I need COOKIES

Seriously, cookies. Hello. It’s Christmas for pete’s sakes. We need cookies. Here are some of the links to favorites around here. More posted later?…yeah, stay tuned on that.  I might be motivated to write a whole entire post about “cookie baking day” when you are gluten and egg free… or, I might be busy eating too many cookies, only time will tell.

Sugar cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookies 

Snoballs

PeanutButter Cookies

Macaroons

Noodly-Noodles For Real

 

 

 

gfnoodlesWhen I switched to gluten free noodles, there were lots of trial and error meals with noodles that were all substandard. I bought rice noodles all over town, any store that had anything that was safe to cook, we tried. More often than not, we wondered why we thought we needed noodles back in our diets. We finally settled on the Tinkyada brand for anything “noodle”, and they are okay. They cook up well and hold their shapes and do whatever job a noodle needs to do… and frankly I am happy to have the option. It’s beginning to look a lot like mac and cheese season, and we need noodles!! But, they are still different enough that the gluten eaters in the house (that I still have to cook for) won’t touch the rice noodles. Well, they will eat them, they just aren’t real happy about the experience. Whatever.

Enter the Barilla brand gluten free pasta box into the noodle challenge.

Done. These are great noodles. They cook and look and taste just like “real” pasta. AND!!! The resident gluten eater said that if I hadn’t told him they were GF, that he wouldn’t have been able to tell.

Done. We have a new pasta brand!!! In. The. House. yay

 

 

Garlic Toast

Not really toast… but look out! Remember that cinnamon roll dough? Yeah, the one that makes cinnamon rolls or pizza rolls? yeah, well …if you substitute the plain butter for GARLIC infused butter.. and sub the brown sugar with parmesan cheese? Oh. my. goodness. Garlic rolls to drool over!!!! Really yummy with spaghetti. Crazy easy and they freeze and reheat really well, too.

Sourdough Garlic rolls 

  • one recipe of sourdough rolls
  • 3 Tblspoons butter, melted
  • 5 cloves of garlic – browned in the butter
  • 2/3 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/c C grated colby-jack cheese

Roll and let rest for 30 minutes, then bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until browned to your liking.

What to do with BBEEAANNSZ

I was recently given some dried beans by an elderly neighbor. She only reheats her prepackaged food these days, and thought I might want a freakishly large package of dried mixed beans for something, …”since you cook”.

I have been in the habit of buying canned beans, but there is no way that I *CAN’T* process my own beans… I just don’t, or more precisely, haven’t lately.

Oh fine. So I cooked the beans. Stop the presses! Alert the media! Cooking your own beans is cheaper, to be sure. And not difficult by any stretch of the imagination. And they are certainly gluten free… so I cooked them.

So…how do you cook beans from scratch? – Answer? Slowly. Yes, it takes hours. And yes, buying them already cooked in a can that I only have to open and dump into a recipe is easier. I hate to admit it, but these tasted better.

  • 4 Cups of dried beans in 16 cups of water (I used filtered water) in a large enameled cast iron dutch oven. Heavy duty.
  • Let them boil for 2 minutes and then take off the heat- cover and let sit one hour.
  • DRAIN THE WATER.
  • Refill the water and simmer the beans for 2 hours, or until tender. Don’t over think this part. They are done when they are done.  This 4 cups of dried beans resulted in 12 Cups of cooked and ready to use beans for my recipes. Awesome. Thifty. Delicious.

After they had cooled off, I packaged them in 2 cup containers with a little bit of the cooking water. Some in the fridge to use right away in a delicious recipe, and some in the freezer to use later.

So far, we have had “COWBOY BEANS” and chili. mmmm …winter food.

COWBOY BEANS

Cook:

  • 1/2 lb of Jimmy Dean sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped and cooked with the sausage

Add:

  • 4 Cups of pre-cooked beans (drained)
  • 1 can of Bush’s baked beans (Do not drain)

Mix togther and pour over the top:

  • 1/4 Cup warm water
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 T thai chili sauce
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder

Bake at 300 for 1 hour covered, then another 45 minutes to an hour uncovered.

Serve as a main dish, a side dish, or as a nacho topping with corn chips. These were also good as part of enchiladas. And going by the lack of any leftovers… everyone liked it.  Useful dish to be sure.

