Monday, April 15, 2013

Updating Blog

I am in the process of updating the blog.  I have moved it and am in the process of going through old posts and updating links.  If you go to the Recipe index the links are not working.  I am working on getting those going.  You can scroll through the posts in order and use the search bar to find those recipes though.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pancakes!

I received some pancake mix in the mail today. To be honest, I've never heard of this company. The name confused me a little.....Carbon's Golden Malted Pancake and Waffle Mix. Don't let the word malted worry you. That is just a name brand. There is no malt flavoring in the mix. This mix is certified gluten free. You can check it out here at www.goldenmalted.com.

I know this sounds weird, but I was in the mood for savory pancakes, even though there is a touch of vanilla and sugar in the mix. I caramelized some onions and added fresh rosemary and garlic. Oh, Thanksgiving in a pancake! I'll bet they are equally as good left without the added savory yummies and pour on them syrup. Making them is easy. Add only water, no eggs. They were fluffy and delish!


Pancakes!



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rhythm Chips made from Kale

I have a quick product review to tell you about.  Rhythm chips made from Kale.  They are made by Daily Juice Food in Texas.  I know you are thinking...what?  They are exactly what they sound like..... kale that has been chopped and dried.  They are considered a raw food since the are air dried at a low temperature.  They come several different flavors and are also gluten free, vegan and gmo-free.  I think my favorite was the ranch.  I love kale, so I thought they were really good.  My twenty something kids however, not so much.  They are both kind of picked so I would let that stop you from trying them.   I loved them.  Like I said, I love kale.  I eat it raw in salad and cooked in anything.  They are crispy like a chip so it's really easy to just keep popping them in your mouth, and they are good for you!  I think they would be really yummy in a salad instead of a crouton too.  Check them out here and see what you think! Oh, and great to travel with too.   



The Ultimate Gluten Free Cookie Book

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Right before Christmas, I received another cookbook.  This time, it was a cookie book put out by Roben Ryberg called, "The Ultimate Gluten Free Cookie Book".  I have another one of Roben's book called "You Won't Believe it's Gluten Free".  We have used that book so many times, especially the biscuit recipe, that it automatically opens to the biscuit page!  I was very excited to get this book.

Roben does not have celiac, nor is she gluten intolerant.  She can eat all the gluten she wants.  That might be part of why she has such fantastic recipes.  She can compare the two together.  The other part is the science behind what she does.  Roben tries to make recipes that only call for one or two flours instead of using multiple flours in one recipe.  Myself, I get so tired of measuring all of them out.  So much so, I have gone mainly to a gluten free blend for most things or a "Roben" recipe.   Roben uses either just brown rice or just sourgum in her recipes which not only makes them healthier, but much simpler as well.  I like that concept because I'm all about simple!

As I said, I received this book just before Christmas.  I had been making some other recipes and trying to make some Christmas cookies and many of them were a complete failure.  I was so discouraged, that I wasn't going to make any other cookies, but then this book came.  I had to try it out.

If you get this book, I encourage you to read all of chapter one first before starting.  Roben explains a lot about the science of gluten free baking and why she put the recipe together as she did.  Always follow the directions to the recipe exactly how it is written.  It will alter how your cookies turn out if you don't.  There is just about every conceivable type of cookie recipe in this book.  From the basic chocolate chip to homemade versions of Girl Scout Cookies.

The book has two recipes for chocolate chip cookies.  The first recipe I tried was chocolate chip #1.  They had a really good flavor and were a soft cookie.  Three days later they were still soft and tasted fresh.  I however, don't like a soft cake like cookie.  I wanted a firmer crisp cookie.  I found that in chocolate chip #2.  This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie.  It has surpassed my own recipe that I've been using for many years.  Roben's recipe is not only better than mine, but waaaay simpler.  When you make the #2 recipe, it will look weird in the bowl.  The recipe calls for oil and the dough will look oily.  It will seem as if the chips don't want to stick inside the dough.  But trust me!  Just mush it together and stick on the cookie sheet.  They turn out fantastic!  I love these cookie!  My families favorite too.  Gluten eaters will not know the difference.  YUM!  

Next, since it was Christmas, I had to have Peanut Blossoms.  This was one of my favorites when I was a child.  I have not made them in a long time.  Her recipe was so easy to make.  I think I made three batches of this cookie over Christmas.  It was our favorite.  It was perfect and tasted just like I remember the original!  This is a new tradition.

