Monday, August 31, 2009

Peach Crisp (gluten-free)

Colorado has wonderful peaches. They are abundant throughout the late summer. Recently we purchased a large box of them to support a local fundraiser. I kept them in the fridge as they were already ripe and ready to eat. We've been enjoying them for a week now, but still had a dozen or so left. I hate to waste food, but how many peaches can two adults and a child eat in a week? I've had peach crisp on my mind for the last few days but hadn't found the time to make one until today. I split this recipe into two baking dishes since I was attending a ladies event this evening and wanted to have some for my boys at home too. This recipe was a big hit with the ladies. The boys haven't tried it yet. I served it with Vanilla Breyer's Ice Cream, which is the perfect compliment!

10 large peaches, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix (such as Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose)
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put chopped and peeled peaches in a 9 x 11 pan. Mix all dry ingredients except walnuts together and cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir walnuts in the dry mixture. Spread crumb mixture evenly on the peaches and press down slightly. Bake uncovered approximately 45 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gramma Janie's Blueberry Cake

Camden loves his Gramma Janie! She is a great cook and likes to spoil us. This weekend she was visiting us so I got to spoil her instead. She sent me this recipe for Blueberry Cake so I could experiment with a gluten-free version. I picked up the blueberries the other day in anticipation of making this for her while she is here. Gramma Janie says she got the original recipe from Chateau Madeline, a resort at the southern tip of Lake Superior on Madeline Island but likes my gluten-free version even better because it is more crumbly like a coffee cake.

1 1/3 cup sugar
½ cup butter
¾ cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

1 pint blue berries

¼ butter (hard)
1/3 cup gluten-free flour
½ cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour one 9x13-inch pan.

Cream together the sugar and butter, and blend in milk, vanilla and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and add to the creamed mixture, beating for a minute or two until blended. Pour batter into pan.

On top of batter, sprinkle the blueberries evenly. Cut the topping ingredients together until crumbly and sprinkle all over the batter with blueberries. Then, with knife or spatula, press the blueberries and crumb topping softly into batter and swirl with knife a bit. (You don’t need to get it all into the batter, because the batter will rise around the berries while baking.)

Check after 40 minutes to see if a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. I am at 5300 ft. altitude and baked mine for an hour.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Double Chocolate Muffins

There are mornings when I cannot get my 3-year-old, Camden to be interested in breakfast and other days when he asks for something to eat right away. Today was one of the days where he asked for something. He of course wanted "chocolate muffins" of all things. These are really decadent but I don't feel too guilty serving them because Camden does not get to indulge in the cookies, breads, muffins and cakes that are so abundant at every social event and even served at daycare.

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum or 2 tsp glucomannan powder
3 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup milk (can sub rice, almond or hemp milk)
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Mix wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just blended.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups and fill.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Variation: Bake in a mini-muffin pan. (bake time will be shorter)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gluten-Free Granola

Lately I have been feeling very envious of my husband's artisan granola. Since it is not made with gluten-free oats, I cannot indulge. I started thinking about how easy it would be to make my own granola and that I probably even have all the essential ingrediets already in my pantry. I researched granola recipes and realized that making granola has a lot of flexibility. I invented this recipe based on what I had in my pantry and what I thought would suit my personal tastes. But you can totally change this up however you want. Just watch that it doesn't get over-browned. I was babysitting the morning I made this and got hung up changing a diaper and entertaining the 3-year-olds and mine got just a little more toasted than I would have liked. But still the yummy sweet crunchiness I was craving!

4 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts of choice)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup chopped dried fruit (such as papaya)
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup banana chips, broken in pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together and make sure to break up any brown sugar lumps. Whisk together the canola oil, maple syrup and applesauce and add to the oat mixture. Make sure to coat all of the dry ingredients with the wet. Spread into a very large roasting pan and roast in the oven until lightly browned. Stir every 10 minutes during cooking to ensure even browning. Cool for 10 minutes then stir in dried fruit, craisins, raisins and banana chips. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What joy food brings!

Delicious food can work magic on us. On a cold wet day, food can provide comfort and warmth. When we are sick, food can be medicine. When we want to celebrate, we can express joy through cooking and eating together. There is something so intriguing about this magic that has always captured my interest. I want to make that magic happen. Sometimes it is spontaneous. The best dishes are often created by using whatever is left in the fridge that needs to get used up. Sometimes a new dish is created by extensive research. I may have an idea of what I want to make, but not know exactly how to make it or all the seasonings and ingredients. I will look up many versions of the recipe online, read hundreds of comments from other cooks, and then I will start to design my own recipe according to my own tastes and nutritional needs. Whatever the process, when the magic happens, it brings me joy.

I am not sure that I would be so joyful about creative cooking if there were no one to share the fruits of my labor with. Occasionally, I will truly enjoy a dish I’ve made only for myself. But I don’t think that the experience would be so enjoyable if no one was ever going to taste my food. If I were alone on the planet, I don’t think the experience would be the same. There is something magical about the sharing of good food and good drink amongst good company. A convivial atmosphere sparks the alchemical reaction of transmuting food into joy!