Friday, April 15, 2016

Flashback Friday: Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are great all year round - they're not just a Christmas food. They're still the boy's favorite cookies that I make (even though he wants cookies an average of less than once a year). We've moved into a new version of snickerdoodles that are dairy free and still have those really tender, flaky edges that make them melt when you bite into it. It surely hits the spot when you need them. I even keep a combo of cinnamon sugar in the cupboard for when the moment strikes.

What about you? Do you have cookies that show up in your kitchen all year round?
Check out the original gluten free version of snickerdoodles we made.

Other cookie recipes you should try:
Super Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
If you can tolerate gluten free oats, these Oatmeal Ranger cookies are worth it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spicy Fries: Crispy and Tender

I've got my very own chopper to make wavy fries! Everyone loves the tender insides of a crispy wavy fry, and now you can have them at home!

One of the challenges of gluten free eating is not getting French fries when you are out on the town if the restaurant doesn't have a dedicated fryer. And fries at home are sometimes soggy and not that satisfying. I've got a few tips to help you nail the texture every time, and have some great fries to pair with your favorite burger or barbecued chicken.

Spicy Fries

1 large Russet potato per person
coconut oil
olive oil
garlic powder

Using a wavy cutter, or a knife, create batonnet cuts in your potatoes. The easiest way to do this is cut off both of the short ends of the potato, square off the four remaining sides, and then slide the rectangular block of potato into strips. We prefer leaving the skins on.

[Read more about culinary knife cuts]

Drop the batonnet cuts into a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. This part is really important. You can cut it down to 10 if you are short on time.

Meanwhile, turn on the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, line a tray with foil, and combine one tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon coconut oil on the pan and put in the oven to warm. If your kitchen is cold, the coconut oil will need to melt before it can coat the potatoes.

After the 20 minutes has passed, drain the water out of the bowl and dump the fries onto a towel or paper towel. Pat them dry. This part is also really important, Dry potatoes will crisp better in the oven.

Remove the heated pan from the oven. Arrange potato pieces on the baking sheet, coating them in the oil mixture. Make sure the sides aren't touching for maximum crispness. Sprinkle paprika and garlic powder over the whole sheet tray, trying to get a bit on each fry. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious. Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt. Serve quickly with your favorite dipping sauce.

Other fry recipes to try:
Eggplant Fries
Sweet Potato Fries
These roasted potatoes are a faster option if you are short on time. Can't beat a 30 minute crispy potato recipe.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Flashback Friday: Quick Risotto Tips and Risotto, of the Asparagus Variety

March and April never fail for me as the months when I am in a dinner rut. The heavier foods with meaty tastes that we love feel overdone for the time being. It doesn't mean we stop eating them, more just that we eat them while wishing for something else. The fresh, light foods of spring and summer don't seem filling enough, and it's a balance to get everyone at our house full and happy for the evening.

One of our household meals that does transition from winter to spring is, without fail, our staple risotto. We almost always simmer up a batch of crimini mushroom risotto, but a fresh take on it is this creamy asparagus risotto we enjoy too.

Tips for Quick Risotto Dinners
And while I'm at it, a few tips for you to have risotto accessible at your house.
- Sometimes, you need to just make it from a box. Lundberg risotto is always in our cupboard, especially for nights when I am out of town or we are out of homemade stock.
- Homemade stock is still a freezer staple we always have hanging around. I've experimented a little more with mushroom stock lately, even buying bone broth from our local butcher, but our standard veggie or chicken stock is a year round necessity.
- A little known fact is that a huge amount of the mushrooms for the intermountain West come from Utah. Mountain View Mushrooms, profiled in this article, grow the mushrooms we buy, and they are so good. One of my quick mushroom tips is to bring them home, clean and slice them, then saute them in a pan until the liquid is released and everything is darker in color, then freeze in a muffin pan and keep the discs in the freezer for when you need them. Two discs of mushrooms is the perfect amount for risotto for two.
- Don't let your stovetop temperature get too low. I like to keep mine on medium-high the entire cooking time, and this keeps the simmer rolling and the starch developing in the risotto. You want that starch development, and you don't want the dinner to take two hours to simmer!

