Thursday, December 17, 2009

Perfect GF Shortbread Cookies

Christmas may begin. For me it doesn't feel like Christmas until I have had my mom's famous shortbread cookies. My mom made these every year when I was a kid. They were always every ones favorite. I used her recipe but subbed the all purpose wheat flour for my gf all purpose flour. They turned out EXACTLY as I remember them and my mom agreed. They are light, fluffy, fragile, buttery, melt in your mouth perfection. They are the way shortbread cookies should be. Once, I tried a commercial shortbread. That is not shortbread. This is shortbread.

Fabulously Perfect Real GF Shortbread Cookies

3 cups Kim's all purpose flour mix

1 cup of icing/confectioners sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 lb butter softened to room temperature ***This must be real butter, not margarine or shortening***

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Cream butter and dry ingredients. This takes a while. Add vanilla. Beat until fluffy. You may drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet ( I always use parchment paper to make my life easier) but these are best if you use a cookie press. In the pictures below I used a piping bag as my cookie press just died. Then decorate the cookies with maraschino cherry bits, chocolate chips or sprinkles. They are meant to be small and delicate. Bake for 15 minutes. Do not brown. This will make 7-8 dozen small cookies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kim's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour mix

We have been gf for 3 years next month. In that time only once have I purchased an all purpose flour. I tried Bob's Red Mill and I greatly disliked it. It had bean flour in it and I just don't like the flavor of bean flour. Everyone and their dog sells their own special blend of "All Purpose Gluten Free Flour." It costs a small fortune. I found that when I was browsing the internet for recipes and someone listed an all purpose flour mix, I would just click on by because I will not buy that stuff because of the ridiculous price. Then a couple of weeks ago I decided to create my own. No, I have no plans on trying to sell it. Most of them are roughly the same anyway. But I have to say, I was really, really pleased with the way it worked. I have used it as a 1:1 substitution for wheat flour in some of my favorite Christmas treats (recipe to follow) and it turned out EXACTLY like as if I had used wheat flour. That said, I have yet to try this in anything fried and I have not tried it in bread but it did work great in everything I have tried it for. So here is what I did for a very, very small fraction of the cost of buying a prepackaged "All Purpose Mix."

Kim's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix

1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

I used the inexpensive flours I get from the Asian market. They are very fine and powdery. I just mix it all up in a Ziploc and store it in there. I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Teff Polenta with Grilled Veggies

A while back we discovered teff. Not familiar with teff? You're not alone. When doing a spell check the word isn't even in the spell check dictionary. Here is some info on teff. We read about it's nutritional benefits and we were sold. Without discussing it with me, Ron ordered 25 pounds of the ivory teff flour and 25 pounds of teff seed. He has such faith in me that I would be able to figure out what the heck to do with it all. I just finished my 25 pounds of flour last week. It lasted about 7 or 8 months. I use it in place of brown rice flour in many cases and it is the base of my bread recipe. The seed, well that is another story. We use it in our 9 grain cereal and I have used it to make cornless cornbread (which was awesome and I will post soon) but beyond that I am not sure what to do with it. For lunch today I was craving something light and yet hearty. I was determined to use some of that teff seed. I whipped up something that reminded me of corn polenta but only much, much better. Have you ever had one of those meals that just makes you feel happy? One that makes you feel satisfied, not guilty, not craving, not bloated and just plain...well... happy? Well that is how this dish made me feel. I was able to get Sage (5) to try it and she liked it and came back for more. I couldn't get Rori (3) or Justus (18 months) to even try it. Oh well at least one of them tried and liked it. I loved it. I served it with grilled veggies. I sliced the veggies and grilled them outside, dry, with nothing on them. Once they were done to my liking I drizzled olive oil and a bit of kosher salt on them. They too were fantastic!

Teff Polenta

1-2 T olive oil
3-4 cloves of minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup teff seed
3 T minced fresh basil
1 1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Warm olive oil in medium skillet. Add minced garlic. Cook on medium heat for a minute. Add tomatoes, teff seed, basil, water, salt and pepper. Stir and cook covered for about 15 minutes on medium low. Remove lid, turn off heat and stir. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and as it does it will thicken more. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kale Chips

I'll admit it, I don't like kale. Kale is that stuff that sometimes comes on your plate as a garnish that you quickly remove. Kale is that stuff that you see in salad bars that the salad is sitting on. It is a green, leafy veggie that is a bit tough and I think it is a bit bitter. So when I kept seeing other people blogging about kale chips I quickly clicked on by. But I kept seeing it and everyone raves about it. So, trying to be open minded I decided to give it a whirl. I made Kale "Chips". I am not going to bother to post a picture because to be honest, they are not very pretty and this has been blogged about so much by so many others, what is the point, right? I am adding it here so that I don't forget about it. Do you ever do that? Just completely forget about something that you love??? Anyway, stunningly, these are amazing. Seriously, they are fantastic. The first time I made them my mom and I ate an entire bunch to ourselves. I should point out here that she had the same kale aversion that I had. Then I served them as an appetizer to about 15 people. I made 3 bunches (or are they heads?) and it was all eaten. Now for the most unbelievable thing... all 3 of my very picky kids and my husband all like them (although my husband won't admit that he likes them, he did eat a lot of the plate)!! That is what I should have done: taken a picture of my kids devouring them. Now here is the best part; it's nutritional benefits. This is now a regular in our house. Making it is so easy that it isn't really even a "recipe" but here is what I did.

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale (washed and dried)

olive oil

kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350. Tear kale up in bite sized pieces. Toss the tough, woody stem. Lay the pieces out on a cookie sheet and do not let them overlap. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil. It would be good to have a sprayer for this but I don't so I just drizzled it. Then, very lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until they are crispy. (If they are not crispy and are still a bit pliable, they will be tough~ and then you just have kale) Serve immediately as a substitute for potato chips or the like.