Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gluten Free Sour Cream Sugar Cookies (Christmas Cookies)

It's that time of year again!  Time to put up Christmas decorations and fill the air with the wonderful aromas of Christmas baking.  This time of year can be frustrating for a new celiac since the majority of your favorite recipes are now off limits for you.  And who wants to bake their favorite recipes just so everyone else can enjoy them?  Here's the good news: there are a lot of GF food bloggers out there and chances are at least one of them has put up a recipe similar to yours, but gluten free!  This one is a Christmas classic in our house.  I posted it last year (you can see the original here), but last year they turned out as drop cookies.  Not quite what I was going for.  These cookies were meant to be cut into little stars and Christmas trees and circles with pretty scalloped edges!   This year I looked back at my recipe and wasn't totally satisfied with it.  As I become more familiar with GF baking I start to "assign" certain flours to certain types of recipes, and this one just had too much sorghum in it.  Sorghum is a heavy flour, but it behaves very similar to wheat flour.  So I divided it in half and put in some brown rice flour instead.  These turned out so beautifully!  The dough was pliable and rolled out thin, and the cookies were delicious!  You would never know they were gluten free.  That, my friends, is success.  

Sour Cream White Cookies - Grandma's Cookies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup lard or butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups GF flour: 
    • 1 1/2 cups soy flour
    • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour/starch
    • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
    • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
    • 3/4 cup sweet rice flour
    • 3/4 cup potato starch
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream together butter and sugar
  3. Add sour cream, vanilla, and eggs
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together dry ingredients
  5. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk, mix just until blended.
  6. Section your dough and roll it out on a floured surface (I use sweet rice flour for this) until it is about a 1/4" thick.  Cut out using your favorite cookie cutters!  The scraps can be recombined with the dough and used again.
  7. Bake for 12-13 minutes on a greased cookie sheet or until the edges are golden brown
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • Milk or whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Blend all ingredients together, add more milk or icing sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Substitute teaching hasn't really picked up yet.  So I have a lot more days off than I'd really like to have.     I'm trying to use my time productively.  This week I've spent two days at my parents helping out with canning.  Mom was recently promoted at her job, so she has even less free time than she'd like to have. I've helped out with canning in bits and pieces in previous years, but this is my first time doing it start to finish (mostly) on my own.  Mom sent me shopping and left me a recipe.  At least I knew I could call her at work if (when) I needed some help.  Mom's tomato plants produced in abundance this year, so I'm sure this won't be the last of the canning.  There are boxes and boxes of tomatoes ripening in the garage.  I made two batches of salsa and three batches of tomato soup and I don't think I even made a dent.  Salsa is a two day recipe.  Part 1 involves soaking the tomatoes, celery and onions in pickling salt overnight.  Part 2 finishes everything off.  We try to use as many garden vegetables as possible, and (if possible) we try to use the garden-ripened tomatoes for salsa first.  They have the best flavor!  This year we grew a few green bell peppers, so those got mixed into salsa as well!

Tomato Soup

Since becoming celiacs it became even more important for my mom and I to make tomato soup each Fall.  The grocery store stuff is always thickened with something we can't eat.  It isn't really a hardship though, homemade stuff tastes better!  I didn't used to think that when I was younger, but clearly I was insane.  I've come to see the light now (especially now that I don't have a choice), and look forward to freshly canned tomato soup each year.  We try to utilize as many garden vegetables as possible for tomato soup.  Fresh tomatoes, onions, carrots, and parsley all go into this delicious garden fresh soup!

Marinated Tomato Salad

Marinated tomato salad is an harvest favorite around here.  All the tomatoes from the garden have been picked before the first frost and are sitting around in boxes ripening.  Nothing beats a garden tomato.  The juice and the flavor that just explodes when you bite into it cannot be matched.  This is also the time when we have to use up those tomatoes as quickly as possible before they over-ripen and start to spoil.  Jars and jars of tomato soup and salsa begin to fill the pantry shelves.  I love Autumn.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mom's Chocolate Zucchini Cake (Gluten Free)

Sometimes how Mom did it really is best.  What is it about your Mother's cooking that just screams "comfort food"?  The original chocolate zucchini muffins recipe I posted was alright.  But it just wasn't as good as Mom's was.  So I'm posting hers too.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gluten Free Roll Kuchen

My Mennonite roots are coming out here.  Hot summer day + roll kuchen + watermelon = bliss.  Diagnose a few family members with celiac disease and the roll kuchen days were over.  Oh how we mourned that loss.  But for those of you following along, you know that I refuse to be told I can't have something.  If someone else has done it, then I'll find out and try it myself.

