Monday, April 29, 2013

My Quest for the Best GF Brownie Recipe

All right you guys, by this point it is not a secret that I love to bake and that I get frequent cravings for chocolate.  I wanted to find the very best recipe for GF brownies.  I tried one recipe a couple weeks ago, really liked them and blogged about it here.  They were really good, but I didn't want to just settle.  I wanted to be sure they were going to be the very best.  I got busy on Pinterest and went through all the different recipes I had pinned for GF brownies and found 4 from there to try, 1 from PaleoOMG  and 2 that I tried from a brownie cookbook I have.  That's right, I baked 7 different batches of brownie in 2 days.  My hubby said I was overboard and crazy.  He's probably right, a little, but I think that if you're going to find the best, you gotta really try!  I wasn't about to do this halfway.  Trust me, I thought about doing even more!  I mean, I cut some recipes out!  So, I hit the grocery store for more eggs, chocolate, cocoa, butter and coconut oil and started my baking on Friday.  I got 5 done then, and the other 2 done Saturday.  I took batches 1-3 to hubby's work Saturday to try and 4-6 on Sunday.  The kids and I tried all 6 on Saturday and couple girlfriends tried them all Monday morning over coffee.  I wanted to get different opinions and the most honest.  You can't get more honest than with kids, crew chiefs, moms and a picky husband!  So here's the scoop!
 My kitchen took a beating those couple days and I washed and rewashed many dishes, but it was well worth it!

 Weighing my chocolate, pouring in the melted chocolate.  I just got those silicone prep bowls from Pampered Chef and they are amazing!  I used them a ton during this process! 

 Whisking my eggs and sugar for the flourless brownies and melting chocolate on the stove in my double boiler.  So much chocolate...
Here are the testers!

Let the count down begin! 
I have to admit, that none of them were too terribly awful...
#7 Sea Salt Caramel Brownies from Gluten Free Fix
I was really excited to try these.  I didn't make the caramel topping, just the Perfect GF Brownie recipe.  They looked and sounded so good, but they did not turn out well at all!  I don't know if it was me or what.  I went to get them out when the timer beeped and they had baked/bubbled up to almost be overflowing from the pan and were liquid still.  I checked again after 5 minutes and they were a flat pancake.  Now, they didn't taste bad, but I couldn't cut them out of the pan or anything.  So they got put in the trash.  They just wouldn't stay together.  Maybe I'll try them again another time...

#6   Sweet Potato Brownies from PaleoOMG
I thought these would be something fun to try.  They had almost a soft fudge or pudding cake like texture.  It was like eating a chocolate pumpkin pie almost.  I think it was the softness of them over the taste that people didn't care for as much.

#5  GF Double Chocolate Brownie from Jeanette's Healthy Living
After the previous 3 batches, this batter was the most "normal" looking brownie batter.  It was a little thicker then the others.  Now to me, these were like fudge!  They were thick, rich and chocolatey!  These had a couple surprise ingredients in them, applesauce and flaxseed meal (soaked in water) added to the batter, along with the coconut oil, brown sugar instead of white and a mixture of coconut flour and GF All-Purpose Flour.  For the APF I used this recipe, so since it already had the xanthan gum in it, I didn't add any more.

#4  Almond Flour Brownies from Grain Free Foodies
These came in 4th for most, but I did have a couple that liked these as #2.  These were much more of a cake like brownie.  (More cake then brownie if you ask me.)  They had all almond flour, honey and coconut oil.  These could totally count as Paleo!  I think these would be killer as a cake with a great caramel over the top.  Yum!

#3  Flourless-Yet-Fudgy Brownie from Brownies by Linda Collister
Even though these can in 3rd, they were delicious!  I would make these again in a heartbeat!  They were super light in texture, rich and fudgy.  Very Good!
10 oz good bittersweet chocolate, broken up
1 1/3 sticks butter, diced
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350.  Put chocolate and butter in a double boiler and melt gently, stirring frequently.  Remove top bowl from the saucepan and stir in cocoa.  Set aside.
Put the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat, add the sugar and whisk thoroughly until very light and frothy and doubled in volume.
Using a metal spoon, carefully fold in the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture.  Transfer to a lined, greased 8x10 pan and spread evenly.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the top of the brownie is just firm to the touch but the center is still slightly soft.

