GF Substitutions Part XIV: Letting Go of Inhibitions

by Jenn on October 11, 2010

in GF Substitutions,Gluten Free

GF Puff Pastry Test #5

Hi! So, I have a confession to make. I lied.  I told y’all that today was the deadline to give me submissions for the roundup next week (yes, I am a New Englander born & raised who says y’all).  I decided to extend it and give a chance for more of you to participate!  Have you ever made a substitution when cooking a gluten free meal?  Of course you have!  Any time you’ve used a gluten free product, or flour, or just decided to switch something up to make it easier (crustless quiche, anyone?).  Substitutions sound intimidating, but really using them is all about doing what we gluten free cooks do every day – making adjustments to suit our needs.  Sometimes it’s as elaborate as tailoring a flour mix to a specific baked good, and sometimes it’s just about finding the right recipe to enjoy a favorite classic from your childhood.  They all count as making substitutions.  So don’t be afraid, send me your submissions!  Have an old post you’re especially proud of? Feel free to use it as your submission in the roundup.  Let’s see what practical and creative ways everyone has come up with to enjoy beautiful delicious gluten free food.  Just send me an email (jenncuisine at gmail dot com) along with a pic by Sunday, Oct. 17 midnight your time so I can get the roundup together for next week!

What do I mean by “don’t be afraid”? I mean it’s ok if you fail once or twice.  Maybe three times.  Heck, I still haven’t gotten gluten free puff pastry to work yet (though I am getting layers now!).

Gluten Free Puff Pastry #5 Test

It’s ok, it happens.  Believe it or not my best results so far have come from using a flour mix and not a mix of my own creation.  Pretty sure now all I’ve got to work on is my technique (and maybe tweaking my flour blend, I have the sneaking suspicion that my butter is absorbing into my dough ruining my layer effect).  It’s alright though.  Don’t be afraid to mess up.  I swear, intimidation has been my #1 reason for not making certain things, and I am sure it is for some of you as well!  Maybe something failed once and you don’t want to invest all that effort just to have it fail again.  I know what that’s like, trust me I have been there with so many dishes it’s not funny.  Heck, I could even devote an entire post just to all of my messups! And those are only the ones I published.  God knows there were many more.

Today is not about flops though, it’s about courage.  It’s about embracing the new-found, if intimidating idea, of being free from gluten, and imagining not having to feel trapped by the constraints of cooking/baking within a gluten free diet.  Do you feel trapped? Because really there is no need to.  There is such a bounty of delicious flavorful gluten free food and recipes out there, just waiting for you to try.  Need some inspiration?  Check out my blogroll, full of wonderfully creative gluten free bloggers sharing their gorgeous treats with you.

Or maybe you are the photo inspiration type?

Bruschetta
White Gazpacho Pasta Salad

Tasty doesn’t have to be complicated.  None of these used anything more complex than a store-bought GF product (bread, pasta), or a generic GF flour mix in order to transform them into gluten free.

Gluten Free French Toast New England Clam Chowder

There are also collections of beautiful GF food online.  Try Gluten Free Feed, which is essentially a Tastespotting type site for only gluten free foods.

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places, all you have to do is keep an open mind to the world around you.  If you see it, there’s for sure a recipe out there to convert it gluten free, or you can convert it yourself.  If I can do it, so can you.  Trust me, it’s really not so hard.  It may take a few tries, but most things are actually rather simple to convert.

I hope you’ve learned something throughout this series that I’ve posted.  I know I’ve learned a lot from you all.  Your comments and advice have been invaluable to me, and helped me become a better gluten free cook.  My husband appreciates it too!  I’ve shared my recipes, experiences, trials and tribulations in the hopes that they will be useful to you, and give you the courage you need to get in your kitchen and not let your fears limit your gluten free cooking.  Next week, I can’t wait to see what you share and have made!  I am sure I will be impressed.  Impressed by all of your wonderful talents, creativity, resourcefulness, and perseverance.

So let’s let go of our fears and hesitations.  All it takes is that first step.  You can do it, I know you can.