you can’t catch me, i’m the gfbread man

Exhausted every strategem for deflecting potential in-law advances this holiday season? Good for gfs, gf advocates, and even the most adamantly gluten-full great uncles, you’re sure to get a reprieve during dessert hour upon the presentation of these bad boys.

Total prep time: 1 hour

Total glasses of grandma’s nog allowed during prep time: 3

Total of conveniently missed “ring” references while mixing: 4-6

IMG_1521.jpg

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixer, blend (until creamy) 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar. Beat in 1/4 cup molasses, 1/4 cup honey, & 1 egg.

In a separate bowl, sift 2 1/4 cups gluten free flour. Resift flour with 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground All-Spice, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, & 1 tsp ground ginger.

Add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture in about 3 parts alternated with 1/4 cup water. This should be a fairly thick dough, but if it seems too sift to roll out, add a little more water.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness (thicker cookies should be rolled to 1/4 inch). Cut out desired shapes.

Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Cookies are done when you push down on them with your finger and they spring back to their original shapes!

When finished baking, remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on wax paper. (If you need to store cookies before icing, they will keep for a few days when covered with plastic wrap and left at room temp).

For icing mixture: Sift 1 pound Confectioner’s sugar. Place fine sugar into a deep, round bowl. Add 3 egg whites & 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Beat ingredients until mixture is firm. (If you need to store, cover bowl with damp cloth & refrigerate.)

For painting: Separate icing into small bowls, add food coloring if desired (Americolor is a great GF brand found at specialty stores). Add a few drops of water until desired consistency–best if the icing is a bit stiff so it doesn’t run, but soft enough so it doesn’t indent.

Aunt Carin’s GFbreadmen recipe makes about 24 honey gingerbread cookies and are great for any occasion…

 

 

sweet mash & kissin’ ass

Running to dinner with the GF parents? This sweet mash and raspberry-glazed, garlic salmon is sure to get you across the threshold (and the next rose at this week’s hometowns @jordanrodgers).

Total prep time: 25 mins

Total wine consumption allowed during prep time: 2 glasses (ok..maybe mugs..)

Total interrogation time: you’re on your own, bud. better make the mash extra sweet.

Peel skin and cut up yams into quarters and fully submerge in boiling water. (Resist urge to place head in boiling water.) Reduce heat to simmer and place lid back on. Let yams simmer for 20 mins. Drain the water from the potatoes, mash with a fork.

While yams are simmering, toss filets of salmon in garlic salt, pepper, chili flakes, and a splash of lemon juice. Spray pan with coconut cooking spray (GF–thanks Pam). Cook salmon 4 mins each side until flaky and opaque at the thickest part of the filets.

Place salmon on top of the mash, rim dish with salad or steamed veggies. Drizzle Annie’s Raspberry Vinaigrette across the entire dish. Serve immediately. Couples well with riesling.

 

*Extra GF Dating Tip: Ball with a GF (on a Budget): Worried about GF dinner with the winey in-laws?  Head on over to Trader Joe’s Wine Shop in Union Square before you start cooking and pick up a bottle of my favorite, top-rated riesling Kung Fu Girl for under $13.

IMG_5355

big shrimpin’ up in nyc

With the majority of dishes ridden with soy sauce, breading, and flour noodles, Chinese cuisine is often viewed as a red hot danger zone for celiacs. Although there are admittedly very few safe options for dining out (unless you want a meal of plain rice and steamed veggies), there are an increasing number of products that make romantic, home-cooked gf Chinese dates easier–and tastier–than ever! Tamari soy sauce, gf teriyaki sauce, gf panko crumbs, rice noodles, rice flour: all these replace the celiac’s nightmares of Panda Express assembly lines with happy realities of safe and delicious home-cooked eats.

Although rice noodles can be easily substituted for their flour counterparts, spiralizers and julienne techniques make veggie noodles equally interchangeable in Chinese and Italian recipes. In the following recipe, I used my spiralizer to make a zucchini noodle dish that wowed my lovely celiatonic GF (XOXO, mom)!


 

Date Night with Your GF: Kung Pao Shrimp (Makes 2 Servings)

Total delay of Peaky Blinders marathon: 30 minutes

Total time explaining why your netflix account is still your ex-GF’s: ….good luck, soldier.

For the main dish:

  • 2 medium zucchini, about 8 oz each
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 16  de-veined, tail-less shrimp (8 per person)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 fresh mango, cubed
  • 1 tsp sesame or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp crushed dry-roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions along diagonal
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup half moon slices of canned water chestnuts

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp reduced soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce (check label to make sure it is gf)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Using a spiralizer fitted with a shredder blade, cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips. Use kitchen scissors to cut the strands into pieces that are about 8 inches long (unless you’re trying for a Lady in the Tramp). Don’t have a spiralizer? Use your mandoline fit with a julienne blade to achieve a similar effect.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic, hoisin, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

If shrimp are frozen, place in colander and rinse, remove tails when halfway defrosted. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a large, deep nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until orange on both sides (takes very little time).

Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil (or coconut oil), sesame seeds, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the mango and water chestnuts, stir in soy sauce mixture, and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about two minutes until just tender and mixed with the sauce. If it seems dry, don’t worry because the zucchini will release moisture. Once cooked, mix in shrimp and divide between 2 bowls (about 2 cups each) and top with peanuts and scallions. Serve while hot. Pairs well with jasmine rice and an ice cold Damm Daura.

*Pro Dating Tip: Kung pao got your tongue? Follow up this spicy stir fry with a quick, delicious GF DF milkshake and get right back to Tommy.

Note: This recipe has been adapted from a GF kung pao chicken recipe that can be found at http://www.skinnytaste.com/kung-pao-chicken-zoodles-for-two/. Bell peppers and other vegetables may also be added to the mixture alongside the mango and water chestnuts! This is what makes stir fry so easy…You can throw everything but the kitchen sink into your wok and your gf will be wowed by your creative genius…

 

french vanilla (almond) milkshake

Got a late night hankering for the Wendy’s drive thru? Don’t let dairy free/gluten free restrictions hold you back! This blended frosty is quick, easy, delicious, & let’s you get back to binge-watching the Bachelor without leaving the house. For the full experience, pair it with a batch of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets (found in the frozen aisle at your local TJ’s).


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 10-15 ice cubes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp Swiss Miss French Vanilla Cocoa Powder
  • 2/3 frozen banana (before freezing, completely peel banana)

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until frothy & smooth!

Alternatives: Regular GF sweetened Cocoa Powder can be substituted, and amounts of cocoa powder can be adjusted to taste! Cashew, almond, or peanut butter can also be added to make your gains goals or just to thicken up the shake.

english walnut bread

 

Although foods may not be gluten free in their natural state, it is important to remember that many of the great eats you enjoyed before your diagnosis can be tweaked just with a few simple adjustments! The secret to most baked goods is finding a quality flour. The following story was made possible due mostly to my amazing mother, but credits can also be given to the best flour blend we have found thus far. Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour can be ordered online at Gluten Free Supermarket, and can be used in any recipe with wheat flour (3/4 cup Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour = 1 cup wheat flour) to create a delicious GF alternative!

While some people give apples to teachers & some give gift cards, I ensure that neither were ever as demanded by teachers, coaches, & families alike as my mom’s english walnut bread. A rich, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth bread, a baked good this scrumptious seemed a thing of the past when I first learned of my celiac status. However, my mom was determined. I woke up one morning of Christmas break to a whiff of the buttery goodness that had marked the holiday season for me since 1995. I prepared myself to avoid the kitchen at all costs, not wanting to subject myself to the torture of smelling and seeing these previous loaves on the flour-covered countertops. As I sat down to watch an episode of SVU in the kitchen, I heard my mom approach. A large cup of Philz Tesora blend coffee was placed in front of me, alongside–what was that–a generous, golden, crumbling slice of walnut bread.

“I tweaked the recipe–just see if tastes anywhere near the original,” my mom said with a pained, anxious expression as I slowly lifted the piece to my mouth. In that first bite, a wave of panic went through me. I could not believe that it was gluten free. After minutes of insisting from my mother that led to her pulling out the flour package, I proceeded to consume a quarter of the loaf alongside two more cups of coffee. Needless to say my SVU episode was long forgotten.

This long anecdote is all just proof to say that our favorite recipes can be tweaked to such GF perfection that you, like me, may even apprehensively run to check the recipe to make sure it’s not gluten-full. So, although you are most likely neither my teacher, my coach, or a hostess for a holiday party that Ellen is attending, our relationship just manages to give me such liberty to reveal the recipe of this (newly gluten-freed) family recipe.


~Gluten Freed~ English Walnut Bread

Makes two loaves of gluten free walnut bread (approximately 16 generous servings). 

Note: This recipe contains dairy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour  
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fully blended.
  3. Slowly beat in eggs to creamed butter and sugar.
  4. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda, and add to egg mixture.
  5. Blend in nuts, vanilla, and sour cream.
  6. Pour batter into 2 greased & floured 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  7. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour. (Remove when toothpick comes out clean.)
  8. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool fully.
  9. Best served cut into slices & toasted. Keeps well if frozen after wrapped in parchment, foil, and placed in ziploc bag.
Note: This recipe has been adapted from the Rancho Bernardo Inn’s traditional english walnut bread recipe.