Gluten Free Foodies
Celebrate the foods that you can eat!
This is the perfect mix of creamy Mexican cinnamon chocolate sandwiched between sweet vanilla sugar cookies.
I started dreaming about these cookies before I made them. My dream turned into an obsessed craving and I just had to make them. We used to make these sandwich cookies as kids. Actually, it is a cookie that my mom used to love when she was growing up in Philly. Her best friend’s mother, Hilda, used to make them. We used to make the chocolate cream frosting or filling with crisco shortening and then we would spread a thick layer between 2 graham crackers. We had to make extra frosting because someone, uh-um, used to eat all the frosting before we could make the sandwich cookies. Yes, it is that good!
So I decided to give my favorite childhood cookie a makeover. This is my Gluten Free and non-dairy sandwich cookie. I think I love them even more!
Ironically, my college friend Sheila was coming to town from Philly, I knew we were going to have plenty to gab about all day and night catching up over the good ol’ days. Of course, there would be plenty of strong Seattle coffee during our chats so I wanted to make a special treat. Since I was obsessively craving this “old fashioned Philly” cookie I thought …
Why not make it Gluten Free and even more delicious?!
So I decided to make some Gluten Free Vanilla Cookies and a Mexican Chocolate frosting center with cinnamon. I had to make this quickly because Sheila was arriving early the next morning!
Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Sandwich Cookie
Make one bag of Pamela’s Products Sugar Cookie Mix. Follow the directions on the back of the bag for the roll and cut sugar cookies – add 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 Tbs of GF Vanilla extract. I made these non-dairy with Earth Balance butter but you can use butter!
When the dough is mixed, put it into a self-sealing bag and into the refrigerator for 1 hour. This will allow the flavors to meld and will stiffen the dough for easier roll out and cutting.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the hour has passed, take the GF cookie dough out and roll it out between 2 pieces of parchment paper. The cookie dough should be approximately 1/4 inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutter shape. I like my cutter with the pretty ruffly edges that is about 1 inch across.
Place the cut-out cookies onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes until just slightly golden. Remove the cookies and place them on a cooling rack while you make the Mexican cream frosting.
Mexican Cream Frosting
3 tsp Pernigotti Cocoa Powder
1 Tbs cinnamon
1/3 cup or 6 Tbs of palm shortening or coconut oil
1-2 cups confectioners sugar
1 Tbs instant espresso powder
approximately 1/4 cup non-dairy coconut milk or regular milk
In a medium mixing bowl, add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, espresso powder, 1 cup confectioners sugar, shortening and coconut milk. Mix well with a hand held mixer. If the mixture is too thick add 1 Tbs of coconut milk and alternate with 1 Tbs of confectioners sugar, until the mixture becomes creamy but still has body or slightly thick. This cream frosting can be a little fussy on a humid day so just play with it until you get a consistency that is spreadable like a nut butter. Use an offset spatula to smear and spread the Mexican cream onto one side of a GF Vanilla Cookie and then gently place the other on top. Repeat the smearing of the cream to make the sandwich cookies until all of the cookies are used.
The batch I made with my cookie cutter made 18 sandwiches.
Store the cookies in a tight sealing container. Trust me when I say they actually get better the next day and the day after! I can’t believe they lasted that long but these lovely little Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Sandwich Cookies are the perfect amount to enjoy just one at a time … if you can resist!
Needless to say the cookies were a big hit with everyone that tried them. I had a wonderful weekend of fun with my friend from Philly and our new favorite GF cookie. I am chuckling while I write this but It seems like this sandwich cookie is the perfect symbol of friends that stick together through thick, thin and all the warm cinnamon-chocolatey goodness in between.
I use Pernigotti because it is the richest tasting cocoa powder I can find. I buy my Pernigotti cocoa powder in Seattle at Chefshop.com. You could use traditional Ibarra chocolate and grind it down to a fine powder. Thanks to Pamela’s Products for sending me their Sugar Cookie Mix.
