Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gluten-Free Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I can't even begin to tell you the difference this going off Gluten has made for my daughter. Everything from her mood to her complexion is clear. She is her bouncing bubbly self again. I still can't believe the difference it has made. I am so so so thankful. I love how she comes in every day "what are you cooking?" She knows I will make sure it is Gluten-Free for her. As a Mom it gives me joy to provide this for her, it is nice to know I can do at least one thing right.

Well we are gearing up for the holidays around here. I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart again. I actually found it on "La Mia Vita Dolce" blog, but the original is from Martha. I of course changed it up to be Gluten-Free. Try these Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. This isn’t your typical gingerbread cookie. It is softer in texture and chewy. Once again, please refer to my Gluten free flour recipe. You don't want to buy a pre-packaged gluten free flour. At least I haven't tried one I have liked yet.

•1½ cups plus1 tablespoon Gluten-Free-all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
•1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•¼ teaspoon ground cloves
•¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
•1 teaspoon baking soda

•1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
•1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
•1 tablespoon freshly grated peeled ginger
•½ cup packed dark brown sugar
•½ cup molasses
•7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, I just used choc chips
•¼ cup granulated sugar

1.Line 2 baking sheets or baking stones ( love my baking stones ) with parchment paper.
2.In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves,baking soda, nutmeg and cocoa. I sift then whisk it all together.

3.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the grated fresh ginger on medium speed until lightened, about 4 minutes.
4.Add the brown sugar; beat until combined.
5.Add the molasses; beat until combined.

6.Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Then the remaining half of the flour mixture.
7.Mix in the chocolate; turn dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Pat out to a 1-inch thickness; seal with wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or overnight.
8.Preheat oven to 325° F. Roll dough into 1½-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until surfaces just begin to crack, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Cookies are best the day they are made, You won't have a problem with that, everyone gobbles them up quick.

Gluten-Free Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

I am a comfort food freak. I don't crave it as much here in California because it is rare we have a rainy day. We don't have one today either. It is as beautiful as ever. 80 degrees and sunny like always. BUT, I need comfort. I say this to you as I type wearing my neckbrace. I am supposed to wear it whenever I am "up" (stupid car accident). It is uncomfortable, but I need to get some cooking done for my soul. So I am wearing it. As I have my own little pity party, I am making myself some yummy Gluten-Free Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese I adapted this recipe from Saveur but made it gluten free.

Let's talk a minute about Gluten-Free noodles. They are not all created equal. There are a lot of slimy tasteless pastas out there. I have not tried them all. I have gone by word or mouth thankfully. One thing everyone seems to agree on Bionaturae pasta is the absolute best Gluten-Free pasta out there. Hard to even tell the difference. This is the pasta I am using for today's dish.
Salt to taste
8 ounces elbow macaroni Bionaturae pasta Gluten-Free
1/2 cup Gluten Free bread crumbs ( I actually like the tortilla crumbs best )
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 shallots, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup Gluten-Free-All-Purpose Flour blend
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups milk
10 ounces grated sharp white cheddar (about 4 cups)
10 ounces grated Gruyère (about 4 cups)
6 ounces Parmesan, cut into small cubes
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a 4-quart saucepan of water to boil, lightly seasoned with salt. Add pasta and cook as directed on package for half the cooking time. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Wipe out the pan and set on medium heat. Melt 3 TB butter and add paprika, thyme sprigs, shallots, and bay leaf. Cook until shallots have softened, stirring constantly about 5 minutes. Add flour and cayenne and stir until mixture thickens, about 1 minute.

Whisk in the milk and cook, continuing to whisk until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Discard the thyme springs and bay leaf and remove pan from heat.

Stir in cheddar, half of the Gruyère, the Parmesan, and blue cheese. Continue stirring until smooth. Stir in pasta and season sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta/cheese mixture to a baking pan that's been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Evenly distribute remaining Gruyère over top of pasta and then top with bread crumbs. Place baking dish on a baking sheet that's been lined with aluminum foil and bake at timing listed below OR until bubbly and crust has turned a golden brown.

Bake at 350 degrees
For a 8"x8" baking pan; cook about 30 minutes.
For smaller individual-sized portions cook about 12-15 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. This goes really well with a crispy vegetable to offset the gooey creamy pasta, and don't forget a glass of wine.
look how yummy it is!

