Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gluten- Free Girl's Chocolate Chip Cookies

We have a popular breakfast treat and lunch spot in St. Paul, on Grand Ave. Bread and Chocolate serves a variety of glutenous treats from muffins to enormous cookies, bars and croissants. Tina and I spend our summers walking and Bread and Chocolate is a spot we frequently visit while out walking. Although I can't have anything, I enjoy  seeing the baked goods. I have tried to make a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, with varying results. When Shauna at posted a recipe for a gluten free cookie I had to go at it again. When I served them for desert during a dinner party my guests actually thought I had spent a fortune filling the cookie jar with cookies from Bread and Chocolate. As they carried on about my investment their jaws dropped with I helped myself to a cookie and confessed that they were gluten-free. These cookies are a winner!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chicken Salad Véronique

I love a refreshing summer salad. The combination of tarragon, celery and grapes creates wonderful flavor. Adding toasted nuts will give this salad an extra crunch! Using bone in chicken makes a big difference in flavor.

2 whole chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup hellmann's mayonnaise
2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 cup celery, diced small
1 cup green grapes, cut in half.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts skin side up, on a sheet pan and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast chicken for 40 minutes, until cooed through. Set aside to cool. Mix the mayo and tarragon together. Once the chicken is cool, remove the skin and tear into bite size pieces. Place chicken in a bowl, add the celery, grapes, mayo mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and serve.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gluten-Free Pizza

I love pizza! Fortunately I have found some good sources for GF crusts. My favorite crust comes from a wonderful GF bakery in St. Paul, Cooqi! You can check out the website at I also like the GF crust from Whole Foods. Personally, I find pizza to be all about the toppings! Good sauce, good cheese and what ever else you like. This particular pizza has pesto instead of traditional tomato sauce! I roasted red and yellow pepper, caramelized some onions and slow roasted fresh plum tomatoes and then topped the pizza with good grated mozzarella cheese. It is labor intensive, making the pesto, roasting everything and grating the cheese but well worth all the effort. If your not inclined to do this yourself and you live in St. Paul, MN try Pizza Luce! They have an extensive gluten-free menu featuring pizza on Cooqi crust every Tuesday and Wednesday. You can also get gluten-free wings!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I posted on this delicious Hungarian Shortbread last summer but it was a glutenous version. Since then I have been reading a great blog, Hey, That Tastes Good, by the very brilliant Jill Elise! I can't say enough about her gluten free creations! She really knows what she is doing when it comes to creating gluten-free renditions of old time favorites! You must check her blog out at I discovered her blog while doing some research for a trip to Budapest and landed on her blog. I was grateful for her advice on eating gluten-free in Budapest and when I came home I searched her sight for hungarian recipes and stumbled upon her recipe for Apricot Shortbread Bars. We share something in common, a love for apricot! I took the recipe and combined it with a recipe from Dorie Greenspan and recreated my favorite desert. You can use raspberry jam, or apricot for the filling. I have done both and they are equally delicious! To see the gluten version of this recipe check out the archives!

Thanks again to Jill Elise for this great creation!

3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/ teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon zanthum gum
2 egg yolks
2 sticks butter, room temp
3/4 cup jam of your choice

If you use apricot jam consider adding a teaspoon of almond extract to the batter and 4 teaspoons of orange liquor or orange juice to the jam.

Sift dry ingredients together.
Cream butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk and sugar and continue to cream another 4 minutes. With mixer on low, add the dry ingredients slowly until dough begins to come together, about a minute. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, bring it together with your hands and form two balls or logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least an hour, and up to three hours.  Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch springform pan with butter. Grate one of the balls/logs of dough, using the large holes of a box grater directly into the prepared pan, even out the dough and pat lightly. Spread the jam evenly over the dough, leaving a one inch boarder. Grate the remaining dough over the jam layer, spread out evenly and pat lightly. Bake until golden brown about 40 minutes or so. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pasta, pesto and peas

I am in the mood for spring and I have way too much pesto in the freezer. I have spent the past few days cooking quintessential spring food for my friends Paul and James who are the proud parents of newborn twins. While in the middle of making a gluten indulgent pasta salad I decided to make some gluten-free for myself. I would have preferred a spiral pasta to the macaroni shaped pasta I had on hand. This recipe is quite versatile, you can add grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp if you want. The directions below serves 12, but the recipe is very forgiving so scale back as you need!

1 1/2 pounds GF pasta (for a fun gluten version use a combination of fusilli and bow-tie!)
1/8 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups homemade pesto
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cup good mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis, toasted
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook the gluten free pasta according to the package directions. I also subtract a few minutes to insure the pasta does not get over cooked. GF pasta will fall apart and turn into a pile if you over cook it! If you use more than one kind of pasta, cook them separately. Drain the pasta and toss with olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach and lemon juice. Add the mayo and continue to process. 

Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta, then add the parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt and pepper. Mix well, season to taste and serve at room temp.

Tibetan Momo's

Rarely, if ever am I tempted to "cheat" on my gluten-free diet. It has taken me far to long to heal and recover from the nutritional problems related to untreated Celiac Disease! I have had three endoscopies in the past two and a half years, most recently the end of February. Finally, my villi are starting to perk up, finally my biopsies are starting to show some healing. I don't want to loose ground. I am hyper vigilant about my diet and I never feel sorry for myself. HOWEVER, these Tibetan Momo's, it was all I could do to keep a cheerful attitude as my partner and Tibetan dinner guests enjoyed them.

Our good friends, Pema and Tsamcho and Tsamcho's sister Pema came for dinner a few nights ago. Usually we have Indian food but we made homemade pizza instead. Tsamcho brought these delightful Tibetan delicacys she made from hand and her husband Pema steamed them up in a really great steamer. They are dumplings made with wheat flour and these were stuffed with ground beef, spinach and some onion. Tina ate a full plate of them before touching her pizza. I am not sure if I could recreate them with rice flour or not but I might try. I am hoping to get Tsamsho and Pema to teach me how to make them and see what I can do.