Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Gluten-free Weekend

I haven't been posting as often lately. Summer is here, and I've been busy with projects and experiments. In lieu of a solid product review or recipe, I'll give you an idea of what's coming up.

I'm still working on some variations for the gluten-free pancake recipe I created. The next iteration will involve buckwheat, (like my waffles) one of my favorites. I'm almost there! I just have to eat all the reject batches of quinoa pancakes inhabiting my freezer, then get over being tired of pancakes, then I'll make a new batch and complete my recipe variation.

I added this tip to the post "Tips for beginners on the Gluten-free diet:"

Talk to everyone about being gluten-free. When I first started on the diet, I had a customer who would bribe my staff and me with these delicious-looking chocolate cookies. I wouldn't try them, assuming they were full of gluten. After weeks of constant bribing, I found out that the customer was on a wheat-free diet, and the cookies were gluten-free all along! He never brought them in again, and I really missed out. If I had just told him about my relationship to cookies early one, I could have enjoyed them and also made a new gluten-free friend. It pays to talk about it: everyone knows someone gluten-free, even if they aren't GF themselves. Treat your diet as a lifestyle, not a disease.

I've been trying some new (to me) gluten-free pastas, including Andean Dream, an organic quinoa and rice pasta that I really liked. I also tried the Tinkyada brown rice spinach spaghetti. Full reviews are coming soon.

I've been gardening. This spring has been good for plant life, which also means that the pollen count is particularly high. Ah, well. I might be switching to Zyrtec soon.

I've been making cheese.

This weekend I also made octopus.

A few weeks ago a reader asked me for a recipe for blondies. I haven't gotten to it yet, but tonight I'm making Brownies Cockaigne from the Joy of Cooking (with modifications). Does that count?


Amy Green said...

I am looking forward to your pancake recipe. I share your need for perfection...I've tried a few versions of pancakes myself and so far nothing quite hits the spot. I tend to throw it all in the trash, though. (Maybe I shouldn't admit that!!) My husband comes looking for my mistakes and they're in the can. Making cheese...wow. A little out of my purvue. :) As always, love the pics.

Gina said...

Amy, Thanks for the compliments on my pictures! I always try to save my food. Whether or not I actually end up eating my reject pancakes is another matter: my intention is better than my follow-through. In six months I'll be looking at those bags of frozen pancakes and wondering: should I throw these out? And then I'll wonder if I should clean and save the bag.

Cheese is actually not that complicated to make. I was surprised. You do need a few essential tools (like a cheese mold) and ingredients (like rennet), and a lot of patience (like two months' worth), but there really aren't that many steps or skills involved. I'll post it when the cheese is done!

Jen said...

I'm so impressed with the bloggers who are such fabulous cooks/bakers! I really don't measure up. I am still learning. In fact, for some reason, quinoa really intimidates me. I don't know why. And cheese? I think I will just keep purchasing mine at the grocery store.

You really are a busy gal! I appreciate your tips and photos as well. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Those brownies look divine but I'd still like a blondie worth eating. Well, I eat all my disasters even if I have to do it with a spoon but a blondie with no gluten and no butter? Is it even possible?

P.S. Love the blog.

Gina said...

Thanks for the props! The brownies were pretty good, even though they turned out more cakey than rich and gooey. I'm guessing that if I were to make a GF vegan blondie I would use a nice gluten-free pastry flour mix and coconut butter. What do you think?

Anonymous said...


I think I've tried it. In fact I just tried another adapting a recipe from "Simple Treats" using GF oatmeal flour and some regular GF flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, rice syrup, vanilla, a couple of Tbsp of mesquite flour and chocolate chips. At least they held together but I think there's just no replacing brown sugar and butter to get a good flavor. Oh well, they're good crumbled on top of coconut ice cream. Cheers!