Wednesday, January 23, 2008

GF Oreos

Today I came across a recipe for gluten free peppermint brownies at Baking Love. They look delicious, but I was hit by the thought- we don't have a Trader Joe's! Where can I find gf Oreos? Apparently I could order them online, but I'm not that interested. It's hard enough to get the deliveries that we already have on the way. I don't need to be stuck in the house for any more time!
I did what anyone would do. I searched the internet and found a recipe to make my own oreo-esque cookies. It was posted on recipe zaar, which is a site I have had a lot of success with in the past. It's great to see reviews and comments from other people who have tried a posted recipe.
I may not bother to make them into brownies after, but the cookie recipe seems simple enough and got some great reviews. I love finding that someone else has the answer to my problems!

Gluten Free Oreo Cookies
by GlutenFreeGirl

45 servings 45 filled cookies
30 min 20 min prep

3/4 cup rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons egg substitute
2/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 teaspoon milk


2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons shortening
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, egg replacer, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of the mixer, cream the margarine and sugar until light. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. (Note: I don't have a heavy duty mixer, so I used a hand held one and I did have a little trouble with the dough sticking to the beaters. So don't be discouraged if you have to keep pushing the dough off the beaters with a spatula, you aren't doing anything wrong. And don't worry I promise these cookies are well worth the trouble!).
Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions. If the dough becomes too stiff, add the milk as needed.
Shape the dough into two 10"x1-1/2" rolls. Wrap in foil and chill.Chill for about 15-20 minutes.
Cut into 1/8" slices, if you have a cookie stamp, you can at this point press in onto the sliced cookies before baking. Bake these cookies on an UNGREASED cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
Let cool for only a few minutes before removing from the cookie sheet. Cool thoroughly on a rack.
For the filling, combine confectioners' sugar, shortening, vanilla and hot water ( use enough to create a good spreading texture.).

Note: I would like to mention here that the above GlutenFreeGirl does not seem to be the same as Gluten-Free Girl (Shauna James Ahern), author of the same titled book....which looks great, btw.

Bread, Bread, Bread!

It has occurred to me that those entering the realm of gf eating really ought to have a deep freeze and a very large oven. That way, it would only be necessary to make bread once a week, rather than every other day....or even every day....As it is, I can make two loaves of bread at once, but I only have storage for one loaf. NOT conducive to a good human/bread ratio in our home! Some might think that we just eat too much bread, and perhaps they'd be right. In the past few days, it's been my fall-back for making things seem 'normal'. It's easier to say 'no' to different off-limit food requests if you have a familiar stand-by for replacement. "No darling, I'm afraid that you can't have your favorite cookie, cracker, pita...but look at this lovely sandwich I've made for you!"
I'm sure that this overindulging will wan soon- you can only eat so many sandwiches, right? So, I've been fiddling around with new lunch ideas and snack options. There are always the obvious choices of salads, soups,fruit , or vegetables. Omlettes are a good choice, as are rice cakes with peanut butter. I just need to start utilizing some of the wonderful foods that we haven't chosen in the past.
Really, we haven't given up any foods. I can recreate facsimiles of our old cookies and muffins, or I can create new favourites. We can still eat our beloved pizza, it'll just have a different crust! Nachos are in, as are pitas if I get around to trying the recipe. Rice pasta is everywhere, or I could make my own; there are always corn tortillas if nothing else works! All that I really need is time, patience, a larger oven, and a deep freezer. I wonder how the super would feel about taking out the cupboards to accomodate me....? ;-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gluten free

Tomorrow we will officially be gluten free. It's taken me this long just to stop hyperventilating! I've armed myself with a new mixer and Bette Hagman's The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread. I've informed the family that this will be a trial that lasts at least two months. Considering we're having a dinner party next week, it should be interesting.
I've been reading lists of celiac symptoms, and to tell the truth, I have a longer list than dd! Of course, it could turn out that none of us has a problem with gluten, but I don't think it will hurt us to diversify our diet. Some people avoid wheat regardless of their reaction to the grain. If none of us has a wheat issue, we'll probably still eat some wheat, but maintain a mixture of gf recipes.
So, here it goes! I feel as though I'm on the brink of Niagra falls and forgot my barrel, but between me and Bette and all of the great info and blogs on the 'net, we'll muddle through somehow.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Curried Coconut Shrimp

I finally made something worth talking about! I've been quite busy with another project, so I haven't had the time to experiment much. We're going gluten free on Monday, and I felt the need of a few new recipes to get me through. This is my first one, and I like to think it turned out well. The dc ate it, and that tends to be a qualifier around here! The thing is- I didn't weigh the shrimp that I used, but I know that we each had five shrimp! Also, this isn't one of those exact science recipes (although most aren't!), so there's lots of room for improvisation. You could use chicken instead of shrimp, change the veggie or noodles or even use rice; add more or less curry....this is just a basic idea to work with!

