It has been a busy week so I am going to let the photos do the talking and we are going straight to the recipe.

 

Just know that I have perfected this recipe over the last eight years and, with a little patience, anyone can make these. 

 
Recipe for Gluten Free Cut Out Cookies



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Ingredients


  • 1 ½ cups white rice flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • 1 Tablespoon dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 sticks (16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature (use Earth Balance for dairy free)
  • 1 cup fine bakers sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the Gluten Free Frosting


  • 1 pound box of powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk (use almond milk for dairy free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick butter (use Earth Balance for dairy free)

 

Preparation

 

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients to form one consistent texture – white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, dry milk powder and xanthan gum. 
  2. In your electric mixer beat butter, sugar and salt until creamy.   About 5 minutes.
  3. Beat in egg yolks, lemon and vanilla.
  4. On slow speed, beat in the dry mixture one cup at a time until just combined.
  5. Divide dough into three equal parts, flatten into disc, wrap separately in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, overnight or at least one hour.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Gluten free dough can be sticky and challenging to work with.  Over the course of making cookies the last eight years, I have learned a few tricks:
  • The dough really does need to be cold.  So don’t skip the refrigeration part.
  • If your house is hot, open a window or turn up the AC.  A warm room temperature will turn the dough into a sticky mess.
  • Generously flour the work surface and your rolling pin with cornstarch.  I love my Silicone Baking Mat with Measurements that I very generously coat with cornstarch.  For a roller, I use the Kitchenaid Gourmet Rolling Pin that is also generously coated with corn starch.

8.  Roll out one disk at a time to 1/8-inch thickness, leaving the other dough in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. 

 

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9.  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.

 

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10.  With a metal spatula, transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  If the dough seems particularly soft, pop the cookie sheet with the cookies on it, in the refrigerate for another 30 minutes to set the dough again.

 

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11.  Bake 10 – 12 minutes, until lightly golden.

12. Slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheet onto the kitchen counter and let cool.

To make the frosting: Combine all of the ingredients with your electric mixer until you reach the desired consistency.

 

 

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PRINTABLE VERSION


Chocolate Covered Strawberries

February 09, 2014

 

Like waking up to snow all over the ground. 

 

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Or swinging in the backyard.

 

 

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Or a beautiful sunset.

 

 

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Sometimes we have the time to prepare beautiful elaborate meals and treats. 

 

But other times, we have 15 minutes. 

 

I don’t think that these are any less special just because they are easy.  In fact, my family loves Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

 

So here is your really easy and quick recipe that will make everyone smile. 

 
Recipe for Chocolate Covered Strawberries

 

 

Chocolate_covered_strawberries

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 pound strawberries with stems (the bigger the better) washed and dried very well
  • 6 ounces GF semisweet chocolate
  • Parchment paper

 

For the chocolate, I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels that were sent to me by Enjoy Life.

 

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I am a big fan of all of the Enjoy Life Chocolates for baking because they are not only good, but they are Certified Gluten Free.   They are also allergen friendly as they are dairy, nut and soy free! 

The Dark Chocolate Morsels worked particularly well with this recipe to give the strawberries an extra rich taste.   You can buy them online from Enjoy Life or you can order Enjoy Life Morsels Regular Sized Dark Chocolate -- 9 oz from Amazon.com.

 

Preparation

 

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  • Rinse the strawberries and pat until completely dry.  Do not cut the stems off.
  • Heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 50 percent power for 1 minute.  Stir and heat at 50 percent power, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

 

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  • Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the bottom half of each strawberry in the melted chocolate and coat. 

 

 

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  • Place strawberries on parchment paper until the chocolate sets. 

 

 

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  • Repeat with the remaining strawberries.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

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PRINTABLE VERSION

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

February 06, 2014

 

Before going gluten free, I am not sure that I noticed just how big of a role food plays in our lives.  But now that we have to think about everything we consume, it can feel like we go from one holiday to the next.  And every occasion requires new research into what is safe and what is not safe.

 

This Flourless Chocolate Cake will make your loved ones swoon on Valentine’s Day. 

 

Serve it while you watch the movie Chocolat for a fun evening.  Chocolat is a movie about a young woman and her daughter who open a chocolate shop in a small French village.  The opening of the chocolate shop during lent causes a battle between Christian beliefs and paganism.   We just watch the movie for the love story and the love of chocolate.   