#2  Making Classic Brownies from Brownies by Linda Collister
This was a basic regular brownie recipe.  The only thing I did was substitute the All-Purpose wheat flour for GF All-Purpose Flour.  I blogged about my trial with this flour recipe here.  These were good, sweeter then the others I think because of having a little bit more sugar than the other recipes.  They did seem to go stale a little faster, I don't know if that was the flour or what.  Either way they were really good and turned out great!  These were my kids favorite and a definite close 2nd.
3 1/2 oz. good bittersweet chocolate
9 T butter. softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup flour
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 oz. good bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped or chocolate chips
Directions:  Preheat oven to 350.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler, gently, stirring frequently.  Remove bowl from pan and leave to cool until needed.
Put the butter in a mixer and beat until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in chocolate.
Sift flour and cocoa onto the mixture and stir in.  When thoroughly combined, stir in remaining chocolate.  Transfer to a lined, greased 8x10 pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

#1  Ghirardelli Gluten Free Brownies from Dying for Chocolate
This is the recipe that I had tried before and blogged about a couple weeks ago here.  This was far and away the #1 winner of all the brownies from all types of taste testers, including me!  It just has the best balance of sweetness and brownie texture.  It is a fairly basic recipe.  It uses 2 parts almond flour to 1 part brown rice flour.  I am not even ashamed to tell you that this afternoon I ate the remaining of these brownies heated with peanut butter and chocolate chips with a big ole' cup of coffee!  It made me so full, I didn't even want dinner tonight, but I think it was worth it.  So, if you are looking for a great GF brownie recipe that Gluten Free-ers and nots will all like, this is the one for you!  So good!  And take my advice...  heat it up with some peanut butter too!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

GF is here to stay!

I'm at about the 2 month or so mark since I've been doing my best to cut out gluten.  I'm feeling great and I've found it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be.  That's always a plus!  The thing that is the hardest, and probably always will be, is the baking part.  I'm trying new things and trying to turn to other treats to give me my "fix" but it will never be totally the same.  Some of the things that have become a part of my "normal" diet are things like rice cakes, lots more greens, veggies and fruits (which I needed more of anyways!) and chocolate. 
I've turned rice cakes into my "sandwich bread."  I'll put tuna salad, peanut butter and jelly or, just last night, sloppy Joe.  I've even used them to make S'mores!  That is one of my guilty pleasures for desserts...  I put a layer of peanut butter, then sprinkle on chocolate chips, then top with marshmallows and stick it in the toaster oven until the marshmallows turn golden...  Oh. So. Good.  Not the most healthy, but wonderful.  :)
My tuna salad "sandwich"
When it comes to vegetables, I don't think I've ever eaten or liked them as much as I do now.  I'm constantly roasting, steaming, blending or chopping them.  Spaghetti squash has become normal around here for pasta night and I make smoothies all the time for breakfast or lunch.  Smoothies are a great way to get in some extra greens and I really enjoy them too.  
Spaghetti squash "pasta"
I know I mention her all the time, but Kristen at Change of Pace has given me tons of inspiration and new recipes and ideas to try.  I love her Salt and Vinegar Cabbage and Massaged Kale.  She does a lot of meal prepping of food to get her through the week and that has really helped me too.  Not only with staying GF, but not looking in the fridge and wanting nothing but junk.  I've been slowly doing this more and more.  For me I really struggle with lunchtime and this is the key I think for me stay healthy and on the right track. 
Roasted sweet potatoes to heat up for lunch.
I've always liked chocolate, I mean, who doesn't?  When I get that sweet tooth craving it's nice to have something to grab and eat that satisfies my craving and I don't have to worry about it hurting me later.  For Easter I made a tray of different ones and they were great.  I made mini peanut butter cups, mini Dulce de Leche cups and Chocolate Truffles.  It was my first time making truffles and they were so simple and really good. 
My chocolate tray from Easter.
Easy Chocolate Truffles
(From Martha Stewart)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (I didn't have cardamom so I used a cinnamon stick instead)
  • Five strips 1-inch-wide orange peel, pith removed
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped assorted nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, and pistachios