The final push to find a recipe (and try it) came when I spent a weekend in Steinbach for a family reunion and (unfortunately) ended up sitting beside the big bowl of roll kuchen (NOT gluten free).  Enough! I said.  I'm having roll kuchen when I get home.

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Josh and his friends ate out at a Brazilian Steak House a while back and he came home raving about these little cheese biscuits they served.  "The waitress said they were made from tapioca starch so they'd be gluten free!"  I love how he's always thinking of me and what I could eat, even when I'm not with him.  Fast forward a few weeks and I stumbled across this recipe in a gluten free exchange group I'm in on Facebook.  Reading through the recipe I realized this is a NATURALLY gluten free recipe.  They haven't switched to tapioca starch to appease the celiacs out there.  While I know I'm capable of making delicious converted GF food, when a recipe is naturally GF I get excited.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa has risen quickly as a popular new "supergrain" along with the surge of gluten free products.  But I find it is quite bland on its own, so I haven't experimented much with it until now.  Recently I found a wild rice mix at Costco that had quinoa in it and I've started to appreciate the grain more.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gluten Free Tempura Battered Fish

I have a confession to make.  I'm addicted to cooking shows.  When my husband and I first moved into our apartment, we signed up for internet and they threw in cable as a promotion for 6 months.  We never really thought we wanted cable.  But I quickly discovered that the Food Network was a fabulous place to spend my days off.  Josh really isn't complaining, he benefits from my entertainment.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Once I felt that I had succeeded with sandwich bread I had to keep the ball rolling.  Actually, this one came about because of my Mother's craving.  She was missing cinnamon raisin bread terribly.  The story goes like this...

We were doing our monthly Costco trip together and I was bragging about my success with sandwich bread.  (My mom is a celiac also, so I have to share my successes with her.)  She confessed her craving for cinnamon raisin bread, and I began to wonder if such a recipe could be found on the Baking Beauties website.  Technology is wonderful, and smartphones are so handy... within minutes we had our answer.  YES!   A quick call home to confirm if we had raisins and we rushed home to try it out.  

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

I was so nervous to try baking gluten free bread.  Every blog I read warned me that it was tricky and finicky and took many many tries.  Talk about discouraging!  I buy both Udi's and Kinnickinnick's sandwich bread and both are good, but I wanted warm, fresh out of the oven, homemade bread!  After I succeeded with the garlic parmesan pull-apart bread I mustered up the courage to try a real loaf.  I searched and searched until I found a recipe that sounded reasonable, had yummy looking pictures to prove it, and didn't use a flour mix.  If bread was as finicky as everyone said, why on earth would I use an AP mix?!  

Gluten Free Cheddar Onion Perogies

Those of you that I have on facebook may have seen the pictures I posted from my visit to Manitoba.  My Grandma and I learned to make GF perogies together!  For those of you that didn't see... here it is.  They were sooo good!  I brought my pasta recipe to the table, and she brought her excellent Mennonite experience making perogies.  A fine team we make I'll say!

Gluten Free Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

I seem to fallen off of the face of the blogging world.  I apologize!  Life has been... busy.  But I haven't stopped baking!  I still insist that eating gluten free should be equally delicious as otherwise.  And as such, I have a list of recipes that I need to get up here for you.  Be patient with me!  I know some of you have been requesting a few of them, and I promise to get them up sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wild Mushroom Ravioli

I mentioned before that I am having too much fun with my new ravioli mold.  Also, that I have extra time on my hands lately.  An upside of those two things together... an abundance of homemade ravioli! First it was the butternut squash, and once that worked out (quite well, I might add), the opportunities were endless!  My husband and I both adore mushrooms.  We put them in chili, roasted vegetables, on pizza, etc... In other words, we put them in just about anything.  So naturally, this lead to my search for a recipe for mushroom ravioli.  This one is a merger between one I found on Food.com and another I found on the Food Network.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know those days where you get hit with an irresistible craving?  My husband teases me because I constantly have random cravings that don't leave until I satisfy them.  Consequently, that means sometimes these cravings last several days before satisfied.  We both worry about my appetite someday when I get pregnant.  If I get a craving for cookies or chinese food out of the blue NOW, what will I be like then?  (PS, the craving for chinese food has lasted a LONG time already... there just aren't any GF options for that).  Anyways, I have time on my hands lately.  Too much time you could say.  So when a craving for double chocolate chip cookies came my way, I got right up and made some.  I love when a recipe turns out the first time.  I think I ate four of these right out of the oven.  Yes, they were that good.

