Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas cookies, part one

Gluten free lemon sugar cookies! Recipe adapted from Living Without. I tweaked the flour blend -- slightly more white rice, slightly less potato -- and skipped the glaze, because the cookies tasted so damn good without them and I didn't want to add too much sweet. Instead, I dusted them with powdered sugar.

The verdict: The best effing sugar cookies I've ever made in my life. I brought them to work and everyone loved them. No one thought they were gluten-free. I'm definitely making another batch before the holiday season is over.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back to blogging

Dudes! It's been a while.

Thinking about Christmas cookies has brought me back to the blog. During recent holiday seasons, I haven't had the energy or strength to make more than a batch of fudge. Post diagnosis, I see how much potential my kitchen truly has.

So I'm making a real baking list this season. My awesome husband, Nate, is giving away homebrew for Christmas, and I want to tuck in some cookies with his six-packs. I doubt anyone will notice or care that they're gluten-free -- most of our friends just like to put food in their mouths and don't care if it's made with wheat flour or amaranth, as long as it tastes good.

So here's my list:
Thin Mints (using Gluten-Free Girl's Oreo recipe for the wafer, and Heidi Swanson's Thin Mint recipe for the coating.)
Sugar cookies
Gingerbread women
Peanut butter fudge (Alton Brown's recipe)
Macarons (from Hisako Ogita's "I Love Macarons")

Will I get to the whole list? Probably not. But I'll post pictures of what I end up making.

In the meantime, latkes:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A fine beer alternative

Here is my secret: I've never been a huge beer fan.

So compared to other culinary losses I've faced, giving up the barley-based brews wasn't a huge deal for me. It did, however, break my husband's heart. He has thrown himself into homebrewing over the past year. Since my diagnosis, he's been researching sorghum-based beers and plans to make one for me in the next month. We'll share recipes if we're successful.

Not a fan of sorghum beer? Me neither (with one exception, which I'll post about later). It's cool, though -- There is always hard cider.

Hard apple cider, like this one from Portland's Lucky Labrador, is naturally gluten-free. It's also naturally freaking delicious. I'm also a fan of Ace Pear Cider, which is available on-tap at several bars in Idaho -- unlike gluten-free beer, which is hard to find around these parts.

So yeah, I'll take the easy-to-find, deliciously fruity cider over the rare, kind-of-icky gluten-free beer on tap. With a side of pub fries, please.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A diner breakfast

I visited Bob's Red Mill in Milwuakie, Ore. on Memorial Day weekend. Along with a store front (and awesome prices on baking mixes), they have a cafe that serves breakfast and lunch. I got home fries, scrambled eggs, and GF toast -- the first toast I'd had since my diagnosis.

Side note: My husband's uncle apparently goes to Model A club with Bob's Red Mill owner, Bob Moore, and introduced me to him. He sports a red coat, cap and trimmed white beard, just like on the company logo. I was a little star-struck.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Recipe: Gluten-Free Marbled Peanut Butter-Chocolate Brownies

Before my CD diagnosis, I never had a sweet tooth.

Post-diagnosis, I've wanted sugary sweets every single day. Maybe I'm craving it because I eat less carbs now? Maybe because most gluten-free baking books have desserts on the cover? I don't know why, and I try to resist the urge, but man oh man -- all I want is cookies and cakes and scones.

Enter Marbled Peanut Butter-Chocolate Brownies.

Awww, yeah.

I made up this recipe after seeing a similar-looking treat at a potluck. The original married chocolate chip cookie bars and brownies into one sexy-looking dessert.

But I didn't want cookies. I wanted peanut butter. I used a standard flourless peanut butter cookie recipe and combined it with a fudgy brownie box mix for an easy bar that looks... kinda fancy. Because the dough and batter are dropped in alternating spoonfuls, the brownie is marbled throughout instead of just on top. It's not the first time it's been done, but man, I was proud of myself.

More importantly, they taste good. I brought some to work and my sugar-conscious boss kept sneaking small pieces.

Gluten-Free Marbled Peanut Butter-Chocolate Brownies

1 box Betty Crocker gluten-free brownie mix
1 cup natural smooth peanut butter*
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch non-stick pan.

In medium bowl, combine brownie mix, butter and two of the eggs. In separate bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and remaining egg.

Place alternating spoonfuls of brownie batter and peanut butter dough in the pan. Try to get a good mix of the two, but don't swirl them together too much. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting, or you will be eating peanut butter chocolate crumbs instead of brownies.

*For this recipe, I recommend natural peanut butter -- many peanut butter brands contain added sugar (or, in some cases, HFCS), which results in a way-too-sweet dessert. I use Adam's 100% Natural Peanut Butter, which has to be stirred. For best results, stir and refrigerate before use -- at least a few hours. Otherwise, the peanut butter is oily and the dough doesn't hold as well.

Two kinds of pizza

I made this pizza made with Bob's Red Mill pizza crust. On the left: tomato and basil sauce, mozzarella, and crushed plum tomatoes. On the right: pesto, spinach, feta, a tiny bit of mozzarella and plum tomatoes.