 

 

Sourdough Biscuits

When we go out to eat, we sometimes choose a restaurant that has long lines,  some antiques to look at, and they serve plates of cornbread or biscuits to munch on while you wait for the meal to arrive. So nice of them to offer, but not so nice if you can’t eat the biscuits and the butter packets aren’t really all that tasty on their own…. so, in my quest for reasons to use my gluten-free sourdough starter, I stumbled across an idea to use the starter in biscuits. Hmmm. Would it work for gluten-free? yes.. yes it did. In fact, these are better than the ones that come on the plate from the star emblazoned apron waitress. Butter? or Jam? hard to choose really. I went with one of each. Now I am off to make some sausage gravy to pour over them for supper… mmmmmmmm biscuits. I am loving this sourdough experiment!!

biscuitsSourdough Biscuits

  • 1 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 Cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 Cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 1/4 Cup butter, slightly softened and cubed
  • 1 cup sourdough batter
  • 4 – 6 Tblspoons of warm water, as needed.

 

Mix the flours and dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the butter and then add the starter and only as much water as you need to make the dough stick together.

Pat out the dough onto a square of wax paper and used a cookie cutter to make round biscuits. Let them rise for an hour, and bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.

Serve warm. With butter. Or jam. Or sausage gravy. Really.

 

Play Practice Chicken

We are currently involved in a play production…and we are busy every night for weeks. Who isn’t busy? So, having dinner cooked for me when I get home tonight will be a real treat. THANK YOU, CROCKPOT!!!! I rarely use this contraption because I would rather cook in other ways, but when it’s useful? oh yeah.

Most of the time I set it on “high”, and get whatever it is cooked and done in 3 or 4 hours.. but today, we are taking the slow “low” temp approach and it will be slowly stewing itself all afternoon and be done when I get home late tonight.

I decided to make “something” in the crockpot for tonight, but really had to use up some things from the fridge… creative economy and “Whatchagot stew”. I found some chicken and carrots and potatoes… mmmmm maybe over noodles? The sauce that it’s cooking in should make a nice gravy if I thicken it just a little bit at the end of the cooking time.

YAY dinner!

Crockpot Chicken For Busy Days

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders, slightly defrosted and cubed.
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups of baby carrots (leftovers from the back of the  fridge-because no one will eat them otherwise…drat.)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • one clove of garlic – peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth (more or less what was left in the fridge from something else I cooked last week) ymmv
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 Cup gluten-free tamari sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Worchestershire sauce

Layer it all into a large crockpot. Set it to “low” and go do your thing. Come back in 6-8 hours. Make some noodles and thicken the gravy. Should be delicious.

I  use the Tinkyada brand noodles. Can’t decide if the penne or the spiral noodles will be better for this. hmmmm. Whichever, it’s still easy dinner.

 

 

New to Gluten Free?

Hang on to your wallet. If you are new to gluten-free, it’s easy to spend waaaaay too much money on boxed food with labels that say GLUTEN FREE. That’s fine, but there is an easier way.

Cook.   Bake and make it yourself.

It’s tastier from your own kitchen anyway, but those pre-baked and processed boxes are handy in a pinch.

Stick to plain food. Think whole fruit- berries- potatoes-rice- plain meat. Use your crockpot. Really. Try to stay away from processed food-and sauces or mixes, as much as you can, and you will be on the right track. Call me if you want a menu plan based on whatever you are used to eating, I can help you make it safe for gluten free.. and my family loves my food, and not all of them are gluten-free, so there’s that. Plus, I learned to cook from my grandmother…so, you know it’s yummy. Who doesn’t love grandma’s cooking? Really.

Not all of my recipes are on this blog… so if you are looking for something, let me know!

Sugar cookies ….gotta have these…This is my favorite recipe. We make it several times a month. Freezes well. 

Wonder Dough ….I use this for everything… pizza, breadsticks, pretzels, etc

Bread ….real bread? yeah it’s possible. good with jam. Here’s one recipe.

Pancakes!! ….yes please

Chocolate Waffles .. uh.. yes.

Brownies …duh!

Alright, Alright! Cinnamon Rolls…

cin5The season is changing from summer to autumn… and with all the leaves falling in the yard, I am longing for savory breads and toasty things from the oven.

Today I experimented with sourdough-cinnamon rolls. Okay.. yes please! am I right? Seriously. Yum.

I have never had a cinnamon roll made with sourdough before… seems like I would remember that. And I have never seen a recipe for them either, and I read a LOT of cookbooks… so I modified my favorite recipe to use the sourdough sauce on my counter. Yep, it’s still going strong after weeks of experiments. I wonder how long I can keep it going? Some of the “tips and tricks about sourdough” that I have read, suggested that you can keep in the refrigerator. Eh. The short answer is yes, yes you can. But mine works better if it lives on the kitchen counter, where it can be a constant temperature.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 Cup sourdough batter
  • 1/2 C rice syrup (which I used in place of honey)
  • 2 “eggs” (I used “flax eggs”)
  • 1/4 coconut/hemp/rice milk
  • 1/2 Cups oil
  • 1/2 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 Cup tapioca flour
  • 1 3/4 Cups potato starch
  • 1 Tblspoon dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tblspoon pixie dust xanthan gum

Mixed in the Kitchenaid mixer for about two minutes until well mixed.

