Here are recipes 4 & 5 for hitting our goal!!

My absolute favorite holiday cookie. Ask my mom. I used to eat all of them before we could set them out for guests.

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
2 1/3 cups all-purpose GF flour mix + xanthan gum
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Earth Balance (slightly softened)
1/2 cup veg. shortening
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
red food dye
1/4 cup soymilk (vanilla)

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Using a mixer, beat margarine, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and soy milk to combine. Mix on low and gradually add flower mixture, mix until forms a soft dough.

Divide into dough into 2 halves. Add Red food coloring and peppermint to one of the halves. Wrap each half in plastic and chill for several hours or overnight.

Let dough get closer to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking pans with parchment. Roll doughs into snakes on a floured surface. Form into candy cane shapes. Place on baking sheets, bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let them cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before using a spatula to transfer to cooling racks.

This is a recipe I got from Martha Stewart’s holiday cookie deal. I wanted a Girl Scout Thin Mint so bad, so when I saw her recipe I was certain I could tweak it so that I could finally enjoy them again. I hope you do to!

“Thin Mints”
1 cup all-purpose GF flour mix
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons Earth Balance (at room temp.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 oz. chocolate (semisweet or bittersweet) chopped
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
sprinkles (optional for decoration)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in applesauce and vanilla. Mix on low and gradually add flower mixture, mix until just combined.

Form balls of dough (each equal to 1 teaspoon) and place on two baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a glass in water and flatten balls into 1 1/2 inch rounds (about 1/4 inch thick). Bake until slightly firm to the touch, 8-10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Immediately transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Make chocolate coating: Place chocolate, peppermint, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large heat proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Heat stirring occasionally until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Set each cookie on the tines of a fork, immerse in chocolate then tap the underside of the fork on the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place dipped cookies on prepared baking sheet, add sprinkles if desired. Refrigerate until chocolate has hardened about 30 minutes. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

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We hit $3,000 on Kickstarter, so here’s #3!!

First, I wanted to let you know we have 3 days left, and only $1,660 away from our goal. PLEASE help spread the word. Anything gets us closer to our goal.

http://kck.st/nPo0D8

I wanted to share a really good recipe with you all since we are so close to reaching our goal. This is a recipe I learned to make (non-vegan) when I was a baby and we make it every year for Christmas. It’s tradition. No biscotti, no Christmas. This is my vegan, gluten free version of the cookie that taught me to bake. I hope you all love it as much as I do.

Christmas Biscotti

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 lb. all-purpose GF flour mix (with xanthan gum)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz.  vegan shortening
2 tablespoons Earth Balance

Mix all these together like a pie crust.

1 cup applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add these to the “pie crust” mix. Knead until shine-y.

Roll into thick snakes. Cut into slices about half inch thick with a butter knife. Bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Frosting:
8 oz (half bag) of powdered sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 tablespoon vanilla or ameretto (or a million other flavors)
2/3 cups soy milk (?)

Whip up until well mixed. Dip tops of cooled cookies.

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We hit $2,000 on Kickstarter, here’s recipe #2!

Here is one of my favorites, a stand-by that can be mixed and matched with different frostings and fillings and is always super tasty!

Basic Banana Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 very ripe, very mashed banana

1 1/4 cup GF Flour + required xantham gum

1/4 tspn baking soda

1 tspn baking powder

1/2 tspn salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup vanilla almond milk

1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract

1/2 tspn almond extract

Preheat oven to 350, line a cupcake pan with liners. Blend all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl blend all wet ingredients including banana. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until any large lumps are gone. Don’t over mix (they get chewy). Fill liners 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 10- 11 minutes, rotate tray, bake for 10- 11 minutes. Insert a toothpick to test the “done-ness”. Cool on a wire rack.

If you’re feeling fancy, try mixing in 3/4 cup chocolate chips, or peanut butter, or some fresh blueberries. (YUM)

 

Enjoy!

Also, we have 10 days left to reach our goal, please visit http://kck.st/nPo0D8 . Every thing helps. Also, please help us spread the word!!

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We hit our first $1,000 on Kickstarter! Now as promised:

Here is a new recipe for you all! My favorite for breakfast, and Mike asks for these a lot! I’ll be posting pictures soon. (Special thanks to The Party Zone Omaha for getting us there!)

Just a reminder: We only have 37 days left to raise another $4,000. Please help us spread the word so we can start our business and make gluten free goods for everyone!

Blueberry Banana Muffins

  • 2 cups all purp. GF flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill) + xanthan gum (as noted by flour brand)
  • 
3/4 cup sugar + some for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 
1 banana pureed
  • 
1/2 cup soy milk
  • 
little more than 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries


 (if using fresh, sprinkle with GF flour first to keep from making your muffins look tie-dyed.)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add all wet ingredients. Mix until well combined. Fold in berries.
Fill liners almost all the way full, about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, this gives you that crunch on top like a coffee house muffin.
Bake for 26-30 minutes. (I do 15 minutes, then rotate the pan and finish the time.) Toothpick should come out clean.
Let cool for a few minutes in the tin, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

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Not what I wanted to be reading on National Celiac Awareness Day.

I woke up this morning all ready to bake something fun and share it today for you all as today is National Celiac Awareness Day, but then my husband sent me this:

http://www.omaha.com/article/20110912/NEWS01/709129968

I had NO idea that I would be writing a response to an article that downplays the importance of the gluten free life. I say life because for more than a just a few people with Celiac Disease even contact with gluten can make you sick. It’s not just about eating it, it’s like reading an encyclopedia anytime you want to buy lip balm or body wash or a latte. Even hand sanitizer!

