Saving a Christmas Lefse Tradition

gf-lefse-nwmamaI know the New Year has rolled around, and Christmas has passed, but the good news is that Christmas is coming again in another 11 months and 22 days! This gives plenty of time to practice and perfect special recipes. The most special, on my side of the family, is lefse. A Norwegian treat. Practice = more lefse to eat!

A friend of mine and I got together a few days before Christmas, and made traditional potato lefse, using this recipe from We doubled the recipe, but somehow communication was confused (not hard when you are busy chatting and solving world peace), and we doubled-doubled the butter. Our “mistake” turned out to be genius! So for you wonderfully, blessed non-GF’ers, my only note for you on this recipe is to double the butter (increase the 1/4 cup butter to 1/2 cup butter), and DECREASE the cream (from 1/2 cup cream to 1/4 cup cream). Voila. Brilliant. Uff da, and all the rest.

Back to Gluten Free, because that’s why we’re here.. Or why I’m here.. you get the point. I just made this gluten free version yesterday, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I will do my best to give clear direction on the alterations that I made to the original recipe. If you missed the link in the paragraph above, here it is again:

Notes, or “Areas to be emphasized.”

(in case they are already mentioned in the original recipe)


  • Boil the night before and add butter while hot (remember – DOUBLE the butter).
  • Cutting them into smaller pieces helps them cook more evenly.
  • Err on the side of overdone vs underdone.
  • Salt the water – about a tablespoon.
  • Drain REALLY well and cool without the lid on. This allows the extra moisture to escape. Then, refrigerate.
  • Use an electric mixer to get out the lumps. Ricer is not necessary, in my opinion.

My Lefse Making Notes (my notes, in addition to attached instructions):

  • Use slight teaspoon salt, since you salted the potato water.
  • Use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cream. A mistake that turned out to be genius.
  • Gluten Free: increase cream to 1/3 cup.
  • Don’t add any extra flour to your dough. Instead add  flour on your board and generously flour your lefse rolling pin. Sprinkling after each roll with the pin if needed.
  • Pat the flour off the lefse before grilling, to prevent a black smokey mess (trust me).
  • Gluten free: DON’T PAT THE DOUGH! Use a pastry brush or dry cloth to gently brush off.
  • Gluten free, especially: Handle dough gently. Don’t press down on the dough, just use the weight of the roller.
  • Use flour sparingly when needed.
  • Handle like pie dough. The more you play with it, the tougher it gets.
  • Gluten Free: Don’t roll dough too much onto the stick.. more like a slight roll and lift onto the griddle.

That’s all I have for now 🙂

Oh.. one more. I probably don’t have to tell you, but I will anyway. Enjoy a piece while it’s warm! We love it with butter and cinnamon and sugar. My friend enjoys it with butter and brown sugar. BOTH are delicious!


Gluten Free Sugar Cookies for the Win!

Since I’ve gone gluten free, holiday baking has been a bit of a challenge. This year, I decided I was going to defeat the ‘sugar cookie blues” and attempt to adapt my favorite sugar cookie recipe to meet my gluten free dietary needs. It was a huge success, and a few friends have asked for the recipe, so I’ll share it here for easy reference. Before I get to the recipe, I feel I need to add the following disclaimer: I am not celiac. If you are, you will need to make sure you use GF Vanilla. I did not for this recipe.

Madie was in charge of cutting out the cookies and decorating them. She chose to use her favorite baker’s recipe for the royal icing: Rosanna Pansino’s Royal Icing Recipe.


Here we go!

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies for the Win!


  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup organic white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten free, if celiac)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Namaste Organic Perfect Flour Blend, but King Arthur Gluten Free Flour should work fine too.)
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough overnight. I wrap mine tightly in plastic wrap and form it into a tight disc before refrigerating.
  2. About a half hour before you are ready to roll your cookies, take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Cover your rolling surface with parchment paper, then give it a good dusting of your gluten free flour. I also give the top of the dough a little dusting of flour.
  5. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets (I covered mine with parchment paper – keeps the bottoms from getting too brown).
  6. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven – watch closely (mine were done in 6 minutes). Cool completely.

Gluten free tips:

Gluten free flour is much more absorbent than traditional wheat flour. It also absorbs liquid much slower. Allowing your dough to rest overnight helps prevent that gritty taste that is a dead giveaway to gluten free baked goods.

Roll your dough slowly to keep it from cracking.

nw mama’s dinner menu: week 24, 2014

I really love to be in my kitchen, however I am especially looking forward to cooking this week. Just writing this menu is making me hungry. I have not looked up a recipe for gluten free meatballs yet, so I may just be making it up as I go. Feel free to send suggestions!

This is also the week before Father’s Day. For my family, this Sunday’s dinner carries almost the same amount of anticipation as Thanksgiving in that we only partake of it once a year… for the sake of our health <smile>.

NW Mama’s Menu for June 9 – June 15

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nw mama’s dinner menu: week 23, 2014

The week is almost over, and I am late getting this post out to you. My apologies. Time management has gone out the window this week, but I’m reeling it back in.

The end of the month is always interesting when it comes to meal planning. I usually leave a few empty spots on my monthly meal plan at the end of the month. Why? Well, it’s a pretty good bet that I’ve banked some meals (haven’t used them or the ingredients) from earlier in the plan, and I can plug them in at the end. Life happens, people, and just because you have a plan, doesn’t mean it all goes accordingly. It does, however, give you the flexibility to move meals around according to schedule changes.. which seem to happen at a world-record-breaking rate around my house.

So here we go:

NW Mama’s Menu for June 2 – June 8

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nw mama’s zucchini lasagna

Make hay while the sun shines: I’m not going to say this is a simple recipe. This one, my friends, takes patience. Since time is such a precious commodity, I like to make two and freeze one for later!

This lasagna is adapted from a dear friend’s “secret” lasagna. When my dad became diabetic, I wanted him to still be able to have some of his favorite dishes without having them loaded down with carbs. I had heard of using zucchini instead of pasta, so I made a few tweaks and came up with this adaptation. Zucchini Lasagna has also become a great gluten free option for my family.Read More »