Gluten-Free Breakfast: Muffin and Pancake Edition

Hello!

Okay, one thing they don’t tell you about this gluten-free thing is that breakfast delights like muffins, biscuits, pancakes, and other starchy nomminess go out the window.  In fact, most baked goods do unless you know the secrets of how to make them sans gluten, which is as simple as buying an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix.  That, however, is quite a mouthful when you’re hunting for it at your local grocery store and employ the help of a near-by clerk, and when you do find it, it can be very expensive.  So what’s a girl (or guy) to do when trying to eat on the cheap without the evil wheat?  Lately, I find the answer is oat flour.  You can buy your own oats, grind them up in a food processor or blender until they reach a flour-like consistency, and presto!  You have oat flour.  Almond flour is also a solution with a similar process, but almonds are expensive too.  I’m not saying gluten-free rolled oats are super cheap either, but since I’m dealing with a gluten sensitivity as opposed to a hardcore allergy, I can rock the cheapest tub o’ rolled oats I see.  If you’re trying to be thrifty about your gluten-free eating, this is usually a safe alternative.  If you must, must, must go gluten-free for everything, you’ll probably still save a bit buy grinding your oats yourself.

I don’t have picture for these two recipes, but who photographs breakfast?  lol

Oat Flour Pancakes  (inspiration found here)
2 cups oat flour
2 large eggs
2 cups milk  (Water can substitute, but the milk gives a richer taste)
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil when I can; this one is really up to personal preference.)
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 mashed bananas (optional)

Mix your dry ingredients (oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon) in a medium mixing bowl.  Add milk and stir until combined.  Add oil, mix well, then add one egg at a time, mixing well after each.  If you’ve opted for bananas (or any other fruit), add it in and mix well.  Coat a medium heated skillet with a bit of butter or oil, and pour pancake batter 1/4-1/2 cup at a time.

Raspberry Oat Muffins with Lemon Glaze (Inspiration:  muffin, glaze)
Glaze:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a separate bowl, mix 1/4 cup water and cornstarch and set aside.  In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup lemon juice.  Bring to a simmer and slowly add sugar until dissolved.  Add cornstarch and water mixture, and stir with a whisk for approximately four minutes.  Glaze will thicken in pan.  Set aside to cool.

Muffins:
2 cups oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup + 2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon + splash lemon juice
2 large eggs
6 oz raspberries, fresh or thawed, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F and prepare muffin pan with baking cups or lightly grease pan.  Whisk together dry ingredients (oat flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon) in a medium mixing bowl.  Set aside.  Mix together wet ingredients (milk, vanilla, lemon juice, eggs) in another mixing bowl.  Gradually mix in dry ingredient mixture until thoroughly mixed.  Fold in berries and pour into pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  16 minutes seems the average success margin, but we all know ovens vary.

When muffins have cooled, top with glaze.  Place them on a large plate in your refrigerator to expedite the cooling process.

Our next cooking adventure will be my remixed broccoli rice casserole!  ^_^


Kortney Marie

Chicken Bacon Cheesy Dip!

Hi there!

We had a little experiment in my kitchen the other night.  We called this queso, but it’s a lot more than your average queso.  It is gluten free, and it is DELICIOUS!

Image

Here’s what you need for this skillet o’ awesome:
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 lb processed cheese (I used Velveeta.)
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cooked chicken breast (see marinade directions), shredded
3/4 cup cooked bacon bits
Garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste

Marinade:
1 1/2 cups red wine ( I used Yellowtail’s Sweet Red Roo)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3-4 tsp lime juice
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Mix marinade in a tupperware container with a sealing lid large enough for chicken breast.  I made mine before work, shook the crap out of it, and left it sitting in my fridge until I got home, so eight hours, give or take.  A little extra time can’t hurt, nor would a bit less.  It’s all up to you.  I cannot stress the importance of ensuring that your container properly seals; it’s the difference between “Shake-Shake-Shake-Ha-Ha-ThisIsFun,” and “Shake-Shake-OHCRAPIT’SALLOVERTHEFLOOR.”  And you don’t want salmonella, wine, powdered spices, and all that junk all over your floor.

When you are ready to take your chicken out of its bath, don’t.  Instead, dump the entire contents of your container into a medium sized skillet and bring to a simmer, flipping occasionally.  Let it cook for about fifteen minutes or until thoroughly cooked.  Remove chicken and set aside on plate or cutting board.  Once cooled, shred using two forks.

Cut your bacon up into small pieces.  Cook ‘ em up in a small skillet, and set ’em aside on plate lined with a paper towel.  You can also cook your full-size bacon strips then crumble the suckers up.  It’s up to you since it’s your dip.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter over very low heat.  Once melted, add cubed Velveeta, stir occasionally until melted.  Alternately add milk and cheddar; bring to full melt.  Add in your seasonings to the degree that you desire.  I recommend a good bit of garlic (two tablespoons minimum), but if garlic isn’t your thing, skip it.  When I made this, it was impulsive, and I raided my cabinet for what I felt would work best with the flavors already at hand.  For me, it was a lot of garlic, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and some onion powder.  For you, it might be Tony Chachere’s and Italian seasoning or nothing at all.  Add chicken and bacon, stir well.  Leave in skillet for maximum awesome; just make sure you put a potholder on the table first.

