Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mini Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

I was in a experimenting mood this evening and the boys wanted popcorn, so I combined the two wants and came out with these.  I made them mini balls because my boys can never finish a large popcorn ball...and it limits my sugar intake, too. :)  I started with this recipe, then modified it to work for us.



Mini Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

20 cups popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 7-oz jar marshmallow creme
2 tablespoons palm oil shortening
1/2 teaspoon imitation butter flavoring (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)

1. Remove all unpopped kernels from popcorn.  Place popcorn in a greased 17x2x2-inch baking pan or roasting pan (I used two 9x13 pans). Keep popcorn warm in a 300F oven while preparing marshmallow mixture.

2. In a large saucepan bring corn syrup and sugar to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in marshmallow creme, shortening, butter flavoring, and vanilla until combined.

3. Pour the mixture over hot popcorn; stir gently to coat.  Cool until popcorn mixture can be handled easily.  At this point I added the chocolate chips to one of the pans (so half of the mixture). And mixed it in, it should melt and swirl with the marshmallow mixture.  With damp hands, quickly shape mixture into 1-2" balls.  Wrap the popcorn balls in plastic wrap. The should keep for about a week at room temp.

This made easily 5 dozen mini balls (it would probably make 20 large popcorn balls).

Classic Onion Rings

I was making our mini corn dogs for dinner and decided I really, really wanted onion rings to go with them.  So, I pulled out my Better Homes and Garden cookbook and converted their recipe.  And it tasted just like I wanted them to--classic onion rings.

Onion Rings

3/4 cup gluten free flour blend 
2/3 cup So Delicious coconut milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Canola oil for deep frying
1-2 onions, sliced and separated into rings

1.  In a medium bowl combine flour, milk, egg, oil, and salt.  Mix until smooth.
2.  Heat oil in a deep fryer to ~365F. Dip onion rings into batter; drain off excess batter.  Fry onion rings, a few at a time, in a single layer in the hot oil for a couple of minutes on each side.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

My kids actually call this soup "Kung Fu Panda Soup" or "Noodle Soup"...but, hey, we'll call it anything they want, if they eat it! :)  This soup is easy, and can be made simpler by using cooked leftover chicken or turkey, chicken broth, and dried gf noodles.  I adapted my recipe from here and the noodle recipe from here. Okay, so why in the world am I making noodles?  I wanted to experiment, and they turned out pretty good.  But another main reason, I wanted to use up some egg yolks.  If you haven't noticed, I use a lot of egg whites, but not so many egg yolks...so I have been on a quest to use my egg yolks, so I'm not wasteful.  And by the way, did you know you can freeze your yolks and whites? Like I said, I'm usually after the whites, when I'm separating eggs, so I haven't had to freeze those yet, but for yolks just place them in a ziploc bag, add a small pinch of salt and squeeze out of the air...voila, ready for the freezer.  And if you've forgotten how many yolks are in one bag, one tablespoon = one yolk. :)



Chicken Noodle Soup

2 lb meaty chicken pieces (I used drumsticks)
6 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 recipe of fresh egg noodles or 1 1/2 cups dried gf noodles
1 teaspoon dried parsley


1. Place chicken in a slowcooker, cover with water, then add onion, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and bay leaf.  Cook on low 6-8 hours until chicken is done.

2. Remove chicken from broth.  When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones.  Discard bones and skin.  Cut meat into bite-size pieces; set aside.  Discard bay leaf.  Skim fat from broth. (I actually use a fat-separating pitcher, because I suck at skimming fat).

3. The broth can be kept in the slow cooker (put on high heat) or moved to a large saucepan, which ever you choose. Bring the broth to boiling.  Stir in carrot and celery.  Simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes.  Add in the noodles and cook ~2-5 minutes for fresh noodles or dried ones until tender, but firm.  Stir in chicken and parsley and heat through.


Homemade Gluten-free Egg Noodles
3 1/2 cups plus more for dusting  Silvana's All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks, beaten
2 eggs beaten
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoon olive oil

1. In a large bowl stir together flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture.  In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks and the whole eggs.  Add water and oil.  Add the egg mixture to the flour and mix well.  It should be a stiff dough, not crumbly or wet; adjust flour or water if needed.

