Monday, December 28, 2009

A Gluten Free Holiday

Ahhh, holiday baking.

Well, some things worked. Some things didn't. Some just need some more work.

On the " Wow, I can't believe I can eat this again " list:
Nanaimo bars - mint
Sugar cookies
Peanut butter balls
Fried Rice
Chicken Balls
Cinnamon buns

On the "needs more work" list:
Egg Rolls - I need a better deep fryer and they needed to be a little thinner and cook a little longer. Still delicious though.

Plus the usual stuff for different holiday dinners:
Grilled steak and lobster tails
Glazed Ham
Roast Beef and Gravy

Sadly, I have no real pictures of it all. Other than these:

Friday, December 11, 2009

mmm, Perogies

I've only had perogies once in my life before these. Safeway Potato and Bacon. Boiled and then fried in bacon and onions. Bacon fried in onions. Onions fried in bacon. I think that's why I enjoyed it so much.

So why would I even want them now that I can't have them? Because I can't have them.
I looked around the Internet. Found an American supplier but it was really difficult to find out where they were actually sold. Okay.... Seems there is a Canadian vendor at a farm market northeast of Toronto. I don't feel like driving.

Found a couple recipes on different blogs and after my favourite bakery, GF Patisserie in Cochrane, Alberta, made some, I decided to try it.

Made the mashed potatoes for it with bacon and onion and honestly made 4 times too much but I was more than happy to eat it. It was incredible.

I used the dough recipe from The Celiac Husband but substituted my own flour mix. My mix already has the xanthan in it so I didn't use quite that much. Here it is:


1 3/4 cups GF Patisserie Flour Mix
Some more for dusting
3 teaspoons Xanthan
2 large eggs
1 tbs. sour cream
1/2 cup water; more as needed
Salt & pepper

In a large bowl, combine the flour, eggs (Beat them first), sour cream, and 1/2 cup of water. If dough is sticky, add more flour.
While you fill the perogies, put 5 qt. water on to boil.
Drop the perogies in batches into the boiling water, stirring occasionally. When they float to the top, cook for another minute.
Fish them out with a spider and put them in a bowl. Sauté in butter, simply add some salt and pepper.

Here's the flour mix I used:
1 part brown rice flour
1 part white rice flour
2/3 part potato starch
1/3 part tapioca starch
Add 3/4 tsp xanthan gum for each cup of flour you create.

Bacon & Potato Filling:

3 medium starchy potatoes
2 tbs. unsalted butter; more as needed
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced 2tbs. freshly grated cheese

Ready? Wanna see?

Sour Cream anyone?

Now, to be honest, I didn't cook them right away. Laid them all out flat on a parchment lined cookie sheet and slid them in the freezer overnight. Bagged them up in individual serving.

Now, they are all ready to go whenever I want some. Kind of like going shopping at the grocery store in the freezer aisle. How great is that?

So, the leftover scraps? Rolled them out super thin to make a Chinese wonton. Deep fried them. Just as practice for when I want to make a Chinese meal. Yum.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rolled Sugar Cookies

When I went to a Farmer's Market early this year, I saw a booth with gluten free baked goods. They had some sugar cookies and I think I paid about $5 or $6 for about 8 of them. One bite and that was enough.

If this was what I was in store for, I was already ready to quit.

Christmas time for me, always includes Sugar Cookies. Nice colorful frosted sugar cookies.

For the last few years, I've used one from This one.

With a few changes, I was ready to go!

I scaled it down to 30 cookies but it still made closer to 40.


* 3/4 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup icing sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2-1/2 cups gluten free flour mix*
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

*Bubble Mix - 1 part brown rice flour, 1 part white rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca starch and 3/4 -1 tsp xanthan gum per cup


1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. The recipe says 400F but my first batch got a little dark. Roll out dough on gluten free floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Here they are after they've cooled.

Look at the texture! It looks real!

Sugar Cookie Icing is the one I use. I tripled it for this recipe which was the perfect amount.
* 3 cups confectioners' sugar
* 6 teaspoons milk ( I had to add a little more to get it thinner)
* 6 teaspoons light corn syrup
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or to flavor to how you like
* assorted food coloring


1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

And then try not to eat all of them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sundried Tomato and Basil Cheese Dip

Oh the colors... perfect for the holidays. The creamy white cheese, the fresh green basil and the dark red sundried tomatoes all combine to create a festive party appetizer.

I'm always asked for the recipe and it really couldn't be simpler.

I make it two ways. There's the classic way and there's the messy way. Go for whichever one you prefer.
I don't even have any exact measurements for it in fact.

