Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

GF Gooey Bars

I adapted this recipe from this month's Everyday Food. It is so good, you'll never miss the wheat or gluten. My brother-in-law was over to the house this morning. He gobbled down 2 of them and raved about how much he loved them. (He normally runs in another direction when he sees raisins.) He didn't realize that there are raisins in the bars. When I told him, he could not believe me. And he didn't notice the missing wheat, either.

These are very easy to make and even more fun to eat. Enjoy!

GF Gooey Bars

nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons superfine brown rice flour
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons white rice flour
1/3 cup +2 tablespoons potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon course salt
3/4 cup GF rolled oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)
1/2 cup raisins
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups ( 7 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with parchment paper, leaving overhang on short sides. Lightly coat paper with cooking spray. In a food processor, pulse together butter, confectioner's sugar, flours, xanthan gum and salt; until mixture becomes a coarse meal. Add oats and pulse until just combined. Press dough evenly into the bottom of the dish and bake until lightly browned and firm, about 20 minutes.

Scatter chocolate chips and raisins evenly on top of crust. Drizzle with condensed milk and top with coconut. Bake until coconut is golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack before cutting into 18 squares. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Thank goodness for generics!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hamentashen for Purim

If you are looking for a wheat and gluten free Hamentashen recipe that is sure to knock the socks off of everyone, look no further. We are going to be cranking out a few dozen of these bad boys this weekend. This is the third year in a row that I am posting this recipe. Enjoy!

This gentile has had her work cut out for her, as she raises a Jewish kid who is allergic to so many things. All of the Jewish holidays are celebrated with specific kinds of foods. Now I am constantly trying to find recipes that are adaptable to Ella's special diet and often, I find things that are really quite delicious. Today we made Hamentashen off of a recipe that I found on the Internet. Naturally, it is wheat and gluten free. We filled ours with three separate fillings; apricot, chocolate chips and blackberry. When pinching the "hats" I closed them a little too much; more than what is traditional. But they tasted just as good! These will now be a staple in our home.

Gluten-Free Hamentashen

1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour (superfine is best)
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour

Fillings of your choice: apricot, prune, or berry preserves,
chocolate chips, M&Ms, cream cheese or whatever your heart


Cream butter and sugar in a bowl; add egg and mix. AddOJ and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients; slowly add
mixture to butter and sugar mix.
Mix until just combined.
Refrigerate dough for several hours or overnight. Dough needs
to be very cold to work with.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover cookie sheets with parchment

Roll out dough onto a lightly gluten-free floured surface. Roll to 1/8-1/4" thickness. Cut circles in dough with a 2 1/2" wide glass. Fill each circle with about 1/2 teaspoon of filling of your choice.

Fold up 3 sides of circle and pinch edges firmly to form a triangle with opening at the center to let the filling poke through. Or if you have an over eager pincher, as I did, you may seal them closed.
Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on rack and transfer to a plate.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Music to my ears!

In case you have not heard, Allegra is now available without a prescription!!!! I come from a long, line of allergy sufferers and this is the one medication that has always worked for us. Not sure why it has taken so long for this miracle medicine to become OTC, but I am very, VERY happy. No more fights with our insurance provider!!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Skippy Peanut Butter Recall

Recall Alert! If peanut butter is your thing (if you are one of the lucky ones) make sure you check your jars of Skippy, especially if you have any of the reduced fat varieties. They might be contaminated with salmonella.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Missed it by THAT much!

When I was a kid, we watched a lot of "Get Smart". The main character, Maxwell Smart, had a lot of memorable quotes. He always got a laugh when he would say, "Missed it by that much." His delivery was spot on.

As a mother of a child with food allergies, I think it is important to have a good sense of humor. And as frustrating as our situation can be, it always helps when I can find a way to laugh. When possible.

As some of you know, I work as a Set Decorator in the film industry. Two of my shows are on Fox, both staring Gordon Ramsay; Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef. MasterChef is currently in production and they sent an e-mail out to the staff and crew asking us if any of our kids would be interested in participating in one of the upcoming competitions. My first reaction was to be VERY excited. Ella, my five year old daughter, is very interested in what I do for a living. She jumps at any opportunity to come to my work. Over the course of a show, there are many stages of development for her to observe. The planning, design and model building. The preliminary materials search. The building of the set. The months of shopping and finally, the set decoration. I try to bring her along so that she can witness and participate in each step. After I finished decorating MC Season 2, I brought her to the set and the first thing she said to me was, "I want to be on this show!" And I told her that the show was like a big game with grown ups who are competing against each other to see who is the best chef. I couldn't foresee a chance for her to appear on camera... until I got an e-mail yesterday.

And then I remembered the food allergies. I knew that if they were doing a food competition with children, things like peanut butter and pasta were VERY likely to be involved. There was no way that she could participate. And I heard Maxwell Smart say his famous phrase, "Missed it by that much!" And I couldn't help but smile.

The good news is that Ella will never know that she missed an opportunity to be on TV. She is already quite bitter about the whole allergy thing and there is no need to add fuel to that fire. But it was a striking reminder of the lack of freedom we have in our lives, at times. But honestly, I am just happy that I have such a fabulous kid who is creative and wonderful in every way.

But I am going to suggest they do a competition for people who have food allergies. Top Chef did it and it was a great episode!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Antibiotics in our foods

Pharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals and MORE pharmaceuticals. What have we done to our foods? Our bodies? Our planet? These are all questions to ponder as you read the following article. Our food system is clearly broken. Sometimes I feel like we are so ahead of the cart it seems almost impossible to fix...

Today's Food System: All Drugged Up from the Huffington Post