Then of course I had to have a cut out cookie with icing.  I made Rolled Sugar cookies.  If I remember right, I think the book said to oil the surface you are rolling out on, but I didn't have any luck with that, so I used flour and it worked perfectly.  These cookies have a really good buttery flavor.  I loved them and think they will be great for Valentines Day cookies too!

Next up were the Chocolate Crinkles.  These were great too and went together so easy!  I had had trouble with my mexican wedding cake cookie that I had tried to make the week before I got this book.  Roben told me to try making Sand Balls.  They are just like wedding cakes.  My family loved these cookies.  Problem solved!

The last one I tried was the Orange Cream-cheese Tassies.  On my.  These were so rich and yummy.  Basically the tassie has a cookies crust filled with cream cheese and orange marmalade.  Wow.  I have no idea how I made it through Christmas without gaining weight!

In a nut shell, this is my new favorite cookie book.  I was feeling a little discourage before receiving it.  I was known as the cookie baker growing up.  Christmas cookies were my specialty.  I had an old cookbook my mom had given me probably 30 years ago that I always pulled out at Christmas and used.  No matter what I made from that book, it turned out.  I had tried to take those recipes and convert them and they just weren't turing out.  I was so close to deciding to just not make Christmas cookie anymore and then this book arrived.  I think what I really needed was a gluten free cook book with recipes that had been tested and perfected.  That's what Roben has put together here and I thank her so much!

I have heard that Roben has a new book coming out next summer that is just bread recipes and I just can't wait.  I am so thankful for people like her.  I have no interest in writing cook books or trying to invent recipes.  It just takes so much time!  I just want to be able to have a simple gluten free life and I am so thank to those like her that put the time in to find things that not only work for us, but are simple.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pie crust and gluten free flour

I have to admit, pie crust has been a problem for me to make.  I've just not had good luck with it.  Last year, I went to whole foods and loaded up on crust.  They are wonderful!  But, you only get a bottom crust. I wanted more.  Whole Foods is not close to me, so if I run out it's not like I can run out and buy a crust easily.  

What led me to even trying to make a crust myself, was an article I read last year in a magazine.  The magazine took several recipes from regular cookbooks, then used a gluten free flour blend as a cup per cup replacement for flour.  They used several blends and gave the results of each recipe used.  I have to tell you, I am so sick of having so many flours and recipes that use so many flours.  I have many recipes I just love, but it seems like as soon as I want to make something, I will be out of just one of the flours I need.  Then there is the issue of storing them all.  My cupboard only has so much space.

It got me thinking and experimenting on my own.  Right before I was diagnosed, I had purchased, "Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook'.  I  never got to make all the things in that book that I wanted!  My mom had been having good luck with Namaste's Perfect Flour Blend.  So I bought some, and decided to try it in some recipes.

One of the first one's I tried from Martha's book was the pie crust.  I wanted to make a rustic apple pie.  You know, the kind that's not in a pie pan, but a cookie sheet.  This was just so much easier than I imagined.  I used my food processor and followed directions.  If you roll it out on parchment paper and put plastic wrap over the top as you roll it out, you shouldn't have any problems with it.  Don't forget to flour the parchment.

Here it is rolled out...

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Ready to go in the oven....

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Pie heaven....

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My apples got a little brown.  I think that could be avoided by putting a little foil right in the middle during baking.  I used butter which I recommend, unless you can't eat dairy.  Also, I used sanding sugar around the edge.

The crust was Martha's recipe which you can find here.  And the yummy inside was from "The Betty Crocker Cookbook", which you can find here.  Substitute the flour with a gluten free blend.  As I said, I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.  If you use another kind, make sure there is xanthan gum added.  If not, make sure you add some.

I have also tried making a Martha Stewart scone recipe with this flour and they turned out wonderful!  I am anxious to try more regular and gluten free recipes with pre-made flour blends.  It just seems like life would be so much simpler only having one bag of flour!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

I received a copy of "Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef" by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern a little over a month ago.  I've been just dying to cook something from it but life has just had me too busy!  Finally, I had a chance to make what I most wanted to make....the pasta.  But more about that in a minute.

