12.16.2014

G-F Cookie Exchange 2014

This year the G-F cookie exchange was impressive.   LOOK!  Don't you think?


This was not a G-F event, but thanks to my dear friend Cheryl, who is the most avid non-G-F, gluten-free advocate I know, I enjoy a most beautiful and delicious party.  She goes out of her way to serve safe food and make delightful GF cookies for me.

This year she served two soups that were delicious, crockpot peanut clusters, and my favorite, Millionaire Chex Bars.


G-F Millionaire's Chex Bars

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 bag (10.5 oz) mini marshmallows
  • 7 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 2 bags (15 oz.) caramel cubes or bits (I used Kraft Caramel squares)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (dairy or almond)
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 bag (10oz) dark chocolate chips ( I used melting wafers, melt and spread nicely)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Line 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.  (I just sprayed the pan)  Set aside.

In a 4 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add marshmallows.  Stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until marshmallows are fully melted.  Reduce heat to low; stir in cereal until evenly coated.  Remove from heat;  pour into baking dish.  Use greased rubber spatula or greased hands to press mixture firmly and evenly in dish.  Refrigerate 15 minutes.

In 2 quart saucepan, cook caramels, milk and salt over medium heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted.  Pour mixture over bars, and spread evenly.  Refrigerate 10 minutes.

In double boiler over medium heat or in microwaveable bowl in microwave, melt chocolate.  If using microwave, microwave uncovered on high in 15 to 30 second increments, stirring after each, until melted.  Pour melted chocolate over caramel; spread evenly.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Refrigerate until set. 30 minutes to an 1 hour.  Then cut and serve.

When someone cooks for you, it is truly love.  So passing the love on from our happy home to yours, Happy Baking for the Holidays!

I botched a few cookies just testing recipes until I hit on this one for the exchange.  It turned out delicious.   HAPPY HOLIDAYS.    G-F TWIX Cookies    Photo is there in the center, below the chocolate chip cookie.

GF Twix Cookies

Shortbread Cookies
  • ½ cups butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup cup g-f flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Caramel Layer
  • 15 oz of caramels (like Kraft)  I melted six of my caramels I make for Christmas.
  • 2 Tablespoons evaporated milk

Chocolate layer
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons shortening


Mix up cookie dough adding flour until just not sticky, form balls, place on cookie sheet atop parchment paper.  It does work well to keep them from sticking after baking.  Bake at 350, 10-12 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned.  

Cool cookies swirl melted caramel atop and cool again.  Melt chocolate chips with shortening in microwave stirring often.  Swirl over cooled cookies.

WOW really tasted authentic.  I ate more than I should have.

 

12.15.2014

Final Hurdle for Celiac PILL?

Here's the latest news on the G-F pill.  Sounds like it will be available soon.

http://www.celiac.com/articles/23834/1/BioLineRx-Clears-Latest-Hurdle-for-Celiac-Treatment-Drug/Page1.html

12.09.2014

Celiac Disease and Gluten-free Faddists: They're just trying to Feel Better!

This article nails it. Don't let the fadism keep you from a lasting cure!

"It’s possible that the entire gluten-free craze might have been avoided if celiac disease hadn’t been ignored for so long in our country. For most of the latter half of the 20thcentury, American physicians rarely researched or diagnosed celiac, unlike their European counterparts, and they considered the disease extremely rare. Even now that celiac is known to be one of the country’s most common autoimmune maladies, more than a million Americans are still walking around with undiagnosed celiac. They may suffer from unexplained symptoms; they’re at increased risk for a slew of diseases including thyroid disease, diabetes, and cancer; and the Mayo Clinic says they’re four times as likely to die prematurely as someone without celiac. Celiac afflicts 1 percent of our population, but the vast majority—as much as 83 percent—of that 1 percent are undiagnosed."

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2014/12/gluten_free_fad_don_t_be_annoyed_says_celiac_disease_memoirist.single.html

12.05.2014

G-F Pecan Tassies

A g-f Cookie Exchange.  Happiness on a platter.  Here are the recipes in advance this year.

A chewy and crusty Christmas favorite made gluten free and grain-free!

The gluten-free cookie exchange was delightful with beautiful music, people and food.  It was delicious and I'm posting the delightful recipes that I grabbed.  Thanks Cheryl for the party.  We loved it so much, and I'll be eating for a week... or maybe a day.
Clockwise from left:  Triple Chocolate Cookies,  Mounds Candy,,   Salted Caramel Macaroons,    Caramels, Pecan Turtles, Coconut Caramel bars,  Pecan Tassies, (see recipe below), Pretzel Peanutbutter Buckeyes and Coconut Macaroons.

Cheryl's Pecan Tassies

Crust

1/2 cup butter
1 cup almond flour
3 oz. cream cheese

Mix together, form into one inch  dough balls and place each into a mini muffin pan.  Press to the edges of the pan with your fingers to form a crusty bowl in each tin cup.

Filling:

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon melted butter
1 egg

1/2 cup pecans chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix filling and add a scoop into each dough cup.

