Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grandma's cookies

 Everyone has their signature dish. My Grandmother's was her "finger cookies". They were so delicate and buttery. The powdered sugar gave it just enough sweetness as they melted in your mouth. I have tried in vain to find another cookie that is similar to no avail until now. This recipe by Gluten-free Gobsmacked is the closest yet.  


Grandma would hand pack cookies to send my mom when she lived in Houston and when I was away at college. Sometimes if she was visiting my mom and found out my boyfriend was coming to visit me, she would whip up a batch so that he could hand deliver them. I would have dorm mates ask if my Grandma would send them cookies too! Good thing my boyfriend did not have a sweet tooth, other wise I would never have any cookies!

Grandma's Finger Cookies 
(AKA GF Russian Tea Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies)
Recipe makes 4 dozen 1-inch cookies


Ingredients:

1 cup pecan halves
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted + 1 cup more for tossing
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/3 cup whipped cream cheese
2 teaspoons GF vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons sorghum flour, sifted (with the tapioca)
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour, sifted (with the sorghum)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
Directions:
  1. Toast the pecan halves over low heat until fragrant.
  2. Sift one cup of the powdered sugar.
  3. Process the toasted pecans and the 1 cup of powdered sugar in the bowl of your food processor until even and fine.
  4. Cream together the butter and cream cheese with the powdered sugar/pecan mixture.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Sift together the sorghum and tapioca flours.
  7. Add the xanthan gum to the sifted flours.
  8. Mix the dry ingredients in to the creamed/wet ingredients until it comes together as cookie dough (2-3 minutes on medium).
  9. Roll into 1″ balls and place the balls on a large plate.
  10. Refrigerate the 1″ balls for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (*NOTE: If you need to refrigerate them longer, please cover them with plastic wrap. You can freeze the balls at this point too, if desired.)
  11. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  12. Lay out the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat about 1 1/2″ apart.
  13. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes (Mine bake for 13 minutes) and remove from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool 2-3 minutes before attempting to move them.
  14. Dredge the warm cookies carefully in powdered sugar. (I usually put a cup of powdered sugar into a baggie and then toss 4 or so cookies about in the sugar until well coated.)
  15. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a cookie rack. (See photo above.)
  16. Toss in powdered sugar again, if desired, before serving or packing in an airtight container.

Tis the season....gluten free beer

 When attending parties this holiday season those that are GF can celebrate! There are excellent GF beers available today. Although I felt it was my personal duty to sample any beers mentioned here my diabetes would not allow me. :0(

The following is a an excellent article that looks at the different beers on the market. Bella Online article The demands of beer-lovers with Celiac Disease are finally gaining the attention of craft brewers throughout the world. Most of these brewers have been researching the chemical and physical properties of Celiac Disease, and have formulated their products with 100% gluten-free ingredients and processes that ensure purity of product. They point out that some filtering processes used by brewing companies render gluten undetectable in “low-gluten” beer; however, unless a beer is totally gluten-free, there is no assurance that it is safe for Celiacs. 

The most common substitutions for gluten-rich grains are: buckwheat and sorghum; rice, maize, corn, and sunflower; amaranth, flax, millet, quinoa, teff, wild rice, soybean, ragi, and rape. Sorghum and buckwheat are the most common ones used in Western gluten-free beer.

Sorghum is native to Northeast Africa, and followed the trade routes through India and China on its way to America. It is a vigorous grass that tolerates dry weather, and is commonly used as one of the ingredients in African beer. Buckwheat is an herb of the Buckwheat family Polygonaceae, and has origins in central and western China. Its small beechnuts are milled, which separates the edible groats from their hulls. These groats are then roasted and used as a grain product. Buckwheat blossoms have a high nectar content, and are often found in conjunction with beekeeping farms.
Guide to Gluten-Free Beers

Bard’s Tale Beer –USA brewers with current distribution in 42 states, including Iowa, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Vermont. The owners are Celiacs and beer lovers themselves who are dedicated to keeping the beer experience alive for those who are committed to a gluten-free lifestyle.

