Sunday, June 29, 2008

IKEA Almondy Swedish Almond Tarta

My friend told me that Ikea had a GF dessert, so when I went today I looked for it and I found it! I was very excited.

check out the embellishments I made to emphasize the GF-ness.

The cost was $6 for a 6-inch round treat. By the time I got home and cut into it, it was thawed but still cold.

The verdict: It was good. Chocolatey with a smooth flavor. You can see from the picture it was a mousse/cake layered type of thing. Not too rich so you could enjoy a decent-sized slice. And you bet I did.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Taking these to a BBQ/ pool party. I ate about 10 of them.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

1/2 c. butter, room temp
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. lemon flavor
1/2 c. potato starch
1/4 c. rice flour
2/3 c. cornstarch
1/2 t. salt
1 t. xanthan gum
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
3/4 c. milk

Cream butter & sugar. Add egg and lemon flavoring. Mix. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix. Mix in milk.

Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. I made mine bite-sized with a pastry bag (or a hole cut in a plastic baggie). They don't spread much as they bake, so they can be placed fairly close together.

These cookies are not too sweet, so if you like a sweeter cookie (like me!), add some icing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Whole Foods GF Bakehouse Apple Pie

On a whim the other day I grabbed one of those frozen apple pies in the gluten free section at Whole Foods. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was about 7 or 8 bucks and appx 6 inches in diameter.

I don't eat apple pie regularly, so it was an indulgence. I'm sure it'd be cheaper and more delicious to cook my own, but I was lazy.

It was goooooddd though. I ate the whole thing by myself.

There are a lot of recipes I want to try/ tweak/ post but I just have not been in a cooking mood lately. I've been more in a "want to chill by the pool and do nothing" mood.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gluten free BREAD

I have tried SO many bread recipes and have yet to find one that I like. Well, until now.

Two things:
1. my mom bought me a bread maker. I was really intimidated by it at first, but I think it won't be so bad.
2. I checked out Gluten Free [Cooking School] the other day and said, "hm, let's try this bread recipe."

And I am so glad I did!

My bread did not turn out perfect, but it was good enough for me to go, "ooh!" and give me confidence. I'm sure her flour mix will work really well. I used a slightly different flour mix, but it had the same general starch : "heavier" flour ratio. The bread kind of sunk at the end and had larger holes, so I think I let it rise too much. Easily fixed. The crust was also kind of thick, but that's easily fixed, too. I just need to either change the setting or bake it a few minutes less.

The recipe can be found at the link above or here:

1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 c. water, warm

2 1/2 c. flour mix
2 t. xanthan gum
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 T. oil
1 t. apple cider vinegar

Combine the yeast, sugar and water.

In a different bowl mix the dry ingredients.

In another bowl mix the eggs, oil & vinegar.

Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix well.

I stuck it in the bread machine, let it rise a bit and then chose the "bake only" setting for an hour. She said 80 minutes, but my machine baked it quicker than that. I guess it depends on the brand? Mine's a Breadman. (not the one with the gluten free setting)

Anyway, I'm pretty excited to try a loaf of bread and not gross out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gluten Free Crackers

I think that this is a better version of the cracker recipe I posted a while back. I made them round this time too because I hate rolling out dough. I just made a ball and flattened it and it worked pretty well.

gotta have cheese with crackers :o)


1/2 c. rice flour
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. potato starch
1/4 c. tapioca starch
1/4 c. sorghum flour
[or 2 cups GF flour mix]
1 t. xanthan gum
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. milk
1 egg

Blend dry ingredients. Cut in butter until the mixture is fine crumbs. Add the milk & egg and mix into a dough. Either roll it out and cut into squares or roll it into balls and flatten. Stab each cracker a few times with a fork and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.

I also added some shredded cheese and made cheesy crackers, too.

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. I had to double-bake a few that came out too soft, but it's just preference.

These aren't like normal saltines, but I feel it's a better recipe than the previous one.


While they were really tasty right out of the oven, this recipe fails the next morning. They get all hard and dense. I'd refrigerate the dough and bake them fresh in batches. *sigh* back to the drawing board!

Product Review: Glutino Dreams Zebra Cookies

I picked these up at Whole Foods for $4.69 a box. I was excited to try them so I ripped them open in the car and was happy to see that they are wrapped two at a time. I hate it when I eat a cookie or two and the rest of the package gets stale. The cookie looks pretty good, just like it does on the package.

