Adopt a Gluten-free Blogger: Thomas of the GFCF Experience

November 9th, 2010 yum Posted in Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger, Dairy Free, Fellow Food Bloggers, Gluten Free Blogs, the boy cooked 11 Comments »

I have known Thomas of the GFCF Experience for some years now, and he has become not just a fellow blogger, but a friend. Male bloggers in the Gluten-free blogging community are few and far between, although not unheard of. Brian of Fire and Salt is another talented example, and he has been the subject of many adoptions in the past. Thomas is something special, because he is not only a great blogger but also a dedicated father of four. Their family started following a gluten-free, casein-free diet to help their oldest daughter Helena, who was diagnosed at the age of 3 with autism. His blog shares recipes and fun and useful information that is very accessible for families following a gluten-free diet. And, Thomas is also a very active member of the gluten-free blogging community, and one of my most loyal participants in the Adopt-a-gluten-free-Blogger Event. So, when I stumbled across his gluten-free recipe for Pierogies and couldn’t stop drooling, I decided to adopt him on the spot. Of course, I planned to substitute a vegetarian filling for the turkey; but homemade pierogies sounded so good! That was in September. Yes, September, the same month our house closed, we moved from our apartment, and I lost a functional kitchen. Literally. Not only did I have all of my kitchen goodies packed in boxes, but the kitchen at our new house blew a fuse and we had to call an electrician. Oops. Well, not to worry. I apologized to dear Thomas and the other participants in the event, and vowed to fulfill my adoption the next month. And then- I came down with the flu. It was a particularly nasty one, too, with a wretched fever and chest wracking cough. I lay in bed for about a week, expecting to get better, but I just never did. I went in to the doctor, and they said I had bronchitis. Oops. Then I got a fever of over 103 one night, and went back to the doctor. They said I had pneumonia and had to go to the hospital. Well, shucks! How was I supposed to do my adoption now? Luckily I was only in the hospital overnight and then got to go home. And then my darling DH came to my rescue, and offered to bake a recipe from Thomas’ blog for me. I thought pierogies were a bit time intensive for a husband who had worked all day and cooked dinner, too. And, the new House of Yum has a beautiful and very productive apple tree yielding gorgeous green apples. So, I thought, why not try Thomas’ recipe for apple cake! We did make one mistake, though. The recipe called for a tube pan, and the only one we had was the kind that the bottom separates from the sides for ease of removal etc. Um. Don’t use that kind. Good thing we baked it in a baking sheet with sides, because half of the batter leaked out. The “volunteer” cake tasted pretty good but I think the cake remaining in the pan would have been fluffier and less dense with all its batter. Also, it just called for a gluten-free blend, and they vary so much I wasn’t sure mine was the best. I used sorghum, tapioca, corn starch and arrowroot starch and it made for a very thin batter. All these questions aside, though, the apple cake still managed to turn out delicious, and had Baby Yum wrinkling her nose and sniffing like a little puppy as we ate it. (No egg whites for my darling yet so it wasn’t on her menu.)

We would definitely make this recipe again, although we might experiment with a different gluten-free flour blend. And, we would use a less leak-happy pan to bake it in.

Thomas has many great recipes at his blog that I’d love to try:

Gluten Free Pierogi Recipe
Gluten-free Jewish Apple Cake
Gluten-free Lemon Lime Squares
Gluten-free Orange Poppy Seed Bread

If you haven’t visited his blog, I hope you will be inspired by this post to check him out. He has lots of yummy, gluten-free, Casein-free recipes to peruse, and is such a nice guy I know you’ll enjoy getting to know him.

*Whew* I finally fulfilled my adoption! Sorry it took so long, Thomas. On the up side, I am on the road to recovery and next month I might even be up for doing my own baking. Yay!

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Gluten Free Italian Recipes: Vegetarian Mushroom and Green Bean Risotto with Optional Dairy Recipe

January 2nd, 2009 yum Posted in Easy, Italian, Rice, Vegetables, Vegetarian, green beans, the boy cooked 2 Comments »

This week the DH very sweetly offered to make dinner, and one of his favorite things to make is risotto. He loves making risotto as it is a delicious one-dish meal that nevertheless has quite a flavor punch and is a bit gourmet. My sweetie is not one for following recipes, so this is as close as I could get to his steps. If you haven’t made risotto before, don’t stress. Just make sure you have plenty of warmed broth on hand and add it slowly to the rice until the rice becomes soft and creamy. Dill havarti adds a unique character to this dish, and my unconventional add on, kefir, adds tangy creaminess with less fat than the more typical cream addition. Hope you enjoy!

In the spirit of this week’s theme of leftovers, let me just add that risotto makes perfect leftovers, either plain or shaped into balls, breaded and lightly fried in oil. I also just read about a fascinating dish called “Soup with Risotto, a dish made with risotto, eggs, bread crumbs, and clear or brown soup. It is commonly made when one has risotto leftover after a meal. The risotto is made into little balls the size of small nuts. Then are covered in egg and bread crumbs and fried in butter. After being dried they are added to either clear or brown soup.This recipe is not traditional in Italy, however. The balls are made (actually a little bigger than eggs), but they are not added to soup and are rather eaten on their own, and they are locally called supplì.” (source: Wikipedia Interesting!

Other risotto dishes at the book of Yum:
Seven Herb Risotto Recipe with Risotto cake variation for leftovers
Red Onion Vegetarian Risotto with grilled mushroom Recipe
Classic Allergen-Free Risotto Recipe (Dairy-free etc.)

Green Bean Mushroom Dill Risotto with Optional Havarti Recipe
Small soup pot of Gluten-Free Vegetable Stock (from bullion is fine)
2 to 3 cups Arborio Rice for Risotto
3 shallots or 1/2 large onion, diced
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1 bay leaf
dill weed, dry (or fresh if available)

1/4 cup dill havarti, cut into thin slices
creme, kefir, or yogurt, for adding to individual servings

Heat vegetable stock in the soup pot. Heat butter or margarine and olive oil in a dutch oven or deep pot. Add diced shallot or onion and let start to turn translucent. Add rice and stir. As rice grains turn translucent add your wine and let evaporate away. Add in 1/2 cup or so of stock at a time and stir, letting get absorbed into rice before adding more. After you’ve added stock a few times , add your bay leaf, green beans, and mushrooms and let simmer. Add more stock as needed. Season with salt and pepper and taste as rice grains soften. When rice has absorbed enough liquid to become creamy, taste again. When cooked to your liking, adjust seasonings and let sit on a cool surface for five or ten minutes. To serve, spoon risotto onto a nice bowl or plate and (if desired) sprinkle with havarti cheese slices. Stir in and let begin to melt. If you like, you can add a tablespoon or so of kefir or cream to each individual serving. If you prefer, you can leave the entire dish dairy free. Enjoy!
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