Monday, June 20, 2011

Home-made chevre

Goat cheese from scratch

I made goat cheese this morning and it was both super easy and wonderful. I used this recipe and didn't make any changes - will explore options more now that I know how simple it is to do. Couldn't be easier - heat goat milk to 180 degrees, add lemon juice, drain, add seasonings - I added garlic and salt and eat.

Pounding garlic and salt

Wow! Very delicate and fresh tasting and not at all goat-y. Total work time? Maybe 10 minutes with an hour and a half draining whey. I've got chicken parts soaking in the whey - will fry them later with gf crumbs.

The finished product.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gluten free picnic

Tonight we're going to Shakespeare in the Arb. This is a lovely summer tradition here - a performance of a Shakespeare play in the Nichols Arboretum where the Arb itself is the set and one wanders through, following the actors. We've been going for years and always picnic beforehand.

So what's on the menu?

•Tortilla espanola - lovely omelet made with my friend Kim's farm eggs, onions and potatoes. I use Penelope Casas' recipe from The Foods & Wines of Spain, one of my favorite cookbooks.
•Roasted red peppers in olive oil and garlic
•Baguette from Zingerman's for the wheat eaters and Crunchmaster's Multi-seed Crackers for the gluten free
•Caprese on a stick - toothpick size caprese salad found via Use Real Butter
•olives and cornichons
•Good salami
•And Smitten Kitchen's Summer Strawberry cake made gluten free by substituting Better Batter flour for wheat flour. I also used turbinado sugar rather than granulated and strawberries from my friend Cheryl's garden. We had a trial of the cake last night and it was one of the most successful things I've baked gluten free - will definitely make it regularly! We'll top it with whipped cream from a can since we're picnicking - a compromise I'm entirely ok with.

Pictures will have to come later!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

GF caramel apple cinnaman buns

This is an adaptation of the Pioneer Woman's recipe to make it gluten free. Original recipe here. I made three changes to her recipe - replaced the flour with Better Batter GF flour, added 1 teaspoon Xantham Gum and replaced the dark corn syrup with maple syrup. I rolled out the dough on a silpat and found I needed to generously flour the top and bottom of the dough to get it to roll out given the sticky nature of gluten free doughs. No pix - I served this Christmas morning and just wasn't with it enough to get pictures before they were devoured. The rolls were great - didn't have any obvious taste clues that they were gluten free and every one went face down in them. Next time I will bake them with the pans on cookie sheets from the get go because the sticky caramel did overflow and make a terrible mess of the oven bottom.

  • 2 cups Whole Milk [ I used 2%]
  • 1-¼ cup Sugar divided - 1/2 cup for batter, 3/4 for filling
  • ½ cup Canola Oil
  • 1 package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 4-½ cups Flour, Divided [ I used Better Batter gluten free flour]
  • 1 teaspoons Salt [original recipe called for 2 teaspoons]
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • ½ teaspoons (scant) Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons (heaping) Baking Powder
  • ¾ cups Melted Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
  • _____
  • 1 stick unsalted Butter [original recipe uses salted butter]
  • 1-½ cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Apply Brandy Or Apple Juice (optional - I used apple cider)
  • 1 whole Granny Smith Apple, Peeled And Finely Diced - I used a gala because that's what was in the house.

Preparation Instructions

To make the dough:
Heat milk, oil, and 1/2 cup sugar until warm (do not boil.) Allow to cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle in yeast and 4 cups flour. Stir gently and cover with a tea towel, allowing it to rise for 1 hour. After 1 hour, add remaining flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

To make the caramel topping:
Add 1 stick butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, cream, and optional apple brandy or apple juice. Allow to melt over low heat until totally combined. Allow to boil for a few seconds, then remove from heat. Set aside.

To make the rolls:
Use a silpat - it's a very sticky gluten free dough. Flour it generously and sprinkle more flour (gluten free of course) on top of the dough before rolling out half the dough into a large rectangle. Pour on half the melted butter, half the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and half the cinnamon. Roll into a long roll, then slice into rolls.

To assemble:
I buttered the pan with a little of the melted butter from the filling. Pour in half the caramel topping. Sprinkle diced apple over the top, then arrange sliced rolls all over the pan. Allow to rise for 20 to 30 minutes.

Place the pans on a cookie sheet or sheet of foil before baking at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, covered in foil for the first 25 minutes.

