New season…more changes!

I mentioned in my last post that I have been struggling with some health issues.  I went back and forth about sharing any of this on here, but ultimately I decided my issues and the way I am working at fixing them may not be that uncommon, and may actually help someone else.  I won’t share a ton about the actuality of what I have been diagnosed with, but making a very long drawn out story as short as possible…my diet is in the process of changing drastically.

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with celiac disease almost seven years ago and have lived a completely gluten-free lifestyle ever since.  Because I love to bake I have continued to bake both gluten-free and non gluten-free baked goods.  Some of my very favorites have been my homemade graham crackers, lamingtonsbuttermilk pie, Laura Bush’s cowboy cookies, gluten-free apple cider donuts, and dark chocolate sea salted toffee.  Seriously, YUM!

Over the course of the last year I’ve struggled with even more digestive issues that finally came to an ugly head this summer with an end result of even more major diet changes.  In an attempt to fix my issues with the food I choose to put into my body, I am changing my gluten-free diet to paleo/whole eating/gaps diet.

It’s daunting.  It’s overwhelming.  In all honesty it feels like no fun.  I’ve spent days being discouraged and frustrated.  I’ve felt stripped of any joy that I once had in baking something new.  These are all real and valid feelings.  But here’s what I’ve learned over the last couple of months of coming to this realization–as much as I believe God gave us good and delicious food to thoroughly enjoy, it’s not what life is all about.  My life is full and rich with a husband that adores me, two girls that hang on my every word, family that cares, lots and lots of supportive and loving friends, and so much more.  And to me, especially during these difficult changes, that is what life is about.

I will live.  And I will learn how to be social without the deliciousness of happy hours, trying new restaurants, and grabbing dessert out with friends.  I can continue to be present without involving food, and really…that’s okay.

Life is good people!  And on my best days I truly believe that. 😉  On my worst, it takes a little more convincing.  While I do plan on incorporating some of these new diet changes into both my children and my husband, I will also not shy away from baking a normal recipe, or allow them to indulge in something scrumptious that I make.  So when I do share recipes, it’ll be a mixed bag!

I’m easing into this new way of eating by removing all grains from my diet, which is truly no easy task.  Grains are in everything!!  I’m going to share this delicious recipe I tried recently for breakfast.  Thankfully I LOVE eggs!  Our family easily goes through three dozen eggs a week!  But every once in awhile I crave a little something else in the morning, and this banana porridge was absolutely delicious and so very healthy!  Try it out!

Banana Porridge

(Against All Grain–by Danielle Walker)

Serves: 4

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw pecan halves

pinch sea salt

1 ripe banana

2 cups coconut milk

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1.  Place the nuts in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt.  Add enough filtered water to cover the nuts by at least 1 inch.  Cover and soak overnight.

2. Drain the nuts and rinse 2 or 3 times, until the water runs clear.

3. Add the nuts to a food processor or high-speed blender.  Add the banana, coconut milk, and cinnamon and process until smooth.

4. Pour the porridge into a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat for 8 minutes, or until thick.

*This dish will serve 4 small portions, which is more than enough as it is rich and filling.  Serve with raisins, chopped nuts, and an extra splash of milk if desired.

Pink Donuts and the First Snow

Snow!  It happened.  This past weekend Bend, Oregon received its first snow of the season and it was lovely.  I love it when snow coincides with the weekend, making it that much easier to stay inside and enjoy the warmth of a fire with my family, all while watching the pretty white flakes fall from the sky.

This was Ivy’s first snow, and while we didn’t venture out to play in it (she was working hard at getting over a BIG cold!), she was incredibly fascinated as she watched out the window.  As we all huddled in front of the fire that morning, it just seemed an appropriate day to make some donuts…as if I needed an excuse to make the delicious circles of yum.

I happened to have some strawberries left over from the student leadership retreat that desperately needed to be used, so I adapted my apple cider donuts to make strawberry donuts with a strawberry icing.  I substituted 1/2 cup of mashed strawberries for the apple cider, omitted the nutmeg, and decreased the cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon. Instead of rolling them in cinnamon and sugar after they were out of the fryer, I let them sit on a paper towel to soak up some of that extra grease, and then used this delicious strawberry icing recipe to top them off, because the only thing better than a donut is a pink donut.  They were nothing short of divine!  I made a batch of gluten-free, and a batch of regular, because it wouldn’t be fair if I was left out. 😉

My beautiful, wonderful sister called me later that day to chat for awhile and suggested I make homemade donuts on the first snow of the season a new yearly tradition.  And since I love a good tradition as much as the next person, I agreed.  Now Ivy will look forward to the first snow of the year for more than just the opportunity to build a snowman!