 

Recipe for Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cake

 

TIME: 1 hour plus overnight

Use Earth Balance to make this recipe dairy free.


 

gluten_free_flourless_chocolate_cake

 

Ingredients

 

  • 8 large eggs, cold
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces (use Earth Balance for dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting the cake and strawberries for decoration

 

 

gluten_free_flourless_chocolate_cake

 

Preparation

 

1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom of a Non-Stick 8-Inch Springform Pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of heavy-duty foil. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

2. Beat the eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer at high speed for about 5 minutes or until the volume doubles to approximately 1 quart.

3. Heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 50 percent power for 2 minutes.  Stir and add the butter and coffee.   Heat at 50 percent power, stirring every minute, until the chocolate and butter are melted and are smooth.

4.  Using a large rubber spatula, fold the egg foam into the chocolate mixture working in batches.  Fold a third of the egg foam into the chocolate mixture until only a few streaks of egg are visible.   Then fold in half of the remaining foam.  Then fold in the last of the foam, until the mixture is homogenous.

5. Set the prepared spring form pan inside the roasting pan.  Add the batter to the spring form pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.  Set the roasting pan on the lower-middle position of the oven rack.   Bake 22 to 25 minutes, until the cake has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set and a thin glazed crust (like a brownie) has formed on the surface.  When finished, an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the center will read 140 degrees.  

6. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

7. 30 minutes before serving, remove the sides of the pan; invert the cake onto a sheet of waxed paper and peel off the parchment paper.

Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and decorate with strawberries cut in quarters and lined around the outside of the cake.

Use a thin-bladed knife to cut, dipping the knife into a pitcher of hot water and wiping the blade before each cut.

 

 

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Original Source of this Recipe is Baking Illustrated.

 

PRINTABLE VERSION


Vegetarian Nacho Pie

January 31, 2014

 

This dish may be vegetarian, but let’s be clear this is not health food.  Anything that starts with ½ cup of butter and includes ¼ cup whipping cream is not going to be featured on a health network. 

 

This is football food! 

 

I wish you could of heard the “oh my goodness this is good” which rang out from the kitchen table when I served this dish. 

 

Recipe for Gluten Free and Vegetarian Nacho Pie


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Ingredients

 

  • 3 cups GF chicken broth  
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup GF flour (any kind of GF Flour will work)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
  • 4 cups GF tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz.)


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Preparation

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a saucepan, heat broth over medium-high heat.
  3. In a deep skillet, melt butter and 2 tablespoons of the warm broth over medium-high heat.
  4. Add carrots, onion, garlic, seasoning, pepper and salt. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender.
  5. Gradually whisk in flour.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in whipping cream and remaining warm broth.
  7. Heat to boiling.  Add beans and corn.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
  9. Spoon into a greased, 2 quart baking dish.
  10. Top with crushed tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese.
  11. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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PRINTABLE VERSION



Gluten Free Calzones

January 29, 2014

I was thinking of waiting to post this recipe until I had better photos because the photos really do not do the recipe justice.  These Calzones taste great and they are really easy to roll out.  But it is so dark in the beautiful Pacific Northwest at this time of the year that it is really hard to get good photos at dinnertime. 

Here is photo of how dark my kitchen is at this time in the evening – the black rectangular thing is actually the base of my SUPER BRIGHT LIGHT that I use to light up the kitchen. 

 

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Adding to my issues with these photos is that I made them before a high school basketball game.  While I was trying to adjust the light to get at least one good shot, my Gluten Free Teen (who helped me make them) was standing there anxiously tapping her foot because “Mom I need to leave.” 

So here you have a great recipe and not so great photos. 

 

Recipe for Gluten Free Calzones

 

gluten_free_calzones

 

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup millet flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup tapioca starch
  • ¼ cup dry milk powder (for dairy free use Vance's DariFree)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 Tablespoons GF flaxseed meal
  • 1 pack GF active yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus additional sea salt for sprinkling on top
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil (plus additional olive oil for sprinkling on top)

Your choice of fillings.

 

Preparation

1.  Whisk together the brown rice flour, millet flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, dry milk powder, xanthan gum, GF flaxseed meal, yeast and salt until they become one consistent flour-like texture.
2.  Add to the bowl of your mixer.
3.  Add the wet ingredients.
4.  Mix until a firm dough ball is formed.  This will not take too long.
5.  If the dough is not holding together, add more olive oil as needed.
6.  Next roll out the dough on a surface lightly floured with cornstarch until it is about 1/8 inch thick.   Add more olive oil if too dry.  Be careful with the starch because the dough will not stick together if you get too much of it on the dough. 