Bard's The Original Sorghum Malt Beer (formerly Dragon's Gold) – Bard’s Tale Beer, USA – Golden amber with light white head, with the aroma and taste characteristics of a satisfying, finely crafted wheat beer. This beer is crafted with pure water, premium sorghum, hops and yeast, combined with buckwheat, natural honey, corn and rice. This is Real Beer for Real People.

Ramapo Valley Brewery - Located in beautiful Rockland County in New York, these folks travel to various conferences throughout the year, and offer their Gluten-free beer year-round.

Honey Beer (formerly Honey Passover Beer) - Ramapo Valley Brewery, USA - Bright golden in color, with a delicate honey and hops nose.  Crafted with honey, molasses, Kosher yeast hops and pure, sparkling water, this gluten-free wonder has 5.2% ABV, a lighter taste and is dry at the finish. Kosher Certified for Passover

New France Beers– Canadian brewers with a commitment to ALL of their customers, they have dedicated three years to research and development of gluten-free beer centered on purity and taste.

La Messagère – New France Beers, Canada – A crystalline pale ale with light effervescence and froth of lacing that lightly webs the surface. The aroma and flavor of golden honey, kissed with citrus and wisps of hops. Brewed from rice and buckwheat. 4.7% ABV

Green’s – United Kingdom Company dedicated to serving the growing community of people being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. New gluten-free products are being developed daily to serve this segment of the beer loving community. 

Discovery Amber Ale – Green’s, United Kingdom – Hazy amber beer, like a glowing sunrise over the ocean, brewed in the European tradition with light, refreshing apple and hop bitterness. 6% ABV

Pioneer Lager – Green’s, United Kingdom – Golden amber lights with gentle cloudiness, flavors of dried apple and apricot, with an acidic finish. 5% ABV

Endeavour Double Dark Beer – Green’s, United Kingdom – Walnut brown, full-bodied, with flavors of roasted grain and dark fruit, akin to a cold fruit soup. Replaced Explorer Stout. 6% ABV

Trailblazer Lager - Green's, United Kingdom - 4.7% ABV in a low-carb, refreshing, crisp lager.

Herald Ale - Green's, United Kingdom - A traditional ale , a bit cidery and touched with tartness common in sorghum style beers. 4% ABV.

Pilgrim Cherry Beer - Green's, United Kingdom - Winter Seasonal available in early November, this 4.7% ale boasts a spicy cherry aroma and flavor, that awakens the zest in holiday fare.

Mission Amber Beer - refermentad in the bottle with flavos of sweet malt and apples. 6% ABV

Pathfinder Dubbel Dark - refermented in the bottle with aromas of dark fruit. On the palate, earthy, malty and fruity. 7% ABV

Quest Tripel Blonde - refermented in the bottle, this assertive lady has flavors of pear, melonand citrus that hide the high alcohol. 8.5% ABV

NOTE: Green's has three Gluten Free Belgian Beers distributed in the USA market through Merchant du Vin. The beers are: Discovery Amber Ale; Endeavour Dubbel Ale; and Quest Tripel.

For information about getting Green's Beers in the USA, contact Merchant du Vin at: http://www.merchantduvin.com

Mongozo Exotic Beers - Exotic Beers brewed in Belgium. Caution: Only one of the portfolio is made with Gluten Free ingredients, but may not be truly gluten free due to cross contamination.

Several Mongozo Beers were previously on the list of Gluten Free Beers, but have been removed due to confirmed information that they are not gluten free. These are: Mongozo Coconut, Mongozo Banana, Mongozo Mango, and Mongozo Palmnut.

Mongozo Quinua - Mongozo Beers, Netherlands - CAUTION! Although made with quinua, a bitter grain of Bolivia characteristically used to brew beers made in Africa and South America, there may be cross contamination due to processing. No testing of gluten levels is available.

The Alchemist Pub & Brewery - Only available on tap at the pub in Waterbury, Vermont, USA. As Award-winning gluten free brewers, The Alchemist has won Gold medals in both 2009 and 2010 at the Great American Beer Festival, along with a a bronze in 2009. 

Celia Framboise - The Alchemist Pub & Brewery, Waterbury, Vermont, USA - Flavors of raspberry and pomegranate, delightfully immersed in Brett and a 7.1% ABV. Gold medal winner at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival in the Gluten Free beer category.