2. Sprinkle countertop with flour and knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it won't crumble. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

3. Divide the dough into at least four equal portions.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a paper thin rectangle (it will be as thin as you can get it, hopefully about 1/16"). Dust the surface of the dough with flour and loosely roll the dough into a spiral.  Cut into 1/4" strips, shake strips to separte, then cut into 2-3" lengths.  Or instead of rolling up dough, you could leave it in the rectangle and use a pizza cutter to cut into noodles.

4.  At this point the noodles can be added into the soup or they you can dry them for a couple of hours, then place them in a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 8 months.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Accident--Banana Chip Muffins Take 3

Okay, I am on my third banana chip muffin/bread recipe...but this one really isn't a new recipe, it's just me messing up my favorite recipe, with the results actually being better!  So, I had a ton of bananas that needed to be used up, and I needed to replenish my freezer supply of banana chocolate chip muffins for my boys to have as breakfast, snacks, etc....so, I thought I'd just do a double batch on my usual recipe...well, I forgot halfway through, well really just when I was measuring the flour, baking soda, and salt....and I didn't realize my mistake until later in the day, after we had all enjoyed some of the muffins.  Really, these ones were my best batch yet, so I'm writing down my 'mistake' so I don't forget it. :)  This recipe will easily make 24 muffins.
I got this amazing train cake pan for Christmas (actually for the 12 days of Christmas which was done to us, thank you, our Christmas elves!).  My little ones loved banana chip muffins before...but now they are devouring them...everything is tastier when it has a fun shape, right?

GF/DF/SF Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup+ 2 tablespoons soy-free margarine
2 2/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (4 medium)
2 egg
4 egg whites
2 1/2 cups gf cookie flour blend

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease two large loaf pans or muffin tins (or line with muffin cups); set aside.
2. Beat sugars and margarine in large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add bananas, egg and egg whites.
3. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to banana mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into prepared pan or muffin cups.
4. Bake 1 hour for bread or 20-25 minutes for muffins.  Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bacon Quinoa Pilaf

Today, I wanted something different to have as a side dish, you can only have rice and potatoes so many times...so, today I made quinoa.  I love this little grain, not only is it tasty, but its just as easy as rice to cook, so there is no excuse to not try this!  Add in some bacon and veggies, and its delectable!

Bacon Quinoa Pilaf

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 strips bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup finely diced carrots
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup minced onion

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add quinoa and return to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile cook bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove and drain on papertowels, then crumble.  Add vegetables to bacon drippings and cook 3-5 minutes, or until tender, drain if necessary.  Once quinoa is cooked, mix in bacon and vegetables and simmer for a few more minutes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Clam Chowder with Salty Pistachio Flatbread Crackers

I love Clam Chowder, but haven't had it in ages...it's one of those cold weather foods, so it probably has been since last winter.  So I thought it would be a perfect time to make a gluten free, dairy free, soy free version of this recipe. I did also change amounts of veggies, and added bacon (because everything's better with bacon!). I've also been imagining these pistachio crackers to pair with the soup, since I made the rosemary almond ones. And the saltiness from the cracker was the perfect match to this soup.  The other great thing about these crackers?  They make a great dessert when dipped in melted dairy-free chocolate!

Clam Chowder

4 strips of bacon, cut into 1" pieces
2 (6.5 oz) cans minced clams
1/2 cup minced onion, about 1/2 small one
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced carrots
2 cups cubed potatoes (I used Yukon golds)
~2/3 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup+ 1/6 cup sweet rice flour
2 cups So Delicious Coconut Milk
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Fry bacon pieces in a large skillet until crispy.  Remove and drain on paper towels, then crumble.  Add vegetables to bacon drippings and cook for 3 minutes. Drain juice from clams over the vegetables, and add enough water to cover (I added 2/3 cup).  Cook over medium heat until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Whisk in sweet rice flour until smooth.  Whisk in coconut milk and stir constantly until thick and smooth.  Stir in the vegetable/clam juice mixture.  Heat through, but do not boil.

Stir in clams just before serving.  When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper and add in the crumbled bacon.

