It’s no secret that I love and miss crackers. After nine months of paleo, I have finally created really good paleo crackers; the good news is since grains and beans are no-nos on paleo, these are also kosher for Passover. In fact, as Passover approaches, it occurs to me that I don’t have to do anything different from my usual foods to be on board for Passover – how easy is that?
But Paleo Dog Biscuits? No, I haven’t gone off the deep end…Paleo Dog was not my idea at all. Bella has had several bouts with ear problems and her vet suggested it may be due to allergies and the best thing I can do for her is remove grain, beef, and poultry from her diet. This leaves me with no treats for her. The good news is – she loves these paleo crackers.
It’s Purim so it’s Hamantashen Time (to learn more see the original hamantashen post). Last year’s were really good but the dough did have a hint of coconut (not a bad thing) and I wondered if I could make them with a more neutral flavored fat. I recently purchased organic shortening; I practically never use shortening in my cooking but I have fond memories of my friend Suzy’s mom, Rose, baking brownies with shortening and frying French fries in it. Both tasted great.
So, this year I made my hamantashen dough using the shortening. It blended into the other ingredients much better than the coconut oil had…if you look closely at the old photos you’ll see little white spots in the dough – that’s the unblended coconut oil. This dough has none of that.
However, the dough came out much softer than the one made with coconut oil.
In practical terms that means when you divide the dough in half and pat it into a disk, you have to cover the dough with a second piece of wax paper and pat the wax paper to make the disk, then refrigerate at least 1 hour until dough firms up.
To roll the dough: dust the disk with oat flour then spread it all over; place between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll it out.
And because the dough is soft, after you’ve cut out the circles; move them from the wax paper to the baking sheet using a spatula and use the spatula to help lift the sides to make the triangle shapes
The end result was very very good and worth the extra effort.
These are mini hamantashen, you can use a bigger biscuit cutter to make normal sized cookies, you’ll just end up with fewer.
I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving! I know I don’t usually post recipes on Fridays, but this is the day after Thanksgiving and it would be cruel not to give you at least one recipe for that mound of turkey currently in your refrigerator. Here are two ideas – Turkey Hash (which I published right after I started this blog), and today’s recipe: Turkey Pot Pie.
Let’s start with “Before There Were Leftovers”. Here’s what I served (there are links to the recipes that are already on this blog):
And now for dessert: Pumpkin Pie! Okay, let’s be honest here. My original intention was to make pumpkin pie mini-tarts. They baked well, however, they refused to come out of the muffin tins. Happily I only made a test batch so I could make a quick about face and bake the rest as a traditional pie. On the other hand…I forgot to take photos of the pie crust and filling the pie crust – so the photos are of the mini-tarts; so just imagine doing the same thing in a 9-inch pie pan (but you’ll be bringing the crust up the sides of the pan). Now back to the stove for me.
My friend Natalie had a birthday this week and when we were on the phone I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and her reply was “crepes or croissants.” Croissants are way too complicated but I’d be glad to make a crepe recipe for her – and for YOU. So Happy Birthday Natalie – I hope you love these.
Now about Palacsinta (we pronounce then palachinkin), as you may have figured out from previous posts, my background is Hungarian. On weekends when my grandmother would come to visit, Sunday mornings she would make Palacsinta. She would stand at the stove using 3 small skillets at a time turning out palachinkin as fast as a machine – but never could she keep up with our almost super human ability to pack them away. After a while she would give up and add a little flour to the remaining batter, than add cut up apples or bananas and make what she called fritters but in reality was more of a German apple (or banana) pancake. I don’t think Grandma actually ever got to eat any of it – unless she snuck (is that a word?) one or two while she was at the stove – cause she surely never sat down at the table. She was a great lady (and fabulous cook), my Grandma.
As you can see from the photos there are 2 ways of making crepes – logs or chevrons. The logs are the Hungarian presentation, the chevrons which are French (though they do logs as well) are easier to handle.
Do you love Wheat Thins®? Do you miss Wheat Thins®? As a well known cracker-aholic, switching to gluten-free crackers was probably even harder for me than giving up bread (because with the exception of my gluten-free cornbread, I have yet to find a bread I like). I buy every gluten-free cracker that comes out and none of them have the right consistency for me. Some are certainly fine, but delicious like Wheat Thins®? Not. These crackers are remarkably easy to make and are exactly what I was hoping for when I started working on the recipe.