Bake at 350 15 minutes and then turn down the oven to 250 and bake 10 more minutes.
Cheryl says she didn't bother to turn down the oven, she just baked them for 20-25 minutes until set.  (That's easier!)

Cool and Try Not To Eat All THESE before you serve them!

11.21.2014

Green Smoothie Muffins

Thumbs Up!  Ultra healthy, veggie filled breakfast muffin that tastes like a red velvet cupcake!   This recipe passed the taste testers, my Shakespeare homeschool class.  There is one student who always asks dubiously "Is It Gluten-free."  

"Yes," I reply.  "It always is, has been, will be."  "That's what you are here for, my test subjects."

The rest of the youth just say, "ShuT Up and Eat fast.  Sometimes we Get TwO!


This week was yum.    

This is just my standard muffin recipe,  I mix the dry, add the wet, dump in greased mini-muffin pans, bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.  Gobble up.  Always gone by nightfall.

1 1/2 cup g-f flour (I always use my healthier grain mix)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon spices (cinnamon today)
dash of salt
1/2 cup  chocolate chips (today, white chocolate--optional)

Mix wet ingredients in a 2 cup measure:

2-3 tablespoons oil (coconut, or vegetable, It's a glug.)
1 egg
1/2 cup fruit sauce(apple sauce, prune sauce, pumpkin, today it was Fruit SMOOTHIE)
1/3 cup honey
Milk up to the two cup mark (almond, rice, soy-- whatever milk)

It's really easy and makes 24 mini muffins.




Celiac to increase to more than 8 million?

I thought the rates of diagnosis was supposed to level out?  What is with this?

http://www.healio.com/gastroenterology/malabsorption/news/online/%7B071ebffb-a7fe-434e-bea8-850005e37d0b%7D/celiac-disease-prevalence-expected-to-exceed-8-million-cases-by-2023

11.19.2014

Thanksgiving - Vegetarian meal loaf GF Nut Roast

last posted 12-2-10 - I'm revisiting and planning my Thanksgiving plans and recipes.  
The Cake Wreck that I posted last week (Cherpumple) is just one sample of the diversity of food.

I thought I'd stick with tradition this Thanksgiving and fix something this year that has been a staple in my food memory from the time I was a child. It wasn't Thanksgiving or Christmas without this delectable dish. My nearest and dearest friends will all remember the nut roast at Sunday dinner.

My grandmother got the recipe from Cookie--yes, for real, Cookie, a camp chef that traveled with the men who worked in the lumber camps up the Mirror Lake Highway. My gramma cooked for the men and slept with her new husband in a log cabin and there were nights when he would jump up and shoot dead the mice that were bothering her.

The biggest challenge she discovered with being a brand-new sixteen year-old bride (like cooking and cleaning for a herd of men wasn't hard enough,) was that her husband was a slaughter-house vegetarian. He couldn't even eat food prepared with lard and would only eat eggs if they were fried in butter. So, this dish was truly a godsend to her budding recipe file.

My father was also a vegetarian and so this dish prospered in our house, but the recipe evolved with just one generation. My cousins make and eat it, but they call it nutloaf and I won't make it with the tomato sauce topping. (I have an aversion to ketchup--I'm sure it's somehow slaughter-house related.)

So this Thanksgiving, I'm making it, mostly for nostalgia, but also because the other tradition of Nut Roast is that it a qualifier for new potential family members, and the boy-friend is coming for Thanksgiving. If he doesn't like Nut Roast... well then. That's all I'm saying.

Two large potatoes, one large carrot, one large onion, and a big handful of walnuts, ground together in a meat grinder (What other use would a vegetarian have for a meat grinder, but I'm sure a food processor would work.) G-f crackers, oatmeal or corn flakes are added and a couple of eggs, salt and pepper are used for binders and the whole thing is pressed into a casserole dish and refrigerated for a day. It is baked for a couple of hours the day of and in the last hour, ketchup or tomato sauce is slathered over the top to bake.

It's obvious to me that I'm going to have to call Mom for the details as it's been too long. Don't forget the salt. Salt is essential and for all that I made, a generous two teaspoons wasn't quite enough, but people salt after anyway right?

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity DOESN'T Exist!

Isn't that a relief?  So for those of you who suffer from it?   STOP IT!

I hope that these researchers are really onto something and that they can figure out what really is the problem.  

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rosspomeroy/2014/05/15/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-may-not-exist/

FODMAPS    Could digestive distress be exascerbated by easily fermentable short-chain carbohydrate foods?   http://chriskresser.com/fodmaps-could-common-foods-be-harming-your-digestive-health

So read up on these types of carbohydrates and see if you can lessen your problems with gluten if you minimize fodmaps in your diet.  


Best Wishes!


11.18.2014

Hookworm therapy for Autoimmune Therapy?

You are going to need a pretty strong stomach to read this one.  I even struggled to find a palatable image.

http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/issues/4_21/fishing_for_cure-2955-1.html?ET=livingwithout:e216384:1037756a:&st=email&s=p_tuesdaytip111814&s=p_tuesdaytip111814&t=t_button

11.17.2014

Good visual and link to Leaky Gut

http://www.jillcarnahan.com/2014/07/07/leaky-gut-syndrome-linked-many-autoimmune-diseases/

leaky-gut-SI

GF Pumpkin Cookies


Fall G-F Baking?  A soft chewy pumpkin cookie that smells up the kitchen and makes a great delivery to the new neighbors.