Salty Pistachio Flatbread Crackers

1 1/2 cups roasted pistachios, ground into a meal (I put mine into a blender)
1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 egg 

In a large bowl, combine pistachio meal and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and egg. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Roll the dough into a ball and press between 2 sheets of parchment paper to ⅛ inch thickness. Remove top piece of parchment paper. Transfer the bottom piece with rolled out dough onto baking sheet. Cut dough into 2-inch squares with a knife or pizza cutter. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let crackers cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes, then serve. These are softer than a cracker, hence the flatbread name, if you cook them longer they may get crisper. The picture above shows them dipped in melted dairy-free chocolate.

This post is featured on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday for 4/12/11, go here to see it and other fantastic recipes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, my older son just came down the stairs and told me I needed to make cookies today for Santa (I totally spaced that one!), so I asked them what type.  He said, "Chocolate Chip."  We do in fact make chocolate chip cookies for Santa every year, because they are "Santa's" favorites...but, if you haven't noticed, I haven't made chocolate chip cookies yet, since our diet change.  So, I set out this afternoon to convert our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and it turned out quite well, if you take the boys each downing 3 cookies a piece in less then 10 minutes, a success. :) So, Santa, we are ready for you, I hope you like So Delicious Coconut Milk (I know at least Santa's wife does!)


Chocolate Chip Cookies (gf/df/sf)

1 cup palm oil shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups gluten free cookie flour blend or another all purpose gf flour (just make sure it has xanthan gum)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 12oz package dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream shortening and sugars in bowl, then add egg and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients together and blend into creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and roll into 1"-1 1/2" balls and place 1/2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-13 minutes.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf

Okay, I know I already have a meatloaf recipe, but I have always had to standby meatloaf recipes...depending on if I have rolled oats or breadcrumbs handy.  The other recipe is oat based, so this one is obviously my breadcrumb based meatloaf. :)  My older son is finally eating the crusts on his Udi bread, it took until this week, and at $6/loaf, I wasn't going to waste any bit of the bread.  So, when I cut off his crusts, they went straight into the freezer to then be made into breadcrumbs. Quite handy, actually. :)

Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 egg
1/4 cup So Delicious Regular Coconut milk
1 C fresh bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 slices bacon

Combine all ingredients, except bacon, and mix well.  Shape into loaf.  Cover with bacon and cook at 350F for 50-60 minutes.  You can also use this recipe for meatballs (minus the bacon, unless you want bacon-wrapped meatballs, I guess).  Shape into balls and cook at 400F for 20 minutes.

Indian Food Extravaganza

I love Indian food! The spices and flavors warm you to your soul...it really is comfort food for me.  The problem is trying to convince my family of that, they are a little bit pickier with different flavors.  So, I was off to find at least something with those flavors that at least my husband would eat. So, last night we had a feast, I ate most of it, but at least my husband ate the chicken and rice...that's a start. ;) Oh, and the naan bread, as well, so he got 3 out of 5, I guess that's passing. :)

I am in no way fantastic at cooking Indian food, so this is not authentic...I'm just an American girl trying to replicate flavors that I've had at the Indian restaurants in town...that's my warning. :) 

Clockwise from top left: Saag Aloo on top of basmati rice, Naan, Pakoras, and Indian-spiced Chicken Kebabs

For the Saag Aloo recipe, I started with this recipe, then changed it based on what I had in the house and my personal taste.

Saag Aloo
1 10oz package frozen spinach
2 cups cubed potatoes, cooked and drained.
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced (I didn't have enough onion in my house, so I used 1/4 cup dried onions rehydrated in a 1/4 cup water...and it worked amazingly well!)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk or other non-dairy milk

Cook spinach according to package directions, then puree until smooth in a blender or food processor.  Heat oil over medium heat; add garlic and onion.  Cook until soft.  Stir in turmeric and cook for a couple more minutes.  Add in the spinach and potatoes and stir well.  Add salt, garam masala, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and milk. Heat on low for a few minutes, then serve.


With the Naan, I started with this recipe, converted it and made some cooking adjustments.

Gluten-free Naan
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour or this one
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil

gf flour for dusting
oil for brushing

Mix together warm water, yeast, and sugar, and let sit 5-10 minutes, or until nice and foamy.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour and salt, pour yeast mixture and oil in with the flour and mix well.  Separate dough into six small balls (or less if you want larger pieces of Naan).  Roll out to about 1/8-1/4" thick on parchment paper, cover and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes.  Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 500F. Take 1-2 pieces at a time and oil the tops and place in oven (while still on parchment paper), after 2-3 minutes, flip over, removing the parchment paper, and allow to cook for another 2 minutes.

