Category Archives: Gluten Free

Kureyon-Chan revisited, a recipe, and a visit from Ceiling Cat

What with MagKnits being removed yesterday, I made a new page for my Kureyon-Chan felted bag pattern. I’ve updated the link in the sidebar and Ravelry should be updated soon.

“Dah-links! Don’t you think I look simply smashing with this bag?” -Chaos

Work totally ate my brain yesterday (I blame the meeting that was scheduled for one hour but stretched to three). I think the most amusing thing that happened yesterday was when the windshield replacement company arrived to replace my car’s windshield and their van had… a broken windshield.

Hmm, it’s been a while since we had a recipe around here, hasn’t it? Here’s the world’s easiest peanut butter cookie recipe, which also happens to be gluten-free (as long as you use crumb-free peanut butter):

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar if using unsweetened peanut butter, or 1/2-2/3 cup if using sweetened pb
1 egg
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on to cookie sheet and press flat with a fork. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Do not overbake! Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before you try to remove them.

“Yes, Ceiling Cat? I am to go forth and spread the word? And the word is… supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Ummmmm… could you write that down for me, please? ‘K thx, bye.” -Mayhem

Mmm… gluten-free beer

Through serendipity and the kindness of friends and relatives, I’ve had the chance to try quite a few different gluten-free beers over the past few months. I thought I’d jot down a few notes here for those who are interested – the rest of you can skip to the end for the photo. 😉

To start with, I am very, very glad that those of us who must follow a gluten-free diet actually have beer choices now – this wasn’t the case just a few years ago. Also, you should know that I am not a fan of sweet beers, which heavily influences my preferences.

Dragon’s Gold by Bard’s Tale Beer. This may have been the first gluten-free beer available in the US. Malted sorghum is used instead of malted barley in this golden lager. Taste is sweet. Not a favorite.

Redbridge by Anheuser-Busch. With the massive Anheuser-Busch distribution system behind it, this is the gluten-free beer you’re most likely to find at restaurants and bars. Again, this lager is made with malted sorghum and is sweeter than I like, but I will drink it when I’m out and about. (Being able to order a beer at a bar again is still pretty exciting to me.)

Mission Amber Beer and Pathfinder Dubbel Dark Beer by Green’s (UK). I very much liked the amber, but the double dark was way too heavy and sweet for me. I look forward to trying the other seven types of gluten-free beer Green’s makes! (Well, ok, I might skip Endeavour, which is another double dark.)

Honey Beer by Ramapo Valley Brewery. Another sweet beer (not surprising, given that it’s a honey beer), but much lighter than most of the sorghum-based brews. I quite enjoyed this beer, which is good, since I think Deb still has a few in her fridge for my next visit!

New Grist by Lakefront Brewery. New Grist is my personal favorite of the gluten-free beers I’ve tried (and it’s featured in the photo below). It’s a “session ale,” based on a mixture of sorghum and rice extract. From what I remember, it tastes the most like “real” beer of the gluten-free beers I’ve tried (although Green’s is also very close). Even my beer connoisseur brother thought this was a very drinkable brew!

You can get more information about gluten-free beers from the Gluten-Free Beer Festival, including their taste test results.

“How come you won’t let me drink beer, Mom? You are so mean to me!!” -Mayhem

In which I discover a gnawed present

Kristi has blogged about her visit to Minnesota. She got some fun pictures of Mayhem and the MGWT, and a very nice picture of Chaos with the baleful stare. Um, sorry about May staring at you 2″ away from your face while you were sleeping, Kristi…

The iPod meme’s been going around again. I did that one a while ago – if you’re interested, you can check it out.

On Christmas Eve, I’ll be baking some gluten-free cookies to take along to the festivities. Here’s one of our family’s traditional cookie recipes, with gluten-free modifications:

Candy Cane Cookies
1/2 c soft shortening
1/2 c butter
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 t almond extract
1 c sifted powdered sugar
2 1/2 c sifted gluten-free flour blend (I use Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour Blend)
3 tsp xanthan gum (not required if you’re making these as gluteny cookies)
dash of salt
Topping: 1/2 c white sugar & 1/2 c crushed peppermint stick candy

Mix shortening, butter, sugar, egg, and extracts. Mix in flour & xanthan gum. Stir for at least a few minutes so that the xanthan gum develops. Chill dough. Roll into balls and press flat with your hand. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet about 9 minutes at 375F. Remove from cookie sheet, and while still hot, sprinkle with topping mixture. You can also split dough in half, color half with red food coloring, roll strips of each color out, and shape candy canes; however, I haven’t tried that with the gf version of the cookies. I highly recommend using parchment paper – it helps contain the crushed candy cane and sugar mixture.

A note from the last time I made these cookies: Seemed a little dry (I used butter & margarine, no shortening) – maybe try 2 eggs?? Or would the shortening make that much difference?? Definitely don’t add the full amount of flour at once. (I’ll experiment on the recipe a bit next week and will update this.)

I wrapped a few packages Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, I noticed that one of them was sort of gnawed. Hmm. I wonder who did that?

“It was totally the big kitty! There is precedent that he gnaws presents!” -Mayhem

“Sheesh, May, that’s low, blaming me when you are a notorious gnawer of everything.” -Chaos

Worth reading just for the fabulous brownie recipe!

Thanks to everyone who played along in my personal ads contest! If you haven’t gone back to read the comments, you really should – y’all are extremely creative, if somewhat twisted, folks. 😉 Many thanks to Jeanne and Deb for providing judging services! Cyn and KitKatKnit tied for first place, and Pao was selected for a dishonourable mention. Congrats!

