Rock the Vote

As you probably know, my recipes are step-by-step with lots of photos.  Why?  Because I think step-by-step recipes are super useful and uniquely suited to the blogging medium.  Also, I hope that many gluten-free newbies read my blog and are less intimidated about jumping head first into the world of g.f. cooking.

But sometimes, I mess up.  It’s true.  I know you’re shocked.  Take a moment to sit down if you need to.

You see, sometimes I get everything set up to blog about a recipe.  I buy the ingredients, start the prep and take the pictures.  But somewhere along the way, I forget to continue taking pictures. Usually this happens if I’m making a meal for company, and I get rushed at the end.  Or my blood sugar is low and I’m on the dangerous tight rope between lightheaded and hangry (hunger-induced anger = hangry).  It’s a dangerous place, my friends.  Just ask The Professor.  He’s been caught in those crosshairs before.

This reminds me of a picture I saw on Facebook a few days ago.

hungry

Can I get an Amen?

So, anyways, my point.  I have a few awesome recipes whose photos just sort of unceremoniously ended before the recipe was finished.  They’re amazing recipes, but I wouldn’t normally blog about them because they’re missing some of the step-by-step pictures.

This was making me sad though.  Because, I mean, they’re some of my favorite recipes.  So I’ve decided to feature one of these recipes, and I’m letting you decide!  Right now, they are on the Island of Misfit Blog Posts, and you have the power to set one free!

Vote in the comments section by Friday, February 15th.  Whichever recipe wins will be featured on Accidental Okie!

Recipe 1: Roasted and Caramelized Vegetables with Sesame Seeds and Rosemary

One of my favorite exports from New Zealand.  Filling and economical and oh so good.

roasted veggies

Recipe 2: Quiche

There’s a secret ingredient.  Spoiler alert: it’s in this photo.

quiche

Recipe 3: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

The party food of kings…or of all my friends.  One of the two.

datesSo rock the vote.  Save a recipe!

Cast your vote for which one to save by Friday!  If you’re having trouble voting on the blog, vote on Facebook or my Twitter feed.

Gluten Free Crepe Recipe

Crepes are one of my new food loves.  Sadly, I didn’t attempt making them until this year.  Crepes seemed intimidating with all that pan twirling.  And didn’t I need a special crepe pan?  And gluten-free crepes, those can’t be good or easy, right?  Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

Unlike pancakes which are very bready, crepes are more milk and eggs than flour.  This means they don’t give me that overly sweet headache I get after eating pancakes.   I’ve become very sensitive to overly-sweet things in my old age.  A crepe is basically solidified, not-too-sweet, pan-fried custard.  Serve with a little powdered sugar and a big glass of milk, and you’ve got yourself a great breakfast…or dinner.  I love them.  And I hope you will love them too.

Crepes are also very easy to modify to be gluten-free.  I found a recipe I like here, and have made a few modifications of my own.

Start with some good gluten-free flour.  I used King Arthur Multi-Purpose Flour.  If you make your own flour mix, use that.  If you buy a mix, make sure it doesn’t contain any xantham or guar gum.  No thickeners are needed in this recipe.

Full disclosure: King Arthur Flour sent me this flour to review, but don’t worry, you can’t buy my love.  My reviews are unbiased because my goal is to be helpful, especially if you’re new to the gluten-free diet.  Also, all that stuff about ethics.

I like King Arthur Multi-Purpose Flour mix for several reasons:

  1. Their flour mix is very close to the mix I make.  It’s a good mix with great texture, no funky smells and no graininess.
  2. The mix contains no salt, xanthum or guar gum.  It is a blank palette.
  3. It is “multi-purpose mix.”  I like that they call it that.  There is no such thing as all-purpose gluten-free flour.  The quicker you get the idea of all-purpose gluten-free flour out of your head, the quicker you’ll stop having a broken heart and ruined recipes.  Like the name implies, multi-purpose flour doesn’t work for everything.  I wouldn’t make a roux with it.  I wouldn’t use it to make pâte à choux.  I would use it for crepes and pancakes and cookies and cakes and banana bread though.  (Anything except crepes and pancakes need to have xantham or guar gum added).