If you would like garlic naan, simply add 1-2 cloves of mince garlic to the dough.


Pakoras are like a vegetable fritter using gram (garbanzo bean) flour. The best thing about them?  They are naturally gluten-free...no conversion needed!  (This is why I love ethnic food!)  I found this recipe, but once again modified it to work better for me.

Pakoras
Vegetable of choice (I used diced potatoes, diced sweet potatoes, and onions cut into strips, but you could use about any vegetable)
1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1- 1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
canola oil for deep-frying

Mix together all of the dry ingredients (except cilantro leaves).  Pour in water, adding just enough to make a very thick batter (I used 1 cup).  Add the cilantro and mix well.  Add in a few of your vegetables coating well, remove from batter with spoon and drop into oil heated to 350-375F. I like to have clumps of 3-4 potato cubes, or 3-4 onions together to give it more substance.  Cook until golden brown, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.


The chicken kebabs I found as I was reading through Indian cookbooks on Amazon...I really love being able to look inside books before I buy them, because then I find the good cookbooks, like this one.  I did change the cooking method, but I give her all the credit for the recipe...it's excellent!  Oh, and of course, I modified it for our diet. :)

Indian Spiced Chicken Kebabs
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
skewers (I used my metal ones, if you use bamboo make sure to soak them for at least 30min)

Marinade:
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (~ 2 cloves)
juice of one lime (~ 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt

Mix together all of marinade ingredients.  Add chicken cubes and toss to cover, place in a large ziploc bag and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to one day.

Preheat broiler to high, and also the broiler pan.  Allow chicken to come to room temp (I took my chicken out while I was making my naan bread, by the time I was ready to cook it, it was ready, too).

Thread chicken onto skewers and place on preheated broiler pan.  Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Homemade Cherry Cordials

Okay, I only eat Cherry Cordials about once a year, so I didn't think I would miss them.  I was wrong, as I was standing in line at the store a whole stack of these little chocolates was begging me to eat them...I suddenly had to have them!  So, I went home and made my own.  They aren't quite up to a chocolatier's quality, but they fulfilled my craving!  I started with this recipe, but then modified it so we could enjoy it. :)



Dairy Free Cherry Cordials

Centers:
1/4 cup soy-free margarine
2-2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon So Delicious Regular Coconut Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
~4 dozen Maraschino cherries, drained

Thoroughly cream margarine with sugar and milk.  Blend in vanilla and almond extract.  The mixture should not be sticky at all, if it is add more sugar, until you can soft and pliable but not sticking to your fingers.  Mold a small amount around a cherry, being careful to completely cover each cherry.  Place on a waxed paper-covered tray.  Cover and chill.

Dipping:
 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening

Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water.  Stir to blend.  Lower heat to maintain a warm temperature to dip chocolates.  Drop centers into chocolate and roll to coat completely.  Remove with fork to help remove excess chocolate.  Drop from fork upside down onto wax paper, swirling chocolate from the fork across the top.  Chill for 20 minutes.  Store in a cool place a day or two to form cordial.

This picture is to show you that you don't need a fancy double boiler, I have always used makeshift ones...just make sure that steam won't escape from the bottom and you'll be fine. :)

This post was featured on Cybele Pascale's Allergy Friendly Friday post for April 15th, 2011.  Check it out here, and see the other awesome recipes, too. :)

This post is also featured on Gluten-Free Holiday at Tasty Eats at Home and Gluten Free Wednesdays.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mushroom Gravy

We had crepes again last night, they really are so good.  I was in a more savory mood so a whipped up a mushroom gravy to go with mine, and it was simply splendid.  I was really happy I had some leftover, because it also was excellent up top of my grilled chicken and mashed potatoes tonight.