Celia IPA - The Alchemist Pub & Brewery, Waterbury, Vermont, USA - Bronze medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival 2009, in the Gluten Free Beer category. Glistening and golden body with grapefruity nose and full flavor.

Celia Saison - Farmhouse Ale crafted with sorghum, orange peel, coriander and Amarillo hops. 5.4% ABV

Sprecher Brewing - Originally brewed for Milwaukee's African World Festival, Sprecher has now entered the Gluten Free Beer market.

Shakparo Ale - Sprecher Brewing, USA - Unfiltered and brewed of  sorghum and millet, it is lightly refreshing with a fruity apple profile.

Mbege - Sprecher Brewing, USA - Brewed with sorghum and millet, bananas are added in this traditional Ale with roots in Eastern Africa.

Anheuser-Busch – Brewed at the Merrimack, New Hampshire facility, Redbridge is now available throughout the USA

Redbridge - Redbridge pours a deep honey gold, with a creamy, eggshell head that settles like a gauzy veil over the surface. Effervescent bubbles rise through the glass in a constant stream. Initial aromas are of light malt and a tempered, gentle nuttiness. Some florals rise in the nose. The tongue interprets flavors that echo as a softened pale ale, without the characteristic grassy, earthy flavors of more intense cultivars of sorghum. Cascade hops are not initially prominent in the foreground, but provide a lingering, bitter presence at the back end,

O’Brien Brewing – Ascot Vale, Victoria, Australia – Brewer John O’Brien was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1998. A beer lover himself, he was soon to discover the absence of beer available for those with gluten intolerance. Not to be discouraged, he founded O’Brien Brewing, producer of the first gluten-free beer in Australia.

O’Brien Premium Lager – O’Brien Brewing, Australia – Sparkling Topaz amber, with white head and light lacing, touched with a distinct fruit aroma, smooth malty flavor and clean bitterness. 4.5% ABV

Under Development:
O’Brien Premium Light
O’Brien Brown Ale
O’Brien Pale Ale


Bi-Aglut – Brewed with pure water, buckwheat, hops, corn syrup and vitamin B1 by an Italian food products conglomerate.

Birra 76 Bi-Aglut – Italy – Golden color, foamy head, and fresh taste, totally lacking in gluten.

The production of Gluten Free Beers is constantly evolving, and many breweries craft this style, particularly on an occasional or seasonal basis. Dock Street Brewery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA crafts Sudan Grass Sorghum Beer; Schlafly Beer in St. Louis, Missouri, USA made a Gluten Free Beer in 2006-2007 from sorghum and corn (demand was low, so they only make it on an occasionl basis); C.B. & Potts in Broomfield, Colorado brews Don't Be a Gluten.Seek them out. Billabong Brewing of Perth, Western Australia has a strong portfolio of year-round Gluten Free Beers.

Your alternative to searching out these great gluten-free beers is to try your own hand at homebrewing. You will discover a hobby that is greatly fulfilling, while attracting lots of interest from your fellow beer-loving friends. The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian is a comprehensive guide that will walk you through the process, whether you are a novice brewer, or a seasoned master. 

Contact information for Gluten-Free Beer:
O'Brien Brewing http://www.gfbeer.com.au
Bard's Tale Beer http://www.bardsbeer.com
Ramapo Valley Brewery http://www.rvbrewery.com/
New France Beer http://www.lesbieresnouvellefrance.com/index.php?lg=en
Green's http://www.glutenfreebeers.co.uk/
BiAglut http://www.biaglut.com/ITA/Prodotti/Birra/default.htm
Nick Stafford's Hambleton Ales http://www.hambletonales.co.uk/
Fine Ale Club http://www.ale4home.co.uk/fine_ale_club.htm
Heron Foods - Beer not available online. Available in Sainsburys Supermarkets in the Beer Section, not the "Free From" Section, and in Co-op Shops.
Anheuser-Busch http://www.anheuser-busch.com/
Mongozo Beers - Note: Mongozo Quinua is made with gluten free ingredients, but may have cross contamination. Use caution.http://www.mongozo.org/engels/main.php
The Alchemist Pub & Brewery http://www.alchemistbeer.com/
Lakefront Brewery http://www.newgrist.com/
Sprecher Brewery http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/index.php
Silly Yaks http://www.sillyyak.com.au/beer/faq.html
Schlafly http://www.schlafly.com/
Dock Street Beer http://www.dockstreetbeer.com/
Billabong Brewing http://www.billabongbrewing.com.au/
Cheers!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Could Corn be wrecking your GF diet?