  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together cream and cardamom. Add orange peel; bring just to a boil. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Line a baking pan with parchment; set it and another pan aside.
  2. Return cream mixture to heat; bring to a boil. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Remove cream mixture from heat. Pour through a sieve set over chocolate; discard solids. Stir until melted and smooth.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture onto the unlined baking pan, and spread in an even layer with an offset spatula. Transfer baking pan to freezer; chill chocolate until hardened but malleable, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Using a tablespoon, scrape enough chocolate from pan to form a roughly shaped 1-inch ball, being careful not to press too hard against baking pan. Repeat. Transfer balls to the parchment-lined pan; chill truffles in the refrigerator 10 minutes.
  5. Place the confectioners' sugar, the cocoa powder, and the chopped nuts in three separate bowls. Roll the truffles in desired coatings
So, with that all being said.  What are some of your favorite GF eats?  What are things that are now a permanent fixture in your diet and on your grocery list?  What foods have taken the place of your favorites?  Give me your ideas and thoughts.  Anyone cut out corn or dairy too?  What adjustments did you make for that?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tacos and Mexican Red Rice

Today is Thursday.  Do you know what that means?  Tomorrow is Taco Friday!  When my Mexican Sisi and I get together for dinners during the week, Friday's are always tacos and rice.  Now I've come to learn that the kind of tacos I grew up having are not the same as the tacos my Sisi makes.  Hers are much better!  Us suburban whitey's buy them in the freezer section of the grocery store in a box and call them taquitos.  But to have fresh, hot, amazing tacos...  WOW!  I could eat them everyday!  You throw them together with Mexican red rice, top it with fresh made salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, cabbage...  any combination of the that and BAM!  My mouth is watering right now...   LoL!  I've watched her make them for almost a year now and so I thought I'd take a stab at them myself.  I didn't do too bad at all, if I do say so myself.  I will do my best to tell you how to make the tacos and red rice the best I can.  There's not an exact recipe so just go with it the best you can.  Sometimes improvising gives you the best foods.

1.  Start with poaching chicken.  I used 3 decent sized chicken breasts to feed our family of 5.  I put the chicken in the pot and fill it with 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken stock, salt and pepper and a little parsley.  Season yours however you like.  Cook thoroughly, until tender and can easily shred.  Let cool.  Save your broth!
Chicken mixture
2.  Shred your chicken and season as you like.  Sometimes we just use it as is, other times she'll cook it in a little oil to "crisp" it a bit and when I did them I took inspiration from Pinterest and mixed the chicken with 4 oz cream cheese and 1/2 a 4oz can of green chilies and that was really good too.
3.  Next grab a package of corn tortillas (White or yellow, doesn't matter but they have to be corn.)  Heat a flat griddle skillet or pan to medium low heat and warm your tortillas.  You want to flip them once they are heated through on one side.  (Once they seem too hot to put your hand on top of them.)  You want them still soft.  Try to fold them lightly and if they tear then they aren't ready yet.  If they are hard then you did it too long.  For me, this is the hardest part.  I don't know why...
Cooking rice, heating oil, heating tortillas...  Just enough burners!
4.  Heat a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil over medium heat.
5.  While your oil is heating, start to stuff your tacos.  Make an egg wash in a small bowl.  Grab a tortilla, swipe one edge of your tortilla with the egg wash.  Place a small handful, maybe 2-4 T, of chicken across the center/bottom of the tortilla and roll up towards the egg edge.  Press down slightly to seal and set aside.  Continue until you run out of chicken or tortillas.
Like so...
Taco assembly line...  Not going to lie, there are a lot of dishes
but it is totally worth it!
6.  Once your oil is heated and your tacos ready, place tacos seam side down in the oil in a single layer, not too tightly, but you can fill it up.  Let go about 5 minutes or so until they are nicely browned on that side and then flip to the other side until that side is also nice and golden brown.  Remove from oil and let drain on a paper towel.
Sizzling, frying goodness
7.  Eat!  Top tacos with your favorite toppings, salsas and such and get messy and down with those tacos!

