With all that summer has to offer in the way of showy vegetables (squash blossoms, anyone?) and fleeting stars (get your heirloom tomatoes while they’re here!), cucumbers can easily be overlooked. But not anymore.
Never cooked a cucumber before? Now’s your big chance. Simmer slices in a little butter and water until tender, season them with dill and salt — and then pile atop pumpernickel bread.
Black and Blue Cheesecake Tart
Blackberries and blueberries co-star in this luscious cheesecake. With all of the antioxidants going on here, you’ll be fighting free radicals while simultaneously poking your fork into a graham-cracker crust.
No need for a box of chocolates to signify Valentine’s Day this year. Instead, just look to your pantry for a sweet-salty idea that will melt anyone’s heart. This dessert combines comforting chocolate chip cookies and tempting dulce de leche, which makes up the molten center. The fact that these stuffed cookies also happen to be gluten-free — that’s the sweetest part of all.
Gluten-free dreams really do come true. The Girl Scouts have added a new cookie to their lineup — bite-size, certified gluten-free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookies. The good news for many parents of gluten-intolerant kids is that their Girl-Scout-badge-carrying daughters can now actually eat the cookies they sell as part of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which generates $700 million annually based on 200 million boxes sold.
Made with a basic gluten-free flour blend of rice flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, potato starch, xanthan gum and guar gum, the new cookies contain no artificial flavors or colors, high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils — unlike most of the Girl Scout cookies. However, the cookies do contain other common food allergens, like dairy, egg and corn, as well as GMOs.
Gluten-free or not, the holidays are just not the same without a assortment of colorful cookies. So I’ve rounded up recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, who develop recipes I trust. I’ve included my new Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Buttery Cut-Out Cookies with Royal Icing recipe, a feat for me (and my family and friends) considering my royal icing anxiety. (Read my story and get detailed pictures of thick and thin royal icing textures on my blog.)
All of the cookies are gluten-free, and some are also dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free. I hope there’s a cookie in here for just about everyone in your life—especially you.
Confession: I had never used a slow cooker until I developed this recipe. Yes, it feels almost un-American to say, but it’s the truth. If you don’t grow up in a home where a slow cooker sits comfortably on the kitchen counter (my mom, Penny, has never owned one in her life), what are the odds that you’d ever switch on a slow cooker? It took me more than two decades of cooking to finally be curious enough to try one and now I can sincerely say, I get it.
The “set-it-and-forget-it” slogan says it all—almost. I guess I was afraid of the always-possible mush factor and I didn’t exactly want shredded chicken. With a bit of trial and error, I realized that sauteing before adding to the slow cooker and timing exactly when I stir in particular ingredients makes a big difference in the finished meal.
What’s your favorite meal to make in your slow cooker?
If you want your ice cream and gluten-free waffle cone too, this is the recipe you’ve been waiting for.
Some days you just need ice cream — on a waffle cone. Get a diagnosis of gluten intolerance and dairy intolerance, and you may think that you’ve taken your last lick. Think again.
By the time Isaiah was diagnosed at age 10, we had our summertime after-school pickup ritual down cold. When it was hot outside, we wanted ice cream, and that’s exactly what we had every night before we sat down to dinner. Nothing was going to change that.
My response was to develop a gluten-free waffle cone recipe, which I ultimately shared — along with dairy-free ice cream — in my first book, Cooking for Isaiah. Letters poured in about the waffle cone from parents whose kids hadn’t enjoyed ice cream on a cone for years.
Now that our routine continues, I’ve decided to make our lives a little healthier with a recipe that fit Isaiah’s flavor palette and my nutritional needs. Let’s start with the cone: I use two of my pantry staples — chia seeds and coconut oil. Generally, I prefer using unflavored coconut oil, but for this recipe, the virgin coconut oil flavor fits right in with the coconut ice cream. Beyond its superfood status, the chia seeds add a nice crunch and help bind the waffle batter.
When I transitioned my household to gluten free, a funny thing happened along the way. My gluten-intolerant son, Isaiah, had been the classic white foods eater—pasta, pizza, potatoes, pie. You name it, the only food he would eat on his plate was white and lots of it was bread.
So when he was diagnosed five years ago, it was slim pickings at the supermarket for a white bread substitute. Needless to say we tried them all, but they all fell short of his expectations. Turns out that the answer was easier than I would have ever guessed. He was no longer looking at color, but texture and flavor. I was still feeding into his white foods cravings when he was clearly over them. Slowly, Isaiah’s food choices opened up and to my surprise, he ventured beyond the white and into healthier, whole-grain choices.
Sometimes, things happen for a reason. This was the case for an unsuspecting box of rice cereal I had ready and waiting in the cupboard for my son Isaiah’s morning breakfast routine. I had been thinking about a gluten-free replacement for breadcrumbs without the prep of toasting gluten-free bread at a low temperature for at least an hour, letting it cool completely and finally grinding it into crumbs in my food processor.
Then it struck me that cereal absorbs liquid just like breadcrumbs. I took the cereal box out of the cupboard, filled a Ziploc bag with rice cereal, took my rolling pin and crushed it into crumbs in just seconds. Even though I can now find gluten-free breadcrumbs at the supermarket, it’s cheaper and faster to still make my own.