Friday, December 21, 2012

Berry Cream Muffins

Double post today!  Muffins convert so nicely when the recipe includes added moisture in the form of sour cream, applesauce, zucchini, etc.  These ones are so great for breakfast.  Husband and I are headed off to the mountains today to have a little Christmas celebration just the two of us.  Our hotel includes a continental breakfast, but I just never know if that will include something I can eat.  So I'm baking muffins to bring along!

Christmas Cookies

Every year at Christmas, my Mom made my favorite cookies.  The soft white ones cut into fun shapes with icing and sprinkles on top.  They were one of the first to go after she became a celiac.  Something about being the only one eating gluten free took the motivation out of experimenting for her.  I think now that there are two of us (albeit in different homes), we are both a little more eager to make our favorites again.  This year has been a big one for experimenting and trying new recipes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gluten Free Pasta - Version 1

Cooking/baking gluten free has taught me two very important life lessons:  patience and persistence.  In my quest to make delicious homemade gluten free pasta, I found two types of recipes.  The first type, which is what you'll find below, uses xanthan gum.  The second version uses psyllium husk powder, but I'll get to that another day.

My first attempt at gluten free pasta went... okay.  The dough dried out really fast and just sort of crumbled.  But it tasted amazing!  It even smelled like normal pasta dough!  Most of the pictures below are from the first attempt.  My chef-in-the-making little brother came over to help me on my first attempt at GF pasta.  He found this process insanely frustrating.  But I'd say we learned a very important lesson (or two) that day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gluten Free Gnocchi

Gnocchi are little pasta-potato dumplings.  I tried them for the first time when I studied abroad in Italy, and I believe it was love at first bite.  When I first went GF, I was happy to find that Kinnickinnick sold GF gnocchi, and they were delicious.  My only complaint was the amount in the package for the price.  But aren't all GF products that way?  My lovely sister in law mentioned that making gnocchi was unbelievably easy, so it shouldn't be too hard to convert to GF.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

My husband was craving cookies.  It isn't very often that he makes requests for food, so when he gives them I get excited.  However, since it is only the two of us in our home, I see no reason to go out and buy regular flour.  In fact, I flat out refuse to contaminate my kitchen with regular flour.  Besides, why should I bake cookies that I can't even eat?!  I find it easiest to go check out other GF blogs because there are lots of people out there that have paved the way ahead of me with GF baking.  This recipe came from Gluten Free Goddess.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yorkshire Pudding

I have been craving yorkshire pudding for quite some time.  Paired with a good beef roast and mashed potatoes, it adds the perfect vessel for that delicious homemade gravy.  Good home cooking comfort food.  Well my local grocery store had a fabulous deal on oven roast beef cuts (buy one get one free!), and that was enough motivation for me to find the right recipe and try this.

Stumbling block: self rising flour.  Wait... what?  I had never heard of such a thing, let alone GF self rising flour.  Now, you know I have a problem with premixed flours from the store.  I find baking just turns out so much better if you do things from scratch.  Luckily, a little research produced a recipe for the self rising flour.

Banana Bread/Muffins

This recipe credit goes to my mother.  Our church had a breakfast potluck last week and she quickly whipped these up that morning.  GF muffins are better fresh anyways.  OH MY GOODNESS!  These muffins were so moist and fluffy and delicious.  I wish you could have seen the excitement on my face when she came in with those muffins.  For everyone who is celiac or gluten intolerant, you know what I am talking about.  You arrive at a breakfast potluck, take one look at the spread and "I guess I'll have the fruit."  I love fruit, but that is NOT a sufficient breakfast on its own.  So next time you are attending a breakfast potluck (or you just want some delicious muffins), whip up a batch of these.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

There is an abundance of zucchini between my place and my parents place.  My siblings/parents have been picking it every other day, and if they don't... they grow to incredible sizes.  I love zucchini, but the only thing I can do with it once it gets that big is make zucchini bread!  Which is okay because I love zucchini bread.  Especially when you throw in cocoa and chocolate chips!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gluten Free Almond Danish

This is one that I tried before I got my final diagnosis, and before I started pondering a gluten-free blog.  I think in the future I'll try to take pictures of the process, but this time all you get is the final product!

The development of this recipe came from the recollection that the dough resembled that of cream puffs.  I whipped out my trusty search engine and began looking for a gluten free cream puff recipe.  I knew that the best gluten free flour mixes contain 1 part flour and 1 part starch.  I also knew that ready made gluten free "all purpose" mixes really didn't do the trick.  Why?!?  No GF flour mix is truly "all purpose" because every type of flour has a different property.  The goal is to find the right balance between these properties for the type of dough you are creating.  A cream puff dough has a different consistency than a bread dough or a muffin dough, and so on.  Once I found a combination that seemed about right, I substituted it into a pre-existing recipe from Taste of Home.  (link further down)  And voila!  I burnt those toasted almonds a little...  too much multi-tasking in the kitchen for me!

The Beginning

I am a celiac, and this means accepting the challenge of cooking (and baking) a whole new way.

But who said eating gluten free had to be tasteless and boring?  A few years ago, let alone a decade ago, a celiac diagnosis was significantly more devastating than it is now.  It is becoming so common, alongside people's choices to simply eat healthier.  More GF food products are available, and even restaurants are becoming increasingly celiac friendly.  I am really not surprised at this diagnosis for myself.  My grandmother has had it for as long as I've known, and my mother has had it for a few years already also.  They gave up pastries, brownies, home baked bread... and the list goes on.  But as we (the celiacs) grow in numbers in our family, the motivation to discover how to bake these delicacies again also grows.

So here I go!  With the help of gluten-free bloggers ahead of me, and a few favourite recipes, I embrace the challenge of cooking (and baking) gluten free.  Just for fun, I decided I'd share my adventures along the way.  Feel free to tag along!