Tag Archives: Gluten-free

Gluten-Free Cream Puffs

Cream puffs. A heavenly treat for those able to digest gluten. A fast treat for those who can’t.

Start to finish each batch only takes about 30 minutes. Which is great, because each batch only makes 6-8 puffs (depending on size) and if you’re like me (and my family) you’ll need to make many, many batches to satisfy everyone. In fact it took me six batches the first day and four the second for everyone to be happy. During that time I converted the original recipe enough that it takes half the time to make and fewer ingredients – which is great because after so many batches I ran out of many ingredients the original recipe called for.

First get your ingredients together and preheat the oven to 400F.

You’ll need a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, a measuring cup, a couple of measuring spoons, a wooden spoon, and a small bowl.

In the pot pour 1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

in the bowl

1/2 cup rice flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

*                          *                         *

Have two eggs cracked and ready.

Gently melt the butter into the water, then turn the heat to high and let boil until volume increase. Quickly turn burner to low and pour the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix with the wooden spoon until  ball forms.

Remove from heat and add eggs one at a time. Mixing until smooth between each egg. Mixture should be a thick dough. Put into a pastry bag or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off.

Squeeze onto the lined cookie sheet in 2-3 inch lines. Alternatively you could drop them on, but be sure not to squish the dough or they won’t puff.

Place into pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. No less. Turn the heat down to 375 and bake for an additional 15 minutes. If the time is too long and they begin to brown you may decrease the second baking time, not the first!

Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Fill with cream, pudding, or for a savoury treat cut the sugar to 1 teaspoon and remove the vanilla from the pastry recipe. Otherwise follow directions and fill with savoury treat of your choice.

I’d like to point out it’s incredibly difficult to take pictures while also filling a cream puff and fending off three ravenous children, so please forgive the angle.

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We’re Pretty Good, Sure As You’re Born

Where, oh where, have I been?

Well to tell the truth I’ve been hiding under my covers waiting for spring. Okay maybe that’s not the truth, but the days are getting colder and the blankets are oh so inviting. Especially since a certain little baby isn’t sleeping all that great right now. Cordelia’s currently working on her 7th tooth. Or is it 8th? I’m not sure – I’ll wait until she bites me next and I’ll count the indents to be sure.

8 Months already. Where has the time gone? We now have a stander. She pulls herself up onto everything and cruises around the room, but that isn’t enough. She also lets go and stands. Yep no hands. Besides standing she also climbs. Its her favourite game. I set her down and she crawls as fast as possible for the stairs, while I sit at the computer. She climbs and I pretend not to see her until she’s at the third step. Then I say “I’m watching you.” She looks over her shoulder, grins, and climbs faster. By that point I need to go over because our stairs curve. She has a tough time with the curve and’s more likely to fall. But it’s been weeks since she actually fell. Well that’s if you don’t count today when she laughed so hard she couldn’t support herself and slid down the stairs on her belly. It was pretty funny to watch. No babies were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Cordelia’s also eating everything in site. In fact she eats more than her big sisters in a day (and that’s both of them – combined). I can just see her grabbing her tummy and saying “In Greece, we eat a lot” much as a waiter did on our honeymoon when Ryan didn’t finish his meal.

She’s talking. Her favourite word is “Dada” followed by “Yesh” (yes). She also says all of our names, banana, avocado, ouch, I know there’re others – oh yes “Hi” and “bye” and even a couple of times a couple two-word combos – “Hi dada” – “more dada” “Ouch Eya (Ella)” lol the important ones. Though right now there are only about 6 words that everyone can recognize other than just us.

Agatha’s decided she doesn’t like swim lessons as much as dance and ridding lessons. So come winter there’ll be one fewer class. Ella’s cutting theatre from her class line-up but that’s mostly due to me wanting to cut back. She’d happily continue all her classes, and more. But she does love the marathon play-dates where we go to a friend’s house once a week or so and play for 4-6 hours straight. lol Even then, she pleads not to leave so soon.