Gluten-Free Scallops with Garlic and Rosemary Rice

Didi I mention how sexy my neck brace is? Just saying. Yesterday I had an outing. I went to physical therapy then to Whole Foods. Devon drove me. I cannot drive, since all the muscles in my neck and arm are torn. And it would not be a cute picture, me, in a neck brace, on medicine.. trying to drive. Nope. So just that outing seemed easy enough. Halfway through I was dying in pain. Course I refused to wear the neckbrace in the grocery store, so I am sure that had something to do with it. As I stand here in my sexy neck brace, I am eager to cook something more "gourmet" but quick. Since just a trip to the grocery store did me in, I know I can't do too much. So I am settling for Gluten-Free Scallops with Garlic and Rosemary Rice. Here is what I did:

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 cup water
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add broth and water. Stir in the rice, rosemary and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from the heat; stir in Parmesan cheese.

For the Scallops
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
1/2 cup Gluten-Free-all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

Wash scallops and pat dry. Put flour in a shallow bowl; roll scallops in flour.

Heat olive oil and butter over medium low heat; add scallops and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on one side. After about 2 minutes of cooking, carefully stir in the minced garlic not to move the scallops. When done, stir in parsley and serve scallops over rosemary rice.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Artichoke Dip of course Gluten-Free

Looking for some comfort today. I made this dip with my sexy neckbrace. Sorry... no pictures.

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 C sour cream
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 C chopped fresg spinach
2 small cans or jars of plain non marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese plus more to sprinkle on top
1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese plus more to sprinkle on top
1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese plus more to sprinkle on top

I love freshly chopped spinach

and freshly chopped artichokes

Mix all ingredients in a baking dish, sprinkle some cheese on top.  Broil until cheese is brown and dip is bubbly on the sides. You can dip Veggies or Chips and Crackers. Perfect Party tray.
Here it is before cooking

Here is the beautful finished product

Gluten-Free Hearts of Palm Salad

I get sick of the same salads over and over again. So I wanted to try something new. I threw this together and it was pretty darn tasty!
Hearts of Palm Salad
1 can sliced hearts of palm, drained
1 cup canned sliced black olives, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a salad bowl, toss together the hearts of palm, olives, cherry tomatoes, red pepper and onion.
Add the dressing ingredients to the bowl, and toss until salad is evenly coated. Let stand for at least one hour before serving.

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

In an effort to keep this Gluten-Free lifestyle easy for my daughter. I try to make treats several times a week. This pleases everyone. Us adults, the kids, any company. Just makes life more bearable. Today I am going for the Chocolate fix. I can admit that when there is chocolate involved I always have a double motive. I adapted this recipe from Martha Stuart, But I made mine Gluten-Free. As always, for those of you that don't care, you can use normal flour. However, I still encourage you to try it the Gluten-Free way. I bet you can't tell the difference!

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
•1 cup Gluten-Free-all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
•1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
•1/2 pound Chocolate cut into 1/4-inch chunks
•1/2 cup unsalted butter
•1 1/2 cups sugar
•2 large eggs
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 325° F. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium-sized bowl; set aside.

2.Melt 4 ounces of the coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; let cool slightly.

3.Put the chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in the flour mixture. Using a large spatula, fold in chocolate chunks.

4.Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces crack, about 15 minutes (cookies should be soft-do not over-bake). Let cool.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Well I have a lot of torn muscles and garbage going on from the accident. So I am stuck here doing nothing. Cooking is my outlet. It is how I enjoy my day. When I am working, all I can think about is how I can't wait to get back in the kitchen and cook. So this is like a punishment for me. Sitting her. Bored. Not to mention no one else cooks here. So I have spent my time investigating places we can get take out. I despise having to get takeout. For me I would rather sit in a nice gourmet restaurant, or at home eating my food. Not much in between. Last night we had Pei Wei from their Gluten-Free menu. It was good. But it was takeout. Tonight I am trying Chipotle. I was pleased to see that their entire menu is gluten-free with the exception of their flour tortillas! Not gourmet, no, but something that can feed my family until I am up and running again. Check out their info on special Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, dietary needs: Chipotle
I have physical therapy again today at 3. Here is hoping he can work a miracle and I can be cooking again tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sammy's Gluten Free Menu

Well, Mom is out of commission. Yesterday my daughter and I were in my convertible beetle bug on the way to a doctors appointment and stopped at a crosswalk and were rear-ended. Ouch. I am in so much freaking pain today. A doctor's appointment and 3 prescriptions later... I have to go to physical therapy for my neck, back and arm. Just what I need. I am hoping I won't be THIS sore for too long. BUT, no cooking for me tonight. That means takeout, since I am the only one that really cooks in this house. Thank God for Sammy's, check out their great Gluten-Free Menu I love it when companies realize other people's dietary needs. No recipe's today folks. Sorry =(

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gluten-Free Homemade Pasta

I am a pasta freak. I love to make it from scratch. I am not letting the whole gluten free thing stop me. Here is my recipe for the noodles I am making at home now. I used it tonight for fettucine alfredo.
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup cornstarch
6 tablespoons potato starch
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
9 teaspoons xanthan gum
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt, and xanthan gum.
In a seperate bowl beat the eggs lightly and add the oil.