Hope you enjoy this week's Flashback Friday and shout out to creamy asparagus risotto.

Another side note and thanks to you readers while the blog has been happily in semi-retirement. You are all awesome and eating gluten free takes hard work but has brought me great benefits in managing Celiac disease and autoimmune disease. Keep up the good cookin'!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Molten Lava Cake for Two: {Gluten and Dairy Free Recipe}

If you have a quick craving for chocolate, this is the perfect 15 minute recipe to quench your chocolate thirst in a sophisticated manner!

You can order these at restaurants all over the place, but rarely (even before gluten free) eat dessert in restaurants. After all, dessert at home is fast, dairy free, and well, there's more than one serving of it after the bill has been paid. Bonus!

Now that we are embracing the early darkness of winter (and my terribly dry lawn that isn't getting any rain or snow lately), I love watching cleaning videos on Youtube. I can't help it - one of my coworkers thinks it's the most bizarre thing. But, if you've ever watched adorable Canadians giving toilet-cleaning tips, you might start watching cleaning and organizing videos on Youtube. This has led to late-night organizing of our food storage container drawer, lots of closet decluttering and organizing, and all sorts of uses for vinegar in housecleaning. I guess, in the grand scheme, getting organized as a hobby isn't that bad of a thing to do when you are procrastinating other things.

Last Year: Gourmandise Restaurant Review
Two Years Ago: Apple Pie that won the county fair
Three Years Ago: Berry Streusel Coffee Cake
Four Years Ago: Gluten Free Groceries in Stockholm
Five Years Ago: Gluten Free Cherry Galette
Six Years Ago [how is that even possible?!]: Chicken Coconut Curry

Molten Lava Cake
Modified from this Food and Wine recipe

1/4 cup Spectrum organic shortening
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon millet flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. This can easily be done in a toaster oven, too. With some Spectrum shortening, grease and lightly flour two 6-ounce ramekins. Tap out the excess flour. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.

In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the shortening with the chocolate. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and salt at high speed until thickened and pale.

Whisk the chocolate until smooth. Quickly fold it into the egg mixture along with the flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm but the centers are soft. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted dessert plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and then flip out of the ramekins. Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014: Stuffed like a turkey

This year's festivities lasted Thursday and Friday, and what a weekend! One of the best parts was going to eat Chinese food at C's house. It was delicious, and I loved sitting at her kitchen table, wearing a stuffed turkey hat, and laughing together.

You're welcome on this excellent, grainy picture of me "dressed" as a turkey. Ha! Thanksgiving joke. It was a tremendous and relaxing day. This was the wonderful spread that C prepared for us: orange chicken (C's version modified from the Pioneer Woman, or the version I've made before), fried rice, and these yummy egg rolls.

We busted out the ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy (I'm a gravy professional), C made great rolls, apple pie and pumpkin pie with Steve's dairy free ice cream, cranberry sauce, spiced nuts, pomegranates, veggies with homemade ranch dressing, and some new Breton gluten free crackers. (These tasted great - I was disappointed that they contained dairy and soy, so some of our guests couldn't eat them). Then, throw in the Jello, Farnsworth apple cider, chocolate cake, baked yams, lemon bars, and more. It was bursting with great food, and all of it was gluten free, dairy free, and so tasty!

Here's a funny tidbit from my mom about Jello:
"Oh, there's no vegetables in the Jello you brought."
"Yeah, I didn't need to put them in there."
"Why not?"
"When you were little, you wouldn't eat the vegetables, so I had no choice but to put the vegetables in the Jello!"
Ha. I insist that I would eat vegetables, but I do love a good green-Jello-with-carrots on occasion. I'm glad my mom has taken such good care of me throughout my life.

