Due to my middle daughter's food limitations, all of the cooking I do at home is not only gluten-free, but corn, egg, and dairy-free too. We do a lot of recipe searching, improvising, substituting, and making stuff up on the fly. It's a lot of restrictions to work with, and we live in a country that doesn't major in ready-made, gluten-free anything, but well, we've still got to eat. So we make-do with simple fare, generally skip restaurants, and don't bake much.
When my kids ask what's for dinner, they are never surprised if it's completely made up. I'm very blessed with children that are not only accepting of our food restrictions, but are also a little into it. I cannot tell you how many times over the last year or so my firstborn, Moyer, says, "Wow, mom, you made this recipe up? You should totally post it on Aunt Kate's blog."
I love it. He's so sweet.
Honestly, though, not so many of our meals are worth re-cooking, let alone posting on-line for the gluten-free community. And how many times would I never in a million years be able to reproduce what we just ate?
Moyer: (excited and affirming) "Mom, this is like seven thumbs up. You should totally write the recipe down and post it on Aunt Kate's blog."
Me: (sigh--I know what's coming) "I can't, sweetie."
Moyer: "Why not?"
Me: (a little exasperated with his insistence on all meals coming from a recipe) "Well, I didn't really keep track of the ingredients."
Moyer: (whining disbelief) "You mean you don't know how to make it again?"
I know, I could have it WAY worse.
And sometimes (I get a huge kick out of this particular scenario) I have to tell him, that didn't make it up and I didn't follow a recipe:
Me: "Honey, this isn't my idea."
Moyer: (in his best adult-I-all-about-how-the-internet-works-voice) "Oh, did you find a recipe on-line?"
Me: (trying to remember exactly how dinner did just happen to unfold on this particular evening) "Well, I got the idea for the recipe on-line."
Moyer: (he's disappointed already, because he's sensing the answer) "But you didn't follow the recipe?"
Moyer: (he still doesn't understand exactly why one wouldn't precisely follow an available recipe; he's precise like that) "Why not?"
When I'm feeling patient I go on to tell him how I converted it to a Keturah-friendly recipe or a China-friendly recipe, or how I didn't have any such and such on hand, so . . .
He's very interested in this process. And very interested in posting all about it on Aunt Kate's blog. Though he does wish that I'd do more recipe-following.
So today's post is for Moyer. In honor of re-posting recipes that I find on-line, and then don't follow at all, I'm here to direct you to the best gluten-free muffin recipe that you don't have to exactly follow ever. Gluten-free girl and the chef even invite you to mess with it. These muffins are intended to be tweaked and turn-out.
My very first time making them, I followed all of the advice I could manage, and still make them corn, egg, and dairy-free as well.* They were so easy and turned out so perfectly.
So I made them again, but followed the recipe even less carefully, thinking that I was probably pressing my luck. They worked out again.
You know what? I've made these muffins a bazillion times since then, tried all kinds of creative substitutions,** don't measure a single thing, and don't bother looking at the print-out that I previously had been referring to, and they always turn out.
The trick is to read the whole post. It's not just a muffin recipe. It's kind of like a gluten-free quick-breads baking manual. (And even though I read it, and reaped much, I'm also here to tell you that I didn't use a scale. I used the principles and recipe as a guide, and then went by feel.)
We made them the evening before Thanksgiving, and served them up as Thankful muffins for breakfast on Thursday.
Here are my muffin models (including our newest muffin model in-training) being very thankful for them after they were cool (and iced!) on Wednesday night.
Moyer is pumped that we're taking pictures to post on Aunt Kate's blog. Keturah is grateful that they're gluten, corn, egg, and dairy-free. Marilla is having trouble understanding why muffins need models. She'd rather be a taste-tester.
Thankful for great eaters, a recipe-loving boy, and an adaptable muffin recipe.
*My go-to for egg replacer is flaxseed, and I sub anything from water to orange juice for the buttermilk.
**I've iced them, topped them like coffee-cake, flavored them like gingerbread, made them orange-themed, used date-syrup as a sugar sub, and varied the oil content a great deal. I usually use mostly buckwheat flour as the base, but actually change up the other flours and starches a lot!