Monthly Archives: March 2011

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, GFDF!

I love cookies.  And, I especially love to bake cookies that are not complicated, take very little time and highlight one or two complimentary flavors.  It doesn’t hurt if the cookie also contains a little chocolate.  I like it even more if clean-up is simple.

There is nothing like the satisfaction of warm-from-the-oven homemade cookies that didn’t leave you ready to hire house-cleaners just to find the counter top again.  Some creations around here manage to use every bowl, utensil and baking pan I own. Continue reading


Happy Birthday, Lisa Kern

There are Federal holidays, actual holidays, and Valentine’s Day.  And then there is this other date (March 28) that really ought to be declared a holiday.  It’s the birthday of Lisa Kern, humor writer extraordinaire.

She spins delightful and hilariously amusing tales about the funny side of family life – parenting three boys and being married for just about 42 centuries. She makes all those day-to-day experiences seem delightful and touching.

Continue reading

Ask Essie: Weighty Matters? Win a Kitchen Scale!

JoAnne asks if it really is all that important to weigh flours rather than using a measuring cup.  After all, using a cup measure is pretty common and easy – why should I switch?

Really good question, JoAnne.  Glad you asked.

The biggest reason for switching?  Money.  Continue reading

Gluten Free English Muffins, Really

Can you smell them?  Fresh from the oven!

The last Thomas’ English Muffin we ate was in the spring of 2000.  I might have added a splash pound of extra butter in those nooks and crannies if I’d known. It was an exercise in extra-special willpower just to ignore them after we began eating gluten-free.  And when some gluten-free faux English Muffins showed up in the grocery freezer looking more like door-stops than little round breads with nooks and crannies, we ignored those, too.

When it came time to order Eggs Benedict there is where we missed them most.  Try explaining to the server that you will have the Eggs Benedict, please, but could they hold the muffin because you cannot eat gluten.  The server, trying to be helpful, will ask if you’d rather have toast, or rye bread, or even a bagel.  Um, no, thank you.

Continue reading

Pineapple Express: Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Once upon a time I hated pineapple upside-down cake.  It tasted and looked like  Jiffy Mix met a can of sweetened pineapple, went out on a really bad date and fell into a deep dish, head first.

I’d forget after a while and make it again like it was something new and different.   And I still didn’t like it.  Even when I moved  past Jiffy Mix to decent yellow cakes, fresh pineapple and caramelized sugar, it still lacked something. Mostly it reminded me of school lunch fare.  Beige.

Still, I was hopeful that I might try just one more time (hope springs eternal or my brain is wired like Dilbert).  And I’m glad not only that I did, but had the foresight to write it all out as I was making it up. Continue reading

Baking Wrecks: A GF Cherry Pie Wreck on Pi Day

Lulu and Phoebe were willing to eat this – We weren’t!

I really do know how to make a pie.  I’ve made some fabulous pies over the years.  But once in a while a whole bunch of pies will come out of my kitchen less than edible.  It seems to happen in cycles.  And because I am stubborn, I keep going until the pie-wreck cycle is broken.

I’ve gone through pounds of butter and flour with mixed results.  Some would make better wall-paper paste than pie crust, but as long as I could stuff it into the pan – it would be baked.  Other doughs rolled out perfectly and went into the pan like a pie crust should only to come out of the oven like it was exchanged for dessert sand. Continue reading

Ask Essie: Flour Power

Janet asks what gluten free flours we use in the GFCanteen kitchen.

PhotobucketBack in the dark ages when we first began preparing gluten free food, there was but one choice for flour.  It was a gluten free flour blend that was meant to mimic AP flour.  It was pretty horrible.  Not only was it super gritty, but I am pretty sure it was a blend of bean flours that smelled awful.  Not what you want in your favorite chocolate cookie recipe.

But thankfully, things have evolved and we have some fine sources for gluten free flours. Some are available in the grocery store these days, and at least where I live, Whole Foods has an entire section of GF flours offering a variety of brands. Continue reading