Today, I am celebrating the new look of my blog with a special treat.
A year ago, I did not even know what a blog was. I just had lots of ideas floating around in my head with no place to organize all my thoughts. With the persistent urging of my husband, and a chance meeting with a friend last July 4th at our annual town fireworks, I went home that night and started this blog. My friend had started his own blog not long ago, and encouraged me to just start writing, after all,how else would I learn how to blog or what a blog was all about unless I tried.
After setting up my blog using a standard template, I soon became consumed not just with what recipe to post next, but how to add all the nifty features to my blog that I had seen around the food blogging world. I was so amazed by the many talents that these food bloggers possessed - creating recipes, writing posts, taking pictures, coding their blogs, and engaging in all sorts of social media.
The past nine months have been a whirlwind for me. I have been learning how to write recipes and posts,take food photos, and code a bit in html, while meeting an incredibly diverse group of talented bloggers through facebook, twitter, stumbleupon and post comments. However, the biggest reward has been connecting with readers like you, and knowing that I have made a difference in a few people's lives. This blog has enabled me to reach far more people than I could ever have imagined, and share recipes that I have made for family and friends, whether they are fighting cancer, food allergies, or just trying to eat more healthily.
Today, I'd like to give a big shout out to all the people that have encouraged me to keep writing my blog, and a special thanks to Lena of Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates for all her help in giving my blog a face lift. All the recipes and features from my original blog are still here, we've just freshened it up a bit.
Now, onto my post of the special treat that my family will be enjoying to celebrate my blog's new look.
I have been playing around with gluten-free flours the past month or two and am finally feeling more comfortable making my own substitutions. One of the things I've read in numerous places is that a variety of gluten-free flours should be used to try to mimic the taste and texture of wheat flour.
Most gluten-free store-bought baked goods use white rice flour as a primary ingredient, less nutritious than whole grain flours, plus one of my sons is also allergic to eggs, dairy and soy, which are commonly found in gluten-free cookies, cupcakes and muffins at the supermarket. Part of the gluten-free challenge I have been faced with is making healthier versions of the gluten-free baked goods in the supermarket without all the allergens.
I have a pantry full of gluten-free flours (it's very messy!) so I have lots to play with. I have quinoa flour, millet flour, garbanzo/fava bean flour, brown rice flour, teff flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, and potato starch in my pantry right now. I also have ground flax seeds which I've been using to substitute for eggs in recipes, and xanthum gum, which is needed to help bind the ingredients together in baked goods.
Although I've made gluten-free muffins and scones, granola bars, hot soft pretzels and bread, I hadn't made any gluten-free cookies yet. I decided to try making gluten-free Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, always a favorite among kids, based on the recipe on the back of the Nestle Chocolate Chip package.
These gluten-free Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies came in handy recently when I was testing out recipes for my book review of Teen Cuisine. One of the special treats my kids wanted to try was a cookie ice cream sandwich. At first, I cringed at the thought of making this ice cream treat since I knew my little guy couldn't have any; but, then I realized I could make him something just as tasty -- I made a cookie ice cream sandwich with these gluten-free Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies and Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Vanilla Ice Cream. For a most decadent, celebratory touch, I melted some dairy/soy free chocolate chips and drizzled it on top of the chocolate chip ice cream sandwich just like Chef Locricchio's recipe in Teen Cuisine.
Jeanette from Jeanette's Healthy Living
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