Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mini banana scones, Rickshaw bag love.

The younger two boys were offered some crap cookies and tootsie rolls today and they ,of course, were really upset that I wouldn't let them eat said snacks.

  I assured them that I would make some cookies that would make them feel good instead.  Through tears they reluctantly gave in and stopped driving me mad with their blubbering.  I understand how they feel totally so disregard my coldheartedness. I appreciate that I can empathize with them to a greater extent.

The hard part is just whipping up some cookies.  The universe smiled on me today as I mixed and stirred and got really lucky.  The keys to gluten free cooking are to throw caution to the wind and never expect what you are making to come out as you planned. Good or bad.

I wanted sweet and fluffy with crispy edges.  I have discovered while making sauce with homemade ricemilk that it gets really thick. That rice keeps getting thicker even when you think it can't absorb any more water. More on this in a minute.
Most recipes for cookies call for the following:
Flour
Sugar
baking powder
a gluing agent (usually this is gluten in wheat flours)
some kind of oil or fat
****here is what the looked like when finished, so as to keep you interested through my ramblings!*****

I poured what I thought looked like a cup and a half of white rice flour in a bowl. I then added a half cup or so of brown rice flour. No reason for these really other than they are mild tasting and what I had in my cupboard.  I had already made a cup of rice then made it into rice milk.
Its super easy to make your own rice milk (thanks to Scott Jureks recipe on his blog!).  One cup of cooked white rice to 3 cups water. A bit of salt and sugar and I put in vanilla today.  Then you blend the hell out of it. Blend until you can't stand the sound of the dang blender anymore!  About 4-5 minutes gets it mixed well.  I then strain it to make sure its not gritty.  Blended for this long though makes pretty smooth milk.

Preheat the oven to 350. Oil or grease a cookie sheet. My cookie sheet is very dark in color.

Back to the cookies. I poured about 1/3 cup of sugar into the bowl. I know its a lot. Its the only sweetner I had. It adds bulk and when melted helps hold the cookies together.  I suppose if you use Agave then you want to cut back the amount of rice milk you use.
I blended 2 bananas with about half cup of rice milk, a splash of vanilla, and a one second pour or splash of canola oil,  while I added some xanthan gum to the dry ingredients. Maybe a tablespoon.  It will help hold the cookies together. I then added some aluminum free baking powder to the dry ingredients in my bowl. 

I poured a little of the banana smoothie mix into the dry ingredients and mixed and added more until I had a sticky consistency that would ball up on  a spoon but just sticky enough not to be able to handle with my hands without making a wicked mess! The banana and rice milk mixture made thick and fluffy lovelyness. I think it was much like whipping up eggs.

Drop a spoonful of the mix and smooth out the edges a bit. Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 13-15 minutes.  Mine actually browned on the edges!!

They came out looking like mini scones. They had a moist yet not gooey center. I tend to get cookies that cook too much on the outside and the center remains too soft.
                                              The bottoms even came out a nice golden brown.
Archimedes and I ate them up pretty fast!  Jupiter had a couple and Milo tolerated a tiny little bite. He is my picky eater.  He did eat some hummus and corn tortillas though so I can't complain too much.

Some things to take note of. It was hot today but not terribly humid.  I mixed all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and poured a blended mix of wet ingredients into the dry.  I have found that the gluten free flour will clump if you don't add all the wet to the mix at once. Make sure the pan is greased well. I think that the simplicity of just using rice flour may have added to the nice texture and predictability of how it would turn out.

I know its not a recipe but I have learned that if you know the basic ingredients and approximate proportions you have a pretty good chance of making something edible.  And once again, don't expect it to come out the same way twice!
Anyone have gluten free cooking they want to share?  Suggestions are always welcomed here!

So in other news, I won a messenger bag from Clif Bar a couple weeks ago.
Clif joined up with Rickshaw bags to promote Clif's 2 Mile Challenge and had a limited number of these Zero Messenger bags made.  None of the bags look exactly alike because the the Zero line uses all the scraps that are created during production in the bags. Hence the name Zero, as in zero waste. How cool is that!

If you don't know a whole lot about Clif, I encourage you to read this recap of a tour that Donald over at Running and Rambling wrote up.  He was a lucky lucky duck and got to tour the Berkley headquarters!

When I recieved the bag it didn't have the strap attached. Not to worry though, the bag was filled with Clif Goodies!!!  They really hooked us up.  My dear hubby got the bars and I got more than a dozen shot blocks and as many gels too.  They contacted Rickshaw and had them send me strap.  I was rather excited about this and hoping that it would be sent in the reusable packaging that I had heard they used.
Look what the FedEx guy delivered today!  Its a reusable shipping bag made from scraps of their fabric.
It had a return label and directions as to how to use it. It also held a handwritten note letting me know to call if I needed anything.  The wait for the strap was totally worth it! I am sending some bag bling to them in the return bag when I send it back tomorrow and my own hand written note stating my gratitude for what they do.  What cool companies to have had the pleasure of dealing with.  Not to mention I like how Clif Products make me feel.  Very easy to digest and the Shot block packaging rocks!

Ok enough gushing. Thanks Clif and Rickshaw!
I have got to get back to my rice pasta the boys requested. The trick to rice pasta is to rinse in cold water after straining after boiling.  Just so you know!  Seriously, if you have any cooking tips, do share!!

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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
I serve families in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Port Townsend, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and the greater Seattle area. email me atangiebeehotz@gmail.com with any questions you might have