Mexican Red Rice
1.  Heat a pot over medium heat with about 1-2 T oil, add in a 1 inch slice of onion and 1 garlic clove cut in half.  Add in rice, I used 1 1/2 cups.  Stir in rice and let cook until it begins to brown a bit and starts to have an almost "nutty" smell.  Kinda like what you do with rice pilaf. 
Can you see the rice has started to brown a little bit?
2.  Add in liquid.  You want double the amount of liquid that you put in of rice.  (Example: I did 1 1/2 cups of rice so I used 3 cups of  liquid.)  Add in 8 oz of tomato sauce (don't count this in with your other liquid measurement), then measure out the chicken broth you saved from poaching the chicken (be sure to strain it!), and use water for any more you may need.  If you didn't save your cooking broth add in 1-2 chicken bullion cubes in with the water. 
3.  Stir and cook until boils, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer over low heat until cooked and rice is soft.  If all your liquid has absorbed and your rice isn't cooked all the way, add in an extra cup or so of water until it is cooked all the way.  Keep tasting it to check.
Red Rice...  Gotta try this!
4.  Serve with your tacos or anything else!  So yummy!  So less processed then the packaged stuff and so much better!
Easy enough right?  If I could do it, you can too!  Get your Mexican on!  The taco's reheat in the toaster oven at 400 for about 8-10 minutes really great and the rice is great in the microwave...  if you have leftovers.  I sometimes steal them from Sisi's house....  Shhhh!
I was only missing Sisi's salsa and guacamole, but it
was still pretty darn good!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mini Burgers, Sweet Potato "Fries" and Salt & Vinegar Cabbage

Today was a weird day.  Bella B was up during the night so I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.  Then it was my week to help out in Zach's class at church so by the time we got home I was really tired and in need of some serious coffee.  I made apple pancake for the kids and Banana Bread Paleo Pancakes for me to go with my coffee for "lunch."  Then I got a little bit of quiet while B napped and the other two watched a movie.  That is one of my favorite times of day... Quiet time, oh how I love thee.  Then I shampooed our big area rug in the living room after a couple came to get our old couch (we're getting a new sectional on Thursday :))  The kids played outside most the afternoon, there was of course drama, and Bella had a really bad day with potty training.  By the end of the day I was ready for the kitchen.  For some that may seem like a chore, and for me sometimes it is too.  Today, however, it was a relaxing part of my day.  I wanted to try a new recipe and a new dinner out on my kids.
I made mini burgers with roasted sweet potato "fries" and Salt and Vinegar Cabbage (from Change of Pace).  It tasted so good!  The kids loved the burgers, but the "fries" were only a hit with Zachy, my only child that likes sweet potatoes.
For the burgers I seasoned up 1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef and made them into small patties.  Since my hubs wasn't here I didn't want to break out the grill so I just made them inside on the griddle.  I took a biscuit cutter and cut pieces of bread to fit the burgers and then toasted them on the stove.  They looked so cute!
A kid plate with mini burger and "fries"
For my sweet potato "fries" I cut up 2 sweet potatoes and put them on a cookie sheet and tossed them with evoo, salt and pepper and let them roast at 425 for about 45 minutes.  I forgot to turn them half way through so the bottoms got a little more toasty then I'd liked, but they were still good to me (and Zach)!
My fellow sweet potato kid
Then I made this Salt and Vinegar Cabbage.  I've been eyeing it for awhile.  I follow her blog and she makes this fairly regularly.  Lately I've been really liking cabbage.  I think part of it is because of my Mexican Sisi that's introduced me to a lot of foods that they top with it, but either way I've been diggin' it!  I was really excited to try this tonight.  It was so good!  I'll definitely be eating this the next couple days with my leftover burgers.  If you like cabbage you'll have to try it. 
I guess it was kind of a fast food made healthy kind of night for us.  I liked it!

That was my dinner.  YUM!
Salt and Vinegar Cabbage
(From Change of Pace)

Keep your cabbage and onion in the same size category.  If you can only find a small cabbage get a small onion.

1 medium head of green cabbage sliced into thin strips (think coleslaw!)
1 medium onion sliced into thin strips
2 tablespoons ghee- divided (I used butter)
1 teaspoon of salt- divided
Apple cider vinegar and red pepper flakes to taste.