The folks of at Gluten Free Society thinks so! For awhile now I have been thinking that this is the next thing to remove from our daughters diet. I watch like a hawk everything that goes in her mouth but she is still having issues with stomach pain.

The list of corn products is quite daunting actually. When I read this list I started feeling a bit anxious. As if we were going gf again for the 1st time! Here is the link to the list by Gluten Free Society. There are also links to 4 studies looking at corn V gf.

If you have found that corn has been wrecking havoc on your gf diet please share your story.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our first Gluten Free, Casein Free Thanksgiving Dinner


As a child I must admit, that I LOVED the Salisbury Dinner and chicken pot pie. It was a big deal when my mom would stock these in our freezer.

 I cannot even begin to imagine heating these puppies up and passing them off for dinner. Things have changed~ for the better. :0)

2010 was our first Thanksgiving dinner that was gluten-free and casein-free. I got to tell ya, it was a piece of cake. I found it no different than any other meal we usually prepare just more dishes than I usually serve for one meal. We are at the end of our 6 months of eating GFCF. I was so surprised how easy it was to convert our favorite recipes. I must confess that I did make a gluten stuffing for my husband and myself.

As we prepared dinner we learned a few things along the way. My oldest is great at baking. She taught her self how to make pie crust and pumpkin pie from scratch. Jeff made GFCF turkey gravy and found out he liked it. :0)

The Thanksgiving bounty for our family table must have been good or ye Indians were starving! (See ad to the left.) Maybe a little of both, who knows.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Uchiki kuri

Readers hold onto your spoons! 
In October the children visited several grocery stores in search of the "Great Pumpkin". Much to their dismay none were to be found. There was a shortage of pumpkins due to the large amount of rain we had over the summer. SO, the children brought home a selection of gourds and squashes. In hopes that we could create something acceptable for our lack of pumpkins. In the end, I ended up using electrical pumpkins to decorate the outside. It would have looked spookier with real pumpkin but it still looked good.




One of the squash was called a Uchiki Kuri, Orange Hokkaido also known as Japanese squash. It's season runs from September to December. The outer skin is tougher than pumpkin. The flesh is a beautiful orange with huge seeds. The seeds have an outer coating that has been refereed to "a likeness to dragons skin"! To me it looked like a cross between a pumpkin seed and corn pops cereal. The flesh tastes sweet and nutty raw. The oldest said that it is the most unusual squash she had ever tasted raw, and it is good.


I baked the squash at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. The skin was brownish in spots, soft and easy to peel. I then mashed the squash, added 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance, and 4 tablespoons of brown sugar. Oh my golly, Oh my golly was it good. I could so see using this instead of pumpkin for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!

 According to my research, the taste of the squash is very similar to chestnuts. I have never tasted chestnuts but if this is anything near it then I definitely would love to roast some over an open fire and find out! Very easy to cook, very versatile and even the pickiest eater loved it!
Enjoy~blair

Thursday, November 18, 2010

World's EASIEST Carrot Soup

 Yesterday our family was blessed with a little "sunshine", 3 lbs of organic carrots! I could envision these lovely carrots being made into muffins, and possibly a carrot cake for Thanksgiving. As the day grew colder my taste buds were craving soup.

 I have never made or tasted carrot soup. But the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea of a lovely carrot soup with ginger and brown sugar.

My oldest suggested a savory rather than sweet soup. It would compliment the apple slices, cheese (daiya cheese CF and Tillamook medium cheddar cheese for those not CF) and cornbread. This turned out to be the EASIEST soup I have ever made!

My mind has been a blur thinking of other ways to serve this dish. It is like a blank canvas. To make it hardier pairing the carrots with sweet, white or red potatoes,  coconut milk, ginger and a hint of brown sugar for a garnish, southwestern with chipotle, corn and red peppers, or serving it in the summer as a chilled soup with lime or mint.

