Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Starcraft 2...

...has arrived in our house. We bid a fond farewell to our dad, and expect to see him some time tomorrow ;)

No really, dad is super excited and will be playing it a lot for the next few days/weeks. Considering how much he played the beta, I'll be hearing a lot of SC2 sounds for a long time to come.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Carrot Cake

Yummy, yummy yummy. Carrot cake has always been one of our favorites, and it translates to gluten free so well. I looked up so many recipes on the Internet and got very confused, so I went to my family cookbook, and voila! I now have a super easy, super tasty carrot cake recipe. I made it 2 weeks ago for a family birthday party, and it was a huge hit. I even went a little overboard on the decorating, but it was fun and turned out great!

Right now I am an 8 hour drive from home, visiting my best friend for her 30th birthday. While she is at work this morning, I am baking a cake for her party this evening. Daughter 2 is with me, and since we both want to eat cake, I'm making it again. It's baking right now, and smelling delicious.

Carrot Cake

Dry Ingredients

2 cups gf all purpose flour mix (xanthan gum included)
3 tsp gf baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients

4 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar (white or light brown)
2 cups raw grated carrots

Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 13x9 pan, or 24 muffin cups. Sift together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs on medium-high for 2 minutes. Add in oil and sugar and beat for 1 minute. Add dry ingredients to wet and only beat until just mixed together. Add carrots (and nuts if using) and mix by hand until fully incorporated. Pour into pan and bake approx. 50 minutes. Let cool, then ice with cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Yesterday I had a hankering for cookies. I made the "3 ingredient super easy" peanut butter cookies found on jars of Kraft Peanut Butter. (Seriously, its peanut butter, sugar, egg.) While they tasted alright, about 2 hours after eating them, both me and my 3 year old felt very ill, for about 3 hours.

So never again will I make them. You've been warned.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fruit Crisp

Its almost seeming like summer up here, finally. So its time to break out my favorite summer dessert. We made this last weekend for my birthday, and I've just baked up another crisp now. My fruit combination today is local strawberries, blueberries and white nectarines.

Fruit Crisp


5-6 cups of your favorite fruits (fresh is best)
1/4 c white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp lemon or orange juice


3/4 cup uncontaminated rolled oats
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose gf flour mix (with or without xanthan gum, doesn't really matter)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg or allspice (optional)
3 tablespoons cold Earth Balance (or butter), cut in small pieces

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut your fruit into small pieces or slices. In a medium bowl, mix fruit with sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice, let rest while you mix the topping.

In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in the Earth Balance with a fork until crumbly. Add oats and mix.

Take a glass or ceramic 9" pie plate or baking dish and lightly oil the inside. Put your fruit in the dish, sprinkle on the topping and bake for approximately 40 minutes, until your topping is crisp and the fruit juices have started bubbling over the topping.

Let rest for at least 20 minutes, then enjoy. Its even better if you eat it with ice cream or whipped cream.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gluten Free Oreo Cookies

So, there are these things out there called Whoopie Pies. While tasty, I've always thought that they are way too huge. Of course, when I started making them, I didn't even realize that's what they were called, and I definitely made them smaller. I just called them Oreo Cookies. Back in the days when we could eat wheat, I used a box of Devil's Food cake mix to make them, but obviously that won't work now.

Today we went to a wedding, and I wanted to make sure I would be able to eat dessert. So last night I mixed up the dough, and this morning I baked cookies. Considering I just slightly modified a wheat-based recipe, these turned out very well. Note that in order to keep these cookies from turning out too "cakey" you don't use an electric mixer. So, without further ado (or more rambling), I give you...

Gluten Free Oreo Cookies

2 cups gf flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons gf baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 2/3 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup hemp or rice milk

Put flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix with a whisk. In a separate bowl, stir shortening and egg with a rubber spatula until mostly blended, then add sugar and vanilla and stir until fully mixed. Add milk and 1/3 of dry mixture, stir until fully blended, then repeat with two more additions of 1/3 of dry mix, stirring until all mix is incorporated. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets.

Using a teaspoon and your hands, roll dough into balls. Each ball should have the diameter of a quarter. Flatten each ball slightly. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to cooling rack. When all cookies have finished cooling, match cookies into pairs based on size. Put a small amount of icing on one cookie and place other cookie on top.

Dairy Free Cream Cheese Icing

3 tbsp Earth Balance or dairy-free margarine, softened
1/3 package Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
approx 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Mix all three together with electric mixer. Add extra sugar if necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. So easy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Banana Bread

Every Wednesday, we have friends over for 2-ish hours of anime watching. It usually falls to us to supply the snack, since we have our crazy restrictions. I was going to make bread yesterday, had even pulled out and separated the eggs, and then realized I was missing 2 rather important flours. So I stuck the eggs back in the fridge and decided I would make banana bread for this week's anime night.

I found a recipe that started with 3 eggs and 3 bananas (cuz that's what I had) and went from there. I used this recipe as my starting point and went from there. Its currently baking in the oven, but I'm taking the time to write this recipe now or I'll forget exactly what I did. Also, we have about 3 tbsp of sugar left in our house until I get to groceries later this week, so I went with alternate sweeteners.

