Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pancakes you don't have to buy a mix for!

On weekend mornings, I love to make a special breakfast for my family. When we had to go gluten and dairy free, I found it hard to make something good without buying a $6 box of mix. I tried pancakes out of a dozen gluten free cookbooks, but they all made better door stops or frisbees than they did food. So, I resigned myself to buying boxes of mix and left it at that...until now.
I finally got to work finding the best recipe I could. Now that I feel comfortable converting recipes, I started looking at "regular" recipes for the key to making the perfect pancake. And now, I have found it! I love making these, and have even adapted them to make pumpkin pancakes* for cold mornings that call for the house to smell like cinnamon and maple syrup. I hope these make your Saturday and Sunday mornings delicious!

dry ingredients:
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup potato starch (or corn starch)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

wet ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup milk or milk alternative
1-2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. While whisking, slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry. Whisk until lumps are gone. Cook in a skillet on medium high, 2-3 minutes on each side. Add syrup and enjoy!

* to make pumpkin pancakes, add 1/2 can of pumpkin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and reduce the liquid amounts to 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Doughnut Holes! Or my attempt to replicate a Beignet

My husband and I went to New Orleans 2 years ago and, as is the tradition, ate our way through the place. Well, he did. I, on the other hand, spent every meal trying to figure out what foods I could eat. I got sick the first night on crawfish that were delicious but were made with a roux and I was so tired from flying that I forgot to ask. I recovered and was more weary for the wear as I looked for places I could eat.Then I found Casamento's! If you are ever there, it is the most amazing fried seafood I have had, gluten or not. All of their batter is corn based and they don't use any wheat! None!!! I could eat anything except for the sandwiches!!! I had fried shrimp, oysters, and fried catfish. I ate until it hurt, but it was a trek from where we were staying in the French Quarter and I knew I only had one chance to enjoy this, so I did!
But, as I walked off all that fried stuff, I passed the place where dreams are made; Cafe du Monde. You smell the delicious air around the cafe long before you see it. They are known for these little fried dough balls called beignets and you drink them with chicory coffee. There is a mountain of powdered sugar on top of each delicious bite and if you breath out near them, the sugar falls like snow all around. They looked awesome! However, being recently poisoned by roux, the most I could do was sip my coffee au lait and watch as my husband drowned himself in fried dough. Usually I don't miss wheat, but this time was painful.
Well, two years later, I have made these little fried dough balls that are, according to my husband, a good replication of what he ate that day. They are easy to make and my whole family loves them. I hope you do too, and that I bring a little bit of New Orleans to your home.

Doughnut Holes:

1 cup of sorgum flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teasppon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter or butter alternative
veggie oil of choice for frying (I used safflower)

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls then combine slowly. Heat oil in pan about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. (If you have a fryer, you can fry these at 375 degrees according to your directions.) If pan frying, heat on high until batter sizzles when you put it in, then reduce the heat to medium-high. Make tablespoon sized balls of dough and fry for about three minutes, turning them over at least once. Take out of pan and dry on a paper towel. While they are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar. Let them cool a bit and enjoy!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! and Soup

2012 is here and after a wonderful month of holiday parties, shopping and time spent with the ones we love, it is time to cleanse and renew (and pay off the credit cards). I do realize that everything I have posted so far has been for those times when gluttony abounds. I would love to say that eating sugar cookies on a regular basis increases metabolism and shrinks fat cells, but sadly I would be lying. So, reality returns, and my jeans are a little tighter than they were a couple of weeks ago. So, as I do every New Years day, I think about how to be healthier in the coming months.

In that vein, I made the most delicious soup last night. I tried it out on my family to make sure it was as good as I hoped, and it was a winner. It takes a little time to prep, but make a bunch and freeze it for later. It is well worth the time!

Carrot Ginger soup with Sweet Potato

Before you begin, prep 2 lbs. of carrots for soup. Peel and dice into small pieces, but don't worry about precision, as this is a pureed soup.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil (sesame, olive, coconut) in a saute pan
Add 1 diced white onion and saute until translucent
Then add 2-3 tablespoons of minced pickled ginger (fresh ginger is fine too) and
one clove minced garlic. Add the carrots and heat for 2-3 minutes until they brighten just a  bit and start to soften.
Transfer ingredients into a large soup pot and add:
4 cups of veggie or chicken broth
2 cans of light coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 can pureed sweet potato
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the soup to a slow boil and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the carrots are soft. Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and puree. Garnish with cilantro and a little goat cheese if desired, and enjoy!