Tag Archives: cookies

BBQ Round-Up – Get out the stretchy pants!

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The virtual BBQ party has left me with enough recipes and ideas to make it through every BBQ that crops up this summer. Seriously – you guys are amazing! Check out the goodies everyone brought! Oh, I love it!

The food filled many a virtual picnic table, although I think I’ll have to stay seated for a little while after grazing. The BBQ was a great way to get back in to the swing of blog posting after our family left. It’s taken me a little bit to get my mind organized and back on track. I tend to get absorbed in the commotion of the crowd of eight for some strange reason.

We had a lovely visit (even during the two days of plastic-wrapped windows for house painting!). And now it’s back to life… and adoption “autobiographical sketches” and such. (My goodness! If you have ever written an adoption autobiography, you know what kind of a typing-marathon we are involved in!)

But back to the BBQ. Food. It is, after all, why we are all a community and what brings people together. Family. Friends. We bond by food, regardless of culture. And the gluten-free world is bonded by food so very much more! We become bolder with our food choices and definitely with our questions/answers about in public. Like when I’m shopping and reading labels and people ask me what I’m reading for or they get excited if they know what I’m talking about when I ask if something is gluten-free. The smiles of recognition that covers our faces when we find a food-buddy.

Oh, how I wish this BBQ wasn’t just a virtual one! I wish my house could hold you all. (I think 10 might be our max, however. LOL) I know we could all spend hours together sharing stories, laughing, and eating with reckless abandon (thus my stretchy-pants comment above). Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

I think so too!

So here is what everyone brought to the BBQ online. (Please try not to drool on your screens. It’s rather unsightly for the next computer-user, ya know.)

A = Carrie (Ginger-Lemon Girl) brought an Apple-Mint Salad. I don’t know how she knew to kick off a Pacific Northwest BBQ with apples, but she called that one right. I love mint in things (surprising even myself, to be honest) so I can’t wait to try this. Oh, the million varieties of apples + mint? I’m in!

B = Rachel (The Crispy Cook) made a Broccoli Salad a la Grecque. This recipe looks delicious! She included feta cheese which adds a nice saltiness and zing to salads. I love feta or bleu cheese crumbled on our grilled potatoes in the summer, so I think this salad is right up my alley!

C = Natalie (Gluten Free Mommy) showed up with a scrumptious Cherry Clafouti which had me roaming around the kitchen saying “Clafouti” with a million different trills and intonations. I love her tips about pitting cherries with a straw… sure beats what I’ve been doing this summer with a paring knife! LOL

D = Mary Frances (Gluten Free Cooking School) did a little research and made some Diabolically Deviled Eggs. While she wasn’t a fan of her new pimento-cheese deviled eggs, there were takers at her house!

E = And for any of you deviled egg purists out there, no worries! Melanie (The GlutiGirls) brought some Deviled Eggs of her own. I was happy to see that I’m not the only one who pondered the idea of the Tupperware containers for Deviled Eggs.

Seeing both Mary France and Melanie make Deviled Eggs, it made me think we had a bit of a Tyler Florence Throw-Down, Gluten-Free style happening at the BBQ too!

F = Ginger (GF in GF and FL), bless her heart, kept it clean and brought some Freakin’ Awesome Tropical Chicken that Jen (From DelphiForums) dreamed up. I don’t have a picture to share of the dish, but I do have this lovely pilfered photo of Ginger & her cute kidlet, Jeffery! (Happy Belated Birthday, Jeffery!) (Read Gingers BEAUTIFUL post to her son on his birthday too.)

G = Lynn (GF Gastronaut) submitted a delectable recipe for Guacamole. (Sorry to have seen it late, Lynn!) I love avocadoes and a good fresh guacamole. This is a perfect treat! Bring on the chip bowl, gang! :)

H = Heather (GF Vegan Baby) brought some refreshing Honey Rooibos Tea and some Happiness Cookies. The tea looks delicious (especially today as I sit in the sun typing up the Round Up!).

