Saturday, November 23, 2013

Recipe Weekend/ Cookbook Review: Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt


Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Robert Rose Publishing, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

christmas idea moose


Ah the holidays....

If you've recently gone onto a Gluten-Free diet, or had a family member go one one, you might be shaking your head wondering what to serve on the holiday table, or even just for dinner this weekend!

I have a new book to share with you, that can fit all those needs and more!

Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking cover

Synopsis:

Enjoy all the sensational food that is typically avoided in gluten-free diets.
Let's face it: two of the worst things about adopting a gluten-free lifestyle is having to give up all your favorite foods and spending loads of extra time in the kitchen. But gluten-free foods don't have to be plain or unappetizing and you don't need to spend hours in the kitchen. All you need is a well-stocked gluten-free pantry and the sensational recipes found in Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking.
These recipes offer numerous ideas for healthy, tasty meals. No more cooking separate meals for a friend or family member who has celiac disease or a wheat allergy -- everyone will enjoy this fabulous food. Tasty and innovative meal ideas cover everything from baked goods, pasta dishes, appetizers and family meals to mouth-watering desserts. This book also shows how to take advantage of the ever-widening variety of gluten-free flours that are now available at your local grocer.
Outstanding gluten-free recipes are beautifully organized for ease of use and preparation whatever the time of day or occasion:Also included is useful information on maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle -- whether you're just beginning or simply need to check in for a quick reference. Sections such as The Gluten-Free Pantry, Handling Gluten-Free Flours and Starches, Gluten Cross-Contamination in the Kitchen, Healthy Choices for Eating Out -- Or In!, Traveling Gluten-Free Safely and Nutritious School Lunches are invaluable.

Review: 
This book is a great way to get started on the gluten-free cooking adventures, as I like to call it. WHile not as fun as say taking a cruise, you almost have to learn HOW to bake again, and that can lead to some pretty near and bad escapes in the kitchen, LOL. This book aims to put the fun and ease back into baking, and it does! The authors explain the way to convert recipes, which tools you really need, and importantly, defines and explains your pantry needs like starches, flours, and how to handle n use them correctly. This is a huge undertaking that most of us are not familiar with, and a lot of it IS by experience, so having a recipe to follow is heavenly! The authors also talk about what can mess up a recipe, like cross contamination when cooking Gluten-Free and with Gluten, in the same kitchen, how different measuring instruments can alter your recipe and even how mixing methods and baking pans, can affect your gluten-free baking! WHEW- it's a lot, but it is all easy to understand in this book! l also liked how the bread section includes using bread machine and yeast recipes differently in Gluten-free baking. She also offers up some great cake and pie baking tips, and recipes, that are perfect for this holiday season! Not to leave the kids out, she also includes sections on healthy choices for eating out  and making healthy school lunches! 

The book also ends with very helpful Equipment, Technique and Ingredient glossaries! Some of my favorite recipes from the book (many of which are suitable for this holiday season!) include:
  • Breakfast and Brunch-Carrot Apple Energy Bars, Make your Own Pancake Mix, Busy Day Casserole
  • Appetizers-Bakes Mozzarella Sticks, Cheddar Dill Shortbread, Holiday Cheese Balls, Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • Soups, Salads and Dressings-Cheddar Corn Chowder, Shrimp Ceasar Salad with Croutons (!!), Cranberry Orange Vinagrette
  • The Main Event-Batter Fried Fish, Chicken Pot Pie, Italian Sausage Patties, Thin Crust Pizza
  • Quick Breads- Bana Cranberry Muffins, Orange Pecan Streusel Muffins, Poppy Seed Cheddar Muffins, Lemon Yogurt Scones, Southern Cornbread
  • Bread Machine Recipes- Cinnamon Raisin Loaf, Cranberry Wild Rice Loaf, Nutmeg Loaf, Daffodil Loaf
  • Heavy-Duty Mixer Recipes- Tomato Rosemary Loaf, White Bread, Chocolate Fig Panettone
  • Holiday Fare-Lemon Garlic Chicken, Poultry Bead Stuffing, Carol's Fruit Cake
  • Delicious Desserts- Banana-Pecan Sticky Buns, Gingerbread, Lemon Sponge Pudding, Pie Pastry, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Pecan Roulade, Nutmeg Rum Sauce
  • Sweet Treats.- Cranberry Drops, Peanut Butter Cookies, Cookie Bars for Mailing, Parmessan Rosemary Slices

As you can see the recipes are very varied, and can meet just about all of your diet and meal needs!  I can't recommend this book enough! It would be a GREAT Christmas gift for someone just starting on a Gluten-free diet, or cooking for someone who is on one!

Now how about a super GF cookie recipe, that is perfect for the holidays, for gift giving, taking to the kiddos school parties, and to any holiday function?

Triple Threat Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple Threat Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple the pleasure, triple the fun — but who’s counting calories? 
These fudgy morsels are worth every bite! Makes 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients: 
1 cup sorghum flour 
2⁄3 cup whole bean flour 
1⁄2 cup tapioca starch 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp xanthan gum 
1⁄2 tspsalt 
1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted 
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate 
1⁄3 cup butter 
1⁄3 cup shortening 
2 tbsp water 
1 tbsp instant coffee granules 
2 eggs 
2⁄3 cup granulated sugar 
2⁄3 cup packed brown sugar 
11⁄2 tsp vanilla 
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Directions:

(Grease baking sheets lightly)

1. In a large bowl or plastic bag, combine sorghum flour, whole bean flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cocoa. Mix well and set aside.

2. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate, butter, shortening, water and coffee granules, uncovered, on Medium (50%) for 2 minutes. Stir until completely melted. Set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar and brown sugar for 3 minutes, until smooth. Add vanilla and cooled melted chocolate mixture. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheets. Let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set. Transfer to a cooling rack immediately.

Tips

Cookies spread and are still soft when baked; if baked too long, cookies become very crunchy when cold.

For crisper cookies, use 2⁄3 cup (150 mL) butter instead of half butter and half shortening.


Make ahead and freeze for up to 2 months in an airtight container.

Excerpted from Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking by Donna Washburn & Heather Butt © 2013 
Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.



About the Authors:
Donna Washburn, P.H.Ec and Heather Butt, P.H.Ec are both professional home economists with honors food science degrees, are acknowledged experts in the field of gluten-free recipe development and bread machine baking. They have written many cookbooks, including 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes250 Gluten-Free FavoritesThe Gluten-Free Baking Book and Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook.

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