Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

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Credit for this lovely loaf goes to Mr. Bob’s Red Mill and his GF Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix.

Credit is due when credit is due, right?

My thoughts………

Pros:  

  • Easy peasy to make.  Dissolve the yeast in some water, add some oil, an egg and throw in the flour mix.  Mix for about 2 minutes and spoon into a baking pan.
  • Smells fabulous while baking.  Smells fabulous while baking.  Smells fabulous while baking.
  • Fresh out of the oven, you don’t even need butter, pb, honey, cream cheese, etc.  It feels, it tastes and it looks like REAL bread.

Cons:

  • You have to wait about an hour for the batter to rise and then it takes another hour for the bread to bake.
  • Dries out very easily. I made the loaf last night and by morning, I could taste a dryer texture.

Would I buy this again? Most definitely.

Despite the dryness, I discovered a solution to maintain the freshness.

I simply cut the loaf into individual slices, wrapped them in plastic wrap and placed them in the freezer.  This afternoon, I took one slice, microwaved it for about 30 seconds, toasted it and then topped it with honey walnut cream cheese. YUM. 

I’m such a carbo-lover.

To make the cream cheese, I took reduced fat philly cream cheese and added honey & chopped walnuts  to taste. Easy peasy, just like mixing the bread. :)

Here’s something ironic.  Before I was diagnosed with Celiac, I was pretty much a cake/muffin/cookie/bread mix snob.  I considered myself a true baker and preferred to make breads/desserts/goodies from scratch.  Now post Celiac diagnosis, I find myself relying A LOT on gf mixes or all purpose type baking flours.  I guess it’s the working mom coming out in me…convenience, convenience, convenience.  It is just easier to buy a bread mix than take the time(that I don’t have) to buy 3-5 different gf flours and experiment.  At least I know gf mixes don’t have all of the preservatives and filler ingredients like “regular” mixes. 

Your thoughts?

Sweet dreams,

eRiN

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

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Hi friends!

It feels pretty weird posting after how many weeks?  Five?  Whoa. Gracious.

I won’t bore you with my blog break reasons,  just know that parenting can be one tough job. Period.

 

Onto the yummy eats.

It really seems that pumpkin is a common theme around the blog world these days. For good reason.

Tonight was my chance to join in the Fall fest and bake up a batch of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies.

This was adapted, gluten free, from my dear…dear…dear friend Wendy’s recipe.  Thanks Wen.  They were as good as I remember.  And Wen, if you’re reading, I do think your neighbor should give them a try. :)

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
 
  • 1/4 cup(2 oz.)butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup gf flour mix(I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Mix—my new favorite)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin(good ol’ Libby’s)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 oz chocolate chips (or pecans or raisins or whatever the heck you want to toss in….direct quote from Wendy. ha.)
 
Cream butter and sugar; add egg, vanilla, and pumpkin.  Mix well.  Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips (or other add-in).  Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 for about 12 minutes. 
 
It actually feels like Fall in Houston.
How long it will last? Who knows.  I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.
See ya soon,
eRiN

Bread by Gluten Free Houston

Howdy folks!

I ventured to the other side of Houston on Saturday to scope out A Moveable Feast, the cute little hippie health food store/restaurant that sells Gluten Free Houston’s products(if you missed my review of Randi’s muffins, check it out here).

Why is it that I can refrain myself from over-indulging in somthing lke clothes or shoes but I have ZERO restraint when it comes to food, let alone gluten free food?  I ponder.

I couldn’t pass up this loaf of dough, staring at me in the freezer section.  I immediately dreamt of fresh, hot bread from the oven.  A nice diversion from my frozen gluten free bagels that need defrosting in the microwave and toasting in the toaster.

The dough went from the freezer at A Moveable Feast, to my kitchen counter for about 3 hours, to my oven for 30 minutes…..

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to this…….

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to this…….a ham, muenster cheese, spinach, avocado, & mustard sandwich.

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Us gluten freeERs know that most gf breads, in order to be edible,  need toasting.  While I usually fall into that category, I actually preferred this bread un-toasted.  The soft, buttery crumb was enough to hold its own.  I can’t even express to you the excitement. It was deeelish. 

The bread, with its smell and texture, brought back such good memories of my baking days at Eatzi’s….mixing and shaping Pan Au Lait. 

Thanks Randi.  You have done it again!

-eRiN

Monkey Pops

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What started as a kids afternoon activity quickly turned into a mommy only activity.

To Leah and Alex, the arrival of a neighborhood friend sounded much more interesting than dipping bananas into chocolate. :) 

Oh well.  I tried.

Despite the lack of child assistants, I enjoyed my twenty minutes of solitude.

Funny how once the food project is over though, little bodies change their mind and come rushing into the kitchen, ready to eat.  

That’s ok.  That’s what moms are for(to the tune of That’s What Friends Are For).  Smile.

For the pop-a-roos….

I simply halved bananas and poked them with a popsicle stick.  I then melted semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave(about 30sec-1min), dipped the bananas in and topped them with toasted coconut and pecans.  Viola, monkey pops!

The pops completely covered with chocolate were too rich for me, which is why I switched to the half-dip and chocolate drizzle methods.  Much better in my opinion.

UPDATE: freezer monkey pops are the way to go!!  After the pops are dipped and topped, place them uncovered, in the freezer for a couple of hours.  They are stinkin’ good.

