Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}


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Desserts of my dreams: butter toffee

I have been afraid of candy making forever. Literally, for dang ever. However, I love toffee and caramel, and they’re among the few of my most beloved desserts that I can have unchanged from their original form. So this last weekend, my mom helped me to make a batch of toffee using my great-grandmother’s recipe.

My great-grandfather, you see, was so fond of toffee that she always kept a bowl of it handy so he could crunch whenever he liked. Clearly, my sweet-toothed acorn didn’t fall far from that toffee-crunching tree. 😀

Unfortunately, I got home this week and I don’t have Great-Grandma’s recipe; so I had to try it from memory.

This was a dismal failure. I didn’t have enough sugar in the mix, so well before it could get to hard-crack stage (or even hard-ball stage), it just sort of sludged out and sat in the pot, looking at me dismally and in a greasy apathy. I poured it out anyway, and ended up with some clarified butter sitting on top of a hardening mixture that was not entirely unlike toffee. SIGH.

I gave up and looked at toffee recipes online, and I think this one is almost the same. It’s very close, in any case; and hopefully I’ll remember to get the actual family recipe from Mom and compare notes here. In the meantime: TOFFEE!

It’s the 4-Ingredient Toffee from Betty Crocker, and I didn’t make any changes to it, as I’m still more than a little wary of the inexplicable alchemy that is candy making. (If I know a handy Potter-esque phrase for “Become toffee and then get in my mouth”, I would use it now. “Accio” doesn’t quite fit the bill.)

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/4-ingredient-toffee/71be0a31-a3bb-4862-8086-39fcedb883ee

It actually took me much more like 20 minutes (than the 13 in the recipe) to get the mixture to hard-crack stage, which I think means I can turn up the heat a little. :} Next time, I’ll try to get someone to be here to take photos as I patiently and slowly stir.

(Another recipe, for kicks: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/159/English-Toffee)

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Easiest Fudge Ever (modified for white chocolate)

So today’s been a cooking sort of day; I made a new batch of roasted root vegetables (potato, sweet potato, carrots, turnip, and Brussels sprouts, with onion, garlic and ginger – roasted in olive oil with salt, pepper, and turmeric) and also roasted an eggplant (brushed with olive oil, and with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on). The vegetables were cooked at 400F until the eggplant was done (about 25 – 30 min), then I stirred the root veggies and put them back in for another 10 minutes. That was lunch! Yum.

Afterwards I had a craving for something sweet, so I whipped up this fudge recipe. It’s meant to be made with chocolate chips, but I used white chocolate instead.

3 C chocolate chips (I used white chocolate)
1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp butter

Melt all of the above in the microwave and stir until smooth. I then added:
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Toffee chips (Heath brand are GF)

Stir until all is smooth and well-incorporated.

Pour into a prepared pan (lined with foil that has been coated lightly in cooking spray, or rubbed with butter instead of cooking spray), let cool and firm up in fridge for 2 hours or more, then take out of the pan and cut into cubes.

(Photos will be coming, once it’s set up)


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Need to try: White Hot Chocolate and White Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Ohhhhhhhhh yessssssss.

I know it’s getting warmer now and is hardly the time to introduce a new hot drink, but I have been JONESIN’ for some hot cocoa, although the chocolate, she is death to me. Today I suddenly thought, “white hot chocolate”? And had to look it up.

There are several really gorgeous-looking recipes involving cream and half-and-half, but I have everything I need for making this one here:
http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/homemade-white-hot-chocolate/

And then there’s this:
http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/peppermint-white-hot-chocolate-recipe/

YEP. And I now have the version of “Gimme Some Lovin'” from the Blues Brothers Movie stuck in my head. Added bonus.


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Mmmf mfmmmphgluten-free candychewchewmmmpf*mmmmmmmmm

So here’s just a quick note: I recently saw, on Celiac.com’s excellent list of gluten-free and gluten safe Hallowe’en candy for 2014, that Haribo’s Gold Gummy Bears are gluten-free.

Well.

Let me tell you that since I made this discovery, there’s been (to paraphrase “Hedwig And The Angry Inch”) a trail of rainbow-colored carnage” at my house. Oh my lord. I’m sure I’ve eaten more artificial coloring in the last two weeks than in the previous two years. But it’s been GLORIOUS.

In other, not-as-awesome news, I think I got glutened by a bottle of Strawberry Nesquik that I picked up last night. 😦 By the time I finished it, I had symptoms, including sores in my mouth and a slightly swollen tongue. The manufacturer won’t say it’s gluten free, or if they do, they word it very very carefully… apparently they don’t test, and won’t guarantee gluten status. Unfortunately, I found an old list that had it as “gluten-free”, and only started doing more comprehensive research after my tongue swelled. DOH!

Well.

You know what this means? Time to quell my vexation with Gummy Bears!! NOMNOMNOM