In the Kitchenaid mixer on dough attachment pour the egg-oil liquid into the flour mixture, and run for about 3 minutes.
Place the ball of dough on a potato starch-floured surface in between rolling it with the pasta attachment to desired thin-ness.
I let mine sit for 2 hours after this, covered with saran wrap.
Cut into desired shape. I used the wide fettuccine attachement on my kitchenaid
To cook pasta:  This is where gluten free pasta differs... cooking time. Cook in boiling water, add 1 TB oil and 1 TB salt, for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness and size of your pieces.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Steamed Halibut on Red Pepper Coulis

So the end of the weekend is here. I am exhausted and I do not even know why. Last night we had a nice treat. A friend of mine invited us over for dinner and games in her adorable little cottage style home. It was a nice evening. To top it all off she made a wonderful Vegetarian and Gluten-Free dinner and mulled wine. She is from England and I find myself very interested in hearing about the different ways they do things. All the food was delicious. I had never halled Mulled Wine before. It is yummy. Kinda like apple cider but with wine instead. Most the alcohol cooks off with oranges, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. So you can drink it throughout the night without worrying about driving home, which was a plus!

Today we got up bright eyed and bushy tailed and headed to church and then to Pelly's again to grab their catch of the day. More Halibut. Yum! I went for the ultra healthy method this time. Steamed in bamboo with salt and pepper over homemade Red Pepper Coulis. Very mild, but still wonderful, and easy to make. Here is the recipe:

Red Pepper Coulis:
2 TB olive oil
2 chopped shallots
1 garlic clove chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, shallots, garlic. Saute stirring for about a minute.

 Add the bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, lower the heat and stir often for about 10 minutes allowing the peppers to get soft but not brown.
Turn heat back up to medium high and add the wine and cook until it cooks off. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth. Add vinegar and oil and blend again. Serve under your steamed halibut. Steaming halibut is easy. I used my bamboo steamer. Salt and pepper each side and steam for about 4 minutes. Tada!

It was a simple but healthy meal. Enjoy your week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another recipe I fell in love with

Thank's to Rick Moonen...again. However this time the kids loved it too! Could have something to do with the ultra fresh Halibut filets we got from Pelly's Fish Market, but I am thinking it was Rick's recipe that made our meal spectacular. He really knows how to pair his foods. This one is going on the A list of recipe's for us. It is so healthy and light. It is like having fish and tartar sauce without all the mayo and badness. If you make it, I encourage you to eat all of it together, Don't skip the egg or the Gribiche. I almost didn't put the egg on mine, because it just did not sound good to me. I am so glad I did. I wish I had made more. My daughter usually doesn't care for capers, she was kinda throwing a fit watching me make this, but I talked her into trying it. She ate the whole thing.  It looks like a challenging recipe, but it really isn't. You just need to read the entire recipe first before starting. Because it is all about doing the right steps at the right time.
Halibut with Gribiche and Poached eggs:
For the Gribiche:
1/3 cup diced tomato
3 TB Minced Shallots
3 TB minced cornichons (you can use baby dill, but cornichons are better)
2 TB Capers
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 TB Sherry
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 scallion (white part only minced).

Stir the tomato, shallots, cornichons, capers, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Leave it at room temperature for 2 hours OR refridgerate overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.

For the fish:
4 (6 ounce) pieces of halibut fillets
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
Olive oil
Zest of one lemon

45 minutes before cooking season the halibut on both sides with salt and pepper. Refridgerate.

Finish with 4 large poached eggs and salt

Poaching eggs: Heat about 3 inches of water in a deep 10 inch skillet. Add a tablespoon or two of white vinegar and bring the water to a simmer. Crack the eggs into custard cups. When the water is just simmering, stir it several times so it is swirling, then slip each egg from its cup into the water; the eggs should be side by side and not touching. Lower the heat so that the water is just barely moving. If it boils the egg will break apart. It takes about 4 minutes to poach an egg. Poaching an egg makes it taste like a creamy cheesy sauce.

Heat a heavy bottomed skillet or cast iron skillet over high heat. Add olive oil and Halibut. Cook until just before completely white. It will finish cooking the last minute off heat.

To plate: Layer Gribiche, Halibut, Poached egg, salt the top. Break the yolk before eating. Put a little of each item on your fork for each bite. Heavenly. I realize this may be ultra gourmet for some, but I am telling you. It is very very very very good.

