Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Originally posted here on January 29, 2011 as "PWFC3"

To be read P-W-F-C-cubed...

And, otherwise known as "Peter's World Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies". However, after today, they may be known as "Wheat Free" instead for the W and F!

One of our dear friends was diagnosed quite a number of months ago with Celiac's Disease and now lives a gluten free lifestyle. It's been hard; she and her husband and Peter and I are all foodies together and this was devastating news (not just for her!). But with some adapting and just a little extra effort, we've been able to enjoy numerous meals together and I've really been excited to try modifying recipes.

However, something I learned for 8 years of being a die-hard vegetarian was that it's not always fun being "special". Sometimes, you'd like to eat what everyone else is having. Tonight, they are coming over for dinner and, as I told Lys in an email, "tonight, we're all living the lifestyle". I'm making GF Mexican food and there's no being special! We're all eating delicious veggies with some rice and potato products! And, in honor of the night, Peter transformed his delicious (I MEAN DELICIOUS) cookies, that he normally makes with a combo of white, wheat, and coconut flours, into GF delights! They weigh in at 100 calories each (the recipe makes 43 cookies) and are extraordinary. So, impress your GF friends (and your non-GF friends alike!) with this awesome Peter recipe!

1/3 cup Hazelnut Flour
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
scant 1 2/3 cup Rice Flour
1 cup butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 large egg
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 bag (Ghirardelli) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/8 cup water

Cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, vanilla, and water. In another bowl, mix all your flours, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients. Add the chocolate chips. In 375 degree oven, bake for 9-11 minutes (depending on your soft-hard cookie preference; we did 9:30).


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Le Crueset Bakeware

Originally posted here on January 27, 2011 as "CSN Product Review: Le Crueset Bakeware"

January 20th: I searched through the variety of CSN stores and found my happy place: the kitchen store! I have an addiction to kitchen items and my heart belongs to Le Crueset, even though they are too pricey for me to afford. But, happy of happies, I found a great LC addition to my kitchen! And, it was a two for one special!

In my head, I have images of lasagna, peach cobbler, and au gratin potatoes! Immediately, I select that item as my review item. In a matter of seconds, my order is placed and I'm told, via the computer screen, that my order should arrive on or before January 24th. That's Monday! Excellent! I'm having Peter's aunt for dinner on Tuesday night, and this would be lovely make-it-and-serve-it dishes!

January 24th: Where are you, beautiful dishes?

January 25th: I checked the FedEx page. They state that my package was on the truck for delivery on the 22nd but they opted to deliver it the next business day instead! Which, would have been yesterday! As of 7:20am, it's ready to be delivered today... I sure hope so! I wanted to use it for dinner tonight!

And, yay, they arrived by dinner time. Due to my changed menu, however, I didnt get to cook in them, however, I used the smaller dish to serve and it was a beautiful addition to my tableware, but, alas, beauty is only skin deep.

Or is it? Last night, I decided to make stuffed portobello caps and tomatoes. The larger dish was the perfect size for 2 3-oz caps and the smaller dish worked well for me 2 medium tomatoes. First things first, the clean dishes were sprayed with cooking spray then the clean and slightly damp veggies were placed face down and popped in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. When I took them out to flip them over, I could see that the dish was starting to get veggie residue on it (perfect! let's get something nice and baked on!). The cooked again for 15 minutes and then I stuffed them and put them back in the oven for 10 minutes. At this point, the tomato dish was getting especially "baked" and I was imagining cleaning the dish later... Fun times. The timer went off, I plated the veggies and sprinkled them with feta, and then... didnt soak the dishes. There was some definite veggie stuff on them and then, where the stuffing had come out, it had baked into the dish. And I just left them on the stove. I didnt soak them, didnt try to flake off the nasty. Nada. I mean, I wanted to see just how these dishes performed!

After dinner, I opted to not clean the kitchen right away. We played, Peter and I chatted, and then, finally, I went in. The dishes were cold and the dirt was dried on. P-E-R-F-E-C-T! And, just to add insult to injury, I cleaned them last! With my sponge having already washed a few things, I didnt bother to add additional dish soap, so imagine my surprise when the junk wiped right off! (I was actually really surprised. I recently baked in a well known glass 9x13 pan and that thing still has burned on gunk that I, two washes later, still havent been able to get off, so I didnt have too many high expectations going into last night). I cleaned the two dishes in about as many minutes and they sparkled like they had just come out of the box.

So, 2 Le Crueset pans turned out to make 1 delicious dinner and then made for extremely easy clean up. I think I'm in love!! I might be begging for new kitchenware for my birthday and Christmas this year!