I = A little more from the archives: Ice Cream Sandwiches would certainly go over well!

J = Jacie (Gluten Free Wiggs) made “Jacie’s Gruyere Apple Pie”, OH MY! That sounds so rich and delicious too.

K = Umm.. Kale? Kiwi? Ketchup? (Hey… some government agency used to think it counted as a vegetable for school kids! LOL)

L = Thomas (GFCF Experience) posted a great recipe for his “LIttle Grandma’s Swedish Cookies”. Growing up in Minnesota (semi-Scandinavia), I am quite familiar with the type of delicious cookie he posted. I can’t wait to try his GF version!

M = Karen (Gluten Free Sox) made Memphis-style Ribs that literally had me craving ribs as I read her description of the tender meat easily falling off the bone. The spice list looks wonderful. Yet another “make these before the winter rainy season hits again” recipe for us! That’s for sure!

N = Cheryl (Gluten Free Goodness) made her Nana’s Skillet Bread. Oh, I love skillet breads! It’s the perfect BBQ accompaniment to those ribs that Karen made.

O = Gaile (Fidgety Budgy) created an Oregon Pasta Salad with cherry tomatoes, gherkins, and salmon. YUM!

P = Jenny (Your Sugar and Spice) made a different kind of Pasta Salad with avocado (love avocado!), tuna, and tomatoes.

Yet another Throw-Down, Gluten-free style!

Q = Lauren (Celiac Teen) made a Quinoa side dish that looks tasty. I like that she cooked the quinoa in veggie broth. I love the flavor and texture of quinoa – it helps me make up for missing out on couscous which we used to eat frequently before the land of Celiac entered our lives.

R = Cassandra (Delightfully Gluten Free) made Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp. If you have never tried rhubarb, I highly suggest this recipe as a beginning point. Rhubarb has a great tart falvor that combines beautifully with strawberries. And in a crisp? Forget about it! You won’t know what hit you but you WILL run off in search of a scoop of vanilla ice cream to eat along side it all!

S = Vicky recommended that we all try this Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta from Epicurious. It sure looks good. She said that they use this on Teff Wraps, etc and make the best BLT sandwiches as well with this as a basis. I think it’s a definite party recipe for us to try out. It looks beautiful!

T = Kay (Gluten Free Kay) delighted my eyes with this cute little Tomato Pie. To be honest, tomatoes are relatively new back in our diets (it’s a texture thing… what can I say?). But I love the taste of fresh tomatoes on our sandwich wraps or pizza/flats with basil and mozzarella. I think I will have to give this recipe a whirl with some delicious heirloom tomatoes from the local farmer’s market. (I’m not as green-thumbed as sweet Kay. But boy, do my dandelions grow well! LOL)

U = Sarah (Everyday GF) made some Upside-Down Cupcakes to appeal to the masses. I love this idea too. Mini upside-down cupcakes? Sure easier on our diets than having a huge cake sitting around the house!

V = Vittoria (Deliciously Gluten Free) made a Very Berry Cake that looks to die for too. My love is not big on sweets, but on berries? Berries in a cake? He’s all over it.

W = M-Elle (Cooking, UnCooking) made Watermelon Salsa! Seriously, I can’t wait until we find some good watermelon. I really want to try this recipe out. I think I’m intrigued by the flavor combinations and think it would be delicious on a taco salad made with chicken too. Man, I hope the watermelons start looking good soon! (They are a bit behind this year due to weather.)

X= Me! (Gluten Free Gobsmacked). I made some XXX Cookies. The XXX standing for Powdered Sugar – no worries! Nothing inappropriate. The dough is easy to work with and rather versatile. And India Tree makes some beautiful decorating candies, sugars and vegetable, all-natural food colorings for those of you who can/do use organic. (On a side note, I am amused by the number of XXX google hits that recipe got. Ah, the naive-side of me that thought they were all looking for sugar cookie recipes. LOL I know better now!)

