Holiday Photo Overload!

qGluten-Free Rum Balls

photo4 Gluten-Free Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

1 Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

7The Before

m Gluten-Free Lemon Meringue Pie

photo 2    Gluten-Free Checkerboard Cookies

Recipes coming soon!

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An Especially Tasty Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole

dinner2I spotted this recipe on Oh She Glows, one of my favorite food blogs, last holiday season, and little did I know what an impact it would have on this year’s Thanksgiving! Seriously, it turns regular yams/sweet potatoes into magic.

It’s sweet, but not too sweet to be a side-dish, and the topping is crispy and delicious. It’s also pretty darn easy to make. Perfect for breakfast the next morning too!

While you can make this while your turkey is cooking, I baked it the night before and reheated it at 350 while the turkey was resting; it took around 30m – just keep an eye on it. You don’t have to add the pecans, but I firmly suggest you do; they lend a very tasty pecan-pie flavor.

~* Gluten and Dairy-Free Sweet Potato Casserole *~

(Vegan Too!)

adapted from Oh She Glows

Oven Temp: 350, Pan Size: 2 quart casserole dish

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain salt
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans

cass2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and boil sweet potatoes/yams until tender. Drain and mash the sweet potatoes with Earth Balance until smooth – leave a few chunks to keep it “rustic.”cass3

Whisk together the maple syrup, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; add to sweet potatoes. Transfer mixture into a lightly-greased (with canola oil) casserole dish.

Using a fork (or your fingers), mix together the topping ingredients until well combined; it helps to have softened butter. Add pecans last. Sprinkle topping over sweet potatoes and bake for 50 minutes, checking to make sure topping does not burn. cass5

This dish is ridiculously versatile; it works for breakfast, brunch, potlucks, dessert. Dessert especially if you are someone who likes their desserts without overwhelming sweetness. Something about the twice-cooking/baking of the sweet potatoes really improves the sweet potato texture too.

And if, when shopping, you get confused about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, usually what is labeled as a yam is actually a sweet potato. The USDA now requires the “yam” label to always be accompanied by “sweet potato.” It’s very unlikely to find a real yam here in the U.S. Bottom line is to look for the ones which dark orange flesh and reddish-brown skin.

2sweetpotatovsyam SweetPotato2

Gluten-Free Pecan Pie (No Corn Syrup Needed!)

pie4I don’t know about you, but I dislike corn syrup (those commercials claiming “corn sugar is the same as cane sugar” are such bull). I know that it’s unavoidable in some recipes, or when you’re making candy, but I don’t dig it. I have a problem believing that something is not horrible for you if there’s corn syrup in it – and yes, sometimes I do believe pie is healthy.

Beyond that, I never have it in the house. But lucky for me, and you, there is no corn syrup in this recipe! And I swear on all that is sweet and tasty, you will never miss it. You will not even notice it’s not there.

I discovered this pie last year, and it quickly became a holiday favorite. (And by favorite, I mean we can’t get out of the December without eating two one.) It’s perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and is super easy.

Also, the original recipe posted on allrecipes has 34,888 saves and over 1,000 positive reviews. Enough said.

~* Gluten-Free, Corn Syrup-Free Pecan Pie *~

 

For the crust (makes 2 crusts, either freeze half of the dough for later or halve the amounts)":

  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup Earth balance buttery sticks
  • 6 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sorghum flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare crust; see directions here. (Note that the types of flour in this recipe are a bit different than in the link .)

In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Add in the sugars and flour, mix well. Finally add the milk, vanilla, and pecans.

Pour into the pie shell, and place pie in the oven. Once the pie is in, turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes. The top will crack slightly.

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Enjoy with whipped cream/cool whip, etc!

I’m off to the gym to prepare for future pies – that’s why everyone works out, right?


19 days till Christmas!

Life Update and a Product Review: Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies

Oh, I am a bit behind here. It seems that, in life, you are either behind in work/things that need to be done, or behind in everything else. I think this falls into the “everything else” category. My apologies. As some of you may know, I finished grad school in May and since I started working full-time (real-job time!) I haven’t had much time to write.

Also, in an effort to um, er, downsize, I have enacted a moratorium on baked goods, excepting those on Thanksgiving and Christmas (upon which there will be baked goods. I’m very excited to show you them). I did manage to sneak some pumpkin bread in there but I figure, if it’s made in the bread machine it can’t be all bad. And pumpkin is oh so good for you.

And since I didn’t technically bake these cookies I’m about to review, they don’t count – yep, I’m pretty sure they don’t. Plus, they were sent to me gratis, and therefore can’t be wasted.

So for the stats: these cookies come in four varieties: double chocolate, chocolate chip, vanilla honey graham, and sugar shortbread. They are indeed lightly crispy, and quite large for the typical boxed-cookies, which makes me happy, at about 100-120 calories a pop for two.They are free of all the allergens, as Enjoy Life products are.

(Tip: if you like your cookies less-crispy, open the box and come back in a few days; they will soften up a little)

These make a lovely snack, dessert, coffee-partner. I just tried the sugar version yesterday and even though the chocolate ones are very good, I think the big sugar crystals on these won me over. (Very bad tasty with Nutella.)

However, with the holidays coming up, I am confident that these cookies would be a great ingredient in recipes that call for a cookie crust/cookie crumbs, etc.  Their texture is very well suited for grinding, and firm enough to stand up in baking.

Another related tangent that I need to share: my grandma makes the best rum balls. Ever. In all creation. Every year she makes a whole batch of them and then they sit out in a big tin on the counter, getting better each day, as rum balls do. Since her house is about 10 feet from mine, I used to furtively sneak into the kitchen – when people were conveniently elsewhere – and shove a couple in my pocket for good measure.

