t properly balanced, you end up having to order component flours or a blend that I recommend online before you can get started.

I remember the feeling of dying to get started baking something, and not wanting to wait for ingredients to arrive by mail. 📦That was my motivation for developing the 20 or so flourless baking recipes here on the blog. 

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking!

How to make these naturally gluten free cookies

Whether you’re new to gluten free baking, new to baking at all, or you just want a cookie and ran out of your GF flour blend, a drop cookie (where you just make the dough and bake it in rounded portions on a baking sheet) is the perfect baking project.

These cookies aren’t technically made “flourless” since they have cornstarch in them to lighten them a bit and help them crisp. Plus, we take certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats and grind them into flour. You can, of course, buy gluten free oat flour that’s already ground, but you’d likely have to order that by mail—something I never do.

These days, Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats are in almost every full-sized grocery store. It’s cheaper to buy less processed oats and just grind them, plus we’re making cookies that we want to be chewy so we don’t need the finest grind. 

Like almost any chocolate chip cookie recipe, we place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them to combine. Then, we add the wet ingredients (butter, eggs, flavoring/extract) and mix. The chips go in last. 

Since we are using a lot of oat flour and a fair amount of cornstarch, it’s really important to use a full tablespoon of flavoring/extracts for flavor. I’ve made these cookies with just vanilla extract, but I really love them the best with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of butter flavoring. 

Be sure to chill the dough, and be careful not to overbake them. If you’ve been around for a bit, you’ll recognize this style cookie from another recent recipe for peanut butter oatmeal cookies. The same rules of baking those cookies apply to these.

Those cookies are also naturally gluten free, but with the strong (and delightful) flavor of peanut butter. These cookies are more like “regular” chocolate chip cookies—just naturally gluten free. They’re crispy outside and chewy inside. Let’s get baking!

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking!

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: In place of the butter, you can try using half (48 g) Earth Balance buttery sticks and half (48 g) Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. That combination of fats should create the right moisture balance. Be sure you’re using dairy-free chocolate chips. 

Egg-free: You can try replacing each of the two eggs with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel), but the eggs really help to provide structure in this recipe so I’m not sure how egg replacements would work.

Corn-free: The cornstarch in this recipe can easily be replaced with arrowroot if you can’t have corn. Potato starch (not potato flour) should also work just fine. 

Oats: Certified gluten free oats are safe on a gluten free diet. But if you’re avoiding oats, you should be able to use quinoa flakes in place of the oat flour. Please see my full discussion of how to replace oats in baking


These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking! #glutenfree #naturallygf #gf #cookies


The post Naturally Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on Great gluten free recipes for every occasion..


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