A Teen’s Cookbook
Dominick Cura was diagnosed with celiac disease when he was nine. No pity party for this kid though. Now 13, he has a blog - Eternally Gluten-Free - and recently published a cookbook with the same name. Creating recipes is a big committment at any age so, as soon as I read about his cookbook, I knew I had to give his recipes a try and let you know how they were.
First, here is a Q & A with Dominick:
What’s your favorite recipe from your cookbook?
I have favorite recipes for all sorts of stuff.
Red Velvet Cupcakes are one of my favorites because of the amazing color.
Tres Leches Cake is my favorite for its taste.
Then my favorite easy recipe is my Nutty Almond Cookies because they’re no-bake and they taste really good.
My favorite difficult recipe is Struffoli, an Italian dessert that is fried balls of dough the size of marbles that are dipped in honey, formed into a dome and then showered with colorful sprinkles.
Which recipe did you have to work on most to get it just right?
There were lots of recipes that I just couldn’t get right and so I couldn’t put them in my book, but other than those my Ricotta cheese cake, because there were so many little things I couldn’t get right that were important.
Some people believe writing a cookbook is easy but it takes a lot of work and commitment. What was the hardest part about writing a cookbook and the best thing about writing it?
It is really hard writing a cookbook. There was a lot of hard stuff about it. I think the main thing that was the hardest was how anxious I was to get the cookbook done. Another hard part was making the recipes, because there were a lot of times where I completely messed up a recipe and it gets really devastating and discouraging, but I knew I can’t stop baking so I just had to keep trying.
The best part, is the cooking! I guess also a good part is the results after the book is published, like the happiness of publishing it and stuff!
This is a cookbook of sweet treats – the book’s full title is “Eternally Gluten-Free: A Cookbook of Sweets and Inspiration, From a Teen!” It’s obvious that Dominick loves sweets. I’d never seen anyone add sugar to a milkshake before him. Most of us miss our usual sweets when we start eating gluten-free so here’s a nice place to begin making them. He uses mostly brown and white rice flour along with tapioca flour which are all fairly inexpensive and easy to find. The only negative I saw was that his directions don’t have as much detail as you will find in some cookbooks but, with that said, it wasn’t a problem for me.
Wanting to give his cookbook a fair test, I tried three of his recipes. I took the first two to a church picnic and served the third at a family dinner.
Nutty Almond Cookies
Ok, these were great. You need to try them. They’re a no-bake cookie so perfect for this time of year. The good news is that this recipe is also on his blog. (Click here) He says to use “slightly crushed pecans.” I gave my pecan halves a quick whir in the food processor.
His Lemon Bars were unusual, not the typical crisp bottom with lemon on top, that we think of when we hear the words “lemon bars.” It isn’t a flaw in the recipe, though, it’s a different type of recipe. His crust and filling have yogurt, something I’ve never seen in a typical recipe for these. Everyone enjoyed them but said the texture was more chewy. Another person said the flavor reminded him of Country Time Lemonade. I ask my taste testers if they would want to eat these again and they said “Yes.”
My 13-year-old nephew’s eyes lit up when I told him the cheesecake he was about to eat was from a cookbook written by a boy the same age as him. Everyone enjoyed the flavor in Dominick’s cheesecake. The density of the cheesecake was perfect. You do need to know that cheesecake made from ricotta cheese has more texture than cheesecake made from cream cheese. When I made mine, I substituted a cookie crust for his cracker crust and probably shouldn’t have because my crust came out a bit soggy. (Tip: He told me he uses Glutino crackers for his crust so that’s probably the way to go.) I also skipped pushing the ricotta through a strainer and threw everything in the food processor.
I think this is a cookbook worth owning and especially good for anyone who has a gluten-free kid about Dominick’s age. He has an excellent attitude about gluten-free life and is a good example.
Thank you Dominick!