Sunday, December 23, 2007

Super easy Quinoa cookies

So I headed out to my parents' house for a day of holiday baking...and I made one cookie. Mom kind of took over the kitchen, making gluten-y baked good. Ah well. These are pretty darn good, and really, how many cookies can one Diva eat?

I have been wanting to try baking with quinoa. I love cooking with quinoa, and what a great way to inject some healthiness into your dessert? This recipe is actually off the back of the box of Quinoa Flakes. I figured I would try it as written since this was my first foray into quinoa baking. The verdict: Yum-o (to quote the cooking lady on my TV right now.) So here you go...

Crispy Quinoa Cookies

1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 t vanilla
1 cup rice flour
3/4 cup Quinoa Flakes
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt (optional)
1/2 cup nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat honey, brown sugar, margarine, peanut butter, and vanilla in medium bowl until creamy. Combine rice flour, quinoa flakes, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl (or just dump it all on top of the wet mixture like I did!) Add to mixture and beat until well blended. If desired add nuts and/or chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about two inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool one minute before removing from cookie sheet.

I found that they seemed to bake much faster that the time given. Then again, that could have been due to my parents' old, wacky oven. While these are not a real holiday cookie, it is still a fantastic addition to our gluten free baking repertoire. If you miss oatmeal cookies and don't want to risk a reaction to oats, this is the way to go. They are not exactly the same, but are pretty darn close. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday comfort

There is nothing that is more indicative of the holiday season than the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove. The aroma permeating the air, wafting from a freshly baked pie or loaf of bread. The scents wrap themselves around you like a thick down blanket. Warmth, security, contentment.

At this moment my kitchen is a mess. It is in a bad way. I was sick for nearly two weeks. This is the fallout that occurs: too much garbage, piles of unwashed dishes, lots of yuck. But my appetite has returned with a vengeance. What to do? Slow cooker! Someone over on livejournal posted a rough sketch of a recipe the other day that had snagged my interest. Yesterday I wiped out the slow cooker and dug out the Pumpkin Pie Spice. Mmmmmm... Pumpkin Pie Spice. After playing around with seasoning amounts, here is the result:

(Picture coming soon as blogger quits being a punk!)

Pumpkin Rice Porridge

8-9 cups milk
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 T pumpkin pie spice
1 can pumpkin puree
3 cups rice

Put the first 4 ingredients in your slow cooker. Mix to blend completely. Add in the rice. Cover and cook. (I set it on high for 6 hours.) Occasionally mix to ensure even cooking.

Hint: I used a Reynold's Slow Cooker Liner. These things are lifesavers! Cleanup is a breeze. I can't imagine how horrible it would have been without the liner. Some much scraping! Instead you just lift it out and throw it away.

This is truly a porridge. Thick, dense, slightly sweet. Yum! It has a consistency similar to a bread pudding. The only problem is that it makes a HUGE batch. I am going to have to try making it much smaller. I may try it with a slightly higher ratio of wet ingredients. If you play around with it, please let me know the results. Hmmm...I wonder how it would taste warm and topped with maple syrup?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Kick start

Well...I've sure been a slacker here. I have definitely fallen down on the job in terms of posting recipes and such. It's not that I have not been cooking (I have, just not much.) I have just been busy and stressed and slightly uninspired. I need to get back in the swing of things.

In an effort to get the ball rolling I am asking for your help. We are well and truly into the holiday season. I am planning on doing some holiday baking with Mom tomorrow. Since I intend to share the cookies with you all (um, the recipes), I thought I would expand this a bit. If you have posted or are planning to post any holiday baking recipes, please let me know. Drop me a comment and include a link. I will put them all into one post. Kind of a round up, but more like a really convenient place to look for a bunch of gluten free holiday goodies. Cookies, cakes, candies, whatever sweet stuff you are concocting to celebrate the holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa.)

Now to pick out the recipes I plan to make. And I think I need to play with my dog. He has been trying to snag my attention at the most inopportune times: while I'm on the phone, as I try to do work, as pictures are being taken...