Here's a historical shot at what we've done for Thanksgiving since our gluten free journal started:
Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving 2011
Thanksgiving 2010
Thanksgiving 2009
Thanksgiving 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Butternut Squash Pear Soup Recipe

One of the reasons I love September in Utah is the fresh produce. The Co-op Market is under construction right now, so I haven't been there in probably two months. I'm wishing for my favorite grass-fed beef and chicken breasts right now. I'm tired of paying the Whole Foods price for my meat and ready to get back to the actually local, cheaper, and more delicious meat from the Co-op.

However, I've been haunting a really great farm stand that I pass by on Saturdays in Bountiful. I believe it's run by A & J produce, and this last Saturday, I was there while one of the local farmers brought his truck load of watermelon.

Recently we've gotten some delicious butternut squash, pears, the best apples ever (Jonathan and Honeycrisp this week), Russet potatoes, onions, Fresno peppers, raspberries, the most delicious Brigham City peaches (best peach of 2014!), cute little pumpkins, some great garlic, and Green River melons.

The squash and pears have combined forces to make one of my favorite soup recipes. I find it's hard to make a good, filling soup that has no dairy and no tomatoes. This one hits the spot. I made it and froze it in individual portions. On Sunday, I came home during a downpour, plopped a frozen soup on the stove, and in 10 minutes I was ready with a hot meal. The ginger in the soup mellows a little when it's been frozen, so I even added extra ground (dry) ginger to make it a little stronger when it's been thawed and reheated. Oh and homemade croutons - olive oil on toasted Udi's bread - are excellent in this soup.

The other great thing about September in Utah? Cats. The neighbor cats are out looking for mice right now, and so many of the outdoor cats have been frequenting our backyard. I should say this is much to my delight! It sounds bizarre, but I love waking up in the morning and finding a cat in the backyard I can pet before heading off to work. Free snuggles, no commitment, and something fun to talk about. Our current favorite cat visitor is an orange and white cat that slinks around our yard that we've named Ham Cat, since he has a thing for little bits of ham I've fed him. There's my confession: I love playing with neighbor cats. You're welcome.

I take you now from cats to butternut squash pear soup.

One Year Ago: Better Burger Food Truck
Two Years Ago: Malawi's Pizza, Provo Review
Three Years Ago: Flashback in 7 Links - A Shoutout to some of my favorite recipes
Four Years Ago: Split Second Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Five Years Ago: Gummy Candy Race Cars - Make your own gummy candy

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup 
Inspired by this recipe

1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root OR 1 teaspoon powdered ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken broth
4 medium pears, peeled and chopped

Cut squash in half and discard the seeds. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and put the squash, cut side down, on the baking pan. Then, bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly; scoop out pulp and set aside.

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, saute the onion in oil until tender. Add the curry powder , garlic, ginger and salt; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, pears and squash. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Top with homemade croutons and serve warm. Or, package in individual serving-sized containers and freeze. If frozen, reheat on the stove for 10 minutes on medium and eat.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gluten Free Recipe: Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Glaze

Well hello. You probably thought I wasn't coming back.
It's been a whirlwind few months, and so when my computer stopped playing nice with all Google products and I couldn't find a solution, blogging and I took a separation. Thanks to the boy, we've figured out how I can blog again and get back to the blogspot site to give you some new inspiration.

How have you been?

So many cool things have happened lately.
One of my BFFs had her baby, and now the baby can practically parallel park her parents' car downtown. I went to visit them this week and the baby is so precious!
In December, I traveled to Poland for work and had a great time. I'm working on a post about eating gluten free while traveling through Poland. Let's just say Poland is a little trickier than Italy and Sweden. I found that out for sure.

We planted some beautiful raspberry bushes in our front yard, where all the good sun is. We have several varieties of berries, and we've gotten a small harvest for our first year. We're looking forward to some really good harvests in the future, and afternoons with berry-stained fingers. Maybe some coconut-milk berry ice cream. Definitely some raspberry jam, too.