I always knew that I should listen to my instincts. In December of 2003 I was in an auto accident. It changed my life. I was suddenly in massive pain all over my body, mostly my back. The fatigue was so overwhelming that I felt as if there was a magnet pulling me to the core of the earth. I could not sit, sleep or eat. I was very ill and my doctors could not help me with a diagnosis or cause of the uncontrollable multiple symptoms and pain. I began to have allergic reactions to the pain medications. This was getting scary and I couldn’t eat. I wanted to find the root of the pain that had become chronic and debilitating after six months. I continued to question everything. Why would I have this odd intense pain on my face, arms, legs, hands and all over my back. My pain was so deep my legs would cramp up so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed and walk into the other room. Migraine headaches would suddenly come on and last for days. I could not get out of bed. I had to do something to feel better and fast. You can read more about my story here.
I remember talking to multiple doctors after I had researched and read books over the year to try to figure out what was wrong with me. I finally asked if I could get a tested for Celiac Disease. The test came back positive and YES I had CELIAC DISEASE.
So what now? What is gluten and why is it in everything? Are you kidding me…it is in PIZZA??!! I loved pizza … my brother and sister used to call me “Lisa Pizza Pie” for goodness sake! I loved to cook, entertain, not follow recipes mind you, but create food that looked, smelled and tasted amazing. I was on a mission to make and enjoy pizza once again! Only now it would be Lisa Gluten Free Pizza Pie!
I must admit if it hadn’t been for the internet I am not sure how I would have made it through the hardest of times. I began to research anything and everything I could to find out about Gluten Free foods and Celiac Disease. This was 9 years ago, there was very little information about Celiac Disease but there was a glimmer of light, I found the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. I felt comfort reading the information about Alice Blast, the founder and President of NFCA story, GF foods and details about Celiac Disease. I remember printing pages and putting them into a binder to make my own reference guide to take shopping with me. It was crazy back then but I felt good knowing that I was not alone.
It took years for me to finally get to the point of really knowing my body and learning to live a happier Gluten Free lifestyle. I began to look at food as celebration again. I started writing my blog – Gluten Free Foodies – Celebrate the foods that you can eat! in May of 2009. I wanted to share my newly created Gluten Free recipes and research that I discovered. To this very day I am thankful that I found out that I had Celiac Disease. I finally know what was making me so incredibly sick. Now my blog is my therapy and a way for me to pour my heart and soul into something greater than just me. I want to be the guide to others on their journey as the NFCA did for me.
Today I am celebrating the 10 years of the NFCA, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and my birthday by making my Gluten Free Pizza Pie! I can’t think of a better way to share this day! Now we have more that just one think in common. Bravo Alice and NFCA!
Lisa aka “Lisa Gluten Free Pizza Pie”
I think that the simple things are a necessity. The summertime is one of my favorite times of the year because it is quite naturally easy to eat Gluten Free. One of my favorite treats that the Pacific Northwest region creates is Rainier Cherries. They are so beautiful with their golden yellow and blush red hue. One of nature’s works of art! The flavor is slightly tart and slightly sweet. I think they are very different than the dark red cherry, excuse me for one minute … yes, ever so slightly sweet and tart with a creaminess to it. Absolutely ahhh-mazing!
Naturally Gluten Free - Rainier Cherries only make a brief appearance late June and into July provided that the orchards have nursed them and have been patient. We all must wait for the perfect weather conditions to ripen the cherries so that they can be picked and delivered to us. I hope you realize that I am doing extensive research on the subject and have a bowl filled with them for inspiration as I write. I just learned that Rainier Cherries are a cross between a Bing and a Van (I am not sure what a Van is or if I have had a Van Cherry soI will get back to you on that one.) Harold Fogle was the director of the cherry breeding program at WSU extension in Prosser , WA made the cross in 1952. The first Rainier Cherries were released in 1960. Word on the street is that the mother tree still exists in that area and receives royalties and is trademarked!