Agatha’s firmly in need of mommy right now. I have to put her to bed, and help her with everything. Time at the computer only happens after she’s in bed, and time in the kitchen means time with her. Though things are improving. Yesterday she allowed me to go out for a couple of hours to a meeting. And Ryan’s been permitted to get her a glass of milk once or twice. She also has a tough time when we leave the house too many times in a week. That’s the number one reason we’re cutting back on classes. We had a play-date one day and she was hitting, and refused to share. Those aren’t normal behaviours for her so I knew something was bothering her. As we’ve cut back on things, she’s become happier again.

Ella thrives on being out and about doing things. Especially if it’s something different everyday of the week. But we have to balance out her needs/desires with everyone else’s. So we try for one play-date a week (two if one’s home) and between her and Agatha we leave home 3 times a week for classes. All in all it’s not too bad.

We’ve hit a turning point with Ella, she’s so close to figuring out the whole reading thing. Everyday she’s asking us to spell new words for her. She’s playing with words, sounds, and letters all the time. There are a few games we play on the computer that allow her to type messages, so she does. Her favourite word to spell right now is ‘Boo’ in favour of a certain holiday coming up. We’ve brought a couple early readers home from the library that she’s read cover to cover on her own with only minimal help. She was so proud of herself. She read the books to everyone who’d stop and listen. Her stuffies had no choice but to stay put and listen to the story over and over again every night before bed.

She’s also finally hit a turning point and has been using the potty for the past 2 days. (But that’s a story for another post in a day or two).

Ryan’s working. All the time. We’re really looking forward to his vacation in November. We’ll be off to the Happiest Place on Earth. I can hardly wait.

I’m tired and grumpy. I’ve been adjusting my thyroid meds hoping to find a balance, but things are pretty precarious and even the slightest bit off on either one leaves me foggy and unable to cope with even the smallest things.

Luckily I seem to have found a bit of balance right now. Which is part of why I’m able to write tonight. Stringing words and sentences together when I can barely think is almost impossible. It’s still pretty difficult. The screen is a sea of red and blue right now. The computer’s either changed all my words, or can’t figure out what I mean. My words are ending up jumbled, letters swapping places. But that seems to happen a lot when my head gets foggy. It takes more effort to write so I just don’t do it. The good news is that at 8 mos postpartum we’re closer to the point of finding actual balance that lasts more than a week or two.

In other news Ryan is doing a dairy challenge, that means less cheese in the house for the rest of us. Otherwise I add cheese to everything. And he’s apt to eat it by the brick (yuck). We’ve also confirmed that corn really is a big deal for Cordelia. So I’m gluten-free, corn-free and Ryan’s gluten-free, dairy-free. So food is quite the adventure around here. For our trip we’ll stick to just gluten-free; we have to sacrifice so many yummy treats already, we don’t want to lose anymore while we’re in the land of Mickey Ice Cream Bars and Dole Whips.

What’s new with you?

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Gluten-free Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

Cookies are the perfect treat.
They’re easy to carry with you, and they can be enjoyed in so many ways. With a glass of milk or beside a warm cup of coffee they complement any weather or appetite. As leaves change colours and the air cools, thoughts drift to turkeys and pumpkins.
Pumpkin pie isn’t as easy to make as it once was,  pie shells really aren’t quite the same. There are some good substitutes such as almonds or crumbs from gluten-free ginger snaps, but even a good substitute doesn’t quite live up to the memory. Nothing compares to those memories – and likely never will. Instead we find new memories. These cookies are perfect. They’re comparable to a soft gingerbread, soft and chewy and oh so good. In fact I think I may modify this for our gingerbread houses this year .
Cookies
2 1/2 cups Gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 tsp guar gum (Or xanthan gum)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
Glaze
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by small tablespoonfuls.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies.
  4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.
Drizzle the glaze over the cookies with a fork, or spoon over to cover the top. The glaze also works well as a ‘glue’ for designs cut from sugar sheets.

