Thursday, April 22, 2010

Civil War Homefront Jelly Roll & Honey Bun Winners!

Thank you all who took the time to stop and enter this giveaway! Two random numbers were picked on April 20th at midnight:


The Jelly Roll Winner:

#7
Stitch n' Love who said:

"The next two holidays are very important in my family as we all see it as a way to remember those how have served and those in the family are still serving in the armed forces. But my all time favorite part of the holidays is going out in the boat and watching the 4th of July fireworks between a local town and the Paris Island Marines!"






The Honey Bun Winner:


#17 
Stitches in Cotton who said:


"As a Vet. of the Air Force myself (my father and Uncle have also served) any holiday that honors our Military or our freedom (what's left anyway) is very important to me. 
My favorite thing about this time of year is picnics and watermelon especially a 4th of July picnic with watermelon. LOVE me some watermelon!"







I can't deny that I am amused both comments that won (from a completely random number generator) are closely related to those who have served. Congratulations to both of you. Thank you and your families for your service!






Please send me emails to me at aubrey@maubys.net to claim your prizes!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies! (Mauby Style)

So here comes the cookie recipe I wanted to share with you from the previous post.


First a couple of things about how how I like my cookies:


1. I love cookies made with butter. In my personal opinion, you cannot have a good cookie made with something other than butter. It’s what gives the slightly crisp edges of a cookie that wonderful taste! A lot of gluten-free cookbooks suggest you use a butter spread or shortening. Those cookies have a good texture and are easier to make, but the taste is not the same as an old fashioned buttery cookie.

2. I think one of the secrets to any cookie is using more brown sugar than white sugar. It just, well, make a cookie recipe you already have that uses more white sugar than brown sugar, then reverse it. Compare. I think you will find that you prefer the variation with more brown sugar.

Of course, my recipe uses REAL butter. And the cookies are so good. The edges are slightly crispy but the centers are chewy. The best part is you can freeze it and then cut and serve what you need when you need.

Please enjoy!







Mauby’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


Ingredients:

- ¾ c. Sweet White Rice Flour
- ¾ c. Brown Rice Flour
- ¼ c. Sweet Sorghum Flour
- ¼ c. Almond Flour
- 1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 6 oz. Gluten- free chocolate bar (chopped into chocolate chunks and slivers)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. Gluten-free Vanilla
- 2 sticks of butter softened, not melted (1 cup.)
- 1 c. Brown Sugar
- ½ c. White Sugar



  1. In small bowl combine your flours, xanthan gum and baking soda. Whisk until smooth.

  1. In large bowl beat butter (softened, not melted) until smooth. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
  2. Add brown sugar and white sugar to the butter mixture and beat until combined and fluffy.

  1. Beat in the flour mixture in ¾ of a cup at a time until all flour is mixed in and batter becomes a moist dough consistency.

  1. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

  1. With your hands, roll the cookie dough into a log and cut even slices. Put on tray and cook at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.



Variations:

For even Chewier cookies: Replace the ¼ c. sorghum with another ¼ c almond flour.

For Crispier (or nut free) cookies: Replace the ¼ c. almond flour with ¼ c. tapioca, potato, arrowroot, or corn starch.

For healthier and heartier texture cookies: Replace the ¼ c. sorghum with ¼ c. teff flour.

For a more crumbly and higher rice cookie: replace the ¾ c. brown rice flour with almond flour and the ¼ c. almond flour with ¼ c. tapioca, potato, arrowroot, or corn starch.

For Brown rice flour –free cookies: Replace the ¾ brown rice flour with white rice flour. Freeze dough before slicing and cooking to help it keep it’s shape.




I forgot to mention you may need to incorporate one little helper! They help keep you on track (or off). :)

This was my butter softening on the stove.


This is Xanthan Gum. Before actually buying and cooking with it, I really thought it would be like sap or gum. But it is not. It is a powder. Too much of it will make your GF food hard. Too little and your GF food will fall apart.






I prefer chopped chocolate chunks and slivers because then the chocolate really spreads out into the whole cookie.
The flours after they are all mixed up before adding to your butter mixture.
The dough before adding the chocolate.


I roll my dough into two logs and slice up one for today's cookies. Then I wrap the second log in wax paper and saran wrap and freeze it. When I get company and need a treat, I can just slice up some of the frozen log and have fresh made from scratch cookies!











You may remember my post on excess kitchen stuff? Well, I was “spring cleaning” the other day and found some beautiful measuring spoons that I bought some time ago. They are still in the original packaging. I won’t lie, I remember buying them. In fact, I bought 4, ok, 5, packs of them, because you can never have enough measuring spoons. Can you?








I’m going to give away this set!




To win:

  1. Enter by leaving a comment about your experience with Celiac Disease and/or eating/cooking gluten-free.

  1. Tweet about this contest and leave a comment linking to your tweet on this post for an additional entry.

  1. Contest ends at 12:00 AM EST on May 1st.

  1. Random comment will be drawn and announced on May 2nd on this blog. Check back to see if you won!

HAPPY COOKING!

