Jul 092014

Newly realeased Gluten-Free Family Favorites: The 75 Go-To Recipes You Need to Feed Kids and Adults All Day, Every Day ($10.37 Kindle), by Kelli Bronski and Peter Bronski [The Experiment], looks like it will be a good addition to my cooking library. I have both of their previous books: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes and Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking.

Book Description
This kid-friendly cookbook from category-leading authors has gluten-free families covered, every day of the week

Going gluten-free can seem especially daunting for families with children: What about pizza? But the Bronskis say, “No gluten, no problem!” In Gluten-Free Family Favorites, they share 75 reliable, delicious recipes—many developed with the help of their two young daughters—that prove how easy it can be. This go-to cookbook, complete with tips on how kids can help out in the kitchen, is sure to meet everyday needs (and wants!) with:

  • Breakfasts to start the day off right (French Toast Sticks)
  • After-school snacks that make the grade (Soft Pretzels)
  • Balanced, satisfying dinners (Pesto Mac and Cheese)
  • Familiar classics (Chicken Fingers)
  • Tasty treats (Ice Cream Sandwiches)

and more

With allergen-free modifications for every recipe, Gluten-Free Family Favorites not only demystifies gluten-free cooking, it empowers gluten-free families.

About the Author
Kelli Bronski is a graduate of Cornell University’s prestigious School of Hotel Administration, a ten-plus year veteran of the hospitality and restaurant business, and a lifelong baker and cook. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and coauthor, Peter Bronski.

Peter Bronski is the coauthor of Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking and Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes and founder of the blog No Gluten, No Problem. Despite his celiac disease, he enjoys adventure sports, is a former Xterra off-road triathlon U.S. national championship competitor, and is currently an ultramarathoner.

May be price matched at B&N, eBooks.com, iTunes or Kobo for those needing EPUB.

All prices current at the time the post is written. Most books remain at their listed price until “midnight” (each store operates on it’s own timezone and schedule), but prices can change at any moment. I have seen prices change within the hour or even minutes after posting.

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May 262014

Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine ($9.85 Kindle), by Annalise G. Roberts, is free from Barnes & Noble, courtesy of publisher Agate. It’s likely to be free in the Kindle store later this week.

I bought this a couple of years ago at full price, I’ve tried several of the recipes and they all worked well and would recommend it to anyone looking for GF bread machine recipes. I also have her Gluten-Free Baking Classics in paperback (bought before I had a Kindle) and on Kindle (I picked it up on sale a couple of years ago).

Book Description
Bread may be the staff of life, but if it contains gluten it can trigger an allergic reaction, and even provoke serious digestive disorders like celiac disease. Consumers who love bread but must avoid gluten have long been at the mercy of mediocre products and high prices. With this timely cookbook, they can have their bread and eat it, too. Acclaimed author Analise Roberts developed these simple, foolproof recipes for the Zojirushi bread machine. Roberts’ outstanding recipes range from simple and satisfying Basic Sandwich Bread to complex and scrumptious Golden Italian Bread with Raisins and Fennel. She also offers ethnic breads like Challah and Babka and seasonal delights such as the irresistible Holiday Breakfast Bread. Included are loaves, like Sundried Tomato Roasted Garlic Bread, that contain no eggs or dairy products.

About the Author
Annalise Roberts co-writes for the website foodphilosopher.com. She gives talks and demos to a variety of celiac support groups in the New York metropolitan area, including the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group. She is a resource contact for the Celiac Sprue Association in Bergen County, New Jersey (CSA is the largest celiac organization in America and has more than 10,000 members.) She teaches gluten-free baking and cooking at The Kings Cooking Studio in Short Hills, New Jersey and at local community adult schools in New Jersey.

Get the free ebook from Barnes & Noble.

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May 132014

Our strawberries are doing much better this year, despite the late freezes, as we are getting days of sunshine in between the rain and I managed to keep the weeds out (mostly) last year. They are also well-mulched with leaves (since I never can get all the leaves out that fall, I just leave them on them each year as mulch) and we dispose of our coffee grounds in the bed most of the winter, providing a natural fertilizer that doesn’t burn them (we don’t use any paper filters; if you do, you’ll want to compost them first, then spread finished compost on the strawberries). Our rhubarb is a tough one, the only survivor of our hot, dry summers the last few years (I’ve tried other plants and varieties and they don’t make it; I should probably split the clump we have, but haven’t gotten around to it) and it always is ready for harvest long before any strawberries are ready. This year, we kept a handful of stalks in the produce drawer, in anticipation of the strawberry harvest and the timing worked out well (some years, we get rhubarb sauce, instead, or have to use frozen strawberries with them).

So, once we started bringing in a couple of pints of strawberries and we weren’t gobbling them up on cereal, I decided to make a couple of pies. I used a pack of Gillian’s frozen quiche & pie crusts we recently found at EarthFare, that I wanted to test out, but if you prefer to make your own, you can’t go wrong with Gluten Free Pantry’s Perfect Pie Crust (which I can find locally, but it’s reasonable as an add-on item at Amazon). I’ve been using this mix for a long time, from before Glutino took over the brand and changed the packaging.