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Gluten-free: A Fact of Life

Today we visited new friends at their home for the first time. Within five minutes of stepping through the door, Ella ate a cookie. With gluten in it. The second she found out it had gluten, she cried. She spit it out, hid her head, sobbed, pleaded with me to leave.

We didn’t leave. Partly because I felt bad to leave when we’d only just arrived. But also because I knew we had some time before a reaction occurred (and I didn’t really want the results in the van – I hoped it would happen outside).

I did, however, cuddle Ella, and talk to her about the gluten how she felt emotionally and physically. I also told her she didn’t need to play, we could find a quiet place for her to sit where she’d be free from other children. Though if she’d still insisted we leave, we would have.

She didn’t stay hidden for long, she joined everyone else picking berries, and racing through the yard.

She was upset, she’d asked if the cookie was gluten-free. She’d been told it was safe. Unfortunately she asked a three-year old. Ella sobbed, “I don’t want to throw-up. I don’t want to feel yucky.” She knew what was coming.

I could’ve prevented all this from happening. Part of me wishes to turn back the clock and erase all of my baby girl’s pain. But there’s another part of me that can see the lesson learned. Ella now knows to ask an adult, more importantly: Mommy or Daddy, to find out if something contains gluten. She is also more aware of how her body specifically reacts to the gluten. And so am I. We’ve discovered that it becomes painful a lot faster than we realized, but that she can prevent herself from throwing up long enough to find a safe space to do it (though apparently our van constitutes a safe space).

Also I want her to learn how to be safe at other people’s homes. I want her to know it is possible to visit others, and still be safe. I don’t want her friendships limited to the non-gluten eaters.

One book I read just after finding out about the celiac’s disease told parents to tell their children that gluten caused every little upset. If they fall and scrape their knee, it’s because they ate gluten. They catch a stomach bug and throw-up, gluten’s to blame. The point was to scare the child away from ever wanting to try gluten.

I have several problems with this. First it creates a very scary view of the world. Second, a parent should not lie to their child, third, the child will figure out what gluten does to their body, but they’ll figure it out faster with a parents guidance. Lying to the child will actually make the process take longer because the child will have to figure out which of the many upsets are really caused by gluten. Then have enough of them to realize what the results are.

Also the child will soon realize that mom and dad lied. They’ll no longer trust what mom and dad say about gluten. SO the child will be more likely to stray from a  gluten-free lifestyle.

At 4.5 Ella knows to avoid gluten. She knows to ask first, she knows exactly what it’ll do to her. We have never needed to scare her. Even at the stores when they have samples to taste she’ll sometimes ask for one. We can’t always tell how safe the item is. We let her know it MAY contain gluten or may have touched gluten. It MAY make her sick. We then let her decide what to do. Sometimes she tastes it, sometimes she doesn’t. If the item contains gluten, she says, “No thank you.”

By being truthful and open with her, she’s gained the knowledge and experience to begin to protect herself. As she gets older we’ll continue to assist her. We’ll show her what a gluten cookie looks like vs a gluten-free. The same with breads etc. Most of the time a single look is all it takes to tell the difference. If the look doesn’t give it away, then the smell will.

Yes at times the girls may taste something with gluten, and they may end up sick because of it. It won’t be fun. But the experiences provide new information. And that knowledge is what they need to protect themselves. One day they’ll be on their own no one will step between them and gluten.

We follow a special diet, but in no way should that limit our life in any other way. Gluten-free is a fact of life. But it does not define us or our life in any way.

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Rhubarb Gummy Worms

Ella loves to make potions, so whenever possible we try to make some juice. Her favorite is rhubarb juice.

chop several stocks of rhubarb to make roughly 5 cups, the more red in the stock, the more red the resulting juice will be.

place in a pot and cover with water.

Add 1/2 cup each lemon juice and honey.

Add 3 cinnamon sticks.

Place on stove and bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for about 30 min (or until the rhubarb has become a fine pulp).

Strain and pour juice into glass jars. Enjoy the colour and flavour.