Melt one tablespoon of the ghee in a large pot over medium low heat. When it melts add all of the onion plus a half a teaspoon of salt. Sauté until just soft. Add your cabbage, the other tablespoon of ghee, and the other half teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook until tender stirring frequently. It usually takes about 20 minutes. Garnish with red pepper flakes and a drizzle of apple cider vinegar.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Lazy Casserole Day

I'm at the 1 week mark of my hubby being gone which means the bags under my eyes are getting darker and darker, my stress level is get higher and higher, my sanity is getting lower and lower, my house is getting dirtier and dirtier and my cooking is getting simpler and simpler.  When he isn't here I tend to do all the unhealthy "kid food" for my kids and then I'll make something for me that will either last me the week or I'll eat cereal and things like that myself.  In the beginning it's nice for a little bit of a break from the kitchen and meal planning, but then I get bored.  I'm at the bored stage today.  I'm missing my hubby and I'm ready to have someone besides picky kids to cook for.  Last night I tried a new recipe and took it to my friends house for dinner before T-ball practice...  We can safely say I won't be blogging about it anytime soon.  LoL!
 BUT.  Earlier in the week I made Lazy Casserole and I've been eating it all week.  Again, it's a recipe I found on Pinterest from Kayotic Kitchen.  It is another recipe that has soon become a favorite around our house.  It is easy enough to throw together, has great flavor and is loaded with veggies.  The recipe uses sausage.  The first time I made it I used Kielbasa, after that I've used Italian sausage, which I now prefer, but both were good.  I think you could easily use chicken instead of sausage if you wanted to as well.  I wanted a lot of left overs this last time, so I used double the sausage and used an extra amount of veggies.  Let me know what you think of this Lazy Casserole.

Lazy Casserole

4 sausages (beef or pork)
1 pound potatoes
1/2 pound carrots
1/2 bell pepper (I use a whole one)
1 large onion
1 fennel bulb

(I add a head of broccoli cut up too)
 2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp oil
freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 450.  (I do 425)
Peel potatoes and carrots.  Cut into chunks.  Slice pepper, onion and fennel into slices/wedges.  Put all the veggies into a roasting pan or large baking dish.
Look at all those delicious veggies!
Combine in a separate bowl garlic, oil, pepper, Italian herbs, and chicken broth and pour over veggies, tossing to coat.  Salt and Pepper to taste.
The sauce that gives the amazing flavor
Cover with foil and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
That gives you plenty time to brown the sausages. No need to cook them all the way through, just lightly brown them.  Then cut them in half.
Beautifully browned sausages
After 45 minutes the potatoes and vegetables should be fork tender. If they’re not, cover the tray with the foil and pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes. If they are fork tender, place the sausages in there and pour the balsamic vinegar all over. Place the tray back in the oven, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes. 
Take it out after 15 minutes, flip over those sausages and ladle some of the juices lurking at the bottom all over the vegetables and sausages. Put it back in the oven for the remaining time, until everything is nice and brown.
Ta-Da!  The yummy finished product!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chicken and Brownies

Last summer I found this recipe for Ranch Chicken from All Recipes that we fell in love with.  It is by far our favorite summer grillin' chicken recipe.  It has a fantastic marinade that is simple and made with most the things you already have and then grilled on skewers.  Our whole family eats this up!  I thought I'd give you a great meat recipe, since I keep sharing all my GF recipes, that everyone can eat and enjoy and will love!

Soooo yummy!!
Ranch Chicken
1/2 cup EVOO
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 T sugar (Optional)
 Mix all together and pour over 3-5 chicken breasts that are cut into cubes.  Let marinade 30 minutes in the refrigerate.  Thread chicken onto skewers and grill for 8-12 minutes or until done.