This would be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving dinner.
Enjoy~Blair

Carrot Soup


Ingredients 
3 lbs of carrots
Cold Water or vegetable stock
Sea Salt
Milk Substitute (optional)
Seasonings (optional)

Directions
Scrub carrots, slice and place in soup pot. Do Not peel carrots. Add just enough cold water to cover carrots. Add sea salt. Cook carrot for 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Do not drain. If you have an immersion blender blend until smooth. Other wise place in blender and puree.

At this point if you would like to serve creamy now would be the time to add your milk substitute, slowly until soup reaches the consistency of your choice.

I used cumin, a touch more sea salt and black pepper. I sauteed a sweet onion and garlic to add but decided it wasn't necessary. Don't worry they did not go to waste, the kids ate them on the side!

**If you have opted for a thicker soup, you can place a 1/4 tsp tsp of milk substitute to the top. Drag a tooth pick through the milk to create a cool design.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cooking for Isaiah~ Book review

I have been hoarding a library book. I love it and I do not want to return it! I hold it right up there with Bette Hagman's books. A lot of the cookbooks I have read are so complicated. You first must use "their flour" blend before you start the recipe. I want something I can use of my own and follow along. Cooking with Isaiah's recipes are simple and delish! I love her breakfast recipes and Isaiah's hot cocoa. There are so many of her dishes that I have added to my recipe list.

You can find more recipes on Sylvia's blog Dish Towel diaries. My next recipe to try is Mini-Mac and Cheese Cake. http://www.dishtoweldiaries.com/2010/10/gluten-free-mini-mac-and-cheese-cakes-with-corn-chex-crust/ What a great idea for school lunches and keeping in the freezer for a quick meal. I am always amazed when someone comes up with a simply genius idea. :0)

No doubt this will be on my Christmas Wish list. If I had to rate it certainly would be in top 5 list.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A month with-out Monsanto

     I do not usually post other articles but I felt this one warranted the share. I have mentioned one of the grocery stores I frequently shop is PCC. I received My month without Monsanto: My GM Free Experiment from their blog.

     The Monsanto article was very eye opening to say the least. I found it thought provoking, informative, and down right scary. I had no idea that to have my family GM Free I would need to make extremely drastic changes. I thought I was doing really well by making sure there were no processed foods served at our table. I try to buy organic and local as much as I can. But when I read that Monsanto pretty much has their fingers in the entire AG business seed packet I was appalled. How did this happen? Who let it happen?

          "70 to 80 percent of American non-organic processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients, according to the Grocery Manufacturers of America. A large percentage of the cotton in our clothes and homes begins in Monsanto’s labs." WOW! 
     April Dávila, states that "By day two of my attempt to remove Monsanto from my life, I realized I was in way over my head. For the past 10 years Monsanto has bought up seed companies around the globe. It now owns a majority of the seed lines in America, including a large percentage of organic seeds."
     But it does not stop there. Now I need to think about our clothing. I have been close minded about buying organic cottons. I always thought that was taking things a little bit too extreme. Please accept my apology if this offends anyone. Not my intention, just being truthful of my close mindedness. Now I completely understand and congratulate them for being so forethought on GM in our clothing. 
     I applaud Ms. Dávila in her attempt to keep Monsanto at bay. No wonder 1 out 133 people have celiac disease, being diagnosed at unprecedented rates of autism, and allergy diagnoses continues to rise at alarming rates.


     "Eat and buy local. Know where your food is coming from and who is growing it. Eat more vegetarian meals. Limit your amount of meat. Wear organic clothes." Good advice Ms. Davila, very good advice.
    