Mushroom Gravy
2 tablespoons soy-free margarine, divided
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
2 T sweet rice flour
2/3 cup rice milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Directions
Melt 1 tablespoon margarine over medium-high heat and add mushrooms.  Saute mushrooms until tender, add in remaining margarine and the sweet rice flour and stir until combined.  Add in milk, and cook until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Coconut Almond Dark Hot Chocolate

I love Almond Joy and Mounds, and I will never eat them again, but dang it, I still want to enjoy those flavors!  I wanted hot chocolate this evening, and my version of hot chocolate is usually heating up Silk Pure Almond Dark Chocolate milk...yes, I'm lazy, but it's good!  So, this evening while I was thinking of heating up my Almond milk, it hit me to add some pure coconut milk (not the milk beverage, but the Thai kitchen, thick pure coconut milk)...holy cow, it was good...my little one ended up drinking most of my glass, but we enjoyed it together. :)

Coconut Almond Dark Hot Chocolate

1 cup Silk Pure Almond Dark Chocolate milk
1 tablespoon pure coconut milk
sugar to taste (I didn't add any, but if you want it to taste more like a Mounds bar, add some)

Mix together and heat in the microwave, and enjoy!

Bread Tips

So, anyone on a gluten-free diet know that bread will dry out, on the counter top, in the fridge, even in the freezer.  I hate wasting any of my bread, so yes, I've eaten less then desirable servings of what used to be classified as bread...but, I discovered a way to revive dried out and stale bread.  We had a Christmas party the other night, I knew there would be rolls there, and I knew that my older son would want to have one...but all I had in the freezer was some dried out 'rocks' that used to be rolls.  I stuck them in the fridge to thaw the night before, then I wrapped them in a damp paper towel and  microwaved them (there were 3) for about 30 seconds, and viola soft rolls that tasted like they were fresh from the oven!  So, don't waste your bread, just steam it! ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

So, after the success of my fudge, I set out to make more.  I really love fudge, because there is endless possibilities with it, today was playing with peanut butter, and it was sooo good.  Don't worry, this won't be the end of the fudge, like I said I love it...and I love experimenting, so this will be a continual thing. :)

I was sad for my little one when we had to cut out dairy, because that meant no more Reese's peanut butter cups for him (it's a food group in our house...now only my older one and my hubby get to eat them)...so, I thought of this fudge as an indulgence for my little one, and really for our whole house, since chocolate and peanut butter is so important. ;)

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

You will need a double recipe of 5-minute fudge and one recipe of peanut butter fudge, below: 

Peanut Butter Fudge
2 tablespoons soy-free margarine
1/2 cup dairy-free milk (I used So Delicious Original Coconut Milk)
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (make sure it's soy-free)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar



Place powdered sugar in a large bowl, and set aside.  Stir together margarine and coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook the mixture until the margarine has melted, and bubbles just begin to break at the surface.  Remove from stove and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.  Pour mixture over powdered sugar and mix until completely smooth.

To make peanut butter cups, grease mini muffin tins with palm oil shortening (or use mini muffin cups) and layer the fudge with chocolate, peanut butter, and chocolate.  Or you can also do this in two 8x8 baking pans.  Smooth out the tops.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares or removing from muffin tins.


Makes ~64 Small Squares

This post is featured on Gluten Free Wednesdays.

Soy-free Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

So, I haven't had any soy sauce based dinners since taking my little one off of soy, and I really wanted some Teriyaki. So, I set out to try to find a replacement for soy sauce, so I could make my Teriyaki marinade.  So, after the boys went to bed, I went to the kitchen and started experimenting and this is what I came up with:

Mock Soy Sauce

1 1/2 cups beef stock
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions
In a saucepan mix together all ingredients over medium heat.  Boil gently for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to 3/4-1 cup.


This doesn't taste exactly like soy sauce, it's definitely not salty enough.  But, hey not only is it soy-free, it's low sodium as well. :)

So, I used it in my teriyaki marinade in place of the soy sauce, and marinaded a 1-lb pork tenderloin for about 8 hours in it, and it tasted like teriyaki!!!