Now onto something new I tried this week in the GF baking world...  Brownies!  I was really craving a good, chocolate, rich, gooey brownie.  I don't know if it's because of coming off the gluten or because my hubby is gone, but I needed some chocolate.  I've pinned several different recipes, but this one stood out to be an easier one that everyone might like.  It came from Ghirardelli, so it couldn't be that bad, right?  This recipe uses two parts almond flour and 1 part brown rice flour.  They turned out perfect!  They also use bittersweet chocolate.  I like bittersweet chocolate in candy making sometimes and these did grow on me the more I kept eating them, but next time I might try them with semi-sweet chocolate instead.  The only other thing with this recipe is that I had to almost double the baking time for them.  They were still super moist and gooey and good, but baked a lot longer then the recipe said.  I'm not even going to lie, I've eaten the whole pan myself.  I even melted peanut butter and chocolate chips on top one night after the kids were sleeping.  I know, I know, just because they are gluten free does not mean they are fat free.  It's OK if it's once in a while, right?  Here's the recipe for the ones I made.  What's your favorite GF brownie recipe?

This was before the peanut butter and chocolate chips...
Ghirardelli GF Brownies
From Dying for Chocolate

1 cup 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup whole almonds (or 2/3 cup almond flour)
1/3 cup brown rice flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line the pan (8x8) across the bottom and up two sides with parchment paper. If using whole almonds, add them to a food processor with the rice flour and pulse until nuts are finely ground. If using almond flour, mix it with the rice flour. Set aside. Place the chocolate, butter and salt in the top of a large double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the almond and rice flour mixture and stir until moistened, and then mix briskly, about 40 strokes. Stir in the walnuts or pecans if using. (I didn't add extra nuts.  The almond flour gave them a great nut texture that was really good!) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the brownies are slightly puffed all over and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist but clean.

Cool the pan on a rack. Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the brownies. Lift the edges of the parchment paper to remove the brownies. Cut into squares

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The First Trial of Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour

Hello!  Sorry I've been absent the past week.  After Easter I hurt my hand and it made it difficult to type.  On top of all the regular craziness of life, we started to potty train our 2 year old.  EEK!  My least favorite part of parenthood.  At least she is our last one and I'll never have to do this again!  With that said, my cooking this week has been pretty basic and not exciting at all.  But the week before I did some good stuff. 
I played around with making an All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix to use.  I found one that I think is going to work great!  I really wanted to find a mix that I could use as a cup for cup substitute for regular All-Purpose Wheat Flour without having to pull out 10 different flours and things to do so.  I wanted one that I could use in my favorite baking recipes and not have to change anything else.   I did a trial run on chocolate chip cookies.  They turned out great, my kids loved them, I loved them and best of all, my husband loved them.  Now that is winner that works! 
I was looking at a GF recipe that I had pinned on Pinterest and it had a link for a GF AP Flour that this brilliant lady made.  The Art of Gluten Free Baking is her blog and when I read her story of how she came up with her mixture I knew I had to try it.  Her goal was the same as mine is now.  To be able to adapt my favorite regular recipes to be GF without changing the taste and texture much, if at all. You have to read her whole story, especially if you love to bake like I do.  I'm so thankful I found it!  One thing that sets her flour mixture apart from the others in the store is that she adds the xanthan gum right in instead of having to add it to each recipe.  Try it with some of your favorite recipes and let me know what you think!

Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 C (170 g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205 g) white rice flour
1 C (120 g) tapioca flour
1 C (165 g) sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour or under the brand name, Mochiko) (I found it in the Asian food section)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

Mix together and store in a cool, dark place, or in fridge for long-term storage.  1 C of this mix equals 140g. Use this mix cup-for-cup or gram-for-gram in all of your recipes.

Now after reading most of the comments and questions people left and asked I tried this 2 ways.  This exact way and then again but with Sorghum flour instead of brown rice flour.  I liked how her original worked much better.  My cookies turned out softer, a little bit fluffier and they seemed to keep longer before going stale.  The taste was generally the same though both ways.  The Sorghum flour made crisper cookies, they spread more while baking and went stale much faster.  I'm still going to play around with this mix with other recipes, but for good old chocolate chip cookies, it worked great.  I was so excited!

Not too shabby, huh?
Chocolate Chips Cookies
-Heat oven to 375
-Cream together:
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
-Add and mix until fluffy:
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
-Add slowly and mix until combined:
2 1/2 cups flour
-Stir in:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
-Scoop onto baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown, let cool 2-3 minutes then transfer to cooling rack. OR Put into a foil lined bar pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool completely, remove from pan and cut into squares.