Mixes are always more expensive, so make your own flour mix if you’re a pro.  If you’re a gluten-free beginner, mixes are a great way to get your sea legs.

Back to the crepes: get a cup of gluten-free flour.

Mix together the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients: baking powder and sugar and a bit of salt.  Stir the dry ingredients together so they’re nice and mixed together.

Remember one of the cardinal rules of gluten-free baking: if you modify a regular recipe to a gluten-free recipe, always half the salt and use unsalted butter.

Gluten-free flours have a neutral taste compared to strong-tasting (and evil) wheat flour, and therefore can’t take the full amount of salt.  But there is a silver lining: that same neutral tasting gluten-free flour puts the spotlight on other flavors – cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg – they are all more vibrant in gluten-free baked goodies.

You haven’t lived, I tell ya, until you’ve had a gluten-free spice cake.  And that’s a fact, Jack.

Put two tablespoons of butter in the microwave to melt.

Measure out one and a quarter cups of milk.

Using only your palest and most unmanicured hand, crack two eggs into the milk and stir them up real good.  See, I told you crepes were more about the milk and eggs and less about the flour.

Stir in the butter.  This is why you want the eggs to be mixed in really well.  You wouldn’t want splotches of scrambled eggs in your crepes.  That would be gross.

Don’t toss the butter bowl into the sink just yet.  You’ll use it again in a second.

I owe a lifetime of gratitude to Ree Drummond for introducing me to vanilla bean paste.  It’s basically the scraped out bits of the vanilla bean in a convenient jar.  Oh so good.  It’s much cheaper than vanilla beans, and costs about the same as high-quality vanilla extract.  One bottle usually lasts me a year.

Can you see all the vanilla beans (technical name: vanilla caviar) in the thick, gooey paste.  Yum.

If you want to make savory crepes, skip the sugar and vanilla.

But that leads me to an important question.  Why would you want to make savory crepes?  The powdered sugar is the best part?  I guess you could fill it with chicken and spinach and all those other crepe-y things.  If you must.

Dump the wet and the dry mixes together and whisk until the batter is nice and smooth.

Side note: I love my flat whisk.  It’s a whisk.  It’s a spatula.  It senses my needs.

Remember that butter bowl (or ramekin in this case) I told you not to toss in the sink?  It’s time for its second act.

Melt a tablespoon or so of butter in it.  Once it’s melted, add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Don’t stress out about the measurements – just get it about half and half.  You’ll use this to butter the pan each time.  The butter gives the crepes great flavor, keeps them from sticking to the pan, and creates the signature bubbly marks on the crepes’ surface.  The added oil keeps the butter from burning on the pan.

Now heat up your pan over medium-high heat and assemble your tools: a spatula, a cooking brush, a quarter-cup measure and a whisk.  Get ready to do the crepe dance.

The crepe dance goes something like this (to the tune of Gangnam Style).

  1. Butter – Butter pan with cooking brush.  I just use my regular old 10-inch non-stick frying pan.  It works great.
  2. Whisk – Give the batter a quick whisk.  The batter is so light that the flour sinks down to the bottom.  Do this step every time.
  3. Pour – Scoop a quarter cup of batter on to the hot pan.  The batter will immediately start to sizzle.  Grab the skillet’s handle and swirl the skillet around gently until the batter is evenly distributed.  (Adjust the amount of your scoop based on the size of your pan).
  4. Flip – Allow to cook until the bottom is golden brown (you can slide your spatula under to take a peek).  It’s about 45 seconds to a minute.  Flip with your spatula and let it cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.
  5. Repeat – Until all your beautiful crepes are cooked.

Fold them in fours and put them on a plate.  Top with a little butter and powdered sugar.

Aren’t they beautiful, and you can make them too!

