Thursday, May 28, 2009

A twist on fruit & yogurt

This morning I wanted something like fruit & yogurt. Except, I didn't have any yogurt, nor do I really care for yogurt. While there are plenty of ways to "make" yogurt out of soy milk and all that, I made a bet with myself that even if I did make it, I would probably end up not liking it.

So, in the interest of not wasting time and ingredients, I scanned my fridge. Tucked in the back: applesauce. I rarely eat it, but instead I use it in baking.

It went perfectly with the other fruits, and tasted great with a sprinkle of cinnamon and flaxseed meal. Here's to thinking a little out of the box!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


gluten free chocolate chip cookies
I saw this article in the Houston Chronicle and decided to give this recipe a shot. I made a few changes to the recipe:

I halved it, used brown rice flour instead of white rice flour, and only used 5 T. butter. Then I found out I didn't have enough chocolate chips, so I added white chocolate chips.

They turned out good, more soft and cake-like than crispy. They didn't spread a whole lot either. They were a hit with my family, because I hardly ever make chocolate chip cookies. I think the combo of white and semi-sweet chocolate made them extra-tasty.

In fact, as I was writing this my sister came in and said,
"Jenny, those cookies were magnificent!"

That's right, magnificent.

*does happy dance*

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Smoothie babay

I declare today "drink a smoothie" day. I've seen on tons of blogs something called a Green Monster. Don't really know what that's all about, but it seems like it's the new thing. Super healthy.

Even though I don't think I'm ready for full-fledged green smoothies, seeing them has made me want a smoothie. I even went out and bought a blender. Besides, it's hot outside and there's nothing like a cool drink to make it better. And, it's only going to get hotter.

The thing about smoothies is that you can put anything into them. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

What went into mine?

1/2 c. almond milk
1/2 c. cranberry & pomegranate juice
1 T. flax seed meal
a few leaves of fresh spinach (baby steps!)
1 c. frozen mixed fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
1 T. honey

I put all the stuff in there, pushed liquefy, and watched it spin around. I always love how the contents "burp" when it turns off.

The thing I don't like about using raspberries and blackberries in smoothies is the seeds. They're annoying. I think a smoothie with peaches would be so delicious...

So this is your mission: drink a smoothie. At the very least I hope I've passed on this smoothie craving.

And I finally found gluten free corn chex in the store today! Oh, happy day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

little vegan peanut butter cookies

gluten free vegan peanut butter cookies
I can't get enough of peanut butter cookies. That's why this makes a small batch- about a dozen small cookies or 6 regular-sized cookies. I wanted a way to make a small batch of cookies so I didn't have to worry about my lack of self-control. :o) The problem was, there was no way to really use half of an egg.

Enter the flaxseed meal solution! It also conveniently makes them vegan. I love that these don't spread out a lot and they can be made both soft and crunchy depending on how long you bake them. Fabulous.

Little Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 c. flour mix
1/8 t. xanthan gum
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 c. peanut butter
2 T. shortening
1/2 T. flaxseed meal
1 T. boiling water
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt

Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Cream the shortening, peanut butter and sugars until it's smooth and fluffy. Add the flax/water. Mix the dry ingredients together, than mix that into everything else. Form balls with the dough and do the fork thing.

Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes, let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes, and pop these cute little cookies into your mouth. Mmm.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Almost sticky buns

gluten free dairy free sticky buns
Don't these look delicious? Appearances can be deceiving...

I bought my friend a muffin tin as a housewarming gift, and I thought it'd be a neat idea to bring some goodies along with it. I got this recipe from the April/May issue of Taste of Home.

It would have worked out fine... if I had remembered to use all the flour. I totally spaced and accidentally used half the flour. They turned out yummy except you could really taste the yeast and it gave the buns a funky flavor. Gahh. And, since half the flour only made half a batch, I used all the filling.

Thank goodness for nonstick pans.

I altered it to be dairy free as well as gluten free, and the substitutions seemed to work fine. There is potential in this "almost success!"

