Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

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  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup jam


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. In another bowl, beat peanut butter, applesauce, butter and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add egg and almond extract and mix until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture, beating after each addition until a dough forms.
  3. Roll dough into balls and then roll into white sugar. Place each ball onto the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes. Pull cookies out and make an indent using the back of a spoon or your thumb (cookies will be hot). After each cookie has a print, push back into the oven and bake another 6 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. While cookies are warm, place about 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the indent of each cookie. Let cool completely and enjoy!
  5. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Gluten-Free Banana Cookies Recipe

Gluten free banana cookies
Gluten-free and vegan banana cookie recipe.

Gluten free vegan cookie recipe with bananas
Gluten-free vegan banana cookies.
As with any gluten-free recipe, the flour mix you use will influence the taste and texture of these crunchy-on-the-outside soft-in-the-middle cookies. I used a combo of several flours for the complex texture I prefer. I'll give possible substitutions for each flour, though because we all know no one uses the exact same gluten-free flour combo, right?


2 ripe and soft medium bananas, mashed into a puree
1/2 cup light olive oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons vanilla rice or hemp milk (at higher altitudes, start with 1 Tbsp)
1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour
1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornmeal*
1/3 cup GF buckwheat flour (or brown rice, almond meal, or sorghum flour)
1/3 cup tapioca starch (or cornstarch, potato starch)
1/3 cup gluten-free oat flour (or any brown rice/sorghum flour)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon or more cinnamon or nutmeg
1/2 cups chopped pecans, walnuts, or peanuts, optional
2 free-range organic eggs- or Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs made with vanilla rice milk


Mix the bananas, oil, vanilla, rice milk and gluten-free oats in a bowl and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes (to soften the oats).* If you are making these cookies pronto and not chilling the dough, I might add the cornmeal now, too, to soften.

Whisk together the flour and dry ingredients through cinnamon (basically, you want 2 1/3 cups gluten-free flour):

When the oats have softened in the banana mixture for ten to fifteen minutes, add the mixture into the dry mix and stir well, until a sticky cookie batter forms.
Add in the nuts and the eggs/egg replacer; mix well. I used the egg replacer and it worked fine- as you can see in the photograph.
Chill the dough in the fridge for an hour- or more.*
*If you absolutely can't wait, Dear Heart, you can chill the dough as you preheat the oven, and/or powder your hands with confectioner's sugar to form the dough into balls- it takes a little finesse this way because it's quite sticky, but you can do it. I know you can.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Form the dough into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Note* I do not press down on the dough balls because in my experience, gluten-free cookies can melt too much and flatten during baking.
Place the baking sheet on the center rack of a preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes- depending upon the size of the dough balls- for instance, we made 24 balls which made a nice, hefty cookie; they took 20 minutes to bake. If you make 32 or 36 cookies, baking time will be shorter. But you knew that, right?
Let the cookies cool briefly on the pan; then using a thin spatula, loosen and move them to a wire rack to cool. They will get crisper as they cool.
Store in an air-tight container if they'll disappear quickly. But- better yet- wrap two cookies at a time with foil, and bag them in a freezer bag; freeze. The cookies will taste fresher this way (in my humble opinion).

Makes 24-30 cookies.


Chewy Molasses

Yields about 14 cookies. Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl.


  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
  • White & red icing gel (gluten-free) for decorating


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fully combined. Slowly stir in molasses.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, xantham gum, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Make a well in the center.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and roll them into white sugar. Then place them about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until you see cracks on the top. Let cool completely. Once cooled make little trees on the top with white and red icing gel.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


WHAT I PUT UP IN 2015Apple BBQ sauce 6 p 1j
Apple Butter 9j
Apple Sauce 18 pts, 22J, 9 sm
Apple slices 6 q
Bean & Ham soup 14P
Beans 20 Q
Green Beans 36 p
Brandy Cran Sauce 9 j, 2 pts, 2 sm
Brandy spiced peaches 17 p 19j 3sm
Cherry, spiked 5 p, 7j
Chicken Soups 26P,8P+
Chili Con Carne 13p
Chicken Stock 7 Q
Cole Slaw 11 p 6j
Corned Beef 8p
Grapes 10P, 5 j
Ham, Beans and Potato 16 p
Hamburger Soup 15 pints, 1 Q, 1p+
Hash 21 pts
Marinated mushrooms 11j
Marinated Peppers 4p 2j
Mushrooms 12 j
Christmas Pears - 5 p, 8 j
Brandy Ginger pears 3q, 10p
, 10j
Honey Spiced Pears - 21j 13p, 1sm 
Pickled Fiddleheads 3j 1sm
Pork & Beans 18 P
Pumpkin 8p
Red Potatoes 9Q, 24p 5p+
Tomato Onion Celery 14Q

TOTALS 522 jars
Honey 39 q 9p 2j (44.5q)
Honey 54 q Autumn

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Saving the Season

We had a frost this past weekend. October 17. Killing Frost. We did not have a frost before that. I was under the weather so I was not able to think about bringing in the last of the basil, tomatoes and pole beans. The carrots and kale and celery are still fine and we eat some from the garden almost daily.