Gluten Free Crepes
Yields 8
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup gluten-free flour mix without xanthan gum
  2. 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 teaspoon sugar
  5. 1 1/4 cups milk
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  9. 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  10. 1 tablespoon canola oil
Instructions
  1. Mix the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, mix the milk and eggs and then drizzle in the butter, constantly stirring the milk. Whisk in the vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  3. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. After it's melted, add the tablespoon of oil. Stir to combine.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the butter/oil mixture on the skillet, rewhisk the batter and scoop a quarter of a cup of batter on the skillet. Quickly grab the handle of the skillet and twirl the pan around until the crepe is spread thinly around the pan. After about a minute, flip the crepe and let it cook for 30 seconds to a minute on the other side. Complete this step for every crepe.
  5. Serve with any of the following: butter and powdered sugar, fruit compote, Nutella, or maple syrup.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/
 

Two Things: The Ill-Fated Cake Ball and A Christmas Announcement

Thing 1: The Tale of the Ill-Fated Cake Ball

A few weeks ago, my friends and I had a cake ball making night.  My friend Ashley hosted it.  She was showing me the cake balls which she had pre-rolled for us to decorate.  In a flurry of excitement, she told me about the gluten-free cake balls and the vanilla cake balls at the same time.  I got confused.  And I ate a whole cake ball.  A whole glutened cake ball.

Now let me explain something to you – I am really gluten intolerant.  It is not a lifestyle choice, a fad or a psychosomatic thing. Here are my reactions:

  • A few crumbs or cross-contamination – acne-like rash on face for about a month.
  • 1/8 a teaspoon of a gluten-containing ingredient – Vomiting for four hours.
  • Any more than that – A week of vomiting/other unfun stuff that I will not write about on this blog, ever.

This cake ball contained more gluten than I’ve ingested cumulatively in past six-and-a-half years.  Thankfully, I realized that I ate the wrong cake ball within just a few minutes.  When the discovery was made, my friends and I all looked at each other, all wondering what I should do, and all of us knowing what had to be done.

So I excused myself, went to the bathroom, turned on the loud vent fan, and gagged myself until I puked.  I did it twice, you know, just to be sure.

It felt just like the after-school special I once watched on bulimia. (The very after school special that taught me how to gag myself).  There I was, hunched over the toilet, turning on the fan to dull the noise, sticking my fingers down my throat.  Yes, I decided, I was a cautionary tale.  Only mine was about eating a cake ball, not a life-threatening eating disorder.

In my moment of desperation and melodrama, all I could hear in my head was the Jessie Spano I’m So Excited freak-out song she sings after becoming “addicted to caffeine pills”.  Yes, children of the 80’s, you all know what I’m talking about.  She screams “I’m so excited, I’m so excited.” And then falling to a heap of tears and early-90’s fashion, she’s caught by Zach Morris, and finally she lets out, “I’m so, I’m so SCARED.”

So I was glutened, and then I was throwing up, and then I was laughing to myself about Saved By the Bell.  But somewhere in there, it worked.  I didn’t have even the smallest reaction.  I was very proud of my mental fortitude.

BTW – bulimia isn’t funny, and if it’s something you struggle with, please find someone to talk to.

Thing 2: Christmas Blog Series!

Get excited because my first guest blog series starts tomorrow!  During the month of November and a bit of December, I will be hosting guest blogs every Tuesday and Thursday.  I’ve asked friends from all stages of life, from all around the world, and with diverse tastes, to suggest ten Christmas present ideas.  My guest bloggers are men, women, young moms, hip grandmas.  Some are stay at home moms, some have Ph.D.s.  They hail from Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, Massachusets, Australia and England.  Some shop at Pottery Barn and others make their own gifts.

As the guest posts have rolled in over the past week, I have been so inspired by everyone’s amazing gift ideas, and I know you will be too!  So tune in every Tuesday and Thursday.

Make sure to follow my blog by clicking the follow button on the right hand column so that you don’t miss a single Christmas list!