Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recipe for Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

It was always a family tradition around the holidays to make sugar cookies with my mother and decorate them together. This fun activity always takes much than you think it will, and I remember laughing and eating the dough as a great bonding experience.

This year I invited some girlfriends over to bake cookies, and somehow talked them all into trying gluten-free baking (admittedly not too difficult since one was also GI, one is studying to be an ND and understands GI folks, and one didn't know what she was getting into).

We made 4 different batches of cookie dough. I followed a gluten free recipe I had found for shortbread for the first one. My brother swiped a finger of dough and said "Don't make that into cookies. It's awful." I tried to object that the flavor might improve with baking, but we both knew I was wrong. The Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour was the culprit. Too much garbanzo and fava bean flavor. I also made a batch of gluten free sugar cookie dough with less of the Bob's mix and combined it with white rice flour- also terrible. We thought we'd be okay with a recipe for gluten free gingerbread because gingerbread is so spicy and flavorful; no such luck. The only hope came from my last desperate attempt: I decided to modify my trusted wheat flour shortbread recipe. I avoided the Bob's mix at all costs and the results were delicious, if a bit crumbly. Here is the recipe:

2 sticks butter, soft
3/4 C sugar
2 egg yolks
Flour Mix: 2 1/2 C White Rice Flour and 1/2 C Sorghum Flour
1/2 C Corn Starch
1/4 tsp Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum
pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks. Blend in flour mix, cornstarch and salt just until it gathers. Gather into a ball and chill for 1 hr or overnight.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 350ยบ. Roll out dough, cut into desired shapes and cook on baking tray 12-15 minutes. If desired, decorated with colored sugar before baking or frosting after baking.

It should be noted that I feel Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour would work wonderfully for savory recipes, and I will continue to experiment with it later.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Boca Gringa

What does Boca Gringa mean?


1. Mouth. (f)
2. Taste, flavor, relish; one who eats. (f)

gringa [grngg]
from gringo
adjective (in this case) usually a noun
1. Denotes foreign, non-native speakers of Spanish.
2. Typically used in Mexico to denote Americans.

Also interesting:
Gringa is a kind of taco with meat and cheese in some parts of Mexico.

What does Boca Gringa mean to me?
I am a non-native speaker of Spanish. I lived in Spain and in two different places in Mexico. Once in college, a Mexican friend of mine wrote a poem in Spanish class- titled "de la boca gringa" or from the American mouth. It was about hearing her first language through the mouths of gringos and the feelings that caused in her. It was a little difficult for her to share it with me, but I feel lucky that she did.

Lately, it's become pretty important what I put in my boca gringa- due to the recent discovery of my gluten intolerance.

Some of my most pain-free and healthiest times were spent living in Southern Spain, Chiapas, and Baja California Sur. Perhaps that is because there I wasn't eating SAD (a.k.a. the Standard American Diet). Gluten is not commonly found in most foods in Spain or Mexico.

Since I have not yet found a way to live in either of those places full-time yet, I am working on eating a diet similar to what I had there- wheat free!