How has everybody been?
I’d have been good, except that I accidentally glutened myself last week, which was not fun. I felt wretched on Sunday, and the days after were not fun either. I was really tired, easily irritable and pretty much useless. I still can’t watch something sad on TV, I will want to weep. I did wonder whether it was the weather, because it has gotten very cold and it has been raining incessantly. Did you know that Cologne has the second highest amount of rain in Europe? Well, now you do!
I only started to feel better on Friday, but my gut is still not working up to par, it will take another week or more, I guess. Anyway, all week I kept wondering whether I was just imagining things, all the while playing detective in my kitchen. I only found out by coincidence what caused the damage. People, always always ALWAYS read the list of ingredients. I always, always, ALWAYS do, but this time I wasn’t thorough. On the positive side: at least I know now that I react to the tiniest amounts of gluten, which is good. We are talking about the wrong type of vinegar, among the last items on a list of ingredients, in a tiny 25-g-packet of chips. I ate two of them, on different days. The chips came in a larger bag of a total of six small packages (the other two kinds gluten-free) and before I bought them, I scanned the list of ingredients at the store, apparently only reading one of the lists and not all three. We went back to the English Shop, where I had bought them the first time, yesterday and I bought the chips again. Back at home I was getting ready to eat the salt and vinegar chips and screamed when I re-read the list of ingredients.
Anyway, before I glutened myself by accident I went to a really lovely party, hosted by my friend Malamue, who is also celiac. She made the most amazing gluten-free buffet for her party. I jumped for joy when I received her invitation. It’s a rare occasion to be invited to somebody’s home as celiac and to find that you can eat to your heart’s content. I realized that I have developed a sort of compulsion. I cannot put things into my mouth without asking whether it’s gluten-free. I kept wanting to ask: “Can I eat this?”, and had to work very hard to suppress the urge to do so. As I was a guest a lot of the buffet was vegetarian, too – so very fantastic! (I wrote all about it on the blog where I occasionally post in German foodgasm.me, you can see a ton of pictures there as well). All of the food was amazing, but I was particularly impressed with the cheese-cracker-sticks (of which I forgot to take pictures). I wanted to eat them all. I wanted to eat them on my own.
I must be honest: I never considered it necessary to make my own crackers, because you can buy them, right? I learnt last weekend that it is absolutely worth going through the effort. So much more delicious than store-bought!Luckily, Malamue put the recipe up on her blog a while ago, so I was able to get cracking on them (pardon the pun) today. My husband enjoyed them as much as me, even if he was weary of eating the ones with poppy-seed (they are sneaky little fellows which love to hide in the spaces between your teeth). These cheese-cracker-sticks are pretty heavy though. I don’t think I have made anything as fatty as them ever. But they are truly worth every calorie and they will be the highlight of your next party! Trust me!
Ingredients (for about 2 full large baking tins):
125 g butter at room temperature
100g whipping cream
2 eggs (one for the dough, one for decoration purposes)
80g grated cheese (I used old gouda)
240g gluten-free flour-mix (I used Schaer Farine and a bit of AdPan’s Bread flower)
1/2 tsp gluten-free agents (I use a mix of xanthan and guar gums, carob and arrowroot flour)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp coarse salt
poppy, sesame and sunflower seeds (or anything you would like, get creative!)
Grated mozzarella cheese
Combine all of the ingredients for the batter in a bowl and slowly knead into a smooth and even dough. Roll into a ball (the batter should be dry enough for you to do so, you may need to add a tiny bit more flour depending on the type of mix you are using), and place into your fridge for at least half an hour.
Heat your oven to 200°C.
Cover a clean counter top with gluten-free flour. Take out approximately half of the dough and cover with plastic foil. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough until approximately half a centimeter thick. Cut into a rectangle, about 30 by 10 cm. Proceed to cut into sticks, about as wide as your little finger. You can obviously also use a cookie cutter and cut these out into any shape that you would like, e.g. stars.
Line a baking tin with baking parchment and place sticks onto it, twirling them at least twice before you do.
In a bowl, whisk the remaining egg and using a brush “paint” each of the sticks. Sprinkle with poppy, sesame and sunflower seeds. Finally, sprinkle with the mozzarella.
Place cheese sticks into the oven and bake for about fifteen minutes or until golden brown.
Repeat with the second batch of dough. Aren’t they pretty?
They will be our snack to go along with the Eurovision Song Contest, which starts really, really soon!
Enjoy! And so let me know how you like them, if you try them!