We also planted some great native plants throughout the yard and hopefully they can survive my scatterbrained watering schedule and brown thumbs.

Living in downtown Salt Lake is great: we've hit some awesome concerts recently, some festivals and farmers' markets, and still shop at the Co-op for the best meat ever.

Zucchini season is starting to happen, and I wanted to kick that off with some great cake I think you might like. It's modified from a recipe I found for Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting from Real Mom Kitchen. Obviously, the cream cheese wasn't going to happen here. I actually found this recipe on Pinterest, and I'm not much of a pinner. It was time to walk the talk though, and try a recipe I found on there so it wasn't just, well, hours clicking on pretty pictures.

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Glaze
Recipe adapted from here

1 egg
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/8 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cups shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
zest from one lemon
1-2 tsp lemon juice, or enough to create a thick glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla.  Fold in the carrot, zucchini, and walnuts.

In another bowl combine add the two flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda. Stir together. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir just until combined. Spread batter into an ungreased 8 inch round baking pan.

Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Once the cake is cooled, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, measure powdered sugar and add lemon zest. Add lemon juice and stir until glaze forms. .

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gourmandise: Gluten Free Restaurant Review

Do bakeries give you the shivers? They do for me!

However, one of the best regular bakeries in Salt Lake has a gluten free menu and a delicious gluten free, dairy free pastry too.

I went with a few friends for lunch and it was a great time! Most of the gluten free options on the lunch menu are salads, and I had the delicious chicken curry salad. I wished there was a little more variety in the menu, but the half salad with its tasty dressing was great.

Did I mention the gluten free almond horn pastries? They are a staple at the bakery, and are made of baked meringue and dipped in chocolate and sliced almonds. So chewy and delicious.

It's a little difficult to be sure you are getting a gluten free meal there, so talk with the server and pay close attention. If you're brave, the almond horn pastries are out of this world.

250 S 300 E 
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Monday, November 18, 2013

Good Grains Gluten Free Baking Co: Heber Utah Gluten Free Restaurant Review

On a recent trip through Heber, Utah, we were driving back from an unsuccessful trip to the local thrift store. Pulling up to a red light, I saw a banner on the side of a building and swung into the parking lot. We were pleased to discover Laura, the owner of Good Grains Gluten Free Baking Company, inside the building, baking away.

We ate muffins and chatted with Laura about her business and eating gluten free. I had the pumpkin chocolate chip, and the husband had the lemon poppyseed (he loves poppyseed muffins!) She has a coffee shop and bakery, complete with fresh muffins, and also serves lunch items like sandwiches and quiche. She mentioned she also sells to some local grocery stores and restaurants too!

Stop by if you're in town!

Good Grains Gluten Free Baking Co
51 west 100 south
Heber City, Utah 84032

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Pie Pizzeria: Gluten Free Restaurant Review

If you haven't been to the Underground location of The Pie, you are missing an authentic piece of Salt Lake City dining. In a basement just west of the University of Utah campus, you can walk down a flight of metal stairs into another dimension. Dimly lit, you can see decades of scribbles on the brick walls. I'd been several times before going gluten free, but then I found out you can eat gluten free pizza at the Pie.

I ordered the BBQ Chicken Cilantro (indicating on their online menu with a "no wheat" symbol). At the restaurant, they have printed gluten free menus for you to see. And, they carry Daiya cheese so I could have a truly gluten free (and dairy free) pizza experience! The best part is they actually know how to melt the Daiya cheese correctly, which makes it taste quite good!

Even better, your pie is announced at the pickup window and comes in a box, completely sealed with a gluten free sticker. Nice touch. :)

If you are longing for The Pie, and you want a pretty good crispy gluten free crust, The Pie is the place to go. I admit to getting a little sick the first time I went, but the second time it worked out swimmingly.

The Pie Pizzeria
1320 E. 200 S., Salt Lake City, Utah (dine-in only)


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