Ten Of My Favourite Gluten Free Blogs

I'm new at this.  Really, I am.  I've only been at this gluten free diet for 7 months or so.  So most of my experimenting has happened in that time period.  Most of the recipes posted on this blog have been found on another gluten free blog somewhere and then tweaked as necessary.  I've been pretty brave with my experimenting, tampering with fresh pasta and ravioli.  But I can't quite bring myself to meander into the bread world.  Yet.  But if you are aching for fresh gluten free bread, don't wait on me!  Below is a list of my favourite gluten free blogs.  These are the sites that I most often go to when I want a new recipe - they have WAY more experience with gluten free cooking and baking than I do!  So add them to your reading list!  When you want to try a new recipe, check out my blog and check out theirs also!  Choose one that makes sense to YOU.  Read the description.  Try new things!  Avoid pre-mixed flour blends from the store, and don't be afraid of the fact that you will have a plethora of different flour types in your pantry.  It's worth it.

My favourites:

1. Gluten Free Girl - She is a writer, married to a chef, and has been a celiac since 2005.  She has a bit of everything on her blog.  She's also written a cookbook.

2. The Baking Beauties - She's written a cookbook called "The Everything Guide to Living Gluten Free".  She has recipes under every food category, and LOTS of bread recipes.

3. Celiac Teen - Nineteen year old chef and blogger.  Lots of experience and great recipes!  Here I finally found a delicious biscuit recipe that melts in your mouth.

4. Gluten Free Goddess - Everything under the sun and great descriptions for her flour choices.  She has some strong opinions on which flours you should an should not use, but she has years of experience under her belt.

5. Simply Gluten Free - Television chef Carol Kicinski.  20 years gluten free.  Develops her own recipes. Awesome blog.

Other recommended bloggers: (I haven't tried these sites, but I think I will soon!)

6.  Elana's Pantry - Two gluten free cookbooks

7. Gluten Free Mommy - Family friendly gluten free

8. Gluten Free Day - quoted as a "must read blog"

9. Hey, That Taste's Good! - Gluten free doesn't mean taste free

10. Gluten Free Gobsmacked - I just discovered a recipe for garlic-parmesan pull apart bread on this website... drool!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli

My wonderful husband bought me a ravioli maker for Christmas.  I love it.  It is my new favourite toy.  It isn't really a ravioli maker though, more like a ravioli mold.  Either way, with my GF pasta recipe in hand, I went to town!

My brother and I decided it was time to try growing some more types of squash in my mothers garden this past summer.  I insisted on spaghetti squash and acorn squash, he opted for butternut squash.  I am sure glad he did!  Butternut squash made the most delightful filling in these little ravioli's.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gluten Free Cheese Biscuits

Gluten free dough does not handle the same way as regular dough.  It is a reality of learning to cook gluten free, but it does not mean that taste needs to be compromised.  But it is for this reason that drop biscuits work better than rolled biscuits.  This recipe is my best success thus far with gluten free rolled biscuits.  It comes from the blog of Celiac Teen.  The millet flour seems to be the key here, it behaves so nicely in those recipes that are particularly difficult to convert.

Gluten Free Waffles & Vanilla Custard

I didn't get a crepe maker for Christmas (which ended up being okay - I learned the frying pan method), but I DID get a waffle maker.  You just can't make those delicious little squares on your own.  These turned out so crisp and wonderful,  I could have eaten them all day!  This recipe comes from Food.com, and I will be making them again!  The vanilla custard recipe comes from my family, and is a long standing tradition to eat with waffles.  Dip them in custard, or layer the waffles up with custard, jam, fresh fruit, whipped cream, whatever you desire!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gluten Free Crepes

Crepes have always been one of my favorite meals/breakfast items/ desserts.  They are so delicious and versatile!  I knew these could be converted to GF since my little brother had done it once before.  Also, The Creperie in Edmonton serves gluten free crepes!  (As a side note, I also have their GF bread recipe... but I haven't attempted it yet!)  I hadn't tried making crepes myself since I was hoping to get a crepe maker for Christmas.  A crepe maker is basically an inverted frying pan that you dip into your batter, creating a paper thin crepe!  I had never tried the frying pan method.  But I am impatient, so I figured I could try at least once to make crepes in the frying pan... and voila!  This recipe comes from Living Without.  Try them sweet or savory, for breakfast or any meal of the day!  The flour blend I chose is a high protein mix, because it lends itself nicely to high elasticity.