Granted: some people are on a “fad diet”, and that eventually will go away. BUT with 1 in 133 people having Celiac disease and even more suffering from some sort of gluten intolerance or allergic reaction * , I couldn’t be more proud of Omaha and the moves some places seem to be taking to make our community more friendly for those of us who are gluten free (whether or not it’s a choice).

*I’d also like to note that for some people with other digestive issues, a gluten free diet has been helpful as a short term recovery diet.

“A new food to be scared of. Sound familiar to anyone?”

Some of us do need to be “scared” (not that we are scared, we’re just aware) of certain foods. I don’t think that people being on a “fad diet” is going to increase the general public’s “fear”. I think the real problem with this article (op-ed) is the misuse of the word “fear”. I think it needs to be auto-replaced with “aware of”.

There is one thing in this article that I completely agree with. I’m completely frustrated by local establishments that offer “gluten free products” made next to/ in the same kitchen as gluten containing products. Cross contamination is a HUGE deal. If there is anything that makes me “afraid” of food, it’s the lack of education of our food service workers. (Granted this is getting a lot better in some places, it’s still BAD in others.) It sucks to get excited about a gluten free pizza just to get sick an hour later and realize, “oh, they use the same oven for both kinds of crust and apparently don’t take extra precautions.” If you offer a gluten free product, I beg of you, please have it tested before you start selling it.

I can only speak for myself, but if I ingest even a small amount of gluten, I’m sick for a few days. When I go out, I have to be assertive to be sure that I don’t spend the next 2 or 3 days in bed. I know I’m not the only one out there either.

I’m super happy that the food industry is getting better about labeling things as gluten free. Then I don’t have to read and re-read labels to ensure that a company hasn’t changed their ingredients to include something that will make me sick. In fact, I feel like more companies could follow this example! As a consumer, I’m tired of having to call each individual brand to ask for a list of their gluten free products, just to have the list change a month later.

It is incredibly insulting to have to hear that “…you best quick get yourself “gluten-free.” Especially if you want to be cool.” I don’t feel cool when I have to reiterate to my waitress  that “I can’t have croutons on my salad. It’ll make me sick.” It makes me feel obsessive and demanding. I’ve been a waitress. I know what they think about those kinds of customers. This is part of the reason I’m so glad to hear that some people are educating themselves on the issue.

“What I’ve noticed is that marketing people in the food industry certainly have been working in recent years to take advantage of the gluten issue.”  Of course! With the growing numbers of people who can not process gluten, it would be neglectful of the “food industry” to ignore us. We have needs too! Especially in a market where everything contains a little bit of wheat, the more companies that can offer a completely gluten free product, the better. I like to have options, how about you??

“To recap: Some people really need to stay clear of wheat, barley and rye. However, wheat, barley and rye are very likely getting a much bigger bum of a rap than they deserve.” Well, I don’t know about that. Mr. Olsen, who was quoted in the article seems to think that those farmers are doing just fine, and the article goes on to say the Nebraska Farm Bureau fully supports us. (Big thanks, NFB!)(P.S. I would love love love to visit a sorghum field!)

The one thing not taken into account here is: there are a lot of people out there on whole wheat diets. Every time I turn around there is some new, delicious sounding multi-grain cracker or Dakota style whole wheat bread. It’s not like we’re trying to make wheat, barley, and rye (and most oats) disappear of the face of the earth. I personally have nothing against these grains, in fact I sometimes still miss them. But, these are the cards we are dealt, and I’m making them work for me.

In summation, I guess I’m more than a little peeved. I’m sick of hearing people use the word “trend” in connection to the GF life. For me and a lot of other people it’s not a trend, it’s our day to day life. I would love to be able to go out and buy a loaf of that super yummy sounding Dakota bread. But I can’t. So you enjoy your “fro-yo with extra gluten”. I’m going to go bake some cupcakes that are so good, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

She then prescribed what is arguably the only broad prescription possible regarding this new potential enemy of modern humanity. (Really? Come on.)

“It’s a situation in which there is no harm in removing gluten from your diet,” she said. “I have several people I’ve seen who have no known problem with gluten who have told me they feel better having taken gluten out of their lives.

“I must admit I was very skeptical as the broad dietary trend emerged,” she said.

“I’m not as skeptical now. If there’s no harm and there’s possible help .

“Why not try it?”

Indeed, Mr. Robert Nelson. Why not try it? Maybe you should try the diet for 2 weeks or a month. Maybe then you’ll understand.

Always,

Gluten Free in the Great Plains

gfgreatplains@gmail.com

 

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Sweetening things up a bit

Alright! We are so, so, SO excited by all the support we’ve received for our project on Kickstarter! Thank you to everyone who has helped out so far, we are beyond grateful. To sweeten things up a little bit, we’ve decided that once we reach $1,000 (and for every $1,000 ($1,000, $2,000, etc.) marker  made after that), we’re going to post one of our recipes to the blog. And for anyone who pushes us over one of our $1,000 markers, we have an extra thank you planned! 😉

 

Again, Thank you. From the bottom of our mixing bowls.

Amanda and Mike

Gluten Free in the Great Plains

 

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It’s here!

Ok, friends! Our Kickstarter was officially launched this morning! Please take a moment to check out our page. I’m deeply in love with baking, and would love the opportunity to spend my days helping others. Please help us get the word out!
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/overfield/we-want-to-make-vegan-gluten-free-cupcakes-for-neb

Contact us if you have any questions or well wishes!

Thank you for everything.

Gluten Free in the Great Plains

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