Review: XO Baking Gluten Free Oatmeal Gourmet Cookie Mix

So we hosted some family for dinner. Being a celiac family, while the rest of our family is not can sometimes make meal gatherings difficult and stressful.

When our relative brought us this Oatmeal Gourmet Gluten Free Cookie mix by XO Baking Co. as a hostess gift; I have to admit, it sat in our pantry for quite a while.

I wasn’t expecting the picture and “unforgettably delicious” claim to be true. But on a day when I wanted a “quick” baking treat, I thought I’d try it.

At first, I was a bit disappointed that it is a cookie mix only. From the box I adored the cranberries and hearty appearance of the cooked cookie.

Any add ons from the oatmeal cookie mix are optional and not included.

You will need 1 large egg and 1/2 cup of softened butter.

I added 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, 1/2 cup shredded coconut and 3/4 raisins.

It mixed together really well. Almost reminded me how Gluten cookie dough would stick and mix so easily together.

I used a rounded table spoon to measure out the drop dough on the cookie sheet.

I found they needed 16 – 18 minutes – not the estimated 10-12 minutes to reach a lightly golden state with an oven at 350

I have to say my family was pleasantly surprised with how wonderful these gluten free cookies tasted!!

Chewy and delicious!

When you want to bake some cookies, but want something quick and convenient -this would be a great gluten free cookie mix box to keep in your pantry for such a time!

check out: www.xobaking.com

**this is not a paid review**

Advertisements

Gluten Free Almond Cookies

This is a family recipe that my husband has warm memories of with Christmas.

With a bit of tweaking these taste just as great gluten free!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1cup brown sugar

1 egg (beaten)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 + 3/4 cup Gluten Free flour mixture

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup ground blanched almonds

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Cream butter to soften. Add brown sugar and cream thoroughly. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and xantham gum. Blend into creamed mixture.

Stir in ground almonds.

Chill.

Roll out between floured parchment paper. *this dough can become sticky very quickly. When that happens, just put back in fridge to chill again.*

Cut with cookie cutters.

Bake at 350.

Watch closely. 10-14 minutes with edges browned. Let sit on cookie tray for 5 min before moving to cooling tray.

And then we turn them into amazing Christmas cookies!!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family!!

Gluten Free Pad Thai (blue dragon review)

While shopping at Costco there was a pop up Blue Dragon booth. I decided on trying their gluten free pad Thai mix.

They promote their products as being authentic and I was hopeful but also slightly curious to see if it was as good as they claim.

The Costco deal was 3 packages. I didn’t believe by the small size that one package served 2. I was correct. One package per person for a nice size serving.

The kit includes: sauce, crushed peanuts, herbs and noodles.

I started by boiling water with a dash of salt and olive oil. Cooking the noodles as per package directions.

I started cooking sliced chicken with a teaspoon of olive oil and sesame seed oil.

Then I drained the oil from the chicken and added shrimp.

As per package instructions I added the Pad Thai sauce. Simmered for one minute

Then I added in the noodles.

I mixed well and simmered for another minute.

I added in the herb and crushed peanut packets. Mixed well. Heated for another minute.

Then served. Everyone loved the flavours and taste. Even our 3 year old!!

I will be buying this Blue Dragon pad Thai kit again!!

Gluten Free Whipped Shortbread

Who knew making whipped shortbread would be easy?!

With a few slight adjustments, this shortbread is as light and fluffy as it’s gluten version.

Ingredients

1/2 lb butter

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cup Gluten Free Flour (I normally make a mixture of Bob’s Redmill GF all purpose flour (1 cup) and mixing chickpea flour, brown rice flour & tapioca flour until I reach 1/2 cup)

1) Preheat oven to 325F.

Beat butter & icing sugar until very smooth. Add flour and cornstarch. Best until light and fluffy

2) add vanilla. Mix

3) Put in fridge to chill – about 30minutes.

4) Using a teaspoon drop onto parchment covered cookie sheet.

5) Bake until edges are light brown. (About 10-12 minutes)

Enjoy these light fluffy gluten free shortbread!

Ultimate Gluten Free Cookies

Finding a wonderful homemade gluten free cookie recipe can be difficult. Prior to my husbands celiac diagnosis, I had many family cookie recipes I would make. But ofcourse they all have wheat flour, so I have been working at converting them all.

The cookie dough base of this recipe can be used to make endless cookie possibilities.

Cookie Dough 

1 cup soft butter 

1 1/4 cup firmly packed Brown sugar 

2 Eggs 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup + 1 table spoon Gluten Free Flour mix (I mix 1/2 cup Bob RedMill All Purpose Gluten Free flour, 1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon Gluten Free Coconut Flour, 1/4 cup Gluten Free Chickpea flour and 1/4 cup Only Oats Gluten Free Flour )

1/4 teaspoon guar gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Additions: 

Add whatever your heart desires to the cookie dough. For today’s cookie I mixed chocolate chips, raisins and gluten free oatmeal. But shredded  coconut, cranberries and nuts are delicious additions too! 

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 

1 cup raisins 

1 cup gluten free oatmeal. 

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 


1) Preheat oven to 350

2) Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix well. Stir in gluten free oats. Put in fridge to cool – atleast 20 minutes.

3) use a heaping teaspoon to drop onto parchment paper cookie sheet. Leave space between cookies as they will spread out while cooking


For crispy cookies I bake for 18 minutes:


For more soft cookies I bake for 15 minutes or less. This picture compares my 18min cookies to my 15 min ones. 


As you can see the baked 15 minute cookie on the right is more lighter in colour and less crispy. 

Hope you enjoy these cookies as much as our family does! Even my dad raves about these cookies!