However, I was disappointed in the taste.

I half expected them to be similar to Oreos. The taste was chocolate-like with a really strange aftertaste. I tried the chocolate cookie separate from the filling to see which one was the culprit, but they both were not very good. The filling was grainy, and the texture of the cookie itself was okay, but when paired with the strange taste these were not very good. I didn't even finish the cookie, which is rare for me. The rest will have to be made into a crust or crushed in a milkshake or something or they won't get eaten.

A treat that I like a little better from this company is the chocolate wafers. They have the similar chocolate taste, but it's not as strangely strong and the wafer texture is good.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Life Update

Time for a life update!

It's been roughly 6 months since I started to eliminate gluten from my diet. And I had gotten pretty bad without realizing it. From the tons of research, I've learned that symptoms I never would have connected were all inter-related and now they're gone, or at least almost gone. Some of them come back almost immediately after I've accidentally eaten gluten so it's easy to tell where they came from.

I was a mess. I had headaches that knocked me on my back. Painful mouth ulcers. Weight loss. I lost 10 pounds last summer even though I was ravenous all the time. My nails peeled from the malnutrition. I had random stomach upset and nausea. There was a complete lack of energy. Constant puffiness. Dizziness from the anemia. The depression that came with lack of answers and constantly feeling sick. I was irritable and sick and tired of being sick and tired. But I dealt with it because I didn't realize how bad it was. I got used to feeling shitty every day.

But the strangest symptom was the confusion. This is something that has not been researched a lot and I haven't come across it much except for when people with Celiac describe it.

I could tell that slowly, I was losing my ability to concentrate. To memorize and focus. To learn new things. I remember many times I would be typing and know that I had made a typo. I would read and re-read and I wouldn't be able to catch the mistake until about the 5th time. Normally it would be a split-second thing that was no problem. But for some reason I felt my intelligence slipping. During an exam I would know the answer to a question but I was unable to recall it. I was walking around in a fog. That's when I knew something was really wrong, but I had no idea what. It's really hard to define "getting stupid."

I had given up, because how can you go to the doctor with these symptoms and not be labelled a hypochondriac? (In fact, I was called that many times...)

But my new badass doctor decided to test, quite randomly, and it changed my life. I had never complained to her about any of those symptoms but she read my chart one day and thought of it. The crazy thing was, I didn't even have many "typical" symptoms for the disease, which explains why no other doctor thought of it. See? I'm not crazy! haha

Like I said, I feel 100 BILLION times better. I wake up in the morning and don't have to drag myself out of bed. I'm not as grouchy. I don't get so dizzy when I try to exercise. I can read a chapter and actually suck that knowledge in my brain instead of wondering what I just read. No more constant migraines. And all that jazz.

It's fabulous. I feel great. Honestly, this is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I hardly even miss the food since I've been learning how to cook.

See, it's not so bad. :o)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gluten Free Biscotti

I make biscotti about once or twice a year: Father's Day and Christmas, because my dad loves it. I could make these with wheat flour because dad's not a celiac, but then I couldn't sneak any or eat the broken rejects. Thank goodness I found this recipe over at Hey, that tastes good! It rocks. It's so easy and the biscotti turns out GREAT.

In case you're too lazy to click on the link, here's the recipe re-posted.

1 3/4 c. rice flour
1/3 c. tapioca starch/flour
1 T. potato starch
2 T. ground nuts
1/4 t. xanthan gum
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 lemon or orange zest (I was out of this so I used a drop of lemon extract with the egg/vanilla mixture and it worked fine.)
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Beat the eggs and vanilla separately and add it to the dry. Mix it up. Add in any nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, whatever. Shape the dough into two logs on a baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes at 350. Take them out and let them cool for 5-10 minutes. Slice them into biscotti-like shapes, at a diagonal, and bake again for 30-45 minutes. Flip them after 15 minutes. When they've cooled you can dip them in chocolate, which of course I did. Put them on wax paper and refrigerate them and they'll come right off, looking pretty.

*note: if they start to burn, which mine did, I just turned down the temp to 300ish and left them in a little longer, till the texture seemed right.

These are traditionally dunked in coffee, although we eat them like cookies too :o)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

pizza pizza

Oh my.

I haven't had pizza in a very long time. There is major love going on here tonight. It's a scalding-hot cheesy party in my mouth, washed down with lemonade.

