Cookbooks

Sunday

Mini Donuts: Gluten Free & Homemade




I made the above yummy donuts with my Babycakes mini donut maker. I followed a recipe from Mini Donuts: 100 Bite-Sized Donut Recipes to Sweeten Your "Hole" Day, by Jessica Segarra. The recipe I worked with is called "Nutella Mini Donut".

I simply swapped out the regular flour for a gluten free one. In this case, I used President's Choice Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend. 

Overall, I was really quite happy with how these little donuts turned out! Even the gluten eaters in my family enjoyed them. So much so, that they have been requesting that I make more!









DK Gluten Free Cookbook Pie Crust Review



This just happens to be one of my favourite cook books. Over the weekend I attempted to make a shortcrust pastry (page 44-45) for lemon meringue pie. 

I have to tell you that I am TERRIBLE at making pie crust. The pre packaged mixes at the supermarket have even seen me fail epicly. Normally I get results that are so bad, they are actually kind of comical. That being said, this was a challenge I was not holding out high hope for.

Guess what?

The shortcrust pastry ended up being super easy to make AND it tasted great too! 








The recipe makes a crust that is flaky but doesn't fall apart. You really get a subtle hint a buttery flavour when biting into this crust. I love that it holds up when I cut into my lemon meringue pie. No exploding crumbly mess of a crust here.

As you can see, I made two different size pies. One in miniature pie tins, which are a good size to share with someone. The other was in silicon muffin cups. The muffin cup pies were great as an single portioned lemon meringue pie. They were far from delicate and held up while eating without utensils. Pretty swanky if you ask me. ;)


I should note that I used Better Batter all purpose Gluten Free flour. As per Better Batter instructions, I omitted the use of Xanthan gum that was required in the recipe.

This is a flour that is quite hard for me to find locally (I found it at Winners which seem to only randomly carry things) so we shall see if this recipe is just as awesome with other all purpose Gluten Free flour mixes.







Friday

On The Hunt For A Cookbook? Here is my advice...


What do you look for in a great cook book? I look for a lot of key things. After years of buying cookbooks, trial and error finally paid off and I know know what I really need to look for in one.





Let's start with what I am on alert to avoid


  • First of all, if an entire cook book requires a specific custom flour blend that you have to make yourself, it's out. Numerous different flour blends - blacklisted! Sorry, although it may taste great it's simply too much of an effort for me. At least at this stage in my home cooking.
  • Extremely time consuming recipes - No thank you.
  • Too many ingredients - Enough said.
  • Recipes that are too fancy schmancy- Not a chance.
  • No pictures- I prefer to know what my masterpiece should look like


Don't be afraid to spend some time reading through a cookbook before you buy it! I can't begin to tell you how many cookbooks I have purchased only to try a few recipes and realize, it's just not for my family. Sometimes even the simplest looking recipes can be challenging or not what you expect.


I recommend recipes that use "all purpose" gluten free flours. Less fuss the better.

Here is what I look for in a cookbook
  • Clear, direct and simple directions
  • Accurate prep and finish times (within reason as appliances vary)
  • Noted skill level (novice, intermediate, advance)
  • Bright pictures of finished dish with step by step photos for more complicated tasks
  • Easy to source and Affordable ingredients
  • Tips eg - freezing, storage, ect
  • Pairing suggestions
  • Substitution suggestions
  • Menu plans






Don't be afraid of "regular" cookbooks that are not specifically aimed at those who are Gluten Free. It took me a while to try some out, but I haven't looked back. The only time I stick to traditionally GF recipes is when it comes to sweets.



When it comes to bread products I recommend my personal baker of sorts Kinnikinnick. There is nothing better than their soft bread products!



Eventually, you will know what you can and cannot tackle with a blink of the eye. It just takes practice. Expensive practice.


What do you look for when purchasing a cookbook?
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