One or both of the big girls usually help. They measure and place everything in the pot. They also stir while it’s cooking, and check to see when it’s done. They top up the potion with more water as needed, and have been known to add apple juice, orange juice, green tea, and various herbs and spices to the potion to see how things turned out. The recipe above is the one we like best.

After making our potion, the girls decided to make gummy worms, and lips, tongues, brains, bugs…and other creepy halloweeny stuff.

1 1/3 cup juice

4 packets (1tbsp each) gelatine

honey (if desired)

prepare molds of choice by lightly brushing oil onto molds with a candy brush. Too much oil will make the candy taste off, and leave it greasy.

place 1/3 cup of juice into a small dish and sprinkle gelatine powder over top. Allow to sit until moist (about ten minutes).

heat the rest of the juice until almost boiling. Dissolve honey, if desired, into hot juice. Turn off heat. Pour the gelatine and remaining juice into pot and stir until dissolved. Pour into prepared molds. Allow to sit until firm, about ten minutes. Placing in the fridge will speed the process.

Remove from molds and enjoy.

Pale Pink Rhubarb Lips

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Gluten-Free Churros

Two of the things I miss most since going gluten-free are cinnamon-sugar pretzels and churros. It’s a toss up which I miss most, but now I’ve found a fast, easy, gluten-free recipe that almost makes up for my not being able to eat my favorite treats while at Disney World. So for father’s day I decided to make my wonderful husband these:


 

1/2 C. mashed potatoes (mashed with butter and milk)

1/4 C. sugar

1 egg

1/2 C. sour cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 C. all purpose GF flour mix

1/2 tsp guar (or xanthan) gum

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

oil for deep frying

cinnamon-sugar (we prefer it mixed 1:2 ratio) or you can use confectioners sugar

 

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, sugar, egg, sour cream, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, mix well, then stir into potato mixture.

Heat oil in an electric skillet or deep fryer at 375F. Or if you’re more basic, like me, fill a heavy saucepan about half-full with oil, then using a deep-frying thermometer, heat to 375. Fill a piping bag, with a large tip affixed, and pipe small strips of batter into oil. Be sure to keep your tip close to the oil so there’s less risk of splatter.

Fry until golden-brown on all sides, about four seconds. Drain on paper towels, roll in sugar while still warm.

Serve warm and enjoy.

I’ve tried dropping by the teaspoonful into the oil, but couldn’t get the center cooked before the outside burned, piping certainly resulted in the tastiest treat.

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Baked Pasta With Cream Tomato Sauce

I’ve always loved pasta. According to my mom the only thing I may have liked better than pasta was steak. Those tastes haven’t changed. What has changed is my ability to eat pasta. after being diagnosed with celiac’s disease pasta was one of those foods that became more difficult to enjoy. Most importantly I could no longer order pasta with creamy tomato sauce at our local restaurant. Experimentation ensued. It took me quite some time, but I finally found the perfect sauce.

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 purple onion finely chopped (yellow onion pictured)

1/4 yellow pepper chopped

1 good sized tbsp minced garlic

3-4 oz cream cheese

1/3 c whipping cream

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1 pint cherry tomatoes chopped

1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

1/2 c crumbled feta

1/2 c. shredded mozzarella

Heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet. Saute onion and pepper until just limp. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.

If using dried herbs add them with the garlic. Though fresh is better.

Add tomatoes and herbs, cook until hot. Cube cream cheese and mix into skillet until almost melted. Pour in the cream and feta, mix well.

Meanwhile cook 16oz pasta of choice. Drain pasta well mix sauce and pasta in a dutch oven. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top, place under hot broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

For a healthier alternative use light cream cheese, instead of whipping cream use plain yogurt. The taste will be slightly less sweet, but still equally good, my husband even said it was the best sauce he’s had. Instead of pasta cook a spaghetti squash and serve as directed. Adding a bunch of fresh baby spinach with the tomatoes adds a bit more colour and nutrients. For a full meal in one pot add cooked salmon or chicken. For a formal presentation pour the mixture into individual ramekins before broiling, serve with salad and pair with a chardonnay.  This meal has many option, experiment and find the one that works for your family.

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