Serve with your favorite chips, crackers, or bread.  I made my own chips by baking quartered corn tortillas on a foiled cookie sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about fifteen minutes.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I have!


kortney.marie

Ch-Ch-Changes

I feel like I’ve neglected this sucker a LOT lately.  (Okay, I totally have.)

I’ve been in the midst of more change.  With school getting put off until next semester, a recent change in diet (which we’ll touch on later), and settling into a new job while still looking for one I truly want, it’s safe to say I’ve just been tapped out.  I’ve also been squeezing in that whole end of summer bit where you spend as much time with friends at possible since autumn, with her array of colors, always brings an especially busy bout of changes for everyone.  This is not to say that I haven’t been writing or creating.  On the contrary, I have written much to cope with various events, but none of it is anything I would post here.  It feels too personal.  Some would say that means it should be posted, but I disagree.  These more personal thoughts and projects aren’t for a blog right now; maybe a song, later, or a blog in the future…but not here and not right now.  There’s a lot of positive, happy stuff going on, and there’s a lot I want to share.

Knitting has become my favorite creative outlet lately.  I get to play with colors using a repetitive needle pattern that resembles painting but isn’t (which is good because I can neither paint nor draw to save my life).  I’ve made multiple dice bags, a couple of larger bags, and a baby blanket over the summer.  The baby blanket is a particular source of pride as it was designed to be old-school Princess Peach.  The best thing about knitting is that I don’t have to have words or a melody ready to create something, and as much as I love to write and sing, it’s nice to have a hobby that doesn’t require me to switch on the verbal creation immediately and fully.  I’m really excited to special order yarn for my next two baby blankets which will be R2D2 and Link from Legend of Zelda.  Two very special ladies in my life are expecting, and I cannot wait to meet the newest additions to their families.  ❤

Cooking has become more than a hobby; it is a necessity.
I was diagnosed with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in late 2006.  This means that my body produces excess levels of androgenic hormones, resulting in irregular periods derived from a lack of ovulation and, in my case but not all, multiple cysts on my ovaries.  (I have been very open about this, so for those of you who do know, I apologize for repeating myself.  I feel like it’s something I need to be more pro-active about because I know that this particular dilemma affects many women other than myself.)  Yes, that’s a lot of information to share so openly, but it’s something that I have struggled with for all of my adolescent and adult life.  Even after being diagnosed, it’s taken me many years to figure out how to handle it because there is no research that shows the exact cause of the disorder, though it’s fairly certain that it is genetic.  It is painful, and the side-effects range from acne and hirsutism to insulin resistance to blood-pressure and heart problems.  The symptoms vary from person to person, but it’s hard to live with regardless.  The most difficult for many is infertility.  It’s not impossible, but I’ve recently learned that I come from a long line of great-aunts and great-great-aunts and so on who were unable to bear children despite their efforts.  Luckily, I am one of those people who is absolutely fine with never having children of my own, determined to be “Cool Aunt Koko” forever to my blood and adopted nieces and nephews.  But for some, it’s heartbreaking.  And then there are the adolescent girls, like I was, who don’t know who to turn to or how to communicate that something is very wrong with their bodies, which further exacerbates the problems.  Regardless of age, I feel for these women…and I feel like it’s my responsibility to share my experiments, successes and failures more openly so that ladies of all ages have access to it.  We’re supposed to support and love one another, right?  And if there’s a possibility that my suffering and sharing will reach and help even one other person, maybe save them time and frustration, then it’s worth it.

I know, I know:  What does this have to do with cooking being a necessity and not a hobby?
I’ve read some research recently that cites PCOS as a possible symptom of gluten sensitivity or intolerance.  Everyone keeps going on and on about “going Paleo” and how the Paleolithic diet has done wonders for them.  One lady in particular explained to my boyfriend that her “almost Paleo” diet paired with exercise and the correct birth control pill made her PCOS more than tolerable; it actually leveled her out almost completely.  My weight has been a concern, and I know that diet is just as crucial as exercise to overcoming it and keeping it off.  I also know that women with PCOS face greater difficulties losing weight but find it very easy to gain.  So I did my homework, read up on the theory and supporting evidence that following a diet closer to what our ancestors ate in the Paleolithic era can encourage the body to burn fat stores and get us back in touch with our roots, etc etc etc.  At the end of the day, I am not willing to give up dairy, sugar, potatoes, salt, or legumes (among other things).  I believe that in proper moderation, none of those things are actually bad for you.  I read on, and I read…and I read some more before I happened on a few articles that site many of my troubles, from the acne to the mood swings to anovulation and even PCOS as a result of a gluten allergy.  I would like to state now that I am not a doctor, and I have not been to a doctor for a specific diagnosis of gluten sensitivity…but in the few weeks that I have been eating gluten-free, I have felt better than I have in a very, very long time.  (And when I eat something as simple as a cookie, I become violently ill.  The more time I put between ingesting gluten, the more noticeable it is when I do.)  From being more energized to fewer mood swings, everything from waking up to my sleep cycle has improved, and while it means a lot more time in my kitchen because it restricts what I can eat, it is worth every second and cent I put into it.