Most of you will probably know Shauna from the blog, Gluten Free Girl.  I have been reading her blog for years!  It was because of Shauna and a couple other bloggers that I started blogging.  These were also the people who kept me from feeling sorry for myself when I first went gluten free.

Shauna and her husband Daniel, the chef, have spent a lot of time putting this book together.  It's a little bit different format from the typical cookbook.  Throughout the book, there are many stories of how Shauna and Daniel met.  And, most recipes have a small story or some kind of introduction to them.  Daniel gives a lot of cooking advice and instruction throughout the book as well.  This is very helpful even if you've been cooking a while.  There is always something new to learn when you cook!

The only drawback in the book, for me personally, was the recipes are not divided into catagories like salads, meat, dessert etc.  It's random.  So if you want to look at a whole catagory of desserts, you need to go to the index and then you will jump around the book to see all the desserts.  The book is sectioned according to their stories.  It's really not a problem, more of a personal preference.

There are lot's of interesting recipes.  Some sound challenging and some are simple which is a good mix.  I am looking forward to trying the Asian tart, crackers, chicken braised in red wine and several others.  But the one I wanted to try the most was the pasta.

I have never made pasta.  Ever.  I always wanted to, but never got around to it.  After going gluten free, I just thought it would be too hard.  But it was so easy!  I should have done it sooner!

Shauna's recipe mixes up very quickly.  I do not have a pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid.  The instructions said to make 8 small balls out of the dough and roll it out by hand.  It went pretty quick and my only problem was I probably could have rolled it out thinner.  Fresh pasta cooks really quick and has such a good texture and flavor to it.  This would be really good in chicken noodle soup!  And I"ll definetly be making it again.  I might even have to spring for a pasta maker!

After rolling out.....

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After cooking....

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Free For All Cooking

Today I'm reviewing a new cookbook I just received.  It's called "Free For All Cooking", by Jules E. Dowler Shepard.  I was really excited about getting this cookbook because I've been to Jules website on numerous occasions, and had always wanted to try her cookbook recipes.  You may be familiar with her website http://www.julesglutenfree.com/.  She is a cookbook writer and has a flour blend that many of you might already be using.

This cookbook contains 150 gluten-free and allergy friendly recipes.  You do not have to have her flour in order to make her recipes.  She provides a recipe so you can make your own blend or you can use any other commercial blend.  I did not have her blend so my own.

There are so many recipes in this book I want to try!  My short list is...Dark Chocolate Beer Cake, Popcorn Bread, French Baguette, Pumpkin Corn Muffins, and Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.  I love the fact that she has some unusual things in the book.  I mean really, beer cake?  It sounds wonderful to me!  I would have made that right away, but I'm out of gluten free beer.  It's number one on my list.

This cookbook contains recipes for breakfast food, appetizers and sides, breads and rolls, soups, main events, and desserts.  She's got all the basics covered here.  The book is laid out nicely and all recipes laid out in an orderly, easy to read fashion.  Each recipe also has a short introduction to the recipe explaining what you are about to make.

The first thing I wanted to make were the flour tortillas.  I had leftover flank steak and that just sounded so good.  Of course I eat corn tortillas all the time, but it's been almost 4 years since I've had a soft flour tortilla.  The recipe was simple and really didn't take that long to make.  You use the food processor to mix the dough, then roll 8 balls and let them sit for a bit.  Then flatten them.  I used a heavy skillet.  Next, you cook them in a hot skillet on each side for just a couple minutes.  Delicious!  They were tender and had a great flavor. I will be making them again!

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The black specks in the picture is from the rice flour browning in the skillet.  As you roll the tortillas out, you need to have some flour down to keep them from sticking.  I used rice flour.  It tends to brown in the skillet but did not cause a bad flavor.

As I make other recipes from the book I will post the pictures here and let you know what I think about it.  In the mean time, you might want to check this book and her website out!

Update:  Since this post was written, I have also made the Chocolate beer cake and it was fabulous!  It will be my "go to" chocolate cake recipe from now on.  I made a chocolate glaze for the top instead of icing which worked out really well.

Also, on super bowl Sunday I was looking for a flat bread of sorts to serve with a pizza dip I was making.  I happened to remember this cookbook had a focaccia recipe and decided to try it.  It was fabulous as well and I will use this recipe over and over!  It worked perfectly for the pizza dip and tasted really good.