Eat ‘em up monkeys!

-eRiN

Gluten Free Houston

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Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to meet, Randi, a Celiac pioneer, who is working diligently to open a gluten free bakery in Houston.  So exciting!!!

Randi currently operates a gluten free catering business , called Gluten Free Houston, where she supplies items such as muffins, breads, and lasagna to A Moveable Feast.    While she is the supplier of these goodies, it is her hope that she will open a store front in the near future where she will provide gf goodies to go and gluten free breads & pizza dough to restaurants.   You go girl!

She was gracious enough to bring some samples of her blueberry and cinnamon coffee cake muffins  for my eating satisfaction.  OMG! They are wonderful. She has the texture  DOWN, DOWN, DOWN.  She even gave one to the Starbucks barista(who didn’t know what gluten free meant) but who ate the entire thing and commented how good it tasted.   He couldn’t resist that sugary, cinnamon muffin top.

Randi’s blog can be found here.  Spread the word.

P. S. I’m secretly hoping that, in the future, she will need a gluten free baker.  Specifically a gluten free baker by the name of Erin. :)  It would be beyond wonderful to return to my baking/bakery roots and also help the Celiac/gluten free community.

Thanks again Randi.  You have 100% of my support.

eRiN

The ABCs of Gluten Free Breadcrumbs

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Amongst two separate bags of chopped pecans, two spiderman popsicles, a half  bag of coconut, a container of blueberries, a bag of cherries, a couple of Mexican paletas, a bag of french baguettes(not gf), an OLD bag of edamame, a package of gf pizza dough,and other things I can’t remember, I came across a loaf of Whole Foods Prairie Bread; buried in the freezer depths.

Lo and behold,  the loaf found its purpose tonight. Utilized for a meal of good ol’ chicken tenders(with sauteed veggies).   Black beans, crumbled Mexican cheese and corn tortillas not shown.

Oh baby, yeah. 

A laid back Chicken Tenders Recipe

  • Chicken, cut into strips
  • One small bowl with a couple of eggs and about 1 cup of milk.
  • Another small bowl filled with breadcrumbs…to which I add ground pepper and Old Bay seasoning(God’s greatest creation)
  • Heat skillet with a couple swirls of olive oil.
  • Dip chicken strips into egg/milk mixture and then coat with breadcrumbs.
  • Once skillet is hot, add tenders and cook until brown and crispy.

While I like bbq sauce, the kids like ketchup and mr. hubby likes salsa(the spicier the better).

As a bonus to today’s post,  I’ve included some step by step photos of the breadcrumb making process. 

If you are bored or you already know how to make breadcrumbs, feel free to skip the commentary and  photo collection.  I won’t be offended.  And…if you haven’t already discovered, I do use sarcasm quite often.

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Yes, you do need some bread.  Any gluten free kind will do.

Break bread slices into cubes and add to processor. 

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Grind away until crumbs form.  Hence the name breadcrumbs.

BTW…husbands LOVE hearing loud food processors while they’re trying to sleep. Ha.

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Add crumbs to a very fancy storage container. Pop into the freezer, until ready to use.

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What’s in your freezer?  Kind of like asking, what’s under your bed? 

Scary to think what lies under my bed.

-eRiN

A lot about nothing

Please excuse the lack of food pictures and gluten free talk.

Instead, I bring you a post that has A LOT about nothing.  Reminiscent of Seinfeld, right?  Man, I love that show.  

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First of all, how have I gone this long without  Google Reader?   I discovered the 100% gloriousness of this application today.  It truly makes my blog addiction easier.  It’s ok, you can call me a  technology grandma.

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Second of all, what is happening to the soles of my shoes? Granted these are old but it seems pretty weird that both pairs, along with one pair of Angel’s shoes(which we threw away), all have the same sole issue. Can 100+ degree weather and humidity cause this?  I’m in awe.  As you can see, the black one is literally about to split in half and the brown one isn’t too far behind. Also, the brown one’s sole is peeling away in parts. Has this happened to anyone else? 

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Third of all, I’m such a sucker for these “get to know you” type games/posts/whatever you want to call them.  When I saw this on Kim’s blog, I just had to participate.  A definite, fill the boredom at work, get to know you activity.  Smile.

I Am – Erin
I Want -a dog
I Have -a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful children
I Wish -I could work part-time
I Hate -materialism
I Fear -being separated from my family
I Hear -lots of co-workers talking
I Search -blogs daily
I Wonder -how many people have Celiac and don’t know it
I Regret -the way I’ve handled some things in my past
I Love -family
I Ache -when children or animals are mistreated
I Always -check my email
I Usually -don’t sleep late
I Am Not – a leader
I Dance -when I hear a good song
I Sing -in my car
I Never -drive without my seatbelt
I Rarely -answer my phone
I Cry -when I’m mad
I Am Not Always -the healthiest eater
I Lose -my mind when the kids don’t obey
I’m Confused -about technology
I Need -an IPod
I Should -be working
I Dream -about moving out of the city
I hope-my children will find their niche in life
I feel-bloated
I appreciate-the opportunities in my life

What lessons have you learned this year? 

  • to never take one’s health for granted;
  • blogs are my saving grace
  • if you don’t have family & friends, you have nothing

chao,

eRiN

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