Monday, May 14, 2012

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (naturally Gluten Free)

If you've recently found out that you need to go on a Gluten Free diet one of the first things you probably did was look around your kitchen to see what was left for you to eat. No wheat, no barley, no rye... And then you go to the store. And you realize how expensive it is to buy pre-made Gluten Free products - like cookies.

It can be incredibly overwhelming. It was for me. And there are a lot of decisions to make. Are you going to simply budget more for the cost of Gluten Free bread for your sandwiches? Or are you going to start baking a lot more? But then you see Gluten Free flours can be just as expensive. If you are in my shoes, both myself and my husband are college kids, our food budget isn't very big. What do you do? Add into that the fact that we live in a town of less than 10,000 people with an hours drive to get to any place that even has a movie theater and my new diet seemed nearly impossible.

I needed something to help me feel in control of this permanent life change that had just occurred. I started going through recipes. Surely there was something that didn't require flour!? That's why this week we are featuring 3 of my favorite flourless cookie recipes. The best part? They are all easy and naturally Gluten Free.

First up is a recipe even kids can make. It calls for only three, THREE!!! ingredients! What is even better are the options you have. Substitute confectioner's sugar for a smoother texture, drizzle melted chocolate over the top, add half a cup of white chocolate or butterscotch chips, sandwich two cookies over Nutella...

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Combine all three ingredients in bowl, roll heaped tablespoon sized dollops of dough into a ball. Space 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Press balls down with a fork, making hatch marks. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Potatoes and Punch

It's a two-for-one recipe day. Neither are complicated enough to warrant their own posts - but they add the finishing touches to our Gluten Free Mother's Day Brunch. Remember how lovely it looks all together?

First up is our side dish of Summer Breakfast Potatoes. (My mom actually made these - I know! It was her Mother's Day Brunch... But she is a Mom!)

Second up Fruit Punch with a Peach Twist.

Isn't it just lovely? Red drinks are my favorite.

I added peach slices to my Mom's glass in honor of the day.

Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely ladies out there!

Next week I'll be sharing some cheap Gluten Free cookie ideas. Baking Gluten Free can be expensive - and overwhelming, especially when you first start out. But these dessert ideas will make you feel ready to take on the world.

Summer Breakfast Potatoes

2 medium to large potatoes, washed and cubed
1 teaspoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon Thyme
1/4 teaspoon chives
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1-2 teaspoons of olive oil

Drizzle enough olive oil in your skillet to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Add spices and cook until tender to a fork.

Fruit Punch with a Peach Twist

1 can of thawed Fruit Punch Cocktail
Ginger Ale
Frozen Peach slices

1 part fruit punch to 3 parts Ginger Ale. Add 3 frozen peach slices to each glass as ice.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ham and Swiss Kabobs and Golden Glaze

A Mother's Day Brunch can't be all sweets in my family. If my Mom and I only have sugar for breakfast we will crash within an hour. Does this happen to anyone else? The day before I had bought a ham on sale. After my husband's employee discount it was less than a dollar a pound! All that delicious ham deserved to make an appearance for Mother's Day! But ham isn't often "cute" and Mother's Day requires cuteness!

Enter kabobs. Everything looks more adorable as a kabob. Also. Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese tastes fabulous with ham. And the creamy whiteness of the Swiss cheese sets off the ham so well. Add to that the Golden Glaze I created and this dish is sure to be a winner with Mom's everywhere!

(If you don't have have a freshly cooked ham on hand like I did, you can subsistute a pre-cooked ham from your local deli.)

Golden Glaze was born of my love affair with anything pretty in jars. You laugh, but it's real. Orange Marmalade is so lovely in a jar that I just had to pick some despite not needing anything of the sort. It had such a beautiful golden glow I couldn't resist.

And I as I was trying to decide what would make my Ham-n-Swiss kabobs extra special for my Mom, I thought of that glowing marmalade. Some honey and mustard finished it off and sticky it might be, but so worth it. Much like little kid's hugs.

Ham and Swiss Kabobs

mini bamboo skewers
cubed ham (cooked)
cubed swiss cheese

Alternating ham and swiss cheese, add to bamboo skewers.

Golden Glaze

1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons deli mustard

Add all three ingredients to a microwavable bowl. microwave for 15-20 seconds or until easily stirred. Add more mustard for a stronger "kick". Drizzle over kabobs, or serve in a dipping dish.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Blackberry Peach Waffles

My Mom was diagnosed with Celiac two weeks before I was. It was her diagnosis that lead to mine. This is the first Mother's Day since then so the challenge was a Gluten Free - and still delicious Mother's Day Brunch. Since we live in two different towns I had this brunch this past weekend with my Mom and I'll be sharing it with you over the course of the week so you can have a special Gluten Free day with your Mom.

My Mom looooves fresh fruit, summer is her favorite time of year just for that reason! She also grew up on my Grandpa's homestead in Oklahoma where his fields are overrun with blackberry bushes. One thing you will always find in my Grandma's freezer is bags and bags of fresh picked frozen blackberries.

Now that we live in colorful, but dusty, deserts of New Mexico it seemed fitting to create a dish that would taste like those sticky summer days. And waffles seemed like the best idea as a complement to the fresh blackberries and peaches I got my hands on.

Now we have a family waffle recipe that is an absolute favorite - but it is most definitely not Gluten Free. It took several weird fails for me to come up with a Gluten Free waffley alternative. One batch just crumbled to pieces, another had to almost be burned to get it off the waffle iron... but finally a winner!

2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthun gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside

In a large bowl, sift together brown rice flour, cornstarch, and xanthum gum. Add salt, sugar baking powder milk and egg yolks. Mix well. Add the oil and stir. Fold in egg whites. Do not over mix. Cook until golden brown on hot waffle iron. Top with your choice of fruit and enjoy!