I broiled the tenderloin in the oven 5-6 inches from the top for about 15 minutes (until the internal temp was 160F), turning every few minutes and basting in reserved teriyaki marinade.  It turned out surprisingly tasty, and its soy-free, along with being gluten and dairy-free, too!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Most Incredible Bar Cookies

I have been trying to think of something easy and delicious to bring to our church's Christmas Party tomorrow.  So the kids with sensitivities aren't left out.  My little one has issues with gluten, dairy, and soy, but my friend's little boy has those sensitivities plus eggs, too, and I wasn't about to leave him out!  I found the bar cookie recipe on the back of my sugar bag and thought it wouldn't be too hard to adapt over to our lifestyle, and it wasn't, and it was so worth it, it's simply AMAZING!  I'm going to try my hardest to not eat the whole pan tonight, so I can actually bring it to the party. :)

The Most Incredible Bar Cookies

1/2 cup soy-free margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons water (or 1 egg, if you don't have egg issues)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (I used JIF, because it was on sale, if you have soy issues, make sure it's soy-free)
1 cup all purpose gluten-free cookie flour (this does contain xanthan gum, so if you don't use this, make sure to add some)
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Icing -- combine and set aside
1/2 cup powder sugar
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (soy-free)
2 tablespoons So Delicious Original Coconut Milk or other dairy free milk

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugars.  Add egg or egg replacer and peanut butter and mix well.
2. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix well.
3. Press into a greased 9X13" baking pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with icing. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Makes 24 bars.

This post is featured on The Gluten-Free Homemaker's Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

Crepes

I love crepes, but I haven't made them in a long, long time...really, I think my oldest was a baby the last time I made them, so I'm long overdue.  Crepes are amazing because you can put about anything in them and it tastes amazing.  I was hoping that our gluten/dairy/soy-free version would be as good, and honestly, I think these are the best crepes I've had...or it's just been a long time since I've had them, but still they were incredible.  We ate ourselves silly.  I laid out an assortment of berries (raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries), along with bananas, peanut butter, jam, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and on the savory side, ham and scrambled eggs.  My older son had 3 crepes (well, 2 1/2, he couldn't finish one of them) and which made me realize that these would be great for school lunches in the coming years.  His favorite was banana, peanut butter and strawberry jam with powdered sugar on top...yummy, huh?  One of my favorite ways, is to just fill it with powdered sugar and lemon juice, if you do it right, it tastes like a lemon bar. :)  Really, crepes are so diverse, and are really not hard to make at all.  So, I have no excuse, so I promise I won't wait another 5 1/2 years before I make them again. :)


Basic Crepes

1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free cookie flour blend (yes, this blend has xanthan gum in it, so if you use some other blend, make sure you have xanthan gum)
3 eggs
3/4 cup So Delicious Original Coconut Milk or other dairy-free milk
3/4 cup water
1/4+1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons soy-free margarine, melted

Directions
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs.  Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine.  Add the salt and margarine, beat until smooth.

2. Heat a lightly buttered (with soy-free margarine) 10-12" frying pan over medium high heat.  Pour or scoop the batter into the pan, using about 1/4 cup or so for each crepe.  Tilt the pan in a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.

3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes or until the bottom is light brown.  Loosen with a spatula, flip and cook the other side.  Serve hot.  This makes about 10 crepes (and a family of 2 adults and 2 kids under the age of 6 ate them all!).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

French Dip Sandwiches

I love french dip sandwiches, and I like them fast and easy.  Before this whole diet change, it was one of those meals that I could throw on the table in under 15 minutes, and not even think about it.  Well, we haven't had French Dips since then, because I just didn't feel like it.  Well, the other day I actually did feel like it, and realized that we could no longer use the packets for the Au Jus sauce (yes, I am that lazy, or at least I used to be that lazy).  And, I wasn't cooking a roast, so no drippings there....So, I decided I needed an easy throw together Au Jus recipe, so I could still have my easy throw together French Dip sandwiches. 

French Dip Sandwiches and Au Jus

1 lb thinly sliced roast beef
4 gluten-free buns (I actually had some homemade hot dog buns in the freezer that I used and they were perfect, they held up really well being dipped in the Au Jus)
Au Jus for dipping

Au Jus
1 1/2 cups beef stock (I used Swanson beef stock)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce (I use Lea and Perrins because it's gluten and soy free)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions
Mix ingredients and bring to a boil.  Serve warm with assembled sandwiches.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gingerbread House and Cookies

What's Christmas without the gingerbread house?  This is one tradition that I didn't want my boys to miss out on, so I set out to make gingerbread cookies for the first time.  Yes, I was one of those lazy moms before, that either used graham crackers or bought the kit from the store, so I have never made gingerbread cookies/houses from scratch before.  But after looking at a bunch of recipes, I found one that made it seem foolproof, and it was, of course her recipe isn't gluten, dairy, or soy-free, so that's where I come in.... :)  We haven't decorated the house or cookies yet, but when we do I'll post the pictures.