I like to take cherries with me wherever I go during the summer. I usually pack them in a container with a few ice cubes just to keep them chilled. There isn’t any thinking involved, they are naturally gluten free. Naturally Gluten Free - Rainier Cherries don’t need to “go with anything” because they are perfect by themselves while you read agood book at the beach (or while you write). They are also the perfect “house cooling” gift at a BBQ in a nice bowl. Just watch everyone’s face light up when you walk in with Rainiers. It will be as if you have a fine prized bottle of wine! I do have to caution you that the Rainier Cherries have pits just like any other cherry. So please be aware that this is one time will I will say “don’t forget to spit” because of the pit and not because they are not good. You might also want to be aware that they may cause unprovoked competition between house guests and party goers as each “cherry pit spitter” tries to out do the other. Have fun, enjoy and as we say here …
Life is but a bowl of Rainier Cherries!
I was shocked and saddened to hear the news this morning of Mott Green, founder of Grenada Chocolate Company tragic accident on June 1, 2013. Grenada Chocolate Company creates pure Organic Chocolate in a factory that is located in the lush cocoa groves of the rainforest in Grenada. Grenada Chocolate Company is an Organic Cocoa Farmers and Chocolate-Makers’ Cooperative.
I met Mott Green at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle, WA last year. During the presentation I remember hearing Mott say that they are a small scale, small batch chocolate maker concerned for the environment. They have over 200 acres and grow their cocoa without pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. Grenada Chocolate Company uses their own cocoa butter to process their chocolate. Additionally to protect the environment they made their own equipment to process the chocolate. As soon as the cacao is picked from the farmers, it is processed on site. This helps to keep the entire business process within the chocolate-farming community so that everyone benefits financially. The machines they used were also refurbished antiques some of which they converted to use solar-electric power. Mott was repairing some equipment at the Belmont Estate, St. Patrick, storehouse at the time of the accident according to police.
Mott’s wish and legacy to allow the cocoa farmers to benefit together with the Chocolate-makers will hopefully continue to live on as Grenada Chocolate Company.
To learn more about Grenada Chocolate Company and where you can buy their purely decadent chocolate, website - http://www.grenadachocolate.com
Listen to Mott on the video below as he describes his vision and why he started Grenada Chocolate Company http://www.nothinglikechocolate.com
Mott Green, Grenada Chocolate Company and farmers are featured in the award winning film – Nothing Like Chocolate.
I feel very lucky to have met Mott last year at the Seattle Chocolate Festival. We watched the award winning film- Nothing Like Chocolate, that he was featured in. We sat in the back of the room as he gave me little bits and bites of commentary while it was showing. We had a nice long chat about chocolate. He told me that he saw the future of Organic chocolate growing as more people become educated about the sustainability practices of companies like his. Mott was a very hard working man that had never ending energy and pure Organic passion for his craft of bringing quality chocolate to the people around the world. He had such a light in his eyes when he spoke about his company, his friends and farmers. Click here to see Mott’s last blog post talking about shipping 18,000 bars to Holland, delivered by bicyclist, that would have included Mott, to stores all over Holland. I will cherish his stories and will honor and remember him with every melting square of Grenada Chocolate that touches my palate.
Rest in peace Mott …
The post Mott Green, Founder of Grenada Chocolate Company Tragic Accident appeared first on Gluten Free Foodies.
I am in love … hot and spicy love … the kind that you crave and just can’t seem to get enough of … I will let you in on my secret …
Gluten Free Poblano Passion Soup!
The other night I just had this deep craving for something different and hot. Something that just wasn’t the ordinary daily flavors. The rainy season has kicked in around the Pacific NW and there is nothing better than a great big bowl of steaming hot soup. I wanted something easy so this is what I came up with.
Gluten Free Poblano Passion Soup
Pacific Gluten Free Broth 1 box
1 large yellow onion
3-4 large cloves of garlic
1-2 lbs. Chicken legs, wings or thighs with or without bones. I chose legs without the bones for ease.
sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
1-2 ripe avocados
1 large Poblano pepper
Jalapeno slices or green chillies
Corn tortillas for dipping
I roasted the Poblano pepper over the grill for about 15 minutes and kept turning it to roast all sides. You can also broil them by putting the pepper on a baking pan in the oven, top rack close to the coil and turn every few minutes. When all sides are done, put the Poblano pepper in a brown paper bag and roll up the bag tightly to create steam from the pepper. This will make it sweat and allow for easier removal of the skin. Leave it for about 10-15 minutes.
