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Friday, July 31, 2009

Got Celiac? Start Here

Recently I was contacted in regards to a new cookbook: gluten free every day by Chef Robert Landolphi.

Would I like a free preview copy? No strings attached. Feel free to write about it on your blog, but you don't have to.

um... ... ... YES!

Shortly thereafter, the book arrived, and I began to read. Turns out it's not just a cookbook.

The whole first chapter, "Gluten Free Basics", is informative. Each successive chapter begins with a quick breakdown of what you need to know to cook the type of food in that chapter. Some of these informational segments are just a few sentences, and others, such as chapter three "Entrees", for example, you get a two page list of possible coatings to replace the traditional flour breading. (THANK YOU!)

I wish I had had this book last year when I was first diagnosed. I didn't know which way to turn, and it seemed that almost the books I came across were either way too organic or too gourmet for my tastes and style. (Or they just had awful foods! Bleah.)

This book is excellent for someone who is just starting out. It's easy to read and it does not contain the words "for dummies" (for me this is super-important).

It's also a fairly versatile book. It has recipes that would appeal to a variety of people. Here's a short list of some of the items it contains:
  • Beer-battered onion rings (super yummy, btw, and a little spicy!)
  • Baked beans
  • Cranberry-Hazelnut Rice Stuffing
  • Shrimp and Vegetable Pad Thai
  • White Chicken Chili
  • Ricotta Cream Berry Trifle
  • Parmesean-Pesto Chicken with Pecans
I think that whether you're just starting out on your gluten free life or you've been at it a while and are just looking for something new and interesting, this is a good book. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I think I'm in love with Bette Hagman

For those of you who don't know, Bette Hagman is one of THE people to buy a cookbook from if you have celiac disease. I have tried recipe after recipe from her book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Food and I have loved them all.

Today she saved me from a world with no pie. Yes, that's right, pie. I love pie. I spent years finding and perfecting the perfect pie crust, and then -poof!- no more pie for me! So very very very sad was I.

But take a look at this.

Isn't it just gorgeous?!

This is my deep dish strawberry rhubarb pie with a gluten-free crust. The crust was easy to work with, flaky, crisp, soft, and practically perfect. It's just going to take a little tweaking, and I think it will be just as good, if not better than, my original, wheat-filled crust!

Buy the book. Buy it. Now.

Here's my strawberry rhubarb pie recipe for you:
4 cups rhubarb
3 cups strawberry
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch

Place in your favorite pie shell. Brush top with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Bake at 425 for 50 minutes. Put a cookie sheet on the rack below the pie to catch any drips. Loosely cover pie with foil part way through baking to keep crust from burning.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's for Dinner Wednesday - Dessert Week

Yum! Dessert! Be sure to check out all the yummies over at the Gluten-Free Homemaker today! And be sure to forgive the awful quality of these pictures. I am ashamed of myself for making you look at them. I will make it up to you my graciously accepting the new camera you buy for me for my birthday so that I no longer have to take pictures of things with my phone. You're welcome.

To the recipe!

This one is quick and easy and good luck fighting others off so you can get some yourself. And by quick, I mean, I had everything assembled, done and tidied up in the time it took my husband to go pick up the girl from youth group and come back again. I also had a nice surprise for them to come back to. Yay, me!

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries and Whatnot

  1. Bowl
  2. Spoon
  3. Knife
  4. Wax paper

  1. Almond Bark
  2. Oil
  3. Berries

(Yup, that's it)

Suggested Optional Ingredients - for toppings: (double check for gluten-free-ness!)
  • Sprinkles
  • Coconut (Weird, but tasty!)
  • Crumbled cookies
  • Mini-chocolate chips (Nothing like chocolate topped chocolate!)

  1. Chop almond bark into smallish chunks and place in microwave-safe bowl with the oil. You want approx. 1 t of oil for every 4 oz. of chocolate.
  2. Microwave 30 seconds, remove, stir. Repeat as needed until chocolate is melted - smooth and silky. KEEP AWAY FROM ALL LIQUID! (If you've just washed your berries, pat them dry before dipping!)
  3. Grasp strawberry by top. Dip and roll in the chocolate.
  4. Dip and roll in topping, if desired.
  5. Place on wax paper to harden (takes only minutes - no need to refrigerate)
As you can see, I also dipped some fresh cherries. Super Yum.

Note: The Mrs. Fields recipe I based this on/hijaked this from uses actual chocolate, but my mother-in-law got me hooked on this almond bark, so that's what I use. You don't really NEED the oil when using the bark, but I liked how it changed the consistency, and I always use it now.
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