Gingerbread House and Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon clove
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup palm oil shortening 
1 egg, beaten

3 1/2 cups all-purpose cookie flour 

Directions 
 







In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, molasses, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; stir in soda (it will foam up). Stir in shortening till melted. With a fork, stir in egg, then flour.

On a floured surface, knead dough till mixed. Divide dough in half, wrap half with plastic wrap; set aside. Roll half the dough, with a rolling pin, slightly thinner than 1/4 inch. Cut with cutters. Repeat with other half of dough.


Bake at 325F on a cookie sheet for 12 minutes; cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen 3" gingerbread people. I made one gingerbread house and 10 3" cookies with my batch.


NOTE: Make houses by cutting out a house design (the 2 sides of the roof, two sides, a front and a back of the house), and then placing the paper shapes on the dough and cutting the dough shapes out with a knife. There are several templates online, if you don't want to design your own.

Also, plan on constructing the house the day before you want to decorate it, to allow the icing to harden and keep the house together.  I've learned this one the hard way. :) Below is the recipe for royal icing that I use for my houses and cookies. :)


Royal Icing

2 egg whites
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Whisk together egg whites and lemon juice on low/medium low speed until frothy. Add sugar and whisk until well mixed, then whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Put icing into a icing or ziploc bag, and use it to construct and decorate the house.  Icing that is not being used should be covered with a damp cloth, so it won't dry out.

All purpose flour blend

Okay, after the success of my last batch of sugar cookies, I thought I might try my hand at my own flour blend, at least one for my cookies.  So here it is:

All purpose flour blend
3 cups sweet rice flour
3 cups brown rice flour or gluten free oat flour
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 tablespoons xanthan gum

Whisk together in a large bowl and store in an airtight container.  Use in place of all purpose flour in cookie recipes.

UPDATE 1/8/11:  I really love the blend of the sweet rice with the oat, but if you don't like it or don't have these flours on hand, you can sub and experiment.  The important part is keeping these ratios.  So you could use all brown rice in place of the sweet rice and oat, or use a 50:50 mix of sorghum and millet, or a white rice/brown rice mix, etc. As long as you keep the flour/starch/xanthan gum ratios the same, the possibilities are endless. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Frosting

Okay, once again I'm here needing to convert one of my recipes to be soy-free.  I made my sugar cookies right before I took my little one off of soy, and this recipe is definitely not soy-free!  So, I made a soy-free version today, and I also experimented a bit with the flours, and I like this version a lot more.  We topped it with our usual frosting, but added peppermint extract to it, to make it more like Christmas. :)



Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Frosting

1 cup palm oil shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sweet rice flour (if you don't have sweet rice or oat flour, just sub brown rice flour)
1 cup gf oat flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt (you could also try applesauce instead, but the yogurt was sooo good!)

Directions

  1. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well. 
  2. Mix together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture with yogurt; mix until smooth. Cover bowl and chill bowl at least 1 hour.  
  3. On rice floured surface, roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes.  
  4. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not over bake. 
  5. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool. Frost with peppermint frosting; color frosting if desired.   
Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

1/2 C Palm Oil Shortening or Soy-free margarine
1/4 C rice milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 16 oz package powdered sugar
food coloring

Directions
1. Combine shortening and extracts in bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add milk and powdered sugar.  Beat until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Note: if you want a chocolate peppermint frosting add about 1/4 C cocoa and a tiny bit more milk to the mixture above.

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dairy-free Fudge

I saw this post for 5-minute dairy-free fudge and had to give it a try.  Honestly, you would never know that it was dairy-free...it was amazing. :) Below is the recipe with my adaptations based on what I had in the house. Make sure to check out the link, because she has different variations of it, as well. Enjoy!

5-minute Fudge

1 Cup Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
3-1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons Soy-Free Margarine
1/2 Cup Dairy-Free Milk (I used the So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk)
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips, sugar, and cocoa. Separately, place the margarine and coconut milk in a small saucepan, and stir together over medium heat. Cook the mixture until the margarine has melted, and bubbles just begin to break at the surface. Remove it from the stove, and immediately pour over the chocolate mixture. Let everything sit for a couple of minutes, and then stir vigorously to melt the chocolate and incorporate the dry ingredients. Continue stirring until a completely smooth mixture forms. Mix in the vanilla, and quickly pour everything into your prepared pan. Smooth out the top. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes 32 Small Squares


5-minute Peppermint Fudge

Same ingredients as above, plus 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and crushed up candy canes, however many looks good to you.

