Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Brilliant Musings.

When I was little, I was extremely fearful. And needy. And timid. And I am sure I missed out on a LOT because of that. In fact, I know I did. When I got to college, all that changed. I finally came out of my shell, learned how to really trust God, and have been so FREE ever since then. I want to grab life by the horns, be my own person, and take advantage of EVERYTHING that comes my way!

Because of this, I sometimes tend to overdo it. I so resent the fact that I missed out when I was younger, I feel the need to do and see EVERYTHING now. And to be my OWN person so much that, I feel like I have to do things by myself. And not rely on anyone.

I mean, picking up and moving across the country all by myself will be an AWESOME, liberating adventure, right?? And I'll be so cool and independent, and become more of my own person, and have SO much fun...right???

Welllllll........I've been learning a few things about myself. And about life. No matter how cool and "independent" and "trendy" something may seem, and no matter how amazing what you're doing is, or how beautiful the place you are in is.........if you have no one to share it with, it is meaningless.

Now, not TOTALLY meaningless. Yes, I absolutely LOVE the program I'm doing - every second of it! And Colorado is BEAUTIFUL. But.......after a while, cooking all this delicious food for yourself gets a bit lonely. And...staring out at the mountains but having no one to go hiking, or camping, or biking, or fishing with just makes you feel even worse. Being 2,000 miles from anybody who gives a darn that you even exist is...well...hard sometimes!

I sat in Mass today, looking at all the families and the moms on Mother's Day, and I was close to tears the whole time! I have just found that, no matter how "cool" and "independent" my plan seemed in my head, and how much I thought I would be lame for needing people or relying on anybody........everything pales in comparison to love. And there's nothing wrong with needing people. We were MADE for community, and to love and be loved. Yes, I love learning about health and cooking. But what REALLY makes me happy about those things is gaining the knowledge to help others live better lives, and cooking FOR those I love.

So it's just like I'm kind of missing a piece to the puzzle right now. Yes, I am INCREDIBLY blessed to have the opportunity to follow my dream and complete this Natural Chef program, and I am enjoying it SO very much. I am living in a gorgeous state with awesome outdoors activities. I live in a nice house. But without the people you love...the puzzle has a hard time staying together quite like it should.

Well, that's my most recent epiphany. I know, brilliant, right? I mean, who would have thought you need people you LOVE around you to really be happy??? And that, as social beings, we can't live totally isolated and just do work and school 24/7??? CRAZY.

Sometimes I'm just a little slow in the area of being ok with needing people ;-)

So, if you're someone I love........thanks for being there for me and giving me purpose. I miss you, and can't wait to see you again and COOK for you! :-D

And reward you for having to read all my senseless ramblings have 2 awesome recipes to share with you! Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Guess What I Did...!!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, mark this day on your calendars!!! (Well, actually last night). I have officially made, without following a recipe, a GLUTEN-FREE COOKIE that is DELICIOUS, did not turn into a PUDDLE when I baked it, is not DRY, WEIRD-TASTING, or like a CRACKER! And I had my roommate, who is a "normal person," taste it, and she said it was REALLY GOOD and tasted like a REAL COOKIE!!! :-D :-D :-D


I was really really craving oatmeal raisin cookies, because the tea we had in class Friday for some reason reminded me of them. Now, I love Elana's Pantry, and her recipes are usually AMAZING. However, I've never gotten her cookies to work for me. They always turn out super greasy and thin and way too crunchy and crumbly, and just kinda weird. So I thought, hmm...I have tons of buckwheat flour, which is WAY cheaper than almond flour anyway...and I like buckwheat, and it's super good for you. I should be able to make a buckwheat cookie, right???

So I Googled gluten-free buckwheat cookies, and nothing seemed quite right - they all had all those expensive bizarre gluten free flours that are super hard to work with and, in my opinion, taste kinda weird sometimes. Finally I found one that called for buckwheat flour and rice flour, so I thought, surely I can substitute something else for the rice flour?

So I used this recipe just to get the basic ratios of how much flour to oil and baking soda and whatnot, but other than that, I winged it!

It is not sugar-free totally, but I used sucanat and honey, which is FAR better than the processed-sugar-packed traditional recipes. Also, the recipe I was looking at called for 1/2 c of butter. I used about a tablespoon, and for the rest I used coconut oil, and it worked FINE, so I'm sure you could use all coconut oil if you wanted it completely dairy free.

As for egg free, I'm not sure if flax seed and water would work as a sub, but you should try it! Ya never know! You might need to add xanthan gum or arrowroot or something to it as well, I'm not sure.

Instead of the rice flour, I used almond flour, because that is what I had, and it's MUCH healthier for you - wayyyy lower glycemic and all that fun jazz.

SO. Here is my amazing, delicious, gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookie recipe!!!

Preheat oven to 375.

  • .5 c almond flour
  • .5 buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
Sift together these ingredients and stir well.

  • 1/2 c sucanat
  • 1/3 c coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp or so honey
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
Cream together with a hand mixer (I did this by hand, was a pain lol).
To these liquid ingredients, add:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture 1/3 at a time. Mix well. Add:
  • 1/2-3/4 cup gluten-free oats (maybe more, I don't think mine were oat-y enough)
  • approx 1/2 cup raisins
Stir. Depending on the altitude and humidity, you may need more liquid or more dry ingredients - play with it until it looks right. If the batter is too sticky, place in the freezer for about 10 minutes - this helped a lot!
Drop spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto a cookie sheet greased with coconut oil or lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 375 for about 7 mins (maybe less, maybe more, depending on altitude). I'm in Colorado, so if you're closer to sea level...these could cook VERY quickly. Keep an eye on them!
Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan to cool (or devouring) ;-)

Oh man...I gotta go eat one now! They're soooo goooood!!!!

Enjoy! Let me know how they turn out for you if you make them!