Spoon out onto a well dusted waxed paper rectangle.

cin1

 

Then, spread with melted butter (about 3 Tablespoons) an

d sprinkle with

  • 2/3 Cups brown sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon cin2

Using the waxed paper to help pick up and roll the dough, roll into a log. Cut 1 1/2 inch rolls and place cut side up spiralscin3in well greased 9×13 pan. Let rise 30-45 minutes.

cin4

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutescin6

Drizzle with vanilla glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tblspoon butter
  • 2 Tblspoon coconut/hemp/rice milk

 

Sourdough Recipes

I love sourdough bread. I am from the West Coast. Connection?… yeah probably. The sad thing is that bread of any type made with wheat is off the charts bad for me. Not on the list. Nope. Really can’t go there.

So, I have done without my favorite bread forever years. No one should cry over bread. Life is short. But finding gluten-free alternatives is really hard. There are some brands at the store.. sure, but none of them are “real” bread. Certainly not like the kind I used to bake at home. Sooooo… make my own! It’s a quest adventure! On adventure. ahhhhh.

My wish list for real bread:

  • should be delicious.. not gummy.
  • should smell yummy… not smell like chemical stew.
  • should have a shelf life.. not expire in 15 years.
  • should be chewy.. not fall to pieces when you pick it up.
  • should taste good .. not icky.

So…. I started some sourdough exactly like I used to but used gluten-free flours. It takes a minimum of 3 days to get it really working, but when it does… it’s like magic!

Main tips for the gluten-free sourdough sponge:

  • use filtered water
  • “Feed” the sponge every 12 hours for three days
  • …and be patient.

I left it on the counter for three days in a Ziplock container that had a loosely fitted lid available. Finding the right container is most of my struggle with sourdough. Glass or plastic? Either, just not metal, and nothing with a tight lid.

I started by mixing more GF flour, one cup at a time, into the goo about every 12 hours.

I mixed a large batch of gluten-free flour ahead of time: mixing rice flour, potato starch, some tapioca starch and a little bit of potato flour and just added one cup of the mix at each “feeding”. Ratios vary but, generally I use 1 rice, 1 potato starch,  0.3 tapioca starch and possibly some potato flour, but not very much… 1 Tablespoon per cup of rice flour is plenty.

 

The “rules” about making sourdough vary depending on who you listen to…. so, I added flour and probably 1/2 – 3/4 Cup of lukewarm filtered water each time, depending on how soupy it looked when I stirred it. This is not rocket science. Do what looks like it makes sense to you. It will all work out just fine. Mine usually has the consistency of pancake batter.

My favorite gluten-free sourdough bread recipe so far:

Mix together:

  • 1 Cup of sourdough batter
  • 1 1/2 Cup of warmed (not hot) milk (I used rice milk/hemp milk/coconut milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons of softened butter (substitute 1T palm oil if you are dairy free)

Mix these dry ingredients together and add them to the wet ingredients.

  • 2 T potato FLOUR
  • 1/3 C tapioca starch
  • 1/3 C sweet rice flour
  • 1 C rice flour
  • 1 C + 2 tablespoons potato STARCH  –!!– note: potato starch is not potato flour!!
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 /2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of pixie dust xanthan gum

I used my trusty Kitchenaid stand mixer to mix it all together really, really well and then portioned the dough into baking pans. A regular loaf pan of this dough took about 45 minutes to bake at 400 degrees.  I also tried golf ball sized amounts of dough in a greased muffin tin, and those turn out really good at about 20 minutes, also baked at 400.

smallloaves

Mini hamburger buns! Sliders anyone?

Reports back from everyone so far that tried this recipe baked as mini- loaves and as tiny buns has been very positive. I will be making more of this bread for sure.

pancakesSourdough Pancakes:

  • 2 cups sourdough batter
  • 2 cups milk (coconut/hemp/rice)
  • 2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used 1/2 rice flour and 1/2 potato starch)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tblspn sugar
  • 2 Tblspn oil
  • 2 eggs (replaced with flax and hot water)

This is best when mixed and left to rise for about an hour or so before you make the actual pancakes… but it tastes fine if you make them right away too.

 

Sourdough Madness Continues

smallloaves pancakesbiscuits… check

small loaves of bread… check

pancakes… check