Tag Archives: gluten-free baking

A Christmas update, with apologies to the Gluten-Free Capricorn

Somehow or other, tomorrow is December 21st, which means T-minus 4 days till we need to have all of our presents not only bought, but also wrapped.

But that’s not all. December 21st is also the first day of Capricorn, which means I owe you all a gluten-free astrology post. Unfortunately, for the first time, this flighty Gemini is blowing it off—for now. I’ll get to you guys soon, I promise! Just been a little too busy to get it together.

What’s keeping me so busy? Well . . .

A little of this . . .

Carols! (Listening in public, singing in private.)

Carols! (Listening in public, singing in private.)

A little of that . . .

Peppermint bark! (Easiest. Candy. Ever.)

Peppermint bark! (Easiest. Candy. Ever.)

Sweater parties! (But not ugly ones.)

Sweater parties! (But not ugly ones.)

And a whole lot of THIS:

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Now that's just mean, Google.

Now that’s just mean, Google.

Without lying, I could simply say Capricorns are the best sign ever at being gluten-free, and call it a wrap (seriously, no lingering intestinal damage 1.3 years after diagnosis for those guys—it is under. Control). But you know I’d much rather go on and on about personality traits, celebrities, deities, and all those other astrological tidbits that are quite possibly amusing only to me.

Besides, I imagine that if I’m this busy, then you’re all probably a bit too wrapped up in your Christmas wrapping-up to pay any attention to the blogosphere right now. So, I’m going to hold off till we can all give Capricorns the attention they know they deserve.

Just because I can’t resist, I’ll have one last Christmasy post for you on Monday. After that, I’ll be wishing you a happy holiday and checking out till next year (when Capricorn will totally get its due).

For those of you waiting: forgive my delay. (In the meantime, why not check out the astrological archives?) For those of you who couldn’t care less: forgive me for how close together this means my Capricorn and Aquarius posts will be coming.

Want to be sure you don’t miss “Sprue Stories: The Christmas Edition,” or all the nonsense that will no doubt ensue in 2014? Then join 1,592,337,805 other readers and subscribe via Twitter, Facebook, or email.

And, if you can find the time amidst your own cookie-baking and gift-panicking, let me know what you’ve been up to recently, too (links welcome!).

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Wait, wait…don’t gluten me! (I’m talking to you, Trader Joe’s.)

I hope you’re in the mood for some shenanigans. It’s the Friday before a long weekend, which means it’s time for one thing only: limericks about gluten.

In 2011, we learned that 21 percent of young people get most of their news from the Daily Show and Saturday Night Live. Judge that as you will. I myself am among the unreported mass of people who get the majority of their news from podcasts of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Are you?

Who doesn't love this guy?

Who doesn’t love this man?

For me, it means that I’m always at least a week behind and that I occasionally mistake the fake news stories on the show for real news. It also means I have a thing for Carl Kasell.

In Carl’s honor, I hereby introduce to you the first ever installment of Wait, Wait…Don’t Gluten Me! I’ll share three gluten-related tidbits I recently discovered, in limerick form.

Guess the missing word in each and you’ll win my voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Just kidding—you don’t want that. I don’t even want that.

Here we go:

Limerick #1

There once was a blind brownie test,
the results of which couldn’t be guessed.
Some with gluten, some not,
twenty mixes were bought.
And GF Betty Crocker was ____.

Highlight for answer:    BEST   

Stunning underdog victory! Full results here.

Stunning underdog victory! Full results here.

I’ve never tried this mix, but it seems I should—and fast. (May I remind you again that it’s Friday?) 

Have you tried the Betty Crocker mix? Does it live up to the hype if so? What’s your favorite brownie mix or recipe if not?

*

Limerick #2

I wanted to eat something green;
Trader Joe’s prices weren’t too obscene.
Skimmed the salad greens bag,
and I thought I might gag!
Wheat in lettuce? Now that’s just plain ____.

Highlight for answer:    MEAN   

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Hey, at least it’s kosher.

Ugh. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten TJ’s greens over the past months. I know, I know, “If it has a label, read it.” It just didn’t occur to me that the rule would extend to lettuce! Yet another reminder to maintain “constant vigilance.”

What’s the most surprising place you’ve discovered potential gluten contamination?

*

Limerick #3

What triggers this illness? Not sure.
It’s genetic but likely there’s more.
BacteriaTrauma?
No milk from your momma?
Who cares? Please just find us a ____!

Highlight for answer:    CURE   

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Photo © Armin Kübelbeck
Shots! (Once again, my friends…Friday.)

Do you think they’ll figure out a vaccine in our lifetime? What’s your pet theory about the cause of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity? 

Mine is that it’s all in our heads.

*

That’s it! If you got ’em all right before looking at the answers and feel you deserve a reward, come back next week. I’ll be sharing a test of a different sort, giveaway included.

In the meantime, tell me: What intriguing gluten-free news have you come across lately? (Limericks encouraged but certainly not required.) And do you love NPR as much as I do?

If you’re new in these parts, welcome! Please check out my About page or skim the index to see what I’m about (hint: it’s not all limericks). If you’d like to stick around, scroll to the bottom to follow me via Facebook, Twitter, email, WordPress, or any blog-reading platform your heart desires.

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Epic fail, from Dorne

I know you’ve been dying to know what we made for our Game of Thrones viewing party! We slaved away creating a “Dornish” feast, where “Dornish” really means “vaguely Mediterranean”—or “incredibly annoying,” depending on which of my friends you ask. It’s true, I may have overdone it a bit on significantly intoning “from Dorne” after every recipe name. Also, at least one person pointed out that the TV show hadn’t yet introduced Dorne, so I only knew about its cuisine or even its existence from the Google Books preview of the cookbook. Fine, fine, I’m a total poser. From Dorne.

We had:

– leek, garlic, and chickpea flour flatbread from Dorne
– chickpea paste (hummus) also from Dorne
– goat-cheese-stuffed dates with honey from Dorne
– fiery white-bean-stuffed jalapeño peppers from Dorne
– candied orange and grapefruit slices from Dorne (no, this isn’t annoying at all)
– chocolate Easter dragon’s eggs from Hershey

And, finally, we would have had those gluten-free hot cross buns. I pieced the recipe together from a couple different sources, and they were coming along really well until I left them to rise in a “warm place,” meaning an oven that I turned to low heat and then forgot to turn off before going out to shop for other ingredients. The buns “proofed” at 250 degrees for about an hour. They did rise rather nicely. Unfortunately they also had plastic wrap baked into them.

Since I couldn’t be sure I’d removed all of the plastic, and carcinogens can’t really be picked out with one’s fingers anyway, I of course threw out the buns. I’d have taken a photo first, but I was a bit preoccupied with having a full-scale kitchen meltdown, complete with door-slamming, tears, sinking to the floor, and wailing about how stupid I am. This was among my most disastrous cooking errors yet, and what’s worse, I can’t even blame it on the gluten-free baking learning curve. There is no one and nothing to blame but me and my bad, bad memory (unless it was, uh, brain fog).

Nevertheless, I’ve forgiven myself and moved on. Mostly. I’m still not ready to talk about how much all the wasted gluten-free ingredients cost.

What was your worst-ever cooking error or baking flop? Can you chalk it up to a new cooking style or do you only have yourself to blame? How do you respond to kitchen disappointments?

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