I have the back foyer filled with lots of good food to put up. These were picked up from various farms.  Cabbages to be made into Cole slaw to be canned, and some stuffed cabbage rolls too. Pumpkins will be cut into cubes and canned in wide mouth quart jars, then in in the future to become pumpkin muffins, cookies and pancakes. Tomatoes, once ripened will be cut up with equal amounts of celery, then canned in quart jars for a soup base. Oh and the butternut squash, my favorite squash. I shall give some away the store the rest in my root cellar. My favorite box, 22 lbs of Bosc pears made into several kinds of canned fruit treats. Then there are the apples. The last of the apples from my tree. They have been peeled, cut and is now simmering with sugar and spices to make apple butter for Christmas gifts.

What's in your foyer?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

BBQ Pulled "Chicken" Sandwich

BBQ Pulled "Chicken" Sandwich                 makes enough filling for 8-10 sandwiches

8-10 rolls
2 c. creamy coleslaw

Poaching liquid:
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
4 c. water
1 pound tender sulfur shelf fronds

1. Mix all of the spices together and add to the water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and add the sulphur shelf fronds to poach for 20 minutes. Allow the poaching liquid to cool, leaving the mushroom fronds in the water. This can be refrigerated at this point, or shredded immediately.
2. Using a fork or knife edge, follow the natural ridges of the mushroom fronds and shred the mushroom into a large bowl.

BBQ sauce:
1 c. water
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/4 c. spicy brown mustard (or 2 Tbsp garlic mustard-mustard)
4 Tbsp ketchup
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced onion
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
pinch of cayenne

1.Whisk all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Taste and adjust the seasonings. The sauce should be reduced and slightly thick. Puree the BBQ sauce in a blender.
2. Pour about half of the sauce over the shredded mushroom and toss to coat.
3. Serve the shredded and sauced "chicken" on a roll, topped with more sauce and coleslaw.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata, is a non-native plant in Minnesota, brought to the United States in the mid-1800’s by Europeans for use as a culinary herb. Since it has no native enemies, it is able to outcompete native plant species for sun, soil, space, and water, making it an invasive plant. It is is not a weed to take lightly; if you have it, control is imperative. The only possible positive of this invasion is that garlic mustard is edible. As the name says, it is a plant in the mustard family with a slight garlic taste.

Garlic mustard is a wild edible, and can be used in many dishes, including pesto. In NY, Garlic Mustard flowers in  May. The leaves are best when they are young, before they create seed pods. It is important to eradicate Garlic Mustard where it grows in the United States; volunteers around the country remove literally tons of it every year. This recipe provides another way to benefit from the process!

To begin, gather garlic mustard plants. They can be identified by their triangular, heart-shaped leaves with scalloped edges and white flowers arranged in a cross shape. Grab them by the base of the plant and pull upwards firmly; the plant should come out of the ground easily, exposing its long taproot.  If not for eating, place in a garbage bag and throw away. Do not compost.

The part of the plant used to make the pesto will be the leaves. This recipe yields about 3 cups of pesto, give or take. You will need a couple of large handfuls of leaves. Pull them off the plant and rinse them thoroughly.

  • 2 handfulls of garlic mustard leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • dash of garlic salt, to taste
  • dash of pepper, to taste

In a food processor or blender, crush the garlic mustard leaves. Slowly add the olive oil, walnuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. Add the seasonings until it tastes the way you want it to. The garlic mustard leaves already have an light garlic taste to them so a lot of seasoning is not necessary.

This pesto is outstanding served over pasta, excellent served on cracker and also compliments the grainy flavors of brown rice, and goes well with cheese. The taste is, in my opinion, much lighter and earthier than store-bought pesto. I’m a huge fan. If there are any extras, it can be easily frozen.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eating Daylilies

The pea- to almond-sized swellings on the root ends can be eaten fresh like jicama or boiled, but the roots contain some toxins so it is recommended that they be eaten in moderation.

he young spring shoots can be eaten like green onions. However, even though the daylily is related to the onion, the flavor isn’t as interesting as onions or spring garlic.
Daylily flowers taste like butter lettuce. Some are sweeter than others so taste before using. You can sprinkle the petals in a salad, stuff and sauté the flowers like squash blossoms, or use the flower as a container for spreads, guacamole or sour cream. Be sure to remove the pistil and stamens before using.
I’ve saved the best for last… the buds. Choose buds that are just about to open. I sautéed a handful of buds in a mixture of olive oil and butter, then seasoned them with salt and pepper. Absolutely delicious! Phil told me that an Asian market contacted him about 10 years ago wanting to buy 2,000 kilos of daylily buds shipped fresh daily. That’s how popular the buds are in Asian cuisine.
Asian markets sell the dried buds as a vegetable ingredient and a thickening agent (you can use newly wilted flowers to thicken soups but check inside for bees before you pick the flowers). Have you eaten lily buds without knowing it? Chinese restaurants in the U.S. hesitate to use daylily buds in their dishes because a few customers might experience gastric distress or have an unexpected allergic reaction to them.If you have a really productive plant, you can pickle both the fresh buds and the newly formed seed capsules.