I have a few posts coming up that will be full of gluten-free recipes that are also simply delicious.  I refuse to believe I can’t have pie, cake, or cookies again.  Just like I refuse to believe I won’t indulge in fried chicken or breakfast cereal again.  It just takes a different approach and means making things from scratch.  So far, I have made raspberry-peach cheesecake with an almond crust, remixed broccoli rice casserole, fried chicken, apple crumble, homemade granola (a total accident), burgers so juicy and flavorful that you don’t miss the bun, and many, many other things.  What my boyfriend and I are finding as we embark on this journey together is that all this cooking ends up tasting better than eating out anyway, with the exception of things like sushi.  We save money, eat healthier, and have a lot more fun…and I would like to start passing that fun on to you, whether you need to scrap the gluten or not.

Moving forward, here is what you can expect here:
Gluten-free recipes that rock your face off.
Some personal anecdotes about my transition to eating completely gluten-free.
The usual poetry and prose.
A short story I have in the works.
And we’ll get back to music reviews…because I miss those a lot.
Pictures and progress updates on various knitting and jewelry projects.

Basically, this blog will be a catch-all for all of my interests rather than just for this or that, and I am very excited.


kortney.marie

Doll Without a Name (2008)

This room reeks of poison, of a love quite unclean
Sounds like bloodshed, an ode the the obscene
In between the moon and your piercing eyes
I see that I am a captive in a brilliant disguise
I’ll dance because you tell me to do so
Lie down when you tell me, and you must know
That I am a willing slave though I break the rules
I incite punishment because I enjoy the abuse
And if you care for me at all, you will hurt me
Remind me that I am darling but quite dirty
We’ll take these morbid fascinations to an extreme
Because we know it is vital to this dream
And it’s a nightmare we love, a horror to most
It’s a fantasy for us, and a promise to uphold
With your hands on my throat, new bruises on my thighs
I’m gasping for air, and staring into your eyes
This is what we came here for, so let’s not wait
Defenses down, this is our show, a sick charade
An evening devoid of any and all sense of shame
And for a time, I am nothing more
Than an enslaved lover behind closed doors
A wretched sinner bound to your bed-frame
I am a girl bearing your mark, a doll without a name
-Kortney Marie

Poison (November 2008)

Split me open so that the world can see what has been missing
And we can know your heart’s wasted on the lips you’ve been kissing
You’ll start running away, and I won’t bother chasing you down
Because I have no heart, and my morals are nowhere to be found
We were fun, but we were cheap like boxed wine and plastic glasses
Eyes wide shut, we are blinded by the moon as a fragile moment passes
Our love lies slain across a mountain of my regrets and shame
It sprang out of the mole hill I made when you forgot my name
I never let it go, and I only drove you across the borders of your sanity
I never noticed because I was trapped in my coffin full of vanity
But when I asked you to leave, you begged me to let you stay
Though I’m never a burden, I’m always in your way
-Kortney Marie

Inner Demon

Relentlessly, criticism clamors around in my mind
My hair, my weight, my skin, my thighs
All too happy to over analyze
The flaws that never catch his eye
But I must delight in picking myself apart
Because I have turned it into a wicked art
Self-destruction, she always knows the way
To get between what I think and what I say
And it’s so sad because I know better by now
I just never learned how
How to silence the wreckage in my head
Or drown it out with joy instead

-Kortney Marie

So Proud to Call You Mine

It’s a far more beautiful
special, magical, lovely
phenomenal thing
than you realize
Every touch
Every kiss
Every glance
Every moment
Leaves me completely floored
Winded, stunned, amazed
I don’t think I ever told you
That you are my world
And I light up a bit more
Each time you call me your girl

And we’re a tangled mess
Of limbs, blankets, pillows
Passion, love, pure joy
I find myself
Utterly lost
In your eyes, your voice
Your hands in my hair
Breath in my ear
Hand on my shoulder
…everything
…every time

And I freeze-frame
These half seconds in which our worlds collide
It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen
More perfect than my sweetest dreams

And I tell you this now so we never forget
I have been stronger, brighter, happier
Since the day we fell into each other’s eyes
…I grow to love you more every time you hold my gaze
Kiss my hand or say my name

-Kortney Marie

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