Before egg is broken:

After you break the egg:

High in protein, low in fat. Very yummy!

Potato Crab Chowder

We have had cooler weather than normal which makes me like comfort food. This past week I made Hot and Sour Soup, French Onion Soup, but have been craving a creamy soup. So for lunch today I made:
Potato Crab Chowder. Our local fish market here really had good quality stuff. Their crab is delicious, their fish is wonderful. If you live near Carlsbad Pelly's Fish Market rocks.
Here is a quick way to throw together an afternoon soup...  and it is Gluten-free naturally.
1 stick - Butter
2 stalks- Celery, finely chopped
1 small - Onion, finely chopped
4 large - Potatoes, chopped evenly
32 ounces- Chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon - Salt
1/4 teaspoon - Black pepper
1/2 pound - Crab meat
2 sprigs - Parsley, chopped (moore for garnish)
1 cup - cream
1/4 cup parmesan
In a 3 quart saucepan melt the butter and saute celery and onions.

Add evenly chopped potatoes and broth and cook until potatoes are firm, but dente. ( I chop my potatoes into cubes all roughly the same size, that way they cook uniformly). Mine took 10 minutes.
Add in salt, pepper, crab meat and parsley and simmer 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in cream. Pour into dishes and sprinkle parmesan on top and a little moor parsley.
Serve hot.
We all really enjoyed it. I fried up some polenta on the side to help soak up the leftover broth.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thai White Fish with Sticky Rice and Dipping Sauce

Tonight I am making some thai food. A friend of mine turned me on to where you can import thai food products, like sweet rice and other things. I got a kit from there to make sticky rice. When we were in Chicago Terrianne made the best sticky rice and dipping sauce. She said she got the recipe from her sister Stacy. Any way. it is SO good. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me. The rice is easy enough, but the only trick is you need to soak it for 8 hours. So you really have to plan when you are going to have it. My friend Devon's Dad runs a fishing boat and they just caught some fresh whitefish. So I decided it is the perfect time to make the rice. I am gonna whip out some thai style marinade for the fish. Here is what I put on the fish:

1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 TB Agave or Sugar
2 tablespoons of crushed garlic
2 tablespoons of freshly ground ginger root
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 sprigs parsley
2 Fresh limes, halved and juiced

Wash the fish and dry it. Then pour the juice from the limes over the fish.
In a seperate large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Add fish, mix well and marinade.

Cook fish over a grill or broil until done... doesn't take long

Serve with sticky rice and dipping sauce.

Sticky rice,  It is meant to be formed into small balls that you make with your fingers. Then dip it in spicy sauce and let it soak up like a sponge. Here is how says to make the sticky rice
Rinse Sweet rice or "glutinous rice" 2-3 times, until water runs clear. Place rinsed rice in a bowl and fill with cool water so the water is approximately 2-3 inches above the rice .Let the rice stand in water for 6-8 hours. Drain the rice, place it in a cheesecloth, wrap it up and put the cheesecloth inside bamboo steamer. Put 6-8 cups of water in sticky rice steamer. Then place bamboo steamer inside sticky rice steamer. Be sure the bottom of the bamboo steamer does not touch the boiling water. Place a standard 8 inch lid loosely over the top of the bamboo steamer. Now turn on the heat (Med/High) and steam the rice for 45 minutes (or until tender).
Terrianne told me these tips:
- Give the rice a rinse after soaking

-Spray your basket with cooking spray prior to cooking rice, makes clean-up SO much easier.
-I use a lid with a whole in it that is made for steaming to cover the rice. After your rice has cooked for approx. 25-30 min. give the rice a flip in the basket & allow to cook for an additional 5 min. or so.

once done, to eat it, you form little balls and dip it into the dipping sauce. My daughter hates anything spicy so I made her just a basic teriyaki, for the rest of us here is the recipe from Stacy's Kitchen, that Terrianne so nicely shared with me:

Dipping sauce for sticky rice:
2 limes
3 cloves garlic
1-2 peppers (thai or serrano)
green onion
fish sauce

Grind Garlic and peppers.
Squeeze limes and drop it in.
add 1/4 cup water and 12 shakes of fish sauce (maybe more)
add a pinch of sugar ( I used agave) and grind
add 12 leaves of cilantro and 1 green onion... green part only.
add a dash of salt. Grind
taste and add anything more if needed.

Our meal was very very very yummy. Everyone ate, including my son, who is Mr. Picky.

Randy and my plate looked like this:

The kids plates looked like this... cuz they had teriyaki sauce:

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