Havarti cheese, fresh basil, sundried tomatoes ( not the ones that are oil-packed ), garlic, salt and pepper. Sound easy enough?

Let's get started.

Boil a couple cups of water and let the tomatoes rehydrate for about 10 minutes while you work on the basil and garlic.

Rinse and dry your basil and pull off all the leaves. Roll them up and then chiffonade and chop the basil into small pieces.

Take your garlic cloves and peel them and then mince them all up. I'd use 3 cloves for this size piece of cheese. I only used 2 here and found it could use a little more.

Now that your tomatoes have soaked up some of the water and become grown-up tomatoes again, drain and chop them up. My knives are never sharp enough so I cut them into pieces with scissors sometimes.

Time to make the cheesy dip!!

Toss your tomatoes, garlic and basil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Here's where the 2 ways to make this come in.

You can lay the cheese in a nice bowl and spread the tomatoes and basil over top. We're going to microwave it until it's nice and melty so then you can dig in and get a nice cheesy smear.


You can coarsely cut the cheese into small cubes and mix it into the tomatoes and basil. This way, when you melt the cheese, it's all mixed up for you.

For a party, the first way is more presentable but I like to make this and then freeze some and the second way makes this a little easier.

Stick it in the microwave for about 1 minute or until it's all nice and melty.

To finish it off, if you don't have a nice gluten-free baguette all sliced and ready to go, I like Rice Works Sea Salt Crisps.

Grab a crisp and smear some cheesy dip all over it!

Check this out for more party ideas!!


Swiss Chalet

Sometimes you just want something familiar. When I was on vacation with friends in the Dominican a few years ago, we were chilling in the pool area, having some cocktails and lamenting the lack of familiar food. Granted, the food was great to me to me at least since I've always been a bit of a plain eater.

But the talk soon turned to Swiss Chalet. Rotisserie chicken with chalet sauce with french fries and a soft roll is a classic. We all made plans for a couple of weeks after the trip, to meet there and have dinner once again.

Now I can't eat the exact same thing that I did then but I don't mind. Quarter chicken with white meat, salad with Italian dressing and no bun and I'm a happy camper.

The fries are cooked in oil that sometimes fries other breaded items so I stay far away from that.

But other than that, it's a quick fantastic gluten free meal. Check it out here: Swiss Chalet Allergy Guide

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Banana Crumb Muffins

I've never been a muffin girl. Muffin-top yes but big muffin eater? No.
Unless there were chocolate chips muffins, then it was another story.

Then I discovered Banana Crumb Muffins

Oh, plus chocolate chips.

The other day, I decided to give it a go. What have I got to lose?


* 1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour mix*
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 bananas, mashed
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1/3 cup butter, melted
* Chocolate Chips - however many you like - 1/2 cup -3/4 cup
* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons Gluten free flour mix*
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon butter


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers. Now, I make 12 muffins while the real recipe calls for 10 so my muffins are a little on the smaller side. So you decide which you would prefer.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened and add chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

*Gluten Free flour Mix - 1 part brown rice flour, 1 part white rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca starch and 3/4 -1 tsp xanthan gum per cup

Mmmm, tastes exactly the same as my old wheat flour filled version.

How good does that look???

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Favorite Flour Mix

Flour. So many blends... so little time.

I guess that's how it is. I've tried some recipes and mixed together the required quantities. I'm not a big fan of sorghum so far. Maybe that's just me and my impatience since I've only used in yeast breads so far. Yeast breads that I haven't let rise enough.

What I do like is the blend I'm using now.
It's a takeoff of Bette Hagman's.

1 part brown rice flour
1 part white rice flour
2/3 part potato starch
1/3 part tapioca starch
Add 3/4 tsp xanthan gum for each cup of flour you create.

I make double the batch and then I have it to use for a few recipes. Like Scones, Italian Plum Cake and Banana Crumb Muffins.

A Few of My Favorite Things

I hate missing out on things.

And that means food.

There is so much that I'm not able to eat any more. The convenience is out. The middle of the grocery store is pretty much a waste of time.

Your friends say "How can you do it?" "You can eat that, can't you?" or "That must suck".

And I can do it. I can't eat that. But no, it doesn't suck.

Not eating wheat and barley and rye certainly is a change. But to me, it's a fun challenge.
Perogies, fish and chips, onion rings, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and gravy aren't far-flung dreams. They are some of my successes. So when I want those things that everyone else can have, I can have them too. And so can you. You'll see.
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