Here’s to a snowy season!

#30 Gluten Free Lemon Layer Cake

I’m done.

Glory be.  I’m done!

It’s been 30 full days of challenge, creativity, frustration, and exhaustion.  There were days where I wanted to throw my cookbooks in the trash and never look at them again.  And there were days where I came home from work wishing I could just sit and relax.  But amidst all of the things that made me want to throw in the towel there rested a single truth.

Baking continues to ease my soul.

Today I turn 30.  I have a wonderful husband who asked me to be his nine years ago.  I have parents that not only love me because I’m their kid, but actually enjoy being my friend.  I have a sister that makes me feel like I’m the greatest person in the world.  I have a brother-in-law and sister-in-law that I love being around.  I have a nephew that smiles big and says my name with pure excitement every time he sees me.  I have in-laws that treat me like I am their own, and love me dearly.  I have friends that are more near and dear to me then I could ever explain in written words.  Life is sweet, delightful, and full of joy.  Whoever said turning 30 was difficult? 😉

Life is so very good.  Thanks for following along on this little journey I started!  I hope you take some time to try a recipe from the past 30 days and make your own memory to go along with it.  Because life is about spending time with and creating memories with the people you love.  Here’s to a year ahead filled with more laughter, deeper friendships, more fun, some tears, continued healing, new experiences, greater love…and gluten free doughnuts. ♥

Gluten Free Lemon Layer Cake (recipe courtesy of “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts)

Makes two 8 or 9 inch rounds or 24 cupcakes.  Recipe can be cut in half.

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix*

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup canola oil

1 cup milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp pure lemon extract

1 Tbsp grated lemon rind.

Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream Frosting (recipes follow)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Position rack in center of oven.  Line two round 9-inch layer cake pans with parchment or wax paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • Beat sugar and eggs in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed for 1 minute.  Add flour, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum, oil, milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon rind; beat at medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.  Place in center of oven and bake about 35 minutes (40 minutes for an 8-inch cake; 18-20 minutes for cupcakes) or until center springs back when touched and cake has pulled away fro sides of pan.
  • Cool cake layers in the pans on a rack for 5 minutes.  Use a small knife to cut around pan sides to loosen cake.  Invert cake layers onto a rack, peel off paper, and cool completely.
  • Carefully slice each layer in half horizontally to create four layers (this is more easily done when cake has been chilled).  Spread each of the two bottom layers with 1/2 of the lemon curd.  Cover each bottom layer with one of the two remaining top layers.
  • Place one set of filled layers on a cake plate and spread with about 1/2 cup frosting.  Place the other set of filled layers on top and cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.

Lemon Curd Filling

3 eggs yolks

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1/4 tsp guar gum

2 tsp grated lemon rind

1/4 tsp lemon extract

  • Combine egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and whisk until well blended.
  • Cook over medium-low heat until smooth and so thick that curd coats the back of a wooden spoon (this should take 5-7 minutes).  Whisk in butter, one piece at a time, until completely incorporated.  Whisk in guar gum, lemon rind, and lemon extract.
  • Pour the curd into a small bowl and cover with wax paper or plastic wrap.  Chill until very cold.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar; divided

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon extract

2 tsp grated lemon rind

  • Beat butter in large bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract, and lemon rind; beat to blend.  Add remaining sugar and beat until creamy.

*Brown Rice Flour Mix

2 cups brown rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch

1/3 cup tapioca starch

What I love about this lemon birthday cake:  It’s mine. ♥  And it sparkles.

What I hate about this lemon birthday cake:  I couldn’t think of anything if I tried.

