Archive for the ‘Snacks’ Category

Baking Challenge #1: Saltines

May 23, 2009


So one thing I’m learning from this venture is that if you’re going to be a good food blogger, you have to have mad food photography skillz.  I don’t know so much that I have them.  But this is my first attempt with a camera that is on the verge of falling apart.  And it wasn’t even in food mode.

I decided that my first gluten free baking challenge would be to make crackers.  Why?  Because I do a lot of carb snacking. I love appetizers.  Store bought gluten free crackers are expensive, and I’m still hitting full on sticker shock over how much money eating gluten free costs.  I used the saltine cracker recipe from my first GF cookbook purchase, Elizabeth Barbone’s new book Easy Gluten Free Baking.  Her saltine recipe comes from the “Tastes Like” chapter (which also includes recipes for GF Girl Scout cookies!), and is slightly less complicated and has less ingredients than the Saltine Cracker Recipe from Learning How To Cook…Gluten Free!

I also reasoned that a GF cracker recipe should not be so hard, since most GF bread products get or are inherently crumbly. The instructions are pretty easy:  mix flour blend and butter together, roll it out, prick with a fork, cut and bake.  Much like instructions for a pie crust.

Do they taste like saltines?  If you close your eyes and concentrate on the butter flavor, yes.  Otherwise, they taste like a good sugarless shortbread or tart crust.  They stood up to a spreading of thick heavy cheese spread without breaking.  I think next time that instead of just cutting into squares, I might try using cookie cutters to make them look like a canapé type cracker.  Just to be fancy.  I’m also excited to try the cheese cracker recipe from this book.  I have a feeling that if the texture of the cheese cracker recipe is similar to the saltine recipe, it will lend itself well to a cheese cracker.

Any other favorite cracker recipes out there?


Trader Joe Treats

May 11, 2009

I realize that I am very lucky to be celiac and live in a city that has multiple Trader Joe’s.  Not only do they provide a PDF list of gluten free items that their store carries, they have enough gluten free products that warrant them to make such a list!

I also realize that I am very lucky to have friends and a husband who are supporting me on this new dietary adventure.  Right after coming home from my endoscopy, my friend Michael presented me with a Trader Joe’s goodie bag filled with things from the afore-mentioned list.  And since I hadn’t really eaten solid foods for about 48 hours, I indeed feast on all sort of things like surfboard tortilla chips, salsa, and marshmallow krispy bars.

My faves so far are the rice chips and the Pecan Pralines.  Those nuts are gooooood.  So good that I ate a bunch after brunch yesterday and I think they sent me into some sort of sugar overload, because I was dizzy for about an hour afterwards.  I’m going to have to practice some self discipline with those.

The Husband has also been very supportive.  Not only is he learning how to homebrew gluten free beer, he is thoroughly checking labels (and sometimes double checking after me) and bringing me new foods to try.  Like last night!  We had had a stressful day (stressful week at that) and I sent him to TJ’s to buy some wine for some risotto I was making.  He came back not only with wine, but some other new treats for me because we had had a bad day and he wanted to make me feel special.  Well, I did.

He brought me TJ’s Rice and Adzuki Bean Chips and some Candied Walnuts.  The chips have an interesting texture and flavor.  Good color, too–they are rice flour white with striations of dark brownish bean flour throughout.  Very light, and most importantly for me, salty.  They are perhaps too light; they are small (about 1″x1″) and airy, and I don’t know if they would stand up to hearty salsas or a taco dip.  They do, however, have a nice adzuki bean aftertaste so that you might just like to eat them on their own.

The candied walnuts were also good.  Not as decadently sweet as the pecan pralines, but perhaps this means I won’t binge on them as frequently.

I hope you have an equally good snacking day!