Thursday, December 11, 2014

Product Review of Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies; My Recipe for GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe included in my cookbook (which would be a great gift idea, by the way!).  :)  I am biased, I know, but I can rate my cookie recipe at a 10 and feel comfortable doing so.  We love the flavor, texture, and price compared to mixes.  We also love that the recipe is large, so we can freeze part of the batch to have cookies in school lunch bags or for snacks.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips* (if milk intolerant, use Enjoy Life® Chocolate Chips and Earth Balance® margarine in place of butter)

1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.  Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs.

2. Add brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum,baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Mix thoroughly.

3. Shape into small balls of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 11 minutes.

MAKES 34 TO 36 COOKIES

*As a variation, substitute 3⁄4 cup butterscotch chips and 2⁄3 cup toffee bits for chocolate chips.





However, when I am in a big hurry, it is nice to know there are a some great gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mixes at the grocery store.  I tried out three of them.  (I also have a blog post about Arrowhead Mills GF Cookie Mix in my post from 4-6-2012, and a blog post about Glutino Cookies on 5-31-2013).  It is kind of embarrassing that we love chocolate chip cookies this much. :)


Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

I am rating this mix at 5 out of 10.  My first impression was that they have some type of bean flour in them, and sure enough...the label showed there is garbanzo bean flour in the mix.  The bean flavor didn't last long since the chocolate chips helped to offset it.  These cookies have a good texture and aren't too grainy, though they are slightly dry.  The taste was average, but we definitely ate them since there was chocolate in them. :)





Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I am rating this product at 9.5 out of 10.  This was our favorite cookie out of the three--due to taste, time savings, and convenience.  It comes in a container similar to sour cream in size.  You can find this cookie dough in the refrigerator section, probably near the eggs and other Pillsbury cookie dough.  The only problem was that the quantity of cookies was too few for the price. These are delicious cookies, though.  My husband said he would rate them at 10 for gluten free and would rate them at 8 in comparison to a gluten cookie.  Yum!



Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Cookie Mix

I am rating this mix at 7 out of 10.  The flavor was quite good, but the dough was crumbly and difficult to form into a cookie shape.  The cookies were a bit grainy, as well.  Not that appearance matters too much, but as far as color and shape are concerned, they look the best out of the three mixes.







Thursday, November 13, 2014

Product Review of Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax with Chia

It seemed like a good idea to buy Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax with Chia.  I have no doubt that it is a healthy choice for a breakfast cereal.  However, I can't stand it.  It tastes terrible to me. :\ I tried adding it to my other gluten-free cereal to tone down the taste.  Nope.  Then I tried melting chocolate chips and adding some granola with it to enhance the taste.  It kind of ruined the good taste of the chocolate.  I am rating it at 2 out of 10.  I will just add flax to my smoothies and call it good. :)


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recipe for Red Pepper Noodles

I am grateful for family!  Even though there are difficult days with parenting--and the trials that come with it--life is good.  It is nice that life includes happy days to offset the hard days.  Having one son get married in August and another in October has brought great joy!  Plus, we now have two more awesome daughters-in-law!

In August, our oldest son, his wife, and their 3-year-old daughter came to visit due to the wedding.  It was awesome to have them here!  My daughter-in-law knew I was busy with wedding preparations, and volunteered to make some of the meals.  I was happy to let her do this, especially since she is a great cook!  Here is the recipe for the Red Pepper Noodles she made for us.  Delicious!



Red Pepper Noodles*

1/2 lb. gluten-free spaghetti noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 diced red bell pepper (or orange bell pepper)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Soy sauce, to taste

1.  Cook the noodles according to package directions.  Drain noodles.
2.  Dice the red bell pepper and onion.  Heat olive oil in a wok or large skillet.
3.  Saute the diced red pepper, diced onion, and minced garlic for 7-10 minutes.
4.  Stir in the cooked noodles, lemon juice, and sugar.  Add soy sauce, to taste.

*I also added sliced zucchini.  Yum!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Product Review of Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough; My Pizza Recipe

I was making pizza for a large group a few weeks ago and I needed more than our two large crusts that I make with my pizza recipe.  I decided to supplement with one more small to medium-sized-pizza and to give Pillsbury dough a whirl.  I like my recipe for pizza crust better (a subliminal hint to buy my cookbook).  :)



The Pillsbury pizza crust caused my eyes to light up, however, since it is great to see companies like Pillsbury joining the gluten-free product wagon.  I am rating the crust at 7, since the flavor was quite good, but it was chewy and dense and had a slight after-taste. See my blog post at this link for my pizza crust recipe, and hopefully you will like it so much you will buy my cookbook. :)

https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=2036047509040080967#editor/target=post;postID=2120220870250998932;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=29;src=postname


Friday, September 5, 2014

Review of Arrowhead Mills vs. King Arthur Chocolate Cake Mix

Our son recently got married and we wanted to have gluten-free cake at the wedding luncheon for those in our immediate and extended family who have celiac disease.  Our 12-year-old daughter loves art and so we decided to let her decorate the gluten-free cake.  We tested two brands of gluten-free cakes.  The Arrowhead Mills chocolate cake was very dry and didn't have great flavor.  Rating:  3.

Photo source:  http://www.arrowheadmills.com/product/gluten-free-chocolate-cake-mix

The King Arthur chocolate cake was delicious and moist.  Rating:  9.

Photo Source:  http://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Flour-Chocolate-22-Ounce/dp/B00473U3BM


We also used the following recipe from my cookbook, and we all LOVED the substitution of raspberry flavoring we used (we ran out of lemon flavoring).  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Cake Decorating Frosting

2½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup shortening
⅛ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons egg white
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon lemon (or raspberry) flavoring
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
2½ tablespoons milk

Combine all ingredients and whip for 4-5 minutes on medium speed.


We had a hard time finding the pearl centers for the flowers.  Every craft store we checked carried the Wilton brand, and they are not gluten free.  Happily, my older daughter eventually found this brand and they are gluten free. :)

Photo source:  http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/celebration-silver-pearls-candy-812917/





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My First E-Book!!!

I am soooo excited!  My first e-book is on amazon.com!  It is priced at $3.99.  Check it out!  :)

http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Cooking-Delicious-Breakfasts-Breads-ebook/dp/B00MFXXZG6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407901183&sr=8-1&keywords=susan+bell+breakfast+and+breads

I love the work of my graphic designer and photographer, who both did a spectacular job!




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Those Spunky Six Sisters and Their Yummy Biscuits

I was doing a book signing at a Deseret Book, and a friend told me I should sign up for the free drawing going on that night.  Wonder of wonders...I won!  And...I won a really fun cookbook called Six Sisters' Stuff.  The only challenge is that most of the recipes are not gluten free.  My daughter was undaunted by this, however, and used Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix as a substitute for the baking mix called for in their biscuit recipe.  It is a great recipe, and the 7-Up in the recipe gives the biscuits a delightful flavor.

Adaptation of Six Sisters Easy 7-Up Biscuits

1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
1/2 cup 7-Up
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Cut sour cream into Pamela's mix with a fork.  Add 7-Up and stir just until combined.  Add melted butter.  It makes a very soft dough.  Drop by the spoonful onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.