Y = Steve (Gluten Free Steve) had the brilliant idea of bringing a Yummy Caprese Salad. This salad is easy to make and very fresh and delicious. The layers of mozzarella and tomato are delicious – even for me, a self-proclaimed tomato-newbie. Give it a whirl too! You be glad you tried this recipe too.

Z = I haven’t as yet posted a recipe for this, we make Zagablione (Here’s a picture of the Strawberry one we made and here’s a picture of a plain zagablione with fruit on top). There are a couple easy recipes online. You can find the basics of the strawberry recipe here. (Recipes should call for 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon marsala or grand marnier per person. Some call for much more (too much, IMHO) liquor which causes the zagablione to have a strong flavor and not set up as nicely.)

Okay – who’s hosting the next BBQ or party?

And is it just me, or are you guys thinking that a whole GF Community wouldn’t be such a bad place to vacation together either? Boy, that would be NICE!

I’ll be back soon with some new recipes for summer.. and am working my Menu Planning to be able to join the Monday Menu Planners occasionally. As of right now, I plan 4 days at a time. Not quite ready for the prime-time showing of you organized bloggers. LOL I’m working on it though!

Happy July and Gluten-Free BBQing and Eating to all!
-Kate

Gluten Free: Making Lace Cookies

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Gluten Free: Making Lace Cookies, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

I’m in the midst of family-loving.

And my labrador is going to sleep well tonight!

Not only are there 8 people here to love him, but he swam in the ocean, ran on the sandy beach dunes, chased the sea gulls and then had a “spa” appointment for a wash, nail trim and a little bit of pampering. Needless to say, he is the only one sleeping at the moment. The rest of us are playing Guitar Hero, talking, cooking or out shopping for allergy medication.

This post is for Dayna. I promised to post this a while back and while it didn’t slip my mind, I did get delayed. Between the end of school and my family festival, I got a bit lost. (Sorry, Dayna!)

Dayna saw these photos on my flickr pool and wanted the recipe. I made these cookies as thank you gifts for the secretaries at school. They didn’t even realize that the cookies were gluten-free until I took a bite of one. (I *love* that!)

I chose to make lace cookies with pine nuts and candied (and regular) ginger. I hadn’t seen any gluten free lace cookies but thought they would be easy to make. Lace cookies don’t always call for a lot of flour, but timing is everything. Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t make more cookies in one batch than you can move/curl easily. (I chose to make 4 at a time.)
  • Have your curling items set up before you begin baking. (I used a rolling pin, a tea cup (pictured) and a wide-edged bowl.)
  • Use a wide spatula to move the cookies easily. Once they come out of the oven you have 2 minutes (or less) before you have to make your move. The cookies need to set up *A BIT* on the cookie sheet and then you quickly move the still drooping cookie while it’s still hot.
  • Once the cookies have cooled, they will hold their shape. Don’t try to change the shape once they begin to set. It will be too late.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing them.

I would love to see the pictures or hear about your adventures in lace cookie making. This recipe is easily adaptable to other nuts or flavors. We are making candied-lemon and almond lace cookies this weekend. (But only after my niece and I make her pink cupcakes…those come first as per demand.)

I’m off as soon as I get this recipe typed… it’s my turn to play Guitar Hero and the new Aerosmith Wii game is calling my name (along with my family…)

Gluten Free Pine Nut & Ginger Lace Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen, depending on size.
Ingredients

5 1/2 Tablespoons sorghum flour
3 Tablespoons potato starch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup GF rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon finely minced/chopped candied ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons half-n-half or other cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Blend all together until even.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or use a silpat).
  4. Drop by the tablespoon (4 at a time at most) on to the parchment paper. Be sure to place them far apart as it will spread.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes at 325F.
  6. Allow to partially cool (enough to handle).
  7. Carefully slide still hot cookies onto a parchment covered rolling pin or tea cup (etc). Push the cookie quickly to make the shape you want or allow it to drape naturally. (I had fun experimenting with the shapes I liked best.)
  8. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container on the counter.

