My Favorite Things - Guest Post

Today's favorite things post is brought to you by the letter S - as in Sarah over at Swavory Stuff!  Blog stalkers, Sarah.  Sarah, blog stalkers.  Have fun!

First of all, thank you so much Catherine for letting me guest post on your blog!

Hey y’all, I’m Sarah! I was born in Montana and raised in Wyoming. I am a farm and country girl by nature and by heart. And of course, I love country and folk music (surprise!). I find joy in the little things. Running is my drug, camping is my getaway, and cooking is my obsession. I love all things food. Ever since I was a little girl, I have lived in the kitchen. My dad learned how to cook from his German mother, and I learned from him. So basically I have my grandma to thank for my passion. The first dessert I ever made was a chocolate cake for Father’s Day. I ended up forgetting to grease the pans, so the cake was a mess, all topped off with purple frosting (yikes). Unfortunately, someone left the back door open and our dog jumped on the table and ate the cake (as if it couldn't get any uglier). What was left was a pile of brown and purple chunks. I came back downstairs and cried my eyes out while writing my dad a sign: “Happy Father’s Day! Sorry that the dog ate your cake.” Well, let’s just say that I have come a long way since then. Today, I spend my time making wedding and birthday cakes (and much much more!) over at Swavory Stuff—and let me tell you, they look much better than that first dog-eaten one.

Today, I have something a bit different for you: Gluten-free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Why gluten-free, you say? Well let me tell you. You can only assume that since I am a farm girl, my family would be the type to make everything from scratch, at home. And you are completely right. One of my family’s specialties is our homemade whole wheat bread. I have always loved this bread. However, when I reached the fine age of 13, I started to have allergic reactions to it: my throat would swell up and my stomach would hurt. Not knowing much about food allergies, I lived my life believing that these things were perfectly normal. When I got to be 16, I started to have worse symptoms: bloating, digestive issues, headaches. Finally I went to a holistic doctor. After being tested, I found out that I was intolerant to wheat. I stopped eating it and felt great. Over the years, I became lax and let it slip in every so often. But, as nature would have it, my body does not like that too much (imagine that!). One year ago (almost exactly), I decided that enough was enough—I was going to cut out wheat and gluten completely. Ever since then, I have felt wonderful. Even though it has been a trial, I have loved experimenting in the kitchen, making all sorts of gluten-free dishes. Now, being gluten-free is easy! What I love most about cooking is that I get to experiment. My neighbors, friends, and family are my guinea pigs and they definitely aren't complaining!

So here they are...Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, gluten-free style!


         1/2 cup butter, softened (or 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup peanut butter)
         2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
         1 large egg
         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
         3/4 cup rice flour (mixture of white and brown rice flours)
         1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
         1/2 teaspoon baking soda
         1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
         1/4 teaspoon salt 
         1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free certified)
         1/2 cup chocolate chips (add more if you want)

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl together the rice flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Mix in the xanthan gum. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Once you reach this point, you can choose to chill the dough for a few minutes in the freezer (or fridge), or scoop the cookie dough onto a sheet and then chill them on the whole tray, before baking them. Either way works.  If you choose to bake them right away, your cookies will spread out more and be less thick. Whatever floats your boat, heat the oven to 350°F right away, so that it’s fully heated when you’re ready to put in the cookies.

Make sure the cookies are two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in). Take them out when cookies are golden around the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.