Gluten Free Pho 

I had left over roasted vegetables. Not sure how I wanted to eat them; I decided to make a gluten free vegetable Pho soup. 

The night before,  I had roasted mushrooms, red onion, zucchini, peppers, celery, broccoli and a  clove of garlic in a little olive oil, drizzle of vegetable broth and fresh ground pepper. 

So I dumped the leftovers in a pot, put in a full package of Campbell’s beef broth, a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice, tablespoon of Gluten Free Soy Sauce, tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and let it simmer. 

In another pot, I cooked up al dente rice vermicelli noodles. 

I placed the cooked noodles on the bottom of the bowls. Then poured in the soup! 


It was a hit! 


Enjoy! 

End of Summer Gluten Free Bean Salad 

Hard to believe the end of summer is here. Back to school, work and Fall. 

As I grapple with behaving and eating healthy, I decided to make a bean salad to take for my lunches this week. 

At a recent Farmer’s Market in Muskoka, I bought a dried bean salad mix from Spill The Beans ( www.spillthebeans.ca ) This seems easy and my bean mix selection is already done for me. 

I have modified the Spill The Bean recipe slightly as I didn’t have all the ingredients she recommended to add to her “Hearty Fearty” bean salad. 

1) Soak the dried beans and then cook as per the Spill The Bean packaging 


2) I diced up a red onion, 1/2 cup of mini carrots and a cup of peas from fresh pods 


3) I whipped up the recommended salad dressing: 2/3 vinegar, 2 table spoons honey, 1/2 cup of oil. I added 1/2 table spoon of freeze dried cilantro. 


4) after the beans cooled, I mixed in my other ingredients, then poured in salad dressing over the top! 

Voila my lunch is made for the week! 

Enjoy! It’s yummy! 

And check out Spill The Beans! Highly recommend! 

www.spillthebeans.ca

Summer Memories Relived at Santa’s Village 

It’s kind of funny how in some aspects of raising children, we get to relive or atleast get flash backs of our childhood from our children. 

Except for me, Santa’s Village was a once a summer experience but nowadays most local families have season passes here and the Village becomes more a familiar frequented meeting place. And you get to know the staff…like for example some gate greeters don’t even need to see our season pass card to let us in – they know we have it as we are regular visitors, as they greet us frequently.  

How can that view not take you back?!

Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, Ontario is a lovely little amusement park for young kids. It’s where Santa lives in the summer! 

And what a lovely place it is! And something for everyone!

You can feed the reindeer:

Ride a Ferris wheel of Christmas Balls:

 

Enjoy a train ride all around the park:


Enjoy a boat ride: 


Enjoy Elves Island with fun activities:


Enjoy Kiddie rollercoasters: 



Enjoy the Splash pad. Or as we like to call it “Santa’s Beach” 


Our almost 3 year old loves Santa’s Village. And it’s a hit with my nieces, nephews and friend’s children. 

It’s a must when visiting Muskoka with children to spend sometime with Santa! 

To plan your trip check out: https://www.santasvillage.ca/

Chicken Stirfry 

I don’t always think to do stirfry in the summer. Maybe because we tend to think BBQ and fresh salads for summer. After a large family gathering, I was left with a variety of fresh veggies from my veggie tray – button mushrooms, carrot slices, peppers, mini tomatoes and broccoli. 

A stir fry seemed like the most logical option to ensure I wouldn’t waste my veggies! 

Throw in some left over chicken and an easy chicken stir fry is created! 

Chicken Stir fry: 

Sliced vegetables – carrots, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes…it really is endless 

1 can of  Sliced water chestnuts – they bring the crunch 

Pre-cooked chicken cut in strips or chunks

1 small cooking onion – diced 

2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce 

1 Tablespoon of Gluten Free  worstshire sauce

2 Teaspoons white sugar 

1/4 cup + 1/3 cup vegetable broth 

1/4 Teaspoon (heaping) of Chinese Five Spice

2 Tablespoons Corn Starch 

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil 

Rice Noodles – I like the super thin style. Rice Stick is the style I prefer:


Preparation: 

1) Heat up Wok. Drizzle Sesame oil on wok. Drop in diced onions. Cover. 

2) Mix up onions. Throw in vegetables. Pour in 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir. Continue to cover for 5 minute intervals until veggies are cooked to your liking. 

3) Add chicken. 

4) In a large measuring cup mix remaining vegetable broth (1/3 cup), Soy sauce, worstshire sauce, sugar, five spice and corn starch. Mix well and add to the wok. Cover and mix after 5 minutes. 

5) Mix in dry noodles. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir, cover and repeat until noodles are tender.  

Enjoy! 

Chickpea Greek Salad

Summertime is a time for fresh and refreshing meals. I wanted something different for work lunches but not sure what. With a quick look in my pantry I decided to whip together a chick pea salad.  

This salad is high in fibre and protein. It is easily adaptable to add your favourites  

Chickpee Greek Salad

1 can chickpeas 

1 can (no salt added) diced tomatoes 

6 green olives sliced 

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 

1/3 cup diced onion 

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 

2 tablespoons Greek Clubhouse seasoning 

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup Greek salad dressing 

1/3 cup balsamic salad dressing 

Directions: 


1) drain chickpees and rinse before dumping into a 1.75quart bowl. 

2) drain canned tomatoes and the mix in with chickpees 

3) add all other ingredients and mix well let sit atleast 12hpirs before serving. 

This is such an easy salad that you could add (if desired) cucumber chunks, pasta, black olives….the tweaks are endless! 

Enjoy! 

It’s a wet salad so I use a serving spoon with the slit in it to take off excess fluid when serving! 

It’s easy to take it in a container at work 


I like to serve it with garlic Naan bread.