Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gluten reaction thoughts...

So I was reading Shauna's blog, and reading the comments, and I put a few more pieces together. I had this awful rash in my ears that would not go away. It itched, it flaked, it was horrible. I still get it occasionally. And my head will itch. And I realised, I was having a reaction to the gluten! Its amazing how much is tied to that.... I started out cutting gluten out for the endo, and realised how much else was tied in to it. The low thyroid, the anemia, the fatigue, my weight gain, the itchies...

Its really, really incredible. And it goes to show you, you have to keep putting the pieces together...

Monday, March 17, 2008

You too can make a difference.

So there was a bake sale at church yesterday. And I was able to buy goodies! People had made gluten-free stuff. Not just for me, but there are a lot of folks with gluten issues, and its becoming more apparent...

And wow. Such a difference. And I felt so loved. So Kudos to the church folks.

(And I made and took Walnut bread as well as corn cookies, both sold).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A corny day.

In response to http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/'s latest challenge, what to do with cornmeal, I'm posting a couple of recipes I'm working on:

Corn Cookies Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream one stick unsalted butter and add 1/2 cup of succanat (organic granulated brown sugar) add one tsp vanilla paste and one egg yolk. Add 1/2 cup cornmeal (I used Arrowhead Mills) *then* hydrate another 1/2 cup cornmeal with 3/4 cup hot water, and let sit while you continue the recipe. Add to the butter mixture: 3 tbsp tapioca flour/starch 2 tbsp corn starch 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/8 tsp fine sea salt (optional- tsp citrus zest) blend. Add rehydrated cornmeal. blend. let sit 10 mins for everything to hydrate and come together.. dollop in small (melon-ball size) scoops onto cookie sheets (3 by 3 per sheet, they spread!) bake for approx 10 mins or until gbd on bottom. remove to plate, inhale.

Edited on Friday the 14th to say, I made these today, and added 1/4 tsp of Xanthan gum, which made an amazing difference. You can leave the dough to sit for quite a while, and it improves, too. I also came up with a tasty variant, a few lavender buds and some lemon zest. YUM! Pics will follow.

Millet-corn bread
2 tbsp tapioca
1 pkg yeast
2 egg yolks
2 tsp honey
½ tsp salt
2 cu millet flour
1 cu cornmeal
2 tbsp millet

Proof the yeast in warm milk. Blend the tapioca, millet flour and cornmeal with salt, Add egg yolks to honey and beat with some milk, add to the flour mixture. Toast 2 tbsp of whole millet, and add to the dough. Add yeast. Add more milk if necessary (its almost a batter bread texture, a little thicker). Put in a greased loaf pan, let rise in a warm place until doubled. Put into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake.

This is very good toasted. It stales quickly, but toasts up well.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Courtesy of Alice B Toklas

So I read old cookbooks. I love old cookbooks. And in reading the Alice B Toklas cookbook, I found these cookies. I have not tried making them, yet. They are on page 254.

Boil in a saucepan 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp butter, 4 cups water and a good pinch of salt. Moisten with some of the water 5 cups of rice flour. Gradually add it to the boiling water, stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until the mixture becomes stiff. Remove from heat and very slowly add 10 eggs one at a time. Incorporate each one thoroughly before adding another. Roll them into little sausages and place on buttered baking sheet in a moderate oven. When cold, paint with a water icing flavoured with rose water.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tools I love, part 1.(aka Ode to a Stand Mixer)

My stand mixer. Its my baby, and its wonderful. I have a grain mill (which has never seen a drop of wheat) and a food grinder.

The grain mill attachment is an amazing, amazing device. I can grind my own flours from grains, as some flours just still aren't available, or perform much better when fresh ground. Such as sweet rice flour. I grind a flour from a medium grain rice which works really well as a porridge. Its like cream of wheat, without the wheat! I've also ground a sweet (small/sushi/arborio) rice flour fresh to use in angel food cakes and such. I don't use it as much as I could just because of storage space/lack of organisation.

The food grinder is fabulous. I tend to grind my own meat, as much as possible, but it can be used for veggies and fruit as well. I made a wonderful quince mincemeat a few years ago with it.
And if you are Jessica Seinfeld, you can hide all the ground-up veggies you want. I can't guarantee that gluten-free brownies with broccoli will be tasty though.

My stand mixer itself is invaluable. I have two bowls for it. It kneads the gluten-free bread so much better than I can. It makes wonderful angel food cake... It is my baby. Now granted, I do covet other attachments for it... I'd love to try making gluten-free fresh pasta, and I would love the water bath attachment. I could make custards, etc...

My Silpat. This is fabulous. I wish they made silpat for everything. They will probably figure out in a couple of years that it is as dangerous as asbestos... but in the meantime, this is great stuff. Gluten-free stuff doesn't always have a lot of internal structure, so it helps to have a backup. You can let the food cool on the silpat, and then peel whatever it is off. You can use parchment paper instead, if you must.

I have adjustable measuring cups which I bought from www.sciplus.com. (warning, the previous site is a tad addictive, you will find yourself buying stuff you have no use for). I can use one cup, its small enough to deal with all the little bags of ingredients... the only drawback is that it doesn't work with liquids.