Banana Bread

Dry Ingredients

1 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup each quinoa flour, chickpea flour, amaranth flour and potato starch
1 tbsp potato flour
2 tsp gf baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch salt

Wet Ingredients

3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup light agave nectar
1/4 cup fancy molasses
3 ripe bananas, mashed


Up to 1 cup total of chocolate chips, chopped nuts or raisins, in any mixture/amount.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (I used sweet rice flour) a loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper.

Mix all your dry ingredients in one bowl with a whisk. In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients except bananas with a hand mixer for about a minute. Add in bananas and beat until there are no large chunks left. Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips/nuts/raisins to wet ingredients and mix by hand with a rubber spatula until all the flour is incorporated. Pour into your loaf pan.

Bake for 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

When we first realized we needed to go gluten and dairy free, I decided it was important to find a new muffin recipe for easy breakfast, since I basically lived off Cheerios and the occasional bagel. I went right back to the family cookbook my mom compiled when I was 2 years old. (My mom has 10 siblings, with 34 children between them at the time she made the book, so there were lots of people to contribute to said cookbook.)

I took the blueberry muffin recipe we have been using since before I can remember, and with a few small tweaks I had a muffin that was very close to the "real" thing. A few important things:
- my gf flour mix already contains xanthan gum. If yours doesn't, add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp when you add the flour.
- I have corn free gf baking powder. If you use "normal" baking powder you only need 1 1/4 tsp.

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup uncontaminated rolled oats
1/2 cup sweet citrus juice (like orange, pineapple)
1/2 cup white or light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups your favorite gf flour mix
2 tsp corn-free gf baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 to 1 1/2 cups blueberries
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line tin with paper muffin cups. Combine rolled oats and orange juice, stir well and let rest 2 minutes. Add sugar, oil and egg, stir. Add flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda, stir until just incorporated. Add blueberries, stir to achieve even mix. Dole out mixture evenly into 12 muffins. Mix 2 tbsp sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake 18-20 minutes, check at 15. Let rest at least 5 minutes, then enjoy!

These muffins will last about 1 day if left on the counter, about 3 days if refrigerated in an air-tight container.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Starcraft 2

I'm sure anyone who likes Starcraft is aware by now, but there is finally a release date for Starcraft 2! Dad has loved the original for a long time, and when the beta for SC2 was released earlier this year he was all over it. In fact, right now he finds it more compelling that Blizzard's other huge game, World of Warcraft.

I think that come July 27 we'll be seeing less dad for a week or two.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Cakes

Potato cakes are something that dad has had since he was little. Mom was introduced to them about 3 years ago. The basics of potato cakes are take left over mashed potatoes, add flour and salt, and fry in butter. Quite simple, really, and very tasty.

Today mom decided to try making sweet potato cakes. It was something I just went with, but I'll try to list some measurements.

1 baked sweet potato
2 tbsp dairy-free margarine (we use Earth Balance)
3 tsp tofu sour cream alternative
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 tbsp chickpea flour
4-6 tbsp each white rice flour and tapioca starch

To bake your sweet potato:
Wash the skin of the potato to remove dirt. Place potato in a 400F oven for approx 40 minutes until soft. Remove from oven, let cool until you can handle it without burning yourself, and peel off the skin.
(DON'T pierce the skin of your sweet potato like you do russet potatoes or you will have an ooey gooey mess on the bottom of your oven at the end from the sugars dripping out of the potato.)

To mix:
Take your sweet potato and mash it with a fork until there are no large pieces left. Add the margarine and sour cream alternative, and mix until margarine melts and everything is incorporated. Add salt and chickpea flour, mix again. Start with 4 tbsp each of the rice flour and tapioca starch, mix thoroughly. You are aiming for a dough that holds together but isn't dry or clumpy. Add extra rice flour/tapioca starch if your mix seems too liquidy.

To fry:
Place 1 tbsp margarine in a frying pan or skillet. Turn your heat to just below medium and heat until butter is melted. Use a spoon to place 2-3 tbsp worth of mix into the pan and flatten to about 1 cm (1/2") high. (see picture)

After 2-3 minutes, check your cakes for crispy bottoms. When bottoms are crispy as in the picture below, flip and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan, spread a little margarine on top so it melts, and enjoy. This recipe makes approx 9 cakes, which will of course require multiple frying sessions. Just make sure you add a little extra margarine to the pan between each set of cakes so they don't stick and don't burn.

To reheat cakes, just fry 60 seconds each side in a preheated pan, or microwave 10-15 seconds on high power.


Since we realized the necessity of a restricted diet, we haven't been out for dinner. That means at least 2 months of cooking every night. We ordered in pizza once for dad & daughter 1 and a chicken salad for mom (gf, cheese on the side so sharing with daughter 2 was possible). Last night mom hit a wall and said "I don't want to cook, I want to be treated." So I did some research and discovered that a Greek restaurant we already know and like is on a "friendly to celiac's" list. We walked in the door, I explained our dietary restrictions and we were good to go.

Our server was helpful, and when I asked if the feta was cows milk or sheep or goat, she went and checked for me because she didn't know. They were also super accommodating of our girls, which is always nice for a slightly higher-end restaurant like they are. We will definitely be going back there more often than we were already.

The restaurant is Kefi, 102-100 Schoolhouse Street, Coquitlam, BC, www.kefi.ca