#24 Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts

It’s my birthday week!  The VanDusen family has celebrated “birthday week” since my sister and I were young.  And since it’s pretty much the best tradition ever, both Travis and Aaron jumped right in for their fair share.  Birthday week has a few rules:

  • It lasts an entire week.  It can culminate on your birthday, or your birthday can be right smack dab in the middle of the week.  It doesn’t matter.  If you’re the birthday person, you get to choose!
  • You get a surprise each day of birthday week.  It’s preferably something that doesn’t cost much money, if nothing at all.  It can be your favorite meal one day, your favorite candy bar the next, a new book, etc.
  • All week you pretty much get whatever you ask for.  If you want a glass of iced tea, somebody gets it for you.  If you want a foot rub, you get it.  Want breakfast in bed?  It’s yours.  Don’t feel like washing the dishes?  Somebody else jumps up with joy to do them for you. 🙂  It’s wonderful.
  • All those things that you usually don’t let yourself enjoy…you get a free pass during this week!

My birthday week started on Friday because I like it to culminate on my actual birthday.  So today I pulled the deep fryer out of the basement, heated it on up, and fried up some gluten-free doughnuts as a birthday indulgence.  I haven’t consumed a doughnut in over 3 years, and please believe as I’ve said before…it made everything in life seem right. ♥  Enjoy.

Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts (recipe courtesy of “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts)

Makes 9-3inch doughnuts

1 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour Mix (*see below)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4-1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

canola oil for frying

2 large eggs

7 Tbsp apple cider

2 Tbsp canola oil

Cinnamon sugar (1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon)

Rice flour (about 2 Tbsp used to flour boards)

  • Mix brown rice flour mix, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large 5-quart saucepan heat two inches of canola oil to 350 degrees.  Use a candy thermometer to maintain temperature.  Temperatures higher than 350 degrees will brown doughnuts before they are fully cooked and prevent them from fully rising. (*I actually used a small deep fryer for mine instead of using the saucepan.  It just seemed easier to me since I had one)
  • In large bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs until light and foamy (this will take several minutes).  Add brown rice flour mixture, apple cider, and 2 Tbsp of oil; mix one minute at medium-low speed.
  • Liberally spread rice flour over surface of a wooden board and lightly flour hands.  Use a spatula to move dough onto the wooden board in a ball shape.  Dough will be sticky.  Roll dough around in the rice flour until it is lightly covered.  Gently press dough into a 1/2 inch round.  Use a 3-inch round doughnut cutter (or a 3-inch round cookie cutter and 1-inch round cookie cutter) to cut nine doughnuts and nine doughnut holes.
  • Use a pancake turner to gently lift three doughnuts and three holes into the hot oil.  The doughnuts should rise slowly to the surface and puff.  Cook one minute; turn with a slotted spoon.  Cook other side for one minute (doughnuts should be golden brown in color); remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Blot any residual oil off doughnuts.  Cool slightly.
  • Repeat with remaining doughnuts and holes, but make sure oil is heated to 350 degrees before proceeding.
  • Gently coat warm doughnuts with cinnamon sugar (place cinnamon sugar in a flat bottom bowl and use a spoon to coat doughnuts).

*Brown Rice Flour Mix:

2 cups brown rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch

1/3 cup tapioca flour

What I love about these birthday week doughnuts:  I can eat them! Eeep!

What I hate about these birthday week doughnuts:  How rude.

#15 Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

There are some things in life that since being diagnosed with celiac disease are a bit of an inconvenience.  Like the fact that anytime I want to eat something I have to take the time to read the food label.  Or the frustration of eating at a new friend’s home and struggling over whether to say something beforehand, or wait until we are there, both having the potential of making the host feel uncomfortable.  Or feeling like I’m dominated all of the food choices in our home.  Or being so sick of limited options in my diet.

But most importantly, the fact that I can’t ever have a bun with my hamburger.

It’s really quite sad.  I try to dress up my patties and make them super flavorful by putting mustard, cheese and veg on it, but there’s just no forgetting what it’s like to bite into a full hamburger, bun included.  There’s an easy solution to this, and tonight I put that solution to work and made gluten free hamburger buns.

My goodness they were good!  I didn’t have a hamburger bun pan, but I did have a whoopie pie pan, so I ended up using that as an alternative.  The result was pretty close to perfect!  The only imperfection was that the bun was slightly smaller than the turkey burger.  Ask me if I care.  I haven’t had a burger with a bun for over three years, so I can assure you that I didn’t.  If you’re like me and have to steer clear of anything with gluten in it, I urge you to try these out.  It will be completely worth it!