In honor of Memory Monday's, I'm revisiting the pumpkin recipe cookies that were so delicious as well as reading back on great memories.

Blogs really are the family history scrapbooks of our day.

____________________________
reposted from 6-28-11

DawnL's Pumpkin Cookies

Preheat 400 degrees 15 minutes

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter

Beat together til creamy then add:
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin (canned)

Mix 1 1/2 cup g-f flour (I use my wholegrain flour mix)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder,
1/2 tsp. cinnamon,
1/4 tsp. of ginger,
1/4 tsp. nutmeg and
1/4 tsp. salt

Add dry ingredients to wet, blend, add 1 cup chocolate chips and drop by spoonsful onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until dry and golden brown.

I've written before about refitting recipes--exchanging the regular flour for gluten-free. Although the idea is daunting at first, many of the original chefs for gluten free say it is simple and easy. The more diverse your flour mix is, the better it exchanges.

Many professionals also add that there is no need to add gums if the flours are whole grain and very diverse. I have had some success using buckwheat alone, but my best substitutions have had as few as four or as many as eight different flours sifted together--and I still add guar gum to all my recipes.


______________________________________________________________

College guy is preparing to serve a church mission and he is earning money over the summer for the costs.

It's been great to have him at my every beck and call for whatever task I have, but the guy can work hard labor for eight hours straight!  The wood splitting that I expected to take weeks was finished in three days, so now I'm inventing tasks.


The dream rock garden may get finished, the deck sanded and repainted, the entire acreage pruned and the front porch repaired!

The only downside to the situation is trying to keep the guy fed. I've grown accustomed to baking less, and I'm stoking the bake stove to stay ahead of the roaring hunger that never seems to subside.

His request today, "Remember those muffins Mom, not the regular, but the lemon, almond poppy seed? And pumpkin cookies, remember those pumpkin cookies that were kinda soft, filled with chocolate chips, and deliciousness?"

Yeah, I remember. And I've not attempted them post-gf, but thank goodness the gf sister has! Her recipe is delicious and delightful and I'm holding back five cookies so I can take a photo. The workman says to hurry and find the camera, HE IS STILL HUNGRY!


11.14.2014

Do you Think We are Really Eating RoundUp?

Okay, okay, I'll stop posting each and every little thing I'm researching today and get back to baking... soon anyway.

Some things one should never watch... like that scene in Food Inc., (I think, might be a different movie...) where  that little bug is eating Round-up in the movie and it's digestive system is blowing up and it's dying.   (I'm easily influenced by annimation.)   That bug is me?  

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/real-reason-for-toxic-wheat-its-not-gluten/

Because We Didn't Already Know

That what you eat affects your brain.  DUH.   We may not have had the scientific studies to prove it, but we did have years of emperical evidence.

http://www.nature.com/news/gut-brain-link-grabs-neuroscientists-1.16316

Ah, Back To Saying There Is A Trigger!

Proteins other than gluten in wheat can also trigger Celiac disease?    What?  Are  these proteins  present in other grains and could that explain why Celiac's sometimes have trouble with other foods in addition to wheat?    I WONDER?

Makes me also wonder if I've been in the homeschool learning mind frame too long?

I WONDER?  


Here is a new study at Columbia with regard to Celiac Disease.  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284990.php

11.12.2014

Chicken (and Wild Rice) Soup for My Soul

Last posted 11-19-2008, but I made it again last night and it's delicious.  Happy Giving 
My visiting teachers brought me dinner last night. (In my church, these are women whose purpose it is to succor, to console, to commiserate and and help each other stay sane amidst the craziness of life).

I can't imagine how complicated it was for them, when they have already been regaled for months with my tirades on finding, cooking, adapting recipes for gluten-free. But, attempting the ultimate in service, they fixed me a meal.

In our world, it's a fading absolution--bringing someone dinner. I know in this day and age, that if you are sick or poorly, you are still capable of calling for take-out, but the delivery guy doesn't come to the door with a dish wrapped in linen and a note saying, "Feel better, I love you." And that makes all the difference. (And it might not be GF take-out anyway!)

Chicken (or Turkey) and Wild Rice Soup

½ cup butter
1 finely chopped onion
½ - 1 cup frozen corn
(or ½ cup chopped celery, if preferred)
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup corn starch
6 ½ cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 pound chicken breasts, or turkey cubed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups nonfat half-and-half (use normal half-and-half if you prefer, but you won't believe how delicious this is with the nonfat variety!)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, corn, chicken and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté 3-4 more minutes. Transfer mixture to large pot. Over medium heat, gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly until all has been added. Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer.

Next, add the rice, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper and almonds. Allow to heat through and then pour in the half-and-half. Then add the starch added to a little water and stir well.

Let simmer 1 to 1 ½ hours. Be careful not to let the soup come to a boil or it won't thicken properly - let it simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.

Bless you, Kali and Cheryl. I love you two too.