If you aren’t familiar, they are basically crushed Nilla wafers, rum, powdered sugar, and walnuts. They are German, as am I. Many recipes call for cocoa powder, but I think they’re better without it. No need for baking, which keeps the alcohol…intact. They are amazing little spicy balls of cookie dough, and of course off-limits to me now.

As yet I haven’t tried to recreate them gluten-free, but this year I really want to. And I think I might have to try it with the vanilla honey graham version here.

Has anyone tried to make some sort of unbaked cookie with gf cookie crumbs? Let me know!

One week till Thanksgiving!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Cake!

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When I came across this recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess, I knew I had to make it. So I put in in my Recipe Folder until Easter came along, and it turned out to be a perfect accompaniment for the holiday!

While in the past I’ve used a GF all-purpose flour mix, I’ve recently started to mix my own flours, and the result is pleasing, I must say. This recipe has more flours than I usually combine. I left out the xanthan gum (it’s so expensive!) so the texture of the cake may have been a bit more crumbly, but frankly that doesn’t bother me – it was delicious!

* Gluten-Free Coconut Cake Recipe *

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Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca starch
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 free-range organic eggs, beaten,
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 14-oz coconut milk (I used So Delicious Original)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DSCN6989Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Beat eggs together with wet ingredients and add into dry mix.

Beat until smooth – battery should be thick and shiny.

Divide cake mix into two cake pans and spread out evenly. Batter may appear low in cake pans, but it will rise!

Bake in preheated oven side-by-side for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

DSCN6993 Cool completely on a wire rack. You may want to stick cakes in fridge for a bit before frosting.

Ingredients for the Frosting:

  • 1 cup Earth Balance or butter-substitute
  • 1 teaspoon pure coconut or vanilla extract
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • Flaked Coconut for topping (sweetened works best, it’s less stale)

In the bowl of a mixer (I used a stand-mixer, but you could use a hand one) beat the Earth Balance and extract till combined. Add in the powdered sugar and half the coconut milk, and beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Once mixed, beat on high speed until desired texture (the more air you beat in, the easier it will be to spread). Add the remaining coconut milk if you need it (I didn’t).

DSCN6996 Before frosting cakes, brush off crumbs. Center the first later top-down on a cake stand. place parchment clippings underneath edges to keep plate clean. Frost the layer with about 3/4 cup of the icing with a spatula.

Trim the top of the second layer, if you like, and place on top of first layer. Scoop most of the remaining frosting on top of second layer, and begin to work it out towards the edges, beginning to move frosting down sides of the cake. Use remaining frosting to fill in side-spaces between layers.

DSCN7001  Tip: If you go for the “artistic” look of frosting instead of the perfectly-smooth fondant look, you will make life easier!

Sprinkle with coconut.

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 Enjoy!

Happy (Gluten-Free) Easter to All!

Happy Easter!

Whether you’re religious or not, Easter is a wonderful excuse to consume delicious gluten-free fare.

On the menu today?

  • Baked herb-salmon with roasted red potatoes, sautéed asparagus and yellow squash.  
  • And for dessert, wonderful Gluten-Free Coconut Cake!

 

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I know that salmon is traditionally a Good Friday dish, but I’ve never been a fan of lamb, or duck, or ham. I like roast beef, but that’s a bit too much work, and it feels rather heavy for such a springy holiday. And since I’m cooking this year, salmon it is!

And did you notice that 75% of the meal was baked in the oven? It makes everything so much easier when you have people over; you can actually leave the kitchen (and avoid that whole-red faced thing).  

Watch next week for the recipes to these dishes, plus a few more treats I’ve cooked baked up this week!

 

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So…what are you eating today?

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P.S. Peeps are gluten-free!

GF Gingerbread Cookies

DSCN6815Funny – right now America’s Test Kitchen is on, and they’re talking about bread-making and the different types of the flour, how gluten is formed, etc. If there ever was a conversation lost on me…

BUT ANYWAY….COOKIES!

 

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies!

* Recipe adapted from McCormick *

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups GF flour: I used 2c Bob’s all-purpose, 1c coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamonDSCN6799
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Earth Balance buttery sticks, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside.

DSCN6778 Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Try not to eat.

DSCN6785 Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well.

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Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.

DSCN6793 Press dough into a thick flat disk.

DSCN6795 Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours; I left them overnight.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of parchment (makes your life easier, I promise). Cut into desired shapes.

DSCN6809 Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Be careful with the dough: it can be a little easy to break once cut in shapes.

Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. DSCN6814

Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

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Tips: DSCN6812

  • Be VERY careful with cookies while they’re warm: they break apart rather easily before cooled. (or this happens –>)
  • Next time I might try using extra xanthan gum and see if it helps the dough stick together a little better.
  • Not just for Christmas: try cutting them into stars or moons for New Year’s cookies!
  • This recipe is easily adapted to make Gingerbread cake (also found on the McCormick website) with mainly the same ingredients.
  • Melted chocolate makes a fantastic icing, especially combined with the spicy flavor!

Christmas Cheers!

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I heard the bells on Christmas Day.
Their old familiar carols play.
And wild and sweet the words repeat.
Of peace on earth goodwill to men.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

 

 

 

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The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin.
~Jay Leno
 
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. 
~Norman Vincent Peale

 

 

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.  Don’t clean it up too quickly.  ~Andy Rooney

 

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Roses are reddish
Violets are bluish
If it weren’t for Christmas
We’d all be Jewish.
~Benny Hill

 

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The worst gift is a fruitcake.  There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.  ~Johnny Carson

 

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And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.  ~Dr Seuss

 

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Happy Holidays!

Gluten-Free Dreaming Copyright 2011.