Archive for February, 2016

These cookies are popular with kids and adults alike. They taste like a delicate shortbread and I actually prefer them to sugar cookies made with wheat flour.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar                  1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter                  4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract       1-1/2 cups potato flour
2/3 cup cornstarch         2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Directions
Take butter and shortening out of fridge a couple hours in advance so they are at room temperature.
In large bowl cream  butter, shortening and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla and  mix until combined (a whisk works well for this).

In a medium bowl mix potato flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a little at a time and stir till mixed in.  Mix with your hands and shape the dough into a ball. Cool dough in refrigerator for at least half an hour until it feels more solid.  (Shaping the dough into smaller balls with enable it to cool faster.)

Preheat oven to 375°F . Grease cookie sheets or line with wax paper or parchment paper. The dough is light and delicate.  Sprinkle rolling pin and surface with dusting of cornstarch to keep from sticking. Roll dough to 1/8″ thickness on wax paper or pastry cloth.   Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place on baking sheet with a cookie lifter.   Combine dough and re-roll scraps until dough is all used up. Dough will likely need to be chilled again to make it workable. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm. At the very slightest sign of browning around the edges the cookies are done.  Let them cool on cookie sheet until they feel solid and can be removed with a cookie lifter. Cool on flat surface. Don’t stack  until completely cool – they will stick to each other.

The cookie lifter with a sharp edge  is my best friend when making these. The unbaked dough is hard to pick up and the baked cookies tend to crumble  easily.

Cookie lifter

 

Buddha in My Kitchen

Author: helga

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This ceramic Buddha sat on my kitchen counter for many years. I bought it in memory of a Buddhist friend who had died young and unexpectedly.  Eventually it took on a more personal and empowering meaning.

During those years I was a stay at home mother who spent a good part of every day in the kitchen.  I found myself, sometimes, resenting those hours, especially time spent cleaning. As a feminist growing up in the 1970’s, I hoped to make an escape from the kitchen that held women in their place for centuries. I was living in a new world where earning a pay cheque in the market was the place to be. At some point I heard about how Zen monks consider cooking and cleaning as spiritual practice. These daily tasks are done with reverence.

How is it that the same activities can be holy in one context and demeaning in another?  I’ve never heard anyone use the word “housewife” with reverence.  If these tasks are holy for celibate monks then surely, these are holy tasks when done for the health and welfare of my children.

I made the choice to see kitchen work as holy work and the Buddha was there every day to remind me of my value.