Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Coconut Macaroons - a gluten free dream come true!

I had been baking my "World Famous Coconut Macaroons" for years before I found out about my gluten trigger.  My husband had requested coconut macaroons during one of my also world famous baking marathons.  I poured thru reciepes, made adjustments and came up with this family favorite cookie reciepe.  This is how I make it thru Christmas Cookie Season at my house and has been requested by most anyone who has tried them.  They are chewy (what I miss the most about flour based cookies) and addictive.  Try drizzeling a little chocolate over them or adding dried cherries (or BOTH) and you will have your go-to bindge snack naturally gluten-free!

Coconut Macaroons
14 oz shredded coconut
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla
2 large egg whites @ room temperature
1 t cream tarter
Dash salt
½ c. confectioner’s sugar for dusting

In a large bowl, combine coconut, condensed milk & vanilla.  Using a stand-mixer, whip egg whites until firm peaks form.  Gently stir whites & cream of tartar into the coconut mixture until combined.  Do not over stir.

Using a cookie scooper, drop balls of mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins or until flecks of deep brown appear on the very top.  Let cookies cool 1-2 min’s on pan, then transfer to plate of confectioner’s sugar to dust bottom before serving. (this will prevent cookie from sticking to plate)

Store in a sealed container on counter for 3 days, or in freezer for up to one month.

Meatloaf - full of flavor, not of breadcrumbs

As my cravings for protein seem to increase, so has the desire to make meals from my once dreaded ingredient: ground beef.  Once you have an up-close & personal introduction to E-Coli, it's easy to refrain from cooking this household staple.  Ah....but those were the good 'ole days when I would eat pasta seven days a week for dinner. 

While cruising thru my favorite foodie magazine, Cook's Illustrated, I came across a recipe for 'Memorable Meatloaf'.  I've tried it before, not a fan, but this one was memorable AND was topped with bacon.  That peaked my interest.  I know the binding agent for meatloaf is traditionally breadcrumbs (gluten alert) and eggs but the test kitchen wrote that quick oatmeal was an equal for the starch filler.  Oatmeal?  Meatloaf?  I had to try it.  And yes reader, I loved it! This All-American Dinner has finally found a home in my Gluten Lite kitchen.

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf
1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c brown sugar
4 t cider vinegar

2 large eggs
1/2 t thyme
1 t salt
2 t ground mustard
2 t Worchester sauce
2 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 c milk
2 lbs. meatloaf mix (50/50 ground beef & pork is what I use)
2/3 c quick oatmeal flakes
8-12 slices uncooked bacon

1. FOR THE GLAZE: Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Set aside.

2. FOR THE MEATLOAF:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix eggs with seasonings & milk.  Add the meat along with oatmeal and mix with fork/hands until evenly blended and meat mixture doesn't stick to the bowl. (if it sticks, add a dash of milk until it no longer sticks)

3.  Pat meat mixture onto a foil-lined wire rack set in a shallow baking pan - making a free-form loaf.  Brush loaf with half of glaze, and then arrange bacon sliced, crosswise, over the loaf (overlapping slightly) and tucking tip ends under loaf.

4. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and meat registers 160 degrees on a thermometer.  About 1 hour and 15 min.  Simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly.  Once loaf has rested for 15 min, slice meatloaf and serve with extra glaze.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oatmeal - the original gluten free breakfast of champions

Oatmeal. The word always conjured images of gruel & porridge being eaten by orphans in a Dickens novel. I had eaten it maybe once or twice when staying in a hotel as a part of a free breakfast buffet...but NEVER at home! I tried instant once, just after collage, and it was runny and awful. I had a good job. I wasn't an orphan. I ate McDonald's for breakfast! Fast forward 15 years and while at the Micky D's drive thru I saw their newest breakfast product...Hot Oatmeal! My stomach bypassed my brain and took control of my mouth and I ordered it. Ate it and LOVED it! As every good gluten-free follower does, I went online to find the ingredients and after speaking with a customer service agent found out that there is indeed barley in there. Rats. But is was sooooo good! I became determined to duplicate it at home (stomach now taking over eyes and reading as many recipes of oatmeal that I could find) and have with great success. Good-bye toast and cereal. Good Morning Oatmeal!

Oatmeal Cookie Oatmeal

1 c. rolled old fashioned oats (I use Quaker)
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
top off with rasins & diced apple

Cook oatmeal to taste per package directions. While oatmeal is hot, stir in brown sugar until it melts. Stir in vanilla. Top with rasins & apples. Enjoy!

Want an oatmeal treat? Substitute rasins & apples for chocolate chips & mashed bananna. It will knock your socks off!