Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Orange fig mini mufins

gluten free orange fig muffinsI woke up this morning and thought, "Muffins."
So, I crippled over to the kitchen, put on some coffee, and started throwing things into a bowl. Not enough orange juice for a glass, but certainly enough for muffins. Fig preserves? All right. Let's go with millet flour this morning. Do I have any eggs?

And what did I come up with? Fabulous fruity muffins- mini muffins, to be exact. And the leftovers? Perfectly portable for snack time.

I'm doing my best to remember through the muffin-fueled sleepy haze exactly how I threw these together. This is a good estimate.

1/4 c. millet flour
3/4 c. GF flour mix (includes xanthan gum)
1 tsp baking powder
a few shakes of salt
1/4 c. orange juice
2 T. agave nectar
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 heaping T of fig preserves (any kind is good)
a glug of olive oil (I wanna say 1T)

Mix the dry. Whisk the wet ingredients to unclump the preserves, and mix the wet & dry together.

I spooned the batter into greased mini muffin tins and placed them in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick came out clean. It made 12 mini muffins, or 6 regular muffins.

These are mildly sweet, and you get a really good citrus/ fruit combo that's not overwhelming. Then because I used preserves, there's a nice burst of fruit chunk every so often.
Happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm workin' on it...

The greatest granola bar recipe ever (for me, anyway). Not sickeningly sweet, crunchy and stays together. It's coming along quite nicely through trial and error, tweak after tweak. The rejects are pretty tasty, as well. It's a win-win.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cranberry Orange Muffins & TVP Update

First of all, muffins are great. They're a great breakfast on-the-go, a portable snack, a midnight snack, and they're very versitile. They can be zesty or sweet, and you can jazz them up many many ways. Go muffins!

I do not have a picture because they got eaten so fast. I'm posting it now instead of making them again to get a picture, because I ran out of cranberries and probably won't get around to making them again for a while. I'm trying to introduce more variety into my muffins.

I like this recipe because unlike many cranberry orange muffins that I've tasted, the orange is there. You can taste it. Most of the time they just throw in a little orange zest and call it orange. These muffins are by no means orange-overwhelming; it is subtle but at least you can taste it.

Start by heating up 1/2 c. of fresh/ frozen cranberries and 2T orange juice, sweetened to taste. While that is warming on low, get these ingredients together.

1/4 c. plus 2 T. orange juice
2 T. applesauce
1 t. olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. teff flour
3/4 c. GF flour mix
if no xanthan gum is in the mix, add 1 t.
1 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
1/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. brown sugar
1/4 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

*note: I always try to keep the sugar low in my muffins, and since the cranberries are so tart (even when sweetened) I wouldn't go any lower than this. The muffins themselves weren't overly sweet, either.

You know the drill for muffins: mix the wet, mix the dry, then mix the two together. When they are about halfway mixed up, mix in the cranberries and walnuts.

Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. It will make 6 muffins.

Now I am thinking about the possible flavors of the next muffins I make...

As for the Textured Vegetable Protein, I added some to some tortilla soup I was making. The first thing I noticed was that it floated on the top of the soup. Maybe soup was not the best way to try it. It didn't really taste like anything, and the texture wasn't anything remarkable. It reminded me of the freeze-dried veggies in those cups of ramen noodles. It didn't disrupt the soup's flavor or texture.

It's also used by vegans and veggies as a meat substitute. Since I eat meat, I won't be using it as a substitute, but I might use it give things a little extra oomph. There was a recipe for red beans & rice on the back of the bag, and it sounds like it would be a good way to use it.

The best thing I can figure, for meat-eaters, is that it is just a sneaky way to add more protein.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

textured what??

I have acquired a bag of Bob's Red Mill Textured Vegetable Protein. My boss was cleaning out her freezer and said, "Take this."

So, of course, I happily did. Freebies, heck yeah!

The thing is, I have no idea what to do with it. Quite frankly, it's very foreign to me and a little intimidating. But I really want to use it- add another unique item to my gluten free resume.

Has anyone tried it? What do you use it for? Do you like it?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I was looking in the cereal aisle the other day and noticed that Kix had a new look. It's supposed to be all-natural now. --None of this is reflected on their website, but I KNOW I saw it!

On a whim, I picked it up and read the ingredients label. I remember it used to contain oats, but now it does not. None of the other ingredients screamed "gluten," so I'm hoping that General Mills pulls another Rice Chex move and certifies it gluten free.

I miss kix but I won't eat it unless they say it's GF for sure. I've tried some of their cereals that don't contain gluten ingredients, but I don't trust the contamination issue. If I'm trying so hard to stay gluten free, I'm not going to mess it up with a measly bowl of cereal. You know?

So, anyway, let's all hope General Mills continues to make more GF cereals.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Alton Brown's Soft Pretzels

gluten free pretzelsOh, Alton Brown. You have been the muse for many of my snacks.

After watching his Pretzel Logic episode the other night, I knew this weekend would involve pretzels. (He also has recipes for hard pretzels and mustard.)

So, last night, after seeing He's Just Not That Into You (great chick flick btw), I came home and started making pretzels.