I love my Silicone Baking Mat with Measurements.  I highly recommend it if you do much Gluten Free baking that requires rolling things out such as cookies, pies, calzones or scones.

 

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Cover with saran wrap that has been sprayed with oil and let rest for 30 minutes.  Even though this recipe has yeast in it, the idea is not for the dough to rise much.  The yeast is just added for flavor.  
7.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
8.  Cut out the calzones – the easiest way to do this is with a medium round mixing bowl. Simply use it like a cookie cutter.

 

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Move to a cookie sheet.   The Pastry Scraper/Chopper makes moving the Calzones a breeze. 

 9.  Fill the lower third of the circle with your choice of fillings. Some favorites:

  • Pizza or pasta sauce,
  • Cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, and goat cheese or your favorite non-dairy cheese alternative,
  • Olives, onions, red pepper, mushrooms,
  • Pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon,
  • Salt, fresh basil, parsley.

 

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10.  Fold the calzone in half bringing the exposed edges together.  Seal the edges. 

 

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11.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
12.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Let cool - the insides will be hot.

 

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PRINTABLE VERSION



I have been adding new places to eat Gluten Free in Paris to my website. I am thinking I need to schedule another trip – for research purposes of course. 

 

Paris can be tricky but it is getting easier as more dedicated gluten free cafes and bakeries open.  A successful trip begins with the attitude that you will be happy with naturally gluten free food that is beautifully prepared and delicious.   Supplement these meals with a few visits to some of the gluten free bakeries listed on my website and you will have a wonderful trip. 

 

The funny thing about Paris is that there are places where we have eaten out very successfully multiple times, such as Brasserie Balzar.  We were not served gluten free bread or pasta, but I have had two delicious meals at the restaurant.  At the same time, I heard from another traveler who was told there was nothing gluten free on the menu.

 

What can I say, it is the French!  It always helps to start with a very warm Bon Jour and a smile and a parlez-vous anglais and a French dining card.  If you are making reservations, let them know your diet restrictions when you call. 

 

Here are two new places to eat Gluten Free in Paris:

 

Biosphère Café

47, rue Laborde 75008 Paris

01 42 93 45 58

Biosphere_Cafe

Biosphere_Cafe

Biosphere_Cafe

Biosphere_Cafe

 

 

Biosphère Café is a dedicated gluten free and organic creperie.

They offer all kinds of gluten free food including fresh baked baguettes, pizza, creamy soups, quiches, macaroons and pastries...

At BIOSPHERE CAFÉ:

Everything is gluten free and homemade.

Everything is organic except the ham and meat.

They also have some pastries that are both gluten free and dairy free.

Located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It is recommended that you call ahead for a reservation.  A good place for lunch and a special treat.

 

Papy Bio

51 rue de Richelieu

75001 Paris

01.43.66.31.77

A new gluten free bakery in Paris that opened Fall of 2013. 

 

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I have not visited myself but according to the website they make gluten free bread, pastries and macaroons.   I believe they also deliver throughout Paris.  Let us know if you get a chance to visit.  The macaroons look wonderful and they emailed me these photos of their tasty treats. 

 

 Follow this link for more places to Eat Gluten Free in Paris. 

 

If you need a tour guide, email me!  Wouldn't that be fun! 

 


Glutino_Honey-Mustard_Pretzels

 

My daughter saw the package of Glutino Honey Mustard Pretzels and declared, “My life is complete!”  (I am not joking). 

She went on to exclaim, “Do you know how long I have waited for these?”  Yes, I do.  Nine years to be exact. 

She then proceeded to stalk me around the kitchen until I had a chance to snap this photo.

 

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Yes, they are good.  Very Good.

So good that after the photo, my daughter promptly grabbed the bag and asked me to order more. 

As she walked away with the bag, she added that these would be great to serve during the Seahawks game on Sunday. (Yes, we had to throw that in somewhere - Go Seahawks!)

 

Glutino_Honey-Mustard_Pretzels

 

Need I say more?

