Tuesday, December 19, 2006


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A new version of my old Christmas cookie recipe "Chinese Chewies", which I'm calling "Pecan-Cranberry Chewies"-- these were gluten-free, but you can also make them with wholewheat pastry flour. I made these just before the power went out! This photo shows the cookies cut and un-sugared, cut and sugared, and cut, rolled, and sugared. UPDATE, Dec. 2011: here is a page about the origin of "Chinese Chews" and the original  recipe from 1917. "The origin of the name “Chinese Chews” for a snack with dates and English walnuts is a mystery that has not been explained."

This was the heavy, slushy snow coming down last Thursday-- picturesque, but mucky!

Well, the good news is, after 8 days, we finally have power again!
The bad news is, now we have no phone access, until about Thursday! I was so depressed about that I could hardly enjoy the good news! I regret to say that I was in a really foul mood about the phone and DH had to put up with alot of whining and whingeing (as they say in the UK!). But, we attended our first Christmas party last night (very reluctantly on my part), and had a lot of fun and good food, and good laughs, so I feel better now. What can you do about it anyway?

Saturday, our close neighbors got their power back, but we had to wait because we were not a "multiple outage". Our neighbors just below us lent us their 1000 watt generator for the last 2 days or so, so at least we could have a lamp or two on, watch TV now and then, or even use the computer or a kitchen appliance. But, to use the computer, I had to bring the whole set-up down to a different spot and it was a bit of a nuisance, so I only did it once for 1/2 an hour.

Now, I can use the computer, but of course, this means we have no internet access because we have no phone line! I was able to download the photos off of my camera to my computer, resize them and put them on a disc, though. So I could put them on Photobucket from the disc here at work and use them on the blog.

Anyway, you're probably getting tired of hearing about it! I'm getting tired of writing about it! I hope that by Thursday, things will be normal, and I can write about Christmasey things!

Thank you all for your comments and good wishes!

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Here is a not very good photo of the debris on our deck after the windstorm. It really doesn't do the whole thing justice, but it's all I have.


Here is a photo of the bamboo steamer set-up on the butane burner, reheating leftovers:
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Here are some photos of that Breast of Tofu dish I described in my last blog post:
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Here are the pyrogies with Soycurls that I mentioned in the last blog entry:

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Here's the recipe for the "chewies". They are fat-free except for the nuts-- very sweet, but pretty good for you, and really delicious. Ps: i will add the nutritional info later.

Printable Recipe

Makes 32-36 squares or balls
(Adapted from a recipe in my book “The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook”)

The original version these bars (called "Chinese Chewies", and I have no idea where they got the name!) have been a favorite Christmas cookie for years. The original recipe contained eggs. I veganized it, and now discovered that a gluten-free version works just fine!

The first time I tasted these was at a Hanukkah party at my cousins' Baba's (grandmother's) house many years ago. Had to try to make them myself! They were originally made with just dates and walnuts.

3/4 c. wholewheat pastry flour  OR Bryanna's Gluten-Free High-Fiber Flour Mix (recipe below)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tsp. (2 T. plus 2 tsp.) powdered egg replacer mixed with 1/4 c. cold water
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 T. vanilla extract
OPTIONAL: 1 T. grated organic orange zest or 1 tsp. orange extract
1 c. chopped pecans
3/4 c. chopped pitted dates
1/4 c. dried cranberries
OPTIONAL: powdered organic unbleached sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a small, deep bowl beat together the water and egg replacer with an electric or rotary beater until like softly-mounded beaten egg whites. (NOTE: You can actually beat this with a hand immersion blender for this recipe, beacuse it doesn't have to get really stiff.)

Beat in the sugar and vanilla briefly. Scoop this into the bowl with the flour mixture, along with the dates, cranberries, and pecans. Mix gently but well.

Scoop the mixture into a nonstick or lightly-oiled or sprayed 8" square cake pan (you can line the bottom with cooking parchment, if you like). Bake for 25 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden (it will be soft).

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Cool slightly on a rack, then cut into small pieces (32-36) and roll in powdered sugar, if you like.

You can also take the squares while they are pretty hot and roll them and squeeze them into little balls, and roll in powdered sugar, if you prefer.

Cool thoroughly and store airtight.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1 square or bar, recipe cut into 36):
80.1 calories; 24% calories from fat; 2.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 15.9mg sodium; 84.2mg potassium; 15.1g carbohydrates; 1.2g fiber; 8.4g sugar; 13.9g net carbs; 0.7g protein; 1.6 points.

Printable Recipe

Makes about 13 cups

7 and 1/2 c. brown rice flour (I grind it from short grain brown rice)
2 and 1/2 c. potato starch (NOT potato flour!)
1 and 1/4 c. tapioca flour
1 c. ground golden flax seed
1 c. chickpea flour (besan) OR soy flour
4 and 1/2 T. xanthan or guar gum

Mix well and store in a moisture-proof container in in the freezer. Use cup-for-cup instead of regular flour.

NOTE: Because non-gluten flours lack the structure that gluten provides, xanthan gum or guar gum (available in health food stores) is often added to gluten-free baked goods. This mixture contains enough xanthan or guar gum for cakes, cookies, pancakes, and quick breads. For yeast breads, you may have to add up to 1 tsp. more gum per cup of gluten-free flour.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per cup):
607.8 calories; 9% calories from fat; 6.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 19.0mg sodium; 399.0mg potassium; 126.2g carbohydrates; 10.4g fiber; 0.9g sugar; 115.8g net carbs; 10.3g protein; 11.9 points.


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Anonymous said...

i too wish that you life come to normal soon and you can enjoy the holidays!

harlemgrrl said...

you are so upbeat and positive in your posts... i just can't imagine you whining. sending you lovingkindness from noo yawk ;0)

Susan G said...

This flour mix has been a wonderful convenience!