Yes, it is more labor-intensive than most things, as are bagels and other "necessities" that I make every few weeks. But, they're GOOD! After a few mishaps, the pretzels turned out GOOD! Just like "real" soft pretzels. Chewy, with that outside "crust." My sister and her friend were walking by just as they came out of the oven, so they were the first taste-testers. They both wanted a second piece.

I followed Alton's recipe, with a few variations.


-I used 1 1/2 c. teff flour, 2/3 c. brown rice flour, 1/3 c. potato starch, and 2 c. of a flour mix.

-I added 1 T. xanthan gum

-I don't have a stand mixer, so I deviated from the instructions a bit:
-I mixed the water, sugar and yeast and waited to make sure the yeast was active.
-Meanwhile, I mixed the flours, xanthan gum and salt in a bowl.
-I added the yeast water and butter to the dry ingredients and mixed with my hand mixer.
-Instead of mixing it for 4-5 minutes, I mushed it up into a ball with my hands.

-I used quick-rise yeast, and I was worried because it didn't seem like the dough rose very much. It was fine.

-When I placed the first pretzel in the water, it fell apart and became little pretzel turds. So for the other ones, I really pinched the ends together and kept the dough on a slotted spoon instead of letting it go in the water. That helped a lot.

-I greased my pans, but they still kinda stuck. Use lots of grease.

-To make "pretzel salt" I just placed some ice cream rock salt in a bag and pounded it with a hammer.

-The next day, they get soft- but to get the texture back, heat them up or toast them.

There you have it- Pretzels.

gluten free soft pretzelsApologies for the picture quality. I was on the tail end of a second large glass of wine.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pamela's Vanilla Cake Mix

picture courtesy of Aileen

Last night was the long-awaited Enchilada Night at Missy's. Not only was it enchilada night, we were celebrating a special occasion as well. Congrats to my friend Jen!!

Anyway, in addition to the gluten free enchiladas, beans, and rice, I got a special surprise. For dessert they made GF pound cake, so I could eat it too!

Now, I've gotten used to passing up birthday/ wedding cake, etc. so this was really, really nice. I felt SO loved. My friend Aileen also brought one of those Almondy tarts. We had a lot of food, and I didn't have to miss out on anything. They were so thoughtful and I appreciate it so much. <3

Now, I've had two experiences with this cake mix.

The first time I tried it, it was when I was first diagnosed and it was made as a regular cake. I thought it was terrible, dry, and had a strange flavor. I ended up throwing it away.

This time, it was made as a pound cake. There is a recipe variation on the bag to make it as a pound cake. I thought it tasted good, with a good texture and a small aftertaste that I can't quite place. Did that stop me from eating 3 pieces? Noooo.

I'm not sure if my second experience was better because there were 12 T. of butter in it, or I'm just used to gluten free foods. Everyone else ate it, and there were no major complaints.

As you can see I piled my cake high with whipped cream and fruit. I also ate it plain for breakfast this morning.

I don't know if I'd buy this again, because of the aftertaste, but I think it served its purpose really well.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Rather than post another picture of just food, I decided to post a picture of someone enjoying food. Enter my sister. She was a good sport.

Hummus. Easy, fast, and delicious.

I packed mine up in a small container with some bagel chips for lunch. Mmm.

You need:

a can of chickpeas, drained
a shake of garlic powder
squirt of lemon juice (I used red wine vinegar)
small pour of extra virgin olive oil
*traditionally you're supposed to add tahini, a sesame seed paste, but I didn't have any and it still turned out yummy.

Whirl it all around in a food processor, adding a spoonful of water if it's too thick.

Spread it on crackers, GF pita, bagel chips, tortilla chips, or whatever you've got.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Ice Cream

picture links to product website

I decided to try this after I saw Gluten Free In Cleveland's review.

I eat ice cream all the time- At least once a week. Most of the time, more. It has been a very long time since I've had cookie dough ice cream, and for some reason I HAD to try this stuff. Even at close to $5 a pop.

Now, I have very picky tastebuds, especially when I know I'm about to try something "not normal," like non-dairy ice cream. And, honestly, I could not tell at first bite that it was any different than regular ice cream. There are good-sized chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough and flakes of chocolate in a vanilla ice cream base.

The cookie dough chunks were awesome, not too hard or chewy or funky. They really nailed it.
The flakes of chocolate were nice, too. They themselves had a good texture to add to the ice cream when there wasn't a chunk of cookie dough in the spoonful. I detected NO strange aftertastes or textures.

As for the ice cream itself, the texture was great. Although I detected a tiny bit of grainy-ness, it was hardly noticeable. And this is coming from a tongue that is very familiar with full-fat, rich and creamy ice cream. I say it's very comparable.

My only suggestion for improvement was that the ice cream base itself was a tad too sweet. With the cookie dough and chocolate flakes, it would have been better if it was less sweet. The plus side to that is, you can eat a small amount and still feel satisfied.

Overall, I like this product and will happily finish the rest.
I'm also interested in trying the key lime pie flavor that was next to it in the case...