 PLEASE TAKE NOTE: This post is not singling Monsanto out as the cause for everything. I am not slandering Monsanto. Just perplexed at how tightly closed my eyes have been. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Super Easy Veggie Casserole

I started homeschooling 13 years ago. Golly has it been that long?! When we started homeschooling I joined our local homeschooling group. Once a month we would meet and share dinner. Afterwards the Moms would share what they were working on with their children. They were instrumental to those of us green behind the ear. I was so impressed with their passion homeschooling their children. Their love for God and sprinkling it through each days lessons. Over the years they became friends and my hero's.
Any who, there were several woman right from the very beginning I found most inspiring. Their homes were always spotless, children well mannered, laundry never piled high as Everest and severed 3 meals a day (from scratch) to their families. They made homeschooling look like a breeze.
One of those wonderful women is April Hager. April is an amazing woman. Her kids are so awesome, she cooks like a chef and is has impeccable taste in home decor. Just to name a few. :0)

It is my pleasure to have April as my first guest contributor! April recently shared the following recipe. It is GF and can be CF if you leave off the cheese she suggests to top the casserole with at the end. I have already put it on the menu for this week. I hope that you find it a blessing to your family table.
P.S. April asked me not to credit her for the recipe but her friend Sue. Thanks Sue!


A Super Easy Veggie Casserole

Lentil Rice Casserole by Sue Gregg

I always double this for our family:

Lentil Rice Casserole by Sue Gregg
3 C water (or broth or throw in a couple bouillon cubes)
3/4 C uncooked lentils
1/2 C uncooked brown rice
1/4 C instant minced oniion
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/4 tsp oregano leaves
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Put all in a covered casserole dish and bake at 300 degrees for 2-2 1/2 hours until tender and water is absorbed.
Top hot casserole with grated cheese before serving.

I love serving this with steamed veggies and some sort of bread for a complete meal. Leftovers make great burritos the next day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trick or Treat, Smell my feet, Give me something GOOD to eat!

Trick or Treat, Smell my feet, give me something good to eat!  

 When I was a little girl I grew up in West Virginia. My neighborhood was made up of three giant circular hilly streets and then there was the “top of Lyndale”. I never went trick or treating there because quite frankly it was so stinking steep that by the time you reached the top of the hill trick or treat would be over! That would only be about 25 houses. In Charleston to this day trick or treat is held the last Thursday of the month from 6-8 pm. If we trick or treated throughout the remaining part of the neighborhood we could hit almost 100 houses. That's a lot of loot!
 I would think that it would really stink if I spent hours trick or treating and then have it all taken away. Not even getting ONE piece of the delicious milk chocolate. 
Last year, before my youngest daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease I came up with a bright idea. Why not “buy” her candy from her and allow her to purchase something awesome instead of tooth rot! I wondered what would be a reasonable amount to offer her. I had a figure in my head and then went to the bargaining table. The youngest daughter loved the idea! I even got by on less than what I was offering. We agreed on a pack of pokemon cards and ten pieces of “legal candy” to be spread out, not consumed in one day! She was happy, I was happy and I know her dentist would have been happy. You might be wondering what “legal candy” consisted of for her. Having asthma she is not allowed any chocolate. Having ADHD she is also not allowed any red dye so that narrowed the list down quite a bit. She was happy to be able to eat skittles and starbursts. What a treat to eat contraband candy!
 
Halloween is once again upon us. I have wondered what is considered “legal” in the great big world of GF. By the way my DD has already asked if I will be “purchasing” her candy again this year. :0) I researched what is legal GF candy and came up with this link. I plan to give this list to my son’s teacher so she will know what can be given out for parties and rewards at school. I must tell you I cannot stand the thoughts of candy being given out as rewards at school, I am just sayin. For our son I plan to have a goody bag for him with legal candy.  He would not understand trading candy for money. He is just happy to get candy! Now we just need to decided where to get the best treats...





Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Fries

Pumpkin is a main stay in our pantry. We use it for soups, breads, cake, and muffins. The most recent post at Gluten Free Gobsmacked Kate posted pumpkin fries. Why had I not thought of that?! The very next day I purchased a pumpkin. I made both the savory and sweet fries. Our home smelled so unbelievable while we wanted with bated breath for them to come out of the oven. I did not have any parchment paper so I used extra olive oil for the savory pan and Pam for the sweet. i think if I had used the parchment paper they would have been crispier. They were still totally and completely awesome.
Don't forget to save the seeds for roasting.



Lightly toss with olive oil and seasonings.

Parchment paper lined cookie sheet will make fries crispy. Single layer, giving a toss 1/2 way through cooking.