Gluten Free Hamburger Buns (recipe courtesy of Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts)

Makes 6 buns

2 large eggs (room temperature is best)

3 Tbsp canola oil

2 cups Bread Flour Mix*

1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp unflavored gelatin

2 Tbsp sugar

1 packet (1/4 oz.) of active dry yeast granules

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp milk, heated to 100 degrees

  • Lightly grease a six-bun hamburger bun pan (each bun form is about 4 1/2 inches in diameter).  Dust with rice flour.
  • Mix eggs and canola oil together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl of electric mixer.  Quickly add warm milk, egg, and oil to the bowl; mix until just blended.  Scrape bowl and beaters and then beat at high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Spoon dough into each of the six prepared bun forms.  Carefully smooth and flatten tops of buns with a table knife.  cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes ( or until doubled in size).
  • Place rack in center of oven.  Preheat oven to 375 while buns are rising.
  • Place buns in center of preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, until buns have a hollow sound when taped on top.  After 15 minutes, cover with foil if browning too quickly.  Remove buns from oven and turn onto a rack to cool.

*Gluten Free Bread Flour Mix

2/3 cup millet flour

1/3 cup sorghum flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/3 cup potato starch

1/3 cup tapioca flour

This makes 2 cups of bread flour mix

What I love about these crazy cool hamburger buns:  I can eat them!

What I hate about these crazy cool hamburger buns:  Not many people have a hamburger bun pan, so it makes the recipe not all that appealing to give a whirl.

Cake Pops!

Life has been a little bit of a whirlwind and sort of tipped on its side lately.  Trying to find a good landing place, I figured baking would most likely drop me exactly where I needed.  I’ve been wanting to try some new cake pops for awhile, so I decided to create some pretty yellow ones to remind me of what the end of April is supposed to be like…sunny and springy.

Unlike the snow we woke up to last week.

No really, I’m not bitter at all.  This is Central Oregon, right?  It’s like this every year, right? The great summer makes up for the disgustingly long winter, right?

*Double sigh*

I’ve essentially made these before, but without the sticks that turn them into “pops.”  I call them cake bon-bons, and they look like this…

They are easy to make, pretty, and the perfect amount of cake!

But since cake pops are all the rage I decided to put some sticks in them and see how it went.

Don’t let this picture deceive you…I’m fairly certain these are the only three that turned out.  I really hate working with Wilton Candy Melts.  I’m desperate to know if there is any easier way to work with the round colored discs that continually make me want to pull my hair out.  Does anybody know the secret to these things?  They only stay melted for a couple of minutes and then they start to harden to the point that they don’t want to dip cleanly.  And the white drizzle on top…that was a whole other episode of angry.  Either way, these few were cute and ridiculously delicious.  My love/hate relationship with the candy melts won’t keep me from continuing to make them, but it will most likely make me use some language I won’t be proud of.

Try them out and let me know how they worked for you!  Maybe you’ll be blessed with the gift of making candy melts stay melted.

Cake Bon-Bons or Cake Pops!

1 prepared 9 x 13 cake (I use a box mix because it hold together easier, and or the ones pictured above I used a gluten-free mix so I could enjoy them too!

12 oz. ready-made frosting

20 oz. candy melts

  • Bake cake according to instructions.  Once the cake has completely cooled, use your hands to crumble it into a very large mixing bowl.  If you want the final result to be prettier, skim off the brown from the top and sides of the cake before crumbling it.
  • Stir in enough frosting to make the cake crumbs stick to each other and be able to hold a shape, but not so much that they are gooey and overly sticky.  About 3/4 of a 12 oz. tub should do the trick.
  • Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.  Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form the cake mixture into balls.
  • Put the cake balls into the freezer for about 10 minutes.  This will help them stick together better when you are dipping them.
  • Melt the candy melts according to package directions.  Pour the melted candy into a deep bowl.  It needs to be deep enough to cover the entire cake ball.
  • Take the cake balls out of the freezer.  Gently roll them with your hands to get rid of loose crumbs.  Using two spoons, dunk each ball into the melted candy.  Cover the entire ball in one continuous motion.  Place back onto the wax paper to dry.  If desired, you can decorate with another color of melted candy melts on top.
  • Place a candy stick (available at most craft stores) into the top of your cake bon-bon.