3-3 1/2 c. flour mix (includes xanthan gum)
1/4 c. sugar
1 pkg yeast
1 t. salt
1 1/4 c. almond milk
1/4 c. shortening (or butter)
1 egg


1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening (or 3/4 c. butter)
3/4 c. chopped toasted pecans
2 T. honey
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. maple syrup/ flavoring

Combine 2 c. flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Heat the milk and shortening in a small saucepan to 120-130 degrees. (I used a candy thermometer, $2 at Walmart) Add to the dry ingredients and beat until just moistened. Add the egg, beating until smooth. THIS IS WHERE I MESSED UP: Add in enough of the remaining flour until a firm dough forms. Cover it and let it rise while you mix up the topping in a saucepan over low heat.

Put teaspoonfuls of the topping in greased muffin cups. Top with the dough, trying to keep the cups about 1/2 full. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Let them cool for 2 minutes, then invert them onto a baking sheet.

Makes 2 dozen.

The topping is absolutely delish, and I really think they'd taste great had they been made correctly. So, if you happen to try it, let me know what you think!


-When I made them the second time, I only added about 1 cup of flour after the egg, to keep them moist.
-I think they'd be better with a whole cup of pecans
-These got a whole lot of "Mmmmms" from various taste-testers. I have a feeling these will turn into a staple for potlucks and brunches.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

shrimp & brussels sprouts

Doing very well on my new non-dairy healthful kick, I made this quick, delicious dinner. The amounts shown here serve 1, but it's not hard to multiply it.

Cook brown rice or quinoa in chicken broth according to package directions.

Heat up 1/2 T. of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. While that's heating, chop 2 brussels sprouts and saute those for a minute until they get a tinge of brown goodness.

Add 1/4 c. shrimp and toss those around to get them warm.

Sprinkle 1/8 t. garlic powder, a pinch of salt, 1/2 t. pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper over the pan. Let the flavors fall in love while everything heats up.

Stir in the rice/quinoa, and spoon some in your bowl.

Eat happy and healthy, and have some frozen watermelon and blackberries for dessert.

snack time

When is the last time you had peanut butter & celery? I forgot how simple and good it is until I took a bite.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Today was a day of failed baking.

I woke up wanting cinnamon rolls, so I whipped up a half-batch and stuck them in the oven... for too long. I forgot about them and they ended up a little crispy. I also used a whole egg for a half batch, and they tasted kind of eggy. Blagh.

Then mom said she wanted cheesecake for dessert tonight, so I made some graham crackers and put together a cheesecake. Except... the cheesecake came out looking a little yellow. It's not normally yellow. I'm also not sure I baked it long enough. It's stil in the fridge, so we'll find out when it comes time to eat it.

Then, I tried a new saltine cracker recipe. I know I've made some before, but they're not exactly like saltines. I really wanted to get the texture right. I tried this recipe in a much smaller batch. I let the dough sit for 24 hours, and the thought of all the bacteria that could be growing right along with the yeast grossed me out. Nevertheless, I pressed on and made them.
They were terrible. I think something may have been wrong with my yeast, as it didn't rise very much. Either way, yuck. They went straight into the trash.

At least the graham crackers themselves turned out good. :o)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Soy Dream Mocha Fudge

picture links to product website

I wanted ice cream last night, so I went to Whole Foods. I really wanted to try the Purely Decadent Key Lime Pie flavor that I saw last time, but it was *gasp* ALL GONE! There was the tag on the shelf, all empty. Someone really likes that stuff.

So, I hung out in front of the non-dairy ice cream section for a while in my cute green dress with pockets, comparing prices, flavors, and ingredients. I ended up coming home with the Soy Dream Mocha Fudge.

After the first bite, I could tell it was soy ice cream. The ice cream is creamy-ish, with a hint of ice-crystal texture. The mocha flavor was subtle, but good. I've had ice creams where the mocha flavor is way too smack-you-in-the-face. The fudge swirls were chocolatey, but I wish they were gooey-er and I wish there were more of them.

I started eating it, and the next thing I knew, it was all gone. I guess it wasn't that bad.

I obviously finished the rest. But would I buy it again? Maybe. I'd probably try different flavors first though.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Looks pretty, didn't really taste like what I was looking for. But-- I've got the baking itch back.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Starbucks gluten free cakeStarbucks gluten free cake

It's a happy day for Celiacs and Celiac Awareness.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rice Dream and milk issues

I tried Rice Dream for the first time this morning. Yes, I'm trying this "no dairy" thing one more time. And I have to say, I do not have that crappy stomach feeling that I usually get after my bowl of cereal. I've heard that Rice Dream used to not be gluten free, but it is now. At least, my package was.