 

From Glutino:

 

6 oz. bag

$5.79

 

 

6-Pack (6 x 6 oz. bag)

$28.74

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Corn Starch, Potato Starch, Rice Flour, Soluble Corn Fiber, Palm Oil, Canola Oil, Honey Mustard Seasoning (Sugar, Onion Powder, Dextrose, Salt, Maltodextrin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Prepared Mustard [Distilled Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, Turmeric], Dry Honey, Citric Acid, Spice, Vinegar Solids, Canola Oil, Torula Yeast, Turmeric Extractives, Tricalcium Phosphate, Acetic Acid, Natural Flavor), Sugar, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Yeast Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Salt, Citric Acid

Follow this link to order on-line.

 

Looking for more Gluten Free Snack Ideas?  Click HERE.



The Hike Up

January 16, 2014

This is a photo from a waterfall from one of my favorite places in the entire world, Princess Louisa Inlet on the West Coast of Canada.  

 

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Princess Louisa is a five-mile inlet with mile high sheer rock cliffs that ends in a cascading fall known as Chatterbox Falls.  

 

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Chatterbox Falls is a breathtaking destination on its own.

 

But in a wet season you can stand (or sit) on your boat or kayak,

 

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and take in a 360° view that includes more than 15 or so waterfalls, some of them not starting until 3000 feet high and then ending long before the sheer cliff walls reach the water. 

 

We found this waterfall one afternoon and had to climb it. 

 

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I was a bit skittish that day about bears – I am actually always a bit skittish about bears.   The hair was standing up on the back of my neck as we set off.  I was extra nervous that we were going to bump into one because the rushing water was just loud enough that you could not hear 3 or 4 feet away from you.  I was worried we would not hear the bear, but worse yet, I was worried the bear would not hear us.

 

Another hazard on this hike up the waterfall were the loose boulders. 

 

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Somewhat dangerous for the one in the lead but even worse yet for those below as occasionally a boulder would come loose and it was a “look out below” yell that went out for anyone in the path of the boulder.

 

But we persevered and eventually reached some beautiful pools where we took a dip (and a shower - literally).

 

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What has brought this climb to my attention? 

 

My daughter started a blog as part of a project at school and she posted the waterfall photo.  At the same time, I have been working on a blog post about Starting the Gluten Free Diet. 

 

When I saw this photo I thought - what a perfect representation of how Going Gluten Free can feel in the beginning.   To go truly and completely gluten free is not an easy thing.  When we first went GF, I felt like I was drowning in information and misinformation and adjustments.  Along the way, I have also felt some boulders flying at me like Going out to Dinner, Camps for my Kids, not to mention Traveling. 

 

But I dodged the boulders and I kept climbing even though it was challenging, and eventually we did reach a spot where we could sit and relax and just live again. 

 

So if you are new to GF, just keep climbing, watch out for the boulders, and eventually you will be relaxing in the sun again. 

 

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Gluten Free Smart Soup

January 13, 2014

Smart Soup is a family business, owned and operated out of Richmond, BC.  They sent me a sample of the soups to try.  I have to admit that I had somewhat low expectations.  After cooking from scratch for so many years, I did not think I would like a fast and easy throw in the microwave and have ready in 5 minutes soup.  But at lunchtime I keep going back to the freezer and getting them out until the samples were all gone.  They are very flavorful.  In fact, some were maybe a little too spicy for me but overall a good option for a quick and easy lunch. 

 smart_soup.png

In addition to gluten free, all of the soups are:

 

-All natural, with no preservatives

-Low sodium

-Low fat and low in cholesterol

-American Heart Association Certified as a Heart Healthy food

(Heart-Check mark)

-Good source of fiber

-Vegan/vegetarian

-Made only from REAL ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce.

 

 

The soups are conveniently packaged in single servings that are ready in the microwave in minutes.  This makes them a great option for the lunch box, a college student or a quick grab-and-go lunch for at work.

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According to the company:

In order to ensure we comply with our gluten free claim, our procedures include the following:

-All food contact equipment is swabbed prior to production for allergens (including gluten) and verified by QA,

-No gluten products are produced on the same day as the gluten free

products,

-We have external lab tests verifying the gluten levels are well below

10 ppm,

-In addition, our employees follow proper Good Manufacturing Practices

(GMP).

 

 

Smart Soup is located in the freezer section and carried in all Super Target stores in the U.S., with more retailers coming soon.  Locations.

 
Follow this link to More Gluten Free Frozen Food Options.