Gluten-Free Anisette Cookies

March 31st, 2010 § Comments Off on Gluten-Free Anisette Cookies § permalink

I love rabbits, they have peculiar habits, but they are cute there’s really no denyyyy-ing…

Easter is almost here and it’s time to make anisette cookies. This is a traditional Italian cookie with a gluten-free twist. Usually, they’re round little half-balls of deliciousness, but my aunt used to roll them and cut them into shapes. They were crisp and hard like biscotti, decorated with a little meringue icing, and oh-so-delicious. Use margarine if you like your cookies crisp. Butter gives them a shortbread-like consistency.

Ingredients:

Dry:

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup fine sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp anise seed

Wet:

1 cup butter or margarine
1 tbl anise extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend margarine and sugar with a mixer until creamy. Add anise seed extract. Mix rest of dry ingredients in large bowl. Add to butter mixture a bit at a time, blending well between additions. If dough is too dry, drizzle a small amount of cream into the mix.

Roll onto floured board (about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick) and cut into shapes. Bake on parchment-lined cookie trays for ten minutes or until lightly golden. Leave on trays until cookies are slightly cooled before moving. They’ll firm up once cool. Ice with meringue powder icing if desired.

Breaded French Fries…?

March 24th, 2010 § Comments Off on Breaded French Fries…? § permalink

Okay, it’s day 8 of my fast and last night I dreamed I ate breaded French Fries. They were all the rage in this place I was hanging out at…me and some other people obsessed with culinary oddities…I don’t think they were fasting but I do remember the instructor (?) giving me an incriminating look for breaking mine with those disgustingly delicious nutritional violations…and they ended up making my stomach hurt…

…serves me right I guess, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.

Things are actually easier by day 8, though it’s hard to justify going on because you feel so accomplished by now. You know, what difference does it make if you go 8 days or 10? Well, it does, actually, ’cause that little not-so-hidden part of yourself wants you to reach your goal, even if it’s a seemingly arbitrary one. The weird thing is, I really couldn’t stomach a single French fry right now, let alone a basket of breaded ones. But the mind takes you on some fantastical journeys…

Deeper thoughts…

March 22nd, 2010 § Comments Off on Deeper thoughts… § permalink

Today is day six of my 13-day fast. It’s about this time that I start wondering why I do it at all. I’ve managed to survive this long, now I just want to eat. That desire never really goes away. You just pretend it’s not there or not real or…or…

…or you make a list of all the restaurants you want to haunt when it’s over, going into explicit detail about the exact dishes you’ll enjoy…

…and you pick up glossy publications with pictures of delicious little cupcakes on the front…

Yes, just about now, I begin to wonder why I do it. And every year when I finally cross the finish line, I congratulate myself on my discipline and resolve…and then I silently vow that I never need to do it again. But every year, come spring, something stirs inside me and I feel strong and confident and ready to face the fasting challenge…

…until it rains and grows cold, like today. And then the cupcakes start calling and I have to knit myself through to the other side…

Gluten-free coffe cake

March 15th, 2010 § Comments Off on Gluten-free coffe cake § permalink

This turned out so well, it’s dangerous. A nice, easy little coffee cake for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Goes great with tea and, well, coffee! Excellent right out of the oven with a dash of cream or cool with nothing at all.

Ingredients:

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbspn baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 tbspn cider vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup (or more) rice milk, milk, soy milk etc.
medium apple
cinnamon and sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend dry ingredients in a deep bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients until well blended. Create a well and add sour cream, vinegar and rice milk to the centre. Mix with wooden spoon until blended, adding more rice milk if needed to achieve a thick but workable batter. Press batter into buttered and floured 8 or 9 inch pan.

Peel and thinly slice apple to decorate the top of the cake. (I was quite sparing with the apples but I would definitely put a thick layer of thinly sliced apples on next time – they were heavenly.) Sprinkle top lightly with cinnamon sugar. Bake in 325 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes or until it tests done. Enjoy!

a bunny for your thoughts

March 10th, 2010 § Comments Off on a bunny for your thoughts § permalink

Here it is, March, and daylight savings is just around the corner, along with March break. I can just feel the anticipation as the school kids prepare to run free for a week.

It’s hard not to feel excited what with the weather and all. The cardinals are pulling out all the stops and the sparrows are fighting each other in the dirt for a mate.

What am I doing? Well, I’ve re-read The Odds Get Even in preparation for the mass market version to be released this summer. It’s going to be orange. I’m so excited!

And I’m eagerly awaiting my editor’s response to the sequel. What’s a girl to do in the meantime? Hmmmm…..

An Essay on No Small Thing

March 1st, 2010 § Comments Off on An Essay on No Small Thing § permalink

I had the pleasure of visiting the students at High Park Alternative School. Here’s a book report given to me by a very bright student named Emma.

No Small Thing:

The title of this book is No Small Thing. The author of this book is Natale Ghent. The length of this book is 232 pages. In this book there is no illustrator. This book was first published in 2003 and this edition in 2004. The genre is fiction.

The story is written in first person. One descriptive sentence is “her short brown hair falls out from behind her ears.”

There is a lot of dialogue in this book. ex. “Why do I always do the phoning? You’re the oldest. Just phone it!”

The cliffhanger goes like this: “I forget about everything including Cid and even Cheryl and Tyler, at least for now…”

Two examples of a simile are “her hazel eyes burned like hot coals” and “Smokey whirls like a pinwheel.”

There is no personification in this book. Yes, there was imagery in this book. Here’s an example: “his hooves beating a quick rhythm against the ground.”

The characters were very clearly described. They actually seemed like real people because the author explained their personalities and appearance quite well. I definitely can imagine being there, because it was described really well so I could picture the setting in my mind. The plot was very interesting and yes the book was easy to follow. I have to say there was way more excitement and mystery than I expected. The events such as going to the fair and getting Smokey were very realistic.

I would definitely recommend this book to ages 9-14. Why, because it has a lot of descriptive and challenging words (I sometimes used the dictionary for the harder words). This book was very interesting to read because I love horses and really enjoyed the characters also. There were a lot of good parts and no bad parts. The author kept the story interesting and exciting form beginning to end. The plot did move fast. The characters showed many sides of their personalities – they were sometimes shy, mean, nice and enthusiastic. The beginning made me want to keep reading because the story was so interesting and descriptive.

I’m comparing this book to The Odds Get Even, also by Natale Ghent. She used a different setting, different characters, writing style and plot. The Odds Get Even is much sillier than No Small Thing and it also has a different setting.

Emma

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