I've always hated milk. As a kid I was always the one who sat there at the breakfast table because I wouldn't finish the milk in my cereal bowl. I always had to choke down that glass of milk with dinner or whatever. The taste & texture is revolting to me. I will never voluntarily drink milk- even chocolate milk. The only time I eat it is in my cereal- and even then I don't use a lot. I will eat cheese sauces, ice cream, milkshakes, and pretty much every other thing milk is used in. Except that tres leches cake, which makes me want to puke. Why ruin a perfectly good cake with milk?? I'll never understand.

So, as much as I hate milk, I have this thing. I've tried soymilk with cereal and it's a mental thing that I can't get past. Something foreign on my cereal? Eew. Even though milk makes me feel bad, it's all I've ever had on cereal and it's really wierd to try something else on it. I'm a creature of habit and for 24 years I've had milk on my cereal... I was really skeptical.

I took the package out of my fridge, shook it, opened it, and cautiously smelled it. No smell. That's a good thing. I poured it onto my cereal. It kinda reminded me of that skim milk from the carton in elementary school that always looked blue. Or maybe the carton was blue, but I swear the milk had a blue tinge to it.
Anyway. It was milk-colored, which is a plus. Soy milk always had that funny color to it that made me gag a little as I stared down at my cereal bowl. The major drawback is that it's pretty thin. Milk always had some kind of texture to it.
As I was eating my rice chex, I detected no wierd aftertastes or anything. I managed to get through the bowl. I think I'm going to try and get used to this. I know it'll be easier for me to use in cooking and baking because at least then it's incorporated into something. I dunno, something about using it as straight milk grosses me out. I know, I have issues.

So I ate my rice chex with my rice dream and was all rice-ful and happy. Now back to adaptive evolution, phenotypic plasticity, and this paper I'm writing about endangered seahorses...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Teff Muffins

gluten free teff muffins
Although I do love Rice Chex, I'm getting pretty sick of eating it every single day for breakfast. I need some variety. Lately I've had grits with flaxseed meal and brown sugar sprinkled on top, scrambled eggs prepared a variety of ways, fresh fruit, frozen waffles, and now teff muffins. These are hearty and healthy. I ran out of agave nectar, but if I had it I'd use it. I love putting strawberry preserves on these.

Teff Muffins

1/3 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. teff flour
1/3 c. potato starch
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
1 T. sugar + 2 T. honey*
(*or, 1 1/2 to 2 T. agave nectar)
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c. water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until they're just incorporated. Grease a muffin pan or add cupcake liners, and pour the batter in there. If there are any un-filled wells, pour water in them. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Makes 4 muffins.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Notta Pasta- Fettuccine & "pesto"

picture links to product website

Today the wonderful woman that I call Mom brought home some of this Notta Pasta gluten free fettuccine. Of all the gluten free noodles I've found, I have not tried fettuccine. I thought their website was really neat. It has a lot of recipes, and I signed up for the monthly recipe club.

You cook it up like any other pasta. I was super surprised at how great it was. It has a great texture and really cooks al dente well.

I fixed it up a little differently, as I was in the mood for something that would be lighter on the palate. I saw earlier this week that Gluten Free Goddess made some pesto pasta with meatballs, and the noodles look soooo good. They were my inspiration for this dish.

gluten free fettuccine
Sadly, my fresh basil had reached its expiration date and was growing some really great mold. I had to improvise with dried herbs to make a pesto-like thing (SOO not as good, but they worked well enough).

While the noodles were cooking I mixed some basil, marjoram, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, a little bit of sage, and red chili flakes for a kick. I mixed that with a little extra virgin olive oil.

When the noodles were done I rinsed them with hot water, and tossed them around with the "pesto." I gotta say, it was tasty. I bet it'd even be good cold, too. I'm totally wanting it with sundried tomatoes now.

Anyway, if you haven't tried the noodles, I recommend them.

gluten free fettuccine