Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween -- Gluten Free Style!

We've made a number of Halloween treats this season, but there are a couple of ideas that I got from pinterest and tweaked them to make my own Gluten Free versions.

This one didn't involve much tweaking, but it was by far the easiest. All I had to do was to make sure the yummies I purchased had no gluten, which they did not. I think the one I saw on pinterest used cookie crumbs, but these sprinkles worked great. And for something so easy, my munchkin sure has enjoyed having this as an after school treat this week!

I saw this idea on pinterest as well. I simply made my own gluten free chocolate cake recipe (which I'll give you before long) in a bundt pan - twice. I made a small amount of chocolate frosting from the recipe on the back of the Hershey's cocoa container to put between the cakes to hold them together, and made a typical glaze coloring it with red and yellow gel food coloring. The "stem" was brown fondant icing that we molded and placed in the middle of the cake.

They were both big hits with the fam!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Goodbye Gluten Wraps

I haven't forgotten about your brownie recipe -- and it is coming. Boy was it good! Actually, a family member that typically poo-poos my recipes on principle of them being gluten free loved the brownies. She totally thought I'd used a mix! She said they were the best brownies she had ever had. Wanted to know what mix I had used. Really!

Okay. Enough bragging. I want to tell you about something that has changed our lives -- at least in the area of sending lunch to school. I am very happy to say that Publix has been carrying Goodbye Gluten wraps, and now I can send "sandwiches" to school with my son. Unfortunately, his school does not provide a microwave for students, which makes school lunches a challenge. But with these wraps, not only are there no complaints -- he'd rather have a lunch from home than a lunch from school. I am so excited about this!!

Today I sent his favorite - a pizza wrap. Cheese, pepperoni, and some pizza sauce rolled up and stuffed in a baggie. But he loves a sandwich with cheese, meat, lettuce, tomato, and chopped green onion as well. This has made school lunches much easier. I send some chips, juice, fruit, and a homemade, gluten free dessert as well. Today some sugar cookies cut with pumpkin cutters.

If you are finding gluten free school lunches a challenge, tell your local grocer to get these wraps!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gluten Free Brownies - recipe to come!

Here's a photo of my gluten free brownies that are so very delicious. I'll be posting the recipe before too long, but I need to talk a little bit about flours before I do that. So here's the teaser. I guarantee, these brownies need no apologies!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Almost There GF Coffee Cake

I love coffee cake, but it is another one of those recipes that I would not have thought 'doable' gluten free. But I love it so much that I decided to give it a good try. Being the brave (or perhaps crazy) woman that I am, I threw it together and fed it to my dinner guests.

Here it is before adding the glaze.

Honestly, I thought the recipe needed a little work. The cake part turned out a little dense and gooey, but you wouldn't know it by the group of college football players who gobbled it up (including one very picky eater).

This is what was left.

I'm not going to give the recipe yet because I want to try a couple more things, but this recipe is "almost there" and one that I am excited to add to our gluten free "arsenal." Never thought of dessert as a weapon? Then you've never fed a group of college-age boys!

Oh, and by the way, I didn't apologize for the gluten free cake. I didn't happen to mention that it was gluten free at all!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gluten-free football cake

It is always the perfect time chocolate cake, but now is the time for cheering on your favorite team with a festive chocolate football cake.

I am always concerned when making a cake sculpture from a gluten-free cake because it could be harder to cut out and "cement" together with icing than a normal cake because gluten-free cakes can be a little crumbly. However, this time, the cake turned out fine and it held up to being sliced and shaped.

For this cake I made a 9 x 13 rectangular layer and a 9-inch round layer. I purchased a cake board and lined it with parchment paper. I put the baked rectangular layer in the center then cut off two sides of the round layer and added them to the end. After this I trimmed the cake to look like a football. After the excess cake and crumbs were removed, I removed the parchment paper.

I then made a large batch of chocolate frosting and frosted the entire cake.

After this I used white fondant for the white bands that I purchased at a craft store (in this case, Hobby Lobby). I rolled the fondant into thin strips and cut it out with a knife and made a small amount of white frosting for the laces and the optional message.

The grass was so easy. It is made from sweetened coconut and green food coloring, all mixed up in a bowl to the right color. I added the green coconut mixture all around the edge to simulate grass.

Here is the gluten-free recipe:

Gluten-free yellow layer cake
2-1/4 cups sweet (sticky or glutinous) rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup corn starch
3 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup oil
6 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
Butter to grease pans

Grease 9 x 13 metal pan and 9-inch round pan with butter. Line with parchment paper. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Mix all flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl (first six ingredients). Mix dry ingredients well with a wire whisk, then set aside.

Mix oil and sugar together in a mixer. Add eggs and vanilla flavoring and mix on high until slightly fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Mixture will be a little stiffer than a batter with wheat. Pour into the two prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 35 minutes or until cake is done. Follow the directions above to finish the cake.

Chocolate cocoa frosting
3 sticks of butter, softened
2 boxes Confectioner's sugar
1 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
Approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk

In a smaller bowl combine Confectioner's sugar and cocoa until well mixed. (I use a wire whisk.) Mix butter and Confectioner's sugar. Add enough milk to make the dough creamy and spreadable. Frost cake using this mixture.

White decorator's frosting
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 box Confectioner's sugar
Enough milk to make soft enough to put into piping bag.

Mix together until creamy. Add to decorator's bag and add laces to football and add message.

Follow directions above to frost and decorate the cake. Then kick back cheer on your favorite team!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No Apologies

So, you, your kids, or your family have gluten allergies/sensitivities. And you've had to give up on all those wonderful foods you love, right? I mean, you've bought the gluten free stuff in the store, and it is okay. You've found a couple of mixes you like, but they cost an arm and a leg -- and those suckers don't grow back! You've gotten the cookbook(s) that gives you the gluten free "how to," but there are only a couple recipes out of a hundred that you like.

Or maybe this isn't you, but it was me a few years ago. I have a son with special needs, and he introduced us to the need to prepare foods a little differently, but then he was allergic to so many things that we had to prepare his food completely by itself. Then we found out that my second son was also sensitive to wheat, so a couple of years ago my mother and I started in earnest working on recipes that could give him, not just a version of what other kids were having, but a version that the other kids were going to want--food so good that there would be no need to say, "Sorry, it's gluten free."

We've had successes and we've had failures--although we prefer "failures" to be just another step on the way to finding great recipes. 

So far, my third child doesn't show any sensitivity to wheat, though the little rascal does appear to be sensitive or allergic to eggs. It couldn't be easy, could it?

While we are working on this problem, too, and will share recipes and products that serve the needs of those with multiple sensitivities, wheat (gluten) will be our main focus. 

Come along with us as we continue our journey into the world of gluten-free cooking. The blog where the food is so good, there is no need to apologize for it!