In a large pot, cover the bottom with olive oil and heat on medium. Dice up the onion and garlic and add to the pot with the oil. Sprinkle some sea salt, cover for a few minutes and let it simmer. Once the onions are translucent, add the chicken. Cover for a few minutes and then turn to cook through. Add the broth, sea salt, pepper, paprika and chili pepper and let simmer on medium covered for another few minutes while you cut up the Poblano.
Open the bag and take out the Poblano. Cut the stem off and slice down the middle. Brush off the outer skin with your hands. Remove the seeds and veins from the inside of the pepper. Cut into slices and the dice. Add to the pot with the chicken. Add the Jalapenos and or green chilies to taste or heat preference. Chop up the cilantro, add it to the pot and cover once again for about 15 minutes. Add the juice of one lime to the pot. Serve in bowls with more freshly chopped cilantro and Avocado slices. Warm up the Corn tortillas and eat. Total cooking time is about 30-45 minutes.
After just one spoonful of this soup I fell in love with the flavor of the Poblano pepper. It is slightly spicy but mellowed or well rounded. It is not the kind of pepper that kicks you! Tip – if you have soup left over for the next day … it is even better! So if you are making it for a gathering, make extra for yourself and make it a day ahead!
Created originally by Lisa Garza 10.30.2009
Let the grilling season begin!
Gluten Free Grilled Chop Chop Salad
Serves 8 – 10 people
Ingredients to be grilled
1 Poblano pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
3 young sweet Walla-Walla onions, with stalks
1 large head of broccoli
2 corn on the cob
1 lb hamburger
4 chicken breasts (some people don’t like the skin)
2 – 4 large breasts with the bone and skin (more flavor and tender)
Grapeseed oil – great for grilling and has a high burning point
1 medium bunch of radishes
1 medium red/purple onion
1 head of Iceberg lettuce
1 head of Romaine lettuce
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lime, freshly juiced and zested
Smoked Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash all of the vegetables, leave them whole and do not cut them before grilling.
Completely remove the silk and husks from the corn.
Heat the outdoor grill to medium-high.
Brush all sides of all the vegetables to be grilled – peppers, corn and broccoli, with grapeseed oil. Place the oil coated vegetables on the barbeque grill when it reaches a temp of 250-300 degrees. Let the vegetables cook, with the grill closed, on each side for 5-10 minutes or until you begin to see the black marks appear. Use long tongs to turn the vegetables over. When all sides have black marks the vegetables are done. Place on a cooling rack to cool, 10-15 minutes.
Use grapeseed oil on the chicken, both sides. Season the hamburger and chicken with your favorite seasonings. I like dried Zócalo Gourmet Aji Limo and Aji Amarillo because the flavors are smoky and peppery but not too hot. Grill on both sides. The burgers are ready when the internal temperatures reach 160 degrees. The chicken is ready when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Please take the meat off of the grill and use a thermometer to check the temperature.
Chop the lettuce, red onion, and radishes into small pieces, all approximately ½ inch and put it all into an extra large bowl. When the peppers, broccoli and corn have cooled to the touch, cut and remove all of the stems and seeds from the peppers. Cut into ½ inch pieces and put it into the bowl. Use a knife or tool to remove the kernels of corn and add to the bowl. Chop the broccoli into extra small bits and add to the bowl. Mix well with your hands or salad tongs. Sprinkle approximately 2 tsp. of smoked sea salt, grind some fresh ground pepper and add approximately 3-4 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tbs. of balsamic vinegar, lime juice and zest. Mix well. Serve on plate, top with meat and enjoy with friends.
I made a little extra and had some leftover the next day. I made sure to put it in a tight sealing container and in the fridge as soon as I plated all the dishes for my guests. I was so happy to have it the next day for lunch! It was just as perfect as the night before and maybe even more flavor because it had a chance to meld. I love love love this Grilled Chop Chop Salad with or without meat! Oh! Maybe Grilled Salmon … next time!