Happy GF eating all!
-Kate

XXX – GF BBQ Treats!

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Bwahaha.
No worries.
These treats are kid-approved and not obscene at all.
They are NOT the naked man cookies.
And even those are kid-okay.
Promise.
Well…wait…that all depends on your cookie cutters.

But I’m NOT going there.
And MY cookie cutters are good to go. :)

Instead, let me just tell you that I am in family heaven. Well – Near it anyway. My side of the family is missing as are many from my love’s family. However, I am soaking in the conversation from an uncle I haven’t seen in several years and my father-in-law (who doesn’t really speak English). WE are having a BLAST. Seriously. Oh how I LOVE these men.

While the night is upon us, let me just paint this picture for you. My love and I have a futon in the family room (where the only TV is). Here we are all gathered. My mother-in-law and niece are asleep on the futon (it’s opened). My father-in-law sits on the edge of the futon reading the Chinese newspaper to me. My uncle is using a laptop across from me and watching a movie from Hong Kong because the soccer games are playing on the TV. And my love? He is fixing yet another laptop that they brought with them from Chicago for him to fix. Oh, yes. And the dog is laying on my father-in-law’s feet.

Every sixth or seventh sentence is in English. The rest is Cantonese.
Life is good.

Today before they came, I made some XXX cookies. Nothing perverse. XXX (XXXX) is actually a baker’s term for confectioner’s sugar – or powdered sugar. And no, I didn’t know that. While I might be a mighty geek (and klutz if we are going to get technical), I actually did a little research in the letter “x” and food for the BBQ.

Since everyone was avoiding “x” and “z”, I spent some time researching and developing recipes for both. I figured I should “woman up” (sorry, had to say it) and take the “x”. After all, I’m the dork that put the alphabet challenge out there. I had to make sure we could actually finish it!

I’m just going to post the recipe quick. That way I can get back to my soccer-kung fu movie watching, newspaper reading, snoring, sleeping and all around good-loving family quickly.

These cookies were made for my niece, Valerie. Because really….. I’d rather her skinny-self ate them so I could actually LOSE some weight this summer. She’s already eyed the cookie tub in hopes of finding some goodness within. She was not sad to see the colorful sugar cookies beckoning to her after dinner. She munched on one with her white peach as a snack before bedtime. And then she checked the tub again…. just to make sure there were enough there for the rest of her visit here. I assured her we could make another batch together if we ran out.

I hope you get a chance to have a little XXX adventure of your own. These are tasty and roll out nicely, although the dough is soft unless you chill it in the fridge for a little while. (I didn’t chill it. I’m not that patient. LOL)

XXX Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar (XXX sugar!)
1/2 cup. white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract
2 or 2 1/4 cups GF flour mix (rice-based)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Decorative sugars (I use India Tree Decorative Sugars. See Note Below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Beat together butter and cream cheese in mixer for 3-4 minutes until creamy and light.
  3. Add powdered sugar and sugar. Cream together for an additional 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla. Beat together to incorporate evenly.
  5. Dump in gluten-free flour mix and xanthan gum. Beat together.
  6. Scrap into a ball. The dough will be soft, but NOT sticky. If it is sticky, add a little more GF flour to the mix. It should not be stiff/crackling. If it is, add water by the tablespoon until you have achieved a soft dough.
  7. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll the ball into decorative sugars. (I use India Tree decorative sugars. See note below.)
  8. Place on parchment paper or a silpat. Flatten with the bottom of a glass to a 1/2 inch thickness.
  9. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes or *just* until golden on the edges.
  10. Cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack.
  11. Store in an airtight container at eye level for your six year old niece.
  12. She will love you forever and the cookies will last for at least the first week of her visit.

Enjoy!
-Kate

NOTE: I use India Tree decorative sugars. To be certain of their gluten-free status, I recently called this Seattle company (6/2008) and received confirmation. These are beautiful sugars. You can see a variety of them here on Amazon. I chose these as I enjoyed the different depth of colors they offer. Check out their site for more information and product choice.