You can also scrub and slice the smaller, firm tubers (the larger, older, flaccid ones are terrible), and sauté them in olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper, or add to soups, stews or casseroles. They taste a little like nutty turnips. Some people love the tubers, but they are small and labor-intensive to clean, so I rarely prepare them.

Pan Seared Daylilies

*please see my notes below before eating any parts of a daylily
2 handfuls of green and still tight daylily buds
1 tablespoon canola oil
It’s very easy to do. First rinse the daylily buds well. Its important that they are young buds and aren’t showing much orange yet. For taste, for texture, but also to help you be assured they’re clean on the inside and not full of bugs. I’ve never had a problem with bugs though; that’s just me being cautious.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the buds to the hot oil. Leave them in the pan for about 5 minutes, or until the sides are very browned.
Essentially you’re searing or ‘pan frying’ them. I like to do it this way because it leaves the buds with a solid texture. If you were to cook them longer at a lower temperature, they would become somewhat mushy.

Home fries with lily tubers (serves 2)

3/4 cup lily tubers, cleaned and par-boiled
1 medium potato, cooked
1/2 onion
olive oil, herbs and spices to taste.
Chop onion fine.  Start  sauteeing it in the olive oil.  Chop the cooked potato and add, once the onions start to soften.  Add lily tubers a few minutes later.  Sprinkle paprika and other herbs/spices that you like for your homefries (garlic powder?  coriander?).  When potatoes have crisped on a few sides, it is time to serve your fries.
As I mentioned in the intro to this post, above, the lily tubers have a hint of carrot, and my friend John thought they tasted a little of new potatoes.  Otherwise, they are starchy, mild, bland, and a little more slippery than a potato.  But interesting.

Daylily Root Cake     

            makes one bundt pan

2 c. shredded daylily tubers
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 c. plus 2 Tbsp oil
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. honey

for the icing:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk or water
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease and lightly flour a bundt pan.
2. Toss the shredded tubers and the lemon juice together.
3. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon into the bowl of a mixer.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, maple syrup, and honey.
5. Using the paddle, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients with the mixer running at low speed. Scrape down the sides, and mix at medium speed for 30 seconds. Fold in the shredded tubers.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 30-38 minutes, until golden and firm. Cool about 10 minutes, and invert the bundt pan onto a serving plate. Cool the cake completely.
7. To make the icing, whisk the milk or water and vanilla into the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cake and serve.

Canning Mushrooms

I seldom buy canned goods from the store.  Oh there are still a few things I need like tuna, sardines, tomato paste, soup for the kids if I'm out of my own and maybe some beef broth. Then some special things like calamata olives, capers, marinated artichokes etc

I stopped buying canned mushrooms a few years ago. I either use the fresh mushrooms from the store or break into my stash of frozen or dried wild mushrooms that I have foraged. This week Aldi had a sale on white button mushrooms 8 oz. packs for $0.69. I haven't seen that price for awhile so I bought a case (12 packs). Of course, I had to do it in two trips because there was a limit of 6.

 I have never canned mushrooms before, so I was looking forward to putting some away. I tried to get small mushrooms, but the packages were filled with larger ones. I selected packs that seemed to have the youngest mushrooms. when I got home, I cut the stems off of each mushroom, then quartered or cut into even smaller pieces.

I soaked the mushrooms for a few minutes, drained off the water then dumped them in to a pot of hot water along with a generous pinch of thyme and couple shakes of garlic powder and a glug or two of lemon juice, then occasionally stirred them until they were boiling for 5 minutes.

I drained them, saving the fragrant liquid and filled half pint jars with the mushrooms. I added 1/4 tsp of canning salt to each jar and filled the jars with the mushroom liquid leaving 1 inch of headroom. Following approved pressure canning procedures they were canned at 10lb PSI for 45 minutes.

The yield was 12 half pints .. so each 8 oz .box of whole mushrooms gave me a 8 oz jar. As the saying goes, a pound's a pint the world round! As each box was 69 cents each half pint was 69 cents. A 7oz jar of "Great Value" mushrooms was advertised at 98 cents. So this is a deal and it's better than what I can get in the store. I'm heading back to Aldi ... maybe I can get more.