Polenta Pizza | A Gluten-Free Foodie’s New Best Friend

This week I texted my friend to see what she was up to for lunch, thinking that we would head to the cafeteria or make something quick in her apartment. She responded by saying that she was making polenta pizza with fresh veggies and prosciutto. Obviously I dropped what I was doing and power-walked to her apartment to join her.

This recipe was found in a Williams-Sonoma cookbook that she was given for her birthday recently. It seems to be the first of many recipes that we will fall in love with!

The peppery polenta added much more flavor than a traditional crust with its rich, buttery flavor. Whoever said gluten-free eating couldn’t be delicious has not seen this book. We followed this recipe exactly as written. We decided that that crust would have a better texture if you had a larger pan than the 11″ by 13″ that we had, made less than the recipe calls for, or spread it onto two pans. We both prefer a crisp, thin crust pizza, but If you like a thick crust you can stick to these amounts!

The toppings are where we really got creative. Instead of using a tomato sauce, we brushed the crust with some olive oil before adding about 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. We halved some sweet cherry tomatoes, diced a small green bell pepper for crunch, and sautéed 1/4 of a large onion in olive oil. Lastly we added 2 handfuls of arugula and a few pieces of prosciutto to get a little pop of salt and protein, and off it went into the oven!

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The beauty of this recipe is that there are literally infinite possibilities! We are already planning for next time to do a pear, arugula and gorgonzola recipe that we’ve made on regular crust before.

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And of course if you eat your pizza on a pizza plate it tastes even better! She may have a little bit of an obsession with food-themed trinkets and gadgets.

This pizza made for a deliciously satisfying lunch for us. Hope you get the chance to try it out for yourself!

Happy cooking!

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My Happy Place | Cowboy Cookies

cookies and tapestry

This is my happy place. My favorite cookies, a cup of strong coffee and some good books. If I have someone I love by my side, that makes the moment even sweeter.

Cowboy Cookies
Cowboy Cookies

Although I enjoy almost anything that contains a mix of butter, sugar, and vanilla, I have been eating this particular cookie for my entire life. And it’s a special one. The cowboy cookie is famous amongst my friends and family. Though it seems quite simple, it is a mysterious little treat. Over the past year, I would estimate that I have made approximately 30 batches, and each time they taste a little bit different.

The original recipe comes from an old family cookbook that my grandma put together, but more specifically it comes from my mother. It really does hold a special place in my heart because more often than not, I make them by her side.

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Cathi’s Cowboy Cookies

Each time cowboy cookies are made, the baker is given full control to add, subtract, or substitute ingredients as they see fit. It is not only allowed, but encouraged. This most recent batch was one of my attempts to make the cookie lean toward the healthy side. It may not be leaning very far, but it is leaning nonetheless! Anyway.. Below are both the original recipe, and an example of how you can add your own twist.

Cathi’s Cowboy Cookies

(makes several dozen)

  • 1 cup butter of margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  •  1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 pkg. chocolate chips (preferably semi-sweet or dark)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans recommended)

Cream sugar, butter, eggs & vanilla till fluffy. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Add oats and chocolate chips. Drop on un-greased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

These cookies are great at any temperature, but I highly recommend eating them right out the oven or freezing them.

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Cathi’s Cowboy Cookies | Second Edition

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup flax seed meal
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  •  ¼ shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 pkg. dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (preferably almonds and pecans)

Cream honey, coconut oil, eggs & vanilla till fluffy. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Add oats and chocolate chips. Some extra flour may need to be added to the dough. You may want to refrigerate the dough for 20 to 30 minutes prior to scooping. Drop small balls of dough on un-greased cookie sheets. *Optional: Add a small pinch of course sea salt onto the top of each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

*Same rules apply with freezing cookies.

cookies_2I hope you find these cookies to be as delightful as I do. Whether you choose the tried-and-true cowboy cookie, or decide to go the creative route, these cookies are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Happy baking!