Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yummy, Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My niece Ginny gave me the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I love it and it never fails me, however, since going gluten free I was bummed that I couldn't have them anymore.  Well tonight that all changed.  Brandon, my 12 year old, decided that he wanted to make cookies so I said go for it.  He asked if there was a gluten free cookie that he could make so I could have some to.  I didn't want to look anything up and I was feeling a little sorry for myself so I told him just to go ahead and make Gin's recipe.  He got started and pretty soon he called me into the kitchen with a problem, we were almost out of regular flour.  After thinking about it I said let's try an experiment and I pulled out my "gluten free flour mix" that I make.  It's a combination of a few different flours.  But I also remember reading in one of my cookbooks that I needed to add more tapioca flour and less of the flour mixture and add some Xanthum gum.  As a surprise it turned out WONDERFUL!  They are the softest cookies I've ever had.  We all really enjoyed them.  Hopefully you will too.

I'll share the recipe with you as it was intended with a side note of how I made it tonight.  My gluten free flour mixture is a little more complicated than I'm willing to share right now, so if you use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour it should work fine.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. Granulated sugar
3/4 c. butter (not softened)
 2 eggs
1 TBSP white vinegar
1 TBSP White Corn Syrup
1 tsp vanilla (gluten free)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 c. flour
(Gluten free modification:  1 1/4 c. Gluten Free All Purpose baking flour, 1 c. tapioca flour & 1 1/2 tsp Xanthum gum)
3 c. chocolate chips

Cream together sugars and butter, once mixed add eggs and continue mixing.  Then add vinegar, corn syrup and vanilla, cream together.
In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together.  Add dry ingredients to the rest of the mixture and mix together.  Add chocolate chips.
Spoon batter onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes  until they just set.  (If gluten free you probably will need to cook it a little longer 8-10 minutes).
Let sit on cookie sheet for 1 min before removing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Here goes, my first blog

Well, this is my first blog ever.  I decided to start writing a blog to help me remember the recipes that I've created, the good, the bad and the what were you thinking recipes.  Here's a little history about who I am and my journey to become a "cook" (or at least someone who can make a semi-descent meal for my family).

I was raised by wonderful parents.  My mom is a fabulous cook/baker.  Her meals are always very yummy and she is the queen of jarring.  (My boys say that she should sell her applesauce and jams.)   Needless to say it seemed as if my mom could take a few left overs in the fridge and make an incredible meal to remember.  My dad on the other hand can not cook... AT ALL.  I remember when mom was away  he made us frozen salad (with pickles, yuck) and watery mac 'n cheese!  I do have to give him credit because he is an expert PB&J sandwich maker (as long as he does not add, once again, pickles.  Yuck!) 

Well it seemed as I was growing up that I was taking after my dad.  But part of that was because I had no desire to learn how to cook.  I was more interested in playing outside, riding my bike and doing other "non-girly" stuff.  As I grew into a teenager I had other things on my mind, like boys.  So doing things my mom did, had little or no interest to me, which included cooking, sewing and stuff like that.  She tried to teach me to cook but it never took.  When I was 20 I married my husband of now 17 years and all was good because he could cook, really well.  So I didn't need to learn how to cook.  But after being married for 6 weeks he took off to go commercial fishing and I was left alone to fend for myself, for the first time ever(meal wise)!  McDonald's became my friend but a person can only take so much of McDonald's.  So then I ended up crashing friends meals so I wouldn't starve.  After a while I did figure out how to make Hamburger Helper and the deluxe Mac 'n Cheese.  But how long can a person live off of that stuff too? 

About 6 months after being married Will (my husband) and I moved from metropolitan Anchorage to a small island town in Southeast Alaska where there is no Micky D's, only a few restaurants (that were too spendy for a newly married couple) and not really a big deli section at the grocery store.  We then had our first son after being married for 18 months and the realization that if I wanted him to have healthy meals I had better learn to cook, and cook well.  So Will took on the task of teaching me.  Now to add to this mix of educating me on how to cook I also had to learn how to cook things like fish (mainly Salmon and Halibut), wild game and somewhat traditional Tlingit (Alaskan Native) foods. (Which is my husbands tribe).  These types of meat supplemented our protein intake due to the high cost of beef, chicken and pork.  Now 17 years and 4 boys later I cook, everyday.  Will has a busy job so he can't cook as much (though he still loves to) but the job of feeding my household is now on my shoulders, and I am enjoying it.

Another thing I should add is that I have recently discovered that I am gluten intolerant.  So some of these recipes will be gluten free and some will not.

*As a side note, I do use cook books and recipes I've gotten from the internet or other people and when I post those I will give credit to the proper people or sights.  

Christy's Accidental Halibut Chowder (gluten free) 
I found a bag of chunked up Halibut in the freezer yesterday.  I decided to make halibut boiled fish (a Tlingit, Alaskan Native, staple).  But of course I started experimenting and it turned into the following recipe.  To my delight, my family loved it and the entire pot disappeared. 


A pot of water
Halibut (Cut into 1/2-1 inch chunks)
Onions (chopped)
Potatoes (I use Yukon Golds, washed and cubed)
Garlic (crushed) the more the better, I say
1 can chicken broth (I use Swanson gluten free)
Sea Salt
1 TBSP Pepper
2 tsp Thyme
Canned or frozen Corn
1 Cup Cooked Rice
2 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Sweet rice flour


Fill your pot with water.  Bring the water to a boil, once boiling add1 can of chicken broth, halibut, onions, garlic and potatoes.  Boil for about 10 minutes.  Turn down to low and simmer (stirring occasionally) for 20 minutes or so.  While simmering add Sea Salt to taste.  Then add pepper and thyme (I usually don't measure I just add until I think it's good enough).  While chowder is simmering in a separate bowl mix sweet rice flour and 1 cup milk together until thoroughly mixed.  Then add remaining milk to mixture.  Add to chowder and let simmer until it reaches the desired thickness.  I then add the corn and rice and let it heat up.

I also added a few tablespoons of Potato Buds, which made it super thick.  My family loved it that way, but you may not. To lessen the thickness you may not want to add rice.  That's all up to you.  Enjoy, I know we did.

This chowder would also be awesome with corn bread or crackers. (Gluten Free of course for my family, or at least for me).