When you add the vanilla to the fudge, add in the extract and 2/3 of the crushed up candy canes.  After smoothing into the greased pan top with remaining candy canes.

This post is featured on Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cheese Stuffed Focaccia Bread

Okay, for those of you that live by me, you know what I'm talking about if I mention Firehouse Pizzeria's focaccia bread.  For those of you that don't live around here, this pizzeria makes this scrumptious focaccia that is sliced in half and stuffed with cheese, then cut lengthwise into 'breadsticks'...I miss those.  So, I thought I'd make my own version.



Cheese Stuffed Focaccia Bread

Enough pizza dough to make 2 X 8" pizza crusts (I use Silvana Nardone's from her book, Cooking for Isaiah)
Mozzerella Cheese, shredded or Daiya Mozzerella style shreds
Italian Seasonings
Garlic Powder
Olive Oil

Directions
Divide the pizza dough into to equal parts and form them into 6" circles that are about 1/4" or maybe even a little thicker. Allow dough to rest or rise, depending on your recipe's instructions, then cook at 450F one at a time on a pizza stone for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then slice open, like you're cutting a hamburger bun.  Cover one side with cheese, and sandwich it together.  Mix some garlic powder with olive oil and brush over the top of the bread and top with a sprinkling of Italian seasonings.  Cook on the pizza stone for another 5 minutes.  Slice into breadsticks and enjoy.

Udi's, Kinnikinnick, and Enjoy Life...Oh my!

Okay, I just realized how far behind I'm getting on product reviews...so here is my attempt to catch up, just a little.

First up is Udi's Double Chocolate Muffins.  My mother-in-law was nice enough to buy these for us, and they were awesome.  We kept them in the freezer, then popped them in the microwave when we wanted them, it was like eating warm chocolate cake.  Yes, they were a bit heavier than cake would be, but muffins are supposed to be.  They were the indulgence in chocolate that I needed...so, yes, they were dairy-free and soy-free, too!

Overall Rating 10 out of 10 I love Udi's, they make great products, that taste like they were meant to taste.



Next up is, of course, more donuts...I love Kinnikinnick donuts, we've tried the chocolate glazed and the vanilla glazed, so we just had to try the Kinnikinnick Cinnamon Sugar Donuts!  It actually all started on Monday, I went to take my boys out to dinner to the only place in town where we can all eat a decent meal, and I forgot that they are closed on Mondays. Well, our wonderful health food store, Shangri La, is right next door, so I treated them to donuts instead. :)  It took us all of maybe a day to devour the entire box...and that was with me trying to restrict how quickly we ate them.  I think these ones are the best we've tried so far, and we loved the other ones, so you know how good these ones are!
Overall Rating 10 out of 10 Thank you kinnikinnick for making amazing donuts and wonderful cookies, too!

And finally, we are to Enjoy Life Foods boom CHOCO boom Rice Milk Chocolate Bar.  I saw this at Walmart of all places (our Walmarts here in town really don't have the best gluten/dairy/soy-free selection), but it was back when I was still missing chocolate, especially milk chocolate, obviously.  So, I thought I'd splurge (and it's a splurge when you're paying over a $1.50 for a regular sized candy bar) and try it.  It definitely wasn't a Hershey bar.  It reminded me of those Palmer chocolates that you get around the holidays...you know those cheap ones that are waxy and don't have the right texture?  Well, that's what this was, but in spite of that, I still devoured the whole candy bar, so it wasn't that bad.  I won't buy them very often, maybe I'll get some for my little one to put in his stocking for Christmas, but that'll be about it.  I can take care of my chocolate cravings in other ways, like Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk or Kinnikinnick chocolate glazed donuts, or Udi's Double Chocolate Muffins, or...well you get the picture, I can still eat good chocolate while being dairy-free.

Overall Rating 6 out of 10  for the price I don't want to feel like I'm eating cheap chocolate, but it still works as a candy bar, and for little ones that don't get candy bars, it's a nice treat.