Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Momma Award

I haven't done a Happy Momma Award lately, but last week I found a product that I knew had to win! Thai Kitchen Stir Fry Noodles are gluten free and they are so good! I made Funky Chicken Sesame Noodles and used the Thai Kitchen stir fry noodles instead of the gluteny noodles and WOW! it was so delicious! Me, my husband and the monkey snarfed them down. They were a little exotic for my youngest two boys, so tonight when I made Funky Chicken again, I just tossed some stir fry noodles with parmesan and butter and reheated some meatballs and they were pretty happy with that, too.

I was also excited to see that there are lots of recipes on their web site at www.thaikitchen.com, including a section of gluten-free recipes. Plus they are really pretty reasonably priced; I paid $2.19 for a box, and it made a large serving bowl full of noodles, enough for at least 4 very generous portions. Thai Kitchen also has a nice chart showing which products are gluten free or contain common allergens; look on the web site under Allergy Information. They have many other gluten free products that we will probably be trying in the near future! Happy snarfing!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gluten Free Cocoa Brownies

OK, so this is SO not health food. But everyody needs brownie once in a while.

I bake pretty much everything I bake out of Annalise Robert's book "Gluten-Free Baking Classics." She has a great brownie recipe made with baking chocolate. Sigh. I have issues with baking chocolate. I grew up eating brownies made from Hershey's Cocoa. I hate trying to melt baking chocolate. I forget to buy it. It gets old in my cupboard. I tried to convert to baking chocolate, I really did. But I found myself buying Betty Crocker's new gluten free brownie mix. I like the convenience of a mix; my family likes the way it tastes. The only thing not to like is that it costs $4 a pop. For an 8x8 pan. Yikes. So, I decided to see if I could convert Annalise's recipe to a cocoa recipe.

You can find charts to convert baking chocolate to cocoa; I used one I found in my old Hershey's recipe book. Tried that. Instead of the baking chocolate, I substituted cocoa, butter, and some sugar. That was WAY too much cocoa and butter. So I cut the butter in half, and cut the cocoa back by about third, added a little flour. This was good but a little on the cakey side. And my husband requested chocolate chips in the brownies, please. So I added chocolate chips, cut the flour to make it fudgier, and calculated the carbs for my dear diabetic son. YIKES! So I cut the sugar back, too. Success. (I will not be eating browies for a week or two, I have had way too many lately!)

Anyway, when I compared my final recipe to the original I was surprised that, in spite of all my fiddling and calculating, they are fairly similar. Anyway, here it is....

Gluten-free Cocoa Brownies
3/4 c. brown rice flour mix
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. xanthum gum
1/2 c. Hershey's baking cocoa
1/2 c. melted butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 c. semi-sweet mini morsels

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine dry ingredients (including chocolate chips) in a bowl and whisk together to mix. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined. Spray an 8x8 Pyrex pan and spread batter in pan. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Cool before cutting (if you can wait!). Cut into 16 pieces.

Cut brownies freeze well. If you want to make your own mixes, just measure and combine the dry ingredients and the chocolate morsels in plastic containers. Add the eggs, vanilla, and melted butter when you are ready to bake them.

Note for diabetics 1/16 has 28 g. of carbs! Portion control, people!