One a side note: I sprinkled powder sugar on the sweet fries. Ketchup is optional!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Corn bread


Today was a top 10 day in Seattle. The cloudless day and warm breeze made it feel like we were in the middle of summer, not savoring the last day of summer.  Summer has not even ended and we are looking ahead to cooler days. Were we not just looking forward to the long days of summer? What is it about the moment the weather gets cooler chili and soup dance through our mouths? 


When I heard the weather report for today the high was to be in upper 60's but the low about 46 degrees. I could already feel the weight and how it feels to snuggling in for the night  under my Grandma's quilt and an "extra" blanket as the night gets cooler. Suddenly I had an urge for Chili. You cannot eat chili without cornbread. 


I have never made GFCF cornbread but i was really pleased with how this turned. It was a big hit!



GLUTEN FREE CORNBREAD

Ingredients:1 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 Tablespoons of sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon butter (divided)
2 beaten eggs
1 cup milk (reserve 1/4 Cup of milk to rinse out blender after pureed corn)
1/4 Cup of pureed sweet corn
1 Tablespoon melted butter
Directions:
* Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt) together in a medium size bowl and set aside.
* Melt the one tablespoon of butter in a 10 inch cast-iron skillet or 8/9 inch round baking pan in the oven. This takes about three minutes. Swirl the butter around the pan coating the bottom and sides. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, you may butter up a casserole dish.
* In a small bowl, combine the eggs, pureed corn, milk, and melted butter. Add this mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. If it is too thin sprinkle a little cornmeal over top of mix.
Pour batter into the hot skillet or baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm.
Please note that if you are using a glass casserole dish time will vary.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apple-Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

If only there was cybersmell. You too could be basking in the smell of cinnamon, baked apples, and brown sugar. The aroma is intoxicating! I am so excited that my family will awaken to the welcoming warm yumminess. Other than the smell of a warm coffee cake on the week-end there are not many other ways I would like to awake. The smell of fresh rain on a summer morning or the sweet sea air of Hawaii comes to mind but that is another blog!

The Apple-Brown Sugar Coffee Cake really quite easy.  I find using brown rice flour adds a hint of nutty flavor however pecans or walnuts would be a welcome ingredient. One word of warning:  be careful with the type of apples you use. Some apples have a higher moisture level. Using golden delicious apples will alter the moisture content completely.  Enjoy! ~blair

Apple-Brown Sugar Cake
INGREDIENTS
1 cup + 2 tsp of brown rice flour
¼ tsp zanuthum gum
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup of brown sugar- divided
¼ cup mini chocolate chips (enjoy life)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs @ room temp
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup of canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 large apples

INSTRUCTIONS
·        Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan or spring form pan.
·        In a small bowl, toss 2 tsp of flour, ½ cup of brown sugar, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside
·        In a large bowl combine flour, xanthum gum, baking powder, granulated sugar and salt.
·        Wisk eggs, oil and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture till smooth. Do not over mix.
·        Pour ½ of batter into greased cake pan.
·        Pour ½ of apples and brown sugar-chocolate chip mix on top of the batter.
·        Place remaining matter on top, creating a layer.
·        Repeat with batter, brown sugar-chocolate chip mix and apples.
·        Bake 45 minutes.
·        Make sure that when a toothpick is inserted in the center it comes out clean. Cake will be very moist.
·        Allow cake to cool on a wire rack in the pan.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Seriously yummy snackage mix


This past week-end the children and I were camping in the middle of the Cascade Mountains at a wonderful place called Camp Prime Time. Words cannot describe the beauty, the awesome friends we made or the feeling of eating so many toasted marshmallows you felt like one! :0) 

A great time was had by all. But as per usual food was an issue so I did some serious cooking before we left. I always want the kids to feel comfortable where we are and to be included in meals served. I do my darnedest to match the menus. 


This is also true for snackage! The following recipe is so easy, and the sky is the limit for the ingredients. I like to serve this for afternoon snacks and lunch boxes. This year I am going to make this for Joseph's birthday goody bags to be used at school. To me goody bags are a waste of time and $. My kids always could care less about the junk and just ate the candy!

