Rustic Potato Loaves

Rustic Potato Loaves

Better late than never. We didn’t have enough time to make this bread and develop it like we usually do with a new and unfamiliar recipe. As a result, this is a work in progress. The only alterations we made to the original recipe, were the addition of one egg and the gluten free flour substitutions. We also cut the recipe in half, making only one loaf. Honestly, while the taste was great, we would have liked to see this bread rise much higher and have a lighter consistency. However, we liked the recipe enough to give it a couple more tries, using a different combination of gluten free flours. Continue reading

Focaccia

Focaccia

Italian breads seem to be a recurrent theme with the TWD group over the last couple of months. First pizza, now focaccia. Not that we are complaining. Going back to our gluten eating days, we did enjoy focaccia on occasion, in fact, while living in Montana, a local health conscious baker, built his own wood fired oven, in order to do justice making some of the old style, rustic European breads. A lot of his breads were sourdough based, and focaccia was no exception. Usually only available on a weekend, unless you placed a special order, these specialty breads would disappear as soon as they emerged from the oven.  Since not everyone in our household shares our personal love for Italian food, focaccia is generally not at the top of the list, when baking bread. We do love a challenge, and never having tried focaccia gluten free before, we felt we couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Continue reading

Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves

Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaf

When we first learned about this week’s recipe, excitement did not immediately set in. The first thought that came to mind was, oh my gosh, the dreaded fruit cake. You know the kind, the loaf that requires countless hours to prepare, and because of the ensuing guilt on the recipient’s part, gets re-gifted about ten times. Sad in a way, because the one preparing it, no doubt, has invested a lot of energy and love in preparing it, even if the one receiving it, does not share this enthusiasm. Continue reading

Gluten Free “Mock” Whole Wheat Loaves

"Mock" Whole Wheat Loaves - A gluten free alternative

It is almost not fair to participate in this particular challenge. Baking bread gluten free is an entirely different ball game, and no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to exactly duplicate whole wheat bread. You can come pretty close, with a lot of tweaking.  It is so easy baking regular gluten rich bread by comparison. We remember – at one point – in what now seems like a long time ago, we baked wheat/spelt bread regularly and loved it. It just didn’t love us back. We are not complaining, however, finding out what you are highly allergic to is definitely a good thing.

Over the past several years, we’ve had many failures and also great successes, in the process of converting our many family recipes into gluten free ones. It is in that spirit, that we decided to give today’s recipe a try. Perhaps, it will encourage others not to give up, and realize that there are often many steps involved in the perfection of a recipe. Continue reading

Popovers

Popovers - A gluten free alternative

Since living gluten free, popovers are not a recipe we have made very often. Baking anything gluten free presents enough challenges, but baking without the use of baking powder, or other leavening agents, seems daunting to say the least – if not downright impossible. Since Julia’s recipe does not call for any sugar, we felt more inclined to give this a try. Popovers actually reminded me of a dish I grew up with in Germany, called ‘Pfitzauf.’ Continue reading

Mochi – Japanese Food Culture – Finale

Mochi - Japanese Food Culture

Studying Japanese food culture has been a fascinating and enlightening adventure. We loved the more healthy aspects of the food choices offered and the overall ease of  including it as part of our gluten free diet. With just a few minor adjustments and/or elimination of certain foods, such as condiments, sauces, and the gluten containing pasta,  everything is just about perfect if you are gluten intolerant or celiac.

In our research, a particular book captured our interest. It is written by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle, entitled “Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat – Secrets of My Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen.” Continue reading

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

As promised in our last post, we are continuing with our Thanksgiving line-up of gluten free options for the holidays. Today’s offering falls into the category of appetizers. This is also a vegetarian option – please note, that the Parmesan cheese is optional.

I was first introduced to this many years ago, on a return trip to Germany from the Northern Italian Alps. Several American friends and I had stopped for gas along the way, before  entering the busy road leading to the main alpine pass, and discovered a little gem of a small ‘Pension’ (Inn) nearby, which offered pizza. Pizza then was not what we in the United States are familiar with today.

This little restaurant was just inside a small private home, which also doubled as a  bed and breakfast. The innkeeper was busy preparing and baking pizza in a small  wood burning brick oven in her charming little backyard. She invited us all to watch her prepare these simple, yet delicious meals. She made pizza unlike any we had seen before. It was an ultra, ultra-thin crust, made from a sourdough, topped with a thin spread of creme fraiche, several varieties of finely chopped herbs and just a hint of a tomato sauce.  Forget about Americans’ favorite Chicago-style pizza,  way too gooey for this local innkeeper. In fact, I think she would have been horrified at that possibility. Throughout the preparation, she stressed the simplicity of food and the importance of using what was locally available to her. It all made perfect sense, even then.

You are no doubt wondering what all of this has to do with Thanksgiving. Well, alongside this meal she served a variety of salads and stuffed mushrooms. That was my first introduction to this simple, yet tasty appetizer. The innkeeper used up any extra pizza crust available, baked and crushed it to make bread crumbs for the filling. In those days, of course, I was not yet aware of any problems with gluten intolerance, or celiac disease.

Fast forward to today – out of necessity many of these meals have now been converted into gluten free dishes that can once again be enjoyed and shared with others. We chose this particular recipe because we really like it ourselves and because it can be adjusted to easily meet the needs for any number of guests. This particular version serves, on average, about 4 people. The typical medium-sized button, or white mushrooms, are easy to work with and are readily found in most health and grocery stores.

You will need the following ingredients:

Stuffed Mushrooms:

  • 1 packet of about 12 medium button mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup whole grain gluten free breadcrumbs, made from 3 or 4  slices of toasted Udi’s Whole Grain Bread
  • 1/2 finely chopped red onion
  • several sprigs of fresh Italian parsley
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Small amount of finely grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  • Approx. 2 Tbsp. butter and  2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Wash the mushrooms carefully and remove the stems. Set aside the stems, after trimming off just the very end. Place the mushroom caps in a glass baking dish and set aside.

Stuffed Mushrooms - Prepared Mushrooms

Toast the slices of Udi’s Whole Grain Bread (or any other gluten free whole grain bread of your choice) until lightly browned. Cut into smaller pieces and process in food processor. Set aside.

Stuffed Mushrooms - Gluten Free whole grain bread, toasted and cubed

Prepare a sauce pan, by adding butter and olive oil.

Finely chop the onion, garlic, Italian parsley, thyme and cleaned mushroom stems and add to the heated butter and oil.

Stuffed Mushrooms - Ingredients for Filling

When the onions are translucent, add the bread crumbs you prepared earlier. Blend all ingredients and remove from heat.

Using a teaspoon, fill each mushroom with enough stuffing to form a little ‘mount’ on each mushroom.  Sprinkle a little grated Parmesan cheese over each mushroom.

 

Add a little water to the bottom of the baking dish and bake in a preheated oven set at 350°F/180°C for about 30 minutes. Check throughout the baking process and add a little additional water, if necessary, to prevent burning and also keep the mushrooms moist.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Enjoy this very easy to prepare appetizer and let us know what you think.