Friday, December 26, 2008

Savory Polenta and a bittersweet goodbye to Digi

I just got back from my first trip to NYC 2 nights ago. In saying goodbye to NYC, I also had to say goodbye to my poor ol' camera, Digi! I was able to capture the polenta photo before his 'passing', though. So what you're seeing isn't a pic with the new camera :) least not yet!

He, aka Digi, served me quite well for many years; shooting on command, getting covered in the sugar and grease of my sweet and savory concoctions, even suffering a few accidental blows, all in the name of amateur food photography. It turns out he couldn't handle the clicking anymore. He went on strike by refusing to capture anything or anyone striking a pose! He literally got tired of me pressing his buttons; his big 'button' just fell off. I was devastated! Hopefully he forgives me for my ignorance; I have no idea what that 'button' is know, the one you press to take the picture?

My husband saw the disappointment in my face and instantly said I could get a new one in no time. I knew we could order another 'button', I even mentioned it to him, but the hubby really wanted me to have a new camera (that's him!). He said this one had done its job. Poor ol' Digi was an old timer now, and it was time to move on.

I confess. After I saw the camera that my hubby ordered for me yesterday, suddenly moving on didn't sound so baaad! Check out this beast!

The new camera will be coming in next Friday! It's perfect for a somewhat penny-pinching pre-amateur (whatever comes before amateur, I'm not even that advanced yet ha!) like myself. It takes crisp photos, it's one notch below an SLR but it's still an automatic; it's also much more affordable than a digital SLR. It does have some very cool settings and I have a feeling it's going to take me awhile to figure out everything, but I don't mind one bit.

Notice how this new camera is an 'it' and the old one is a 'he'; I still haven't fully embraced the new camera as one of 'my own' yet ;).

Alright, so thankfully I have a few extra recipe photos saved on my lappy that I can share with you all until the new camera comes in (does anyone else use nicknames in reference to their techy gadgets?)! But I have to say one thing about the recipes I've posted so far...

Let me just apologize for being such a dufus; I can't believe how many recipes I've left the xanthan gum out of, I've noticed it a lot lately. Ok, so I didn't forget it in the actual dough (I'm making progress in that department :P), but I forget to write it in the darn recipe cards! I think I've put the amounts in all the previous recipes, but if you all notice xanthan gum missing from gluten-free baked goods on Flour Arrangments recipes from here on out, just let me know :)! THANKS!

Savory Italian Veggie Polenta

The idea of savory corn grits didn't appeal to ...

See Savory Italian Veggie Polenta on Key Ingredient.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men (and women!)

I made these gluten-free gingerbread cookies extra cinnamony, I usually prefer cinnamon to ginger. :)

Not sure if you can tell from the picture, but they're actually minis. I only had tiny gingerbread cookie cutters, so I ended up with a little over 2 dozen men and women...and bears :). I left the bears naked, though. They aren't pictured because I didn't want to expose them on the internet :P. They didn't get the pink marzipan outfits. I decided to leave them in the nude, especially after discovering that the marzipan I used contains gluten...anyone have a gluten-free marzipan recipe?

Everything's covered in snow outside! Looks like I'm gonna have my first white Christmas this year! This winter storm hasn't passed over us completely, so it'll be nice to wake up to a winter wonderland in the morning.

I just took this's not very clear, but you can easily see the piles of snow!

Merry Christmas :)!

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men

…a classic Christmas cookie with a gluten-free twist.

See Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men on Key Ingredient.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake and Tasty Gluten-Free Bread

When it comes to gluten-free baking 'the basics' aren't so easy, at least for me they aren't. Desserts like muffins and cookies aren't too difficult to create recipes for, but when the topic moves to bread or just a plain ol' cake, it isn't so simple...maybe it's because I remember what the gluteny versions taste like :).

The other day I was craving a simple cake. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting, to be more exact, one of my favorite desserts. It really doesn't get anymore simple (and delicious) than that, at least for me. But I was craving the flavor of all the yellow cakes I'd had before the gluten-free life. Thankfully, the gluten-free yellow cake I made tasted just like the yellow cakes I'd been missing! It was my lucky day, and I got to finish it off with a moist slice of tasty yellow cake!

But what about bread? I usually don't have much luck with yeast breads, but I had luck with Gluten-Free Girl's Sandwich Bread that also tastes delicious as french toast (almost like a glazed donut!). I followed the recipe pretty much to the T, but I... added 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (because I didn't have sweet rice flour), drizzled the loaf with honey, cut the pre-baking rising time to 1 hour, and used a medium-sized loaf pan. Oh, and for some reason, my bread finished baking in 45 minutes :).

I've been in carb heaven all week :)...

Since we're talking about baking, aren't these Sugarbunnies too cute? My Sanrio addiction started in pre-school and I'm not outgrowing it. Hoping to find a few cute images, I looked them up recently and found their Wiki page (Yes, I actually read it :D!). It turns out these bunnies are the stars of an old anime cartoon, where they befriended a girl named Sophia and taught her how to bake! I wonder if the Sugarbunnies can teach me how to bake more gluten-free treats ;)?!

Easiest Gluten-Free Yellow Cake

Makes enough for 1 small round cake…double if you ...

See Easiest Gluten-Free Yellow Cake on Key Ingredient.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gluten-Free Cinnamon and Cranberry Bars and other good stuff

With all of those cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, I had to make something. Inspired by a previous recipe (whose creator remains unknown, so give me a shout-out if it's you :), I decided to make these surprisingly lowfat bars.

Gluten-free breakfast bars are RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. They're like $6/box! You'd think they put flecks of gold in there, maybe even a lucky charm, but nope. I am always tempted to buy a box, just to have something to snack on when I'm too absorbed in something else (like this book which has even caused me to fall behind on my blog-reading) to bake, but I can't bring myself to purchase 5 dinky overpriced gluten-free cereal bars, knowing full well they aren't worth the money. It really doesn't cost that much to make them from scratch! So why not give it a go? I finally put the book down and did just that...

It's true. I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about, I'm actually reading Twilight. Honestly, I wasn't expecting to like this book. I figured it was going to be kinda boring, something like an overplayed pop song that really doesn't deserve the air time it gets. I WAS WRONG. This book is NOT boring, it actually has some substance. I'm impressed! There's more to it than just attractive vampires that smell better than your favorite batch of cookies. (Bella, I still don't know why they smell so good. In the book, I mean, not that I've ever met one :P!)

This is as good as LOTR when it comes to biblical analogies. I'm sure I'm probably getting some heads shaking back and forth, in disagreement, right about now. I don't want to get too English-majory in my analysis, so I'll just say these few things:

1. The book starts off with a Bible verse. Instant give-away.
2. Edward can only be around Bella SWAN when he's putting his evil vampire-ways aside. (<--- We have to overcome our carnal, selfish desires before we can love purely. Also, God can't be where sin is. Not that Bella is God, but you know what I mean. Swan=white=dove=Holy Spirit.) 3. Um...let's not forget about that part where Edward compares himself to a lion and Bella refers to herself as a lamb! C'mon, lion and lamb!

There are so many more, but I'll leave it at that. Like I said, I'm impressed...and I think I've just somewhat justified my reasons for losing sleep over this book and, I confess, actually getting sad that I'm almost finished reading it. I should get book 2 by this Saturday, thank God for Amazon Prime :) (free 2 day shipping!)!

Gluten-Free Cranberry Cinnamon Bars

Festive cookie-like breakfast bars

See Gluten-Free Cranberry Cinnamon Bars on Key Ingredient.