Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

A couple of weeks ago I made graham crackers for a dessert. I used the recipe in our second cookbook, but as I baked them I realized again that I have not been in love with this recipe for a while. Somehow the graham crackers always seem to boil away. And they are chewy… And they just aren't quite as good as I want them to be. So today I decided that I would take a look at the recipe and see what I could do to improve it.

I googled a bunch of regular graham cracker recipes and a bunch of gluten-free graham cracker recipes. I looked at the differences between the recipes and compared them to my recipe. Whoa! Our recipe had twice as much butter, twice as much sugar, and about five times as much baking powder as most of the other recipes! So I  decided that I would to start play around. Most of the gluten-free recipes I found required nearly twice as much flour per cup of butter as the gluten recipes that I found. I decided that I would start with the gluten recipes and make modifications from there. Well, the resulting crackers are perhaps not perfect, but they're much better than the previous recipe was. So I decided to share.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

1.5 c. EGF all-purpose flour mix
1/2 tsp.  xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp.  cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. honey
1/2 c. butter

 Cream butter and brown sugar. Add honey and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients, and mix until well combined.

Turn dough out onto a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet (I used a 13 x 18 pan).  Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap and roll out until it is 1/8 of an inch thick. Gently cut the dough into cracker-sized rectangles. (The crackers will bake together as they bake, but scoring the dough beforehand makes it easier to cut them again after they are done baking.)  if desired, poke holes in the top of the crackers. (The holes will also bake together as the crackers bake, but it is just possible that they help to keep them from bubbling up?)

Bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes. Pull the crackers out of the oven, and re-cut them apart while still warm. Allowed them to cool.

Let me know how you like them!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip and Craisin Muffins

I know, I know. Posting once a year is not really sufficient to make people think that I really intend to maintain this blog. Two words: Seven Children. So, sorry and all that, but the lack of posts will probably continue (though I would like to TRY to be better ... but we'll have to see how that actually works out). 

I've been craving muffins recently. My brother was here for Christmas and he bought some huge muffins at Costco and then left several of them in my freezer when he returned to Hawaii. I tried to eat one the other day. It was ... not yummy. So I decided that I would just make muffins several times a week until I don't want them anymore. 

First I made Lemon Raspberry Muffins (which were fabulous ... maybe that will be my next post). Two days afterward I decided I wanted something a little heartier, so I googled oatmeal muffin recipes. I tried one from the Food Network (making several adjustments, additions, and deletions because that's the way I tend to cook). They were really good, but I realized afterward that I had accidentally doubled all the ingredients except for the sugar. So I made them again this morning. Just now, as I thought about it, I realized that I used one more egg this morning than I did last time. I'm not really sure which version I liked best ... So I'm posting both. Try them and then let me know which is your favorite!

Full Sugar Version
Low Sugar/Fewer Eggs Version

Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip and Craisin Muffins 

3 c. quick oats
2 c. milk
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 c. butter, melted and cooled
3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten (Use 4 eggs for the full sugar version)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar (Use 1 c. for a full sugar version)
2/3 - 1 c. white chocolate chips (approximate)
1/2 - 3/4 c. craisins (approximate)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Place oats and milk in a microwave-safe container. Microwave for about 2 minutes. 

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, soda, salt, and xanthan gum. 

Stir brown sugar and eggs into warm oat mixture. Add oat mixture and melted butter to flour mixture all at once and mix until combined. Stir in white chocolate chips and craisins. 

Evenly distribute batter between 24 paper-lined or non-stick-sprayed muffin cups. Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Decrease heat to 375 and bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so before eating. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The last year or so . . .

Over the last year or so I have done much cooking.  First of all I cooked a baby.  Well, only in a figurative sense, but he took a lot of time and effort anyway. As part of that particular project, I STOPPED cooking very many carb-loaded things because somehow I ended up with gestational diabetes. Once he was born I got all excited to bake again . . . only to come up against several food issues on the part of my nursing baby.  For a while I swear I was eating little but chicken and rice - and cried when the allergist told me to remove rice, too.  However, we both somehow came through the experience without starving to death, and I'm down to avoiding just two main foods.  Hooray!

Anyway, I'm wondering if there are any particular recipes that you all are hoping to hear about.  I've got a new (much easier and very yummy) cinnamon roll recipe that I've worked out in the last couple of months that I plan to share, but otherwise I'm kind of low on ideas.  Any suggestions?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving is coming! Thanksgiving is coming!

It's the Monday before Thanksgiving.  My family is staying put this Thanksgiving.  There will be no 6 hour car trips to visit family.  Or 12 hour car trips (which, obviously, take even longer and involve way more crying on my part and way more potty breaks for children with small bladders). This means that I will be cooking a Thanksgiving meal all by myself.

Deep Breaths.

The good news is that I appear to have enough motivation to actually prepare things on time!  I have done almost all of my grocery shopping (I think I still need some fruit cocktail, but psssshhhhh.  What's a can or two? It could be a turkey and some potatoes and some olives and pecans and pumpkin and whipping cream and celery and carrots and, and, and. . . . So I feel like I'm doing very well.

Also, today I made cubes of bread for stuffing.  And I took pretty pictures.  And now I'm WRITING about it! So that means I am doing VERY WELL INDEED.  Now, I know that I have previously written a post about making stuffing, but that was several years ago and just contained one lousy picture.  So I'm going to post the instructions again . . . Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake

 (I couldn't find my camera.  So you get mediocre cell phone pics instead.)

On our anniversary, my husband and I went to the Cheesecake Factory.  For dessert we ordered a piece of their Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake.  I took one bite, closed my eyes, and told him: "THIS is the dessert I wanted last weekend." ("Last weekend" had contained a really rough date night, with tantrum-throwing children keeping us close to home and the whole thing topped off by a complete failure to find the really delicious fresh-tasting dessert I was craving.) Of course, I didn't KNOW that Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake was exactly what I was craving at the time.  I had a only a general idea of what the perfect dessert would taste like . . . which is probably why we didn't find it.  This cheesecake, though, was definitely it.  The slightly tart, summery taste of lemon was perfectly complimented by the raspberries and . . . well, if you've ever tasted it, you know what I mean. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Aren't the pictures pretty?

So, while I was making Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake for my sister's birthday today (and, oh my goodness it is SO GOOD), I decided I should do some work on the blog.  So I logged in and tried to see if I could add some pretty pictures to the background and accidentally saved it and lost the previous format for forever.  Oops.  But the new pictures in the background are pretty, if rather distracting, so I suppose it'll serve until I get the motivation to figure out how to make it look exactly how I want it to look. 

And the cheesecake recipe?  Well, you'll just have to wait until tomorrow.  :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sweet Potato Chips

Before cooking

After cooking

These chips are super easy to make, bite sized for perfect snacks, and very, very yummy! After eating the first chip, you won't be able to stop! 


Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet potatoes, sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
Sprinkle salt to taste

Place sweet potato slices in a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and stir to lightly coat each slice.

Spread slices in a single layer on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. (This makes cleanup easier.) Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes, checking them at 15 minutes to ensure that they aren't overcooking.