Jen’s having a contest – leave her a comment about your favorite holiday tradition for one contest entry, and/or post a link to Jen’s blog for a second contest entry. Play along by midnight CDT, December 16, and you could win some “tasty sock yarn.”

Janet’s interested in seeing your recipe posts and photos. Leave her a comment with the link to your recipe/photo, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win some socks personally knitted for you by Janet! Ok, my entry doesn’t have any pictures, but here’s one of the easiest, tastiest brownie recipes ever:

Gluten-Free Double Fudge Brownies
2T butter or margarine
2T water
1/2 cup sugar

Mix the above ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until mixture starts to boil. Remove from microwave, add

6 oz (1 cup) semisweet or double-chocolate chocolate chips

and stir until the chips are melted. Add

1 tsp vanilla
2 slightly beaten eggs

and mix well. Add

2/3 c gluten-free flour (you gluten-eaters can use wheat flour)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (only for gluten-free version)

and mix well.

Stir in 6 oz (1 cup) chocolate chips, mix well, and pour into a greased 9″ square pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F. Do not overbake! If you wait until a toothpick comes out clean or the edges pull away from the side, they’ll be too done. I usually take them out at about 20-22 minutes. These brownies are very rich. They will be crumbly when warm, but they’re quite cohesive when they cool.

Looking Back
I’ve seen this on a few different blogs and I remember doing it last year… For a quick review of the past year, here are the post titles and non-contest, non-reading first sentences of my first post of each month.

January Reports of my demise were only slightly exaggerated…: I spent six hours of New Year’s Day in the emergency room, getting fluids and antinausea meds for the most evil migraine I’ve had in 12 years (i.e., the last time a migraine sent me to the ER). I’m still not feeling the greatest today.

February Secrets of Cat Photography Revealed (Part the First): Two things have inspired me to write this post. First, I promised the info to Michaele at least six months ago (whoops – sorry, Michaele!). (Um, the photos for Part the Second are still in my unused photos directory… whoops again!)

March Killing you with the cute: Aw, thank you all so much for the kind words about my refined raglan and yesterday’s self portraits! *blush*

April What I did with my weekend, or Meet the Peeves: As I mentioned Friday, the Peeves came to Minneapolis for approximately 24 hours, en route to see more sights and meet more bloggers (Hi CarrieK! Hi La! Hi Laurie! You’ll have fun!!). Meet the notoriously camera shy Peeves:

May A message from Mayhem: Hi everyone! Mom said I could post today because she doesn’t feel very lively…

June And finally, some knitting: Aw, Mayhem really appreciated all the sweet birthday wishes yesterday! For those who are wondering where the heck the year went, I didn’t get her until September last year.

July Feline groovy: Rachael’s cat Digit returned after being long given up for dead! However, he requires surgery and a lot of other medical care, and Rachael and Lala don’t have that kind of money right now.

August Handy Mayhem butt: I’ve mentioned swap-bot a few times recently. Kristi has a great post on how to establish a rating on swap-bot.

September Trying to catch up: I took a bit of a computer break over the holiday weekend and am frightfully behind in bloglines. Please let me know if you’re having a contest you’d like me to mention, as I’ll probably read about it on your blog long after the deadline has passed…

October Monday meanderings: I finished my Los Monos Locos on Saturday! *sniff sniff sniff* -Mayhem

November A Halloween walk: I thought I’d share a few pictures from my walk yesterday. Some of the house pictures are worth clicking to see the Halloween details!

December We were all stricken with camnesia: Thursday evening I picked up Kristi the Fiber Fool from the airport. We chatted and knitted while Chaos glared balefully and May tried to entice Kristi to open up the MGWT closet.

Whatever, May. I know the blog readers really appreciate my dark smouldering sensuality more than your insipid cuteness.” -Chaos

And we had a little party…

Jeanne came over to my place this evening for some flourless chocolate cake, Rex Goliath 47-Pound Rooster Pinot Noir, and a present to celebrate her birthday.

Strangely, we took no photos during our eating, drinking, and knitting. But I do have a few pictures from earlier today. I was working at my computer when I heard a little tearing sound.

“Chaos, what are you doing to Jeanne’s present?”



“I don’t know how that happened. Who could’ve done that?”


“I’m looking and looking, but I just can’t figure out where the culprit went.”

Hmm. I have my suspicions…

Anyway, to make up for the lack of party pictures, here’s a recipe for the world’s simplest flourless chocolate cake, which is gluten-free and can also be dairy-free:

One Bowl Flourless Chocolate Cake
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c butter or margarine
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa

Grease a 7- or 8-inch springform pan or round pan. Line bottom with a circle of wax or parchment paper and grease paper.

Break chocolate into pieces and put with butter or margarine into a microwave-safe bowl that will be big enough to ultimately hold all the ingedients. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and microwave until chocolate and butter are melted, being careful not to burn them!

Remove from microwave. Stir until chocolate and butter are well mixed. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs and mix well. Sift cocoa onto mix and stir until just mixed.

Pour into greased pan. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake for 5 minutes, then invert onto a plate.

Dark Chocolate Glaze
4 oz bittersweet chocolate OR sweet dark chocolate or 1/2 c double chocolate chips
3 T butter or margarine
1 T milk, soymilk, or almond milk
1 T light corn syrup
1/4 t vanilla

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt broken chocolate with butter. Stir until smooth. Stir in milk, corn syrup, and vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly. When glaze is cool, pour onto center of cooled cake. Use spatula to smooth glaze and coat sides. Chill about 10 minutes to set glaze.