(Repeat with the other half of dough if desired, or save the dough in the fridge for another use.)

I made them in pyrex pans and let them sit overnight in the pans, warmed them in the microwave and inverted them onto serving plates at that point - they disappeared before I got any pictures.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

bean and sausage soup

This is a standby in our house. It's easy, is better on the second or third day and is always a multiple meal recipe. It's an extremely forgiving flexible recipe.


2 cups of dried navy beans (or a mix of navy, black, pinto, kidney - or canned if you're short on time.
1 large onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
1-2 T good olive oil
1 bell pepper - green or colored or even one green and one red, yellow or orange.
1 cup chopped celery (optional)
1 large carrot, chopped (if I'm using andouille sausage I generally omit the carrot)
1 large can of tomatoes OR 3-4 chopped fresh
1 bay leaf
1-2 lbs sausage. This can be kielbasa, smoked sausage, andouille, or Italian. It can be pork or turkey, lowfat or not.
1 beer or 2 cups red wine
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
optional - fresh parsley

If you are using dried beans pick them over for pebbles and either soak them overnight or cover them with a couple inches of water and microwave on high for 5 minutes and let them sit for at least an hour. Drain. I've read that dumping the soaking water makes the beans less gas producing. I use canned beans when I'm pressed for time.

Chop the onions, garlic, pepper and sausage.

Heat the oil in a large stock pan over moderate heat. Add the onions and garlic, saute for a few minutes and then add the optional celery and the pepper. Sometimes I add mushrooms or jalapeno peppers at this point. When the vegetables are getting translucent add the sausage and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes, the soaked, drained beans (or 3 cans of drained beans) and 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Add a bay leaf and the beer or wine (I love beer in this recipe with kielbasa but now that we're a gluten free household it's wine or nothing). Lower the heat to a brisk simmer and let it cook for a minimum of an hour up to 3 hours. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally - you don't want it to dry out and scorch the bottom.

When the beans are soft check the consistency of the soup - not thick enough? You can mash some of the beans. Taste it and add salt and pepper as you like and maybe some chopped fresh parsley. I don't salt dried beans until they're cooked since adding salt earlier seems to keep them from softening. The sausage adds quite a bit of salt generally. Serve with good bread and maybe a green salad. It'll be better yet the next day.

Most of the seasoning in this recipe comes from the sausage and garlic. Depending on what kind of sausage I use I might kick it up with herbs, a dash of tabasco or more garlic later on.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I've been contemplating starting a food blog for a while. The initial impetus was the ease of sharing recipes - especially with my college aged daughter who lives far away and texts me requests for particular favorite recipes. A year ago my son was diagnosed with celiac disease (which runs in my husband's family). We've been focused on eating healthy, non-meat heavy meals for years but S's diagnosis forced me to change my approach to cooking and to become far more conscious about what we eat and about meal planning. The luxury of running on autopilot was gone although it is getting easier as I get more accustomed to living gluten free.

We have the usually busy lifestyle of many people - I'm a self employed artist who teaches, is involved in starting a new art center and exhibits frequently. My husband works crazy hours and we have two high school aged kids still at home, one away in college. Given our schedule I try to cook ahead and be organized about meal planning. These days we seem to be pretty traditional about my doing most weeknight cooking although my husband is a good cook. My schedule is more flexible and I get home earlier than he does most often so that just seems to be how it works.

So - without further ado - here's last night's dinner, sadly without pictures since I wasn't thinking about a blog at the time. We all got home late, tired and hungry. Dinner was Mexican rice, chorizo and potato tacos and a citrus avocado salsa. The salsa came out of being served a wonderful grapefruit and avocado salad at a friend's house a few week's ago. It was quite simple - I peeled and sliced one pink grapefruit, one navel orange and one tangerine. To the citrus I added 2 diced avocados and about a quarter cup of thinly sliced red onion and the juice of half a lime. It was refreshing and bright and a lovely contrast to the earthy heat of the tacs - which were simply small dice of potatoes fried with half a pound of chorizo from my local butcher. My teens were dubious about the salad but came back for seconds after they tried it. The time to prepare was dictated by the 25 minutes it took for the rice to cook - all else was done in that time. It was a reasonably healthy meal since I drained the chorizo thoroughly and we only had half a pound between four people. Between rice and potatoes even my starving teenaged son was sated and the fruit salsa and heat of the chorizo kept the meal from feeling stodgy.