Sunday, March 11, 2007


Back to School

I attended a gluten-free baking class yesterday taught by Mary Copone of The Wheat Free Groumet. It was so much fun and completely counterintuitive to all of my prior baking experience. There was no kneading and the dough is sticky when finished. The results were yummy! The teacher is working on a cookbook, so I don’t dare share her recipes. Below is a description of the class and a free recipe from her site. Here is a link to the school if you would like to check it out,

Wheat-Free Gourmet’s Baking 101
Learn the secrets of the Wheat-Free Gourmet’s baking success with recipes including breads, pizza crusts, savory and sweet pies crust, crepes and more. In this class we will learn the different uses of gluten-free flours and simple techniques for successful gluten-free baking. Included is a recipe for Mary’s Baking Mix. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to dive into the dough.

Our Menu includes: Wheat-Free Gourmet’s Cinnamon Walnut Bread, Parmesan Focaccia Margarita Pizza, Spinach Ricotta Quiche, Fresh Berry Dessert Crepes and Mary’s Baking Mix.
Buttenut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup
This simple and easy to make recipe lets you create a thick, hearty soup without using flour thickening agents.

1 large yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic diced
1 large butternut squash peeled and diced
2 large carrot peeled and chopped
2 TBL Olive Oil
1 TBL Butter (optional)
4 cups Chicken or Veggie Broth
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
1 Bay Leaf
½ tsp minced or dried sage
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a large saucepan, saute diced onion in olive oil/butter mixture over medium heat until onion is translucent.
2. Add garlic, squash and carrots and saute for 10 minutes.
3. Add broth and herbs and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. In small batches puree in blender and return to pan.
5. Serve with a drizzle of seasoned olive oil, or sour cream or plain yogurt mixed with chives and lemon.

Thursday, March 01, 2007



My husband and I recently enjoyed a three-course East Indian meal at a friend’s house. She served three appetizers (spicy garbanzo beans, cabbage fritters with sweet tomato chutney, and cucumber salad), two main dishes (curried shrimp and coconut chicken) with two kinds of rice (steamed and curried) and a side (asparagus with mango dressing). For dessert we had a fruit bowl. I tried in vain to find some Indian beer and settled for Belgium—not really in keeping, but very good! Our hostess started cooking at 6:30 in the morning and didn’t finish until we arrived. What a wonderful evening we had swapping stories and relishing in good food. The fritters inspired the sweet potato pancakes from my last post. I had to get the recipe for the sweet tomato chutney, which besides the mango dressing, was my favorite part of the meal.

Sweet Tomatoe Chutney
(Tamatar Ki Chatni)
As written in Step-by-Step Indian Cooking by Sharda Gopal

1 lb tomatoes
2 oz sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamon seeds
3 cloves
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 curry leaves

Immerse the tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water for about 2 minutes, until the skins split, drain them, allow to cool, peel and chop.

Bring 1/4 pt of water to the boil in a small pan, add the sugar and tomato and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.

Add the cardamon, cloves and shilli and continue cooking, mashing the tomato under the back of a wooden spoon to make a thick paste. Remove the pan from the heat.

Heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and fry until they have all popped, then add to the tomato.

Stir in the vinegar, add salt to taste and sprinkle over the curry leaves.

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