Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bonus Recipe: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookiesI adapted this from a Ghirardelli’s recipe Melissa Reagan shared with me. I just exchanged the regular flour for gluten-free and added one more tablespoon of butter. That’s it. And it worked beautifully. Jackie is eating them as fast as I can bake them!

(If you are not gluten-free and want to try the original recipe, go here. Either way they are way yummy!)

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup butter plus one tablespoon, softened
 (I “defrost” it in the microwave for a few seconds)
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unsifted gluten-free flour
 (I used Pamela’s Artisan Gluten-Free Flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups oats, uncooked

INSTRUCTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment), beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color (about 4 minutes). Add vanilla and egg, and mix on low speed until incorporated. In separate bowl, stir flour with baking soda, salt, and spices; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats. Fold in chocolate chips. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop onto ungreased cookie sheets line with parchment paper. Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie, 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 1 minute on a cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling racks. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 6 dozen 2″ cookies.

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Gluten-Free Bread that Doesn’t Suck

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gluten-freebread.jpgSo…Jeff and I have gone gluten-free. It is not a necessity. But we are trying to improve some health issues that have been reported to respond well to a gluten-free diet. It has opened a whole new world to us. A crazy, weird, and expensive world.

I looked at prices and almost said diet schmiet, we can’t afford that. But then I found a book for my Kindle Fire that has changed my mind, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring by Nicole Hunn. She has a section on what to buy and what to make, where to get the best deals on groceries, and basically how to make it work.
itbends.jpgOnce I had the basics down, I started playing with recipes. The first bread recipe I tried was okay, but not great. It had a metally taste and was very dense. It worked okay for toast with peanut butter. The second loaf I made was almost inedible. We are using it for a doorstop. But the third one, with a little tinkering, is AMAZING. It tastes great. It is soft and flexible like real bread. We are very, very happy with it.
This recipe came from the blog onegoodthingbyjillee.com. It is Jillee’s Gluten-Free Bread that Doesn’t Suck. And it doesn’t! It is yummy and flexible and light and moist.

I adjusted it to fit the ingredients I like and how I bake.  So I’m leaving Jillee’s name off. I hope she is not offended. I will be making my version over and over again. Enjoy!

 

Gluten-Free Bread that Doesn’t Suck

Ingredients
4 cups Pamela’s Artisan Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup powdered milk
3 large eggs at room temperature
¼ cup butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
⅓ cup honey
 or sugar
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water

Directions
Spray gluten-free cooking spray into two 8-inch bread pans. I like to use ceramic pans.
Add the yeast and honey to the 2 cups of warm water and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and powdered milk together in a medium-size bowl and set aside. Put eggs, butter, and vinegar in the bowl of your mixer and mix for about 30 seconds with the paddle attachment. If the butter is chunky, that’s OK.
Add half the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the mixer. Mix just until blended, and then add half of the yeast water, then remaining dry ingredients and mix for another 30 seconds, until blended. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the rest of the yeast mixture, then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 4 minutes. Your bread dough should resemble thick cake batter.
Spoon the dough into greased bread pans. Smooth the top of the dough with wet fingers, if desired. Wet a dish towel and put in your microwave. Heat on high 30-60 seconds until there is a little steam. Set bread in the microwave on top of the towel and let rise for approximately about 50 to 60 minutes. In last 15 minutes, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
When the dough has risen to about an inch above the top of the pans, place the pans in preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for 35 to 55 minutes or until the bread’s internal temperature reaches 200 degrees with an instant-read thermometer. (This is very helpful! It’s hard to tell when gluten-free bread is done.) Mine was done in 30 minutes, so keep an eye on it.
Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove loaves from pans and place on racks to cool. Brush with butter if desired.
Allow bread to cool COMPLETELY. (Don’t cut into it while it’s still warm or you will flatten it.) Let the knife blade do the work. Don’t press down, just keep “sawing” across the top until you get all the way to the bottom of the loaf and hit the cutting board. The bread slices will keep their shape much better this way!

Do You Know Me?

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Today is my birthday. I’ve been told I am old. I am okay with that. I am old-ish. But I am wise-ish also. For me it is a good exchange. I’m proud to be 53. That would have been considered ancient in the Middle Ages. I would have been the wise sage people sail across oceans to meet and get advice from. Everyone would have wanted to know me. They would have brought gold and grain and spices. Not such a bad scenario.

One of the great things about our social media society is that you get scads of birthday wishes from people you love and people you barely know. Which got me thinking about the word “know.” Do I “know” all the people who wish me well? Yes. But the levels of “knowing” are varied and significantly different. I know of people like the prime minister of the UK who has befriended me on Twitter. I “know” who he is and some of his politics. I “know” Facebook friends who I’ve met and chatted with only through social media a little better. I “know” friends from childhood but not who they are as adults. That knowledge is limited, but I would I would still say I know them. I “know” my girlfriends because we have shared our lives, our pain, our joys, our dreams. I know what they’ve gone through and they know me. I “know” my siblings, parents, children very well. I have lived with them. I know them because I’ve experienced life with them—its a first person kind of knowing. It goes beyond recognition, conversations, stories, or acquaintance. And I “know” my husband in a way that I know no one else. (Lucky me!)

But how well do I “know” God? I know of Him, I’ve read all about Him. I have chatted with Him and written to Him. I grew up with Him. I “know” Him and He “knows” me. He has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and still loves me. I have leaned on Him when there was no one else close enough or strong enough to go through the pain or shadows with me. I know I can trust Him. And just the other day while I was praying I called him “Honey.” (It just slipped out when I was praying passionately.) So I know Him quite intimately. But I want to know Him more. Much, much more.

As I think about the year to come, I pray that my depth of knowledge increases tenfold in my relationships this year. With God. And with you. If you are reading this, I “know” you. And knowing you means I’m praying for you. May God bless you and may you get to know Him better and better every day.

Knowing you makes me a better person. Thanks for being in my life however it is that I know you.

Happy birthday to me! (Spices and gold are still appreciated!)

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.
Proverbs 16:31 NLT