The recipe: from The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Well, it was fast. I don't know about healthy...

1 c. rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch flour
2 T + 2t. tapioca starch
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. salt
1 t. sugar
7/8 c. water, warmed but not too hot to stick your finger in it
1 T. rapid-rise yeast
1 egg
1 T. veg oil

In a bowl mix the sugar, water and yeast. Let it bubble for a sec. With a hand mixer, beat in the egg and oil. Blend the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl. Add half to the yeast mixture and beat. Stir in the rest with a spoon. Spread the batter either onto a greased 15" pizza pan or in little individual pizzas like I did. Let it rise 10 minutes and add toppings. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.


*side note: for you hardcore pizza crust fans (I'm more about the toppings), the crust was ~almost~ there. Close. But, of course, not the gluten-filled pizza crust from the days of yore. But close.


We have some iced oatmeal cookies in the works. I saw them featured when I was watching Food Network one day and I jumped my butt up from the couch to the kitchen and started experimenting.

The first batch I pulled out of the oven had spread too much and was in a thin cookie-sheet-shaped layer and slightly burnt. I had to cut it with a pizza cutter. To my surprise, though, my friends devoured the reject "cookies." It's promising, at the very least! I changed it up and the next batch was better. I still want to change it a bit before I post them with my "jacobithe-glutenfree" stamp of yumminess. That's right, I came up with these all on my own. I'm familiar enough with cookie recipes that I know the basic ingredients, enough so I can just tweak it until it's really good. It's the first cookie recipe that I haven't followed a recipe, or adapted one of mom's to gluten free.

I think that's a sign that we're getting somewhere with this whole baking thing! *dances*

Monday, June 9, 2008

gluten free biscuits

Another good recipe from this cookbook that I've mentioned before: The Gluten-Free Kitchen by Roben Ryberg. This is one of them:

Gluten-Free Biscuits

1/3 c. butter (if using sticks, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces)
1/2 c. potato starch
3/4 c. cornstarch
1 3/4 t. xanthan gum
1 T baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 T. sugar
3/4 c. milk
1/2 t. salt

Blend all the ingredients except for the butter and milk. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Add the milk and stir until the batter is smooth. It's very sticky so instead of rolling it out and using biscuit cutters, I take an ice cream scoop and use that to plop the dough on a floured cookie sheet. Then I smash them down a bit. Of course, they're not as pretty and uniform but... most of my food doesn't look that pretty anyway.

Bake them at 375 for 12-15 minutes. It makes about 6 biscuits.

These can be refrigerated and heated back up in the microwave (slowly on the "defrost" setting) or toasted. They don't get funky the next day, a major PLUS.

I also mix up a double batch of the dry ingredients and store it as a biscuit mix. I just take 3/4 cup of dry mix, cut in a little less than 3 T butter and add 1/3 c. milk. That will make about 3 or 4 biscuits.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

more product reviews

On the list today: Gluten Free Pantry's French Bread and Pizza Mix and Nana's NO Gluten Lemon cookie.

First the bread mix.

link here:

I prepared the mix according to the package directions, and it made a pretty nice-looking loaf.

However, the taste and texture were average. The bread was dense and crumbly like every other gluten free bread I've tried, and I would not purchase the mix again. I don't know how the pizza crust would turn out, but I've had luck with other recipes so I wouldn't bother.

Next: the cookie. I found it in Smoothie King.

Link here:

The cookie itself isn't bad. It's soft and a little dense, with a subtle lemon flavor. It's actually kind of filling. It's not too sweet or overpowering, and I'd probably buy it again.

There you have it. Yay for trying new products!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Quick update. Haven't been cooking much lately.

I was at Quizno's the other day picking up a sandwich for the man when I grabbed a Sobe Life Water because I was parched and it looked yummy. After a large gulp I figured I should read the ingredients, just in case. Well poop in my cereal. Right there on the label of WATER, was modified food starch. It was a Sunday so the hotline was closed but I did some searching online and found out all of the Sobe Life Waters are gluten free. Sweet.

Found out Kroger has a pretty good gluten free section on their website for all of the store brand products.

And all of Kraft brand products will say right on the label if anything is derived from wheat. For example, Modified Food Starch (Wheat). When I spoke to the lady on the phone she said if it doesn't specify then it's okay.

So that's the news for today.