Sautee 20 shrimp in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add 1Tbsp creamed coconut and 1/2can of coconut milk. Stir well to break down the creamed coconut. Add 1Tbsp curry powder (or to taste) and 1/2c peas, and cook for another minute or so. Serve over rice vermicelli.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Chocolate Coconut Drops

I've been baking up a storm, but I haven't really tried anything new. Well, there was the bread that I made yesterday, but the recipe needs tweaking. Tomorrow I'll be baking some pumpernickle, so I'll probably post the recipe to that.
Today we made some chocolate drop cookies. I'm sure that everyone has the recipe for these. They're sometimes called porcupines or haystacks, or even frogs (though I don't know why!)

1 1/2c sugar
1/2c butter/marg/earth balance/shortening
1/2c milk (dairy or non)
3c quick oats (not instant)
1c coconut
3Tbsp cocoa
1tsp vanilla
1/2tsp salt

Put sugar, butter and milk in a pan, and heat until butter is melted. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well, and drop by teaspoon on greased baking sheet. Place in refrigerater until firm.

Quick, simple, and most importantly, chocolate!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Holly Nog Pudding

At Christmas time I bought a container of Holly Nog. This was for my daughter who was sad that she couldn't enjoy eggnog like her brother and father (lactose intollerant). We had already tried the Vitasoy peppermint drink, which dd thought was great. Along came the Holly Nog, and no one would touch it. It was pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten. Until today. I brought it out and made it into pudding. It turned out well enough that the dc want to buy more 'Nog!
( I understand that there are lots of people who actually enjoy this drink, but it didn't fit our tastes. Don't be put off trying it out just because we didn't care for it- I've been assured that some people like it a lot better than regular eggnog.)

3c Holly Nog
4 egg yolks
1/2c brown sugar
1/4c corn starch
1Tbsp Earth Balance
2tsp vanilla

Whisk first four ingredients together in a large pan, then place over medium heat. Whisk constantly as mixture heats, and bring to a boil. Continue whisking boiling mixture for two minutes, and then remove from heat. Add Earth Balance and vanilla, and stir well. Cover the pan (or pour pudding into bowls and cover), and when cooled, place in fridge until chilled.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pizza Crust (recipe by me!)

I usually make a yeast-based pizza crust, but sometimes I get carried away and forget to start the dough. When this happens, I've substituted with biscuit dough or even (gasp!) bought a pre-made crust. My favourite crust substitute is a batter bread recipe. It's slightly sweet, which I think plays well with pizza sauce, and I feel that it's a healthy choice due to the whole wheat flour and wheat germ. I often use whole wheat flour or add wheat germ to recipes, but they taste so good in this recipe!

2c flour
1 1/2c whole wheat flour
1/2c wheat germ
3Tbsp sugar
1 1/2tsp baking soda
1 1/2tsp salt
2c water plus 2tsp vinegar
1/4c oil

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then make a well in the center. Mix wet ingredients, and then pour into the well. Stir until just moistened.
If you want a loaf, then pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 1 hour.
If it's pizza you're after, then divide your batter between two greased 12" pizza pans. Bake at 350F for 10mins, then remove from oven and add your pizza sauce and toppings. Place back in the oven for about 15mins.


These are my new favorite cookies. I've always loved gingersnaps, but finding the perfect recipe was difficult. Most recipes had too much fat, but when I lowered it the cookies were too dry. I made these on Christmas eve when we realised that we didn't have anything special to leave out for Santa. I was a little worried about the amount of fresh and powdered ginger, but it worked wonderfully.
This is actually a Weight Watcher's recipe, so for those of you following the program, they're 1pt each (recipe makes 36 cookies). Don't let it fool you though- these cookies are full of flavour, and the sugary topping gives them a wonderful crunch. Keep in mind that they are gingersnaps though- they are quite crunchy once they cool.

2c whole wheat flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1/4c oil
1/4c molasses
1 egg
2tsp grated fresh ginger
1c + 3Tbsp sugar

Mix together the first four ingredients, and set aside. In another bowl mix the oil, molasses, egg, and fresh ginger. Add one cup of the sugar. Add the flour mixture and stir until blended. Let the dough rest about 10mins.
Roll into small balls and then dip the tops of them in the remaining sugar. Place on parchment lined baking trays, and bake for 10-12 mins at 350F.