Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Little Sous Chef

 Waiting for BBQ goodies to drop

Helping BBQ

 Desperately hoping something falls

With you anytime you are near the stove

 Doesn't want to miss anything
Me and My Girl

Such a sweetie!

Rest in Peace

Tuesday, August 24, 2010



I was never really into avocados. Picky eater.  Going gluten-free, I found that I'll eat a lot more things that I never would have even looked at before. Because it's food. That I can eat.

Before this though, I had tried guacamole at ... surprise, surprise... an Irish pub. It actually had flavour. It was almost as if it had some taco seasoning in it. Perfect for nachos.
Since then I've been making guacamole with cumin and cayenne in it for that extra spice.

I take tortilla chips and guac to work sometimes as it's an easy snack. We have it all the time on hot sunny afternoons as an appetizer. Margaritas, salsa, fajitas, chips and guac and I'm a happy girl.

Spicy Mexican Guacamole

3 ripe avocados
1 lime, cut in half
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper - to taste
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 plum tomato, diced(optional)

Halve the avocados and remove the pit. Scoop into a medium bowl and mash. Add the juice of 1/2 the lime.
Mix into avocado.
Add red onion and garlic, cayenne, cumin, salt  and mix well. Gently toss in the tomato if you are using it.  Squeeze the remaining 1/2 of lime over the guacamole and cover tightly. Refrigerate mixture for about 1-2 hours so the flavours blend together.
Enjoy with tortilla chips!!!

It's certainly easier to make guacamole by hand  but I just bought a Ninja and it works fabulous for guac.

This post is linked to Simply Gluten Free's Gluten Free Photo Contest. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gluten Free Tortillas

I had a craving for fajitas today.

I hate corn tortillas. Dilemma.

I'm sure they are perfectly lovely for some people but I like my nice soft flour tortillas that don't have the texture of sawdust.

I've tried a commercially sold brown rice version but wasn't that impressed with it's thawing capabilities.

I found this recipe on the Forums. When I first found out about celiac, I pretty much lived on these kinds of forums. Living Without.... Tortilla Recipe  
It's about halfway down the page.

This one is from the folks at Living Without magazine I've changed it up a little since I'm not a bean flour girl.

Gluten Free Tortillas
Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas

1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup sorghum or millet
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 TBs vegetable or other shortening
3/4 to 1 cup warm water

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients, then cut in or work in the shortening using a pastry blender or two knives or your hand.
2. Add the warm water, starting with 3/4 cup and mix well.
3. Continue to add water until a soft, cohesive dough is formed.
4. Heat a comal, tapa or griddle to medium heat. Then, form a ball of dough into a flattened disk, cupping the outside edges a bit to form a round.
5. Using a bollilo or rolling pin, roll into a round disk about 1/8 inch thick and about 8 inches in diameter or to your preference.
6. Bake one at a time on a hot griddle until the surface bubbles. Turn only once, the first side should have brown flecks.
7. Bake until the second side has slightly browned - should brown in a very short time.
8. Keep warm in a tortilla keeper or wrapped in a cloth until served.
Note: Will freeze in a sealed plastic bag for up to three months.

One of the posters who has made tortillas forever uses a tea towel to push down on the bubbles that form. 

Finally. Tortillas that taste just like flour tortillas. I made one into a quesadilla right away and it was fabulous. I froze them between parchment after this.

Later, we made fajitas and the first two I heated in foil in the oven after a very quick defrost. First one was great, by the time I was ready for the second one, it had kind of hardened again. I tried to heat it back up but it didn't work.

I had to try again. I took one out of the freezer and put it in the microwave, with a little dish of water and then heated it for about 30 seconds.Worked wonderfully this time. It was pliable during filling, eating and then even a few minutes later when I checked the end of it.

I recieved a tortilla press for Christmas and I wasn't sure how that would work since they work best with corn tortillas. I searched out a few websites and saw a note saying that flour tortillas didn't work well with the tortilla press due to the gluten. Well, well, well. Not a problem here. I used a combo of guar gum and psyllium fiber husk and added a little extra brown rice flour so that it wasn't sticky and then I was able to use the press.
It worked beautifully!!

Potato Pancake and Bacon - Wordless Wednesday

Friday, August 6, 2010

Caramel Meringue Cake

Well this is not exactly a recipe, first of all.

There is a bakery who does a lot of wholesale orders to local restaurants and grocery stores and I have always loved their cakes. They do one in particular which is a pecan and hazelnut meringue, whipped cream and caramel sauce. 2 layers of each. Of course, somewhere in their ingredients list is wheat. My ingredients list for the same cake? Egg whites, brown sugar, pecans/almonds, Sugar, butter, whipping cream, more whipping cream, gelatin, sugar.

I wanted to make one earlier this year so I set out searching for recipes. I found a meringue/pavlova recipe that I split into two rounds. I found a caramel sauce and then I found a whipped cream that called for some gelatin to stabilize it a little and that's all I needed.

The pavlova/meringue had ground pecans and almonds and some brown sugar added to it.
The whipped cream had the gelatin added and the next time I make it, I'll let it rest a while first so it changes consistency to a thicker more stable cream.
The caramel sauce, although incredibly delicious was still a little too thin and was a little runny.

Check out more Whipped Cream recipes  at The W.H.O.L.E Gang's Friday Foodie Fix 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hot Dogs

A friend and I went down to Niagara Falls sightseeing one day and we were hungry and I had no snacks. I know. Bad. But we saw a hot dog vendor and I wanted one incredibly badly. There was no wheat listed in the wiener but they were also $7.50 which is a lot to pay for a weiner wrapped in a napkin.

A few weeks later I was shopping at Wegman's and saw a new product that they were carrying. I've tried some other Hamburger/Hot Dog/English Muffin type buns and they are always sooo heavy.

These were "The Grainless Baker". They felt a little heavy before I defrosted them but once I sliced into one, I knew it was going to be good. It smells a little sweet but after toasting, that went away and it was like a normal bun.

It's not crumbly and held up to being toasted on the grill and held together once the toppings were on. And by toppings, I mean only ketchup. There was an article in The Food Network magazine a month or so ago about hot dogs and their toppings and although the pictures looked great, I'm still just a ketchup only girl.

Nathan's Hot Dogs, The Grainless Baker buns and it's going to be camping heaven!!!!