Gluten-free Foodie

I must admit, I've always loved food.  Eating food is and has been one of my favorite pastimes.  Now, cooking the food, not so much.  Which is why the running joke is "That's why I married a chef!"  I have always been a better baker than a cook.  I make a mean spaghetti and meatballs and I've gotten quite good at making quiche; but still, my abilities as a honest-to-goodness cook are lacking.

No wheat, oats, barley, gluten or rye!

To make matters more interesting, I am gluten-intolerant.  I was born this way, as was my brother.  It wasn't until after my brother was born and had a more severe reaction that my mother realized I had the same intolerance.  For quite some time in my adolescence I was able to tolerate some gluten and didn't follow a gluten-free diet at all.  Needless to say, I probably should have.  After my son was born I had the hardest time with my gut.  I had to call in sick to work because I was in so much pain.  My brother suggested I cut out gluten for six weeks - ta da!  Lost that extra 20 pounds of baby weight and felt better than I had in a year!  Five years later and I'm still working out the kinks.

I have some great gluten-free cookbooks that give me ideas and inspirations.  Bette Hagman has a great book for beginners and I like my Incredibly Easy Gluten-Free Recipes book that I picked up while pounding the pavement for a job in DC.  Tonight, I am attempting Orange-Almond Chicken.  I don't cook all that often, much to the chagrin of my husband, but I am trying to make a greater effort.  My dishes don't usually turn out like the pictures in the book and they tend to be slightly under-seasoned.  I'm working on that too.  Baking however, as my passion, I've put a bit more effort into.  So, here I plan on sharing a few of my favorite things.

(Not mine by the way)
First, one thing that I have successfully mastered in the gluten-free baking department: pancakes!!

Here's my recipe:

1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. white rice flour
1/4 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. potato starch
2 teaspoons tapioca starch
3 T sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 extra large eggs
1 c. milk (I use rice milk)
3 T vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk dry ingredients together, add wet ingredients and mix until smooth.  Heat skillet on medium heat, when hot coat with non-stick spray.  Use 1/4 c. of batter for each pancake, wait until bubbles form on top then flip.  Enjoy!!

I love these pancakes and so do my kids.  I make a batch and the kids have four to six apiece and I put the rest of the batter in squeeze bottles, put plastic over the tops and the batter keeps in the fridge for about three days.  It's better than the store bought mixes and cheaper too!  It may seem like it's a lot of different flours, but I assure you, all five are worth it.  

Now, to tackle my Orange-Almond Chicken for tonight.  I've never been a fan of touching raw chicken, but I gotta do what I've gotta do!  Stay tuned for the results and a picture to picture comparison...


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