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Priority Support

       Volume I - June 18, 2010

More Tips and Techniques

by Alice Osborne

Cook’n reader, Margaret Hale, sent us a note (reminding us to be sure to check all sources carefully when recommending products) along with an article she found in the regional cooking magazine, TASTE OF HOME, which contains wonderful information we thought you’d be glad to have as well. Thank you Margaret!

We also wanted to continue our focus on the new Cook’n software coming out soon by Kirsti Kirkland and Betsy Thomas, so we’re combining some of their information with information from the TASTE OF HOME ARTICLE. Also included are two delicious recipes from Kirsti’s and Betsy’s book, LIFE TASTES GOOD AGAIN (the new CD):



  • There are many kinds of flour that can be substituted for wheat flour when you bake gluten-free items. They include potato, tapioca, soy, rice, quinoa and millet.

  • If you follow a vegetarian diet, remember that some gluten-free flours are low in protein because they have had the gluten (a protein) removed. Look for those with added milk protein.

  • Gluten-free flour absorbs moisture from the air, so make sure to keep the flour sealed in the package. Don't allow the flour to sit uncovered in a mixing bowl for any period of time.

  • If your baked goods seem dry, try adding a little honey in place of a small portion of the sugar.

    Altering Recipes:

    Having celiac disease doesn't mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. It takes some work, but you can convert some of your tried-and-true recipes and make them gluten-free. Here are some handy tips from the Celiac Sprue Association:

  • When substituting gluten-free flour for wheat flour, you'll get better results if you choose a recipe with very little flour.

  • "From-scratch" recipes are the best. Avoid those using convenience foods.

  • Choose recipes with ingredients that retain moisture, such as raisins, pumpkin, cranberries and chopped apples. Banana bread, pumpkin muffins and peanut butter cookies are good choices.

  • If you have access to a gluten-free cookbook, look for a recipe in the book that's similar to the one you want to convert and compare the proportions.

    Finding Support:

    There are several support groups that provide recipes and help patients adapt to a gluten-free diet.

    American Celiac Society
    P.O. Box 23455
    New Orleans LA 70183-0455
    (504) 737-3293

    Celiac Sprue Association
    P.O. Box 31700
    Omaha NE 68131-0700
    ( 877) CSA-4-CSA

    Celiac Disease Foundation
    13251 Ventura Blvd., Suite 1
    Studio City CA 91604-1838
    (818) 990-2354

    Gluten Intolerance Group
    15110 10 th Ave. SW, Suite A
    Seattle WA 98166-1820
    (206) 246-6652

    The Food Allergy Network
    11781 Lee Jackson Hwy., Suite 160
    Fairfax VA 22033-3309
    (800) 929-4040


    Make dry mixes ahead of time. Write on the bag what wet ingredients are needed and the date you put it together.

    Save all stale/unused gluten-free bread for meatloaf, stuffing, casserole toppings, etc. Keep it in a closed container in the freezer until needed.

    Watch the oven closely so you don’t burn or over-bake anything.

    Make notes in your recipe book so you know the kinds of modifications to make in the future.

    Let your cakes sit with frosting or glaze on them. This not only keeps the cake soft and most, but adds flavor as well.

    If using Bean Flour in any recipe, don’t taste before baking! It tastes horrid raw, but absolutely wonderful once baked.

    When baking cookies, don’t beat the eggs too long. Beating the eggs too much causes cookies to refuse to spread out. They will still taste OK, but they will look like little cookie rocks. If this happens, mix an extra ½ tsp baking soda into the rest of the cookie dough, which will help the cookies spread a bit.

    Always cover gluten-free baked goods. They dry out very quickly.

    Don’t be afraid to call companies about their product ingredients. The new labeling laws passed in 2006 require companies disclose if any of their products contain wheat.

    THEY DON’T, HOWEVER, HAVE TO LIST barley or rye. Make sure you check every ingredient and not just the allergen warning. And if you have questions about any of the listed ingredients, don’t buy the product until you ask.

    Chocolate Cake

    1 ¾ C gluten-free flour
    ½ tsp xanthan gum
    2 C sugar
    ¾ C cocoa
    1 ½ tsp baking soda
    1 ½ tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    2 eggs
    1 C sour cream
    ½ C oil
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 C boiling water

    Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9x13 pan and dust with gluten-free flour. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs well. Add sour cream, oil, and vanilla to the eggs. Beat in dry ingredients. Slowly stir in boiling water. Mix well, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 35-40 min. or until a few crumbs still stick to an inserted toothpick.

      Download this recipe.

    Coconut Macaroons

    1 (14 oz) bag shredded coconut
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    Melted chocolate (optional) (But WHY leave this out, we say?)

    Preheat oven to 350°. Mix coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla together. Scoop cookies onto a well greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 min. Cookies will be golden brown on the bottom. Remove cookies from pan promptly, as they will stick to the pan if you let sit. Once cool, dip the bottoms of macaroons into melted chocolate.

      Download this recipe.

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