Rotten Banana Love

I opened my freezer up this weekend only to be greeted by this…

Three full door compartments filled with ugly, brown, spotted, old, frozen bananas.  About a dozen lonely guys that didn’t get consumed before they got too soft, and therefore found a new home in the freezer door.  A bunch of hard-as-rock nanners just waiting to be thawed, mashed, and turned into banana bread.

So that is exactly what happened at Casa de Schrader over the weekend!

The best part of this banana bread is the sugar crust on top, creating a crunch to every bite.  It’s seriously delicious!  I made one regular loaf, and one gluten-free loaf so I wasn’t left out of the enjoyment. ♥

A few years ago Aaron and I stayed with our good friends here in town that own our all-time favorite coffee shop, Backporch Coffee.  They serve some killer banana bread at their shop, and Dave was kind enough to show us his secret to making amazing banana bread taste even better…toasting the slices and then covering in butter.  Wow.  Simply amazing!


*Back in my cheerleading days we used to have a cheer that chanted, “Go! Bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!”  It sort of got stuck in my head while I was baking this weekend and I’m sad to say it hasn’t left yet.  Sigh.

My Mama’s Banana Bread

Yields 2 loaves

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • turbinado sugar
  1. Beat together the eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the beaten mixture.  Add the mashed bananas and stir until combined.
  4. Put in two greased loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
  5. About 10 minutes into baking, pull out and sprinkle turbinado sugar over the tops of the loaves for the sugar crust.

Annie’s Gluten-Free Banana Bread

(adapted from “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts)

Yields 2 loaves

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups very ripe chopped/mashed banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Position rack in center of the oven.  Grease loaf pans.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon in large mixing bowl.  Add bananas; stir to coat evenly.
  3. Combine buttermilk and oil in small bowl; remove 1 Tbsp. of combined liquid and discard it.  Beat in eggs.  Add liquids to banana mixture and stir until just blended.
  4. Fill loaf pans and bake for 35-45 minutes.
  5. About 10 minutes into baking remove from oven and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top for your sugar crust.

Fall’s Treasures

For the love of all things pumpkin, I ADORE FALL!!!

I love when the leaves start to change color and drop, making the street that I live on look like this one…

And I really love these little treasures…

These are the sweetest pumpkins ever!  Each year I wait with anticipation to pick out my favorite “Fairytale Pumpkin” to grace my doorstep.

And the return of this 12 ounces of goodness in a stylish paper cup always puts a smile on my face.  Especially on days like today where I splurge and allow myself one…

This awesome little head wrap that is sitting on my dresser just waiting for a cold event to be worn to…

The anticipation of seeing these lovely faces in just a few short weeks…

And the smell of this filling my home on a brisk, sunny day…

Pumpkin Bread is one of my very favorite sweet things.  I love Fall spices of all kinds, and this has all of them packed into a yummy bread!  The best part about this one was that I could eat it too!  Gluten-free, and full of flavor!  Two things that don’t often go hand in hand.  I know I’ve found a gluten-free success when even Aaron likes it.

For those of you that enjoy Fall’s little treasures as much as I do, bake some pumpkin bread and enjoy the season!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread or Muffins

(adapted from Gluten-Free Baking Classics–by Annalise Roberts)

Makes 12 muffins, 1 large loaf, or 3 mini loaves of pumpkin bread

  • 1 3/4 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix**
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

**Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 cups brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour (this will make more than what you need for this recipe)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Position rack in center of oven.  Grease loaf pan(s) or muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves together in large mixing bowl of electric mixer.
  3. Combine eggs, water, oil, molasses, and pumpkin in a separate bowl.  Whisk to blend.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into dry and mix until well blended.  Do not over beat.
  5. Pour batter evenly into pans and bake 45-55 minutes for loaves and about 20-25 minutes for muffins or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool loaves for 8 minutes and then remove from pans.  Remove muffins from pan immediately.  Cool completely on rack before serving or wrapping for storage.  Easiest to slice when chilled.