~ Mauby


Gluten-Free Cooking

In 2006 a doctor I was seeing suggested I try a gluten-free diet. I tried it for 3 months. I honestly thought this was my problem and being off of gluten would change my life and I would feel so much better.

After 3 months I reintroduced wheat to my diet and felt spectacular. Then, I went to an allergist and had every aspect of me tested for gluten allergy. All tests came back negative. I was not allergic to gluten.

In that 3 month span, I found that there was not a lot on the market that was gluten-free and tasty. There also was not a lot of cook-books on the subject either. Being a home cook who made/makes everything from scratch and honestly LOVES cooking and eating this made a gluten-free diet extremely frustrating for me.

Now, fast-forward 3 years to 2009. My husband was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

In a way the Celiac diagnoses was a relief. On the other hand remembering the food I tried to eat and my experience, I think we were both a bit weary and not sure how to handle this diagnosis. However, I was determined to be positive! The world of gluten-free food and cooking had come a long, long way in the last 3 years. Especially with all the positive results parents of autistic children had when they followed a GF/CF (casein Free) diet.

There are now tons of cookbooks and websites dedicated to gluten free cooking! Also, many, many more food mixes, better labelling (still could tighten up and make this a bit better) and a lot more ready made foods are available mainstream.

This time, I embraced the gluten-free diet for my husband. We cleared out the house of all wheat and products containing wheat. Then I bought 3 books (I’ve only used 2 because I did not end up caring for the 3rd). I stocked up on a bunch of GF flours and we moved forward from there.

This time around I have found that eating Gluten-free can be an amazing journey. It presents new and exciting challenges to me everyday. It has me making things that I never would have made otherwise. I am actually having fun with this challenge. That’s not to say that some days are not harder than others.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I really miss just being able to order a pizza and have dinner delivered. I miss going out to eat with my husband (he is VERY sensitive to gluten and eating out, even at places that have a “gluten-free” menu, doesn’t work well because there is often cross-contamination. Servers touch bread and then grab his plate or his glass, etc.).

But overall we didn’t eat out that much anyway, because my husband always claimed I made food better than most restaurants (isn’t he sweet?). ;)

So, here I am making, learning and converting. Converting what? My recipes! I have TONS of recipes and cookbooks and now that I have practiced with flours and meals, I have been converting my recipes to gluten-free recipes. It still takes work and practice and sometimes (more often than not) ends in failure. But after a lot of work and patience, and the occasional, “oh my crap, that is BAD!”, I have succeeded at converting some of my favorite recipes to gluten-free.

I would like to share with you my chocolate cookie recipe. It’s so good you cannot tell the difference between it and a gluten cookie. I promise!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jelly Beans and Jelly Rolls




I have never liked jelly beans. I still don't, well not the traditional kinds anyway. I like Jelly Belly's, especially the ice cream flavors and I like Starburst jelly beans too. You know what I like a lot more though? Jelly Rolls. Both the food and the fabric.


Anyway, I missed this holiday with everything that has been going on in my life. We did a little egg hunt with my guys but that was about it. But the next two holidays (not counting mother's and father's days) coming up are Great holidays too! I love holidays! What other days include excess food, fun and friends that happen every year?


We have Memorial day and the 4th of July coming up! Two red, white, and blue holidays. Plus, these holidays have my favorite foods! Fruit salads, roasted hot dogs, smores, taco-dips, and eh, who am I kidding, just about every food is my favorite.


So to celebrate the holidays coming up, I'm giving away two prizes, one jelly roll and one honey bun from this BEAUTIFUL Moda collection, Civil War Homefront by Barbara Brackman. This collection is so rich and vivid. It will make a beautiful rustic red white and blue look to anything you make with it! Perhaps some 4th of July table runners? ;)


Just leave a comment with your favorite part of the holidays to enter! Winner will be announced on April 20th!


I'll put your name in twice if you blog about this giveaway and post me a link back to it in the comments! :)

Fun Project!

At some point in the last few weeks of my currently insanely busy life, I saw this tutorial at Trottersweatpeas blog. Posted on twitter compliments of Sevidesigns. I fell in love with this idea and thought about it, ok obsessed about it, more than any normal person would or should.

While at the quilt shop this morning my toddler boy picked out my free fat quarter of the month, which not to my surprise, was fire engines and ambulances. He REALLY likes anything with tires. As a reward for all of my hard work on other's peoples items, I decided today I would do a little recreational sewing.

Thanks to the help of Brooke over at Brookiellen designs, I put together some re-usable snack baggies recently and my son LOVES them! He will eat anything out of them. So with the fat quarter, I made him one firetruck snack baggy (and an extra one for a friend's son), and I lengthened a pair of his pants that are my favorites and become too short (high water short).

Thanks to Trottersweatpeas! Because these pants are dearly loved by my little guy and I'm so happy I could make them last longer. This is a great and super fast tutorial. Oh by the way, I totally cheated and did not do any patchwork, but they are still really cute! :)






Seriously, go make some of these! They are fast and fun! I love quick work that gives me almost immediate satisfaction. When most of my custom jobs take weeks on end to get to the final project these little things keep me happy. :)
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