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?

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.


Rosa October 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Failure is part of the process of learning. Through our failures we learn how to be successful… :-)



Jenn October 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Thanks Rosa! Yes I have done a lot of learning lately :)

Margaret Massey October 12, 2010 at 1:10 am

Well, yes, I did a goof that turned out well. I was all ready to bake a pie, the apple filling was cooked and cooled. The ingredients were ready but I was short of the flour the recipe called for. This is the rice flour piecrust on Bob’s Red Mill rice flour package. So I grabbed the pancake mix and used it instead. Can’t roll it out!! smoothed it over the bottom and up the sides of my greased 10 & 1/2 in Pyrex andded the filling and daubed the rest over the top. It took lesstime to finishe baking and I have been doing it for years now.

Jenn October 12, 2010 at 11:13 am

Oh sounds great! What a great creative use of some impromptu ingredients!

InTolerantChef October 12, 2010 at 9:24 am

My personal motto is ‘Fake it till you make it’ you never know what you can do until you try, or what you can turn it into!

Jenn October 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

Ha I love it! Great motto!

fooddreamer October 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I keep meaning to send you my coconut flour cupcakes, so thanks for extending the deadline. I have been playing with coconut flour for a while now, with limited success, but these ones worked out beautifully. I almost don’t know what I did right!

Jenn October 12, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Awesome! They sound fantastic, can’t wait to see your submission!

Kim - Cook It Allergy Free October 13, 2010 at 6:59 am

I do not know what you are talking about…that pastry dough looks pretty darn flaky to me. I cannot wait to see what it looks like when you think you have gotten it right. Better yet, I wish I could be there to taste it with you. And once again, your photos are just simply beautiful. I will think of a post to submit for the round-up. This was a great addition to your series. I loved this post.

Jenn October 13, 2010 at 7:06 am

Thanks!! Well, a key part to puff pastry is the “puffing”… and this did not increase in size at all! I think regularly puff pastry should be able to puff 6x its height, though I’d be happy with 2x…Once I can get my layers sealing off the butter ones correctly, then I should start to see “puff”…. A few more tweaks….

Samantha October 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Love this post – such a fitting final piece to this wonderful series! I realized earlier this week that since going gluten-free two months ago, I’ve become much more daring in the kitchen. I’ve had a few failures, but the knowledge gained from each of them has been incredible. And each success just encourages me more. It’s all rather amazing.

Jenn October 13, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Thanks! So glad you’ve approached your failures with a good attitude, as learning experiences. I also feel that learning to cook gluten free really helped me jump out of my comfort zone in the kitchen too!

Jenn/CinnamonQuill October 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

This series has been fantastic. Even though I’ve often felt somewhat fearless in the kitchen (with a trash-can often full of these displays of ‘fearlessness’, ahem), I’ve definitely fallen into some ruts. Reading about your experiences and learning more about individual ingredients has helped a lot…I’ve been more adventurous in exchanging certain flours and changing ratios to achieve better results. I’ve already referenced these articles several times, and I definitely think I need a hard copy to keep in the kitchen.

Oh, and thanks for the Gluten Free Feed shout-out! :)

Jenn October 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Thanks so much Jenn! Ha I know the feeling of the “fearless” ending in the trash… But it’s important to try, and I’m glad that you’ve been able to be a bit adventurous! And I heart Gluten Free Feed :)

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