Have a safe and Happy Grilling Season! Be sure to let me know what you think about my favorite - Gluten Free Grilled Chop Chop Salad. I am sure you, your family and friends will love it!
This was originally posted on 5.28.11 and a few faithful readers asked that I repost it! Thanks!
How does a hot … steamy … creamy … cheesy soup sound right about now?
Cool rainy weather, snow or just a festive weekend puts me in the mood for my favorite Creamy Celery Broccoli Gluten Free Beer Cheese Soup!
I would like to give a big shout out to my Gluten Free Foodies in Minnesota for my inspiration. I lived through three of the harshest, snowiest winters in St. Paul, Minnesota many moons ago. Believe it or not, there were many things I loved about Minneapolis-St. Paul – food was one of them! One of the things that I fell head over heels for was beer cheese soup.
I just had to create this Gluten Free version of beer cheese soup after being so chilled and hungry for some real feel good comfort food today. I had such a craving for some steamy goodness. This soup is even better than I remember!
Creamy Celery Broccoli Gluten Free Beer Soup
1 – 12 oz Organic Cream of Celery Condensed Soup – Pacific Natural Foods - NEW
1 medium head of broccoli
1 medium yellow onion
2 Tbs olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bottle Red Bridge Gluten Free Beer – optional
1 1/2 cups Tillamook Vintage White Medium Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Heat the soup in the slow cooker on medium. Cover and let it slowly heat while you prepare the rest of the soup.
Chop the broccoli into small pieces using a little bit of the stem. Chop the onion into small pieces.
Add olive oil to a pan and heat on medium. Add the broccoli and onion to the pan and gently toss to coat all of the pieces with the oil. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 generous pinches of sea salt and coarse black pepper. Chop and add the garlic, mix well. Turn off the heat and add the broccoli, onion and garlic to the soup in the slow cooker. Add the gluten free beer … 3/4 of the bottle and save the rest for the cook! (Just to make sure that everything else goes well) Mix well, cover and heat on high for 30 minutes.
Shred the Tillamook Vintage Medium White Cheddar Cheese to equal approximately 1 1/2 cups. After the soup has heated for 30 minutes, add 1 cup of the shredded white cheddar cheese to the soup. Mix well, cover and let heat or melt for at least 10 minutes. I love love love this velvety smooth bold cheese! It goes really well with apples, pears and nut crackers!
Serve hot in your favorite bowls with a little extra Vintage White Cheddar Cheese and some fresh black pepper! Total time to make this is approximately 1 hour. Serves 4 – 1 cup servings as an appetizer or 2 good size bowls for a meal with some crusty Gluten Free rolls!
More about the Gluten Free rolls soon …
Thank you to Pacific Natural Foods for sending me some samples of their new Organic condensed soups. You could use the condensed creamy chicken or mushroom soup in place of the celery. All of them would add great flavor to this soup. I can’t wait to make more with Pacific Natural Foods.
I purchased the other ingredients at my favorite neighborhood grocery store – Town and Country Market on Bainbridge Island! When you go in to T and C say “Hi” to Jeremy, the manager in the beer and wine department and thank him for getting more GF beer selections!
The post Creamy Celery Broccoli Gluten Free Beer Cheese Soup appeared first on Gluten Free Foodies.
What Does Gluten Free Mean? Ask.com is the latest company to get into the Gluten Free game by adding a new commercial this Spring. Two Cowboys in a classic showdown and the big question … What Does Gluten Free Mean?
People who have Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance have a reaction to the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The only thing that can be done is to avoid this reaction and adhere to a strict Gluten Free diet. Although oats are naturally Gluten Free, most are grown or processed with wheat. Please read the label to make sure that your product says Certified Gluten Free oats, or that this is a Certified Gluten Free product.
Products that have the Certified Gluten Free symbol have the highest standard of safety. Some products may claim to be Gluten Free but are processed in a factory containing wheat. For people with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Wheat Allergies, please be aware and be cautious of consuming those products.
I love seeing fun, positive commercials highlighting living Gluten Free. It helps to get people talking and create more awareness. Happy Celiac Awareness Month!