This great to give for teachers gifts. I am sure that the kids teachers will receive some at Christmas. Instead of using blueberries switch to cherries or cranberries. Another fun way to eat this and be patriotic is using cranberries and blueberries but omit the chocolate chips. The chips have a tendency to be melty in the summer.


Happy munching! ~blair


Ingredients:
  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups Koala Crisp cereal or Panda Puffs
  • dried fruit (I used blueberries)
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed (Earth Balance)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 of a package of Enjoy Life chocolate chips

  • Directions:
  • In a large ungreased roasting pan, combine the popcorn, cereal and blueberries. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add honey and cinnamon; cook and stir until heated through. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Once completely cooled add chocolate chips.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minute. Cool completely. Store in airtight containers. Makes about 10 cups.

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Soup weather already?


    As I walked out on the deck to clean the grill for dinner this afternoon, I noticed the leaves are really starting to show signs of fall. I have tried hard to ignore that Seattle is going to have an early fall. The evenings are cool and sweatshirts are coming out in the daylight hours. Grilling dinner just didn't feel right. Thoughts of a warm bowl of cabinet soup danced on my tongue. 

    The last few days Joseph has been begging for meatballs. Truth be told I have never made them. Sad I know. But I get so grossed out squishing meat with my hands! My poor deprived husband has rarely in almost 28 years been served meatloaf. I think this is a good thing.


    To appease Joseph and my hankering for soup, I came up with the following. I must tell you I impressed myself! The soup was yummy as were the meatballs. I even had left overs to freeze for Joseph's lunch later this week. 
    Oh my golly, summer really is over! Time to get back into busy schedules, lesson plans, and chili!
    Hope you find cabinet soup helps you on one of your busy days. :0)
    ~blair


    Cabinet Soup with Meatballs
    1 Trader Joe's Garden Melody Soup
    2 Pacific Vegetable Stock
    1 large sweet onion
    6 garlic cloves
    1 bag of carrots
    1-2 bunches of kale
    2 tbsp olive oil 
    2 tbsp dried parsley
    3 tbsp dried ginger
    1 tbsp sea salt
    2 tbsp black pepper
    1 tbsp red pepper flakes


    Sauté onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil. When onions are half way cooked add garlic and carrots. While veggies are cooking, add both stock and soup to a large pot. Add spices and bring to a simmer. Once veggies are cooked add to soup.


    **Do not discard oil. This will be used for meatballs. 



    Meatballs
    1 lb of ground turkey
    1 cup of GFCF bread crumbs
    2 eggs beaten
    1/4 c shredded carrots
    1/2 tbsp Sea Salt
    1 tbsp black pepper
    1 tbsp parsley
    4 tbsp olive oil

    Add everything together. Tip: place ingredients in a ziploc bag and squeeze it all together. Then dump in to a mixing bowl. Meatballs should be the size of thumbnail. Add olive oil to oil used to sauté veggies. Cook meatballs until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Once drained add to soup. Cook and additional 10 mins. Will add depth to soup.
    **My older daughter added Daiya mozzarella cheese on top of her soup and said it made it ever more yummy! :0)

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Birthday Cake


    When we lived in West Virginia, my girl friend Joyce *the first person I ever knew to be GFCF* made our son the most unbelievable chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Mmm....I can taste it right now. :0)
    That was before our youngest daughter was diagnosed with asthma and reflux-no chocolate anymore, and  we discovered that in general chocolate is not kind to our son's digestive track. :0(

    Last Sunday was my birthday. I ordered a  yellow cake with chocolate icing. What I got was a 
    Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake with homemade icing.
    The reviews are mixed. My husband (who will eat just about anything) found the cake to be dry and tasteless. I found it to be on the dry side but not bad for GF. (My daughter did not know that I always dbl the vanilla for Betty Crocker cookie mix and most likely I would have here too.)

    The kids liked it and that is all that matters! Our older daughter's bday is next month and little guys bday is the first of October. It is exciting to know that I will be able to take cupcakes to his classroom to celebrate. :0)

    Did I mention in addition to cake we had coconut ice cream? According to my kids anything tastes good with ice cream! needless to say there were no cake leftovers!