As written, the recipe makes savory, crispy crackers with just a hint of sweetness and no starchiness at all. You can easily alter the recipe to your tastes: low sodium? leave out the salt. Don’t have zatar aka za’atar? Use poultry seasoning or any herbs you like – or none at all for a plain cracker. Want a neutral tasting cracker? leave out the garlic powder and herbs. Don’t like seeds? omit the egg and toppings. I could go on forever with the possibilities. You can also vary the shapes, once you’ve rolled out the dough, you can cut them into assorted shapes using cookie cutters or you can make them into larger crackers by just cutting them into rectangles or you can cut the rectangles into squares or diamonds. I’ve also thought about, but have yet to try, rolling the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and flattening them in a tortilla press, then cutting the resulting circle into wedges. If you try that, let me know how it works : ) Continue reading Best Ever Gluten-free Dairy-free Crackers (not Paleo)→
Tomorrow’s my birthday and I wanted a celebratory dessert. I know better than to expect or even hope there will be anything on the menu of the restaurant we are going to that I can eat other than sorbet, so I’ve baked my own birthday dessert. Basically a galette is a free-form pie. It’s really not hard to make and the result is delicious. Although I made an apple galette this time, I am also gearing up to try a plum/nectarine and a multi-berry one too. Keep tuned for the results of the other ones. Continue reading Gluten-free Dairy-free Apple Galette (not Paleo)→
Sometimes I just really want bread. I know there are several very good gluten-free breads, but for me they all have a strange starchy mouth-feel and a slight off taste. This cornbread suffers none of those problems. It is light and moist and has just the right amount of sweetness (unless you like cornbread this is not sweet)…and did I mention it’s really easy to make? I would imagine you can use this recipe for corn muffins, but I haven’t tried them yet. I was so excited with the yummy result of this recipe I wanted to post it “hot out of the oven” – almost literally.
Now that I have this fabulous cornbread recipe, you can count on seeing a more savory variation soon or maybe even a bread stuffing. In the meantime I am going to bed with a big smile on my face knowing that I’m going to have delicious cornbread for breakfast. Hope you try this one.
Thanksgiving 2014 Update: I loved this bread so I made it for Thanksgiving, but I was concerned that it was a little too crumbly. So I added one extra egg and it turned out great – it held together beautifully when sliced – so if you like your cornbread a little drier and crumbly, use 2 eggs. If you want it to be a little springier and easier to plate, use 3 eggs. Also: I baked it in a 9 x 9-inch pan so I cut it into about 24 pieces and got more servings but they were a little thinner than the photo above (see photo below) AND I used cashew milk and it was great.
I know I’m a day early, but today is Cinco de Mayo and I was going to post Empanadas this week anyway so I just moved up the post to today. Don’t worry, you’re going to see empanadas again on Friday.
I wish I had a wonderful story to accompany this recipe, but truely I can’t even remember if I’ve actually ever eaten one before these…I mean, I MUST have at some point, but I don’t remember it. That doesn’t mean they are not memorable – just that I have a lousy memory.
Let me take a break from these ramblings and tell you how hard writing these posts has become since the-little-one-who-shall- remain-unnamed has come to live with us. He thinks that running over the keyboard while I sit here is just the greatest game ever invented. What this means to me is that I am discovering functions that this computer can perform that I never even knew existed, and in some cases find incredibly difficult to undo – not to mention all the copy that just disappears in the blink of an eye (or touch of a paw).
Back to Empanadas…having made them, here are my impressions. The filling is really delicious and so is the dough (amazingly for gluten-free). I made little empanadas and found the dough to filling ratio is a little too much for my taste, you can remedy this by making fewer, but bigger empanadas – try making 8 and using 2 tablespoons of filling – but then they are not appetizers. Baking time should be the same as the little ones. Continue reading Gluten-free Dairy-free Empanadas (not Paleo)→
Happy Passover. No recipes today. I am too bushed from last night’s seder (Passover dinner) and so busy with 2nd seder that I’m just giving you a recap of what I served at the 1st seder – you have all these recipes already. My guests said it was the best meal they ever had ; )