The first pie I made was a simple one, a Cheesecake Pudding Pie with fresh strawberries on top. For this, I simply baked the crust (the packaging said 10-15 minutes at 350 or until browned, but it took about 20 for the crust to look done and I didn’t have the patience to try for “brown”). The filling is simply Jello brand cheesecake pudding, made with 1-3/4 cup milk (lactose free, for one of the household). I use my stick blender to mix pudding these days, as it takes under a minute to get it to the thickened stage and there isn’t a big mess flung around the kitchen when I’m done (and no sore arm, either, from doing it by hand). Once well blended and thickened, just spoon into the finished crust, smooth it out and place the whole strawberries on top (after a quick rinse and plucking out the stems, of course). Chill and serve. It’s easy, it’s pretty enough to take somewhere or serve company, but it is a bit messy to get out of the pan. The flavors are not overwhelming, though, and it let me test the crust itself, to see how well it handled and tasted on its own (it passed and I’ll be keeping some of these in the freezer). One of the beauties of this pie is that you can change the flavors easily, as well as the fruit – when blueberries are in season, just complete cover the top with fresh berries! If you need completely non-dairy, I’d make jello, rather than pudding (it doesn’t do very well with the almond and rice milks, from our experience) and slice up the berries instead – mix and pour into the crust; serve with cool whip. This version is easier, to slice, too, than the custard or pudding pies.

But, what we really wanted was a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Most recipes call for a double crust on these, but I only had the one left from the package, plus I don’t like using a frozen, formed crust, to try to fit on top of a pie. Using the Perfect Pie Crust mix, I could have done this, but I didn’t want to mix up another crust. So, off to search my cookbooks and a few online sites that have recipes I know might work. In the process, I ended up changing up the filling ingredients and borrowed ideas from several for the finished recipe. For the crust, I ended up with a Ginger Spiced Crumble, which goes well with the spices in the filling itself.

To start, make sure you thoroughly trim the rhubarb stalks – there should be no leaf or rough root connections left, just pure clean stalks. Cut into 1/2 pieces. Wash the strawberries, remove stems and trim out any unripe spots (don’t use any berry that is questionable – it only takes a tiny bad spot to ruin the flavor of an entire berry and then your pie). Cut large berries in half. Mix the two together and set aside. For the spices, I used the zest from about 1/3 of a fresh lime and fresh nutmeg. Both were quick and easy using a Microplane Zester/Grater (this is the one I’ve been using for a decade, according to Amazon). The other spices were from relatively fresh containers – if your spices are several years old, you may have to add more (or toss them out and buy new ones). If you don’t have a lime – use a lemon or even an orange!

All the dry ingredients are tossed into a second bowl, then thoroughly mixed. Try to get the lime zest separated as much as you can, but don’t worry about it too much. Then, toss over the fruit mixture and thoroughly mix (I just put the top on that container and turned it over a few times), then let it sit while you work on the rest.

For the topping, you also mix the dry ingredients together and then cut in your cold butter (a solid margarine will also work, but not the “light” versions that have oils mixed in, as they don’t return to a solid state after being heated and cooled). I cut mine together with a pastry cutter, but kicked myself for not just getting out the food processor in the first place. Next time I’ll do that and I’ll probably also use gluten-free oats for half (or all) the flour, as I think it makes a better topping. Whichever you choose, don’t over mix the butter – you want “pea size” chunks left (ok, I had some that size and most smaller, but the big deal is to still have some bits of butter, but to have all the flour incorporated).

Next, assemble it all. Pile the filling into the cold crust (unbaked, but it had been thawing for at least 1/2 hour or perhaps a bit longer). And, I do mean PILE – the filling looks like it won’t fit and I heaped it all up in the middle. Then, put the crumb topping on, as carefully as you can (or, just pour it out on top and pat it into place, which is more or less what I did, picking up what fell off and putting it onto bare spots). You may end up with spots not covered, especially at the edges and a bit too much in the middle – just rake some of it off and press it into place where needed. I did try to leave none of the fruit uncovered, just as you would do with a second crust pie. I also “cut” a vent into the very top, using a butter knife – mainly I wanted the topping thinner there, so steam could more easily leave and minimize spilling.

Last, into the oven. You will definitely want a large piece of foil underneath (I put it on the next rack down), as this will bubble over some, as it gets closer to being done. I didn’t put a baking sheet under the pan while cooking or use a more rigid pie crust dish, so it was a bit tricky to remove when done — using a good metal baking sheet (unrimmed) or pizza peel is helpful when you get to that point. Although you can’t see in the last picture, below, the center was bubbling when taken out and I waited until the entire top had turned to a uniform color, to indicate the filling was baked all the way to the center. As the pie cooks, it will settle some and even more as it cools, as rhubarb always loses a lot of volume when cooked and the strawberries will lose some, as well.

Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

4 large stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2-1/2 cups hulled and halved strawberries
1-1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white rice flour
2-1/2 Tablespoons minute tapioca*
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lime zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2/3 cup white rice flour
5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons packed dark or light-brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

One frozen or homemade, uncooked 9″ pie crust; chilled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add a large sheet of foil to the lower rack; position upper rack in the center of the oven.

If using a frozen pie crust, set out to thaw; for homemade crust, put into refrigerator to cool.

Wash and clean rhubarb and strawberries. Cut rhubarb into 1/2″ pieces, half larger strawberries. Mix and set aside.

In a clean bowl, mix the rest of the filling ingredients. Pour over the fruit and toss gently, then set aside to start macerating.

Mix dry topping ingredients together, then cut in butter using a pastry cutter, two butter knifes or in a food processor.

Pour filling into chilled pie crust, then cover with topping. Spread evenly and pat firmly into place. Cut a vent into the center, to allow steam to escape.

Place into oven and bake until top is evenly browned and center is bubbling (about 1 hour and 15 minutes). Use a baking sheet or pizza peel to gently remove from oven and let cool to firm up the center.

Serve hot or at room temperature, with or without a scoope of good vanilla ice cream on top.

*Note: Do not substitute tapioca pudding for minute tapioca. If you must substitute, try 3 Tablespoons cornstarch.

© 2014 Karen Oland. All Rights Reserved

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