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Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread Men...

Just in time for Christmas here is a gluten free recipe for gingerbread men.
This is super simple, and super delicious! These cookies are a delight, crisp-yet chewy...spicy and warm from the cinnamon and ginger. They just smell of Christmas. Roll the extra scraps out into thin rounds for a ginger-snaps. Or, use the same recipe, roll it thick and cut out shapes for makes great edible gingerbread houses.

Gingerbread Men
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water**
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups Gluten Free flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking Powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger

**Sometimes you never know how much  liquid GF flour holds, plus it depends on your climate. If the dough is too dry, add more water 1 tbs at a time at the end of mixing. If too sticky add more flour (sometimes up to 1/2 cup) to make it not sticky and workable.       

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, combine molasses, honey, water, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and oil. Mix to combine. Then add GF flour and baking powder. Dough should mix until it begins to come together and pull from the sides of the bowl. Adjust extra flour or water as noted above.
 On a generously floured surface, knead and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick, then cut out shapes. Place shapes on a Parchment or a Silpat silicone baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until dough becomes crisp, but not dark brown. It will get crisper as it cools.

Re-roll extra dough and cut again. Leftover scraps can be rolled into snakes and cut into ¼ bits and baked for a snack for the kids, or thin crisps as gingersnaps.

Cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a rack to finish cooling. When completely cool, decorate!

I personalized mine with initials, using small cutters in letter shapes. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter Greens Fettucine

Are you looking for a way to put more dark greens into your diet? If you aren't, well--you should. I didn't grow up on these greens, because I grew up in Arizona, they just weren't part of our food culture in the 70s-and 80s. Big, leafy, dark greens were not something that came to the weeknight dinner table in our house growing up. To my mother's credit, I am sure we wouldn't have eaten them (but only because we didn't understand them.) The nutritional value of these greens (kale, collards, mizuna, spinach, Swiss chard) are astounding. Too much to write about here, but you can look it up when you have time. This dish feels super light, even though it is loaded with dark greens. the Sauce is barely there with just enough tang and richness to be very satisfying.
Don't fear the amount of greens this dish calls for--it cooks down to the 4-servings that this dish makes. Trust me.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 dinner servings)

  • 16 cups loose packed winter greens** (any combination of kale, collards, mizuna, spinach, Swiss chard) Wash these and loosely tear or chop. Size and shape do not matter much. The water from the rinsing, helps them cook--so do not spin dry. (**Notes: this amount would be about 4 large bunches of these kinds of greens from the grocery or your farmshare. If using greens with tough stems--kale, Swiss chard--remove the spine and stems from the greens.) 
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 5 tbs good balsamic
  • 1/4 tsp. red chile flake (use a pinch instead if you want less heat)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1/4 cup grated or shaved parmesean cheese
  • 1 package of GF fettuccine noodles (or use regular GF spaghetti noddles)
Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Meanwhile, in a deep soup or stock pot, over medium-high heat, place the greens. Salt and pepper them to season. Cook the greens, turning them with a wooden spoon until they are all wilted down and cooked, about 6-8 minutes or so. There should be some liquid in the pot at the bottom, if not--add 1/4 cup of water to the pot. Once simmering, add the olive oil, butter, red chile flake and balsamic vinegar.
Drain the noodles and add to the greens in the pot. Turn the heat off and stir the noodles with the greens mixture until it is coated.
Serve in bowls and add 1-2 tbs of parmesean cheese on top.